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Yes, college students should embrace marriage

Climate change bigger priority for Gen Z, one student suggests

College students recently weighed on whether marriage should “be more of a priority among Gen Z,” for Wall Street Journal’s “Future View” section.

The responses show there are only two ways to live life.

Emerson College student Lydia Aga compared marriage to a prison and said it is like “being shackled at home in the confines of an old institution.”

Simply put, for Ms. Aga, “[p]aying the bills and fighting climate change are bigger priorities for Gen Z than settling down.”

“With polyamory on the rise and redefinitions of love gaining traction, the way the public views marriage is changing,” she wrote. “Marriage—or rather, the possibility of divorce in the eyes of a liberated generation—creates a deeper financial burden in lawyer’s fees for a generation already buried in debt.”

Aga argues: “Gen Z should prioritize what love means for them and not what it means to a council of elders addicted to keeping everything the same.”

“Marriage can be beautiful when it is about love and not escape,” she wrote. “But late-stage capitalism makes everything fleeting. So we must cherish the moment and our friends, pets and lovers in ways that have yet to be imagined.”

I’ll take the stable institution of marriage over things “yet to be imagined.”

So will Anika Horowitz.

“For thousands of years, marriage has been a building block of productive societies,” the University of Wisconsin-Madison student wrote. “Despite modern sentiments to the contrary, men and women need each other.”

Single men make less money and have higher suicide rates, Horowitz notes. Single women are struggling with their mental health, as well.

MORE: Scholar warns – young women use social media to oppose feminism

“The easiest way to build a meaningful and productive life is to fall in love, get married and start a family,” she writes.

Note well that she does not say marriage will guarantee you a 100% blissful life, but rather a “meaningful and productive life.”

What does this mean?

Marriage gives someone’s life purpose. This will hurt but your dog does not love you. “To love is to will the good of the other.” Your pet cannot will your good, therefore you dog/cat/iguana does not love you.

Your “lovers” do not love you if they are refusing to commit and only using your body for their own carnal pleasure.

Marriage orients our life to the good. Children can carry on our values and our faith. They can take care of us when we are older and assist the older generations.

Married couples who cannot have children also contribute to the good of society.

They can assist siblings or neighbors in taking care of their kids or help them in general. Think of a married couple’s benefit to a widowed woman – the wife can help her with cooking, cleaning, and getting dressed.

The husband can help keep the house livable by doing chores and making repairs. They serve as a stable force on the street and outperform any government program.

Some college students like Lydia Aga might view marriage as outdated or like a prison. But they undoubtedly benefit from other people being married. Society would actually die out, perhaps to the joy of the more extreme climate activists, if marriage stopped.

Single parenthood through casual sex, artificial insemination, or some other means is not the solution either. Lydia Aga compares marriage to a prison – but in reality, matrimony is what keeps people out of prison.

“We find that cities are safer when two-parent families are dominant and more crime-ridden when family instability is common,” the Institute for Family Studies concluded in a December 2023 study.

“Even in high-crime inner-city neighborhoods, well over 90 percent of children from safe, stable homes do not become delinquents,” the Heritage Foundation concluded in 1995.

Marriage isn’t harming society – it is what keeps it from collapsing.

MORE: Scholar calls for marriage to ‘save civilization’

IMAGE: IVASH Studio/Shutterstock

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.