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MARRI (www.marri.us) is dedicated to collating and synthesizing social science research on sexuality, marriage, family, and religion. MARRI's mission is to explore the foundational premise that the intact married family that worships God weekly yields the most benefits to individuals, couples, families, communities, and nations on all outcomes measured.
MARRI synthesizes and translates social science data so that it is intelligible to the lay reader, while remaining faithful to the norms of social science. The purpose of MARRI is to let the data do the talking. As MARRI director Dr. Pat Fagan states, "The social sciences well done cannot but illustrate the way God made man." MARRI hopes to influence social discourse in a positive direction by delivering the power of robust social science findings to families, churches, schools, and other "people-forming" institutions, as well as to government officials and journalists.
Article originally appeared in
MARRI contributes to the public discourse in in three ways: through Marripedia, through its synthesis papers, and through its own original research.
Marripedia, available at marripedia.org, is an online social-science encyclopedia that consolidates the work of many social scientists into concise, issue-specific entries. As critical research emerges, MARRI adds the data into new or existing entries. The numerous cross-links within Marripedia entries illustrate the interconnectedness of marriage and family, religious practice, educational attainment, economic well-being, and physical and mental health. Launched at the 2015 World Congress of Families IX, Marripedia brings research previously buried in scholarly journals within easy reach of the layman.
MARRI's synthesis work knits hundreds of peer-reviewed publications into comprehensive overview articles on such topics as: "The Benefits of Religious Worship," "The Effects of Pornography on Individuals, Marriage, Family and Community," "Induced Abortion and Breast Cancer," "The Effects of Divorce on Children," and "The Effects of Adoption." These articles form the basis of many Marripedia entries, and are frequently further condensed into one-page briefs.
MARRI's own original research draws upon federal surveys, such as the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health, the National Survey of Family Growth, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, and the American Community Survey, to produce clear and concise overviews of a given subject. For example, the Mapping America Project—a simple demographic mapping of the intersection between family structure, religious life, and various behaviors and outcomes—is a one-to-two-page snapshot of the American family.
MARRI also releases an annual index on Family Belonging and Rejection, measured according to the proportion of adolescents raised in intact married households versus non-intact households. This index is accompanied by a special report, such as "The State of the Black Family" or "Family Intactness and Public Policy Outcomes by State."
Finally, MARRI uses its original research to compile and publish issue-specific reports. The titles of some recent publications are: "Abortion: Decrease of the U.S. Population & Effects on Society," "Our Fiscal Crisis: We Cannot Tax, Spend, and Borrow Enough to Substitute for Marriage," and "U.S. Social Policy Dependence on the Family." MARRI has also published original research on same-sex parenting outcomes.
MARRI encourages open and cordial debate on the different findings of social-science research in the areas of sexuality, marriage, family, and religious practice. It is through such open and fair-minded exchange of differences that clearer understanding emerges. We welcome all to MARRI and Marripedia, and hope readers find it a useful resource. •
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