W. Bradford Wilcox

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W. Bradford Wilcox
Born William Bradford Wilcox
Fields Sociology
Institutions University of Virginia
Alma mater University of Virginia (B.A. 1992), Princeton University (Ph.D. 2001)

William Bradford Wilcox (born 1970) is an associate professor of sociology and the director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia. He is also a senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies,[1] and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.[2]


Wilcox has a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. He held research fellowships at Princeton University, Yale University, and the Brookings Institution before joining the faculty of the University of Virginia, where he is an associate professor and director of graduate studies. His sociological research centers on marriage, fatherhood, and cohabitation, particularly on how family structure, civil society, and culture affect the quality and stability of family life, and the ways families shape the economic outcomes of individuals and societies. He teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on statistics, family, and religion.[3]


Wilcox has authored and edited several books, and published numerous articles on marriage, fatherhood, parenting, and religion. His work has appeared in such leading academic journals as The American Sociological Review, Social Forces,[4] and The Journal of Marriage and Family.[5] His latest book, Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Love, & Marriage among African Americans and Latinos (with coauthor Nicholas Wolfinger) was published by Oxford University Press in 2016. His first book, Soft Patriarchs and New Men: How Christianity Shapes Fathers and Husbands, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2004. In addition, Wilcox has co-edited two books: Gender and Parenthood: Biological and Social Scientific Perspectives (with Kathleen Kovner Kline, Columbia University Press, 2013) and Whither the Child? Causes and Consequences of Low Fertility (with Eric Kaufmann, Paradigm Press, 2013).

He has published articles in more popular venues as well, such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Review, and The Weekly Standard. As director of the National Marriage Project, Wilcox also oversees the publication of an annual report on marriage in America, entitled The State of Our Unions.[6]

In the Media[edit]

Wilcox’s research on marriage, religion, and family life has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, Slate, Huffington Post,[7] National Review Online, National Journal,[8] National Public Radio, The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, NBC’s Today Show, and numerous other media outlets. His work is also regularly cited in academic publications.[9]


In May 2014, Wilcox spoke along with several other experts at a meeting convened by the United Nations as part of the 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family. His topic was "The Family in Transition: Should We Be Concerned About Declines in Fertility and Marriage?"[10]

Additionally, in February 2015, Wilcox testified before the House Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Human Resources about the challenges low-income families face in today's economy.[11]


In July 2012 a newly published study titled "How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study"[12] prompted much criticism regarding its methodology and allegations that it was influenced by two politically conservative organizations that helped fund the study.[13] Later, James Wright, editor of Social Science Research, identified Paul Amato and W. Bradford Wilcox as two of the three anonymous peer reviewers who vetted the scientific methodology of this study.[14]

Selected Bibliography[edit]


  • Soft Patriarchs and New Men: How Christianity Shapes Fathers and Husbands, The University of Chicago Press, 2004
  • Gender and Parenthood: Biological and Social Scientific Perspectives, Columbia University Press, 2013
  • Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Love, & Marriage among African Americans and Latinos, Oxford University Press, 2016


  • "Marriage as a Matter of Social Justice", The Atlantic, 2015
  • "Obama should have talked about marriage", USA Today, 2014
  • "Marriage Makes Our Children Richer—Here's Why", The Atlantic, 2013
  • "Marriage Haves and Have Nots", The New York Times, 2011
  • "Sex and the Married American", The Washington Post, 2011
  • "Daddy Was Only a Donor", The Wall Street Journal, 2010
  • "The Generation That Can't Move On Up" (with Andrew J. Cherlin), The Wall Street Journal, 2010
  • "Five Myths on Fathers and Family", National Review, 2009
  • "The Evolution of Divorce", National Affairs, 2009
  • "Who's Your Daddy? There's more to fatherhood than donating DNA", The Weekly Standard, 2005
  • "Religion and the Domestication of Men", Contexts (American Sociological Review), 2006


  • Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America, 2013
  • The President's Marriage Agenda for the Forgotten Sixty Percent, Editor and contributor, 2012
  • When Baby Makes Three: How Parenthood Makes Life Meaningful and How Marriage Makes Parenthood Bearable (with Elizabeth Marquardt), 2011
  • When Marriage Disappears: The Retreat from Marriage in Middle America, 2010


External links[edit]