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  • Family Fact of the Week: Americans Realize the Importance of Marriage

    The benefits of marriage are numerous: from increasing financial health to promoting child well-being, tying the knot can have a profound impact on individuals’ futures. According to a new survey, Americans overwhelmingly recognize the value of marriage to advancing society. (Article continued below chart)

    A new Rasmussen poll released this week shows that more than three in four Americans consider marriage an important societal institution. According to the survey, 78 percent of American adults say matrimony is at least “somewhat important” to society, including 60 percent who rate marriage as “very important.”

    The poll’s results are not surprising, given the tremendous benefits of marriage to couples and children. As research on Heritage’s FamilyFacts.org demonstrates, marriage can positively affect child development, social decisions, and academic performance. Children and teens living in married-parent households tend to have greater educational achievement and are less likely to exhibit behavioral problems. Adolescents living in an intact, married home are also less likely to abuse drugs and are at a decreased risk for experiencing a teen pregnancy.

    Marriage is also associated with better financial prospects. Married-couple families tend to have higher household incomes than their unmarried counterparts, even when only one spouse is in the paid labor force. Married couples also tend to have greater wealth accumulation and are more likely to own their own homes.

    In addition to the institution’s many social and economic benefits, marriage has even been shown to increase physical and psychological health. Married men and women tend to smoke less, are less likely to report problems with alcohol, and have lower levels of depression than their single peers.

    Despite the many benefits of marriage and the overwhelming acknowledgement by Americans that the institution is important to society, an increasing number of men and women are forgoing matrimony. Marriage in the United States has been on the decline for many decades, with the annual marriage rate now half of what it was four decades ago. Today, just 51 percent of American adults are currently married.

    Unfortunately, the decline of marriage in America could signal serious trouble for the next generation and for the health of civil society. With more than four in 10 children now born outside of marriage, millions of children are unable to experience the relative financial and social stability of married households and are at an increased risk of poverty and government dependence.

    The stakes are too high to ignore the value of marriage to the nation’s future. Policymakers and national leaders should affirm Americans’ instincts that marriage plays an important role in society by eliminating disincentives to marry and promoting the institution’s many benefits.

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Family Fact of the Week: Americans Realize the Importance of Marriage

    1. Melissa says:

      If this is what you believe, why deny the right of marriage (and the accompanying financial and emotional benefits) for gay and lesbian couples?

      • Michael says:

        Marriage is a covenant with God based upon discipline, loyalty, and accountability. A focus upon sex, especially as the premiere indicator of a relationship, strangles all meaning from love and will not yield the same great result.

      • Why seek to define an immoral practice with the label of marriage? What good will it do? A homosexual relationship is atypical. It is not good for society. There are so many negatives that come out of the homosexual lifestyle in general that it cannot possibly be good for society. I know that hurts. I feel no animosity toward gay people. But this lifestyle of acting gay or lesbian is a choice and why should the whole foundation of society change for a few people that desire to live an immoral lifestyle? Like it or not, that is what it is. Legal rights can exist without the distinction of marriage. Why seek something that would cause all of us to make such drastic changes to our society and culture? That seems very self-serving and narrow minded to me.

        • Christy says:

          If for no other reason than to prove that this country is NOT a theocracy and that everyone of its citizens have a right to their own family structure unit – regardless of whether you approve or not :-D

    2. Family says:

      Family has been a vital part of the equation of life. Gen 1:28: "God blessed them and God said unto them be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth." From the very core of the beginning of time, family has been a major focal point. If not for family, we would have no beginning, no history, and no idea of who we are. You don't get to choose from where you come, God does that. Your family was your family, even before you became family. Your family is your roots. We need to realize that every single moment of our lives is important. Keep in mind; before there was a you, you had a family.

    3. Loren Anderson says:

      When the Creator presented the needed person to fill Adam's void, He knew just what was needed and
      man soon learned it was good. It's worked for tghousands of years, any substitute fulfillment is a
      shaky deal.
      Let's keep working with the original plan. My 60 years with the same good companion can't
      imagine a phony substitute. If it's not broken why fix it?

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