Most women without a spouse? - look again - 1/19/07
smartmarriages at lists101.his.com
Fri Jan 19 20:57:16 EST 2007
In case you wondered about the saying, "you can make stats say anything you
Want" read this response to the NYTimes front page article stating the
majority of women live without a spouse.
Here is a snippet of an Townhall.com article "Journalistic Malpractice in
'Marriage is Dead' Report"by Michael Medved January 18, that I think many on
the list would find useful, one of those "keepers" you often point out.
> According to the most recent available figures (from 2005), a clear majority
> (56%) of all women over the age of 20 are currently married.
> Moreover, nearly all women in this country will get married at one time or
> another. Among those above the age of 50 (a group that includes the
> celebrated Baby Boomers of the famously revolutionary '60's generation), an
> astonishing 94% have been married at one time or another and some 79% are
> either currently married or widowed.
> Even including the younger, supposedly "post-marriage" generation, and
> considering all women above the age of 30, some 61% are currently married
> and another 12% are widowed. In other words, nearly three-fourths (73%, a
> crushing majority) of all women who have reached the tender age of 30 now
> occupy a traditional female role as either current wives or widows -
> avoiding the supposedly trendy status of divorced, separated, co-habiting or
> How, then, could America's "Journal of Record," the New York Times, possibly
> peddle the ridiculously distorted story that most females now count as
> Reporter Sam Roberts begins his tendentious account with the following
> declarations: "For what experts say is probably the first time, more
> American women are living without a husband than with one, according to a
> New York Times analysis of census results. In 2005, 51 percent of women said
> they were living without a spouse, up from 35 percent in 1950 and 49 percent
> in 2000."
> This conclusion provided a shocking front-page headline ("51% of Women Are
> Now Living Without Spouse") that gave rise to considerable cluck-clucking
> and tut-tting throughout the media echo-chamber.
> So how could reporter Roberts read the same Census figures that any American
> can view ("according to a New York Times analysis") and come up with such
> bizarre conclusions?
> It's all based on a fundamentally dishonest decision that Roberts never
> acknowledges in the entire course of his lengthy article. It turns out that
> in his analysis he chose to count some 10,154,000 girls between the ages of
> 15 and 19 as "women." It should come as no surprise that this vast group of
> teenagers (yes, teenagers, most of whom live at home) are officially
> classified as "single." In fact, 97% of the 15 to 19 year olds identify
> themselves as "never married." The Census Bureau, by the way, doesn't call
> these youngsters "women" - it labels them "females" (a far more appropriate
> Yet even the ridiculous inclusion of his ten million unmarried teenagers
> couldn't give Sam Roberts the story he wanted to report - that most American
> "women" are now unmarried. As a matter of fact, the Census Bureau shows that
> among all females above 15 the majority (51%!) are still classified as
> So the New York Times required yet another sneaky distortion to shave off
> that last 2% from the married majority, though this bit of statistical
> sleight-of-hand Sam Roberts had the decency to acknowledge. "In a relatively
> small number of cases, the living arrangement is temporary, because the
> husbands are working out of town, are in the military, or are
> institutionalized," he writes. In other words, in his brave new majority of
> "women" without spouses, he includes all those thousands upon thousands of
> wives and mothers who are waiting and praying at home for the return of
> their husbands from Iraq or Afghanistan. By arbitrarily removing this 2% of
> all females (2,400,000 individuals) who are classified as "married/spouse
> absent" from the ranks of the married, and then designating as "unmarried"
> his millions of middle school and high school girls who are living with
> their parents, together with some 9 million elderly widows who have devoted
> much of their lives to marriage and husbands (42% of all women over 65 are
> widows), Roberts can finally arrive at his desired but meaningless
> conclusion that "most women" now "are living without a husbands." Eureka!
The full link to the article:
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