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Replacing marriage

In 2012, 57 percent of Americans believed it is alright for a couple to live together without intending to get married.

The dominance of marriage may be due to a cultural lag, where attitudes and values change more slowly than the primary material conditions.

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For many people, a wedding is no longer the first step into adulthood, but often the last step.

It is a celebration of what two people have already accomplished, unlike the traditional wedding that celebrated what a couple would do in the future.

  • In 1997, the median age for a first marriage was 27.4 for women and 29.5 for men.
  • The college-educated are more likely to marry eventually. Nine out of ten wait until after they marry to have children.
  • A large portion of those without college educations have a child before they marry.
  • In Norway, the median age at first marriage is 39 for men and 38 for women, and weddings often take place long after a couple starts to have children.

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RELATED IDEAS

Christians marriage ceremonies in the Middle Age

In the Middle Age, Christians did not need to marry inside of the church: whenever they came to the consent over the union, they could get married anywhere.

The difficult part was proving that the marriage had taken place though.

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IDEAS

Couples with overlapping social networks tend to be less likely to break up--especially when that closeness included "social dispersion," or the introduction of one person's sphere to the other, and vice versa.

The Non-Divisive Effect

Before the Internet, dating was mostly restricted by one’s social and geographical limitations with friends of friends being the most common method of introduction. The Internet pairs couples that wouldn’t even meet otherwise.

Research also indicates that you're more likely to date someone from a different race if you're dating online, by a factor of about 7 percent.