Happy Ever After? How Marriage Impacts Our Health & Happiness


We are in the midst of a marital revolution.

Your grandmother probably never felt that she had the option of staying single, and once married she probably had little say in how that marriage was organized. Your mother knew that staying single was an option, but marriage in her generation looked very much like her grandmother’s marriage. Today, like never before, we have choices around marriage—not just in whether or not we will get married but we are freer to have the types of marriages that we want. Has all this choice made us happier and healthier?

Join four UBC faculty members for an evening of conversation as we take on one of the most challenging questions of our time.

Happy Ever After?

How Marriage Impacts Our Health and Happiness

Friday, October 25, 2019
6:00 Doors
6:30 Program
8:00 Reception

UBC Robson Square
Theatre C300 – 800 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC

Tickets are $10 and include a complimentary drink and refreshments.

Advanced registration is now closed. Limited tickets will be available at the door.

Talk Summaries

Dr. Marina Adshade
Faculty Member, Vancouver School of Economics

Talk Summary: Don’t believe anyone who tells you that there is a straightforward answer to the question: Who is happier and healthier, married or single people? Economist Dr. Marina Adshade will start this conversation with a look at the evidence that supports or discredits the claim that marriage is the path to a happy and healthy life.

Bio: Dr. Marina Adshade is an experienced writer, commentator, and keynote speaker. Her book, Dollars and Sex: How economics influences sex and love, has been published in ten different languages and is available in bookstores around the globe. Her latest published work, a chapter in Robot Sex: The ethical and social implications, was debated in the international media and has been adapted for publication in Slate Magazine.


Mandy Len Catron
Adjunct Professor, Creative Writing Program

Talk Summary: Many people think that marriage is a social good—that our lives and our communities are better when people get and stay married. But we don’t often talk about the social costs of the institution. This talk considers what is lost when we make marriage the most central relationship in our culture.

Bio: Mandy Len Catron is the author of How to Fall in Love with Anyone: A Memoir in Essays. The book was listed for the 2018 RCB Taylor Prize and the Kobo Emerging Writer Award. Mandy’s article “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This” was one of the most popular articles published by the New York Times in 2015. Her writing can be found in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, The Rumpus, and The Walrus as well as other newspapers, literary journals, and anthologies.

Photo by Jennilee Marigomen


Dr. Yue Qian
Assistant Professor, Sociology

Talk Summary: Young people increasingly delay or even forgo marriage. Does this mean marriage has lost its significance in our culture? Dr. Yue Qian will talk about the changing landscape of marriage and discuss how our lives are affected by the changing rules of intimacy.

Bio: Dr. Yue Qian’s research focuses on marriage, family, and gender in North American and East Asian contexts. As a gender scholar, Dr. Qian is passionate about translating gender research into the empowerment of women and advocacy for gender equality around the world. ​



Dr. Carrie Jenkins
Professor, Philosophy

Talk Summary: Growing awareness around ethical non-monogamy, together with a better understanding of how relationships are impacted by (lack of) social recognition, raises a fraught question: is marriage an unfair privilege for monogamous couples only? Carrie Jenkins draws on feminist philosophy and inter-disciplinary empirical research to find some answers.

Bio: Carrie Jenkins is the author of What Love Is and What It Could Be (Basic Books, 2017) and recently won the New Philosopher Writers’ Award for her short story “The Woman At Home.” Her forthcoming books include a co-authored collection of philosophical poetry with McGill-Queen’s University Press, and a novel with Penguin Random House Canada.

Tickets are $10 and include a complimentary drink and refreshments.

Advanced registration is now closed. Limited tickets will be available at the door.

Presented by the UBC Women’s Health Research Cluster and the Faculty of Arts.