OTTAWA - Marriage should be promoted as a way to civilize men and cut down on social ills such as crime, substance abuse and homelessness according to an Ottawa think-tank.
An Institute of Marriage and Family Canada paper cites marriage as helping men become more nurturing, improving their health outcomes and even making men better workers.
The paper quotes Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray as saying marriage improves the games of his players.
“You’re more committed. You have something to go home to,” Murray told a reporter in October. “I think these guys start to realize that there are other people depending on what they do with their lives.”
Status of Men, authored by the institute's research manager Andrea Mrozek, looks at what role the decline of marriage may play in the lagging results educators and sociologists are seeing in boys.
The drop-out rate from school remains persistently higher for boys than girls, there are now three women for every two men on university campuses. The rate of men living with their parents during their 20s is also twice as high as it was in 1981.
"Cohabitation is the fastest growing family form,” wrote Mrozek. “But would it be if we discussed the advantages of marriage? Eighty-nine per cent of teen boys say they want to get married. High school is a good time to introduce marriage education. We can't take marriage for granted anymore."
Mrozek argues feminists believe the institute of marriage oppresses women. But in her view there is nothing more oppressive than trying to make ends meet as a single mother.
“Marriage is a way of including men in families, and ensuring they act as fathers. We should all promote marriage through education, women most of all."