The acceptable age of marriage in the 1950s was much younger than it was today. By age 19, the average American woman would have been married or close to it. Many women started a family right away. It was thought that the nuclear family made America a stronger company and a woman's patriotic duty was to get married and have a family. Working women were often looked down on. It was thought that a woman should be in the home raising children. During this time period, young people wanted to be older. They want to be adults. Now days, most adults want to be children. Americans now take much longer to "grow up" and start a family. Couples are often encouraged to wait longer to marry. Many people want to start a career or experience more before they marry. Marriage is no longer seen as a necessity, but rather an option. Rather than 19, women are usually at least 26 and men around age 28 before they marry.