Marriage. A simple word with so many connotations.
In the past few decades, modern changes on the view of marriage have taken two dramatic turns. One end deals with young, married couples and the other end concerns the rising trend in America to wait before saying I do.
Statistics prove that young adults are indeed waiting to get married. According to a USA Today poll in 2006, 73 percent of men ages 20-29 said they had never been married, compared with 64 percent in 2000. For women, 62.2 percent had never married in 2006, compared with 53.4 percent six years earlier.
According to Ad2000.com, from 1970 to 2004 the annual number of marriages per 1,000 adult women in the United States plunged by nearly fifty percent.
At JCU, 80.5 percent of graduates who applied for Federal Financial Aid from fall 2007 are not married and 19.5 percent are either married or remarried according to Vice President for Enrollment, Brian G. Williams. Out of the undergraduates, 99 percent are not married, .9 percent are married or remarried and .1 percent of them are divorced or separated.
Someone who has no desire to get maried young is JCU sophomore Crystal Uvalle. “If I found the love of my life now, at 19, I would still want to wait because I still have a lot of growing up to do and I’m sure he does too.”
However, just because people are marrying later doesn’t necessarily mean they are not going to get married at all in life. According to Findarticles.com, an estimated 90 percent of young women will marry at some point during their lifetime.
Society is starting to view marriage in a different way.
JCU sociology faculty member John Klein said, “Society’s view of marriage certainly has changed dramatically post World War II and has evolved with increased diversity. For instance, greater acceptance of divorce, greater acceptance of remarriage, and the changing role of what it means to be a husband and a wife are quite different from the 1950s TV shows such as ‘Leave It To Beaver,’ ‘I Love Lucy’ and ‘The Donna Reed Show.’”
Klein also says these changed roles have to do with an increased acceptance of premarital sexual relations.
Wives are beginning to excel in society and do not have to depend on their husband in order to be successful.
Klein’s words seem to focus on how wives’ roles have changed. Society has opened up a myriad of options for women as wives to prioritize other commitments on their own such as a career, education and stability, instead of solely being a housewife.
Even though several statistics show that people are waiting longer to get married, this is not always true with celebrities.
Celebrities rush into a marriage, which is followed shortly by a divorce. Recent examples include stars like Britney Spears, Pamela Anderson and Angelina Jolie.
This also shapes people’s view of marriage, whereas many years ago, it was unheard of to get divorced.
Klein believes that there is a greater acceptance of divorce and remarriage. According to Chicagolandmarriage.org, in the early 1980s, the United States witnessed the highest number of divorces ever granted; over one million.
Today, more than ever, society is extremely comfortable with such ideas of divorce and remarriage.
Therefore, many couples find themselves submissive to society’s drastic changes.
However, the idea of finding your soul mate early on in life still exists. Young couples do still marry at an earlier age; it is just less common nowadays.
At JCU, senior Arielle Simpson decided to tie the knot at the age of 20. Against the rising trend in society, she and her family have found much joy in spending their new life together.
There are several opinions and many different views on marriage. It changes depending on the person and the couple.
However, many couples discover their own view on marriage and their own meaning of love in a personal way.
And despite society’s views and the influence of the media, they will know whether it is worth waiting two years or ten years for it.