New study: nearly half of millenials reject monogamy

Marriage and family
Marriage and family

Study reported on by The Stream:

A new report found nearly half of American millennials don’t want monogamous relationships.

YouGov revealed the research on monogamy and cheating, showing couples under 30 are significantly less monogamous than older generations.

Only 51 percent of people under 30 reported desiring a “completely monogamous” relationship, compared to 58 percent from the 30-44 age bracket, 63 percent from the 45-64 age bracket, and 70 percent from the 65 plus age bracket polled.

[…]Reports also show that men and women are cheating at almost equal rates.

It’s not just adultery that millenials don’t care about any more, it’s premarital sex. An article from the Washington Post found that both men and women no longer desire their romantic partners to be chaste:

Dating has changed hugely over the past generations, and so have cultural ideas about what men and women value most in a mate.

This idea is perfectly illustrated by a chart that economist Max Roser, who created the blog Our World in Data, recently put out on Twitter. The chart is made with data from a study published in the Journal of Family Issues in 2013, in which three researchers compared how heterosexual men and women ranked the importance of 18 traits in wives and husbands, first in 1939, and then again in 2008.

[…]For both men and women, the importance of chastity nose-dived, from #10 in 1939 to #18 in 2008. Emotional stability and maturity, a pleasing disposition, good health, and refinement and neatness also declined for both sexes.

For women, a similar religious background and a desire for home and children became less important in their mates, while men placed less value on ambition and industriousness in their wives.

It goes without saying that adultery is more like to reduce marriage stability. And studies also show that marriage stability is severely impacted by the number of premarital sex partners.  That’s why chastity matters: it’s a predictor of marital stability. If a person can control themselves before marriage when they don’t get any sex, it’s easier to control themselves when that need is being supplied safely and generously. Also, chastity just reinforces the idea that sex is something that is done within a lifelong commitment, not something that is done outside of a commitment for fun and thrills. I don’t that the millenial approach of premarital unchastity and post-marital non-monogamy is going to help them keep their marriages together.

But young people today aren’t interested in looking at studies to figure out how to do marriage right so that it will last. They make their decisions with their feelings. They value what the culture tells them to value, rather than picking a mate who has the skills and abilities to make the marriage last.

How well is picking mates based on emotions rather than demonstrated ability working out? The marriage rates are plummeting:

Gallup poll:

Contrary to what we would expect, given normal demographic patterns of adolescents’ movement into early adulthood and family formation, the data show that significantly more millennials are currently single/never married than was true for those in older generations, and considerably more are in domestic partnerships. Specifically, more than half of all millennials (59%) have never married, and 9% are in domestic partnerships. Gallup has noted a trend toward fewer young adults being married in recent years.

In the 2014 Gallup Daily tracking data, just 27% of millennials were married. According to historical U.S. Census Bureau data, 36% of Generation Xers, 48% of baby boomers and 65% of traditionalists were married when they were the age that millennials are now. For millennials currently aged 18 to 30, just 20% are married, compared with nearly 60% of 18- to 30-year-olds in 1962, according to the U.S. Census. When Gen Xers were the same age, 32% were married; for baby boomers, it was more than 40%.

Millennials are clearly delaying marriage longer than any generation before them, in spite of evidence suggesting that many millennials intend to marry at some point. For example, a 2013 Gallup poll found that 86% of single/never married Americans aged 18 to 34 (roughly equivalent to the millennial generation) wanted to get married someday.

Table:

Marriage rates across different generations of Americans
Marriage rates across different generations of Americans

Who can keep a relationship going when the top criterion is ability to entertain rather than ability to commit self-sacrificially? I hear lots of Christian women say they want to get married “some day”, but there they are in their mid 30s, unemployed, penniless, with empty resumes, backpacking through Europe. The words “some day” sound good to their parents and pastors, but the actions are all about hedonism and thrill-seeking – just what the culture told them to do, in order to have a meaningful life.

Is there a cost to the younger generation turning their backs on traditional marriage, including the norms of chastity, fidelity and permanence?

I saw an article on the Public Discourse that talked about the fiscal costs of abandoning traditional marriage.

It says:

In 1965, liberal Harvard political scientist Daniel Patrick Moynihan was astonished to find that about 25 percent of African-American children were born out of wedlock. Moynihan was deeply worried about this finding because he knew exactly what being born out of wedlock means for a child. Decades of social science confirm what common sense has always taught us: that children born out of wedlock are disadvantaged in every way. They are more likely to be physically and mentally ill, more likely to be poor and unhappy, more likely to have trouble in school and with education generally, more likely to be abused sexually, more likely themselves to abuse others sexually, more likely to abuse alcohol or other drugs, and more likely to engage in criminal activity and to have a disdain for authority.

This, in turn, invariably increases the size and scope of the power of the state. The state must expand to replace fathers who have abandoned their families by providing for single mothers. It must increase its public-health efforts to provide for children whose single parents cannot pay for private healthcare and to treat victims of violence committed by those who have been raised in an environment that has failed to equip them for a robust and peaceful social life. It must create and maintain adoption agencies to care for children whose parents are unfit or absent. It must commit more funds to police departments to address crime that results from families breaking apart (or failing to form in the first place), and hence failing to instill virtue in children. It must commit funds to the creation of prisons where criminals are to be kept. The list goes on and on.

