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Analysis and Comment (20)

Celebrity couple Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announced a split after 10 years of marriage. Celebrity couple Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announced a split after 10 years of marriage. EPA/Britta Pedersen & Jose Coelho

The science of romance – can we predict a breakup?

Oscar winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin seemed to have the perfect marriage until their “conscious uncoupling” earlier this year. Was the split destined to happen? What…
Pale grey slashed chiffon dress designed by Gareth Pugh, veil by Stephen Jones. Pale grey slashed chiffon dress designed by Gareth Pugh, veil by Stephen Jones. © Amy Gwatkin

The wedding dress: from Queen Victoria to the heights of fashion

Queen Victoria, writing in her journal on the day of her wedding to Prince Albert, noted: Slept well & breakfasted at 1⁄2p. 9, before which Mama came, bringing me a nosegay of orange flowers … Had…
Couple risk getting caught by the tide. Couple risk getting caught by the tide. Vicki & Chuck Rogers

Common-law marriage myth highlights desperate need for reform

Your common-law wife and husband do not exist. Next month will see the latest stage in the latest attempt to improve the legal standing for people that live together but choose not to marry. With nearly…
Recent cases show Australia is not immune to forced marriage practices. Recent cases show Australia is not immune to forced marriage practices. Anti-slavery Australia.

Putting an end to forced marriage in Australia

According to Human Rights Watch, 14 million girls are married, worldwide, each year - with some as young as eight or nine. While early and forced marriage appears most prevalent in countries of Africa…
ALP powerbroker Paul Howes has called on the party to enforce a binding vote to support same-sex marriage. But where does it fit in with the narrative of gay rights in Australia? ALP powerbroker Paul Howes has called on the party to enforce a binding vote to support same-sex marriage. But where does it fit in with the narrative of gay rights in Australia? AAP/Dave Hunt

Questions of conscience? The ALP, gay rights and same-sex marriage

Suddenly, it seems the Right faction of the Australian Labor Party has embraced gay causes - or as we now say, LGBTI ones. On the campaign trail for the party leadership, Bill Shorten floated the idea…
Next stop: tax break? Next stop: tax break? Phil Hawksworth

There is no evidence the marriage tax break will work

Restoring the tax break for married couples has long been a Conservative Party commitment, and one they now intend to pursue this autumn. The outgoing Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, has now – from a non-party…
Ronnie and Jo Wood pre silver separation. Ronnie and Jo Wood pre silver separation. Sean Dempsey/PA

Silver separation could be a headache for women

Longer and healthier lives mean more married couples in their 60s are spying the possibility of second chances. Office for National Statistics figures released yesterday suggest the trend for “silver separators…
You are the one, lemur. Stay with me. You are the one, lemur. Stay with me. Tambako The Jaguar

Why mammals prefer to have just one sexual partner

While people cheating on their partners is frowned upon in modern society, monogamy among mammals is something of an evolutionary puzzle. Some stick to one sexual partner for a lifetime. That is why the…
Love is still a modern goal, and its connection with individual freedom, agency and autonomy makes it a difficult idea to reject. Love is still a modern goal, and its connection with individual freedom, agency and autonomy makes it a difficult idea to reject. Peetje2

Does same-sex marriage necessarily mean ‘radical love’?

Earlier this year, Byron Bay mayor Simon Richardson announced that he wants his council to pass a motion recognising same-sex marriage and to set up a “love park”. That the theme of the park is love rather…
Debates over family and marriage would be improved if researchers relaxed the search for scientific truth. Debates over family and marriage would be improved if researchers relaxed the search for scientific truth. paloetic

Research won’t settle debates about marriage and family life

How would you react if you opened tomorrow’s newspaper and were met with the headline, “Children of sole parents more likely to be abused”? If you’re socially conservative, you may feel affirmed in your…
After inflammatory comments by Liberal MP Cory Bernardi, tensions ran high in parliament about the issue of marriage equality. After inflammatory comments by Liberal MP Cory Bernardi, tensions ran high in parliament about the issue of marriage equality. AAP

The flawed logic of Bernardi’s slippery slope – why not marry a corporation?

Having characterised advocacy for same-sex marriage as part of an attack on “our enduring institutions”, Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi has warned that recognising same sex relationships through marriage…
Cory Bernardi making his now infamous comments on gay marriage in the Australian Senate last night. Cory Bernardi making his now infamous comments on gay marriage in the Australian Senate last night. ABC News

Bernardi slips down the political slope with bestial comments on marriage

South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi’s comments about gay marriage have caused an uproar. Today he was forced to step down from his position as parliamentary secretary to Tony Abbott. But are they representative…
A bride should not have to submit to her groom. A bride should not have to submit to her groom. Potatojunkie

Marriage really matters, Archbishop? Then stop denigrating mine

It’s not often I find myself agreeing with Archbishop Peter Jensen. But his latest foray into the public space was right about at least one thing: it’s time for a serious, grown-up discussion about the…
A JC Penny ad in the USA depicting a gay couple with children. A JC Penny ad in the USA depicting a gay couple with children. flickr/Freedom to Marry

Marriage is best for raising children … that’s why we need marriage equality

The Sydney Morning Herald recently published an opinion piece by Patrick Parkinson titled About time we all cared more about marriage, in which he argued that allowing same-sex couples to marry will diminish…
Partnerships may be changing, but Australians are still getting married. Partnerships may be changing, but Australians are still getting married. dawvon

Australian census: for better or worse, marriage persists

AUSTRALIA BY NUMBERS: The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the first batch of its census data. We’ve asked some of the country’s top demographers and statisticians to crunch the numbers on…
Questions of cuckoldry and fidelity have always existed – and comfort has come from religious customs. Questions of cuckoldry and fidelity have always existed – and comfort has come from religious customs. More Good Foundation

In the name of the father: the links between religion and paternity

Religious leaders and holy texts share deep preoccupations with sex and reproduction. From Islamic purdah to Jewish menstrual purity laws, to Vatican neuroses about everything from contraception to masturbating…
Sydney protesters rally for marriage equality (March 2012). Sydney protesters rally for marriage equality (March 2012).

Marriage equality and same-sex parenting in Australia

A group of 150 doctors, called Doctors for the Family, have made a submission to the Senate inquiry into gay marriage which argues that children of same-sex parents suffer poorer health and well-being…
Gay couples in Canberra earlier this year to discuss gay marriage with the Prime Minister. Gay couples in Canberra earlier this year to discuss gay marriage with the Prime Minister. AAP

Doctors for the Family see some Australians as more equal than others

George Orwell’s mordant satire of politics and bureaucratic doublespeak famously featured the slogan that “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”. Watching the brouhaha about…
Married people are less likely to commit crime. Married people are less likely to commit crime. Flickr/Marcus Hansson

Marriage helps reduce crime

More than half of all murders in Australia involve family members. The majority of them are committed by men who kill their partners. Here, as in many other countries, violence in the home is a major social…
As standards of living have improved, marriage rates have dropped. As standards of living have improved, marriage rates have dropped. limpinglemur

Hell’s bells: why marriage gets hard when things get easy

It’s the sort of news conservative politicians and commentators latch on to as a sure-fire sign that the end of civilisation is nigh: marriage rates are in continuing decline. But is this really such a…

Research and News (1)

Research Briefs (9)

Dad’s duty: kids and chores

Husbands have been given two secrets for a blissful marriage: engage with children and do household chores, a study has found…

Divorce rate linked to first time

Women who had sex for the first time as young teens are more likely to get divorced than those who waited until later, according…