Dr. Ellen Lamont Challenges Traditional Gender Roles on "Munk Debates" Podcast

BOONE, N.C. — Dr. Ellen Lamont, associate professor in Appalachian State University's Department of Sociology, is featured in the September 19 episode of "The Munk Debates Podcast." In the episode, titled "Be It Resolved: Traditional Gender Roles Make For A Happier Marriage," Dr. Lamont debates radio host and author Suzanne Venker about traditional gender roles.

Named after deceased entrepreneur Peter Munk, "The Munk Debates Podcast" states that its mission is "to help the world rediscover the art of civil and substantive public debate by convening the brightest thinkers of our time to weigh in on the big issues of the day." Episodes feature experts discussing topics spanning culture, foreign policy, politics, and technology.

In the September 19 episode, Venker argues for the motion that traditional gender roles make for a happier marriage, while Lamont argues against the motion. Lamont cites extensive sociological research, including research from her book, "The Mating Game: How Gender Still Shapes How We Date," published in 2020 by University of California Press. Through interviews with heterosexual and LGBTQ individuals, "The Mating Game" explores how people with diverse sexualities and gender identities date, form romantic relationships, and make decisions about future commitments as they negotiate uncertain terrain fraught with competing messages about gender, sexuality, and intimacy.

When asked what it was like to be featured in the podcast, Lamont replied, “I very much enjoyed the opportunity to use sociological research to weigh in on what for many, feels like a moral argument. But the data are clear. At present, couples are happier and more stable when their marriages are more egalitarian. The tensions that remain are because workplaces and government policies have not kept pace with both the desire and need for two-income households. Venker drew on outdated beliefs to make her claims and failed to account for the harms - especially to women - that would come should we as a society attempt to box people into one family form.”

Lamont holds a doctorate in sociology from New York University, a master's degree in international relations from the University of Chicago, and a bachelor's degree in peace and conflict studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She joined the Appalachian State Department of Sociology as an assistant professor in 2014 and was promoted to associate professor in 2020. Since 2016, Lamont has also served as an affiliate faculty member in the Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies program in App State's Department of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Lamont's research examines how gender and sexuality shape intimate relationships in a variety of contexts, and has been covered by major media outlets like The Atlantic, BBC, Cosmopolitan, and The New York Times. The recipient of the 2019 College of Arts and Sciences Teacher of the Year Award, Lamont teaches a variety of courses on gender, family, and intimate relationships, including "Constructions of Gender," "Sociology of Intimate Relationships," and “Sociology of Families."

To listen to the episode, visit munkdebates.com/podcasts/traditional-gender-role-in-marriage.


About the Department of Sociology
The Department of Sociology offers a Bachelor of Arts and seven Bachelor of Science concentrations (applied research methods; criminology; families and intimate relationships; health and aging; power and social change; social inequalities; and individually designed, which requires departmental approval). The department also offers minors in sociology and health and aging, plus two online graduate certificates: aging, health and society, and sociology. Learn more at https://soc.appstate.edu.

Written by Madison Breedlove
Edited by Lauren Andersen

October 9, 2023

Dr. Ellen Lamont, associate professor in Appalachian State University's Department of Sociology
Published: Oct 9, 2023 10:00am