The Adverse Effects of Changing Parental Roles in Western Society
What is a traditional family? That is an elusive reality too many people in this modern era. A traditional family has typically been viewed by western society as a heterosexual union where the male is the financial provider and the female ideally stays at home, maintains it, and cares for the children. The traditional family is also generally known for its moral values, financial stability, and structure through many generations. However, the changing parental roles of the western traditional family unit has suffered greatly due to the tremendous increase of non-traditional families as a result of social and economic consequences and the moral devaluation of the traditional family.
In western society, the non-traditional family is a result of rapid changes in the overall economy, merging technologies, and societal acceptance of previously abnormal behaviors. Non-traditional families are characterized by single or divorced parents; two working parents; stay-at-home fathers; and same sex parents. As a result of these non-traditional family units there has been considerable negative impacts on the children that are the product of these unions and their living conditions.
In a divorced household, the children's environments are constantly changing due to the possibility of shared custody. This may cause the children to experience the conflict of two different parenting philosophies when they are not in the same household. There is also the likelihood that the children may not see the other parent due to legal custody and the other parent's work schedule or living location and conditions. With these types of families, there is the possibility for the parent to introduce the children to other adult outside influences or parenting styles. These constant changes would not happen in a traditional family because there is a conventional family structure in place.
Another type of non-traditional family is known as the stay-at-home fathers. The Council of Economic Advisers reports, "Dads are increasingly playing the role of the primary caregiver in the household. Today 1 in 5 fathers are now the primary caregiver of preschool-age children when the mother is employed" (The Council of Economic Advisers). These fathers assume the role as the nurturer while the wife becomes the primary breadwinner. The current increase in stay-at-home fathers are due to changing economic conditions where men may not be earning enough to even pay for childcare so they elect to stay-at-home like the traditional family wife. A reason why men are not pursuing the traditional role is because they are not achieving their life goals as they may have hoped. Another finding in the White House Report, "In the early 1990s, women were as likely as men to graduate college, but women's growth in educational attainment has continued and today substantially more women than men attend and graduate college." Women are taking advantage of getting an education because they have learned from their mothers or their own experiences that they cannot depend on men to support them or their children. In the past, these men might only take on this role if there was a job loss or if their spouse could provide a better or stable income. The stay-at-home father raising children overall may not provide an adequate nurturing experience, because they are not naturally maternally understanding or supportive like a mother might be to all the children.
The newest non-traditional family unit involves parenting by same sex partners. In this family, there is usually two of the same gender at any one time raising children who may not all be the same gender as their parents. These lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender parents have their own societal self-identity issues and one might question whether they should be in charge of raising children who may also question their own identity. In the journal Meezan and Rauch state that, "Same-sex marriage, barely on the political radar a decade ago ...may lead to different outcomes for children" (Meezan and Rauch 97). The social consequences of this new type of family are largely unknown at this time. Children who are being raised in same sex families may be bullied or ridiculed by their parent's contemporary relationship. The authors' research suggests that, "perceived stigma, experienced rejection or homophobic bullying, children with same-sex attracted parents are more likely to display problems in their psychosocial development" (635). Depending on where they live in the United States, they may not receive the same positive support from traditional family communities. Same sex families are still unusual because most people have not accepted or embraced it this new type union.
There is a financial cost of having an individual or a daycare facility caring for the two income or single parent families' children. The writer Lisa Hotta reveals, "The U.S. "average" seems to suggest that for one toddler, in full-time day care, on weekdays, the cost is approximately $600.00 per month. But, that figure can rise to well over $1000.00 per month in major metro areas, and fall to less than $350 in rural areas" (Hotta). Lisa Hotta's findings prove that childcare is very costly even with just one child. Now if there were two children in daycare, that cost would be $2000 a month and a net annual cost of $24,000, which translates to a value of having to earn double that amount to support that cash out lay. Therefore, unless a parent makes more than that gross annual amount, it makes it very compelling for a lower earning parent to adopt the traditional role by staying home and providing care for a multiple children family. The high costs of childcare is due to the quality of care, the age of the children, how long they need to be watched, and by the number of children a family has that may need adult supervision. According to The Council of Economic Advisers, "While more families have all parents in the workforce, and therefore a need for childcare, affordable childcare has become increasingly hard to find. Child care costs have steadily increased in the last 25 years, making it harder for parents to find affordable childcare when children are young and after school or when school is not in session" (The Council of Economic Advisers). Parents who place their children in day care are usually not in direct control of how their children are being raised or educated. Their children may learn bad behaviors from other children in a poorly supervised environment or from the caregiver. The parent's are not aware if their children are being treated appropriately and some incidences there may be abusive situations from these caregivers.
