For many modern men, marriage is seen as an institution that, at best, stifles them or, at worst, sets them up for divorce, and as a result, financial and emotional ruin. But research coming out in recent years suggests that marriage actually offers a lot of benefits to men — from making more money, to having better sex, to enjoying a longer and healthier life.
Today on the podcast I talk to Brad Wilcox, a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, as well as the Director of the National Marriage Project. He’s spent his career researching the impact marriage has on people’s lives. Brad I discuss the effect marriage has on men, and why officially tying the knot actually makes a significant difference compared to being in a committed, non-married relationship. We also discuss what men can do to create a lasting marriage and the best age to get hitched.
We then shift gears to talk about his research on fatherhood, particularly the importance of fathers in a child’s life and the benefits men get themselves from being a dad.
Whether you’re already married and a dad, or thinking about popping the question, you’re going to find a lot of insights and surprising information in this podcast.
- The benefits that married men enjoy over non-married men
- How marriage improves a man’s career
- How marriage improves a man’s sex life
- The physical and mental health benefits of being married
- The differences between marriage and co-habitation
- The detriments to children that can present with unmarried parents
- How Hollywood and pop culture over-idealizes marriage
- Do you need to be financially stable to get married?
- Are there any qualities or attributes one should strive for before marriage?
- What can men do to foster a happy marriage?
- The importance of friends in marriage
- What do dads bring to parenting that mothers might not be able to?
- The benefits of roughhousing
- The benefits that children bestow onto their fathers
- Is there a right time to have kids?
- What’s the state of American fatherhood today compared to back in the 50s?
- What types of public policies can be implemented to encourage and help dads?
Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast
- Men and Marriage: Debunking the Ball and Chain Myth
- The National Marriage Project
- AoM’s “Marriage” archives
- My podcast interview with Dr. Meg Jay
- The Defining Decade by Meg Jay
- Why Marriage Matters by Brad Wilcox
- PSA: No Longer True That Half of Marriages End in Divorce
- This Is Us
- AoM’s “Personal Finance” archives
- The Surprising Benefits of Marrying Young
- Mark Sanford, ex-Governor of South Carolina
- The Importance of Roughhousing With Your Kids
- When Baby Makes Three report
- Reviving Blue Collar Work series
- The Institute for Family Studies
If you’re looking for research-backed insights on the benefits of marriage and fatherhood, head on over to the Institute for Family Studies and the National Marriage Project to read more of Brad’s writing. Also be sure to check out the brief the IFS put out debunking some of the myths about men and and marriage.
Connect With Brad Wilcox
Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)
Blue Apron. Blue Apron delivers all the fresh ingredients and chef-created recipes needed so you can cook meals at home like a pro. Get your first three meals FREE by visiting blueapron.com/MANLINESS.
And thanks to Creative Audio Lab in Tulsa, OK for editing our podcast!
Recorded on ClearCast.io.
Read the Transcript