Why Less Men Are Getting Married

A new study that was led by professor from the University of Utah says many American men view marriage as weighing them down with a ball and chain, overlooking the many benefits that accrue from having a spouse — from more money and a better sex life to significantly better physical and mental health. 
 
Nicholas H. Wolfinger, a professor for Department of Family and Consumer Studies at The U joined Midday to talk about his findings. They are co-authors of “Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Love, and Marriage Among African Americans and Latinos.”
 
The marriage rate in the U.S. continues to decline and the view that marriage entails a “lack of freedom” is becoming more entrenched, particularly among younger men, according to Wolfinger, and his study partner, W. Bradford Wilcox.
 
The Pew Research Center reported in 2014 that the share of American adults who have never been married is at a record high (20 percent), particularly among young adults.
 
But research shows there is a “marriage premium” for men that includes:
  • A financial return that includes higher earnings, more assets and more job stability. Married men make about $16,000 more than their single peers with otherwise similar backgrounds.
  • Better sex lives compared to both single and cohabiting men. According to data from the National Health and Social Life Survey, 51 percent of married men reported they were extremely emotionally satisfied with sex, compared to 39 percent of cohabiting men and 36 percent of single men.
  • Longer lives. Men who get and stay married live almost 10 years longer than their unmarried peers. Also, young married men are about twice as happy: 43 percent of married men report they are “very happy” with life, compared to 20 percent of single men and 24 percent of cohabiting men.

Find out more about the University of Utah department that participated in this study at fcs.utah.edu/


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