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'The Case For Marriage' by Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher

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 Contents - Mar 2006AD2000 March 2006 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: The challenge facing Pope Benedict - Peter Westmore
Documents: Benedict's first encyclical 'Deus Caritas Est' speaks to the heart of the Faith - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Archbishop Hickey: how to address the crisis of faith - Archbishop Barry Hickey
Mass: How can differences over the Liturgy be resolved? - Fr John O'Neill
Liturgy: Eucharistic faith: why the Mass needs re-enchanting - Alvin F. Kimel Jr
Modernism: 'New Church' not true Church: what modernists believe - Pastor Remotus
Vocations: Dominican Sisters: religious vocations continue to rise in Nashville - Tracey Rowland
The distribution of Holy Communion past and present: an historical survey - Fr Sebastian Camilleri OFM
Media: Archbishop Hickey presents the Christian message on TV - Daniel Tobin
Letters: The Fortified School - Chris Hilder
Letters: The Eucharist - Jim Howe
Letters: Adore 2006 in Brisbane - Tim Wallace
Letters: New Age - Richard Congram
Letters: Intelligent Design - Peter Barnes
Letters: Canadian Lectionary - Matt Walton
Letters: St John Vianney - Maureen Wright
Letters: Guitars - John Daly
Letters: Elitism - Jeff Harvie
Letters: Relic of the '70s - Don Gaffney
Letters: Vaccines and abortion - Judy Law
Letters: Gender neutral - P.F. Gill
Books: 'The Case For Marriage' by Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher - Kerrie Allen (reviewer)
Books: Edith Stein Discovered: A Personal Portrait, by Pat Lyne OCDS - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: Black Robe And Tomahawk: Fr Pierre-Jean De Smet SJ (1801-1873) - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: Golden Priest, Wooden Chalice, by Fr Tim Norris - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: Stimulating reading from AD Books
Reflection: Bringing Christ's love to the bereaved: a ministry for Catholic parishes - Fr Dennis Byrnes

by Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher

(Broadway Books, 2000, 260pp, $29.90. Available from AD Books)

The Case for Marriage provides the solid research facts about why marriage is a social good, more than just sex - and why sex is better in marriage - and why marriage is good for men and women, as it is for children.

The authors examine one of the most powerful myths in society today that marriage is good for men but bad for women. This myth, promulgated by feminists since as far back as the 1960s, and still rife in our universities today, is that marriage is crippling and destructive to women.

The overwhelming evidence today, after allowing for the many variables, shows the contrary: marriage is good for women's health and also good for their emotional, sexual, physical and economic health. And it is the same for married men.

The old adage that women care more about marriage than men is also debunked. Researchers using a measure for personal dedication found men and women equally valued their spouse as the most important person in their lives and were both willing to sacrifice, invest and strive for their spouse's well-being.

While sex is a very important part of marriage, it is not (as with cohabitators) the defining characteristic of the relationship. When it comes to sex, rather than marriage being a "ball and chain" that dampens or ends one's sex life, married men and women report greater sexual satisfaction than cohabitating couples and singles.

Cohabiters (especially those who are not engaged) typically define their relationship in principle as sexually open, even if neither has plans to have sex with anyone else. Married couples on the other hand define their relationship as sexually exclusive.

Although cohabiters have as much sex as married couples, they do not report the same levels of satisfaction. According to Waite and Gallagher, the theory and research evidence suggests the secret ingredient which marriage adds to a better sex life is commitment.

Married people also benefit from economies of scale, with two living as cheaply as one. Although cohabiters argue they also benefit from economies of scale, the married are better off because they are usually more careful with their money due to their greater responsibilities.

Also, only couples who are committed to the institution of marriage, not simply to each other, feel safe enough to be able to trust their resources to one another.

As for why marriage is in trouble, the authors give a very good critique of the feminist analyses. They also look at supports for marriage, work and women, divorce laws in America, and how to restore young people's hopes in marriage.

Kerrie Allen is Research Officer for the Australian Family Association.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 2 (March 2006), p. 17

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