Religion is a factor, but a greater factor is culture. In my area (southwest Ohio), the tendency to marry correlates fairly strongly with socioeconomic status and educational attainment. College graduates tend to marry, while in the so-called "working class", people cohabit and have kids but don't marry. The broader question is why do people find a life-partner so early in life (whether in marriage or not), and begin having kids almost immediately upon finding that partner, as opposed to (a) living for a longer while as a childless couple, or (b) waiting until later in life to permanently commit to one partner.
Our culture frowns upon teenagers having sex, but simultaneously extols people in their early-mid 20s to “settle down” with a permanent partner. Marriage remains the desirable codification of the permanent relationship, but is less imperative than it used to be. The result is that the people who through inability or inattention didn’t pair up early in life, would be sidelined by mainstream society, and would have difficulty finding a partner later in life. An analogy would be a high-school dance where the girls line up against one wall of the gym, and the guys against the opposite wall. Then a whistle blows, the two sides approach each other, and start pairing off. Those who are left unpaired towards the end suffer doubly: (1) there’s a smaller pool of candidate partners, and (2) they receive opprobrium from the already-partnered for their shiftlessness and lack of drive.
I don’t think that the courtship period is shorter now, than it was for previous generations. But what does dismay me is how early in life people are expected to start – sometimes as early as high school. So many of my acquaintances up and down the socioeconomic ladder met their partner while in high school, or at the latest, in college. Sometimes this meeting resulted in marriage and kids by age 25. Sometimes the partners are now in their 30s, with kids but without a marriage certificate. Some dated for 5-6 years before finally marrying. There are many variations. But the common thread between all of them is that the wife/girlfriend and husband/boyfriend met between the ages of 16 and 22.
I think many people have kids while they are younger so that they can have more time with their kids and grand-kids latter. That was a nice thought. More likely, people just have more sex when they are younger and have more opportunity to slip on the birth-control.
Well said G!
LOL G dog's on the warpath! gift from... yeah right it's hell first few years. especially when other kids are runnin' up all jacked by their pastor dad and fundy gossip mom asking 'you believe in god?' pfffft...
yeah, my niece seemed like she was on a schedule: graduate, get a house, get pregnant. The other day my mom said that she didn't know why a couple would get married if they weren't going to have kids. That threw me. I've always had a feeling that it would be too much for me. It would require much more than i could give.
People in different societies marry for different reasons. In my society, people look upon marriage as the first and most important step for getting settled in life. People marry generally when they feel that they are financially secure enough to start and raise family. Most couples now in my society dio not have more than one child, whether it is a boy or a girl. Both my sons have only one daughter each.
I was one of those. lol. I was, and still am obviously, an Atheist, and was raised with no religion, so that had nothing to do with my choices. I started dating my husband when I was 16 and he was 17. We really didn't have big college plans (went to our very highly-rated community college though), and got married when we were 20 and 21. So we had known each other for 4 years. Had been having sex for 3 of those years so it wasn't that. Both worked full-time and paid-off ALL debt and saved 20% down on a modest home in a good area. Had our daughter when I was 24 and our son when I was 27. Knowing our wonderful young-adult children now, I wouldn't change a thing, except I would have finished that AA degree first. I am NOT advocating what we did, and I certainly wouldn't want our kids to do the same. Our daughter will be a Junior at her University this year, and our son will be a Freshman @ the same highly-accredited Community College in our city for now. I will say we have been very smart and frugal. I haven''t worked outside the home (except @ our children's elementary school as a tutor while they went there) in 21 years. I will look for a job in the Fall. I homeschooled our son for 9 years, but our daughter never wanted to be. I am so grateful for all that time with them. I never wanted any career. We have almost no debt, haven't had a mortgage in years (and we are both 45), have an emergency fund, and have paid in cash for all of our daughter's college so far. Well, our 80%. She has student loans for 20%.
I was/am secular, but I was a dumb/impatient young person. lol. Luckily for us it turned-out well. It really is a different world now, and I certainly would NOT recommend doing what we did!!!
When I was in southeastern Missouri (my first job out of college), some of the smaller towns in the region - one in particular (I won't name the town) - seemed to have some sort of pattern (for lack of a better term) in place.
If you were in high school and didn't have a steady boyfriend by the time you were, say, a sophomore or a junior, there was something wrong with you. If you weren't engaged by the time you were graduated, questions would be flying around about you. And if you weren't married right after graduation (or maybe a couple of years out at the most), you may as well give it up.
How much of it was the culture of the towns and/or schools (they were very small schools) and how much of it was religion-oriented (no doubt, many fundamentalist churches in these towns), I'm not sure, but it was pretty disturbing to me then, and no more so today. I wouldn't be surprised that the culture is still the same in these places.
I'm 51 now, single, never married, no kids. I'd hate to think what people would say about me if I were a native and still living in said towns. I seriously doubt any of it would be complimentary, however.
it's an age thing
coming (no pun) of age. serious. oh and you don't just marry someone per-say . depending on their past influence by etc. you marry 'their family' .. so .. yep enjoy! and remember there's no wrong or right way to raise a kid. they're all born atheist btw. no way around that other than jesus camp pffffft
check this book out highly recommend:
thou shant sleep right again tileth the childeth past a certain age by grace of FSM! ; ) canned food much? how about some water? LOL sigh.. sad folks trick their kids then to just have em' be rebellious and sadistic.. yeah no. Dawkins or bust. Prayer in school fail. just like in that book i posted cyapeace!