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In the first full-scale comparison of married and single life, Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher convincingly argue that marriage increases mental and physical health. They draw on their own research and the research of leading scholars to present compelling evidence that those who are married suffer fewer psychological and emotional illnesses, are less likely to develop physical disabilities, and are prone to living longer lives than those who are single. Married couples, as opposed to those who are merely cohabitating, are also more likely to amass wealth.
"Backed by both qualitative and quantitative research (many from large, nationally representative samples), Waite (sociology, Chicago) and Gallagher (Institute of American Values) counter current American marriage myths by presenting some compelling and thought-provoking points as to why marriage is more beneficial to individuals than divorce or cohabitation....Clearly written, easy to read, and thought-provoking, this book should be a useful addition to many undergraduate or graduate courses and to courses directed toward family practitioners."—ALA CHOICE Magazine
“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
"...the Waite/Gallagher book has instigated a great deal of learning. And I shall be using it again....The Waite/Gallagher book provides a solid delineation of the evidence for why marriage is an important institution."—Dr. Brian G. Gilmartin, Psychology, Montana State University—Northern
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. The Marriage Wars: Five Myths of the Postmarriage Culture; 2. The Marriage Bargain; 3. The Cohabitation Deal; 4. In Sickness and in Health: The Medical Power of Marriage; 5. Happily Ever After?: Marriage, Happiness, and Mental Health; 6. With My Body I Thee Worship: The Sexual Advantages of Marriage; 7. The Wages of Wedlock; 8. For Richer or for Poorer: The Wealth and Poverty of Spouses; 9. Being Fruitful: Why Married Parents Are Better; 10. When Should Parents Part?; 11. Is Marriage a Hitting License?; 12. Is Her Marriage Really Worse than His?; 13. Why Is Marriage in Trouble?; 14. Renewing Marriage; Appendix, Notes; Bibliography; Index