Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Social Problems Will Worsen As Marriage Rates Decline

3 May 2019


Family First NZ is warning that the declining marriage rate is a disturbing link to social problems in our society including rates of child abuse, domestic violence, teen crime and child poverty.

“According to statistics just released, the general marriage rate in 2018 is 10.8 couples marrying per 1,000 people eligible to marry - less than half the rate in 1988 and follows a general decline since the peak in 1971 when the marriage rate was 45.5 per 1,000. We should be concerned that marriage rates are at a shocking all-time low. The weakening of marriage is one of the most important social issues we are facing,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“A recent report on child abuse and its causes argued that the ‘elephant in the room’ is family structure, and that the growth of child abuse has accompanied a reduction in marriage and an increase in cohabiting and single-parent families. The report follows on from an earlier report(released in May 2016) on child poverty and its similar link to family structure, and a report on imprisonment rates (released in June 2018). That report stated that if the government doesn’t want to keep building more prisons, it needs to look to the children who are potentially tomorrow’s offenders and acknowledge the role family stability plays.”

“The statistics are clear. Children being raised by their married biological parents are by far the safest from violence – and so too are the adults. But whenever marriage is promoted, it has often been labelled as an attack on solo or divorced parents, and that has kept us from recognising the qualitative benefits of marriage which have been discovered from decades of research. In virtually every category that social science has measured, children and adults do better when parents get married and stay married – provided there is no presence of high conflict or violence. This is not a criticism of solo parents. It simply acknowledges the benefits of the institution of marriage.”

According to The Heritage Foundation, an influential US research institute, an analysis of social science literature over 30 years shows that the rise in violent crime parallels the rise in families abandoned by fathers. The research indicated that a 10% increase in children living in single-parent homes leads typically to a 17% increase in juvenile crime. The Heritage Foundation research found that while the finger often gets pointed at certain racial groups, the real variable is not race but family structure. It's just that the incidence of broken families is much higher in the racial groups often cited.

According to Why Marriage Matters - a report co-authored by 13 leading social-science scholars, including Professor William Galston, a domestic policy adviser to the Clinton administration - parental divorce or non-marriage appears to increase children’s risk of school failure, the risk of suicide, psychological distress, and most significantly, delinquent and criminal behaviour.

Cohabitation in the 21st Century released in 2011 by British social reform organisation the Jubilee Centre found that married couples with children are 10 times more likely to stay together than defacto couples – and marriages last an average of four years longer if partners haven’t lived together before getting married.

And a 2008 report by the NZ Institute of Economic Research estimated that the fiscal cost to the New Zealand taxpayer of family breakdown and decreasing marriage rates is at least $1 billion per year and has cost approximately $8 billion over the past decade.

“On average, children raised by married couples have the best outcomes in health, education and income, and by far the lowest involvement with the criminal justice system. Marriage – whether preceded by a period of cohabitation or not – remains the more stable form of relationship. That’s why marriage is needed and why marriage matters. It’s not simplistic or intolerance. And it’s not unrealistic to teach our young and future generations that the best environment for them as parents, and for their children, is within marriage.”

“Marriage isn’t perfect, but we ignore its benefits at our peril. Governments should focus on and encourage and support what works. Our children deserve this investment in their safety and protection.”

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Political Twins, And On Labour Extending Its Wage Subsidy Scheme


A quick quiz for the weekend. Which political party currently represented in Parliament issued a press release yesterday that contained these stirring passages:
“[We have] long supported a free trade and free movement area between Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom…on trade, immigration and investment, New Zealand must favour countries who share our values. New Zealand must do its part to reinforce freedom and democracy around the world by diversifying our markets and building stronger relationships with those who share our values... More>>

 

Parliament Adjourns: Adjournment Debate: Speaker Trevor Mallard

The 52 Parliament has sat for the last time before the September Election. It sat for 245 days... More>>

ALSO:

E-Cigarettes: Vaping Legislation Passes

Landmark legislation passed today puts New Zealand on track to saving thousands of lives and having a smokefree generation sooner rather than later, Associate Health Minister, Jenny Salesa says. The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) ... More>>

ALSO:


National: $4 Billion Investment To End Wellington’s Congestion Woes

A National Government will invest another $4 billion in transport infrastructure across Wellington, igniting the economy and delivering the congestion-busting solutions the region has long been crying out for, National Party Leader Judith Collins says. ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Virtues (and Fluffed Opportunities) Of The Operation Burnham Report

One unspoken rule of thumb in any official public inquiry is : whatever you do, don’t conclude you were made to listen to “a litany of lies” even if the evidence of a deliberate cover-up is right there under your nose. In that respect, the report ... More>>

ALSO:


Horizon Research Limited: How Judith Collins Stopped The Bleeding

Horizon Research includes questions on voting from time to time in its surveys – for both forthcoming referenda and general elections. More>>

Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms

As New Zealand gets ready to head to the ballot box this September, 1 NEWS is bringing voters comprehensive coverage and analysis of this year’s General Election. TVNZ’s coverage will draw on the depth of experience held across the 1 NEWS team, says Graeme ... More>>

Economy: 30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs

64% of New Zealanders feel the economic position of their households is the same or better than a year ago – and 30% think it is worse or much worse, while 298,000 think they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months. Households’ perceptions ... More>>

State Services Commission: Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach

Deputy State Services Commissioner Helene Quilter has today announced the findings of an investigation into a breach of privacy regarding sensitive personal information. The investigation looked into who or what caused the disclosure of the information, ... More>>

International Security: New Zealand Suspends Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong

The New Zealand Government has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes in light of China’s decision to pass a national security law for Hong Kong, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels