Thousands of social science results indicate that a healthy, stable
and happy marriage is an optimal relationship for the psychological,
emotional and physical well being of adults and children. Functional
families are one of the strongest influences on the growth of human
competence, and mental and emotional well being.
At a time when marriage and family are under constant siege, Kevin
Andrews' thoroughly researched book provides a timely and telling case
for making the strengthening of these essential bedrocks of a healthy
society a number one priority.
Kevin Andrews highlights those factors which social scientists from
all over the world believe benefit or detract from marital success, and
examines the ways in which individuals, communities and governments can
help to create more successful marital unions.
Kevin Andrews has been a member of the Australian
Parliament since 1991. He has served as an Australian Cabinet Minister,
chairman of the Opposition Parties’ Policy Committee, and chairman of
the Parliamentary Committee that produced the report, To have and to hold – strategies to strengthen marriage and relationships.
He currently serves as the Shadow Minister for Families, Housing and
Human Services. He regularly writes in the media, publishes a policy
magazine, and has spoken at a series of international conferences. Kevin
is married to Margaret, and they have five children. Together with a
group of other couples, they founded the Marriage Education Programme in
1980. The Programme has provided pre and post marriage courses for more
than 20,000 people.
“Kevin Andrews has performed a real service with this engagingly
written, data-packed analysis of how changes in marriage and family
behavior are affecting children and society’s future. The sobering
picture he paints is relieved by the author’s determination to show that
cultural trends can and must be shifted in a more positive direction.”
Mary Ann Glendon is the Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard University.’
“This is a comprehensive and thoroughly documented book on why
marriage matters to adults and children. It will be the new bible for
those of us in the western world who need the citations for the latest
research and literature. Equally important are the practical and
relevant recommendations for policy and programs that Kevin Andrews has
put forth. I believe this will be the most important family book of the
Bill Coffin, Special Assistant for Marriage
Education, Administration for Children and Families, US. Department of
Health and Human Services (2002-2010)
“This is a reasoned and thoroughly documented
call to take the future of marriage as seriously as we take the future
of the economy, education, and health care. I have never seen the case
made better for marriage as a public good worth preserving and
promoting, and not just a personal life style. ‘Maybe I Do’ also has a
human touch, reflecting the author's many years as an educator of young
couples. It's a terrific contribution from a national leader.”
- William J. Doherty, Ph.D.,
is professor of Family Social Science, University of Minnesota, and
director of the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project. .
This is not your ordinary "policy" book written
by an active politician. Kevin Andrews' Maybe 'I Do' is a well crafted,
cogent, and remarkably thorough analysis of the social science research
on the importance of marriage to couples, their children, and society
as a whole. Accurately calling the breakdown of marriage, family, and
community the greatest threat to the Western world, Andrews ably
identifies public policies that could strengthen families in this 21st
Century. Concerned citizens, lawmakers, and scholars alike will greatly
benefit from this volume.
- Allan Carlson PhD
is the President, the Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society
and Founder and International Secretary, The World Congress of Families.
Andrews' clarion call for rebuilding a marriage
culture capable of sustaining humanity's most fundamental social
institution ought to be heard - and acted upon - throughout the western world.
- George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellows, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, D.C.
Kevin Andrews has produced a remarkable
analysis and “tour de force” of the voluminous research it’s necessary
to understand if we are to generate a balanced appreciation of the
complex and fundamental role that marriage plays in the lives of
individuals, institutions and society. Whatever our views and values
with respect to marriage, everyone who believes that we need, both as
individuals and societies, to make wise decisions concerning it should
read this book. Doing so leads to the conclusion that Andrews advocates:
that we need to do much more to support and protect marriage. This is
required, first, for the sake of children, who are the voiceless
citizens harmed, not just in childhood but throughout their lives, by
the demise of marriage. Second, in order to promote the well-being and
human flourishing of many adults. And, third, if we hope to pass on to
future generations shared values that will found societies in which
reasonable people would want to live. Marriage is part of the essence of
being human and we have obligations to hold that essence on trust for
- Margaret Somerville is the Samuel Gale Professor of Law, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.