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Also, almost all of the responses were critical of the “ring by spring” culture. Tell me a little bit more about the scope of the survey and the limits of it. I created an anonymous online survey and sent the link out to my students and colleagues, requesting that they ask their students to complete the survey.[And yet] it seems to me that this culture is very prevalent. Anyone with the link on campus could respond; 171 people completed the survey, though not all of them answered all of the questions.Within the first couple of weeks of the school year, I had a number of female students come to my office saying that they were worried about graduating and moving on without having found their spouse.And we got into conversations about this “ring by spring” culture.However, not all students who feel pressured by outsiders to marry actually feel that they need to be married. Some of us are called to be married young, others of us later in life, and still others don’t have marriage in their life journey at all.
However, if we look closely at Scripture, we will see God honoring many different types of relationships for men and for women, not only married relationships.What were some of the biggest surprises of your study?One of the biggest surprises came when I saw the statistic that only 6 percent of the students in the survey actually expected to be engaged or married by the time they graduated.I suspect that students who have had close encounters with the culture are more likely to participate.That said, at least 67 percent of students said they feel at least a little bit of pressure to marry, and 15 percent of women students say they “definitely” feel pressured to marry.
In sociology, when we talk about “success” in a marriage, we’re basically talking about whether you get divorced or separated, and that’s very black and white.