We are living in the first decade during which married couples constitute less than half of all homes, so a fake marriage proposal and rejection staged by a minor league baseball team pales in comparison to a half century of mockery that has caused Americans to flee marriage.
The prank that drew the intended 600,000 views on YouTube in and of itself is not a major event, of course.
The problem is simply how flippantly marriage is laughed off in general. The proposal and vow between a man and a woman was acknowledged as so central to raising children in a society that 78 percent of homes were of married couples in 1950, compared to only 48 percent today.
The replacement of the revered proposal and wedding scene by the image of silly baseball stadium proposals that horrify the pretend bride simply add to the long list of Hollywood images of clueless parents.
While the modern view that marriage is simply a matter of any two people entering a contract for as long as both perceive it helps them rather than a “for better or worse, until death do us part,” does have ramifications.
During the decline of marriage, studies have shown that young males without fathers are twice as likely to engage in crime. Only 13 percent of juvenile delinquents come from families in which the mother and father are married to each other compared to 33 percent from divorces homes and 44 percent in homes where the parents never married. (see summary of studies here)
Youth in fatherless homes are much more likely to commit suicide (63 percent of cases), have behavioral disorders (85 percent of cases) and drop out of high school (71 percent of cases).
Sometimes the decisions people made to do something a certain way for thousands of years (traditional marriage) turns out to really have its benefits over the latest ideas (silly proposals, marriages without openness to children).