The myth of the traditional family

She writes with fervor to refute what many have been urging society to lapse back into — a mold. With eloquence and a bitter pen she recalls how the so-called traditional families throughout our history were demeaning; filled with sexual and racial intolerance, class chasms, and interpersonal conflict.

The myth of the traditional family

We want to know: These days, there are more kids being raised by single moms than by married couples where the man earns all the income and the wife stays home. Married couples with children account for less than a quarter of all households. More than 30 percent of households are single person households.

More than 70 percent of all children live in families where every adult in the household is employed. Stay-at-home-dads are still a small minority — less than a million in the country —but dads do the primary child care for more than a quarter of the children whose mother works outside the home.

According to revised estimates from the census, there aresame-sex married couple households andsame-sex unmarried partner households in the united states, but this relies on self-reports, so is biased toward the low side.

About 20 percent of same sex couples are raising kids. Much more traditional has been the custom of having a family labor force — either with the wife as co-provider or the children, and often both.

It was not until the s that a bare majority of kids grew up in a family where the mother was not working on the farm or in a small business, and where the children were in school instead of in the workforce.

The myth of the traditional family

That family form receded in the Depression and World War II and came roaring back in the s, largely due to a combination of discrimination against female workers and unprecedented rises in real wages for young men, as home prices fell in the postwar boom, wages rose, and government invested in new jobs, job training, and educational opportunities.

Most researchers agree that it will never come back as the majority family form. Another myth is that parents used to spend more time with their children in the s and s.

Inkids spent more time with siblings and friends or just playing, watching tv in their rooms, and less in direct contact with mom than today, even though moms were often around more.

Working moms today spend somewhat less time interacting with their kids than SAHMs, but they spend more time with their kids than SAHMs did inthe high point of male breadwinner families.

Yet another myth is that there is this deep divide between what SAHMs and employed moms want. While a majority of employed moms would like to cut back their work hours, 40 percent of SAHMs wish they had a job.

Most women would like more balance in their work and family options, and so would most dads. In fact, unlike 35 years ago, men now report higher levels of work-family conflict than do women. How are young children ages affected by their non-traditional families? How a family functions is more important than how it looks from the outside.

A new study finds that on average, kids who have SAHMs during the first year of life have some small advantages over those who have working moms, but the reverse is true for those whose moms work during years 2 and 3 — and ultimately, most of the differences average out over the next 5 or 6 years.

For example, another recent study shows that the highest rates of depression are found in SAHMs who wish they had a job and in employed moms who want to stay home but have to work, and have only been able to find work in a low quality job. Interestingly, moms who want to stay home but have a high quality job have just about as low rates of depression as moms who are getting their first choice.

Which suggests that SAHMs should be sure to keep their social networks and skills up so if they do want or need to go to work, they can get a job that gives them more control over their work and more flexibility.

There is tremendous variability in outcomes, and parents have to find what arrangements suit both their individual needs and the dynamics of their family life.

Again, variations in functioning and background count for more than the specific form. The most stable families are those with college-educated parents, whoever works.

But women with higher education are LESS likely, not more likely, to opt out of the labor force.

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In heterosexual couples, the important predictor of marital stability is how fair the woman perceives the division of housework and childcare to be. And a word to the wise for men: Another factor is the age at first marriage.

For every year a woman postpones marriage, right up to her early 30s, her chance of divorce goes down. Why is the image of the traditional family working dad, SAHM, and kids under 18 so entrenched in the American consciousness?

The breadwinner family of the s was in fact a very new — and short-lived — invention.In “The Way We Weren’t: The Myth and Reality of the ‘Traditional’ Family” Stephanie Coontz shatters our misconception of the “traditional family”. She writes with fervor to refute what many have been urging society to lapse back into – a mold.

What kind of family stories are worth telling? For too long, the answer has been painfully limited to families that fit the traditional mold: a married couple raising biological kids, while. "The traditional family -- with a mother, father and children living in a household -- as it is presented now, has never existed," says Slovak culturologist Petra Chovancová, who conducted research among older Slovak women.

The Appropriation of Myth and the Sayings of the Wise in Plato's Meno and Philebus. Joe McCoy - - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association The Family and Neoliberalism: Time to Revive a Linda Nicholson. One myth is that male breadwinner families were “the” traditional family.

Much more traditional has been the custom of having a family labor force — either with the wife as co-provider or the children, and often both. Theories of Family in Ancient Chinese Philosophy. Zhang Zailin & Zhang Shaoqian - - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (3) - Gesture and Myth: A Phenomenological Reflection on Myth and Traditional Linda Nicholson.

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