NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

JOURNALISTIC MALPRACTICE IN "MARRIAGE IS DEAD" REPORT

January 22, 2007

The recent headline that the majority of women in the country were living without a husband has been cooked up from willful, blatant and shameful distortions, says radio personality and columnist Michael Medved.

Consider:

  • According to the most recent available figures (from 2005), a clear majority (56 percent) of all women over 20 are currently married.
  • Among those above 50, 94 percent have been married at one time or another and some 79 percent are either currently married or widowed.
  • Considering all women above 30, some 61 percent are currently married and another 12 percent are widowed.
  • Overall, nearly three-fourths of all women who have reached age 30 now occupy a traditional female role as either current wives or widows.

So how could the media -- first reported by the New York Times -- read the same Census figures that any American can view, and come up with such bizarre conclusions?  They distort the facts, says Medved:

  • It turns out that the New York Times' analysis chose to count some 10,154,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 as "women," instead of "female" -- 97 percent of whom identify themselves as "never married."
  • Further, the wives with husbands working out of town, incarcerated or in the military were classified as "married/spouse absent," moved from the ranks of the married, and then designating as "unmarried."

In sum, says Medved, adding the millions of middle and high school girls living with their parents, together with some 9 million elderly widows and the wives of military personnel, critics are finally able to arrive at the desired but meaningless conclusion that "most women" now "are living without a husband."

Source: Michael Medved, "Journalistic Malpractice in "Marriage is Dead" Report," Townhall.com, January 18, 2007.

 

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