Marriage actually works best as a formative institution, not an institution you enter once you think you're fully formed. We learn marriage, just as we learn language, and to the teachable, some lessons just come easier earlier in life There is wisdom in having an age gap between spouses. For women, age is (unfortunately) a debit, decreasing fertility. For men, age can be a credit, increasing their access to resources and improving their maturity, thus making them more attractive to women. We may all dislike this scenario, but we can't will it away.If this isn't enough reason to go out and get married, consider Regnerus's claims that marriage will make you richer.
Married people earn more, save more and build more wealth compared with people who are single or cohabitingThis logical conclusion is based on the fallacy of correlation as causation. In other words, just because two things go up or down together does not mean they are causally related. For instance, there are more storks in rural Poland than in urban Poland. Birth rates are higher in rural Poland. Therefore storks bring babies. People with more money and higher levels of education tend to get married. Marriage is not randomly distributed throughout the population. If people with more resources are also the ones who get married, then married people will be wealthier than unmarried people. In other words, correlation is not causation, storks don't bring babies, and lack of money, not lack of marriage, is what causes poverty. If increased wealth weren't enough to convince everyone to go out and get married right now, what about the environment? According to this brilliant sociological analysis, being married makes for a smaller carbon footprint.
Marriage may be bourgeois, but it's also the greenest of all social structures.I hate to burst that bubble of pro-marriage propaganda, but the nuclear family has had a horrible impact on the environment, particularly through the spatial isolation of the nuclear family into single family houses in SUBURBS! Group living, extended families, apartment buildings are all green. Detached split levels, an architecture that in its early days was limited to married couples (and white), are the opposite of "green." This sort of sociology continues in a long line of population control that began with Emile Durkheim, especially in his book on Suicide (which argued that marriage decreases suicide rates- well, okay, for men, but increases it for women) and the Division of Labor in Society (which argued that a stable marriage and a stable society are built on difference- see, women stay home and are fertile and men go make big money in the market). Sociology, like all academic disciplines, is embedded in power. But unlike most disciplines, it also provides the tools to uncover the power behind our claims, to be reflexive about the sort of knowledge we're producing. And if the sociologist cannot do it himself, then the readers of it must. Regenerus can encourage his students to get married, but I will continue to encourage mine to be skeptical of marriage as government policy, let alone pedagogical outcome.