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婚姻悖论——逃不了的围城

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小编摘要:婚姻悖论:为何我们嘴上说结婚过时了,却还是结了婚?

结婚

电视里,电影里,各家各户冰箱上贴着的“婚礼日期提醒卡”(婚礼请柬)上,我们摆脱不了某种文化白噪音——我们曝露在窥探他人私密的八卦人群之间,我们浸透在幸灾乐祸的看客之中。而最近的一项调查却转变了我们的话题:美国结婚人数创历史最低纪录。美国调查机构皮尤研究中心对人口普查资料进行了分析,发现美国只有51%的成年夫妇已婚,其中18-29岁的青年中已婚人数比例跌至20%。2010年,结婚人数比2009年降低了5%。
On TV, in film, and in "Save the Date" cards tacked to fridges everywhere, we are steeped in the cultural white noise of wedding voyeurism and schadenfreude. A new study threatens to change the conversation: The number of married Americans is at a record low. The Pew Research Center has crunched the Census data and discovered that only 51 percent of adults are married. That number plunges to 20 percent for 18-to-29-year-olds. In 2010, weddings dropped by 5 percent from the previous year.
青年人的婚恋关系选择面在不断拓宽,这次即是对最年轻的一代进行的跟踪调查。我们发现,年轻人同居的现象日益增多。去年皮尤研究中心对婚姻的研究揭露了隐藏在数字背后的矛盾心态:44%的新千年一代认为婚姻“越来越过时了”。那么婚姻真的过时了吗?
This study is just the latest one to track a broadening of relationship choices for the youngest generation. Cohabitation is on the rise. Last year's Pew research on marriage unearths the ambivalence behind the numbers: 44 percent of Millennials feel that marriage is "becoming obsolete." So is marriage on its way out?
不尽然。一些学者与社会学家表示,年轻一代很可能在延迟结婚,但并不意味永远不结婚。“平均结婚年龄已经创下空前最高纪录——新娘26.5岁,新郎28.7岁。”当代家庭协会的研究主任斯蒂芬妮·昆兹这样说道。还有一些人可能永远保持单身。但昆兹提醒我们,这个人数不会像我们想象的那么多。“我猜想,虽然结婚人数可能会减少,但依然有相当多的人会在一生中选择结婚——相对于几年前成年人中已婚人数为90%,目前则只有85%,早而在上个世纪50年代,这个比例是95%。”
Hardly. Scholars and sociologists say that younger generations are probably delaying marriage, but that doesn't mean we won't eventually tie the knot. "The age of marriage has reached an all-time high," says the Council on Contemporary Families' director of research, Stephanie Coontz—26.5 for brides, 28.7 for grooms. Some people may stay single forever. But Coontz warns that the number won't be as dramatic as we might think. "My guess would be that a slightly lower, but still fairly high amount of people will get married in their lifetimes—say, 84 percent as opposed to 90 percent a few years ago, or the 95 percent abberration in the 1950s."
事实上,大多数单身贵族还是很希望有一天——可以像其他同居男女一样——走在林荫道上——先不考虑婚姻的。其中存在一个悖论:为什么我们都想遵循,在我们看来,是一种即将过时的制度呢?背地里,我们选择罪恶地姘居或过着独居生活;却公开宣称自己对加入那种最过时 但具有浪漫情调的制度多么有兴趣。或者又多么没兴趣?
Indeed, a majority of singles are hoping to walk down an aisle one day—even those in cohabiting couples—regardless of marriage's obsolescence. Therein lies the paradox: Why do we want to join an institution that, according to us, is passing its expiration date? Privately, we're choosing to live in sin or by our lonesomes. But publicly, we profess our interest in joining the oldest of romantic institutions. Or is it the other way around?
这里有一种可能的解释:“婚姻”这个词在不同的语境中意义不同。在社会层面上,婚姻让人想起那种过时的性别角色形象、社会压力以及制度上的约束。但个人看来,我们有机会改进这种制度让其符合我们的价值观——更多是因为婚姻不是强制的。
Here's one possibility: The word "marriage" means different things in different contexts. On a societal level, marriage dredges up images of antiquated gender roles, social pressures, and institutional control. But individually, we see the opportunity to mold the institution to fit our own values—even more now that it's not obligatory.
“我们能够自力更生、获取社会地位、过上有意义而又成功的生活,在这个过程中,婚姻变得越来越不必要,我们对自己想要的那种婚恋关系的期望值抬高了,”昆兹表示,“因为婚姻不重要了,我们不再心甘情愿地踏入我们认为真的真的那么好的婚姻殿堂了。”
"As marriage has become less necessary to support yourself, to gain respectability, to have a rewarding life and a successful life, we've raised our expectations of what kind of a relationship we want," says Coontz. "Because it's not essential, we're no longer willing to enter a marriage that we don't see as being really, really good."
那样的逻辑可能意味着,我们这一代就是在等“对”的结婚理由——爱情、合得来以及经济基础稳定(考虑到经济状况,结婚就不可避免地延迟了。)这也很容易解释随着结婚人数的下降,同居人数却在上升。多数选择生活在一起的人都将同居看做“试婚”,而不是一个婚姻备选项。但原因是我们认识到了自己有选择权,这样看来,婚姻更是“我们自己的事儿”。
That logic may mean that our generation waits to get hitched for the "right" reasons—love, compatibility, financial stability (which, given the state of the economy, is inevitably delayed). That explains the rise of cohabitation as much as it does the fall of marriage. Most of us who choose to live together see it as a test drive for marriage, not a real alternative. But because we recognize that we do have options, marriage seems more "ours."
我们赞同婚姻“过时”这种说法,就已经摆脱了父母眼中这个词的概念,这的确可喜可贺。许多人都有这种感觉,感觉自己已经围着这个制度的再定义创造了一种新的社会契约。在婚书上签字的那一刻,心中依然充满矛盾、胆怯,没有白手起家的勇气。但是很快,我们的朋友们就成双成对地加入结婚大军。那么结婚就又流行了。
By agreeing that marriage is "obsolete," we're saying good riddance to our parents' idea of what the word means. But so many of us feel this way that we have created a new social compact around the institution's redefinition. We're signing the certificates on the premise that we're ambivalent about marriage but too chicken to start from scratch. Pretty soon our friends will pair up and fall in line. And so it begins again.
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2012-01-09 11:20 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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