Marriage: Does it Deserve to Survive? (Essay Sample)
In our Ling 3C readings we see a clear historical trend of declining and delayed marriage in the U.S. since 1960. Evaluate the sociological and economic impact of such changes and answer this question:
Does the weakening institution of marriage indicate greater social progress, for example, through the expansion of individual freedoms or other virtues, or to the contrary, is this weakening a sign of societal and cultural degradation?
If you consider it to be neither, explain your reasoning clearly.
Cite substantial evidence from our 3C readings to support your claims.
Marriage: Does it deserve to Survive?
The societal perception of the purpose of marriage is to bring a man and a woman together and unite them as a husband and wife and have children. However, this narrow definition and perception of marriage has changed greatly over the in the recent past. Today, there is increased social acceptance of cohabitation, divorce, and very few people are getting into marriage and those marrying are taking long to do so. All these factors have led to the weakening of the institution of marriage. (Williams) notes that, since the industrial revolution, the American society is increasingly becoming fatherless. Moreover, studies have shown that children from fatherless families are more likely to have a risk factor of negative outcome such as dropping out of school, being juvenile delinquent or having teenage pregnancy(William). Thus, the weakening of the institution of marriage is a sign of societal and cultural degradation.
Poverty and low income is threatening the institution of marriage. Fewer people are getting married and doing so depends on their social and financial situation. Women want to partner with men who have a steady and sustainable income. However, with considerable change in the labor market, the number of employed men available is demographically shrinking. Additionally, the wage gap between males and females is narrowing (Atwan 362), which makes it harder for women to choose suitable partners based on income. Further, women are being harmed by the “natural family system” despite the changes that has been brought by feminism in the 20th century. Today, many married women have jobs and have put their careers ahead of marriage. This trend has challenged the olden regressive norms that were pegged on patriarchy where the husband is a breadwinner and the wife as a homemaker. Notwithstanding the remarkable progress feminism has achieved in pushing for gender equity globally, the dehumanization and objectification of women still exists and it is fundamentally due to the “natural family system.” These archaic norms advocate for less pay for women than men because it is believed that the man should provide for the family and the women's salary is only to supplement the man's income. These current societal norms instituted by the “natural family system” is fostering gender inequality which is harming families and marriages. Inequality threatens mutual love and respect in marriages by making wealth a significant factor in the decision to marry (Atwan 362). This issue coerces women to continue or enter into dependent and subservient unions which makes them more vulnerable to serial domestic abuse and become trapped in unsatisfactory relationships because they fear losing financial support and it prevents them from leaving or reporting abuse (Atwan 362).
Many children born and growing without parents is weakening marriages. (Miller) reports that more children are born and live in families without both parents. This has increased their prevalence to; drugs and alcohol abuse, suicide attempts, poor mental health, poor acad
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