Tuesday, April 28, 2009

An Update on That Whole Early Marriage Thing

Mark Regnerus' column on how people should get married earlier caused quite a stir. It looks like today the Washington Post got someone to respond -- someone who, you know, has actual knowledge about the issue of marriage of society today (sadly, it wasn't my favorite marriage historian, Stephanie Coontz). The column by Andrew Cherlin today is a bit shorter but deals with the issues of modern marriage well:
Cut to the 21st century. Children are costly to educate and contribute little to the family economy. I don't know about your children, but I haven't received many checks from mine recently. People still want to have children, but one or two will do. Infant deaths are blessedly rare. So a woman who marries at 26, the average age in 2008, has plenty of time for the two pregnancies that are typically required to produce the size of family that most couples want.
Plain and simple. People get married later in life because they don't need to get married early. Cherlin also actually notes people with a high school education alone, a group that Regnerus seems to have forgotten actually existed.

I'm glad they actually got someone with interesting ideas to respond to the piece, but it's regrettable they didn't just go with someone with interesting things to say in the first place.

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