The State of Our Union

On December 29, 2019, Fieldstead and Company hosted this panel discussion on the current state of the institution of marriage in our heterogeneous contemporary cultural milieu. The three leading scholars, Dr. Aaron Kheriaty of UC Irvine, W. Bradford Wilcox, Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, and Mark Regnerus, professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, explored the various issues impacting the vision and meaning of contemporary marriage. Psychology, sociology, morality, consumerism and economics are just some of the factors that have been influencing the myriad of changes we have been observing, and continue to observe in this enduring institution. Carefully researched explanations are proffered as to why these changes have been taking place and continue to proliferate, as well as a presentation of the data that supports the various theories and conclusions made by these experts. Dr. Aaron Kheriaty is a UCI Health psychiatrist who specializes in adult psychiatry services. His clinical interests include general adult psychiatry, medical ethics and psychiatry and spirituality. Kheriaty earned his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. followed by an internship in psychiatry at UC Irvine Medical Center, where he also completed a residency in psychiatry. Kheriaty is the author of several books and articles for professional and lay audiences, and lectures regularly on topics related to psychiatry, social science, bioethics, and spirituality.  His work has been featured in publications, such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Orange County Register, The Huffington Post, CNN, NPR, NBC, CBS, First Things, National Review and Fusion. W. Bradford Wilcox is Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies. Professor Wilcox’s research has focused on marriage, fatherhood, and cohabitation, especially on the ways that family structure, civil society, and culture influence the quality and stability of family life in the United States and around the globe. Now, Dr. Wilcox is exploring the contribution that families make to the economic welfare of individuals and societies. He is also the coauthor of Gender and Parenthood: Biological and Social Scientific Perspectives (Columbia, 2013, with Kathleen Kovner Kline), and the author of Soft Patriarchs, New Men: How Christianity Shapes Fathers and Husbands (Chicago, 2004). Wilcox has published articles on marriage, cohabitation, parenting, and fatherhood in The American Sociological Review, Social Forces, The Journal of Marriage and Family and The Future of Children. Mark Regnerus is a professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin and a senior fellow at the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture. The author of three books from Oxford University Press and nearly 40 articles in peer-reviewed journals, his research and scholarly essays have appeared in media outlets as diverse as Slate and First Things. He and his wife Deeann have three children.

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