Lots of comments at Pandagon about the slavery of patriarchal marriage and why, basically, there's absolutely no reason any woman would want to get married (I mean, Amanda stated that marriage is just a gigantic barrier to ditching one's partner when one is tired of him).
But I found this article which gives any number of reasons why marriage is better for raising children.
* Children living with their own married parents are more likely to be involved in literacy activities (such as being read to or learning to recognize letters) than are children from single-parent homes.
*Fourth grade students with married parents score higher on reading comprehension, compared to students living in stepfamilies, with single mothers, and in other types of families. Living in a single-parent family is linked with decreases in children’s math scores. Lack of income or other resources explains some, but not all, of the worse outcomes experienced by children from non-married parent families.
* Children growing up with non-intact families engage in more adolescent misbehavior, which harms grades and test scores. Family structure substantially influences outcomes such as high school dropout rates, high school graduation rates, and age at first pregnancy. For example, young people from non-intact families are significantly more likely to drop out of school, compared to students living in intact families.
* For young people, growing up without their own married parents is linked with lower college attendance rates and acceptance at less selective institutions.
* Young people, especially women, who grow up with their own married parents tend to marry later. Research has shown a link between delayed marriage and higher educational attainment among young women.
* Marital breakup is associated with a higher incidence of antisocial behavior in the classroom for boys. Children from homes headed by their own married parents have the fewest incidences of misbehavior at school.
& Family structure affects teenagers’ school attendance and tardiness. Students from non-intact families miss school, are tardy, and cut class about 30 percent more often than do students from intact homes.
* Teenagers from non-intact families are more likely to smoke, use drugs, and consume alcohol, even when controlling for important factors such as age, sex, race, and parent education.
* Teenagers from non-intact families are more likely to be sexually active.
* Teenagers from divorced single-mother homes are significantly more likely than teens in never-married single-mother homes to become pregnant.
It seems to me that studies like this one show that, far from simply being another lifestyle choice (and one which Amanda thinks is obviously an inferior one), marriage provides a healthier atmosphere in which to have and raise children.