03/28/2014 11:49 am ET

Studying U.S. Families: 'Men Are Where Women Were 30 Years Ago'

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On subjects ranging from reproductive rights to gay marriage to the role of the First Lady, there is, perhaps, no more widely quoted expert than Stephanie Coontz. Professor Coontz, whose background is in history, has taught Family Studies at Evergreen College since 1975—before the discipline was even created. She is also Co-Chair and Director of Public Education at the Council on Contemporary Families and a frequent contributor to The New York Times’ Sunday Review.

Coontz spoke with me about how family studies has developed as a field of study, why she doesn’t call herself a “feminist teacher,” and our new expectations for marriage.

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