Damaging Influences on the Home
There is no doubt but that American families today have a multitude of damaging influences.
Some of the problems:
- Today, there is more “family diversity”: Few adults are married, more are divorced or remaining single, and more are living together outside of marriage or living alone.
- Today, more children are born out-of-wedlock (now almost four out of ten), and more are living in stepfamilies, with cohabiting but unmarried adults, or with a single parent.
- Between the mid 1990s and the early 2000s, the marriage rate dropped 24 percent in the United States, and in the same period nonmarital cohabitation climbed 49 percent in the United States. It is estimated that about a quarter of unmarried women age 25 to 39 are currently living with a partner and an additional quarter have lived with a partner at some time in the past.
- There is a widespread acceptance by teenagers of nonmarital lifestyles. A survey was given which asked for agreement with this position: “that most people will have fuller and happier lives if they choose legal marriage rather than staying single or just living with someone.” Less than a third of the girls and more than a third of the boys seem to believe that marriage is more beneficial to individuals than the alternatives. More than 50 percent of teenagers now accept out-of-wedlock childbearing as a “worthwhile lifestyle.” Over half of teenagers believe it is acceptable for a couple to live together before they get married.
Why have these attitudes developed? Where are teens getting such ideas?