Marriage has existed in most societies for an incredibly long time. It is the union between a man and woman in a religious and legal sense. Marriage offers a stable relationship that is recognized by the state and by whatever religion the couple chooses to follow. And is a good environment in which to raise children. However, with ever rising amounts of premarital sex, single parent families and children born outside of wedlock, as well as the decline in adherence to religion and the welcome inclusion of the Gay community, for some, marriage is losing much of its appeal and seems to be becoming a bit outdated.
8 Reasons Marriage Maybe a Bit Outdated For Today’s Society:
1. Marriage is traditionally rooted in a patriarchal structure, where a woman assumed her husband’s name along with certain traditional roles within the family, e.g. housekeeping, cooking and childrearing. This is an increasingly outdated concept, particularly as same sex marriage is on the rise, more women remain in the workforce after marriage and many men assume the role of primary caregivers to a couple’s children.
2. Marriage is also traditionally rooted in religion, yet society is increasingly secular while simultaneously encompassing a variety of religious views and cultures, and marriages and partnerships that have no roots in religious belief or culture.
3. Marriage is a legal institution, its definition, accessibility, rights, privileges and responsibilities defined by the state. Yet what marriage means to those involved differs and committed non-married partners do not have the same recognition or rights. Many same sex couples who wish to marry still cannot, and face possible non-recognition of a valid marriage if they move to another state that does not recognize same sex marriage.
4. Sex outside of marriage is more and more openly accepted—marriage is no longer a prerequisite to sanctioned physical relationships between consenting adults.
5. There is an increase in cohabitation outside of marriage. Cohabitation does not necessarily lead to marriage, but rather could lead to serial monogamy or lifelong partnerships and families without marriage.
6. More children are being born outside of marriage. Unplanned pregnancies do not necessarily lead to marriage or adoption, but rather can often lead to co-parenting by parents who cohabit or are not together. Advances in assisted reproduction technology are another major factor in the increasing number of babies born to unmarried people.
7. Financial independence is increasingly expected from and by both genders, even after marriage and children. Many women have already established their careers before marriage and have both personal and practical reasons for maintaining these careers even after the birth of any children. Further, many couples can no longer afford to raise children on one salary–and with more and more divorces, both parties must be able to earn adequate income in order to establish and support a second household following a split.
8. Life spans are increasing, along with our mobility and opportunities for career change. It may be increasingly unrealistic to expect commitment “until death” when we are living to age 100 and changing hometowns and careers multiple times over our lifetimes.