Our take: A Fox News column by Steven Crowder titled "A man's top 5 reasons to grow up and get married" has gained popularity on social media sites and sparked conversations about the trials and triumphs that come with marriage. Eleanor Barkhorn, a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, like Crowder, is pro-marriage. However, in her response to Crowder's piece, Barkhorn points out the dangers of Crowder's unrealistic, arguably selfish, take on the benefits of marriage. Instead, she argues for emphasizing the long-term virtues of marriage as a way of encouraging others to support the increasingly unpopular institution.
Marriage is in trouble. According to a 2011 Pew study, barely half of American adults are married, a record low. Nearly a quarter of Americans believe marriage is becoming obsolete. Many members of the millennial generation (18- to 29-year-olds) believe being a parent is more important than being married.
So it makes sense that people who believe marriage is good (and I am one of these people) would feel compelled to defend the institution. "People need to start being more honest and vocal about the virtues of marriage," writes Steven Crowder in a recent Fox News column called "A man's top 5 reasons to grow up and get married." I agree: It is worthwhile and necessary to talk about what makes marriage better than cohabitation, or single parenting, or other marriage alternatives. Unfortunately, however, Crowder's article doesn't do much to advance the truth about marriage's goodness. Instead, it perpetuates a bunch of myths about marriage myths that are just as destructive as outright negativity toward the institution.