Marriage & Social Outcomes
Healthy marriages not only benefit individuals, but are also beneficial to society. There is a lot of research that shows how healthy marriages improve outcomes for children, reduce poverty and provide safe environments for women and children.
This is one of the reasons why Transform Minnesota encourages churches to support marriage and to promote the Biblical teachings of marriage as between a man and a woman.
Marriage Lowers the Rates of Poverty: Marriage Drops the Probability of Child Poverty by 89 Percent [link to PDF]
In Minnesota, 74% of poor families with children are not married. In contrast, only 25% of families with married parents live in poverty.
Single-parent families with children are nearly nine times more likely to be poor than families in which the parents are married.
The higher poverty rate among single-mother families is due both to the lower education levels of the mothers and the lower income due to the absence of the father.
Married households are safer for women and children. [link to PDF]
“Analysis of ten years worth of findings from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has conducted since 1973, demonstrates that mothers who are or ever have been married are far less likely to suffer from violent crime than are mothers who never marry.”
A 2004 Heritage Foundation Report documents these results and shows that :
- The incidence of spousal, boyfriend, or domestic partner abuse is twice as high among mothers who have never been married as it is among mothers who have ever married (including those separated or divorced).
- Children of divorce or never married mothers are six to 30 times more likely to suffer from serious child abuse than are children raised by both biological parents in marriage.
Social research shows that healthy marriages impact social indicators in many ways. [link to PDF]
In a study by family scholars from the Universities of Texas, Virginia and Chicago, these researchers identified “21 conclusions from the Social Sciences” including:
- Marriage increases the likelihood that fathers have good relationships with their children.
- Divorce and unmarried childbearing increase poverty for both children and mothers.
- Children who live with their own two married parents enjoy better physical health, on average, than do children in other family forms.
- Boys raised in single-parent families are more likely to engage in delinquent and criminal behavior.
- Marriage appears to reduce the risk that adults will be either perpetrators or victims of crime.
- A child who is not living with his or her own two married parents is at greater risk of child abuse.