Some 31 percent think that marriage is no longer relevant, while 71 percent say that couples marry too quickly without thinking about the move carefully enough, according to a poll released Tuesday.
A picture of a newlywed.
"This shift in attitude may be a testament to the fact that women feel liberated enough, sexually and socially, to not have towalk down the aisle, or it could be that today'scynicalattitude to almost everything has minimized marriage to anoutdated, over-romanticised practice," said psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, commenting on the poll.
Most recent official statistics show that the number of marriages annually in England and Wales fell from 351,973 in 1981 to 270,700 in 2004.
They add that 54 percent of men and 50 percent of women are married, while 10 percent of men and nine percent of women live together.
The poll also explores women's attitudes to work -- 70 percent of women feel pressure to earn as much money as men, while one in 10 said they would be unlikely to quit their jobs to look after children, even if they did not need the money.
It also revealed that older women were less inclined to think that marriage should mean one partner for life than younger ones.
"Older women are, in fact, more cynical when it comes to their views on marriage," Papadopoulos said.