As few as two generations ago (and for most of history before that) marriage followed by parenthood were milestones on the road of life that most people aspired to. But those facts are changing. With changes in generational perspectives happening so quickly these days, more and more people are restructuring their priorities. Which means assigning value to what they now perceive to be important in their own lives.
Millennials don’t view the world the same way their parents did.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center that analyses changing attitudes, the 18 to 29-year-olds of today place enormous value on parenthood. Over 52% of them stated that being a good parent is one of the most important things in life. But those same young adults feel rather differently about marriage. Only 30% of them feel that marriage should be valued more than parenthood, which is a 22% difference.
This same survey also shows that Millennials tend to believe that a child doesn’t need a two parent home in order to be happy and successful. Single parents, unmarried couples who parent children together, and same sex couples are no longer viewed as socially unacceptable by a majority of Millennials.
Today’s young adults have different priorities and goals.
In many regards, these changes in attitude reflect the changing reality of Millennial behaviors. For example, young adults today are more likely to live together before getting married, get married much later in life, if at all, and have children out of wedlock.
As compared to former generations, this trend appears consistent with the slow shift in perspective about young marriage. While only 22% of Millennials are currently married, when the members of Generation X were at the same age, about 30% of them were married. Before that, 40% of Baby Boomers and over 50% of the Silent Generation.
Correspondingly, while the number of marriages is down, this has not adjusted at the same pace as childbirth. According to the survey, over 50% of all babies born to Millennial parents were born out of wedlock, which is a significant increase from former generations.
Parenthood is far more important to most millennials than marriage!
While the study does indicate that most Millennials want both children and marriage, parenthood is listed as being of far greater importance than marriage to this generation of young adults. This sets them apart as being the first generation on record to value these two core milestones so differently from former generations.
What remains to be seen is what institutions will be valued in the future, and in what way, by the next generation. Until then, if you or a loved one need help determining paternity, getting help preparing a prenuptial agreement, or planning for a divorce, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our experienced family law attorneys can help you with every aspect of your family’s legal needs.