In a conference, author Jenna McCarthy asks why people get married despite pessimistic views that many people hold about marriage today. In Singapore, over 20,000 couples got married just last year. So, apparently, even despite the bad sides of marriage, a lot of people still do want to spend the rest of their lives together.
Researchers wanted to find out why – apart from being in love – marriage is still very popular by looking at its advantages.
1. Married people are healthier.
Multiple studies in different countries have consistently shown that married people are physically and mentally much healthier than singles. According to one study by Kelly Musick of Cornell University, married couples even report better overall health compared to couples who are simply cohabiting. And they also live longer: in a survey of middle-aged people, 9 of 10 married individuals lived up to their retirement age, compared to only 6 of 10 among single individuals. The main reason for this is that spouses provide support to each other (including health insurance and medical support), which single people don’t have.
2. Marriage has federal benefits.
Are there any practical benefits to getting married, you say? Well, the Government can give you hundreds. Just to name a few, spouses get tax benefits, employment benefits, estate planning benefits, and medical benefits. In Singapore, married couples – especially those with children – get even more benefits through the Government’s Marriage and Parenthood Package, which aims to foster a pro-family environment through a range of measures that offer support in both financial and non-financial areas.
3. There’s wealth in marriage.
Given that men generally earn more than women, and wealth is equally divided in a married partnership, married women are unsurprisingly richer than single ones. What may be more unusual is that, according to a study by the Pew Research Center, men typically receive a higher salary if they are married, with husbands earning about 22% more than their single colleagues. Married people also report having a more stable employment. And even if a married person is to lose his or her job, then his or her spouse can still work for both of them while the other tends the home.
4. It’s happier being married.
Despite what Hollywood movies might lead you to believe, married people are having a better time compared to singles. In the same study by Dr. Musick, they found that people who got married experienced higher levels of happiness and lower levels of depression than those who remained single. Married couples are also performing better in bed: they have twice as much sex as single people and report being happier about their sex life, finding it both physically and emotionally satisfying.
5. Marriage produces better children.
Another advantage of getting married – perhaps its best advantage – is that children of married couples find more successes in life. This is true in Singapore, as well as in every other country in the world. Based on surveys, children who were raised by married parents are more likely to attend college and reach higher education, are less likely to abuse substances and do risky behaviors, and have better with social and interpersonal skills.
Jenna McCarthy says: “The benefits of marriage are significant. The bottom line is, whether you’re in it or you’re searching for it, I marriage is an institution worth pursuing and protecting.”
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