Pro Reading List

We’ve carefully curated this list of readings and videos to encourage great discussions in your reading group—pulling together up-to-date academic research and inspiring stories from the front lines of real life. If you have any trouble accessing any essays or videos, please let us know.

Session 1

On the Meaning of Marriage

Ryan Anderson, “Men, Women, and Children: The Truth About Marriage” (Ch. 1 of Truth Overruled. This reading may be found behind the leader login. Leaders, please download and email this reading as an attachment to your reading group.)

Alliance Defending Freedom, Katy Faust’s Story (7-min video)

CanaVox, “Handout on the Meaning of Marriage” (3-page summary) (This reading may be found behind the leader login. Leaders, please download and email this reading as an attachment to your reading group.)

Marriage, Making Sense of Marriage (9-min video)



Ryan Anderson for Focus, What is Marriage? (21-min video)

Session 2

Friendship and Marriage

Angela McKay Knobel, “Aristotle, True Friendship, and the ‘Soulmate’ View of Marriage”

New York Times, A Marriage to Remember Story about Alzheimer’s in marriage (8-min video)


Pick One:

Kate Lee, “I didn’t marry my soul mate.” Personal story of the joys of having married a good person–even when there were no fireworks in the beginning

Mandy Len Catron, “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This.” How friendship arises from conversational intimacy and can give rise to love

Session 3

Same-Sex Attraction

Katy Faust and Ana Samuel, “Understanding Same-Sex Attraction” (This reading may be found behind the leader login.)

D.C. McAllister, “How to Stop Sexualizing Everything”

Reintegrative Therapy, Free to Love Movie (start at minute 2:48; 35 mins total)


Optional 2nd Session on Same-Sex Attraction:

CanaVox, “Expert Answers to the Hardest Questions about Same-Sex Attraction” (This reading may be found behind the leader login.) 

Ron Belgau, “My Alternative Lifestyle”

Session 4

Loving Those with Same-Sex Attractions

NPR Staff, “Attracted To Men, Pastor Feels Called To Marriage With A Woman.”

Jordan Bunch, My Friendship with Brent Baily (8-min video)

Richard Evans, “Befriending Those With Same-Sex Attraction: One Celibate Man’s View”

Dear Katy, Loving Family Despite Lifestyle Differences (3-min video)

Dear Katy, Invited to a Same-Sex Wedding (3-min video)



Katherine Adams, Voices of Hope Story from a woman with a gay brother and gay husband in the LDS community (video)

Blackstone Films, The Third Way: Homosexuality and the Catholic Church Personal stories of individuals with same-sex attraction who are Catholic (38-min video)

Session 5


Humanum, A Hidden Sweetness: The Power of Marriage Amid Hardship (12-min video; choose English subtitles)

Ryan at The Marriage Ecosystem, “Divorce Never Ends For Children.”

W. Bradford Wilcox, “The Evolution of Divorce”

Dear Katy, Breaking the Divorce Cycle (3-min video)


Pick One:

Huffington Post/BuzzFeed, When My Parents Got Divorced (3-min video)

Pía Orellana G, “Back Together After a Breakup” A Chilean couple tells the story of why they divorced and then got back together again.

Session 6

The Hook-Up Culture

The Austin Institute, The Economics of Sex (10-min video)

Jennifer Joyner, “I thought Casual Sex Would be Empowering, but it was the Opposite.” Heads Up: Some of this material is sexually graphic.

John Prather, “Waiting for Sex: An Honest Look at the Price of Patience”

Dear Katy, Know Your Worth (3-min video)


Pick One:

D.C. McAllister, “Stop Pretending Sex Never Hurts”

Anonymous, “Pregnant at Harvard?”

Session 8

Marital Fidelity

C. S. Lewis, Excerpts from Mere Christianity, “On Marriage” (This reading may be found behind the leader login. Leaders, please download and email this reading as an attachment to your reading group.)

Judith, S, “Mexican Marriage Heroes” Story about fidelity in marriage amid bipolar depression

Esther Perel, Rethinking Infidelity: A Talk for Anyone Who Ever Loved (20-min TED talk)

Session 10

The Importance of Fatherhood

Alyssa Elhage, “How Marriage Makes Men Better Fathers”

Brett and Kate McKay, “The Importance of Fathers”

Meg Meeker, “What Dads Can Learn from Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Acceptance Speech”

WeKnowMemes, A Kid in the Air as the Father Sees It​ (Photo)

Dear Katy, Dad Hates My Boyfriend (3-min video)



Jonathan Last, “A Dad’s Life”

Correctional Officer Calvin Williams, The Importance of Fathers (5-min video)

Session 11

Same-Sex Marriage

Humanum, Marriage, Culture and Civil Society (17-min video; choose English subtitles)

Ryan Anderson, “Marriage Matters, and Redefining It has Social Costs.”

Dear Katy, Invited to a Same-Sex Wedding (3-min video)


Pick One:

Katy Faust, “Dear Justice Kennedy: An Open Letter from the Child of a Loving Gay Parent”

Janna Darnelle, “Breaking the Silence: Redefining Marriage Hurts Women Like Me.” A woman’s husband comes out as gay and leaves her

Dr. Jacqueline C. Rivers, Marriage and the Black Family On the importance of one-man-one-woman marriage for the Black American community and its children (14-min video)

Session 13

Donor-Conceived Children

Alana Newman, “What are the Rights of Donor-Conceived People?”

California Cryobank, Kids of Donor 5114 (9-min video)

Natasha Pyper, “An Open Letter to a Father, from the Daughter You Left Behind”

Dear Katy, Sperm Bank Daddy (3-min video)



Institute for American Values, “My Daddy’s Name is Donor: 15 conclusions from the Social Sciences” Pp. 7-14.

