Generational Victims of the Sexual Revolution

Today, Millennials are less likely to get divorced than their Baby Boomer parents, but they are also less likely to get married in the first place. Divorce rates skyrocketed after the sexual revolution, and studies show that many Millennials and Gen Xers are pained from their own parents' divorce, but don't know how to have a healthy marriage and family themselves.1

The 2019 Ruth Institute Survivors Summit included testimonials from adults whose parents divorced when they were children; they made clear that divorce was one of the most traumatizing experiences in their lives. They reported having a fear of abandonment because their parents had abandoned their marriage relationship, and this affected the children's relationships in negative ways.

Almost sixty years after the sexual revolution, we see the effects of the breakdown of the family, with children as the biggest losers.

Households with Children

54%—the percentage of heterosexual couples that are currently raising children

90%— the percentage of heterosexual couples that have ever had children

27%— the percentage of lesbian couples that are currently raising children

14%— the percentage of gay male couples that are currently raising children2

59.4%— the percentage of currently cohabitating women who have had a child3

80.4%— the percentage of currently married women who have had a child

Emotional Problems Correlated with Living Situation

The living situation at adolescence of adults who have clinically significant emotional problems:4

4.9%—lived with married biological parents

8.2%—lived in a blended or step-family situation

9.5%—lived with cohabitating partners

9.9%—lived with a single parent

17.7%—lived with same-sex parents

The living situation of children with clinically significant emotional problems:

4.3%—live with both biological parents

10.3%—live with one biological parent

21.3%— live with neither biological parent

Attitudes Regarding Children's Living Situation

The percentage of adults who agreed with the following statements:5

"It is okay to have and raise children when the parents are living together but not married."
Women: 74.7%
Men: 75.9%

"It is okay for an unmarried female to have and raise a child."
Women: 78%
Men: 69.2%

"Gay or lesbian adults should have the right to adopt children."
Women: 74.8%
Men: 67.5%

Attitudes Regarding Sexual Activity

The percentage of adults who agreed with the following statements:

"It is all right for unmarried 16-year-olds to have sexual intercourse if they have strong affection for each other."

Among those aged 15–24:
Women: 25.4%
Men: 33.5%

Among those aged 25–34:
Women: 11.8%
Men: 19.7%

Among those aged 35–44:
Women: 7.3%
Men: 9.0%

"A young couple should not live together unless they are married."

Among those aged 15–24:
Women: 30.7%
Men: 30.7%

Among those aged 25–34:
Women: 23.4%
Men: 22.4%

Among those aged 35–44:
Women: 30.0%
Men: 28.2%

Attitudes Regarding Divorce

The percentage of adults who agreed with the following statements:

"Living together before marriage may help prevent divorce."
Women: 60%
Men: 67%

"Marriage has not worked out for most people I know."
Women: 36%
Men: 32%

"Divorce is usually the best solution when a couple can't seem to work out their marriage problems."

In 2002:
Women: 46.7%
Men: 44.3%

In 2006–2010:
Women: 43%
Men: 42.8%

In 2011–2013:
Women: 38%
Men: 39.3%

One Last Stat

In 40% of new marriages, at least one spouse has been married before.6

Notes
1. For references on Millennial and Baby Boomer marriage and divorce rates, see: Renee Stepler, "Led by Baby Boomers, divorce rates climb for America's 50+ population," Pew Research Center (Mar. 9, 2017): pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/03/09/led-by-baby-boomers-divorce-rates-climb-for-americas-50-population.
2. D. Paul Sullins, presentation at the Ruth Institute Survivors Summit, April 27, 2019.
3. Gladys M. Martinez et al., "Fertility of men and women aged 15–44 in the United States: National Survey of Family Growth, 2011–2015," National Health Statistics Reports, No. 113 (July 11, 2018), p. 9.
4. D. Paul Sullins, presentation at the Ruth Institute Survivors Summit, April 27, 2019. See also Sullins's "Invisible victims: Delayed onset depression among adults with same-sex parents" Depression Research and Treatment, Vol. 2016, Article ID 2410392 (2016): http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/2410392.
5. Jill Daugherty and Casey Copen, "Trends in attitudes about marriage, childbearing, and sexual behavior: United States, 2002, 2006–2010, and 2011–2013," National Health Statistics Reports, No. 92 (Mar. 17, 2016): https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr092.pdf.
6. A. W. Geiger and Gretchen Livingston, "8 facts about love and marriage in America," Pew Research Center (Feb. 13, 2019): pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/02/13/8-facts-about-love-and-marriage.

has an M.S. in chemistry from the University of Texas at Dallas, and an M.A. in bioethics from Trinity International University. She resides in Dallas and currently works as a freelance science writer and educator.

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #50, Fall 2019 Copyright © 2019 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo50/domestic-damage