"Fewer say kids key to successful marriage"
...I realize why it seems fruitless to have any sense of optimism about the future of our culture. (No doubt the First Reading from today's Mass also has something to do with that.)
The percentage of Americans who consider children "very important" to a successful marriage has dropped sharply since 1990, and more now cite the sharing of household chores as pivotal, according to a sweeping new survey.
The Pew Research Center survey on marriage and parenting found that children had fallen to eighth out of nine on a list of factors that people associate with successful marriages. [emphasis added]
The article offered one sane perspective:
The survey's findings buttress concerns expressed by numerous scholars and family-policy experts, among them Barbara Dafoe Whitehead of Rutgers University's National Marriage Project.
"The popular culture is increasingly oriented to fulfilling the X-rated fantasies and desires of adults," she wrote in a recent report. "Child-rearing values -- sacrifice, stability, dependability, maturity -- seem stale and musty by comparison."
The article also offered one insane perspective characterized by comments so stupid they could only have come from a sociology professor:
Virginia Rutter, a sociology professor at Framingham State College and board member of the Council on Contemporary Families, said the shifting views may be linked in part to America's relative lack of family-friendly workplace policies such as paid leave and subsidized child care.
I'm going out on a limb and guessing that maybe, just maybe, four decades of increasingly ubiquitous contraception -- and the anti-child ethos from whence contraception cometh -- might have something to do with couples' "shifting views" on the importance (or lack thereof) of having children.
You know, the same anti-child ethos that gives us condom ads like this one, which apparently won an award at Cannes last year: