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Research Papers on the Importance of Marriage

Research papers on the importance of marriage illustrate that the institution of marriage is still very much alive and significant today. If you need research on marriage or any aspect of society, Paper Masters has writers that can explicate and report on any aspect you need.

The institution of marriage continues to be placed upon its heels in its own defense from state initiatives banning gay marriage. These bans are presented to voters at the ballot box and are challenged by gay rights activists in federal courts of appeals countrywide. These courts have been either striking such bans down as unconstitutional under the 1964 Civil Rights Act or, most recently, these courts are upholding such bans – declaring that the people have the right to define marriage as a union solely between a man and a woman. Importance of MarriageHowever, research papers on the importance of marriage stress the importance of marriage in today’s society from a historical and practical perspective – not merely by the legal and political correctness of a definition crafted by state legislators and litigated vehemently between polar opposite social and civil rights advocate groups. Truly, the importance of marriage in today’s society should be examined from the perspective of whether or not these unions (man and woman – woman and woman – man and man) make for productive and self-fulfilled people – or, whether marriages are a product of societal pressure and expectation regardless of sexual makeup.

Studying the Importance of Marriage - What it Means Today

Today, studies of the importance of the institution of marriage by way of historical, social, and economic research, has revealed that today’s typical American marriage is stronger in terms of personal well-being. Paradoxically, today’s marriages are also weaker in terms of divorce rate. A research study reported on by Paper Masters analyzed the correlation between marital quality and personal well-being in 93 cases using a meta-analytic technique. This study conducted between 1979 and 2002 found that the strength of marriages in America increases when the personal well-being of each spouse is nurtured – making each spouse happier. The divorce rate plateaued in the 1980s at 45 percent and marriage has become an ‘all or nothing’ decision – challenging and supporting its importance for individuals as well as for policy makers. Because relationships are more likely to be breakable in working-class and poor communities – which make it more difficult for married couples to be able to afford to melt into the social and religious spectrum within their community – less effort is made to strengthen the marital bond. In addition, married Americans are spending less time alone with their spouses – leading to a decline in quality time together – compare 1975, when couples spent 35 hours on average per week together, to 2003, when only 26 hours per week were dedicated to coupling time. On average between 1975 and 2003, married couples with children reduced their quality time together by 50 minutes per day.

Religion as the Foundation of Marriage in History

The ritual of marriage began with religious conventions of joining tribes and nations through relationships. The following is a proposed outline for looking at the religious foundations of the importance of marriage in your research paper.

  1. Supporting Argument for the Importance of Marriage
    1. Buddhism and Marriage
      1. Similar to Christianity
      2. Intimate relations
      3. Moral absolutes
      4. Buddhist social response
    2. Christianity and Marriage
      1. Situational ethics
      2. Teachings of the Bible
    3. Three main oppositions
      1. Purpose of child-bearing
      2. Give equality to both couples
      3. Definitions of marriage

Marriage and Society Research

Marriage is something that every society has. Marriage exists because it benefits both the males and females in a society.  There are many different forms of marriage. The most common are the monogamist and polygamist marriages.  A monogamist marriage is one which is between one man and one woman, while in polygamy the man may have more than one wife.  The reason why marriage is a universal can be explained by the “division of labor” theory. As is well known, there are many differences between the two genders and the idea of “division of labor” means that each one was more suitable for certain aspects of work than the other.  Marriage is a way for members of both genders to work together to obtain a certain goal. Marriage and the division of labor also allow for the different societies to express the identities and gender relations within it all.

Each gender had something to invest in the marriage.  Men biologically were physical and were better equipped at manual labor while women were the ones who could bare the children.  As part of their biological side, like most animals, the key was to produce offspring which would outlive the parent.  With the vast differences between the people, this was made easier by marriage.  When first conceived, being linked together was created a human response which would allow both parties to become invested.  Each member of the marriage was assigned certain tasks which they were responsible for. Most of the time, the more strenuous tasks went to the men who were larger and better equipped.  Women, because they had the children, were more likely to have domestic duties. 

