An article in the N.Y. Times this morning got me going (link). College educated people more often choose to get married than people without a college education. Non-college educated people have more children out of wedlock. Cool. Now here comes the hard part. People in Utah and Northern Virginia have higher marriage rates. The conclusion the author draws is weird. It is because they have more religion and sports. You see, such communities have more "social capital."
"Adult sports leagues provide meeting grounds for potential spouses, and youth sports leagues make it easier to raise happy and healthy kids."
The assumption, I guess, is that the old ways were best, that marriage and "legitimate" children are the thing to be desired, and that those who choose not to marry or have children have corrupted values. The article's conclusion can best be read ironically.
"Marriage is hard. Raising kids is harder. These undertakings become more feasible only when they are supported by a very local, very human network of institutions such as strong community schools, churches, sports leagues and tight-knit neighborhoods. You could say that to foster marriage and child-rearing, it really does take a village.
Yup. You could say that. Or you could say something else.