The Case for Marriage and Why It’s Good For Us: Research Findings

By: Kristian Johnson

“Marriage has lost ground, has retreated the most, amongst working-class and poor Americans, and so what that means practically of course, both economically and socially, is that leaves poor and working-class adults and kids doubly disadvantaged.”  ~ Brad Wilcox

In a recent episode of his podcast, John Anderson sat down with Bradford Wilcox, Professor of Sociology and Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, and a Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, to discuss the state of the modern family in the West and the consequences of the breakdown of the traditional family unit.

Although this perspective may be an unpopular one today in a society housing a multiplicity of different family arrangements, his research shows that across most measurements – economic security, educational outcomes, family stability, health & prosperity etc. – people, especially children, living in traditional families with married biological parents on average fare better than the alternatives.

In the face of some contemporary assumptions about family and relationships, he demonstrates that married couples who have had fewer sexual partners before marrying, those who marry younger, those who don’t co-habit before getting married, and couples who share a strong faith commitment in a religious community, more often experience happier, more fulfilled and longer lasting marriages than those who don’t.

Professor Wilcox’s research has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Slate, National Review Online, NPR, NBC’s The Today Show where he has focused on marriage, fatherhood, and cohabitation, especially on the ways that family structure, civil society, and culture influence the quality and stability of family life in the United States and around the globe. He is the co-author of Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Love, and Marriage among African Americans and Latinos (Oxford, 2016).

John Anderson served as Deputy Prime Minister of Australia from 1999 to 2005. A committed Christian, John now hosts a podcast where he interviews various thought leaders from around the world on topics as varied as politics, culture, academia and faith. John is motivated by a desire to encourage open and honest discussion of important issues so that we can, as a society, reach the best possible outcomes for as many people as possible.

By Kristian Johnson

You can watch their full interview here.

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About the Author: Alec Bennetts is a writer working for John Anderson and his ‘Conversations’ series, and the ‘John Anderson Direct’ podcast.

Feature image: Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash