Christian Leader Uses Misleading Statistics to Prove Marriage is for Everyone February 21, 2018

Christian Leader Uses Misleading Statistics to Prove Marriage is for Everyone

As more adults delay marriage, or forgo it altogether, an article written by Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana, republished by the Illinois Family Institute, encourages men to “man up to marriage.” Clark claims the benefits of being married outweigh those of being single. Always.

Since romance is the topic of the day on this Valentine’s holiday, it is also interesting to note that married men have better sexual relationships than their peers, including unmarried cohabiting, males. According to the National Health and Social Life Survey, 51% of married men reported that they were “extremely” satisfied with their sex lives compared to only 39% of cohabiting men and 36 percent of single men.

I’m curious how anyone can comprehensively measure what “better sexual relationships” look like, since sex is so subjective. Are these men comparing married sex to sex they had when single? Otherwise, how would they know a difference?

Keep in mind that married men likely have a regular sex life (however often that may be), as opposed to single people, who may or may not be having sex.

Marriage also has health benefits for men. Research find that men who get married and stay married live almost 10 years longer than their unmarried peers. Married men and women appear to manage health better and adopt healthier lifestyles than their unmarried peers.

Clark also notes that married men make more money, are less likely to be fired from a job, and have more assets in the bank compared to single men.

The implication is that marriage will lead to all things good. But that’s not necessarily the case. Clark makes a common logical error, seeing a correlation and assuming he knows the cause. The truth is people who choose marriage may be in a more stable position in life to begin with. When you have a decent job, and you’re making decent money, and your health is doing okay, marriage becomes a much more reasonable option. It’s a lot harder to plan a wedding and share your life with someone else when you’re struggling with debt or don’t have good health.

Clark might as well have said that people who go to Ivy League schools tend to make more money later in life, therefore we should all go to those schools. He ignores all the other factors, even though they’re obvious and important.

That’s not surprising. Clark’s organization promotes the ideas that LGBTQ people are disordered, abstinence-only sex education leads to lower pregnancy rates, and abortions harm women. You can’t believe those things unless you’re choosing to ignore plenty of evidence along the way.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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