Saturday, February 26, 2011

the report of the "death of marriage" was an exaggeration

November 18, 2010 the Pew Research Center released a research study conducted in conjunction with TIME, that was provocatively, if inaccurately, titled "Decline of Marriage." The research was a survey of Americans' attitudes about marriage and family.

The headline finding of this survey was that 39 percent of respondents to the study agree that "marriage is obsolete." This is an increase from 1978 when only 28 percent thought marriage was obsolete.

The problem is, this is the perception of people, not reality. Moreover, it is the perception of people only 5 percent of whom can accurately describe societies divorce trends for the past twenty years. In other words 95 percent of the respondents to this survey did NOT know that divorce has been declining for the past 30 years.

Turns out that's not the only fact about marriage and the family the respondents got wrong. On seven key questions of fact about marriage and family trends, less than half of the respondents knew what the actual marriage and family trends are.

No wonder their perceptions of marriage and the family are so screwed - they lack the facts.