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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments


Who says journalists wildly exaggerate the meaning of surveys to pump excitement into an otherwise humdrum news day?

Marriage is increasingly optional and could be on its way to obsolescence, according to a survey of more than 2,600 Americans that examines changing attitudes about relationships today.

Among the 2,691 adults surveyed by the Pew Research Center last month, 39% say marriage is becoming obsolete, up from 28% who responded to the same question posed by Time magazine in 1978.

As noted by Time magazine, which participated with Pew in the research project, the institution of marriage is going through some dramatic changes. Fewer people are getting married, and they're marrying later. People are more likely to marry within their own economic spheres, and the better educated are the most married. More people co-habit these days. The definition of "family" is changing. But marriage "remains revered and desired," no matter what 39 percent say to a pollster on the spur of the moment.