What is a family?

Essay by beccstudentUniversity, Bachelor'sA, November 2005

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Answering this question is not as easy as it might seem. Many conservative groups, whose agenda includes protection of what they view as the "traditional" family, oppose gay parenting, in part out of fear that the homosexuality of the parent will somehow be transmitted to the child. According to Robert Barret and Bryan Robinson, two studies - both included psychological tests - done on children of gay fathers showed little to no effect of the fathers' sexual orientation on that of the child's. Barret and Robinson state

... the problem is that the observations of Weeks and his colleagues (1975) are based on the clinical assessment of only two children, and the Green study (1978) observed only the children of lesbian mothers and the children of parents who had experienced sex-change surgery. None of the parents in that sample [was] classified as gay fathers. (346)

In "Seven Tenets for Establishing New Marital Norms," David Popenoe states, he has a solution for the "...marital

gender-role expectations...." (368). Popenoe's solution was broken into seven steps. A few of his beliefs include, teaching children by their abilities not their gender, teaching the value of one marriage that will last a lifetime, and the belief that wives should be at home with children from birth to at least eighteen months of age. Popenoe seems to dismiss entirely some of the different families of today's society. The growing acceptance of non-traditional relationships means there will consequently be non-traditional families. I believe the definition of family should be two or more people who live together and function as the old nuclear family did. This could mean there are one adult and any number of children, two adults, or two adults and any number of children

Many years ago defining what a family was may have...