Research Always Shows Marriage is the Path to a Stable Future

Research Always Shows Marriage is the Path to a Stable Future
A new study released by the Institute for Family Studies (IFS) highlighted the fundamental and crucial link that marriage plays in the future of society.

Modern activists for so-called equality appear to be working relentlessly to undermine the institution and sacrament of marriage at every point. However, this subversive action accelerates the downfall of the society in which they live.

Numerous studies show just how destructive waging an attack on marriage can be. The overwhelming evidence is that marriage is essential for a well-functioning society.

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Marriage Crucially Linked to Providing for the Next Generation

For many years, family activists have consistently warned about the absolute need to protect marriage for the benefit of society. The advantages are immense. With marriage, families are happier and more stable. Such families bring financial benefits to society and communities. The advent of the pro-contraception and pro-LGBT generation has made these warnings all the more urgent.

A new study released by the Institute for Family Studies (IFS) highlighted the fundamental and crucial link that marriage plays in the future of society. It challenges the widely promoted view that “destigmatizing nonmarital childbearing and deprioritizing marriage” will benefit society.

Summarizing the report’s findings, the IFS wrote that the link between marriage and fertility—hence between marriage and the physical continuity of humanity—cannot be eliminated. “Marital behaviors remain closely tied to fertility behaviors, so much so that it is virtually impossible to promote marriage or fertility alone without also influencing the other,” wrote the IFS.

IFS acknowledged that the pooled data can sometimes be hard to quantify, noting that “causal links between marriage and fertility are complex and bidirectional but undeniably important. As marriage is relinquished or postponed, so, too, is childbearing.”

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The IFS study authors noted well that many in modern society seek to discredit the need for marriage and thus push for widespread “nonmarital childbearing.” This modern argument is formed on the view that “marriage can be separated from bearing and raising children,” wrote the IFS.

Nevertheless, the study’s authors, referring to IFS research, stated that marriage is not to be consigned to the history books, as many modern anti-family activists seem to desire. Instead, the IFS wrote that “the link between the formalized, stable pair bonding of adults and human reproduction remains robust. And by some measures, it is even stronger than in the past.”

Stable Marriages Lead to Stable Economies

Another argument of anti-marriage activists is that redefining marriage leads to greater personal freedom—such as the choice to “marry” another of the same sex. The result is a more “inclusive” and hence more prosperous society. Such activists often claim that marriage is a private affair and, thus, whether a man or woman gets married or not has no effect on society at large. Hence, such activists additionally state that the “marriage” of two people of the same sex does not negatively affect society.

However, once again, the academic consensus contradicts and exposes the flaws of such modern rhetoric. The IFS cites a long history of studies that support the traditional family.

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For example, a 2013 report by the Heritage Foundation examined the harm that marriage breakdowns have upon society. It also showed how a stable marriage between a mother and father is much more likely to bring forth children who do not enter into poverty.

“Recognition of marriage serves the ends of limited government more effectively, less intrusively, and at less cost than does picking up the pieces from a shattered marriage culture,” the report found.

The IFS also referenced a 1999 study by the Brookings Institution. It found that the marriage breakdown between 1970 and 1996 led to around $229 billion in welfare expenditures.

A 2008 study by the Institute for American Values found that more recent taxpayer costs for divorce and unmarried childbearing amounted to “at least $112 billion each and every year, or more than $1 trillion each decade.”

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Harms to Children by No Marriages or Marriage Breakdowns

Children suffer most from either single-parent “families” or marriage breakdowns, a fact which brings into quantifiable terms the importance of marriage for society.

A Princeton University study from 2015 briefly summarized the consensus on the topic by stating that “reams of social science and medical research convincingly show that children who are raised by their married, biological parents enjoy better physical, cognitive and emotional outcomes, on average, than children who are raised in other circumstances.”

“Children who grow up outside of an intact, two-parent married family are more likely to suffer from psychological and social problems, and less likely to acquire the education,” the study read.

Doubling down on this point, the Princeton paper noted that the damage was not limited to children alone, arguing that “adults are less likely to thrive emotionally, physically, and economically outside of marriage.”

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The above-referenced studies referred to the high financial costs resulting from the lack of stable marriages and marital breakdowns. However, these figures were drawn not only from the divorce procedure itself and its immediate effects but from the long list of consequences on children, such as high crime rates, drug abuse, dropping standards of education or child abuse in its various forms.

Study Recommendations to Promote Married Life and Society

While liberal activists loudly demand the re-definition and restructuring of marriage, those defending society have issued contrary proposals to promote married life.

The Institute for Family Studies urged policymakers to “be careful not to disregard policies that affect marriage” if legislators wished to look to the continuation of fertility and the future of society.

“Marriage still matters for fertility,” the IFS added. Observing that “rare or delayed” marriages lead to a postponement and “decline” in fertility, the IFS warned that “policymakers would be foolish to believe that fertility can be increased by deprioritizing marriage and counting on nonmarital fertility.”

Other family defenders focussed on the financial benefits marriage brings to society and the economy. The Institute for American Values recommended that governments and local communities increase efforts to promote and “strengthen” marriage. According to the think tank, such policies would not have to be ground-breaking, as “even very small increases in stable marriage rates as a result of government programs or community efforts to strengthen marriage would result in very large savings for taxpayers.”

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The study presented examples of family-based policies supporting the economy. If a federal marriage initiative succeeds “in reducing family fragmentation by just 1 percent, U.S. taxpayers will save an estimated $1.1 billion each and every year.”

By using the hijacked word “love,” liberals and anti-family activists promote perversions of marriage and the family under the guise of a more welcoming, supportive and prosperous society. Married life is portrayed as an unwelcome duty. Commitment to family life is downplayed in favor of today’s hook-up culture.

However, the impassioned arguments of the anti-family movement always fall short of what “the science” says. Academic research consistently shows that marriage and family life are positive forces for society. Studies also demonstrate that marriage ensures the physical future of humanity by being the more stable and secure way of providing for the next generation. In addition, stable families provide the backdrop to a properly functioning and economically prosperous society.

As pro-life and family activist Jonathon Van Maren stated:

“Every bit of data we have indicates that the progressives are wrong—the true mark of “privilege” has nothing to do with pigmentation and everything to do with having a mother and father who stayed together and cared for you. If you had that, you got a head start. Our society is forgetting that truth at its peril, and the results have been clear to anyone with eyes.”