Marriage Is an Age-Old Concept that Should Be Abolished

Even though there is no final definition, in most countries marriage is a social union between people, which establishes and regulates their mutual rights and obligations, as well as responsibilities between parents and children. Through centuries, marriage has been an important social concept, the basis of family and social regulation of sexual relations, which was determined to give moral value to these relations and to provide the necessary opportunities to raise children and to develop their personalities. The concept of marriage is different in many countries and has changed during history, depending on social, cultural, and religious backgrounds of people.

Currently, though, it is believed by many that marriage is an obsolete tradition, and that it should be abolished. For instance, according to an American survey, 40 percent of over 2,500 respondents said that marriage is an act of the past and that it is not necessary in modern society. On the other hand, thirty years ago the same survey provided that only 11 percent of Americans thought it to be old-fashioned. The same picture can be observed in other countries. Marriage is in a deep crisis, as it does not play the social role it should. That is why I consider marriage an age-old concept which should be abolished.

There are several reasons for this. In modern society, there is no economical need for marriage. For centuries, marriage helped people to survive. Social roles were strictly divided: men were breadwinners, while women cared for children and did the housework. Marriage was an economical arrangement, and in most cases, women had fewer rights and were supposed to be submissive to their husbands. Grown-up children were supposed to support their old parents. But nowadays, there is no need of such a social union, as the level of economic development provides an individual person with opportunities to survive without being dependent. In the modern world, individualism and hedonism are considered important values; less and less people want to take responsibility, which inevitably arises in marriage.

Women no longer limit their occupation to housework, and in most countries they tend to build careers before getting married. This is also the reason of an increase in the age people get married.

Traditional values have decayed. After the sexual revolution, intimate relations between people became much freer, and this can explain why more and more people prefer to live together without marriage. Of course it does not apply to traditional societies governed by strict moral principles and religion. But in most countries, one can observe a profound crisis of religion and traditional values. The majority of young people do not think marriage is a serious institution, as the number of divorces is rapidly increasing. In the USA, around 29 percent of children under 18 live with only one parent or with people who are divorced or have never been married at all.

Another issue which demonstrates the crisis of traditional marriage is the spread of the homosexual movement, which has already earned the right of acknowledgement of same-sex marriage in 11 countries and in several parts of the US, Mexico, and Brazil. Although widely debated, this type of union proves that traditional marriage is old-fashioned and no longer meets social demands.

Marriage is an old-fashioned concept; it does not align with the requirements of modern values and modern standards of living. Marriage should be abolished, or at least should be developed into a broader civil union.


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Shanley, M. L. Should states abolish marriage? (2005, May 16). Retrieved from