Anonymous Us Personal testimonies of donor-conceived kids

Session 14

Sex Ed in the Family

CanaVox Moms, “Tips for Talking to Your Child about Sex: The Elementary School YearsThe Middle School Years and The High School Years.” Also available on Amazon 

Dear Katy, Tough Conversations with Kids (3-min video)



Miriam Grossman, M.D., You’re Teaching My Child What? Ch.3 (Downloadable behind the leader login.)

Session 16


Morgan Bennett, “The New Narcotic” Documents the addictive effects of pornography on the brain

Ran Gavrieli, Why I Stopped Watching Porn (15-min TED talk video) Heads up: some of the material is explicit, especially from min 2:50-4:30.

Fight The New Drug, “Get Help: Don’t Fight this Alone.” General resource


Optional for Husbands/Wives:

Anonymous, “If You Don’t Believe that Porn hurts Relationships, You Need to Read My Story.”

Covenant Eyes, Pornography Statistics Pages 11-18 for porn use among married couples, teens and kids; and pages 20-21, which discuss use among Christians and pastors


Optional For Parents/Children:

Dear Katy, My Son Found Porn (3-min video)

Abby Moore, “The Day My Kid Found Hardcore Porn on His Phone”

LDS365, What Should I Do When I see Pornography? For child audiences; to help teach them to be on the lookout for bad pictures and know how to protect themselves (5-min video)

Session 17

Transgender Identity

Paul McHugh, “Transgenderism: A Pathogenic Meme” A Johns Hopkins psychiatrist explains why it was a mistake to allow sex reassignment surgery at his hospital.

Lindsay Leigh Bentley, “I am Ryland: The Story of a Male-Identifying little Girl who Didn’t Transition”

American College of Pediatricians, “Gender Ideology Harms Children”

Walt Heyer, “Here’s What Parents of Transgender Kids Need to Know”

Dear Katy, Transgender Talking Points for Kids (3-min video)



Dr. Ana Samuel, Sex, Gender and Identity (38-min video; can be screened during reading group)

Session 18

Compassionate Responses to Infertility

BuzzFeed, Women Openly Share What It Feels Like to be Told You Can’t Have Kids (4-min video)

CanaVox, “Ethical Dilemmas of Assisted Reproductive Technology”

Garance Dore, “Late Bloomer” (Heads up: This essay has one unfortunate use of foul language.)

Dr. Gavin Puthoff, Mercy Clinic Fertility Services, NaPro Technology Benefits (2-min video explaining the NaPro Technology approach to infertility)

Mary Beth Cormier, “How Our Marriage Overcame our Struggle With Infertility”



Dear Katy, Risks of IVF (4-min video)

Rachel Gurevich, “What Not To Do When Supporting an Infertile Friend”

Session 19


Google Baby (3.5-min video) This trailer shows the reality of the global surrogacy industry. India has since made its laws more restrictive, but this is a picture of how the industry operates in other poor countries.

Adeline Allen, “Surrogacy, Love, and Flourishing”

Linzie Janis and Chris Murphy, “I felt Like Someone Who Sold My Child: When Women Regret Being Surrogates” (7-min video and text) Personal testimony of a surrogate with commentary

Katy Faust, “Yes Surrogacy is Wrong, Even when Straight Couples Do It.” Highlights the issues from the perspective of the child


Pick One:

Kajsa Ekis Ekman, “All surrogacy is exploitation – the world should follow Sweden’s ban.” Explanation of the reasons why Sweden banned surrogacy and a discussion of so-called altruistic surrogacy

Ross Douthat, “The Handmaids of Capitalism”


For Further Information:

Center for Bioethics and Culture, State by State Surrogacy Laws  (Inform yourself of your state’s position on surrogacy.)

Center for Bioethics and Culture, “Three Things You Should Know About Surrogacy Facts about risks to mother, costs to children, cost to society, all in one page with footnotes (like the fine print of a medical procedure)

Session 20

Sexual Intimacy

Michele Weiner-Davis, The Sex-Starved Marriage (17-min video)

Ashley Crouch, “Dr. Gary Chapman Explains the 5 Love Languages.”



Dear Katy, Too Tired (3-min video)

Session 21


Christopher Tollefsen, “Couples Who Adopt are ‘Real Parents'” (Excerpts)

Lesli Johnson, “10 Things Adoptees Want You to Know”

Katy Faust, “Third Party Reproduction vs. Adoption: There’s a Big Difference” (text) or Audio Recording (14-min podcast)


Pick One:

I Lived on Parker Avenue (30-min video)

Sarah Spain, “Runs in the Family” (15-min reading) and How a Biological Son Found his Family (5-min video)

Session 22

Religious Liberty

Ryan Anderson, What is Religious Freedom? (2-min video)

The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, “Religious Freedom: A Conversation with Rick Warren, Robert P. George and John DiIulio” (Excerpts)

The Heritage Foundation, “What You Need to Know About Religious Freedom: Questions & Answers Driving the Debate”



The Witherspoon Institute Task Force on International Religious Freedom, Religious Freedom: Why Now? Defending an Embattled Human Right, Ch.1 (Text) or Audio Recording (min. 31:32 – 54:39)

Session 23

The Magnificence of Marriage

Humanum, The Destiny of Humanity: On the Meaning of Marriage (16-min video; choose English subtitles)

Doug Mainwaring, “Your Marriage: You Have No Idea of the Good You Are Doing”

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, The Love that Brings New Life Into the World The former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom traces seven key moments in the world’s history of marriage. (31-min video)

Raise Spirits! Start a Group

Want to invite certain marriage-supporters-in-hiding to your living room? CanaVox reading groups provide brain food for thought and encouragement to the weary, so you and your friends can support each other in the exquisite truth about marriage. Rekindle some hope in your neighborhood.