Why not just tell the truth about marriage, cohabitation, and children to young people?

Why not just tell the truth about marriage, cohabitation, and children to young people?

[Ed. – Crazy idea.  Just might work.]

The problem with retreating from marriage as a bright line is that, in practical terms, young women in love are not very good at figuring out whether or not they are in a committed relationship.

You can see this in the data Professor Linda Waite and I reported in The Case for Marriage. The majority of cohabiting women believe they will never have sex with anyone other than their current partner for the rest of their life — even though men who are living with women they are not engaged to report being less committed to their current partners than men who are merely dating a woman. …

Cohabitation is one of the most serious risk factors for contraceptive “failure.” In 2002, one out of five cohabiting women reported contraceptive “failure,” double the risk for married women. Compared with never-married or divorced single women, only cohabiting women had a significantly higher risk of contraceptive failure than married women. …

[Y]oung women who believe they are living in a committed relationship with a man they love are just not that motivated to prevent births. …

[T]he truth is we simply haven’t tried to do very much to encourage marital childbearing in this country. Before we give up completely, may I suggest one idea that would cost virtually no money at all and would involve no new government program? …

Tell moderately educated young men and women the truth that college-educated people know and live by: It is better for you and your children to wait until you are married before you conceive a child. …

The practical problem with retreating to the “committed relationship outside marriage” line is that it is vague and hard for young people in love and lust to discern. So could we at least try telling the next generation the truth and see what happens?

Continue reading →


Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.