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May 13, 2024

Do Mothers Have “Societal Support”? Does It Count if It Comes from Neighbors?

It is an annual tradition, for some reason, for folks on social media to dump all over Mother’s Day. Some on the fringe decide it’s sexist or cisnormative or something to believe only women can be mothers or that mothers are special. The abortion lobby hates the idea that womanhood is associated with motherhood. But last year, I stumbled across an anti-Mother’s…

May 1, 2024

The closing of the American heart

In the late 1990s, I began my study of marriage and family as a graduate student at Princeton University “for the sake of the children.” Then, I was concerned that our nation’s retreat from this core institution since the 1960s was harming children. And at that point, the share of children residing with their married,…

April 23, 2024

Awkward Truth: Subsidizing Women’s Work Drives Down Birthrates

Birthrates are low and falling in the United States, and commentators and policymakers are starting to realize this is a problem. It’s tempting to assume that this is about affordability: People aren’t getting married and having children because they can’t afford it! This is partly true, and so it’s partly true that we can drive up birthrates by giving money…

March 8, 2024

Jason Kelce, Family Man

In his tear-filled farewell speech, Jason Kelce brought his 13-year NFL career to a close by underlining what really mattered in life: marriage and family. The longtime Philadelphia Eagles player, who made the NFL Pro Bowl in each of the last five seasons after getting married to his wife, Kylie, in 2018, said in his retirement speech:  It’s…

March 4, 2024

Teen Suicide and the Limits of Sociology

“No one, it appears, was free to just parent as they wanted to parent—free of the web of social ties that both gave their lives meaning and set firm constraints around expected behaviors.” This observation from a new book about the town of Poplar Grove—the fictional name for a real, wealthy community where there have…

March 4, 2024

As the family goes, so goes the state. Utah gets this

When it comes to realizing the nation’s most important ideals — from the American dream to the “pursuit of happiness” — Utah has a well-deserved reputation for leading out. The state has a pioneering record when it comes to maximizing the odds that poor kids make it in America and that its citizenry is happy. And the research…

March 4, 2024

The state of the union isn’t strong because of the state of our unions

Thomas Jefferson, the nation’s third president, is justly famous for underlining the importance of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” for our new nation in the Declaration of Independence. But as we close in on the forty-sixth president’s 2024 State of the Union address in less than a week, we must face this fact:…

February 15, 2024

Sacred Sex

A Sociologist of Religion on Protestants, Porn, and the ‘Purity Industrial Complex’”—so read the title of a recent New Yorker interview in which Isaac Chotiner asked sociologist Samuel Perry about the nexus between religion, pornography, and marriage among evangelical Protestants. You can probably guess how the Christian faith came off in this mainstream media outlet. Not well.   The New Yorker interview left…

February 14, 2024

Valentine’s Day Marred By Loneliness Crisis

This Valentine’s Day, the news is awash with stories of loneliness and atomisation among adults across the West. Though clinical attention has focused on this brewing crisis, the remedies are often misplaced. Last year, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory on this new national problem, which was exacerbated by the Covid lockdowns. Following his appointment to the…

February 14, 2024

Why You Should Get Married

Isn’t marriage a trap, mostly for men? Don’t most married couples end up getting divorced? And aren’t most men happier when they’re single?  These are the kind of questions I get from young men whenever I make the case for marriage at speaking events at colleges and high schools across the nation—recently in North Carolina,…