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  1. #1
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Default Study: College students more eager for marriage than their parents

    A national study found that college students think 25 years old is the "right age" to get married, while a majority of parents feel 25 is still a little too soon. So it's no coincidence that when Justin Bieber said he'd like to wed by 25, Oprah Winfrey urged him to wait longer. "The assumption has been that the younger generation wants to delay marriage and parents are hassling them about when they would get married," said Brian Willoughby, a professor at Brigham Young University and lead author of the study. "We actually found the opposite, that the parental generation is showing the 'slow down' mindset more than the young adults." Willoughby and his co-authors in BYU's School of Family Life gathered info from 536 college students and their parents from five college campuses around the country (BYU was not in the sample). As they report in The Journal of Social and Personal Relationships,the scholars found the hesitation is consistent across gender. "Initially we thought that this might be dads wanting their daughters to delay marriage," Willoughby said. "Moms and dads trended together – gender wasn't a factor." One of the driving forces behind parents' restraint is the feeling that their children should get an education first. While they generally feel marriage is important, parents think the "right age" is one year older than what their children say. Excluding teen marriages, research doesn't support the notion that there is an optimal time to tie the knot. "I think parents have a lot of fear for their kids that makes them want to delay the transitions to adulthood," Willoughby said. According to Census data, the median age for first marriages is 27. Willoughby says that what people say is the "right age" generally comes a few years before the actual marriage age. "What happens is that someone thinks that 25 is when they want to get married," Willoughby said. "So at age 25, they start changing their patterns around dating, and it takes two or so years to make the transition." Though BYU students weren't in Willoughby's sample, the university's own records show about 25 percent of its students are married. Willoughby said that Mormon young adults typically marry about two years younger than their peers nationally and have risen in sync with national trends.

    How does this match with your guy's personal experience? What do you think are the causes behind this trend? Overall a good thing/bad thing?
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  2. #2
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    When I was younger I thought I wanted to get married by age 25 too. I didn't, and I'm glad. The human brain doesn't even stop developing until around age 25, so for most people making a major decision designed to affect the rest of one's life might not be a wise move at that point.

    Obviously, that's not to say that marriages into which people enter before age 25 cannot work out.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    I think 25 is more or less the perfect age for most people to get married (assuming an appropriate match is found), especially if one desires a medium-to-large family; at that age, people have generally experienced enough of the real world to make an informed decision regarding their wants and needs and how it relates to their capabilities (such as what type of work/family dynamic is best for them), while still being in the prime of their physical health.

    Those with post-graduate degrees may need an extra couple of years for an equally informed decision, however.

    Edit: As for the generational difference, younger baby-boomers and older members of Generation X spent their chilhood and young adulthood through a time when emerging gender equality norms were still essentially responding to the idealized 50's family, and in response I think the pendelum was swinging in the opposite direction to such an extent that marriage (especially marriage with children) at a young age was almost seen as a means of keeping women pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen, in opposition to having a career and the capacity for independence from the control of a man. Younger Generation Xers and Millennials were already socialized from childhood to consider romantic relationships as a partnership between equals, and so don't feel the need (subconcious or otherwise) to react against an earlier, idealized social norm.

  4. #4
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle View Post
    The human brain doesn't even stop developing until around age 25, so for most people making a major decision designed to affect the rest of one's life might not be a wise move at that point.

    Obviously, that's not to say that marriages into which people enter before age 25 cannot work out.
    That's right. I think other factors include a person's maturity and also how long you have been together.If you are 26 and marry someone after knowing them for six months, that is probably not a god idea. I am in favor of 3 years at that age. After that long, you should know if you should get married or not.

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    It might have something to do with significantly higher costs of living these days too. 30 years ago it was relatively easy for a young, single man to make enough money to buy a house and car of his own, to bring a woman into that house and make it a home, etc. As time has marched on it has become increasingly more difficult for young adults to do such a thing. It is advantageous, purely from a financial perspective, to get married and pool incomes and assets.

  6. #6
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    I think 25 is more or less the perfect age for most people to get married (assuming an appropriate match is found), especially if one desires a medium-to-large family; at that age, people have generally experienced enough of the real world to make an informed decision regarding their wants and needs and how it relates to their capabilities (such as what type of work/family dynamic is best for them), while still being in the prime of their physical health.
    This.

    We can change a lot of stuff, but biology changes a lot more slowly than a culture like ours. I think ignoring that factor is unwise if you are pretty sure you want to have biological children.

    Also, as someone who married kind of young, I don't think it's the worst thing in the world to do some of your growing up as a couple. Those struggles you face getting on your feet can help you build a lot of trust and confidence in one another.

    This hits a little close to home for me because my kids are 19, 17, 16, & 14. I don't regret getting married when I did one little bit. Probably had the kids a little young, but I'd sure hate to be chasing toddlers now. However, I wouldn't necessarily advise my kids to get married at the age I did or have kids when we had them. Looking back, it's amazing we did as well with the kids as we did. It must have been hell for our parents to watch.
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  7. #7
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I had thought to be married well before my current age. .. Im not upset that I am not, nor am I particularly happy about it.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    I can see this. I dont't really see the point o having a set age to be Married at. Either you pass up good people be because you're "not ready" or you marry a not so good match because "it's time". If your serious about being married and have thought it out and you think this is person why wait a few more years? It's weird to me that people would date someone but not be thinking about marrying them sometime in the future. I don't get how you could want someone around you all them time while acknowledging that your not really a good fit?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I had thought to be married well before my current age. .. Im not upset that I am not, nor am I particularly happy about it.
    +1

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  10. #10
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    My brother got married this year at 26, his wife is also 26.

    We'll have to see how this one bares out.
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