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For first time, unmarried households reign in US

2006-10-25 23:58:43|  分类: 英语吧 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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For first time, unmarried households reign in US

 

多数美国人选择不婚

It is by no means dead, but for the first time, a new survey has shown that traditional marriage has ceased to be the preferred living arrangement in the majority of US households.

The findings indicated that marriage did not figure in nearly 55.8 million American family households, or 50.2 percent.

More than 14 million of them were headed by single women, another five million by single men, while 36.7 million belonged to a category described as "nonfamily households," a term that experts said referred primarily to gay or heterosexual(1) couples cohabiting(2) out of formal wedlock.

By comparison, the number of traditional households with married couples at their core stood at slightly more than 55.2 million, or 49.8 percent of the total.

Unmarried couples gravitated(3) toward big cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, while the farm states in the Great Plains and rural communities of the Midwest and West remained bastions(4) of traditionalism, according to the survey.

The shift, experts said, also raises the question about the future effectiveness of so-called "family value" politics currently played by both Republicans and Democrats.

Douglas Besharov, a sociologist with the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based think tank(5), said it is difficult for the traditional family to emerge unscathed after three and a half decades of divorce rates reaching 50 percent and five decades out-of-wedlock births.

"Change is in the air(6)," Besharov said in a recent interview. "The only question is whether it is catastrophic(7) or just evolutionary."

He predicted that cohabitation(8) and temporary relationships between people were likely to dominated America's social landscape for years to come.

"Overall, what I see is a situation in which people -- especially children -- will be much more isolated, because not only will their parents both be working, but they'll have fewer siblings(9), fewer cousins, fewer aunts and uncles," the scholar argued. "So over time, we're moving towards a much more individualistic(10) society."





1. heterosexual:异性恋的

2. cohabit:同居,尤指未婚而同居

3. gravitate:倾向

4. bastion:堡垒,要塞

5. think tank:智囊团

 

不婚主义的确存在,但是一项新调查首次显示,婚姻已经不是大多数美国人的首选生活方式。



调查显示,5580万美国家庭放弃了婚姻,占了总人口的50.2%。


其中1400万个家庭是单身女人类型、500万个是单身汉型,另有3670万属于所谓“无家家庭”,专家解释说基本上是指同性恋和不婚的异性恋同居者。





相比之下,传统婚姻家庭仅有55.2个,占总数的49.8%。



调查显示,不婚夫妇多居住在纽约、芝加哥、洛杉矶和旧金山这样的大城市,大平原农业州和中西部、西部农村的人们则倾向于保持传统婚姻。




专家对目前共和党人和民主党人实行的所谓“家庭价值”政策的有效性表示担忧。



美国企业协会社会学家道格拉斯·贝沙洛夫说,连续35年50%的离婚率和50年的不婚生子让传统家庭所剩无几。美国企业协会是华盛顿的一家研究机构。





贝沙洛夫在最近的一次采访中说:“变化是潜移默化的,问题是这是否是个悲剧,亦或是一种进化。”


他预测在未来的数年中,同居和临时的关系将主宰美国社会生活。



“总之,我看见人们、尤其是孩子们的生活将更加孤立,不仅由于双亲都要工作,同时他们将拥有越来越少的兄弟姐妹、表兄弟姊妹、姑姨、叔舅。因此,我们将步入更加利己主义的社会。”

 

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