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On Marriage and Family - Essay Example

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Marriage and Family Name Institution Date Marriage, being a vital institution, is an important pillar of social health and stability of the American nation. The current trend about marriage according to U.S census bureau shows that the first marriage age is 28.5 and 26.5 for men and women respectively and that more and more couples are opting to cohabit first before marriage or to cohabit and not marry at all even if they have children together…
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Essay on Marriage and Family
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On Marriage and Family

Download file to see previous pages... A speech by Vice President Dan Quayle on May 19, 1992 which was entitled ‘On family values’, and which has come to be referred to as the’ Murphy Brown Speech‘ set up a heated national debate concerning single motherhood, the fathers’ role in marriage, the American family, marriage and traditional values. Some parts of the Vice President’s speech especially set off a debate. In particular, the idea that marriage is the best answer to poverty, stating that the poverty rate among married couples was 5.7% while that it was 33.4% in families that were headed by single mothers (Skolnick, 2006). More outrage was expressed by many about Dan Quayle’s comments in relation to Murphy Brown, the T.V shows character of the show by the same name who decides to have a child out of marriage. The Vice President stated that this decision was wrong because marriage is a moral issue that has cultural and social benefits and not an issue that should be only considered a lifestyle choice. It is crucial to return to Christian values upon which the United States was founded just as is aptly recited by children every morning that we are one Nation under God. It is important to replace our personal ambitions and pleasures in making decisions about important aspects like marriage with the guidance from a higher power, God, rather than from ourselves. Many religions, including Christianity and Islam, advocate for marriage. The use of prime T.V to advance the notion that marriage is unimportant to its large audience and the portrayal by Murphy Brown who stands for today’s intelligent, highly paid and professional woman has an effect scornful to fatherhood and marriage. Though this is so, and in the midst of the tide against the institution of marriage by feminist and liberals, it is very imperative to address the issue and, though we cannot undo the past, the future of the institution can be addressed. Children, who are separated from one parent either through divorce or born out of wedlock, suffer life long effects which negatively impact on several areas of the children’s wellbeing, with many of the facts being supported by social science. Research by historian Gertrud Himmerferb notes the illegitimacy ratio that children in single parent families are six times more likely to be poor and more likely to stay poor longer and also twice more likely to develop behavioral problems in their lives (Stober, 2004). It is no accident that all over the world there has existed two parent families and only a changing world has witnessed the erosion of the marriage institution. The greatest risk to childhood in the past was death of one parent while separation, divorce and out of wedlock births were held in check by religious, social and legal structures. Divorce was considered as deviant behavior and shameful to the mother and the children and was considered an admission of failure, unlike today when it is considered normal even for the slightest of reasons. Out of wedlock births were stigmatizing, with the stigma serving as a powerful deterrent until the mother was ready for marriage. While proponents may argue that it is their right to chose their way of life, it is important to think about the long term effects on children. Children will surely be affected as they shuttle from the life of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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