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IMPORTANCE OF MARRIAGE All social institutions evolve over time But over the last forty years not one of them has seen such dramatic changes as the institution of marriage Marriage used to be a serious commitment between two people that were destined to live the rest of their lives together In America today more than half of the first time marriages end in divorce Danbury 1994 What consequences does this have for the stability of the family and the environment in which todays children are being raised There is a mutual agreement between social scientists that a child benefits from growing up with two parents both economically and socially Marriage as a vital social institution must be strengthened in such a manner that it regains the impact it had on the socialization process that each individual requires to function in society This paper will start by reviewing the state of marriage 50 years ago and the role it played in the family and society back then From there the paper will move on to explaining what situation this vital social institution find itself in currently paying special attention to todays divorce rates Next causes and effects of these drastic changes that have taken place will be examined Finally this paper will look at possible ways of strengthening marriage One of the most interesting ideas in this matter especially in a communitarian perspective is the one saying that waiting periods should be required before marriage license is issued One does not have to go many generations back before a different concept of marriage is revealed A definition describing it as a durable union sanctioned by society between a man and a woman Danbury 1994 was once accurate A century ago fewer than one in ten marriages would end in divorce By mid century slightly under a third of all marriages would end in divorce Furstenberg 1990 When a man and woman married they knew with
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