The marriage gap is growing. And it is threatening to swallow America's experiment in ordered liberty.
Marriage, once the iconic middle-class institution, is foundering in Middle America. One leading indicator: High-school graduates without a four-year college degree -- a full 58% of Americans -- are increasingly no longer getting married.
This retreat from marriage should be of concern to every civic and social leader in America. Because marriage isn't merely a private arrangement between two persons. It is a core social institution, one that helps to ensure the economic, social, and emotional welfare of our nation's men, women, and children.
The Institute for American Values is challenging today's retreat from marriage by conducting groundbreaking research and shaping public policy to help strengthen marriage. For example:
- Our report, The State of Our Unions 2010 "When Marriage Disappears," first showed how the marriage gap is widening. It became the basis of national news stories (see here and here under State of Our Unions), and it helped shape the national discussion about marriage in crisis.
- Nine thousand copies of our newest publication, Why Marriage Matters, Third Edition (just released in August) are already being used by marriage educators across the nation. And we have more to come before the year is through.
But I need your help to continue our cutting edge research and outreach to leaders. Your gift of $25, $50, $100 -- or at any level -- will help us continue to make public arguments about the most important issues confronting the family, marriage, and children.
Overall, the family lives of today's moderately educated Americans increasingly resemble those of high-school dropouts, too often burdened by financial stress, partner conflict, single parenting, and troubled children. This source of economic and social inequality cannot be left unaddressed. Today's retreat from marriage among the moderately educated middle is placing the American Dream beyond the reach of too many.
- It makes the lives of mothers harder and drives fathers further away from families.
- It increases the odds that children from Middle America will drop out of high school, end up in trouble with the law, become pregnant as teenagers, or otherwise lose their way.
As marriage -- an institution to which all could once aspire -- increasingly becomes the private playground of those already blessed with abundance, a social and cultural divide is growing. And the American Dream is slipping away.
With your gift we will be able to devote our scholarship, publications, outreach, and resources to closing the marriage gap. Your support will help us offer innovative policy reform ideas to help strengthen marriage among non-college-educated young people. Please join me now in renewing your support for the Institute for American Values.
If you would prefer to give over the telephone, please call the Institute at 212-246-3942, or click below to make a secure donation online.
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