For many Americans, healthy relationships are the foundations upon which they build happy and productive lives. Because of the central role that romantic relationships play in the lives of so many Americans, it is imperative that we undertake a systematic study of relationships to uncover those factors that make for thriving and flourishing relationships and families. We believe that flourishing families and relationships will lead to flourishing societies. On the other hand, faltering families and relationships have the potential to greatly deter personal and societal flourishing.

Although much more work needs to be done in this vitally important field, the Relationships in America project represents our attempt to paint an accurate portrait of American adults attitudes about religion, sexuality, and family life, as well as their behaviors in relationships, their experiences with abuse, and their desires for marriage and divorce. We looked at adults’ usage of pornography, and examined how many people have overlapping sexual relationships. Certainly there are many more topics that could be covered, but we believe we have created a broad overview of American family and religious life to contextualize much of the important research being done in the areas of marriage, family, sexual behavior, and religious practice.

We invite comments and discussion of our work, and would love to hear from you. We plan to continue the study of these and other topics.

Next: Appendix A: Survey Methodology
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