21 Dec Middle America Believed the Lie
Who is more likely to marry and then bear children? 1) a young woman who got a year or two of education at a local college 2) a young woman who has a graduate degree from Berkley or Harvard? The answer: on average, the young woman with the graduate degree from a Berkley or a Harvard is the most likely to marry and then bear children.
“In a striking reversal of historic trends, highly-educated Americans are embracing a pro-marriage mind set as Middle Americans are losing faith in marriage,” states the press release for the 2010 edition of The State of our Unions report. Middle America is defined as the 58 percent of adult Americans with high school diplomas and some post-secondary education, but no four-year degree. (Thirty percent of adult Americans have at least a four-year degree.)
Relative to those who are “highly educated,” the “moderately educated” have seen a dramatic increase in out-of-wedlock child bearing, from 13 percent in 1980s to 44 percent in the 2000s (the “highly-educated” rate has increased by just 6 percent). “[M]arital quality in middle America increasingly resembles [that] of the poor, many of whose marriages are fragile,” states the authors noting that the divorce rate for the “moderately educated” has soared as well.
As for cause of marriage’s decline in middle America, the study attributes much of this shift in attitudes to an increase in unemployment and a decrease in religious attendance. In the 1970s, the “highly educated” were the least likely to attend religious services, now that has reversed with the most educated being the most likely to attend church weekly.
We see tremendous irony in the fact that for decades, academia… particularly the ivy league elites (and certainly the Hollywood standard bearers)…have promoted the notion that marriage is irrelevant and children don’t need to be born to stable married parents. Well, these folks were successful in indoctrinating everyone (first the poor and now middle America) to this way of thinking; now the “trend setters” have reversed course.
They’re getting married in larger numbers, but they’ve left in their wake too many fractured lives and handicapped a future generation who will not receive the numerous benefits accrued from being raised in an intact married family. In short, too many people believed their “aren’t we progressive; we don’t need marriage” lies. Now society and most particularly children are paying for this devastating deception. But that’s our take; to read the details of The State of our Unions 2010, go here.