Why marriage is a worthwhile pursuit in the 21st century essay

Name 11

Whymarriage is a worthwhile pursuit in the 21stcentury

Marriagehas remained one of the most valued institutions, in spite of theexponential increase in the number of singles and divorce rates.Marriage plays a critical role of expanding the society through childbearing and developing stable families. However, trends have changedand now a large number of people choose to marry later or remainsingle in their entire lives (Stossel 1). This trend can beattributed to the fact that the modern society values other things(such as education, career, and independence) over marriage. This hascreated a scenario in which more than half of the American peoplespend more years of their lives unmarried than the time they spend inmarriage (Sharp 957). An argument that women should marry will beadvanced in this paper, which implies that marriage is a worthwhilepursuit in the 21stcentury. Married women have more financial security, good health,limited chances of engaging in risky behaviors, and lead a happy lifeup to their old age compared to single women.

Marriagehelp couples lead a healthy life

Onaverage, married people enjoy better health than those who choose toremain single. Marriage increases one’s ability to manage sicknessand adopt a healthier lifestyle (Doherty 11). In addition, a marriedperson receives care from the partner, which increases the chances ofleading a healthy life. This has been confirmed by a cross-sectionalstudy of 9,333 participants that examined the relationship betweensusceptibility to different health conditions and marital status. Thestudy indicated that the married participants had the lowestmorbidity rates for all disease categories, functional problems,impairment, and disabilities (Doherty 11). Marriage also reduces therisk of suffering from ulcers, insomnia, and nervous breakdown. Bothmarried and single women are able to lead almost the same quality oflife during their early stages of life, but the difference in theirhealth becomes evident at the later developmental phases. This isbecause older adults are more vulnerable to diseases, and socialsupport that they receive from their life partners enhances thecapacity of the married women to overcome the illnesses.

Therelationship between marriage and violence

Althoughsome women hold the belief that getting married increase the risk ofbeing abused, empirical evidence indicates the opposite. A study hasshown that married women are less likely to experience incidents ofviolence as compared to women who chose to avoid marriage and go forcohabiting. It is estimated that cohabiting women are three timesmore likely to be abused by their partners than the married women(Doherty 15). Women who prefer cohabiting to marriage on the groundsof domestic violence ignore the fact that gender-based violence is acommon challenge in the society and it can occur outside the contextof marriage. The probability of domestic violence taking placedepends on the aggressiveness of the marriage partner, which can bedetected during courtship (Doherty 15). Therefore, marriage is notthe cause of violence, but the personality of an individual partner.

Inaddition, single women are at a higher risk of becoming victims ofviolent crimes compared to married women. Some of the most commontypes of violent crimes that single as well as divorced women faceinclude rape and aggravated assault. These women are about four timesmore likely to fall victims of violent crimes than the married women(Doherty 14). This implies that a decision to stay single increasesthe vulnerability of an individual to violent crimes. A crosssectional study of 3,716 participants indicated that single women whochose to spend time with dating partners, instead of getting marriedreported more cases of physical abuse than those who are married(Machado 3). This can be attributed to the lack of commitment betweenthe two partners, who do not care much about the future of theirromantic relationship. Additionally, single women do not spendquality time with their dating partners, which reduce their capacityto determine their personality. This increases the risk of datingpartners who are aggressive and lack adequate problem-solving skills.

Apartfrom the risk of being victims of violent crimes, single women are ata higher risk of engaging in crimes than the married women.Psychologists consider marriage as a transformative institution thatincrease the distance between criminal behavior and good conduct(Sampson 500). Women undergo a significant behavior change when theyget married and they are most likely to learn positive behaviors thatportray them as good wives or mothers. In addition, married women getmore financial as well as social support from their husbands, whichreduce their chances of engaging in property crimes, such as theft.Studies have also indicated that women with criminal behavior aremore likely to marry ex-offenders who understand the burden thatawait the criminals, which provides them with an opportunity toreflect on their lives and adopt positive behaviors (Sampson 501).Therefore, marriage reduces the chances of becoming a criminal andthe risk of recidivism among women.

Economicbenefits of getting married

Gettingmarried reduces the vulnerability of women to poverty since they areable to get financial assistance from their husbands. A decision todivorce or remain single increase the risk of leading a poor life,even after controlling for the family background and race. A study of500 women indicated that four out of every five women who divorcedtheir husbands relied on the government programs (such as the socialsecurity) for survival within the first eight years of gettingdivorced (Doherty 8). The same study indicated that single mothersand divorced women suffer a loss of about 26 % of their income withinthe first five years of parting with their husbands. Thisrelationship between poverty and a decision to remain single explainswhy about 43.3 % of the poor families are headed by single mothers(Doherty 8).

