This week in massive media fail, a Rutgers study is used to blame men rather than US economic policy for record low marriage rates.
September 9, 2019

HLN features three high-heeled bubbly morning personalities for two minutes to "report" on a Rutgers University study on why marriage rates are at a 150-year low.

A new study from Cornell University suggests that one reason US marriage rates are at a 150-year low is because of a shortage of "economically attractive" men.

Media outlets like HLN and Yahoo! stopped their "coverage" at the words "economically unattractive men."

The suggestion is that maybe men need to work harder at being "economically attractive"? Is there an Axe Body Spray for that?

The ACTUAL study (paywall) points out that public policy is a factor.

Our analyses provide clear evidence of an excess supply of men with low income and education and, conversely, shortages of economically attractive unmarried men ( with at least a bachelor's degree and higher levels of income) for women to marry. One implication is that promoting good jobs may ultimately be the best marriage promotion policy rather than marriage education courses that teach new relationship skills... Our estimates of marriage market dis-equilibria are instructive, especially at a time when marriage is sometimes viewed as an economic panacea.

They left out "by conservatives." Young people do not need instruction on the moral desirability of marriage. The study indicates that the desire of young people to one day get married has remained stable. It's the barriers to education, housing and income that prevent them from realizing that goal.

In other words, if we want more young people to settle down and get married, lecturing them on morality or "teaching" relationship skills is unnecessary and does not work. What would work is public policy that makes it possible and affordable for them to get an education, earn a living, and achieve stable housing.

Morning talk shows could have saved time and just consulted The Onion:


Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.