Unwed Moms, Gay Adoption, More Couples Shacking Up — Is Marriage Obsolete???

- By Bossip Staff

A new study shows that Americans attitude toward marriage has changed drastically in the last thirty years, with less young people marrying, more couples opting to co-habitate rather than wed and the definition of family changing.

Not only are more marriages on the rocks these days, so is marriage itself, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

A survey of 2,691 Americans done in association with Time magazine found that nearly four in 10 Americans think marriage is becoming obsolete. That’s an 11 percent spike since 1978, when Time asked the same question.

Younger people are leading the way in redefining what marriage means. Forty-four percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 saw marriage as obsolete, compared to 32 percent of those 65 and older.

Other groups more likely to see marriage as a fading institution included blacks, at 44 percent, those with a high school diploma or less, at 44 percent, and people who made $30,000 or less a year, at 48 percent.

Census data have shown that younger people are marrying less and less, and when they marry, they’re generally older.

The median age of when one first gets married is at its highest point ever. For women, it’s 26.1 years of age, and for men, it’s 28.2.

On top of that, for the first time in half a century, the number of unmarried people between the ages of 25 and 34 outnumbers the number of married people in the same age range.

Experts say that young adults between 18 and 29 are more likely to have an unmarried or divorced parent, and that’s made a difference in how they view marriage.

Young people are marrying less often, in part, because they’re taking marriage more seriously after watching their own parents divorce or separate from one another.

The Pew survey also showed the quiet revolution of the American family over the last 30 years. Americans increasingly think marriage, once a central way of defining what constitutes a family, is no longer as important in that regard.

One reason is the increasing number of people living together and having children without getting married.

About 29 percent of children under 18 now live with a parent or parents who either are divorced or never married. Broken down further, six percent of those kids have parents who are live-in couples who never got married.

Of the respondents, 86 percent said a single parent and child constitute a family; 80 percent said an unmarried couple living together with a child is a family; and 63 percent said same-sex couples raising a child is a family.

The presence of children continues to have a strong impact on determining what makes a family. The majority of those surveyed said that an unmarried couple living together is not a family.

The Census Bureau plans to redefine what it considers a family when measuring poverty because of the growing number of unmarried couples raising children.

When people do get married, historians say that Americans no longer are getting married for the same reason Ozzie and Harriet did.

For centuries, economic security was the reason to say I do. Marriage thrived as a practical way to divide labor, allocate resources, have children and arrange for someone to take care of you when you got old.

Now, people’s desire to be happy trumps society’s more “old-fashioned” interest in stability.

When asked why they tied the knot, 93 percent of respondents said love, 87 percent said making a lifelong commitment, 81 percent said companionship, 59 percent said having children and all the way at the bottom of the list was financial stability, at 31 percent.

Will a social institution built on love have the same longevity as one built on economic security?

Back in 1960, 72 percent of all adults in this country were married. Now, that number hovers at 52 percent.


Do you think that marriage is old fashioned and no longer as useful? Are you surprised to hear that blacks are among the groups that think marriage is obsolete? How do you define “family”?


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  • WithAllHonesty

    If marriage is oh so obsolete, why are there some people looking for that right? Marriage is bond with the intent to merge two people spiritually, financially, provide structure in both the relationship and how it affects society.

    Definitely needed more often than not, especially when involving raising children.


      You mean money only or half of his..

    • Bulu

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    • Carribean Queen

      Wow folks have NO MORALS nowadays

  • super goon one

    gay marriage? gay adoption?

  • WithAllHonesty

    It’s 2010. More often than not, women are bringing their own bank to the table, not just the man.

    My parents have been married for 22 years and both had established careers before marrying and making me a year later. My Dad has good a salary and so does my Mom–on a couple occasions she actually made more than my Dad.

    Like my Dad, I’m attracted to a driven and motivated woman. So the fear of getting with a woman who is not goal oriented and after my $ just isn’t me.

    If you don’t want to share, then marriage probably isn’t your thing. If you fear getting a gold digger find a woman with her own and have some drive.

  • Jayonce


  • MyReason

    Of course marriage isn’t obsolete, it just isn’t for everybody. The idea of the “traditional” family is what is becoming obsolete becuase values are changing and traditional roles are dissappearing. We need to reevaluate the idea of what constitutes a “family” and then revisit the idea of “marriage”.

  • yaz

    This is bad. One men in the U.S don’t want to get married. Blacks have the higher percent of unmarried mothers. It is no hope for marriage anymore. People marry for the wrong reason.

  • Michelle S.

    Marriage isn’t obsolete. People are just more cautious, which is good, IMO. I’m glad younger people are taking marriage seriously. When you see so many marriages fall apart, you can’t help but be more careful when making a decision of that magnitude. I think that marriage is sacred and something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Too many people jump the gun too quick.

    Everyone has different views of what a family is. Whatever you feel it is, then it’s right. It’s not going to be the same for everyone.

    • yestanker

      thats treu but the thing is between now and the 60’s the youths are diffrent and thinking diffrent about relationships aswell, and sometimes some people cant handle temptations its just what the person wants from his lover just a baby mamma or a real wife and some just want baby mamma cus if they break up they just can without any law attached to it, so its mostly just find the person and both can trust eachother and just live togheter before popping the qeustion than its seems u married anyways only thing that mariage does is giving his last name to u.

    • ManchesterUKer

      Michelle S has hit the nail on the head

  • grant

    marriage is a religious institution so in a society that finds how little religion provides for people’s happiness they have little need for marriage

  • Educated Goon

    Marriage is not obsolete…. There are plenty of beautiful white women who know how to treat a black man. The verbal abuse given by angry black women is just too much.

