Stephanie Coontz

Stephanie Coontz, the director of Research and Public Education for the Council on Contemporary Families, teaches history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. She is the
author of Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage and
The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap.

Recent Articles

Marriage, Poverty, and Public Policy

Marriage, Poverty, and Public Policy
A Discussion Paper from the Council on Contemporary Families
Prepared for the Fifth Annual CCF Conference, April 26-28, 2002
by Stephanie Coontz and Nancy Folbre

Nostalgia as Ideology

The more I listen to debates over whether we
should promote marriage,
the more I am reminded of one of my father's favorite sayings: "If wishes were
horses, then beggars would ride." Yes, kids raised by married parents do better,
on average, than kids raised in divorced- or single-parent homes. Yes, the
long-term commitment of marriage confers economic, emotional, and even health
benefits on adults as well. Certainly, we should remove marriage disincentives
from government programs -- 16 states, for instance, still discriminate against
married couples in welfare policy. We should expand health coverage to include
"couples counseling" for all who wish it. With better support systems, we may be