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June 13, 2024

Why Married Fathers Matter

The eighth grade girls cleaned up at the middle school graduation I attended last week. Of the four major awards, three went to girls, and just one to a boy. This pattern is all too typical in American life today. Two-thirds of high school students in the top 10% are girls, while boys dominate the…

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…

March 31, 2024

Can Local Journalism Be Saved?

American local journalism is withering away. Between 2004 and 2019, reports Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, the country lost more than 2,000 newspapers, with the total number falling by about one-fourth, from 9,000 to 6,700. The decline bodes ill for democracy. Americans rely on local governments to provide basic public services, on voters to hold…

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…

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,…

February 7, 2024

To Save Local Journalism, Update The Public Broadcasting Act

During his time as the U.S. ambassador to France, Thomas Jefferson wrote that if he faced a choice between “a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” Jefferson would be disappointed with today’s trends. Increasingly, we are seeing government without newspapers, especially at the local level, where…