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Hello! For many years I’ve edited the blog MarriageDebate, which started as a project of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy. Over the years the purpose of the blog shifted, to the point where I’m now bringing it over to First Things with the title “Kinship and Culture.” Posts to the blog also will be appearing on “First Thoughts,” the magazine’s primary blog.

I try to truffle up unexpected or thought-provoking articles on issues relating to marriage, family, gender, and kinship; you can go over to the original site to see what kinds of things tend to interest me. Note that links aren’t endorsements! They’re things I think ask good questions, serve as indicators of where we are culturally, or restate important problems. I will try to cover a broad range of topics, but there are definitely recurring themes, like “emerging adulthood,” friendship, and the effects of the economic crisis.

If you want to know where I’m coming from personally on these issues, here’s a piece I wrote on counseling at a pregnancy center; one on the problems with a culture of fear of divorce; all the posts on my old personal blog tagged “marriage”; and all the “marriage” posts on my new blog.

Here’s your first link, from the New York Times’s parenting blog.

“This is not about advice for women,” the University of Akron sociologist Adrianne M. Frech said of her latest research, which showed that women who work steadily full-time after the birth of their first child report better physical health than women who don’t.

Dr. Frech and her co-author, Sarah Damaske, considered nearly 30 years of data provided by 2,540 mothers as participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Youth. They sorted the women into four mutually exclusive work pathways: “steadily working women, women who pulled back from full-time work following the first birth, women with repeated bouts of unemployment while attempting to work full-time — interrupted work careers — and stay-at-home mothers who did not work for pay and did not seek work.”

They found that the steadily working mothers were relatively advantaged before giving birth to their first children, and that the advantages, at least in the area of the women’s mental and physical health, did not just continue as they reached age 40, but increased (even when the researchers controlled for other variables). “It’s not just that they were advantaged before,” Dr. Frech said. “Even when you remove all the statistical noise, there are apparently added advantages from work.


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