Each partner maintained their tasks and though the work was different, they each contributed equally to the survival of the family group.  Without the cooperation of both genders, the family would fail and therefore marriage was the paste that bound the family together.  Only in recent times has the concept of marriage change from necessity to one where the couple does so out of only want.  Marriage is universal because the way in which each gender is able to hold onto power is by combining their resources. Each person benefits within a marriage and in many societies those who are outside the marriage also benefit.  An example is that of the dowry given to the groom’s family and the offspring produced from the marriage.

According to David H. Olson, head of social family science at the University of Minnesota, there are seven types of marriage. In three of these types the marriage is characterized as satisfying. In these marriages couples engage in sound conflict resolution and communication practices, have personalities that are compatible and satisfying sex lives. In the other four types of marriage the couple is held together by factors such as religion, children, finances, or pressure from family and friends. In these marriages there is more distress than happiness.

According to Olson most married couples fit the distressed mode. Olson based his conclusions on studies of married couples in which he evaluated the opinions and descriptions of individuals regarding their marriage as well as descriptions of distressed marriages and factors of cohesion uncovered in previous studies. In his research Olson found that wives express dissatisfaction and consider divorce more often then men.

Olson labels the first type of marriage as the devitalized marriage. In this type of marriage both partners are critical of each other and both have considered the option of divorce. The marriage is characterized by high levels of instability and distress. The partners tend to be younger and come from broken homes. Many of these individuals are minorities, have been previously married, and earn lower incomes. Olson contends that approximately forty percent of all marriages are devitalized marriages.

The second type of married couples, the financially focused, demonstrates many of the same dysfunctional qualities as devitalized couples. This type of couple has a difficult time communicating. The conflict resolution methods used rarely satisfy both partners. Each partner is highly critical of the other and one or both may have considered divorce as an option. Individuals in this type of marriage prioritize their careers above their marriage. The couple usually stays together for the financial rewards produced by the union. Approximately eleven percent of all marriages fit the description of financially focused.

The third type of marriage, conflicted, involves partners who are dissatisfied with many aspects of their marriage. Individuals in this type of marriage have a difficult time communicating with their partners and often fail to use productive methods of conflict resolution. They are unhappy with the personal characteristics of their partner. Sex is also a source of conflict. In many cases the couple avoids or fails to resolve conflict. Instead of focusing on each other the partners expend their energy on family, children, religion, or leisure activities. In a high percentage of these cases both partners have considered divorce. Approximately fourteen percent of all marriages fit this type.

Olson labels the fourth type of marriage as traditional. In this type of marriage the sexual relationship and communication methods are the major sources of stress. However, the partners are not overly critical of each other. In this type of marriage the partners turn to outside factors such as religion, extended family and friends for strength. Most of the individuals in this type of marriage are older, white, and of the Protestant religion. Approximately ten percent of all marriages fall into the traditional category.

In the fifth type of marriage, balanced, the partners are moderately satisfied with each other and the relationship. Both partners in this type of marriage are very good at communicating with each other. They are in agreement in such areas as child-rearing, money, leisure, and sex. The family is important to both partners. Despite being relatively stable about twenty-five percent of individuals in this type of marriage have considered divorce. Approximately eight percent of all marriages fit the balanced category.

The harmonious marriage type makes up eight percent of all marriages. In this type of marriage the partners are highly satisfied with the relationship and their partners. This type of marriage is characterized with a highly satisfying sexual relationship. Additionally, both partners frequently display affection for the other. The children of the couples are often viewed as the major source of distress in that the partners view parenting as a burden. Due to the self-centered nature of the parents problems are likely to show up in the children.

The happiest and best adjusted of married couples fall into the seventh category, vitalized. About nine percent of all married couples fall into this category. Each partner is highly satisfied with the characteristics of his or her mate. When conflicts arise the couple is usually able to resolve them quickly and productively. The couple is in agreement concerning most external factors. Further, this type of couple is usually financially sound. Most of the individuals in this type of marriage are older, married only once, come from intact families, are white, and from the Protestant religion. Despite being the happiest of all couples about on in every four wives in this category has considered divorce.

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