Perspectives on the Private and Public Importance of Marriage
In Marriage Matters, Janice Shaw Crouse argues that marriage is a critical element in a free society and that society’s most vulnerable communities, especially minorities and the poor, suffer the most from the nation’s retreat from marriage. Crouse writes that marriage advances the public interest and we should create laws and policies that support rather than undermine it. She demonstrates both the public and private importance of marriage, and organizes her argument in a thoughtful and logical manner.
Compared to other household arrangements, Crouse observes, marriage is by far the best for raising children and offers financial advantages as well. Writing about bullying, Crouse shows how the trend away from marriage has lead to poor child-rearing and to some of the nation’s worst contemporary problems. In household arrangements with an absence of traditional fathers, the government has in some ways overtaken this role by creating social programs such as food stamps, Social Security, and Medicare. Social programs are but a small part of an effective solution.
The groundwork for strong marriages and lasting relationships is examined in detail. Crouse then discusses the role of sex in marriages and the harmful influence of casual sex. The second half of the work shows how marriage matters to individuals (specifically to women and children) and depicts same-sex marriage as a threat to the institution. Other public policy issues affecting marriage are also explored.
“Dr. Crouse has provided a must-read, fact-driven contribution to our understanding of the importance of marriage for the individual, the family, and society. It’s all here, laid out clearly and convincingly.”
—Barrett Duke, vice president for public policy and research, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
“Janice Crouse understands the direct connection between marriage and family and a free society. She also understands the deeper meanings of marriage and family which, in turn, define our human existence. In a day and age of unrepentant selfishness labeled ‘individual freedom,’ her worthy book, Marriage Matters, is a shining example of the best authentic conservatism has to offer today.”
—Paul T. Mero, Sutherland Institute
“Janice Crouse is brilliant and fascinating. Her research, writing, and presentations are excellent.”
—Ted Baehr, publisher, Movie Guide; producer, Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala & Report to the Entertainment Industry; president, Christian Film and Television Commission
“Marriage Matters is a wonderful weaving of how the private and the public, the intimate, and the commons are interdependent. The first chapters are a magnificent overview of the state of America’s families with all the public consequences, while the later chapters provide a natural pathway deep into the love that makes life (and society) work. Janice Crouse is a wonderful writer and one of the most informed scholars on the family. It is a great handbook for this national debate and, despite its complexity, is an easy read, for Crouse is a great practitioner of the rhetorical arts. Every family needs a copy.”
—Patrick F. Fagan, senior fellow and director, Marriage & Religion Research Institute