Here is a link to the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, a publicly-sponsored marriage-promotion program. The idea behind it is that increasing marriage, particularly among poor women, would decrease poverty and, therefore, welfare rolls.

Here is a link to the parenting section. Among other things, couples will learn “the benefits of marriage” and “strengthening the father-child bond.” Nothing is said about the mother-child bond–presumably it’s just fine. Note also that in the artwork for the page is very gendered–the woman is holding the baby, the male figure is standing over or protecting her. If you go to the photos section (pictures of actual participants), there are pictures of men holding their babies.

It might be useful to read the article “The Marriage Cure,” by Katherine Boo, in the August 18 & 25, 2003, issue of The New Yorker as well–Boo follows several poor black women as they go through the program and try to figure out how to find marriagable men (and it is made clear to them that they need to look for a man, any man).

I’m going to use this in my Intro to Sociology course as a way to discuss the idea that poor women wouldn’t be poor if only they would get married–to anyone.