Therisk of poverty that is directly attributed to being a single parentalso affects children. In most cases, women are expected to live withchildren when they get them out of wedlock. It becomes extremelydifficult for women who choose to remain single and bear children toadvance their education or pursue better-paying careers and take careof their children at the same time. This increases the risk ofsuffering from poverty and over-reliance on the government supportprograms (Doherty 8). Children who are brought up by a poor singlemother also lead a poor life since they lack quality education thatcan help them access better jobs. Marriage, on the other hand, isconsidered as a wealth creation institution, since partners are ableto support each other. This ensures that the family has constant or aprogressive income generation throughout the year. Therefore, gettingmarried is a unique way of enhancing income security and protectingsingle mothers and children from poverty.

Benefitsof marriage to children

Givingbirth to children is a natural way of genetic preservation and itensures the continuity of a given community. Women who are marriedand the majority of those who choose to remain single give birth tochildren. Children who are born and brought up by a married coupledlead a more stable life than those who are brought up by singlemothers. For example, being brought up by a married couple reducesthe risk of children’s engagement in criminal behaviors and beingincarcerated (Hornby 2). Being brought up by a single mother, on theother hand, increases chances of delinquency and recidivism amongchildren. This has been confirmed by an empirical study showing thatabout 64.6 % of all juveniles do not know their birth fathers, whichimplies that they were brought up by single mothers or cohabitingparents (Doherty 8). Therefore, marriage is an institution that playsa critical role in sharing and teaching good behaviors that protectchildren from risky and criminal conducts.

Inaddition, marriage increases the academic success of children who arebrought by a stable couple. Failure to marry affects the academicperformance of the affected children. Getting married is associatedwith higher probability that children who will be brought up by themarried couple will attain tertiary education and compete fairly withother students in school. Being brought up by single mothers, on theother hand, increases chances of school dropout. An empirical studyshows that children of single mothers record poor performance inlanguage, mathematics, and science compared to children of a marriedcouple (Doherty 9). The same study indicated that about 30 % ofstudents brought up by single mothers record a poor averageperformance compared to 17 % of the children of wedded couples. Inaddition, children of the married couples tend to be moreself-reliant and cooperative in school, which contributes towardstheir high performance. Although the mechanism behind thisrelationship is under-researched, it is evident that married couplesare able to create a stable environment that allows their children toachieve a balanced growth and development. This stability translatesto a better academic performance and attainment for the children.

Relationshipbetween marriage and a happy life

Mostof the women who decide to live single believe that living alone willhelp them remain happy throughout their lives. However, it is evidentthat married couples tend to lead a happy life on average compared tosingle persons. This is because marriage provides women with supportand stability that gives them an opportunity to succeed in otheraspects of life. The success that is attained in other areas of lifeleads to a positive emotional experience and a feeling ofsatisfaction in life, which increases the chances of leading a happylife (Gottlieb 1). Single women on the other hand, enjoy moments ofhappiness during their youthful age since they have the freedom andthe ability to switch from one lover to another or find satisfactionin other areas, such as education and career. However, the onset ofthe mid-life crisis at the age of about 40 years reduces thehappiness of the single mothers. This subjects them to the risk ofleading a sad life during their old age, although they appearsuccessful in terms of career and finances. All these challenges canbe prevented by selecting the right marriage partner that one wouldlike to grow old with.

Marriagealso increases the happiness as well as the overall well-being of themarried women by helping them avoid risky behaviors. Marriage is themost important and a lifelong commitment that people can get fromtheir partners. This type of commitment does not only involve anagreement to share the house and expenses, but it also takes accountof the behaviors of each of the partners. The married women who havemade a lifelong commitment with their husbands avoid promiscuity,which reduces the chances of contracting sexually transmitteddiseases. Single women, especially those who want to remain sexuallyactive without getting married are at a constant risk of sufferingfrom sexually transmitted diseases (Gottlieb 1). This is one of therisky behaviors that limit the happiness of the single women ascompared to their married counterparts.


Therisk of settling for the wrong match

Thechances of marrying the wrong man have been increasing with time,which can be confirmed by the gradual rise in the rate of divorce.Marriage is often understood as a lifelong commitment, but a risk ofdivorce reduces the potential benefits that one would expect to getfrom it. Scholars estimate that about 50 % of the marriages in theU.S. will end up in divorce (Tannen 244). Some of the key reasonsthat increase this risk of being divorced include financialconstraints, violent partners, cheating, and substance abuse. Theopponents of the idea of marriage use these factors to advance theargument that getting married waste a woman’s youthful age andsubject them to divorce at a time when they require social as well asthe financial support. Although this argument is based on empiricalevidence, it is biased in that it fails to take account of the 50 %of the marriages (Scott 171) that will last till death as well as thedivorcees who are likely to get married soon after parting with theircurrent partners.

