As divorce rates in the United States reach alarming levels, the institution of marriage receives more and more criticism as an unrealistic endeavor. However, the contributors to this volume view marriage as a vital social institution, not merely one kind of intimate relationship. They argue for stronger support through legal and policy reform in order to strengthen for the benefit of individuals, communities, and the nation. The contributors address hot-button issues such as same-sex marriage, effects of divorce on children, and the role of fathers in addition to issues such as the permanence of marriage, covenant marriage, and the role of religion in marriage. This work brings together the work of respected legal scholars and social scientists, who articulate why we should care about strengthening the institution of marriage, what we can do, and what challenges we face.
Despite dramatic social change, marriage remains a critical social institution that promotes individual, family and community well being. The contributors to this book believe that marriage deserves our best efforts to revitalize it instead of a conscious agenda of benign neglect. Here, assembled in one place, is a clear pro-marriage research and policy agenda aimed at revitalizing this insitution based on principles of the best interests of children, husbands and wives, and society at large. Contributors from both the social sciences and legal studies illuminate critical issues from a variety of important perspectives, providing a comprehensive and respectful treatment of a timely and often divisive subject.