Debate 1 - Is the American Family in Trouble

Essay by GPHUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 2005

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

Written for my Marriage & Intimacy Class this paper deals with a debate on whether the american family is in trouble or not due to ever changing ideals about just what a family entails. We were to read both sides of this debate out of our textbook, (authors for each side are discussed in the paper), and we were then to make an argument to supporrt each side, and finally make a further argument for where we/I stand on the issue.

The American family is an ideal that has many different aspects. Some of these ideals were at one time rules instead of the exceptions that they are today, and yet a few have remained similar or even the same over the vastness of time. The following paragraphs address two articles; "The Family Values Debate" by James Q. Wilson, and "The American Family and the Nostalgia Trap" by Stephanie Coontz.

These articles address the two opposing sides to the issue of whether or not the America family is really in a state of trouble, and discuss many of the differences that the ideal of the American family have experienced over time.

The introductory portion of this debate points out many interesting statistics and facts that have changed over the years. Such statistics as the size of the average household dropping from 3.1 to 2.6 people over the last 30 years; that between 1970 and 1998 the percentage of adults living alone increased from 8 percent to 13 percent; and the overall ideal that a family with the father being the sole means of income and the mother remaining home with the children has become the exception rather than the rule.

"The Family Values Debate" by James Q. Wilson supports that "yes," the American family is in trouble. Wilson sees...