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Hey, don't blame porn for low marriage rates!

A new report published this week in the Washington Post suggests that the surge in available, free porn over the Internet is a key reason for declining marriage rates in America.

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For the record, I really don't buy the premise. Sexual gratification really hasn't been a trigger for marriage for a long time. And if it were, no-strings-attached sex and prostitution would play a bigger role in that decline than porn.

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But the study is very much on the right track as it steers the conversation away from the conventional wisdom that blames the economy, student loans and other false targets for the decline in marriage and childbirth in America.

I think any discussion focusing on the U.S. economy that gets into the mainstream is a good thing for us. But facts and are facts, and the argument that marriage is down in America because of economic pressures on young people is just plain wrong.

And while porn isn't the reason for the drop, it's not too far off the mark because it is different human behaviors and what we accept as societal norms that are killing marriage in America.

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The biggest reason for the drop in marriage is the fact that, for better or for worse, society does not put as much pressure as it once did on couples to get married. That's true of couples who have been together for years, have kids, and lots of mutual property. It's even true of same-sex couples despite the generally successful push for marriage equality over the past decade.

Now, I don't think anyone should pressure anyone into an important decision like marriage or having kids. It really isn't anyone's business other than the members of the couple in question.

But I do think it's important to debunk some of the false information that so many people seem to be clinging to when it comes to these issues.

First off, the data is undeniable. Married people with kids and with strong church or synagogue affiliations are richer than single, childless, secular Americans.

Don't get me wrong, no one should get married, have a child or join a church in hopes of getting rich, but doing so won't necessarily make you poor despite the conventional "wisdom."

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We also hear a lot about how student loans are the problem. Apparently, young people with heavy student-loan debt don't want to get married to someone else who has a similar debt load or foist their debt problems on someone lucky enough not to have student loans. Seriously, I hear this one a lot.

The response to that is two-fold.

First and foremost I have to say this: If your boyfriend or girlfriend tells you they just can't marry you because of student loans, then they're just not that into you.

But secondly, staying single won't help you pay off your student loans any faster. In fact, when you factor in the shared savings married couples enjoy for housing, food, and other day-to-day expenses, it's likely even the costliest student loan burdens can be alleviated.

The same is true for the rest of the economic excuses for not getting married, including the "I'm still so emotionally scarred by the 2008 recession to fall in love" line we hear a lot too.

This brings us back to behaviors and what society is willing to accept in America today. And it's the acceptance of that changed behavior that fuels the results.

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Society is much more willing to accept people who are in an uncommitted, long-term relationships. And so, we have a lot more people in uncommitted, long-term relationships.

My parents didn't follow that trend. When I was dating my future wife for just three months, my family met her and the very next day my father made it clear that he would not accept any decision on my part to just continue dating without getting married. Now he didn't know that I was already quite ready to propose anyway, but I actually appreciated his message because it told me that he liked her a lot, too, and that he believed that married life would be a good thing for us both. I don't think he would have been receptive to any excuse I may have given to argue against marriage anyway.

And as far as I know, not too many people in any society are all that accepting of the, "I have enough porn, so I don't need to get married," excuse. But based on this new report, it looks like someone is trying to push it.

It's important to understand that all the other excuses out there for not marrying the right person are just as stupid.

The only good excuse for anyone not getting married has always been, and remains for all time, the fact that a person has not yet found the right other person to marry.

Everything else is just a smoke screen — or a naughty computer screen.

Commentary by Jake Novak, supervising producer of "Street Signs." Follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny.