PROF. JENKINS: My message to college students: Get married, have children

That will be good for you, as multiple studies show married people are happier than single folks. It’s good for children, who tend to thrive in a stable home with a married mom and dad.

Rob Jenkins is a Higher Education Fellow with Campus Reform and a tenured associate professor of English at Georgia State University - Perimeter College. In a career spanning more than three decades at five different institutions, he has served as a head men’s basketball coach, an athletic director, a department chair, and an academic dean, as well as a faculty member. Jenkins' opinions are his own and do not represent those of his employer.


These days, getting married and having a family is a radical act—especially if you’re young. 

That hasn’t always been the case. Once upon a time, it was common for young men and women to meet in college, fall in love, and get married—sometimes even before they graduated, as my wife and I did almost 40 years ago. 

Nowadays, except perhaps at a handful of religious institutions, that’s extremely rare.  

This is due in part to an overall, population-wide shift in mating behavior. In the U.S., the average marriage age for men has risen to 31, while for women it’s 29.  

But that’s not the only reason. In recent years, the Left—which of course dominates college campuses—has nursed a growing antipathy toward “traditional marriage,” otherwise known as “marriage,” along with its natural by-product: the family.  

For example, during its heyday as a media darling and campus fad, before being exposed as hypocritical and corrupt, Black Lives Matter openly called for the “disruption” of the nuclear family. They eventually removed that language from their website due to backlash.

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But the agenda hasn’t changed. Leftist professors have argued for years that children pose a threat to the environment. Just last month, Campus Reform covered a talk at the University of Massachusetts by sociologist Sophie Lewis, author of Abolish the Family, who claims that the fundamental unit of society is racist and sexist. 

And then there’s the grossly mis-named “Respect for Marriage Act,” recently signed into law amid much rainbow-themed hoopla by President Biden. It should really be called the “Redefining Marriage Act,” because that’s what it does.  

The problem is, when you broaden the definition to include relationships that are not at least potentially procreative, you negate the very characteristic that made marriage distinctive in the first place.  

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It’s like redefining “woman”: If a word no longer denotes something specific, then it ultimately denotes nothing at all. 

In any case, the Left clearly does not want you to get married, at least not in the way men and women have done for millennia, not just for “love” but for the purpose of starting a family.  

They definitely do not want you starting a family. 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that if leftists want you to do something, you should probably run—and if they don’t want you to do something, your best course of action is almost certainly to engage in that activity as quickly and with as much enthusiasm as possible. 

So get radical. Reject hook-up culture in favor of finding Mr. or Ms. Right. Quit worrying about whether you can afford to get married or how it might affect your career. Set a date. Exchange vows. Build a life together. Have a bunch of kids. 

That will be good for you, as multiple studies show married people are happier than single folks. It’s good for children, who tend to thrive in a stable home with a married mom and dad.  

It’s also good for society, provided you teach your kids traditional values. As I wrote in Family Man: The Art of Surviving Domestic Tranquility, “the best thing [people] can do is to raise [their] children to be good citizens.” 

But most satisfying of all, perhaps, will be the knowledge that you will be more fulfilled. 


Editorials and op-eds reflect the opinion of the authors and not necessarily that of Campus Reform or the Leadership Institute.