Marriage is still valued by a majority of young people, a new study has claimed.
Researchers at Ball State University in Indiana and Brigham Young University in Utah interviewed 517 students attending the former university, to see how much importance they placed on marriage to comparison to other social roles associated with adulthood.
The majority of respondents said they expected a future marriage to play a more central role in their lives than their careers, personal pursuits or even parenting.
Students with religious beliefs placed a higher importance on marriage than their more secular neighbours, and women rated marriage more highly than men.
Students who attached the most importance to marriage were also more likely than others to believe that marriage requires work, and to lead a socially conservative lifestyle, with fewer sexual relationships and to drink less.
Researcher Scott Hall of Ball State University co-authored the study. He said:
“Marriage is still widely considered the highest point a romantic relationship can reach — or the highest commitment one can make. People are generally still interested in the security and status this kind of a commitment can bring.”
Nevertheless, he continued, some people still associate the concept of marriage with traditional gender roles, he continued, and this discourages them from pursuing it. Others, however, accept such traditional roles and anticipate them within marriage, the Professor claimed.
The report was entitled Marriage Matters but How Much? Marital Centrality Among Young Adults. It was published in the Journal of Psychology.