In our society fewer people are getting married and many children are being raised in a one parent (mainly mother) household. While this troubling trend has become more acceptable in Western society, its not, for the most part, best for the family unit. Long-term marriage offers many advantages when compared to unmarried family units. These advantages are as follows:
A committed relationship that two adults share with each other, under the same roof, gives their children a "head start" in being successful. It doesn't matter if its between a man and woman or a same sex couple. The bottom line is that their children will be better for it.
An interesting study shows that men benefit greatly when marrying and staying with a women. It seems that married men enjoy better health and live longer since the women usually prods the man to take better care of themselves and go to the doctor when feeling poorly. Marriage also benefits women who feel they have a partner that lends them emotional support and giving them the feeling of responsibility in keeping their partner healthy.
It appears, for the most part, a long-term stable marriage benefits the entire family. Too bad we seem to be going into an opposite direction when it comes to marriage. This might be one of the areas that we need to explore and reverse the trend if we are to reduce poverty and see better academic outcomes for the children.