Originally Posted by laureen227
i think the biggest difference in perspective of marriage first being preferable among those of us who are US citizens is that, regardless of the religious beliefs of any US citizen, the country was originally founded on Christian religious mores. even tho many citizens no longer consider themselves Christian, the Judeo-Christian moral code is still very pervasive in our society. we've fallen far [as a culture] from what would be considered moral by Biblical standard. but the average person would still consider it best to marry before having children, just as they would say that infidelity is wrong, murder is wrong, cruelty [like spousal or child abuse, etc.] is wrong - these are all originally based on Judeo-Christian beliefs. even the Declaration of Independence refers to it:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
even in other countries, the far reach of the original Roman Catholic church has left signs. just think of the Holy Roman Empire - spanned many of the European countries of today. it's hard for the US to even fathom the age of European culture, tho. we're such a young country, compared to much of the world.
Actually all the things you are referencing have been tenets of religions created well before there was ever Christianity. Also, nothing about "their Creator" in the Declaration of Independence indicates specifically believing in the Christian God. Instead, I find that term to be specifically worded so as to not be associated with any particular dogma, but rather inclusive of all beliefs.
However I will agree that one's religious beliefs will often dictate how one feels about children out of wedlock and how they treat women who are single mothers (positively or negatively).
Siggav, I find your post really interesting because of a completely different study but one that I think directly impacts why there is such a difference in acceptance between say the U.S and Iceland.
Two weeks ago on 20/20 I think it was ( maybe 60 minutes) there was a great story on what makes a place happy. Below is a link to an article that talks about this study.http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...1/ai_n16651517
What was found was that Denmark was in the lead, followed closely by Switzerland, Austria and Iceland.
When they talked about Denmark in particular what they found was that the Danes were as a culture 90% native Dane, and 80% Lutheran. They had very little narcissistic or materialistic tendencies. They had equality in job status ( ie. Garbage men are held in high esteem and had equal pay as other occupations., The Danish Prince is actually a carpenters apprentice because he enjoys it and it is the way he wishes to make his living). They pay taxes at a rate of 63% I believe it was, but they also have consistent quality governmental support for health care, and other necessities that we in the US often lack.
Because of being of the same beliefs and nationality they trust each other, have a sense of belonging to all and there is very little crime. They showed strollers lined up outside an eating establishment while the parents were inside. That would get people arrested here in the US and most people would never even consider such a thing for fear their baby would be stolen.
All in all they are well provided for and have a good sense of belonging and community. It sounds like Iceland has a culture and environment that fosters the same wellbeing and belonging.
Here in the US (which ranked 23 in the study) there is a lack of such a feeling for the Nation as a whole, but does exists within sub-cultures. In fact there has been a widening gap nationally that is really getting out of control. People are becoming further and further divided based on race, religion, political doctrine and economic status. This disconnectedness creates an environment that is judgmental in nature as a whole.
Someone else pointed out that out of wedlock children in this country tend to be born to poorer persons...which I don't know if statistically that is true. However, it is certainly how it is perceived. Thus another "welfare mother or welfare baby". These terms were coined to be negative in connotation. Initially they were used to denote women who kept having babies to get more governmental money to buy drugs. One of the most famous cases that made the national news was the apartment where 14 young children belonging to 3 women were found. They were eating their own feces and living in absolutely inhumane conditions. The moms used all their government money to buy crack.
Teen pregnancy is also very high here. Associated with the Teen pregnancy is what is being portrayed as the "new trend" in the poorly educated, economically depressed population of having "Baby Daddies" (This particular population also happens to be portrayed as being a high percentage of African American and Hispanic decent, so racism also comes into play). This term originally came about from unwed teens talking about..."well my baby's daddy said so and so". This is also associated with what people refer to as the "gang banger" or "gansta" sub cultures, which are thought to be associated with rap music.
Can you see all the assumptions, stereotypes and intolerance that is subtly going on as an undercurrent in this country? So while religion certainly plays some part, it isn't the only part, at least not in this day and age. In the 1950's religion, especially among Catholics, played a large part in the stigma of unwed pregnancies.
As has been pointed out already, there is the group that says out of wedlock is bad because there is only one parent and a child needs guidance from both male and female role models. This is very true, however as Zissou's Mom pointed out it really has more to do with how involved the individual parents are and nothing to do with if they are married. The show Super Nanny is a perfect example of how married couples are failing their children big time in this country. People in this country seem to have become so absorbed in making a living and "keeping up with the Jones's" that actual parenting is ceasing to exist.
What you have stated indicates that Icelanders, although they may not be married they are devoted to being parents. That really is the key.
Ok, I think I may have gotten completely off topic now.
I hope some of this actually makes sense as to what you were asking.