Family Institutions That Oversee the Bearing and Raising of Children Term Paper

Total Length: 710 words ( 2 double-spaced pages)

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Diverse and Changing Face of the Family Structure

The state of marriage has statistically changed in recent years, transforming the familiar structure of the nuclear family into an institution of non-traditional deviations. As with any issue, deviations from the norm pose objections and controversy. In the case of the family, philosophical, theological, and social debates revolve around the question of what constitutes the family structure ideal for raising children. The trend in single parenting, a decline in marriage rates, and the introduction of the homosexual family has led to the conservative opinion calling for a return to traditional family values and ethics to counter the demoralization of America. Sociologists, however, observe that family diversity is healthy and should be supported by society. Thus the depiction of the ideal family framework becomes a struggle between social opinions and political agendas. Society is changing, and the family compositions are reflective of those changing attitudes and beliefs as the modernization of family dynamics is systematically replacing the traditional family.

The nuclear family is being affected by the decline in marriage rates, which can be attributed to increases in delayed marriages, divorce, and cohabitation.
As marriage rates have decreased, so has there been a decline in childbearing and childrearing. However, there has been a long-term rise in the number of non-marital births. Also, there has been a shift among married couples with children for the wives to work outside of the home, affecting the stability of the home environment. The changing statistics of marriage, children, and parental support in the home has impacted the ratios of traditional families (heterosexual, married parents with two or more children), lending it to be closer to the exception than the rule. This evidence does support the institution of the nuclear family in terms of stability, but deviations in the family structure should also be considered for their stability, functionality, and social merit.

As the structural changes of the family concept have occurred, so have the attitudes and values of marriage, divorce, childbearing, childrearing, and parental responsibilities. The shift in traditional views of family has gone from valuing parent-centered families and obedience….....

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