Sunday, October 7, 2007


Supporters of the traditional family (a married husband and wife with kids) are often maligned as being unnecessarily old-fashioned and out-of-touch with the modern, smarter way of doing things. So here is an article by Mort Zuckerman from the New York Daily News that supports the traditional family through actual statistics and facts.

You will hear a lot about the American family in the election campaign. For most of us, that calls up an image of a man and wife and two or three children.
Forget it. Predominant as the social pattern for several hundred years, that American family has lost its place. Households of unmarried couples and households without children outnumber "American family" households. And only about 20% of families fit into the traditional structure with father as the only breadwinner.
Here is what has been happening: In the 1950s, 80% of adults were married; today, roughly 50% are. Why? Partly because people are delaying marriage. Second, divorce rates have more than doubled since the 1960s as marriage evolved from a sacrament to a contract. Third, millions more cohabit before marriage. Fourth, births to unmarried mothers, white and black, have risen from 5% in 1960 to about 35% today.
So the new American family is a household with fewer children, with both parents working, and with mothers giving birth to their children at an ever older age, having fewer children, and spacing them further apart.
This is not good news. Twice as many married people indicate they are very happy as compared with those who aren't married. But it is the children who are most affected. The stable family of two biological parents - surprise, surprise! - turns out to be the ideal vessel for molding character, for nurturing, for inculcating values, and for planning for a child's future. Marriage, or the lack of it, is the best single predictor of poverty, greater even than race or unemployment.

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