|Date||10/13/14 to 10/14/14|
|Location||Nittany Lion Inn - University Park, PA|
In her 1972 book, The Future of Marriage, Jesse Bernard argued that, within each relationship, there exist two marriages, namely his marriage and her marriage. In other words, Bernard explained, women and men have fundamentally different experiences in their shared relationship. Bernard’s review of the literature revealed that marriage had positive implications for men in domains ranging from employment and income to health and longevity, but that married women fared more poorly than both married men and single women. The institution of marriage would have a future, Bernard argued, but only if marriage relationships changed in ways that also supported women’s health and well-being.
Fifty years after Bernard’s volume was published we take stock of couple relationships—including how they have changed over this period of time. We also consider contemporary issues pertaining to gender in couple relationships, ranging from their structure—married, cohabiting, heterosexual and same sex unions—and their dynamics, including couple dynamics and parenting roles and their implications for men’s and women’s health and well-being. An issue we ponder throughout is the future of marriage, including whether and how social scientists can contribute to women’s and men’s ability to flourish in the context of what has been a fundamental social institution.
The 2014 Symposium on Family Issues is sponsored by Penn State's Population Research Institute, the Children, Youth, and Families Consortium, the Departments of Sociology, Psychology, Human Development & Family Studies, Anthropology, Biobehavioral Health, Labor Studies & Employee Relations, and the Prevention Research Center. The Symposium on Family Issues is sponsored annually by The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Book citation: McHale, S. M., King, V., Van Hook, J., & Booth, A. (Eds.). (2016). Gender and couple relationships. New York: Springer
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