In Defense of the Family: Raising Children in America Today

In Defense of the Family: Raising Children in America Today

In Defense of the Family: Raising Children in America Today

In Defense of the Family: Raising Children in America Today

Excerpt

In recent years, the American family has been subject to increasing scrutiny by experts in widely divergent fields, all of them contending that the family as we know it is threatened with imminent demise, a kind of endangered species among social institutions. Historians of the family have traced its evolution from an extended band of rural kinfolk to a conjugal pair living in suburban isolation with its offspring—the much-maligned nuclear family. Sociologists have explained the changing nature of the family as a social institution from a producing group to a consuming one. Political activists have deplored the traditional family's failure to foster women's rights, racial integration, tolerance of homosexuality or of economic justice, depending on their particular interests. And various kinds of health and welfare professionals, supported in one way or another by government, are ready to provide services they maintain families can no longer provide for their own members—in particular, their children.

It is hard to pick up a newspaper or magazine, look over the titles in a bookstore, or turn on the television set without being offered diagnoses and prescriptions for the ailing family. The media, a world in constant search of novelty, where one idea is presumed to be as good as any other, gives us reports as up-to-date and as constantly changing as weather reports on what is about to replace the family as we know it—homosexual or lesbian couples with adopted children, open marriages that may or may not be childless ones, cohabiting unmarried singles, groups living together in communes.

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