What is marriage? Many arguments are proffered as to why traditional marriage (between a man and a woman) needs to be defended. In the end, all arguments come down to the question, what is marriage, and does it matter? Do intact marriages have any different positive benefits for those involved (whether it is the individuals in the relationship or the children)? The Marriage and Religion Research Institute seeks to answer these questions by using the social sciences to show that there is clearly a difference between intact families and non-intact families.

There is overwhelming evidence supporting the numerous benefits that an intact married family provides. Children from intact families perform better in school, engage in less crime, and earn better incomes. For more on the benefits of marriage, see the "Does Family Structure Make a Difference?"