Afraid to Commit: Young Men Want to Wait on Marriage
About the Study
They want kids, houses and sex. And they want women, too -- but not in the form of wives. Not until they're older.
So says the latest study to probe the minds of America's young men, aged 25 to 33. The study found 10 reasons men won't commit -- from the ease of finding sex partners to the desire to avoid financial risks of divorce.
Men do want to marry and have children eventually, the study found, and men greatly value the institution of marriage. But they love their single life and experience few of the traditional pressures from church, employers or society that once encouraged them to marry. Then, too, living together gives men many of the benefits of marriage without the obligations, the study said. And society accepts cohabitation.
The authors of the study, called The State of Our Unions, said they were puzzled by their findings, based on face-to-face group interviews with 60 heterosexual men in Chicago, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and Houston. The majority of the men are employed full-time with reported annual incomes between $21,000 and $35,000. Most have had some college or hold a BA. None of the men were married; three had children.
"Marriage is a fundamental social institution. It is central to the nurture and raising of children... and the 'social glue' that reliably attaches fathers to children," noted the authors in their 32-page report. "[Marriage] contributes to the physical, emotional and economic health of men, women and children, and thus to the nation as a whole."