The 1980s have been singled out as a decade dedicated to life, liberty and the pursuit of status, but when it comes to marriage, traditional values are what count, a survey says.
A survey by the market research firm R.H. Bruskin and Associates, conducted for Korbel Champagne, reported that 19 percent of men and 9 percent of women cited "loneliness" as a motivation for marriage.Twice as many men as women, 20 percent vs. 10 percent, said they would marry because they were "tired of being single."
"Our latest survey reveals that American men are tired of being single," said Marie Rama, director of weddings and entertaining for Korbel.
Respondents were asked to consider 29 different emotional, financial and psychological reasons that might weigh on their decision to wed. Reasons ranged from money, status and sexual compatibility to parental pressures and good looks.
Overwhelmingly, the No. 1 motivation to marry - cited by 92 percent of men and women, single and divorced, and by residents of every region in the nation - was simple, old-fashioned love.
"Contrary to what is often portrayed on television dramas, almost three-quarters of the population, 73.4 percent, thought that `money' was not an important motivation to marry," said Rama.
"We also discovered that other factors people may have assumed significant, such as `parental pressure' and `all my friends are getting married' were among the least important of the 29 variables listed. And apparently, almost none of the respondents would consider marrying for `business/professional reasons.' "
The survey results, in order of importance:
1. Love. With a 92 percent overall response, it was the overwhelming reason men and women cited for marriage.
2. Companionship. More men (80 percent) than women (74 percent) cited this as a motivation but overall, 77 percent of respondents agreed that companionship was important.
3. "I wanted to share my life with someone." Overall, this reason garnered a 73 percent response but regionally, more Southerners (76 percent) said this was a prime consideration.
4. Common values. This was cited as important by both men (62 percent) and women (68 percent) in all regions of the country and to all ages and income brackets.
5. Wanted a family. Slightly less than half (48 percent) of all respondents said "wanting a family" was their prime motivation. Interestingly, more men than women cited this, 50 percent vs. 46 percent.
6. Sexual compatibility. This reason earned a 47 percent response overall with more men than women citing its importance, 54 percent vs. 41 percent. However, half of all respondents from the West, 50 percent, cited this factor as a major marriage motivation.
7. Security. Cited as equally important by men and women, 36 percent and 37 percent respectively, and predictably, cited as less important by individuals earning $40,000 or more a year.
8. "Because he/she was the most romantic person I ever met." Overall, 34 percent cited romance as a factor. However, more men (40 percent) cited it as important, compared to 29 percent of women.
9. "Because it was time to settle down." Overall, 29 percent cited this as a motivation and again, more men than women considered it a prime reason, 36 percent vs. 23 percent.
10. Good looks. Cited by 24 percent overall as important, but in an interesting twist, it was cited as most important by men and women 65 years and older.