The changing american family in today's society.

Essay by ang34College, UndergraduateA+, November 2003

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The Changing American Family

I chose the reading, "The Way We Really Are", by Stephanie Coontz. The author's viewpoint focused on the changes in family values over the years that have led to more single mothers and fewer successful marriages. She refers to several quotes from resources about the American family tradition slowly dying. More unwed mothers are emerging, and more women are single, as they believe marriage is secondary to their social and personal commitments.

I believe psychiatrist John Watson and sociologist Amitai Etzioni were wrong in their predictions that true families would be nonexistent by now. Their opinion implies families could only be "true" if the parents were married. Based upon the definition of a traditional family this may be true, but times have changed. We should focus on how we define family today, before we decide if it is or isn't existent.

One must consider the decision young men and unwed mothers make to not immediately get married when an unexpected pregnancy arises.

I think this is a responsible decision for many that may ultimately prevent an unstable, unhappy and possibly unsuccessful marriage. We must be careful to understand that a couple that is unwed and has a child may still provide a completely acceptable, loving and supportive life for the child. The startling divorce statistics have formed preconceived notions for people who fear marriage. It is wise to consider personal feelings and beliefs instead of caving into the pressures placed upon us by society.

As Sam Robert reports, many census statistics are misleading due to single mothers misrepresenting the facts by saying they are separated, which may lead us to believe they were at one time married. I understand how the numbers may seem disproportionate when comparing the increase of wed to unwed...