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Analysis and Comment (22)

The extraordinary synod of bishops on family is meeting for two weeks at the Vatican. EPA/L'Osservatore Romano

Pope sets off a ‘gay earthquake’? No, the church has hardly moved

A report of debate from the first half of the extraordinary synod of Catholic bishops meeting in Rome has been described as a “pastoral earthquake” and a “seismic shift in Rome” for praising gay relationships…
Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews believes couples counselling will ultimately save Australia money. Lukas Coch/AAP

Cost of love: will subsidising couples counselling actually work?

Social services minister Kevin Andrews claims his A$20 million Stronger Relationships Trial will save the government money in the long run by reducing family breakdown. But will it work? The trial, which…
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. © 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…
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? 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…
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. 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. 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. 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…
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. 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…
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. 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…