In Virtue/Vice, Dr. Christine B. Whelan blogs about news, books, scientific and psychological research and her general musings about virtue and vice in our everyday lives.
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Virtues Big and Small
I usually write about news events and the latest research, but virtue is all around us — and our best chance of character development comes in our relationships with our families. So here’s your to-do list for the day:
(1) Check out this website:
A college friend recently sent me a link to For Your Marriage, a website run by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It’s been around since 2007, but recently received a design overhaul to attract more readers.
I instantly liked the site because the lead story cites research from author and journalist Tara Parker-Pope on the myth about the all-too-often-quoted statistic that 50% of marriages end in divorce. While that may have been true for marriages in the 1970s, the statistics are a lot more promising for couples — especially college-educated couples — getting married today.
(2) Remember this bit of cocktail party conversation:
Have a college degree? You’ve taken a big step toward a healthier, happier marriage: College graduates are less likely to divorce — and more specifically, families with highly educated mothers are half as likely to split, according to research by Steven P. Martin, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland. Looking at marriages that began between 1990 and 1994, Mr. Martin found that, of marriages in which the wife had a college education (or more), only 16.5% dissolved in the first 10 years, compared with 38% in which the wife had only a high-school diploma.
(3) Check out this website:
Think big families are a thing of the past? Think high-achieving women don’t want to be mothers? Think again. As I’ve written about many times before, well-educated women marry at the same rates as other women, tend to have more stable relationships – and, once married, are just as likely to be mothers. Living proof of this is a group of Catholic, Princeton educated women who are raising their families with grace and a wonderful sense of humor – and blog about it on their newly redesigned website, BuildingCathedrals. (One recent blog post is about the challenges — and importance — of reading together as a family.)
These women are living the virtue of commitment, love, patience, courage and perseverance day in and day out.
How’s that for some weekend inspiration?