The Case for Marriage
Why Married People are Happier, Healthier and Better Off Financially
Publication Date: October 9, 2001
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A groundbreaking look at marriage, one of the most basic and universal of all human institutions, which reveals the emotional, physical, economic, and sexual benefits that marriage brings to individuals and society as a whole.
The Case for Marriage is a critically important intervention in the national debate about the future of family. Based on the authoritative research of family sociologist Linda J. Waite, journalist Maggie Gallagher, and a number of other scholars, this book’s findings dramatically contradict the anti-marriage myths that have become the common sense of most Americans. Today a broad consensus holds that marriage is a bad deal for women, that divorce is better for children when parents are unhappy, and that marriage is essentially a private choice, not a public institution. Waite and Gallagher flatly contradict these assumptions, arguing instead that by a broad range of indices, marriage is actually better for you than being single or divorced– physically, materially, and spiritually. They contend that married people live longer, have better health, earn more money, accumulate more wealth, feel more fulfillment in their lives, enjoy more satisfying sexual relationships, and have happier and more successful children than those who remain single, cohabit, or get divorced.
The Case for Marriage combines clearheaded analysis, penetrating cultural criticism, and practical advice for strengthening the institution of marriage, and provides clear, essential guidelines for reestablishing marriage as the foundation for a healthy and happy society.
“A compelling defense of a sacred union. The Case for Marriage is well written and well argued, empirically rigorous and learned, practical and commonsensical.” -- William J. Bennett, author of The Book of Virtues
“Makes the absolutely critical point that marriage has been misrepresented and misunderstood.” -- The Wall Street Journal
Advance Praise for The Case for Marriage:
"In this book Maggie Gallagher and Linda Waite make a compelling defense of a sacred union. The Case for Marriage is well written and well argued, empirically rigorous and learned, practical and commonsensical. It is a very valuable contribution to the debate about marriage in modern American society."
-William J. Bennett, author of The Book of Virtues
"Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher have written a truly revolutionary book. Amassing powerful resources of data and theory, they attack the current anti-marriage conventional wisdom and devastate it. Married people are healthier, happier, more productive, and enjoy better sex. On reflection one wonders how anyone could have possibly thought otherwise. Future discussion of marriage and family will not be able to ignore this work, no matter how much the anti-marriage ideologues would like to."
-Reverend Andrew M. Greeley, priest, sociologist, and bestselling author
"This is an important book that makes the central arguments for marriage. In this cynical, high-divorce culture, this book is a MUST read for every citizen. We need to know the facts about what marriage does accomplish, and here, finally, are the facts, in understandable terms."
-John Gottman, author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work and Why Marriages Succeed or Fail
"Is marriage just another lifestyle choice? If you think so, read this book. You will be surprised at how much harm has been done by the popular culture's seemingly benign and well-meaning efforts to characterize all family forms as equally valid. It is time to start talking about the 'M' word and this book should spark the conversation."
-Isabel V. Sawhill, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute