Think you know marriage in America? Take the quiz.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Xinyi Tao (l.) of Merrifield, Va., poses for photographer Lydia Kim (r.) under blooming cherry blossoms trees at the tidal basin in Washington, March 24.

American traditions and views continue to shape society's most fundamental institution, even as social trends and laws surrounding marriage and family have evolved. 

1. Most couples lay the foundation for marriage long before the wedding. How do most Americans meet their future spouse?

Ryan Dorgan/Jackson Hole News & Guide/AP
In this April 2, 2016, photo, Roxy Boyle, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, leads her group of friends along Teton Park Road during an early evening cycle in Grand Teton National Park.

Online dating

Family referrals

Friend networks

Work colleagues

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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