“The median age for first marriages has climbed steadily since the 1960s, when men got married at about 23 years old, and women at 20. Now, men are waiting until they're 28 and women are holding off until 26” (Duara). This paper looks into the potential causes for this change.
Young people have myriad of reasons to delay their marriage or to ever consider getting married. The first and foremost reason for not getting married reported by a vast majority of the youth is the search of the right person for the marriage. The divorce rate particularly among people in the West has conventionally been very high. This is primarily an outcome of a revolution in the societal role of genders. As women have moved out of the home to advance their career and have started to take their home responsibilities as secondary, the likelihood that the marriage would end up in divorce has increased manifolds. The increase in women’s wages is the fundamental reason for the decline in marriage rate.
“[A]s women's wages have increased, fewer women rely on a spouse or partner to provide a weekly paycheck” (Mather and Lavery). The consequential lack of compromise has caused many marriages to distort, thus sending a disincentive for the unmarried people to try the same. Social media websites have also played an important role in the decrease in the number of married couples. A lot of people have discovered how their partners have been cheating upon them through their profiles in such social media websites as Facebook
and Twitter. Trust is one thing that has constantly decreased over the decades. Today, one can hardly think of trusting someone enough to make a life-long partner with. Consequentially, the marriage rate has declined. Besides, many people don’t get married in an attempt to escape from the responsibilities that come with marriage. People feel the freedom sapped in marriage that cohabitation provides them with. Lack of any significant relationship between the cohabiting people enables them to break free of the emotional bond whenever either or both of the partners starts to feel fed up. This does happen in marriage. In marriage, one remains more prudent in handling the relationship with the partner because if the marriage breaks up, there are certain financial liabilities that the individual is supposed to bear. In order to escape such liabilities, people prefer to cohabit rather than marry. There is also a growing population of youngsters that are sexually involved with people of the same gender. As homosexuality is being acknowledged as a normal human attitude rather than a social taboo, a lot of people feel encouraged to publicly display their homosexual identity, thus putting the marriage out of question. No doubt many of such couples tend to acquire marital certificate to give their relationship legal recognition, yet their act does not accord with the requirements of the traditional institution of marriage. They may acquire the marriage certificate in some states or countries, but they are anyway cohabiting since they are not able to extend the family biologically. Hence, increasing trend of homosexuality is another reason why people don’t get married. In addition to all these cultural causes of decline in the marriage rate, there are numerous natural reasons for the same as well. For example, as the quality of health-care has increased over the years and treatments for more and more illnesses have been identified, there has