Survey: Comfort And Happiness Outrank Children As Reasons To Get Married

Who needs kids? We've got laundry!


NEW YORK -- A new survey finds views about marriage and the raising of children are changing.

The percentage of Americans who now consider children "very important" has dropped sharply since 1990. And more now cite the sharing of household chores as critical.

The Pew Research Center survey on marriage and parenting finds that children have fallen to eighth out of nine on a list of factors that people associate with successful marriages. It's well behind "sharing household chores," "good housing," "adequate income," a "happy sexual relationship" and "faithfulness."

The survey also finds by a margin of nearly 3-to-1, Americans say the main purpose of marriage is the "mutual happiness and fulfillment" of adults rather than the "bearing and raising of children."

Tango’s Take
The last line of the article is from a sociologist. He (or she) posits that the changing values are partly because of the lack of family-friendly employers. That’s crazy talk. Companies now give men time off for paternity leave (‘paternity’ is rarely used in any friendly way, it usually comes handcuffed to the word ‘suit’). If a man asked for a month off 20 years ago for his kid’s birth, he would have been laughed out of the building. Other than that comment, we’re cool with this article. It’s pretty incredible that having kids is so far down the list of marital priorities. It seems, anecdotally, like people typically don’t get married because they don’t want kids. Are we becoming more selfish as a country?

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