Despite a mounting body of research showing that high rates of divorce and out-of-wedlock births pose serious threats to the well-being of children, mainline Protestantism has had remarkably little to say in recent years about the nature, health and prospects of the family. We now know that, in all socioeconomic groups, children raised outside of intact two-parent families are significantly more likely than their peers to drop out of high school, end up in prison and experience serious psychological distress. This research has sparked a growing movement on behalf of marriage supported by religious and secular organizations committed to helping families.
W. Bradford Wilcox is director of the National Marriage Project and an associate professor of sociology at the University of Virginia. He was a fellow at the Center for Research on Child Wellbeing at Princeton University.