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■US marital rate is still higher than other Western nations
■Marital rate is lower than it used to be●92% of women in 1960, 83% of men in 2012○Men are even less likely to be married, or marry later■Change coincides with a change in belief about the value of marriage for a society●2012: Only 46% argue that we are better off with marriage and children○How many never marry?■Today: 1 in 4 may never marry●Prediction based on trends●Larger portion than in the past○Demographic Trends in Marriage■Race●25+, never married in 1960 vs. 2012○Black adults: 9% to 36% - lowest likelihood of marriage○White adults: 8% to 16%○Hispanic adults: 12% to 26%○Asian adults: 13% to 19%●The difference narrows as time goes on○Black Americans delay marriage■Reasons: Disproportionately affected by socioeconomic circumstances■Education●General trend: With education, less likely to be married by 25○As compared to the past○Especially for women■With greater education, women have less of an economic dependence on men/marriage●People with higher education are now more likely to get married and stay married○The Case for Marriage (Waite and Gallagher, 2000)■Argued that marriage changes not only the couple’s relationship to one another, but also to the outside world●Change the way we are treated by the government, businesses, and religious communities○Examples: Power of attorney, inheritance, taxes, medical benefits, paid leave to take care of family○Benefits of marriage■Promise of permanence●Allows for all other benefits■Specialization●“You cook, I’ll clean”■Joint resources●Two together cost less than two apart■Someone to take care of you/social support■Improves mental and physical health■“Reforming the men” -> less risk taking■“Improving the woman’s finances”
○Health benefits■Spend less time in hospital●Someone to take care of you at home■Pay less in hospital bills●Less time = less money■Less likely to suffer a heart attack■Are less likely to get and die of cancer●Get diagnosed earlier○Someone else to notice abnormalities and insist that you go to the doctor●Receive more treatment■Present with less severe illnesses●Someone to insist that you go to the doctor before you get seriously ill■Meta-analysis on the benefits of health●Study of studies○Allows researchers to look at averages across studies○Have a reputation of confirming data/phenomena with greaterconfidence■No longer the gold standard it once was●Research where there is no connection found isharder to publish, therefore is not considered in meta-analyses●Being lean vs. being obese is recognized by society as a health risk○Social relationships are about 2 or 3 times more influential on mortality rates than obesity■Implication: We need to put lots of emphasis on social wellbeing (not just physical well being)●