NewsFri Jan 19, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST
New York Times Gets Another Story Very Wrong - This Time it’s about Marriage
By Peter J. Smith
NEW YORK, January 19, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The New York Times has once again published another ‘hit piece’ on the institution of marriage, alleging that for “the first time more American women are living without a husband than with one”. However, US census data for 2005 shows that the January 16th front-page story in the New York Times is just another disturbing showcase of the Times’ tolerance for “journalistic malpractice”.
“For what experts say is probably the first time,” writes Sam Roberts on the Times front page, “more American women are living without a husband than with one, according to a New York Times analysis of census results.”
“In 2005, 51 percent of women said they were living without a spouse, up from 35 percent in 1950 and 49 percent in 2000,” writes Roberts. He adds that now married couples make up a minority of all American households and “the trend could ultimately shape social and workplace policies, including the ways government and employers distribute benefits.”
The plain truth is that Roberts’ findings are at variance with US census reports for 2005, which demonstrate a far different picture from the profiles selected by Roberts of single women “delighting in their new found freedom.”
According to the 2005 report “Marital Status of the Population by Sex and Age”, the United States is not yet a culture that has discarded the institution of marriage, where 60.4% of men and 56.9% of women over 18 years old are married.
However, Roberts creates his own analysis by using the Census Bureau’s “Living Arrangements of Persons 15 Years Old and Over by Selected Characteristics”, by including in his 51% figure of women living without a spouse: unmarried teenage and college girls still living with their parents, women whose husbands work out of town, are institutionalized, or are separated from husbands serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Perhaps most disturbing is how blatantly Roberts’ claims are at variance with US census bureau statistics. Among marriageable women over 18 years old, 56.9% of women are married, with 53% having a spouse present, 1.4% with a spouse absent, 9.9% widowed, and 11.5% divorced. Yet, 67.3% of women 30-34, and 70.5% of women 35-39 are married, a far cry from the profiles of women offered by the Times of women finding fulfillment outside marriage.
“It’s one of a series of articles the New York Times has run…playing games with numbers in a misleading and dishonest way, each one of them having the same point: marriage is over, marriage is finished, nobody wants to get married anymore, people are happier not getting married,” conservative talk show host Medved told his radio audience, accusing the Times of committing “journalistic malpractice”
“Obviously 97% of women between the ages of 15 and 19 are never married!” Medved fumed. “What does it tell you when he’s including girls living home with their parents as single women and then uses that to create this lie that the majority of women are unmarried?”
Dr. Scott Stanley, co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, said that today’s median marrying age for woman is 26, a fact that radically skew marriage statistics when comparing the data to other eras where men and women married at younger ages. Far from women abandoning marriage, he said “the number of people who want to be married and have it work out well is still extraordinarily high.”
The census data also reflects the reality that women are delaying marriage after age 25. As a percentage, 95.2% of women 18-19 years old, and 74.6% of women 20-24 years old have never married. However, more than half of women have married between 25-29 (41.3% never married), a percentage which continues to increase in the other age groups.
Dr. Bill Maier, psychologist in residence at Focus on the Family described the article as “another brazen attempt by The New York Times to advance an ultra-liberal social agenda," adding that the profiles seemed more interested in disparaging marriage and discouraging young women from even considering it than reporting the fact that married women have better physical and emotional health than unmarried ones.
"Marriage as an institution is suffering in our country," he added. "We should do everything we can to promote healthy, stable marital relationships, because those relationships remain the bedrock of our society."
The New York Times is quickly gaining greater notoriety as a source of journalistic inaccuracy rather than a trusted news source; more interested in pushing politics than “all the news that’s fit to print.” Doubts as to its accuracy will further be heightened as the paper intends to let lapse the position of public editor, since ombudsman Byron Calame admitted that the New York Times magazine had been caught seriously misrepresenting an abortion case in El Salvador by LifeSiteNews.com.
To express concerns to the New York Times:
Arthur Sulzberger Jr., Chairman & Publisher:
Scott H. Heekin-Canedy, President, General Manager
See Sam Robert’s NYT article on Marriage:
51% of Women Are Now Living Without Spouse
U.S. Census Bureau: The 2007 Statistical Abstract: Marital Status and Living Arrangements
See LifeSiteNews.com’s expose of the Times’ tolerance for inventive reporting
New York Times Caught in Abortion-Promoting Whopper - Infanticide Portrayed as Abortion
See LifeSiteNews’ Jan. 2, 2007 report:
New York Times Ombudsman Admits Paper Was Caught in Misrepresentation by LifeSiteNews.com