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Why Men Refuse to Commit

Barbara Dafoe Whitehead

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The National Marriage Project of Rutgers University

A special essay on young, not-yet married men's attitudes on the timing of marriage finds that men experience few social pressures to marry, gain many of the benefits of marriage by cohabiting with a romantic partner, and are ever more reluctant to commit to marriage in their early adult years.

Available evidence on marriage trends over the past four decades indicates that marriage has declined dramatically as a first living together experience for couples and as a status of parenthood. However, in recent years, there are signs that some marriage-weakening trends are slowing or in some cases leveling off.

The ten reasons why men won't commit are:

1. They can get sex without marriage more easily than in times past.

2. They can enjoy the benefits of having a wife by cohabiting rather than marrying.

3. They want to avoid divorce and its financial risks.

4. They want to wait until they are older to have children.

5. They fear that marriage will require too many changes and compromises.

6. They are waiting for the perfect soul mate and she hasn't yet appeared.

7. They face few social pressures to marry.

8. They are reluctant to marry a woman who already has children.

9. They want to own a house before they get a wife.

10. They want to enjoy single life as long as they can.

For the complete report go to the Rutgers University website (link closed).



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