Sunday, January 24, 2010

Marriage makes a difference

What is it about marriage? Social liberals don't much care for the state-sanctioned traditional custom. Modernists wanted to dispense with 'the piece of paper'. Helen Clark apparently loathed the idea of marriage.

Marriage is a very public promise. You hear folk say it means nothing these days. People don't expect it to last. But on an individual basis, I am certain many do. De facto relationships have their place, especially for the young, but they aren't really about commitment (I generalise).

I am a big fan of the institution of marriage but stop short of saying the government should get involved in promoting it. It is government involvement in the private lives of people that has played a significant part in undermining marriage.

Crusader Rabbit drew my attention to this news out of the UK, a similar society to NZ. Only 3 percent of unmarried couples stayed together until their child was 16.

The only similar NZ information I have ever come across is;

According to Jan Pryor, director of the Roy McKenzie Centre for the Study of Families (and now Chief Families Commissioner) only about 12 to 13 percent of kids’ parents live together but aren’t married.

Mr and Mrs Average, Dominion Post, July 26, 2008

The divergence of percentages may be explained by a lack of age specification.

So why does any of this matter?

When starchy phrases like out-of-wedlock birth or illegitimacy rates or even unmarried parenthood are used, lots of folk get up in arms. They claim that the terms are irrelevant because many children are born to unmarried parents who are nevertheless in stable and committed relationships. This research turns that on its head.

NZ is approaching an unmarried birth percentage of 50. It isn't uncommon for parents to marry after the birth of their children but neither is it uncommon for them to split when the going gets tough. That is a sad development. It is an emotionally and financially costly business. And the costs are socialised.

Sure, married parents split up to, but less frequently. So marriage makes a difference.


Andrei said...

Did you know that we, the New Zealand taxpayer that is, gave Peter Davis, a $600,000 grant to study "The Changing Patterns of Cohabitation in New Zealand".

That would be the same Peter Davis as is the "partner" of our erstwhile Prime Minister.

I have absolutely no idea what has been delivered thus far but perhaps if something has it will contain the answers to your questions

bez said...

Not only that, it has been well proven that people in marriages are happier and do better economically than non married people. Also, children of married people do better socially and long term economically, are more likely to marry themselves and maintain successful marriages.
Even in a marriage with conflict, the level of conflict needs to be extreme before it is actually better for the child's welfare that the parents separate.

Ozy Mandias said...

Marriage, in my opinion, should be the foundation of our communities.

Sadly, despite the evidence you provide, marriage is still seen as a waste of time in our media and certain sections of society.

Personally I am not in favour of De facto relationships. They are essentially relationships without deep commitment which, even for young people, doesn't help in the long run.

democracymum said...

This news from the UK is another example of precisely your point Lindsay.

Marriage does make a difference it is the "glue" that binds our society together and when children come along, relationships often need that extra committment to ensure that the couple stays together.

democracymum said...

sorry forgot the link

Manolo said...

Sute it makes a hell of a difference :-)

Anonymous said...

Been married four times. I cant get enough of honeymoons.

I got more toasters than there are loafs of bread.


Anonymous said...

Dirk from your comment I'm not surprised you've been married four times. Please don't inflict yourself on a fifth.
Murray M

KG said...

It would be amusing to watch the social-engineering totalitarians on the left thrash and squirm as they deny the evidence of the benefits of marriage...
if the results of their efforts weren't so tragic and destructive.

Anonymous said...

Get a life murray


Anonymous said...

Good call Dirk, I'm about to get a real life. Have just sold the house in NZ. In two months I am joining my wife and son in the Philippines and will live quite comfortably on the interest from the proceeds of the sale. I don't give a flying fuck what the Nats do to the tax system, it will no longer apply to me. No more paying for other peoples piss poor choices.
Murray M

Anonymous said...

Good for you Murray. I have a friend who saw the light and is now living in Thailand enjoying his liquidated assets while lying on the beach all day. Its sounds great from the way he tells it.

I'm a winter person myself so I indulge my wims in the northen climes.