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Everything We Think We Know About Love And Marriage Is Backwards

Courtesy Stephanie Coontz
Stephanie Coontz, marriage and family historian.


Stephanie Coontz is a marriage and family history expert at the Evergreen State College. She’s the author of many books on relationships and marriage, including “The Way We Never Were”. Coontz has spent decades studying the history of marriage and says most of the ideas we have about that institution are completely backwards.

In this conversation with Sound Effect producer Kevin Kniestedt, she started with one of the biggest myths of all: that traditional marriages rely on a man to support the family.

Coontz also shared how historically, marriages were not based on love, but on arrangements to benefit the family. Families from all classes were looking to improve their current situation, and by having their child marry in to a family of a greater status, they, in turn would benefit.

Coontz also shared some misconceptions about modern day relationships, as well as how parents have to return the focus to each other after the child has left the nest. She wraps up the conversation by sharing a moment where she applied some of her research to her own relationship.

Kevin began his career at KNKX in 2003, where his first responsibility was to eradicate the KNKX Jazz Library from all Smooth Jazz CD’s. Since then there is not much at KNKX he hasn’t done. Kevin has worked as a full time jazz host, news host, and has hosted, at least once, almost every single program on KNKX. Kevin currently produces 88.5's weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has conducted or produced hundreds of interviews, has won local and national awards for newscasts and commentary, and helped make the KNKX Grocery Tote famous.

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