Why? Radio episode

Episode 35
"Philosophy of Marriage"
Stephanie Coontz

Originally broadcast: December 11, 2011




00:00/00:00


Is the “traditional” marriage between one man and one woman really the most preferred form of marriage? History suggests it is not. In addition to polygamy (the most valued, historically), there is also polyandry (one woman, many husbands), ghost marriages, “female husbands,” and many others, and almost none of them had anything to do with love. Join WHY? as we talk with Stephanie Coontz about her research on the history of marriage, family, and the moral systems that justify the choices.

Stephanie Coontz is the author Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage, The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap, and other books. She teaches history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. She also serves as Co-Chair and Director of Public Education at the Council on Contemporary Families, a non-profit, nonpartisan association of family researchers and practitioners based at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work has been featured in many newspapers such as The New York Times, as well as scholarly journals such as Journal of Marriage and Family, and she is frequently interviewed on national television and radio.

A selection of her writings and interviews can be found here.

For a free high-resolution poster advertising this episode, click here.

Please share your thoughts on this episode with other listeners:



New to the show or want to revisit old episodes?

Click here for our complete archive. Every show is available!


Or just start with one of these fan favorites. You'll love them!
(And, if you have a favoite that you think should be on the list, let us know.)


Clay Jenkinson interviews Jack Russell Weinstein "The Public Philosophy Experiment"

Hal Herzog "Love, Hate or Eat: How Humans Relate to Animals"

Mary Jo Bang "The Philosophy of Poetry"

Tony Kushner "A Conversation with a Playwrite"

Carol Gilligan "In a Different Voice and After"