Careerand financial stability

Themajority of the women who choose to remain single base theirdecisions on the fact that avoiding marriage will give them theopportunity to pursue their career as well as academic goals. The twofactors (academic and education) are the key contributors of thefinancial stability (Stossel 1). Single women are able to pursuegraduate and postgraduate education because they do not have familycommitments. This increases the chances of getting better paying jobsthan the married women, who lack time to advance their academicattainment. However, this argument does not hold for all singlewomen and married couples. In addition, single ladies hold that therecent trends indicate that man’s jobs have been declining hasreduced their capacity to establish romantic relationships (Bolick1). A study has shown that married couples demonstrate a greatercommitment at work, get more stable personal routines, and report lowrates of turnover (Doherty 8). This suggests that life is not aboutgetting more money and accessing the high ranking jobs, but theability of an individual to balance between life and work. Marriedwomen are more likely to find happiness from their work and feelsatisfied with what they do for a living.

Desireto lead an autonomous life

Inthe twenty first century, freedom and autonomy are some of the keyfactors that guide the decisions made, especially by the youngpeople. Many people want to be independent and make choices withoutbeing restrained by anyone. A large number of women believe thatremaining single is the most viable option that can help them achieveindependence. The groups of women who advance this belief argue thatthe commitments that result from marriage deny married women theopportunity to spend time with their friends and travel (Bolick 1).Single women also claim that they are able to pursue the hobbies thatthey always wanted during their childhood since they have all thetime and the freedom to do so. Additionally, married couples gothrough conflicts that affect their children psychologically, whichimplies that marriage is not a solution to violence (Peck 43).Although single women have the freedom to take vacations and spendthem wherever they wish, the married women can also take vacationsand utilize alternative ways of leading a fulfilling life withintheir marriage.


Marriedwomen have a high chance of increasing their financial security, livein good health, minimize chances of engaging in risky behaviors, andlead a happy life up to their old age compared to single women.Although the new trends (such as getting married late in life anddeciding to live single) have influenced many people to live single,the importance of marriage in the society have not changed. Singlewomen can also have children just like the married women, but theirchildren are at a higher risk of engaging in delinquent behavior andhave a poor educational attainment compared to children who arebrought up by married women. Single women lead a happy life and enjoyautonomy during their youthful life but face the risk ofpsychological problems (such as stress) in their old age. Therefore,marriage is important and modern women should consider marriage as aninstitution that has the capacity to enhance their social andeconomic wellbeing.


Bolick,K. All the single ladies. TheAtlantic.2011. Web. 15 May 2016.

Doherty,J., Galston, A., Glenn, D., Gottman, J., Markey, B., Markman, J.,Muehnberg, B., Nock, S., Popenoe, D., Rodriguez, G., Sawhill, V.,Stanley, M., Waite, J. and Wallerstein, J. Twenty-onereasons: Why marriage matters.Wollongong: Fatherhood Foundation, 2004. Print.

Gottlieb,L. Marry him! TheAtlanta.Web. 2008. Web. 15 May 2016.

Hornby,N. Abouta boy.New York, NY: Riverhead Books, 1999. Print.

Machado,C., Martins, C. and Caridade, S. “Violence in intimaterelationships: A comparison between married and dating couples”.Journalof Criminology1 (2014): 1-10. Print.

Peck,M. Theroad less traveled (25thEd.).New York, NY: Simon &amp Schuster, 1979. Print.

Sampson,J., Laub, H. and Wimer, C. “Does marriage reduce crime? Acounterfactual approach to within-individual causal effects”.Criminology44.3 (2006): 465-508. Print.

Scott,A., Berger, D., and Weinberg, D. “Determinants of the U.S. divorcerate: The impact of geography and demography”. InternationalJournal of Humanities and Social Science1.19 (2011): 176-186. Print.

Sharp,A. and Ganong, L. “I’m a loser, I’m not married, let’s justall look at me”: Ever-single women’s perceptions of their socialenvironment”. Journalof Family Issues32.7 (2011): 956-980. Print.

Stossel,S. In search of Mr. Right. TheAtlantic.2002. Web. 15 May 2016.

Tannen,D. Sex,lies, and conversation: Why is it so hard for men and women to talkto each other?Toronto, ON: Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2001. Print.