mosc wrote:It takes a village to raise a child sure, but it takes parents as well and that is not a role that can be spread like too little peanut butter over a massive piece of bread.
Actually, it can be spread. And in many so-called tribal societies, it is. Children raised in these societies are also better off than many children in modern westernized countries. They are better behaves, more self-assured, and very rarely go through the typical bitchy, surly adolescent phase we consider typical in the west. In fact, there are a number of cultures where although the child knows who their birth parents are, they refer to every male and every female of their parents' generation by the same name. Take traditional Hawaiian society, for instance. The same goes for a number of Inuit and Native American tribes. To a lesser extent, many Asian cultures require children to refer to all women of their mother's generation as "auntie". There's no ethnographic evidence that states that more than two parents or parental influences reflects negatively on a child's upbringing.
Indon wrote:Personally, I think the divorce rate is indicative of a massive trend in very bad parenting, that has led to people who are simply not competent at leading their lives - not only emotionally as in this case, but fiscally and intellectually as well.
There's no doubt that the way someone is raised will be reflected in their adult life, including their marriage(s). However, your line of reasoning doesn't quite explain the rise in divorce rates. By your reasoning, it's the parents of divorcees who are responsible for this climb. If that's true, then why aren't those parents divorced as well? They no doubt acquired their parenting skills from previous generations. I realize i've interpreted your words on a very basic level, but it's a very basic statement that just doesn't hold up.
Rook wrote:Certainly, this is what I was thinking. I don't feel that marriage is outdated; rather, that people have a lot of misconceptions about what marriage is, and so enter into it far too readily. The current [general] impression seems to be the very child-like 'two people who love each other very much' scenario. No No No.
I agree with you insofar as the latter half of this statement goes. However, i have to argue that marriage as traditionally defined is
an outdated system. What so many people seem to have either missed or just barely touched upon in this discussion is that marriage is first and foremost an economic arrangement. Literally, figuratively, and biologically. In many nonindustrial societies, survival is dependent upon marriage.
Let's look at your average semiperiphery and periphery cultures for an example. In these cultures, family means survival, and family is contingent upon marriage. In every society, family and marriage are defined in culturally relevant terms. However, despite a few differences here and there, the definitions remain more or less the same. In the average semipheriphery or periphery household, you have at least three generations living under one roof. The middle generation is responsible for caring for the other two, although the older ones (generally grandparents) may take on some child-rearing duties. In these societies, there is no daycare and there are no retirement communities. If someone fails to marry and have children, they have nobody to take care of them in their old age; they are at the mercy of distant relatives and local charity.
In the US and other core countries, this is not the case. Family is still important, but survival is not contingent upon it. Therefore, marriage is not required. Moreover, our definition of family is changing. Many families are no longer linked through biology.
In our western culture, we find ourselves living in a system of serial monogamy. Extramarital affairs continue to be frowned upon, but divorce is not. This is not so much due to the frequency of divorce, but the fact that it is economically feasible for two people to separate and continue to survive.
As for religion, the argument that marriage has religious foundations is inaccurate. Rather, religion is used as a facilitator to marriage. Marriage, in some form or other, predates religion. Many cultures use religion to define and explain marriage. This does not mean that one requires the other, or that one implies the presence of the other.
I would argue that the key to the rise in divorce lies in the fact that although it is financially difficult, it is possible for a woman to leave her husband and support herself and often one or two children. This is a reflection of women's lib. Women no longer rely on their husbands' income because they may have their own sources of income.
Just look at these numbers
. Where do you see the dramatic increase in divorce rates? What do those dates coincide with? It's obvious that as women were able to gain financial independence (or at least the illusion of it), marriage no longer became vital to survival.
Thus, marriage is an outdated institution. It is a sentimental one, to be sure, and i'm not saying that it's unimportant. The emotional value of marriage is not to be underestimated. If you feel that marriage is for you and your partner, then by all means get hitched. However, it's clear that economics and divorce are inextricably linked. You can argue bad parenting and immature behavior all you want, but the real culprit is right under your nose- and in your bank account.
Edit: I had to add a quote and commentary.