Monthly Archives: January 2010

You’re Invited to TLR’s “Rethinking Sex” Conference

“Do what feels right.”

“Just be yourself.”

These are the most common pieces of advice young adults receive when approaching relationships. Casual sexual relationships dominate the dating scene, break-ups and heartbreaks abound, marriages dissolve, and young adults struggle to know where to learn the skills needed to build healthy, stable relationships.
We recognize a great need among young men and women for practical education on how to build and sustain healthy, stable, and meaningful relationships.

“Rethinking Sex: Building Healthy Relationships in a Hook-up World” aims to inform and educate young adults about how to approach interpersonal relationships in a healthy and meaningful way, with an eye towards laying a foundation for strong marriages in the future.

The conference will feature an outstanding line-up of prestigious psychologists ready to share their expertise. The sessions will focus on what the psychological sciences and clinical research have to teach us about human intimacy, love, mate selection, and friendship and the relationship skills needed to find success in these areas.

Conference Schedule

Saturday, FEBRUARY 6, 2010
9:30 am Check-in

10:30 am – Welcome & Opening Remarks: Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, Institute for Marital Healing

11:00 am – How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk (or Jerkette)

Dr. John Van Epp, author and founder of loveThinks

12:30 pm – Lunch Break

1:30 pm – Intimacy, Romantic Love, and Conflict: Practical Suggestions for Single College Students

Dr. Arthur Nielsen, Northwestern University

3:00 pm – Break

3:15 pm – Hooking In, Not Hooking Up: Friendship and Intimacy as the Foundation for Fidelity and Strong Marriages

Dr. Linda Malone-Colon, Hampton University

4:45 pm – Closing Remarks: Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons

RSVP online. Harvard students do not need to pay the registration fee.

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Economy, Gender, and Marriage

The Pew Research Center recently released a report on the shifting economic characteristics of marriage in the United States. As women receive more education and make strides in the job market, the dynamics of the institution of marriage have changed, leading to fewer marriages, and more couples in which the wife supports the husband, or both spouses mutually contribute to the household income.

This shift has also resulted in a transformation of gender roles in the family. A greater number of husbands, historically the breadwinners, leave the workforce for the home. Since the mother is working, the father must take on greater domestic responsibilities.

There are several positive effects of this change. Fathers now take on greater responsibility for their children and housework. Parenting, and the marriage itself, is popularly accepted as a partnership rather than a hierarchy. This shift is correlated with intellectual equality between and compatibility of spouses. On the other hand, however, it must be acknowledged that it has led to difficulties in establishing the roles of each partner. As pointed out in a New York Times article on the Pew results, 

“With women taking on more earning and men taking on more caring, there’s a lot of shifting and juggling,” said Andrea Doucet, a sociology professor at Carleton University in Ottawa. Her study, the Bread and Roses Project, tracks couples in the United States and Canada in which women are the primary breadwinners. But the dynamic is “not as easy as you’d think it would be,” she said. “You can’t just reverse the genders.”

Families adjust the traditional norms that guided past generations. The article notes that many couples find it difficult to relegate their traditional role to the spouse of opposite sex. This can lead to stress in the relationship, and some evidence suggests that it has a negative effect on the husband’s health.

While this shift works for some couples, gender role reversal is not going to solve the problems of marital inequality or disunity for the larger population. Rather, we would do well to emphasize the power and value of the institution of marriage, in which husband and wife work together in the building and maintenance of a family and a household.

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Two New Websites for Promoting Women’s Dignity

There are two powerful new websites taking on the battle for women’s dignity.  One is more geared for women, demandyourdignity.com, and the other is meant to recruit more men for the cause, battleforlove.com.  I especially like the flashy graphics on the Demand your Dignity website, which convey the dangerous extremity of pop culture’s attitude toward women.  If you’ve ever thought “Cosmo is pretty harmless” or “Porn doesn’t change how men think about women,” you need to see the features on this site!

Check them out and post them on your Facebook or Twitter:

demandyourdignity.com

battleforlove.com

RETHINKING SEX CONFERENCE

RETHINKING SEX – register now for our regional conference in Boston

“Just do what feels right.”

While this common suggestion may be offered with the best of intentions, young adults receive very little truly helpful or constructive practical education about how to approach their relationships. Casual sexual relationships dominate the dating scene, break-ups and heartbreaks abound, marriages dissolve, and young adults struggle to find a good model from which to learn the qualities of a healthy romance. In such an environment, there is a great need among young men and women for practical education on how to build and sustain healthy, stable, and meaningful relationships.

Co-hosted by Harvard University’s True Love Revolution and Love and Fidelity Network, our first regional conference, “Rethinking Sex: Building Healthy Relationships in a Hook-up World”, aims to meet this need. The one-day regional conference, to be held at Harvard University on February 6th, will feature an outstanding line-up of psychologists ready to share what their field has to teach us about human intimacy, love, mate selection, and friendship. Ultimately, their presentations will help educate young men and women in the relationship skills needed to find success in these areas.

Cosponsored by: The Anscombe Society at Princeton University, Rodzinka at Columbia University, and True Love Revolution at Providence College

Please register online as soon as possible!

Community members and non-students are welcome.