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Marriage Matters: Perspectives on the Private and Public Importance of Marriage

4.0 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1412846073
ISBN-10: 1412846072
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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

From the Inside Flap

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.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers (March 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412846072
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412846073
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,615,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
How important is marriage and family to the overall fluidity and civilization of a society? This book is an excellent exploration of that topic with timely and well-documented facts. The very word "civilization" implies the values and social graces that are instilled in those who grow up in a stable and established family-centered society. This book provokes the reader to consider the importance of stable families on individual children as well as on society as a whole.
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Dr. Crouse has done extensive research in the writing of this book. As marriage is denigrated and redefined in our "progressive" society, we see the devastating effects on our children and on society in general. Each partner in a male/female marriage has unique characteristics that create the right environment for the rearing of healthy, well-adjusted children. Just because no marriage can achieve the exact formula to always do what is best is no reason to totally disregard marriage as an institution. If we continue down the path of the destruction of marriage our nation will lose its status in the world and will subsequently crumble into a weak and profligate shadow of its former greatness.
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Format: Hardcover
Crouse writes from a historical and Christian perspective, and her writing is backed by research. I found the book to be informative and very readable. Crouse is a gifted writer. It's sad to read a negative review of such a powerful book. Some people feel the need to criticize those with whom they disagree - which, of course, reflects negatively on the reviewer rather than the book and author.
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Format: Hardcover
Few authors are so thorough in presenting the social data that supports marriage and its many benefits for our society. More than mere opinion, the doctor presents a compelling case demonstrating why marriage is important for our culture and why supporting strong marriages is one of the most profitable investments we can do for our children and our children's children.
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse has done it again. I soak up her research for it's accuracy and authenticity. In "Marriage Matters", the social data is revealed to show the importance of one man, one woman lifelong commitment in society. I do wish she shared more of her own personal experiences, though, as a matriarch in the movement who has herself been married longer than many other authors writing books on the same topic.
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Format: Hardcover
Here's the problem: "Study after study...indicates conclusively that no other family structure produces such consistently positive outcomes as the married couple" (p 117).

What will be the consequences now that a majority of women under 30 are not married to their father of their children? Yes, a majority.

Yet we've spent the last 50 years tossing marriage out the window. The social repercussions are terrifying. It's causing a growing class divide, with the children raised by their married genetic parents going to and graduating from college, and forming an elite, prosperous class. The bottom half of the divide are the marriage losers: women who never married or who are divorced. Their children, especially the boys, research shows, are losers in life.

They grow up in chaotic households. They do poorly in school, and drop out too frequently. They have emotional problems, which, tragically, continue throughout their lives. They suffer in greatly disproportional numbers from drug abuse, alcohol abuse, promiscuity, lack of motivation, and failure in school and later in the job market. They commit suicide in far greater numbers than the happy upper class children of married parents. Over 80% of our prison population comes from this class. And, in catastrophic numbers compared to the era before 1950. they suffer more from being sexually and physically and emotionally abused.

The lower class has swallowed the enticing bait of what Crouse calls "the individualistic conception of marriage...marriage has gone from a sacred covenant with a legally binding contract...to a 'contract' that is more easily terminated...than most other contracts" (p 7).
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