Georgian Parents

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The FINANCIAL — If you’ve ever Google searched “children and marriage,” the first 10 hits read like this: “Marriage without children the key to bliss,” “Having Children Adds Stress to Marriage,” or “Do Children Make a Marriage Unhappy?”  Ask a Georgian, and there is a only a 1% chance the answer will be “yes.”


Central Europe and the Nordic countries have been becoming less and less traditional over the past 20 years, finding marriage and children less necessary than ever before.  Only 36% of Germans agreed that a man needs a child to be fulfilled, and the same number believe that “what a woman really wants is a home and children.  Amidst this large change in the attitude of many other European countries, Georgia stands as a bastion of the traditional desire for love and babies. 


If you read this column regularly, you’ll know that Georgian Opinion Research Business International participated in the last wave of the European Values Survey by conducting the Georgian portion of the decennial poll in 2008. We can see a Georgian contrast to most every other European country in this data, and can see a picture of the Georgian model for marriage.  Not only do Georgians believe that marriage is a very desirable, even essential part of life (only 4% of Georgians would agree that marriage is an outdated institution), they believe that a deep and unbreakable bond with children is a necessary part of it. 


86% of Georgians said that children are very important to a marriage, and 14 of the remaining 15 percent conceded they were “rather” important.  Compare this to our previous German example where 16% said children were not important. Further compare the portion of Germans who think men need children for fulfillment to the full 93% of Georgians who feel the same. 

See also  Time Shifting 


Two Way Street — Perhaps the largest contrast between Georgia and its neighbors, though, is the Georgian attitude toward the parent-child bond.  Most every Georgian believes that the tie between kids and their parents is unquestionable, and that it moves in both directions.  When asked if a parent must earn the love and respect of their children, Georgians as a nation scoffed.  96% said that children should always love and respect their parents, regardless of the situation.


When asked to choose between the statements “Parents’ duty is to do their best for their children even at the expense of their own well-being,” and “Parents have a life of their own and should not be asked to sacrifice their own well-being for the sake of their children,” 96% of Georgians agreed with the first.  When asked to describe their attitudes regarding a child’s duty to provide their parents long term care, 87% of Georgians chose to agree with the statement “Adult children have the duty to provide long-term care for their parents even at the expense of their own well-being.” Only 3% believe that a child should not have to undergo major sacrifice for their parents.


This attitude can be seen everywhere in Georgia, from the regular cohabitation of multiple generations to the frequency with which parents call their children, regardless of age.


1500 Georgians were included in this poll.  Surveys of this sort have a margin of error of 3.5% with a 95% confidence interval.



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