News: Long Island Marraige
(Long Island, N.Y.)It’s a known statistic that one in two American marriages ends in divorce. With Valentine’s Day approaching, many Long Islanders are questioning how they fit into the statistic. It’s time to evaluate whether Monday’s International Holiday of Love should bring hope for married couples on Long Island – and if proposing to your significant other is really a good idea.
As of 2005, there were 7,104 divorces and 15,444 marriage licenses granted in Nassau and Suffolk County. While this might seem like a positive statistic, between the years 1997 and 2005 the number of marriages dropped from 22,113. In response to the decrease in marriage, the divorce rate dropped 5%.
The 2006 Census estimated there were 500,000 married couples on Long Island. In terms of a national setting, the statistics are a little skewed for northeastern states like New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Couples in the northeast typically get married later and decrease their chances for divorce. Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the country.
The national median age for marriage was 27.5 for men and 25.5 for women. States like Utah, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma have the youngest median ages for marriage. The highest divorce rate comes from the very rural county of Wayne, Indiana followed by Monroe County, Florida.
Statistics show that one in four adults have been divorced. Of the baby-boomer generation, 34% of marriages have ended in failure. The United States ranks #1 in the world for divorce rates. Russia comes in at #3, the UK at #4, and Australia and Canada at #7 and #8. Countries with greater success in marriage include China at #17, Mexico at #31 and Italy at #32.
What are the factors that have led to such a high divorce rate in America? Money seems to be the overwhelming issue. Couples of more affluent backgrounds tend to stick together more, which makes it no surprise that the ancient idea of marriage was once seen as purely an economic arraignment.
Children from separated homes are more likely to divorce, as are couples who have already been in previous marriages. Women who marry younger men are less likely to succeed in marriage, as are people with less than average I.Q.s. If one party smokes, the divorce rates are higher, and 66% of all divorced couples are childless. Atheists and non-Christian couples are more likely to divorce, and of the Christian sects, Born-Again Christians are less likely to stick to a marriage than others.
Divorce was almost unheard of in New York State prior to 1787. The Supreme Court began recording divorce proceedings in 1846. Before the late 1960s, the easiest way to get a divorce was to venture out-of-state.
For many, the statistics give reason to avoid the marriage commitment all together. This option might not be as appealing when taking into consideration that as of 2002, the chances of unmarried parties living together and surviving ten years was 55%. It’s also important to consider that a part of the issue could be attributed to the self-fulfilling prophecy which demonstrates that marriages fail because people expect them to.
Next to money, age is the second biggest factor in failed marriages. In the 1980’s most couples succeeded when the parties were over twenty-six years old at the time of marriage; 81% of those unions lasted twenty years and over. Only 65% of those who married younger lasted the same duration.
For quite some time the popular mentality seemed to be that young men and women need time to “bounce around” before they settle. According to a study published last December out of Austin, Texas, this notion is in direct contract to the science behind human attraction. The study shows that sleeping around before marriage weakens the hormonal power meant to bond men to women and vice versa. A twenty-second hug between a man and woman releases the chemical oxytocin in the female brain. This, researchers say, is enough for a female to bond emotionally to a male.
Think women are the only ones releasing bond-for-life hormones? Men produce a chemical called vasopressin which essentially does the same thing. Vasopressin gets released during intimacy, and men who sleep around jeopardize the effects of vasopressin and the ability to bond later in life. This counters the belief that men have more of a biological need for promiscuity, and means that they are in the same boat as women.
Regardless of social norms, the biological makeup of men and women suggests that we are designed to mate for life. Promiscuity causes female adolescents to be three times more suicidal and seven times more so for males. The sexual backdrop in America has changed so drastically that one in four adolescents has a sexually-transmitted disease as compared to one in fifty in the 1960s.
All of these statistics make people question the 50% national divorce rate and its accuracy. Some believe that fifty percent is a convenient number because it can be argued for both sides of the coin. Liberals who want more lenient laws regarding marriage and divorce can argue their viewpoint with the same weight in statistics as conservatives who wish to do the opposite.