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May 15, 2024

The American heart is closing to marriage and family. Can red states change that?

The American heart is closing. The signs, including dramatic drops in dating, marriage, and childbearing, are all around us.   The falling fortunes of marriage and family across the nation can be traced back to cultural shifts (e.g., elite messaging celebrating “me-first” over “family-first” thinking), economic changes (e.g., young men’s eroding position in today’s workforce), and technological shifts (e.g., the ways in which social media discourages…

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 18, 2024

Back from the brink: The intellectual tide is turning on marriage and civil society

The American experiment is in trouble. Deaths of despair — due to suicide, drugs or alcohol poisoning — have surged in recent years. Reports of happiness have plunged. Millions think the American dream is out of reach. Polarization in Washington goes from worse to worse. That’s the bad news. The good news is we are seeing more evidence that America’s…

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

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 16, 2024

Marriage is Key to Living Your Best Life

America is living in a time of rising anti-marriage sentiment. Voices on the political fringes—both left and right—claim that “there is no advantage to marriage in the Western world for a man” or that divorce is “liberating, pointing the way toward a different life that leaves everyone better off, including children.” Too many men and women, especially…

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

Want To Slash Your Risk For Divorce? Start Going To Church

Faith is bad for families.  That is often the message that comes out of our pop culture, corporate media, and social media. A Daily Beast headline tells us “Religious Kids are Jerks.” The Nation asks, “Is Conservative Christianity Bad for Marriage?” and offers this answer: “Research Says Yes.” Online influencers like Pearl Davis suggest Christianity does little to stabilize marriage. Put…

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,…