The Death of Eros

From the October 2017 Print Edition

Something strange is going on in America’s bedrooms. In a recent issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior, researchers reported that on average, Americans have sex about nine fewer times a year than they did in the late 1990s. The trend is most pronounced among the young. Controlling for age and . . . . Continue Reading »

Minecraft over Marriage

From Web Exclusives

I don’t often write book reviews, because it’s not often that this sociologist digests a readable academic book that begs wider discussion. Some books have compelling ideas that deserve promotion, but require too much slogging along the way to commend. Others seem too parochial to promote a wider reading. Still others deal too much in “dialogues,” “diasporas,” and “intersectionalities” ever to merit a second look. Continue Reading »

Public Chastity, Private Chaos

From Web Exclusives

Americans’ public and private lives are on a collision course. Our social system—the one we publicly engage daily—still unwittingly encourages and rewards chaste behavior (though perhaps not speech). Privately, our lives bespeak an emerging chaos, regardless of what we personally hold to be good or true or ideal. In other words, American life is becoming sexually bipolar. Continue Reading »

The Good-Enough Marriage

From Web Exclusives

I have a good marriage. Is it a great marriage? I don’t know. Do we squabble? Plenty. Do either of us feel shortchanged? With regularity. Might we be happier had we married other people twenty-one years ago? It’s certainly possible. Should I reconsider my marriage? Heavens no. Continue Reading »

The Pornographic Double-Bind

From Web Exclusives

Forty-three percent of American men (and 9 percent of women) now report using pornography within the past week. It’s not an adolescent thing, either, as data from the new Relationships in America survey reveals. For men, porn use peaks in their twenties and thirties before beginning to diminish slowly. Indeed, sixty-year-old men are only slightly less likely to have viewed pornography within the past week than men in their twenties and thirties. Continue Reading »

Diversity as Slogan and Reality

From Web Exclusives

There’s a mainline congregation I walk past on my way to the local Starbucks. The church’s advertising signals a key priority: “We value our inclusivity—whether you are young, old, gay, straight, single, married, partnered, all walks of life and all backgrounds and cultures—we welcome you!”There’s a mainline congregation I walk past on my way to the local Starbucks. The church’s advertising signals a key priority: “We value our inclusivity—whether you are young, old, gay, straight, single, married, partnered, all walks of life and all backgrounds and cultures—we welcome you!” Continue Reading »

Resurrecting the Dead in America

From Web Exclusives

Many Christians regularly recite the Apostle’s or Nicene Creed, recounting aloud beliefs they hold to be foundational. With the share of our neighbors that self-identify as agnostic, atheist, or simply “not religious” rising, repeating such creeds is an opportunity for Christians to reflect on just how odd some of our faith assertions really are. Admit it—there’s some strange stuff in there. Too strange, it turns out, for many of our peers, including some of the faithful. Continue Reading »