Survey Indicates Marriage Initiative Enjoys Tremendous Public Support-5/02
cmfce at smartmarriages.com
Thu May 9 13:09:13 EDT 2002
subject: Survey Indicates Marriage Initiative Enjoys Public Support-5/02
from: Smart Marriages
Many of you wanted more complete information on the survey. Here it is.
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cmfce at smartmarriages.com
Survey Indicates Marriage Initiative
Enjoys Tremendous Public Support
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 9, 2002 Two out three Americans agree that having
parents who get and stay married is "very important" for children in
low-income, single parent households, according to survey results released
today by the Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education, a
nonpartisan, nonsectarian, Washington-based organization.
The nationally representative survey of 1016 Americans 18 years and older
(margin of error: plus or minus 3 percent) was commissioned by family
scholar, Maggie Gallagher, (MaggieIAV at aol.com) and conducted May 3-6 by
Opinion Research Corporation. It found that two-thirds (67 percent) of all
respondents said it was "very important" for the well-being of these
children that their parents "get and stay married." Another 19 percent felt
this was "somewhat important," while only 9 percent felt marriage would be
of little or no importance to the children in these households.
The conviction that poor children would benefit from the marriage of their
parents was shared equally across all racial, regional, income and education
categories. For example, 66 percent of African Americans agreed that it was
very important for children in low-income single parent households that
their parents get and stay married, as did 74 percent of Hispanic households
and 66 percent of Whites; 65 percent of adults without high school diplomas
agreed it was very important, as did 64 percent of adults who are college
grads; 68 percent of American with household incomes under $15,000 a year
agreed, as did 66 percent of Americans with household incomes of at least
$50,000 a year. Overall, 86% of Americans felt that marriage was "very" or
"somewhat" important to the well-being of low-income children.
The study also found that 84 percent of the respondents favored pilot
programs that would refer interested couples to marriage education and
preparation programs. Only 10 percent opposed this idea. Similarly, 85
percent strongly or somewhat favor pilot programs to educate teens on the
importance of waiting until they are married before having children.
Additionally, the survey found that two of every three Americans favor
tapping surplus welfare funds to finance programs to "strengthen marriage,
reduce divorce and out-of-wedlock births". A third (34 percent) of the
respondents "strongly favor" letting states use surplus welfare funds for
programs to "strengthen marriage [and] reduce divorce and out-of-wedlock
births." Another third (32 percent) "somewhat favor" the proposal. Only a
quarter of all respondents oppose the idea.
When asked whether government-funded teen pregnancy programs should educate
teens to delay pregnancy until they are older, or, alternatively, wait until
they are married, Americans favored delaying until marriage by 32 percent to
18 percent. In addition, 43 percent of Americans want government funded teen
pregnancy programs to emphasize both goals equally.
The idea of using welfare funds to help strengthen marriage enjoyed
remarkably similar levels of support among those surveyed, regardless of
their race, sex, age, geographic location or household income.
"This survey shows that for most Americans, support for marriage is not a
controversial idea- it clearly cuts across racial, ethnic, and class lines,"
said Diane Sollee, director of the Coalition for Marriage, Family and
Couples Education. "For most Americans, the idea of using a tiny fraction
of surplus welfare dollars to strengthen marriage, reduce divorce and
unmarried childbearing is a no-brainer."
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Diane Sollee, Director
5310 Belt Rd NW, Washington, DC 20015-1961
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