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A (possibly controversial) poll question on marriage

  1. Strongly Agree

    3 vote(s)
    9.4%
  2. Agree

    3 vote(s)
    9.4%
  3. Neither Agree nor Disagree

    11 vote(s)
    34.4%
  4. Disagree

    10 vote(s)
    31.3%
  5. Strongly Disagree

    5 vote(s)
    15.6%
  1. Sep 8, 2016 #1

    StatGuy2000

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    I thought I'd pose this (possibly controversial) poll question on marriage. It is my own personal opinion that no one (certainly no one living in an economically advanced, developed society like Canada, US, western Europe, Japan, Australia, etc.) should marry before the age of 25.

    My argument is as follows. I can say unequivocally that, looking back on my life now, of how inexperienced and how "innocent" I was on the ways of the world when I was in my early 20s, and I'm quite sure my experiences are not particularly unusual. How can one make a major commitment to be with another individual when you haven't experienced anything in life yet? My own aunt married when she was 18 (and her husband, my uncle by marriage, was 19), and I look at how limited their experiences have been as a married couple. I think it makes more sense to gained some experiences, in education, work, and life in general before committing with another individual.

    I also suspect that people who marry (at least in the US) also will have a higher tendency to divorce, although I don't have the data to demonstrate this.

    Any thoughts from the rest of PF on this issue?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2016 #2

    PeroK

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    If you're going to get married, you ought to do it before you're 25. Once you're over 25, you ought to know better!
     
  4. Sep 8, 2016 #3

    StatGuy2000

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    We will have to agree to disagree on this issue (as I vehemently disagree with you on this). I think one should be in a position of both economic security and overall knowledge and experience in life before one should be in a position to commit to anyone.

    Now to be fair, I'm 40 (going on 41) and single, and most likely will never marry (nor do I particularly cherish the institution of marriage), so perhaps my perspective is skewed or biased against marriage in general.
     
  5. Sep 8, 2016 #4

    StatGuy2000

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    Please note: this poll closes by Oct 8. Hopefully that's long enough for interested people to respond to my poll.
     
  6. Sep 8, 2016 #5

    Ryan_m_b

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    On a population level people who get married between the ages of 30-34 are the least likely to get divorced (in the US, based on current trends). This blog post goes over some of the past studies on this and compares to modern data.

    So purely playing the odds if an implicit goal of marriage is for it to last til death us do part then it's best to wait. However two huge caveats to this are:

    1) This isn't some absolute law of human relationships. Different cultures at different times will show different trends. In the late 90s there was a perfect inverse correlation between age of marriage and divorce rate, now the same data shows a different trend.

    2) You generally can't run your life by population statistics because you don't know what group you're going to fall into. You might be one of the 18-year-old new husbands who never gets divorced, or you could be a 32-year-old new wife who gets divorced two years later. Marriage is a personal commitment and I don't think putting an age limit on it is the right approach.
     
  7. Sep 8, 2016 #6

    Choppy

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    I generally agree with the notion that life experience is a helpful ingredient to a successful marriage.

    But why 25? What about the case of a 24 year old who completed her education, has worked for over a year as a professional, lived independently on her own, and has a partner with whom she has been in a deeply committed relationship with for the last 6 years and now wants to marry? Do you tell her to wait a year?

    Getting married earlier also has some advantages. People still tend to wait until they are married to have children, for example. But physically we know that as people get older fertility goes down and the risk of pregnancy complications goes up. And if you are married younger that gives you more time to grow together as a couple before kids come into the picture.

    Or what about starting to pay down a mortgage sooner?

    Another consequence is that you could inadvertently convince people not to bother even thinking about marriage until later in life, but that puts them in a position where biological clocks are ticking and they might feel forced to make compromises that they may not have made as a younger person.
     
  8. Sep 8, 2016 #7

    Ryan_m_b

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    I think this is a very good point. You can't know without perfect foresight whether you are at the best age to get married.

    I'm 27 and I'm not ready to marry. I'm in a relationship and live with my girlfriend but it's not the first time I've been in a long term relationship with a partner I live with. If I got married to my last girlfriend would it have lasted? Probably not. If I get married now would it last? I don't know. I don't think you can ever know if a marriage will last. Rather than an age limit its more important how long you've been with your partner. If you've grown closer and enjoy a fantastic relationship over 3, 5, 10, X years then consider marriage if you want. Your age is tangental to the age and health of your relationship.
     
  9. Sep 8, 2016 #8

    Krylov

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    As a result of your reasoning, would you propose to increase the marriageable age?

