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In Partnership with Institute for Family Studies

The Closing of the American Heart: Why young adults are steering clear of marriage and family and what Washington can do about it

2237 Rayburn House Office Building

Marriage and fertility rates are cratering, hitting lows never seen before in America’s history. This means that a record share of today’s young adults will never marry and never have children. But the paradox is that marriage and family life matter more than ever in the 21st century. Men, women, and children in married families are much more likely to thrive socially, emotionally, and financially than their peers who don’t enjoy the safety and stability of a married family. University of Virginia Professor Brad Wilcox of the Institute for Family Studies and American Enterprise Institute will reveal what’s happening to marriage and family life, why these two institutions are losing ground, and what Washington can do to revive their fortunes in 21st-century America.

Brad Wilcox is Professor of Sociology and Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, Future of Freedom Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, and a nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. The author of Get Married: Why Americans Should Defy the Elites, Forge Strong Families and Save Civilization (Harper Collins, 2024), Wilcox studies marriage, fatherhood, and the impact of strong and stable families on men, women, and children.

Professor Wilcox is the author and coauthor of six books and has written for scientific journals such as The American Sociological Review and The Journal of Marriage and Family, as well as popular outlets like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and National Review.