Monday, March 5, 2012

Marriage inequality among different education brackets


“The problem with the growing marriage divide in America is that children -- and men -- often pay a big price.”
The institution of marriage is not equal among the different education brackets in America.  Director of the National Marriage Project, W. Bradford Wilcox reports that marriage is getting stronger for highly educated Americans, but weaker for those without a college degree.  Author of “When Marriage Disappears:  The New Middle America,” Wilcox cites research showing the beneficial effects of marriage, especially for children and men.  Unfortunately, less educated families experience fewer intact families which makes them more at-risk for depression, drug abuse, incarceration, and teenage pregnancy.
From CNN:
"For Americans with a college degree, divorce is down, marital quality is stable, and family stability is up since the divorce revolution of the 1970s and early 1980s, according to research I have conducted.
 However, marriage is in trouble not only in poor communities but also increasingly in Middle America -- communities where most people have a high school degree but not a four-year college degree. For Americans without a college degree, divorce remains high, marital quality is falling, and nonmarital childbearing is surging. 
The problem with the growing marriage divide in America is that children -- and men -- often pay a big price. 
 For instance, research indicates that boys who are reared outside of marriage are about twice as likely to end up in prison by the time they turn 30, compared with boys raised in an intact, married home. Similarly, studies show that girls raised in fatherless homes are at least twice as likely to end up pregnant, compared with girls raised in intact, married homes with their fathers."
How can our culture promote the benefits of marriage equally to people without a college degree?  Through education of course:
“Accordingly, policymakers should consider a public health campaign to educate people, especially those in poor and working-class communities, about the value of marriage and fatherhood, much like they have educated the public about the dangers of smoking and drunken driving. Such a campaign may seem quixotic, but the evidence suggests such campaigns can drive behavioral changes.”

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