    I do not think there is something controversial about your poll, by the way.
     
  10. Sep 8, 2016 #9

    phyzguy

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    My wife and I got married when we were both 20, and 40 years later we are still happily married. Sure we were both naive in the ways of the world, but we learned and grew together. If I had it to do over again, I'd do the same thing. If you find the right person, why keep looking?
     
  11. Sep 8, 2016 #10

    Dr Transport

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    I was 24 and my wife 23 when we got married, 26+ years later we are still happily married and I still call her my lovely bride (and this raises the ire of some of my friends who hear it from their spouses...) It all depends on the person you are marrying, it is a learning process, all the time, we still surprise each other, and still want to come home to each other every night. I agree with phyzguy, if you found your soulmate, why wait or look any further....
     
  12. Sep 9, 2016 #11

    StatGuy2000

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    Choppy, you make valid points above, and certainly with regards to 25 -- that age number was somewhat arbitrary. My main point is that marriage is an important commitment and should best be made after each individual gained at least some life experiences and achieved at least the beginnings of a career path. So the example you gave of the 24 year old woman is certainly a decent one for a good example who is certainly ready to marry.

    What I'm basically opposed to is the notion that young people (i.e. <25 years of age) should feel pressured to marry because that is what is expected of them.

    As far as having children, when to have children is a complicated issue. In my mind, people shouldn't really have children unless they are in a situation (emotional, financial) where they will be care for the children. That being said, it is certainly true that fertility declines as one gets older and risks of pregnancy complications goes up, so that's a factor that needs to be taken into account. Although it is worth pointing out that there is still a threshold where such risks are still fairly small, and I would not think that, say, a 27 year old woman (or even a 30 year old woman) will be at that much more of a risk for pregnancy complications than, say, a 24 or 25 year old.
     
  13. Sep 9, 2016 #12

    StatGuy2000

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    Ryan_m_b, you raise a valid point -- the length of time spent with your partner is an important factor in whether a marriage with such partner will last (presumably because by the time that you marry, you would already be familiar with the person's habits, personalities, etc.)
     
  14. Sep 9, 2016 #13
    Are there gays or lesbians in those countries ? Should those with *different* sex orientation be isolated and considered *abnormal* or is this thread's poll about traditional nuclear families, lives of couples between straight men and straight women ?
     
  15. Sep 9, 2016 #14

    Krylov

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    What do you think?
    It seems to me that the considerations put forward in the OP apply equally much to homosexual and heterosexual relationships and marriages.
     
  16. Sep 9, 2016 #15

    StatGuy2000

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    To clarify, the poll question in my thread was referring to all marriages or marriage/like institutions (not just traditional nuclear families), and so same-sex marriages or civil unions are included in my question. So to answer your question, people with different sexual orientations are normal people and should not be isolated, and I am including them in this thread.

    It's worth noting that all of the countries I've listed (with the exception of Japan) either already have same-sex marriage (Canada has had same-sex marriage since as far back as 2005, and I believe the Netherlands had it as far back as 1997 -- the US was the latest country to have same-sex marriage made the law of the land) or have similar civil unions (which I believe have all of the same legal rights as marriages, if I'm not mistaken).
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
  17. Sep 9, 2016 #16
    Depends on the people. Their personalities. Their expectations. Their plans for the future. Their gender. Their circumstances. The culture in which they were raised. Too many variables. Can't be answered.
     
  18. Sep 9, 2016 #17
    Not sure to what you are referring.
    Marriage, a federal jurisdiction, became legally recognized in all of Canada with the passing of bill C-38, the Cival Marriage Act, under the Paul Martin governement. Previous to that several ( most ) provinces had enacted their own cival laws regarding the union of two people of same sex leading to a patchwork of laws for legal benefits. Passage of the law by the federal goverment meant that a same sex marriage would, or could not, be disciminated against across the whole country, and federal marriage benefts would apply no matter where the couple lived.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
  19. Sep 9, 2016 #18
    What is "success" in marriage - lots of kids, lots of money, longevity of the union, til death due us part, interfamily relationships, ..
    I think some answers on that front should be forthcoming first before putting a number on the best time to get married.
     
  20. Sep 9, 2016 #19

    StatGuy2000

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    My mistake -- I was referring to the passing of the Civil Marriage Act under the Martin government, which was enacted in 2005, not in 2000. I have edited my post to reflect the correction.
     
  21. Sep 9, 2016 #20

    micromass

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    Two consenting adults can do anything they please, how harmful or silly it looks to outsiders. So yes, anybody over 18 should be able to get married.
     
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