The increase of non-traditional families has greatly concerned families who may have strong religious values. In the Ensign article, " Working Double-Time: The Working Mother's Dilemma" LDS author Jan Pinborough writes, "The counsel of Church leaders regarding this choice has always given the well-being of children and families clear priority. The work of the home is the central work of this world. Those who are in tune with the Lord's plan will never pursue material goods for their own sake, at the expense of family welfare" (Pinborough). Many western religions believe that the traditional family is fundamentally better for raising children and are a part of their God's plan for a good wholesome life.
Traditional families may experience various forms of discrimination from non-traditional family units. The stay-at-home mother in the traditional family may be discriminated against as being too maternal or not progressive for choosing to stay home and not working. The author Jan Pinborough states, "Women who take care of children and run households full-time punch no timecards. Accordingly, modern society does not credit them with doing valuable work and grants them only minimal status" (Pinborough). The author argues that society does not give mothers who take on the traditional role recognition for staying home and taking care of children. They may be viewed as unsustainable and prone to their own unique form of failure because they are essentially a one-income family. Depending on the community or region of the United States, the traditional family may not receive the strong community support from those who work, or from the traditional families that once raised them.
With non-traditional families becoming more common, there is developing potential for social support structures to break down. The results from these changing family or social dynamics could be from the acceptance of different forms of love. The attendances in churches are falling as younger generations have been more accepting of these modern roles. In the journal article, Suzanne Bianchi suggests that people are delaying marriages, which results in them having fewer children (Bianchi). While some couples no longer desire or view it is necessary to have children anymore. This is very troubling because if families have less or no children then our population will decrease. The author, John W. Whitehead states, "Wherever we turn in the ancient world, to Judaism, to Greece or to Rome, the family structure has been revered. And long before foreign invaders toppled any of those great societies, they collapsed from within, due largely to the deterioration of their family structures" (Whitehead). The author brings to light that past civilizations have broken down due to the weakening of the family. These same incidences could be precursors to our societies down fall if the family structure continues to change.
Individuals and communities benefit from having common moral values and depth of character in conducting their relationships to each other. Traditional families have been the platform for building a strong society. Honest commitments to traditional values have always seemed to work in the past and the near present. So there is reason for some families to be concerned about the changes that seem to devalue all those positive aspects of a traditional family. It appears to traditional families that what seemed to work before does not matter, even though it worked for centuries. When people disrespect the foundation of the traditional family they are also disrespecting essential commitments, discounting the well being of their children, and avoiding any prospect for a balanced society.
The traditional family is an important aspect towards maintaining our western society. Without it, it is unclear how we will continue to grow our communities without long-term commitments that go beyond contemporary values. Modern parenting has potentially created a newer class of society that respects few boundaries or moral standards. The discussed family structures may be unavoidable but they may not achieve the best outcome that society needs. In the final analysis, the compassion that these children may learn about the need for commitments that are meaningful will hopefully provide a better future than what could happen if the worst occurs where all this dysfunctional family concepts fail to produce few positive individuals
The essay, overall, was very good. You hit all your points and explained them using both your own opinion and facts to back up your stance. The only thing I might suggest about the body is to split some of your paragraphs up. Writing a lot is very good, but if someone is faced with a wall of text and no break in sight, it can become a little daunting. One more piece of advice is to stay consistent in your writing. There are portions where you say "same sex" and then "same-sex". Choose one or the other and it will help with the flow as well.
There were some grammar issues, but nothing that can't be fixed quickly. I will highlight the ones I found below, putting your work in bold and my suggestions in italics:
That is an elusive reality too many people in this modern era.
'To' instead of 'too' here.
As a result of these non-traditional family units there has been considerable negative impacts on the children that are the product of these unions and their living conditions.
Comma after 'units'. 'Have been' instead of 'has been'. This sentence may need to be restructured slightly for flow. For example, write "...product of these unions as well as their living conditions", or "...the resulting children of these unions as well as their living conditions."
Depending on their schedules, parent may have to work long hours for their jobs to support care costs and possibly spend less quality time with their children.
'Parents' instead of 'parent'
This may cause the children not to develop a close relationship, like they might have in a traditional family, with their parents so that important physical and emotional needs are met.
If you take out "like they might have in a traditional family", the sentence will flow better.
The phenomenon of this situation is becoming more common due to societies diminished moral values.
Apostrophe after "societies".
The current increase in stay-at-home fathers are due to changing economic conditions where men may not be earning enough to even pay for childcare so they elect to stay-at-home like the traditional family wife.
Comma after "childcare".
Another finding in the White House Report...
Needs an additional "states that" or "says that" after "Report".
Same sex families are still unusual because most people have not accepted or embraced it this new type union.
Take out the "it".
The parent's are not aware if their children are being treated appropriately...
Take out the apostrophe.
While some couples no longer desire or view it is necessary to have children anymore.
This is a fragment. You can take our "While" to make it a complete sentence or change it some other way.
So there is reason for some families to be concerned about the changes...
Take out the "So" to make this a complete sentence.
...where all this dysfunctional family concepts fail to produce few positive individuals.
"These" instead of "this.