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Marriage is 'Still Losing Ground,' Crouse Says; Trends Spell Hardship for the Nation's Children.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- "The story of marriage decline is told by women's data,' said Janice Shaw Crouse, speaking Thursday at the policy forum, "Marriage in the New Millennium. Crouse continued, "At the end of the Twentieth Century the proportion of women age 15 and older who are married is barely over 50 percent, the lowest level in over one hundred years. Women are not only delaying marriage, increasing numbers are never marrying at all." Crouse, Senior Fellow at the Beverly LaHaye Institute (BLI), hosted the Veritas Policy Forum at the nation's Capitol. Crouse analyzed trends beginning in the late 1800s and reported that whereas in 1960, there were 90 married couples for every cohabiting couple, by the year 2010, if the present trend continues, there will be only 7 married couples for every cohabiting couple.

"These developments mark the continued erosion of the traditional family and spell hardship and diminished possibilities for many of our children," Crouse continued, "Family breakdown is a prime ingredient in the social pathologies and violence that have rocked the foundation of America in recent days."

Crouse is concerned that data on marriage and divorce that used to be readily available to scholars through the National Center for Health Statistics and the Census Bureau is no longer available. Since 1996, the amount of detailed information on marriage and divorce has been greatly curtailed. And in the Year 2000 census, the short form will no longer ask about marital status. Crouse said, "Without basic data and fundamental pieces of family information, our abilities to analyze the dynamics of family formation and dissolution will be severely impaired."

The Beverly LaHaye Institute: A Center for Studies in Women's Issues, which sponsored the "Marriage in the New Millennium" forum, instituted the Veritas policy forums. Over 100 Congressional and private sector experts gathered to discuss trends in marriage, divorce and cohabitation. Crouse said, "We live in an age of spin over fact, of perception over reality, of debating 'is' rather than 'ought.' Political Correctness is the coin of today's communication." She added, "In this era of marketing, glitz and spin, BLI will work to bring unbiased factual data to bear on discussions of public policy questions vital to women."
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 21, 1999
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