Christine Whelan

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Christine B. Whelan
Born(1977-07-05)July 5, 1977
ResidenceMadison, WI
Alma materPrinceton University, University of Oxford
EmployerUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
TitleClinical Professor of Consumer Science
Parent(s)Stephen Whelan, Elizabeth Whelan

Christine Barrett Whelan (born July 5, 1977) is a writer, journalist, and commentator. She is the author of two books about marriage, and two self-help books for young-adults. She is a clinical professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Early life[edit]

Whelan was born in New York City to attorney Stephen T. Whelan and Elizabeth M. Whelan, an author and public health specialist.[1]

At eight years old, Whelan was the moderator for "No Kidding," a nationally syndicated health talk show for kids, by kids, produced by the American Council on Science and Health.[2]


Whelan earned her undergraduate degree from Princeton University, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in Politics. Whelan subsequently was awarded the 1999 Daniel M. Sachs scholarship,[3] one of Princeton's highest honors, which enabled her to study at Worcester College, Oxford.[4] As a Sachs Scholar, she studied Economic and Social History at the University of Oxford, from which she earned her masters and doctorate.[5][6]

Academic and consulting roles[edit]

Whelan has held teaching positions in the Sociology department at the University of Iowa and in the Sociology and Politics departments at Princeton University.[2] In 2009 she accepted a position with the Sociology department at the University of Pittsburgh, where she taught until 2013. In 2013, she accepted a position with the Consumer Science department at the School of Human Ecology at University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she currently teaches and directs the Money, Relationships, and Equality (MORE).[7]

From 2013 to 2016, Whelan was a thought leader at the LifeReimagined Institute,[8] where she served as chief curator, advising on self-improvement strategies for life's transitions. She is on the board of SEEK Safely[9] and an outspoken advocate for the dissemination of research-based advice.


As an undergraduate, Whelan was editor-in-chief of The Daily Princetonian.[2] From 1997 through 2000, she interned at The Wall Street Journal in New York and Washington bureaus and in 2000 interned at The Washington Post.[5] In 2008, Whelan was awarded a Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowship.[10]

Whelan's writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal,[11] The New York Times, USA Today, National Review Online[12] and The Washington Post,[13] among other publications. From 2005-2010, she wrote a bi-weekly relationship advice column for Busted Halo[14] and contributed occasional pieces to The Huffington Post.[15]


Whelan's first book, Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women, was published by Simon & Schuster in October 2006. In the book, Whelan coined the term SWANS, which stands for Strong Women Achievers, No Spouse.

Intended in part as a response to Maureen Dowd's 2005 book Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide,[16] Whelan presented evidence contrary to the belief that an elite education and high income among women correlate with lower marriage rates.[17] Using Census Bureau statistics, a commissioned poll of 3,700 men and women ages 25 to 40[18] and personal interviews, Whelan showed that while the stereotype was valid among previous generations, today a higher income and education in fact increases a woman's marriage chances, and that high-achieving women simply marry later in life.[19]

Prior to conducting the research, Whelan originally intended for the book to be a pessimistic take on the marriage prospects of professional women, drawn from popular studies and personal experience. The book was initially conceived with the title Overqualified for Love.[20]

Whelan's second book, Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman's Guide to True Love, was published by Simon & Schuster on December 30, 2008.[2] Whelan's third book, Generation WTF: From “What the #%$&” to a Wise, Tenacious, and Fearless You, was published by Templeton Press in February 2011.[21] Whelan's fourth book, The Big Picture: A Guide to Finding Your Purpose in Life, was published in May 2016.[22]

Public appearances[edit]

Whelan has frequently appeared as an expert commentator on television news programs, including The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Good Morning America, and on national radio programs, including Iowa Public Radio,[23][24][25] Wisconsin Public Radio,[26] and the BBC[27] Whelan is a frequent featured speaker at public events and academic conferences.[28][29][30]


Whelan has three young children.[31]


  1. ^ "Christine Whelan, Peter Moyers". The New York Times. 2007-06-17. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  2. ^ a b c d "Dr. Christine B. Whelan". Retrieved 2010-10-28.
  3. ^ "Former Prince editor wins Sachs". Princeton Weekly Bulletin. 2006-09-26. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  4. ^ Fellowship in memory of Rhodes Scholar from Princeton, Daniel M. Sachs. See Other notable Sachs Scholars include Elena Kagan and Anne-Marie Slaughter.
  5. ^ a b "2000 Intern Bios". Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  6. ^ Clayton, Rachel (2006-09-26). "Marrying Up, Guys?". Today's Chicago Woman.
  7. ^ "About - Money+Relationships+Equality". Money+Relationships+Equality. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  8. ^ "Our Experts". Life Reimagined Institute. Life Reimagined. n.d. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  9. ^ "Board of Directors - SEEK Safely". SEEK Safely. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  10. ^ "2008 Fellows". Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowship in Science & Religion. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  11. ^ Whelan, Christine (2008-02-22). "Marrying Tradition and Modernity". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  12. ^ Whelan, Christine (2007-11-16). "Gentlemen Prefer Brains". National Review Online. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  13. ^ Whelan, Christine (2008-11-11). "It Isn't About the Trash Can". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  14. ^ "Dr. Christine B. Whelan". Busted Halo. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  15. ^ "Christine Whelan". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  16. ^ "Fear not, smart women". The Washington Times. 2006-11-15. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  17. ^ Allison, Julia (2006-10-23). "Gentlemen prefer brains?". amNew York.
  18. ^ "It Might be True That 'Men Marry Their Mothers'" (Press release). University of Iowa News Services. 2008-05-05. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  19. ^ Elliott, Tom (2006-11-12). "When Smart Equals Sexy". New York Post. Archived from the original on April 19, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  20. ^ Hobson, Katherine (2006-11-22). "Smart women do wed". Princeton Alumni Weekly. Princeton University. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  21. ^ Whelan, Christine B. (2011-02-04). Generation WTF: From What the #$%&! to a Wise, Tenacious, and Fearless You: Advice on How to Get There from Experts and WTFers Just Like You. West Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Press. ISBN 9781599473475.
  22. ^ Whelan, Christine B. (2016-05-23). The Big Picture: A guide to Finding Your Purpose in Life. S.l.: Templeton Press. ISBN 9781599474243.
  23. ^ Smith, Terence (1999-01-18). "Beyond the Beltway". The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. PBS. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  24. ^ "Dr. Christine B. Whelan". Good Morning America. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  25. ^ "KUNI: The Exchange". Iowa Public Radio. 2008-11-25. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  26. ^ "In A Barbie World: Barbie's New Look | Wisconsin Public Radio". Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  27. ^ "Self-help and Self-improvement, Thinking Allowed - BBC Radio 4". BBC. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  28. ^ "Upcoming Events". Hudson Union Club. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  29. ^ "Christine B. Whelan". Fox Speakers Forum. University of Pennsylvania. Archived from the original on May 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  30. ^ "Impact of the Individual, Power of the Network". Columbia Women in Business. Columbia University. 2007-02-23. Archived from the original on July 3, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  31. ^ "About | Christine B. Whelan". Retrieved 2016-02-28.

External links[edit]