All News Marriage

Research Says Millennials Still Value Marriage, but for the Right Reason?

What is missing in these research findings?

By Julianna Caccam

MRM Editors Note: We posted this article to demonstrate a point. Seemingly research indicating millennials still highly value marriage is good news. However, looking the findings more closely, it becomes obvious that what millennials are valuing is not the reality of marriage as the foundation of new family, but  an institution for the happiness of adults. Thinking of marriage separate from children and family is what has led young people to accept support redefining marriage in law as an adult centric institution. Research also shows that many see marriage and starting a family as two separate things. 

Rebuilding a marriage culture and recovering the true meaning and purpose of marriage requires being specific about what we mean when we use the word “marriage” because it means different things to different people. Always describe it so people know what you are talking about: the institution that unites children with their mother and father. Describing marriage reconnects the word “marriage” with children and family and clarifies you are talking about the reality of marriage in God’s plan. We must be disciplined and specific to effectively witness the Gospel of marriage.

The Daily Universe — Millennials have a lot of decisions to make as they reach adulthood: what college to attend, what major to declare, what career path to pursue. Who to marry often gets set aside for later, according to BYU family life professor Brian J. Willoughby.

Willoughby and fellow family life professor Spencer L. James conducted a BYU study that found 50 percent of U.S.. millennials believe they have a soul mate, and the “FOMO” [Fear of Missing Out] is paralyzing their relationships. The idea that someone better than the person they are currently dating may be out there is keeping millennials from making decisions.

Willoughby conducted a longitudinal study using surveys and interviews with millennials for three years. The study followed people in the Midwest, some of who were transitioning and graduating college.

Willoughby’s research centers on the trends of people waiting to get married, fewer people in this generation getting married than ever before and the declining marriage rate.

“A lot of people assume these trends must mean that young adults don’t care about marriage,” Willoughby said. “That really couldn’t be farther from the truth.”

The trends show 59 percent of millennials are single and have never been married, according to a Gallup Analysis. Millennials are delaying marriage longer than any previous generation.

“For 34-year-olds, just over half (56 percent) are married, and of these, 83 percent have children. But a substantial number (46 percent) of those who have never been married and are well into their 30s have children,” according to Gallup Analysis.

Willoughby said young adults consider marriage to be just as important, if not a little more important, than their parents.

“In some ways, marriage has kind of become too important to young adults, and not necessarily too important in the sense that they value it too much, but how they value it is really what’s shifted,” Willoughby said.

Marriage is no longer a cultural obligation, according to Willoughby.

“Now, marriage is much more of an institution of personal happiness and satisfaction,” Willoughby said.

Continue reading