The economic costs of abandoning social conservatism, then, run quite high—in addition to all of the unquantifiable social costs of broken families, deaths, broken relationships, and ruined lives. It is no surprise that leftists, committed to consolidating power in the state, have sought to undermine the family: they realize—better than many fiscal conservatives do—that a flourishing marriage culture is required for free markets and limited governments to exist.

So, there really is a cost to the embrace of moral relativism. When morality goes, expensive things happen, and government grows to pick up the costs. The bigger the government grows, the taxes are required to pay for it, leaving you with less of your own money – less of your own freedom to live how you want to live.

8 thoughts on “New study: nearly half of millenials reject monogamy”

  1. Sign of the devastated social landscape. People are social isolates, seeking stimulation via consumption addictions on screens. People have no community-based identity, rather their “identity” is a collection of corporate brands and activist causes. Any stable, integral community is swamped with locust-like immigrants and transients who criss-cross the land.

    You can also look at other symptoms, like obesity. I mean, can millennials even have sex, if they wanted to? I don’t think so.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a minefield for men! Your chances of getting an STD are magnified and you don’t even know anymore if you are getting a woman or a man who thinks he is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember when schools and such would talk a lot about STD prevention back in the late ’70s. But then it was mainly syphilis and gonorrhea, until Herpes came along. People slept around some, but they look like saints compared to the women who now boast of dozens of partners. Now there are countless other STDs, but they seem to have given up talking about them. There is no way you’ll keep the rates down while encouraging and expecting rampant promiscuity.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wonder why women are not as proud of the number of STDs they have had as they are the number of abortions they have had?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Back about 15-20 years ago, even in (somewhat socially liberal) New England, we used to joke around that people (although largely non-Christians) might live together as a test-run and might even have a kid “out of wedlock” and that kid might be a ring bearer or flower girl in the wedding 3-5 years later.

    Or it might never happen.

    Of course, those trends have spread to other parts of the country.

    Certain highly liberal women’s colleges were both 1) denigating an early marriage age / desire to have a family at an early age as well as 2) celebrating apparent “feminist freedom” to shack up/hook up with anyone at any time.

    Those attitudes have also permeated society.

    I have to think that God was trying to protect us — not “ruin our fun” — when He created sex within the confines of a committed marital relationship of one man and one woman, husband and wife.

    We clearly see how premarital sex begets more premarital sex (even my Old Testament professor noted this from the Songs of Solomon) and of course, people start comparing their current partner with previous partners. Premarital sex then begets *extramarital sex* or extrarelational sex.

    As well, we have cheapened the meaning of sex over the last 2-3 decades — when I went to college, many men felt some degree of guilt/remorse over having sex with some woman were felt “obliged” to at least try out the relationship. (Thus also the first half of the saying “women use sex to get love…”)

    If sex becomes extremely plentiful, i.e., men and women can get lots of sex with lots of people (although usually it’s the most attractive ones) — then economics plays a role: it takes a lot of sex to get little love. Which we’ve also seen — from women asking, “He and I hooked up. I wonder if he is interested in a relationship?”

    Throw in a bit of cognitive dissonance, “Well, if we’re not dating, I’m still celebrating my freedom [to sleep with whomever and wherever].”

    And yes, there are consequences of all of this.

    More abortions, more “unwanted children”.
    Higher Instability in families.
    Higher divorce rates.
    Higher rates of relational fracture (i.e., the relationship breaks up).
    Higher Emotional instability in kids.
    Higher rates of Death by stepparent (I know, not very politically correct to cite for instance VA Weekes-Shackelford and T. Shackelford’s 2004 paper that Canadian children under 2 were 70 times more likely to be killed by a step-parent than by a biological parent, or even the 2019 Nobes, Panagiotaki, Russell Jonsson paper which estimated “when we controlled for father’s age, the risk from cohabiting stepfathers was approximately 6 times greater.”) Only 6 times greater!

    And of course the cycle is a bit of a vicious one (children of broken families are less likely to marry, more likely to divorce, more likely to include divorce into their calculations, etc.)

    Certainly NOT for the greater good of society nor actually beneficial to the individuals involved.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When modern women (feminists) are young and attractive they deliberately avoid commitment because they are trying to build up their self esteem by sleeping with as many hot guys as possible.

      It’s only when they become unable to attract the men they want (tall, hawt, bad boys) that they start to play the victim and say they aren’t responsible. There is a veritable Macy’s Day parade of women – Christian and non-Chistian – who become amateur psychologists, theorizing how men were able to cast spells on them using charming magic and manipulativeness when they were younger. Many of them become “Christians” in order to reinvent themselves and avoid being judged based on their pasts. But inside, they are the same person, attracted to the same bad boys.

      The only thing that could help them would be to renew their minds by reading facts, instead of relying on their feelings experiences and community (of idiots) to guide them. But reading and learning and submitting to reality is so much work! Better to just feign Christianity and then blame men for not being willing to commit ($$$$$) to women who are not even attracted to them.

      What they chose from 18-32 is what they are attracted to. Any man they “settle” for using for a world of hurt. Men, don’t rescue aging feminists. They don’t live you, they don’t respect you. They are just grabbing at you like a drowning man grabs at a lifejacket. And they don’t think their drowning is their own fault.

      Liked by 1 person

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