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c Men who cohabit are four times more likely to cheat than married men.

c Women who cohabit are eight times more likely to cheat than married women.

c Cohabiting couples are four times more likely to be in poverty than married couples.

The Pew paper reports, “Most married parents of children under 18 say they have never cohabited (57 percent), but most unmarried parents of children under 18 say they have (80 percent).” This helps make Ms. Crouse’s point that cohabitation is not necessarily a step toward the altar.

Amid the overall-downer Pew report, there was some good news: “Ask Americans what is most important in their lives, and it’s clear that families come first. Fully 76 percent of adults say that their family is the single most important element of their lives.”

The report also warns us not to read too much into the “Is marriage becoming obsolete?” finding: “When the World Values Survey posed a similar question in 2006 that used a more starkly worded formulation (‘Marriage is an outdated institution - agree or disagree?’), just 13 percent of American respondents agreed.”

After several decades of the sexual revolution, the pill, abortion on demand, “no-fault” divorce, “Friends” and “Two-and-a-Half Men,” we might take some solace that marriage is still the ideal.

And why not? It was created by God before any other human institution, it is universally practiced, and it remains, as the U.S. Supreme Court once noted, the “sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization.”

Robert Knight is senior writer for Coral Ridge Ministries and the author of the just-released book, “The Truth About Marriage” (Coral Ridge Ministries).