and marriage in 1957
Every girl wants to get married. And there are times when you think “he’ll never come, I’ll never find him.” It’s a terrible, horrible feeling. You may go out a lot and have a ball every nite with a different boy, but you still have the feeling that the social circus is the biggest nothing ever. But oh my daughter, don’t ever compromise yourself. Fall in and out of love if you want. But when you’re ready to marry, to be a part of someone else’s life and have him share yours with you, be very selfish. You’ve got only one life that we know of, and you're choosing how - with whom - it’s going to be spent. Know, my darling. Be very sure of him and more so of yourself. Excerpt from the letter from my mother, Sally Dene Roos, August 19, 1957
At a time when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president and women's waistlines were accentuated by tight bodices and skirts hung below the knee, my mother, Sally, was engaged to marry one but in love with two different men.
In 1957, "a girl who gets as far as her junior year in college without having acquired a man is thought to be in grave danger of becoming an old maid," wrote Amherst College President Charles Cole, in Harpers. Fortunately, for many there's been a shift in mindset, in educational and professional opportunities.
"My roots are Victorian but I have been modernized by life and my children." Irma S. Rombauer, The Joy of Cooking, 1953, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. Publishers: Indianapolis - New York
"Marriage and the birth of children are the reasons almost all women leave the workforce before they are 35. Many have already left by the time they are 19. Probably because of the financial responsibilities of young couples, most young women who marry continue for a time with their jobs for every woman under 35 who quits immediately on marriage, three wait until their first child is born." Spotlight on Women in the United States, 1956-57, Department of Labor, Bureau of Women
"Abstention from or delay of marriage may have been a conscious choice for some women in the 1970s and 1980s, but it has now simply become a mass behavior."
All the Single Ladies, Unmarried Women and The Rise of An Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister, Simon & Schuster; Later prt. edition (March 1, 2016)2016
This is when Americans get married. BY NATHAN YAU
DATA VIZ In 2011, the median age at first marriage was an estimated 28.7 for men and 26.5 for women. In 1960, the median age at first marriage for both men and women was in their early 20s - to be precise, men at 22.8 years of age and women at 20.3. My mother was 22 and married, right on time, as per the numbers, in 1957. My daughter is 22 today.
As the median age at marriage is on the rise, the number of married households in the United States is on the decline. Census data cited in a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center show that the number of married households fell to 50.5 percent in 2012 from a high of about 72 percent in 1960. The size of each circle represents the percentage of married households over time.