Saturday, January 20, 2007

More Information on Marriage

A few days ago I reflected on a New York Times piece which implied that marriage as we know it is going away. Although I did not have access to other statistics besides those spoken of in the article, I questioned the way the article presented its material. Now, Peter Smith at gives additional information which further shows that the article presented a distorted picture by selectively reporting the facts. Here is an excerpt from Smith's research.

According to the 2005 report “Marital Status of the Population by Sex and Age”, the United States is not yet a culture that has discarded the institution of marriage, where 60.4% of men and 56.9% of women over 18 years old are married.
However, Roberts creates his own analysis by using the Census Bureau’s “Living Arrangements of Persons 15 Years Old and Over by Selected Characteristics”, by including in his 51% figure of women living without a spouse: unmarried teenage and college girls still living with their parents, women whose husbands work out of town, are institutionalized, or are separated from husbands serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Perhaps most disturbing is how blatantly Roberts’ claims are at variance with US census bureau statistics. Among marriageable women over 18 years old, 56.9% of women are married, with 53% having a spouse present, 1.4% with a spouse absent, 9.9% widowed, and 11.5% divorced. Yet, 67.3% of women 30-34, and 70.5% of women are married, a far cry from the profiles of women offered by the Times of women finding fulfillment outside marriage.

Here is another example of why we need to be discerning about what we read and hear.

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