In addition to being viewed as a season of religious devotion, Christmas has also become a time of family traditions and togetherness.
But will those traditions and togetherness continue if the American family disappears?
According to the Pew Research Center’s latest report, there has been a 20 percentage point drop in two-parent families in the last 50 years:
“The share of children living in a two-parent household is at the lowest point in more than half a century: 69% are in this type of family arrangement today, compared with 73% in 2000 and 87% in 1960. And even children living with two parents are more likely to be experiencing a variety of family arrangements due to increases in divorce, remarriage and cohabitation. Today, fully 62% of children live with two married parents – an all-time low. Some 15% are living with parents in a remarriage and 7% are living with parents who are cohabiting. Conversely, the share of children living with one parent stands at 26%, up from 22% in 2000 and just 9% in 1960.”
That two-parent households are at an all-time low should give cause for concern, particularly since children growing up in divorced or cohabitating homes are more at risk for:
- Decreased Academic Performance
- Decreased Conflict Management
- Out-of-Wedlock Births
- Drug and Alcohol Usage
Today we’re told that it doesn’t matter what type of lifestyle we choose as long as it makes us happy. As a result, many have chosen to abandon the idea of a lifelong committed marriage in which to raise children. But given the many documented problems which such a choice brings, can we honestly say that such a choice is wise, or even brings happiness? Should Americans once again embrace the value of the two-parent family?
Image Credit: Shorpy
Annie Holmquist is editor of Intellectual Takeout, an online magazine and sister publication of Chronicles.