How the Western Concept of Marriage has Changed Essay

990 Words4 Pages
“In Western cultures, more than 90 percent of people marry by age 50. Studies show that healthy marriages are good for couples’ mental and physical health” (“Marriage and Divorce,” 2014). For children, growing up in happy homes help with their mental, physical, educational, and social well-being. Unfortunately, about 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The rate is even higher for subsequent marriages (“Marriage and Divorce,” 2014). The social institution influence (structural) differs from the individual influence (life choices) in divorce by the scope of perception on why divorce occurs (Amato, & Previti, (2003). The perspective of structural issues would include gender, social class, and external…show more content…
2010). People are no longer wanting to be told what is right and what to do. Individualism is too deeply imbedded in today’s society. We no longer have norms or standards, “it has been replaced with the freedom to act solely for one’s best interest” (Harper, 2010). There is no longer any agreement on the definition of marriage as each individual feels it is in his moral rights to express marriage to his own wishes and desires. While we do not live in a vacuum, most individuals conduct their lives with values and morals learned from parents and their environment. Though these principles guide us we are persons of free will and make our own choices and decisions. Relationships often begin with how others make us feel individually. “People came to feel that questions of how to live and with whom to live were a matter of individual choice not to be governed by restrictive norms. As a nation, we came to experience the bonds to marriage, family, children, job, community, and country as constraints that were no longer necessary” (Harper, 2010). We now see marriage as incompatible to individualism, society’s culture of marriage has been transformed to a culture of divorce. Pursuing personal happiness is more important than honoring marital commitments (Harper, 2010). The significance of marriage and its historical function has been replaced by self-gratification. Marriage is no longer based on objective, biological, and
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