Marriage Not Mandatory


With the drastic shift in societal attitudes towards marriage and childbearing over the last few decades comes an equally drastic shift in family structure as compared to the ’50s and ’60s. What constitutes a traditional family has long changed from the two married parents with 2.4 children that advertising considered the norm 50 years ago. In 2014, the CDC reported that 40% of births in the U.S. were to women who were not married. This is down from its 50% peak in 2007–2008, but so is the overall birth rate. Whether having kids or not, today’s moms are doing things much differently than their mothers and grandmothers, as blended families, LGBT families and cohabitating unions become more and more the norm in American society. In the study, three-quarters of women and men agreed that “[i]t is okay to have and raise children when the parents are living together but not married.”