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The American Family - Essay Example

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This paper highlights these changes which have brought about a new structure of the contemporary American family. The paper also points out the main idea found in articles by Popenoe (2003)…
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The American Family
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The American Family

The woman became a working being who viewed the nuclear family as an oppressive institution. The development of modern technology, contraceptives and abortion allowed women to have active sexual lives without worrying about pregnancy and childbearing. Boden (2005) testifies that more women have joined the working class and single parenthood is on the rise. As a result, parents have little free time with their children, which is unhealthy.
Earlier on, the men worked while women stayed at home as full time house wives, and marriage focused more on companionship and reproduction rather than romance and sex (Popenoe, 2003). Popenoe (2003) further argues that there is a call to revive the American nuclear family by emphasizing the importance of monogamy. This can be achieved through countering the sexual revolution, promoting marriage and renewing a cultural focus on children.
On the contrary, Coontz (2003) believes that many American families are better off today than in the past where women were not allowed to work, infant mortality was high and few children graduated from school. Today, both men and women have more choices than in the past. For instance, since the woman spends more hours at work than in the house, families have fewer children. This means that children get individualized attention from the parents. This was not so in the past. Moreover, people not only have the freedom to marry from the same or opposite sex or even remain unmarried, but also no one is under pressure to stay in an unhappy marriage. Men are no longer the main breadwinners in their families unless by choice. Furthermore, according to Coontz (2003), parents have learnt to balance between family needs and industrialization.
After a thorough study of the two articles, the modern structure of the nuclear family is more appealing. Although marriage is indispensable, it is no longer the foundation of a good family. A healthy family is made up of a parent or parents and ... Read More
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