The Marriage Divide

Andrew Sullivan —  May 8 2012 @ 8:38pm


Maria Streshinsky ponders it:

[I]s it possible that the death of marriage is an exaggeration? Is the old institution simply going through some shape-shifting that is as much economic as cultural? Consider that the studies also show that marriage, while declining among the majority of Americans, remains the institution of choice for one particular subset: adults with a college education and a substantial income.

In a recent interview, Andrew Cherlin commented that "Marriage matters more now as the symbol of the good life than as a legal institution." He added, "I don’t think the battle over same-sex marriage is about rights anymore. It’s about being allowed to have a first-class social status."Perhaps what we are witnessing is not so much the death of a tradition but a further widening of the class divide. The institution is dying — for the poor.

Charles Murray recently addressed that class divide for our "Ask Anything" series.

(Graph from Pew's report on the decline of marriage)