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The new myth is that the institution of marriage is disappearing.Researcher Stanley Kurz raised the red flag a couple of years ago, when he claimed in the influential conservative journal The Weekly Standard that marriage is slowly dying in Scandinavia.Neither Mom nor Dad wants to go to their kids school parent night, but they finally reach a compromise.Some of these unmarried couples decide eventually to have a wedding, if only as an excuse to have a big party.There is no stigma attached to what Americans consider out-of-wedlock parenthood.Nor are there real legal or economic disadvantages to people in common-law marriages, or their offspring.
But this soul-mate goal may be a utopia, if you still have this idea of developing as an individual without sacrificing any of your personal ambitions, the Danish researcher reflects.
Twelfth century troubadours are given the credit for popularizing the notion of courtly love as we know it today.
One thing that makes marriage special in Scandinavia, compared to North America, is that Scandinavians frequently wait to marry until after they have had one or more childrenhence the statistics about children born out of wedlock.
In any event, critics like Kurz are correct when they note that a lot of children are born to unmarried parents in this region.
The conservative pundit underplays the fact, however, that the out of wedlock concept, which has a decidedly negative ring to it in America, simply doesnt exist over here in Scandinavia.