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.
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 Equals.org, Making Sense of Marriage (9-min video)
Ryan Anderson for Focus, What is Marriage? (21-min video)
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)
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
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”
Loving Those with Same-Sex Attractions
Jordan Bunch, My Friendship with Brent Baily (8-min video)
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)
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)
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.
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.
Dear Katy, Know Your Worth (3-min video)
D.C. McAllister, “Stop Pretending Sex Never Hurts”
Anonymous, “Pregnant at Harvard?”
PrepMedia, Relationship DUI: Are you Sure You’re in Love? (4-min video)
W. Bradford Wilcox, “A Shaky Foundation for Families”
Katrina Fernandez, “Cohabitation is a Smack in the Face.”
Dear Katy, Sister’s Boyfriend Wants to Move In (3-min video)
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)
Communication in Marriage
Matthew Fray, “She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes by the Sink.”
MissFranJanSan via Jason W. Stevens, “Woman Realizes that She’s Been Accidentally Abusing her Husband this Whole Time.”
Richard Paul Evans, “How I Saved My Marriage”
Emily Esfahani Smith, “Science Says Lasting Relationships Come Down to 2 Basic Traits.”
Resource for finding a marriage counselor:
The Importance of Fatherhood
Alyssa Elhage, “How Marriage Makes Men Better Fathers”
Brett and Kate McKay, “The Importance of Fathers”
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)
The Beauty of Motherhood NEW!
Rachel Bock, “Why I Left Feminism”
Cecilia Royals, “Educating Youth to Champion the Family”
Diana Spaulding, “Motherhood Is: Being Brave Even When You’re Terrified”
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)
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)
Same-Sex Parenting Updated!
Humanum, The Cradle of Life and Love: A Mother and Father for the World’s Children The unique gifts of mothers and fathers (14-min video; choose English subtitles)
Katy Faust and Stacy Manning, “Same-Sex Parents: What Say the Kids?” (Excerpts from Them Before Us). NEW!
The Witherspoon Institute, “Marriage and the Public Good (2022)” Excerpts. Gives a brief footnoted overview of current studies on same–sex parenting. (This reading is available behind the leader login.)
Alana Newman, “What are the Rights of Donor-Conceived People?”
California Cryobank, Kids of Donor 5114 (9-min video)
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
Sex Ed in the Family
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.)
Sex Ed in the Schools Updated!
Family Watch International, The War on Children: Comprehensive Sexuality Education (10-min video)
The CanaVox State and International Leaders, “Sex and Gender Ideology in New Jersey’s K-12 Curriculum”
Optional: What Can Parents Do?
Dear Katy, Evaluating Sex Ed Curricula (3-min video)
Ana Samuel, “Rebel Parenting in an Age of LGBTQ Overreach”
Family Research Council, Cathy Ruse, “Sex Education in Public Schools: Sexualization of Children and LGBT Indoctrination.” (Focus on pages 18-28, “Sex Politics In The Halls, In History Class, On The Calendar, In The Library,” and pages 31-39, “Protect Your Children – And Your Rights!”)
Infographic on Differences between Sexual Risk Avoidance vs Sexual Risk Reduction Curricula (Leaders may consider printing this one-page summary to distribute at the meeting.)
Minnesota Family Council, “Responding to the Transgender Issue: Parent Resource Guide.”
Child and Parental Rights Campaign, “Navigating the Transgender Landscape School Resource Guide: Free Download.”
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:
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)
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)
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”
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)
Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria NEW!
Abigail Shrier, “Gender Ideology Run Amok”
Helena Kerschner, “By Any Other Name: The Story of My Transition and Detransition” NEW!
Abigail Shrier, “Irreversible Damage” Excerpts, (Suggestions for parents to respond to the phenomenon of rising ROGD in teen girls)
Helena Kerschner, “Parent Question: Communicating With Someone Who Is Indoctrinated” NEW!
Compassionate Responses to Infertility
BuzzFeed, Women Openly Share What It Feels Like to be Told You Can’t Have Kids (4-min video)
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”
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
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)
Communication in Marriage: Sexual IntimacyNEW!
CanaVox, “CanaVox, Conversation Guidelines for Communication in Marriage Sexual Intimacy (2022)” (This reading may be found behind the leader login.)
Michele Weiner-Davis, The Sex-Starved Marriage (17-min video)
CanaVox, “CanaVox, The Art of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage (2022)” (This reading may be found behind the leader login.)
Dear Katy, Too Tired (3-min video)
Project Manhood, Sexual Intimacy in Marriage (3-min video)
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)
I Lived on Parker Avenue (30-min video)
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)
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.