  • Smart Brother

    Marriage is best suited for church folks only where the husbands are kept in line.

    In church, the husbands are constantly being told that he is the head of the household which mind you, is only theory. In reality, its the WIFE who is the head of the household.

    Other than that, marriage as we know it is dead, dead, dead.

  • juliemango

    The divorce rate prob makes singles more selective delay marriage then change their minds!!!

  • WithAllHonesty

    My thought exactly.

  • deego

    MARRIAGE is NOT for everyone!!! The people who it is not for need to acknowledge the fact and don’t get married. The problem is that people do not know themselves or will not accept themselves for who or what they are or what they want.

  • thisdudemike


  • Treatise Emily Shaniqua Jones

    i agree with the other person. do you wonder why america spends so much time and money studying black people. the preoccupation. what we do, why, and how. i could say they only study our pathologies, but its much bigger than that. the short, black folks, stop buying into all this stuff they say about it. exaggerated. aint true. just that they focus on us all the time. sorta like the cops. they stop us all the time, and our arrest, conviction, and jail rates are higher.

  • G.M.

    what do we have to lose u ask?
    well as a man we lose half of everything we have to a woman who is divorcing becuz we left the toilet seat up or whatever reason she wants to say thx to no fault divorce, then after paying up half we gotta pay out more with spousal support so if a man/woman were married for 8 yrs then the guy has to pay alimony for 4yrs, if they have kids thats 18yrs of money u gotta dish out and then if ur married for 10yrs, a man has to pay alimony for a lifetime or until the woman remarries which most wont(i.e.kimora lee simmons) then on top of that family court is bias to women so they get custody of the kids and men are turned into weekend/one day dads, and some women hold kids hostage till they get more child support so as a man, we have a lot to lose in a marriage, and 78% of women file for divorce and infidelity isn’t the leading cause, research it

  • TT BOY

    Marriage is ok for some ppl.Not for some.
    I’m not the marrying type!

  • TMI aka Uhh yeah ok.

    lol I know, where are everybody else’s stats on their views? Only ours is there, why? Trying to make a point on the sly..

  • tiny

    Actually this study is about all Americans, the news aired the numbers and asked if marriage was obsolete in this country last week. Nope, this article isn’t just about you.

    • http://youtube.com/watch?v=Scr45_TaquQ Slide Like a Fresh Pair of Gators


      LOL, the 6th word at the beginning of this says “Americans”… SMMFH…

      Some of the folks that comment on here are not the brightest and you’ll see that in their stupid comments… Just wait and see…

  • http://youtube.com/watch?v=Scr45_TaquQ Slide Like a Fresh Pair of Gators

    well as a man we lose half of everything

    then on top of that family court is bias to women so they get custody of the kids and men are turned into weekend/one day dads, and some women hold kids hostage till they get more child support so as a man, we have a lot to lose in a marriage


    Yep, and after hearing horror story after horror story from different men after their divorce it makes others approach marriage timidly and/or with a LOT of caution!!!

    Too much to lose and so a man has to be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN in this day & age…

    SMMFH, seeing couples that were once soo “in love” now going at it and doing all sorts of cruddy things to each other… Sad…

    • TMI aka Uhh yeah ok.

      Hey, you better not be calling me stupid.. lol and I have an e-crush on you :p

    • http://youtube.com/watch?v=Scr45_TaquQ Slide Like a Fresh Pair of Gators

      @TMI aka Uhh yeah ok.

      My Ethiopian Queen, you’re good :-)…

  • John

    Marriage is obsolete..case closed! Raising a family has proven to be more effective than marriage. Marriage is just a legal contract for benefits. It has no positive effect on love what so ever. If anything it has demonstrated negative effects. After a while most people stay together because the just settle and infidelity starts.

  • Mike

    Marriage is a big scam!

    • G.M.

      he11 yeah it is…have u ever listened to the tom leykis show on utube…its a radio show discussing the truth about women and marriage and how its a bad deal for men and should be avoided like the plague…look into it on utube, its a great show for us men and women sometimes benefit from it cuz they get to learn how we think

  • Educated Goon

    I have been hurt & abused by Black Women for so long that I have given up on Marriage. My heart just can’t take it anymore.

    Maybe one day a white woman will come and love me.. Because these blacks women just take advantage of a good man and kill his spirit.

    • TMI aka Uhh yeah ok.

      Sorry you got your heart smashed to smithereens but some people just ‘aint ish..lol knew there had to be a reason why you were always harping on bw..

  • http://youtube.com/watch?v=Scr45_TaquQ Slide Like a Fresh Pair of Gators

    Just gotta meet somebody likeminded you can take over the world with

    @TMI aka Uhh yeah ok.

    In my opinion it’s about finding somebody that you have a lot of things in common with in addition to you two having that ever elusive quality (*the x-factor) = chemistry…

    After that pay attention to them to see if you can see them being = a good friend, good husband and good father…

    Lastly, a man that gets pleasure out of bringing happiness to your life is the one that you should marry because he’ll forever be trying to do so… *But this only works if you’re TRULY are a good woman and are deserving…

    • TMI aka Uhh yeah ok.


  • bupac2010

    I personally do not believe in the so called “institution” of marriage …marriage doesn’t define happiness or keep ppl together…most marriages end in divorce or ppl stay married and they really do not want to ….unmarried couples can live together with children and still be a happy loving family….its what you put into relationships that make them work

    • tiny

      So true, it is what you put in a relationship that makes it work, married or not married. G/f B/f stay together even when they are ready to move on, instead of divorce they just break up. Families are still torn apart divorce, break up what’s the difference? Oh half, lol not every state gives half and men are also receiving alimony because there are women making more money.

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