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Divorce can be disastrous. But where children are involved never getting married is far worse (Daily Mail)

    CPS Research Fellow continues her series blogging for the Daily Mail's Right Minds blog. 

    To read the full article at Right Minds, click here

    "An open letter to Sir Paul Coleridge.

    Sir Paul,

    I salute you.

    I have nothing but admiration for your standing up, speaking out and lambasting contemporary casual attitudes to marriage, divorce and birth out of wedlock.

    Like you I am sure that all three, plus cohabitation break up and multiple partnering, are part and parcel of the same meltdown; that the attitudes and values driving their statistics stem from the sex revolution and the birth of the 'me' generation.

    Unlike you though, I see the disappearance of marriage, not divorce, as the critical problem.

    Societies can live with divorce- ­ just as they have lived with infidelity.

    But the comparative sociology of marriage tells us we jettison it at our peril.  Across its various forms and rules it is a human universal and with good reason. Marriage everywhere is the bridge between affinal and kin relationships ­ a bond integral to the functioning and survival of human society.  It defines social relationships, social and economic responsibilities. 

    It establishes genealogical connections and confers 'belonging' and social identity. It prevents incest ­ now more prevalent in our underclass than we know (something of deep concern to the more thoughtful of our politicians and social workers). No other set of relationships or connections ­ whether through friendship, work, sport or volunteering - replicate the function of marriage. The state certainly cannot ­ the failure of communism demonstrated that."

    Date added: Monday 9th January 2012