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Professor Brad Wilcox, University of Virginia & Institute for Family Studies

Christian Union New York invited Christian Union Alumni, CU New York participants, and friends of Christian Union to join us on May 31, 2022 at 7:30pm for a virtual forum with Professor Brad Wilcox.

Event Topic: Marriage rates are cratering. Fertility has fallen to its lowest level in history. The American family is in trouble. But the paradox is that marriage and family life matter more than ever in the 21st century. Men, women, and children in married families are much more likely to thrive socially, emotionally, and financially than their peers who don’t enjoy the safety and security of an intact family.

Professor Brad Wilcox of the University of Virginia and the Institute for Family Studies will explain how marriage and family matter more than ever today. He will also illustrate how technology, economic inequality, and social liberalism have all had a hand in our country’s turn away from the institutions of marriage and family life.

Event Summary: Professor Brad Wilcox explored a phenomenon in American culture of declining marriage rates that he defines as the marriage paradox. He explains that marriage matters more than ever because of the very cultural forces that have made it rarer: economic inequality, electronic opiates, the atomistic character of society, and social liberalism. Presenting valuable research and data from psychologists and sociologists, Professor Wilcox shed light on the intrinsic value of marriage to create strong, stable families, leading to increased success and happiness.

Surprisingly, though much of society abandons the pursuit of family to chase wealth and stability, the data actually reveals a substantial financial benefit of two parent homes, in addition to more expected outcomes like college graduation rates, emotional wellness, and other stability and success markers. He provides a framework explaining not only why marriage matters, but how we can take steps to encourage marriage in society. With five ideas to bridge the family divide marking our nation, attendees understood the weight of the importance of marriage and were empowered to reflect ways they can shine light on the matter in their own communities.