Monday, April 5, 2010

Marrying in the 1950's

"Marrying young was like getting to a sale on the first day. God knows what,
if anything, would be left if you waited until you were twenty-five or
-six." Mary Cantwell

                                                    image from Shorpy

"A New York Times article in 1955 stated that "Not so long ago girls were expelled from college for marrying; now girls feel hopeless if they haven't a marriage at least in sight by commencement time." *
                                                  image from Square America

In the 1950's, Society encouraged and, in effect, pressured women to marry young. Because of the well defined roles of the time, with a woman expected to serve as a homemaker and mother, it wasn't deemed necessary for her to pursue a college degree and start a career. *
                                                image from Square America
In the 50's many women went to college simply to find a fast tracking mate
who would become a good provider. *
                                                 image from Square America

Society benefited economically from a high marriage rate, because that led to an increase in home construction, furnishings, and inevitably production of family related goods. *

                                                      image from Square America
                                                      
Even Seventeen Magazine printed stories and ads about purchasing wedding dresses and bedroom furniture. Teenaged girls were eager to realize the fantasy of a white wedding, a new house, dreamy furnishings and state of the art appliances. Others felt pressured and obligated to do the same as "all the other girls".*

                                                 image from Square America

As the decade progressed, many women figuratively raced to the altar. They felt compelled to snag one of the good men quickly, before all of them were taken. *

                                             image from square america

Sex was also an issue. In the 1950's, premarital sex was considered sinful, while unprotected sexual intercourse, in an era before the birth control pill, was a gamble few unmarried couples were willing to take. *
image from Wedding Bee
Marraige offered the only acceptable opportunity for young lovers to consummate their relationships. Due to a combination
of all of these factors, nearly half of all american brides by 1959 were all under the age of nineteen.*
                                                                     image from Wedding Bee


*information from "The Fifties Chronicle"

7 comments:

  1. Love your music feature and new look. Great post. I can't imagine marrying that young. I suppose it has its advantages...kids are grown and gone and you'd still be youngsters.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh lord! I'm 30!! I guess its an old maid's life for me...at least I've been "around" a few times, LOL!

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  3. Yikes! Thank heavens things have changed.

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  4. I was married in Beverly Hills, CA on June 29, 1958. My husband and I "went together" for 5 years; we were 19 on our wedding day. I "mooned" over bridal magazines and used to write my" hoped for" future married name in my school notebooks. What an era. We will have been married 52 years this coming June.

    ReplyDelete
  5. thank goodness everyone is so repressed now they need to be within two years of each other's age so they can marry. Lol

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  6. they look so happy, maybe marriages were better in those times! http://bigessaywriter.com/blog/arranged-marriage-vs-love-marriage-essay-what-is-stronger answers what is stronger arranged or love marriage!

    ReplyDelete

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