Various studies have come out recently underscoring how the traditional family unit (a man and a woman, as typically defined as traditional in Western Civilization) offers multiple benefits to society when compared to single-parent families and same-gender families. This is particularly poignant in light of the vitriolic attacks on Chick-fil-A founder Dan Cathy for his comments in support of traditional family values.
A recent New York Times article offers an exposé on the benefits of the traditional marriage structure with a new twist, it emphasizes the economic benefits of the traditional family structure. Ben Johnson of Life Site news chimed in on the subject matter:
"The definition of marriage has long been considered a religious or legal argument. However, a growing number of economists, journalists, and social researchers are concluding that getting and staying married is a key to economic prosperity and domestic tranquility."
Coming from a liberal source such as the New York Times, the article and research praising the long-term benefits of traditional marriage and families is a bit noteworthy.
"Citing a host of secular, liberal professors, the article came to the same conclusion as longtime apologists for traditional marriage: it's not only good for the soul but also for one's bank account." Mindy Scott, a Child Trends demographer, stated, "Having men in the house for a short time with ambiguous parenting roles can be really disruptive for children.”
The original New York Times article is entitled "Two Classes, Divided by 'I Do,'" which spanned nearly 3,900 words. The article emphasizes that traditional marriage structures have allowed for more financial stability in both families and for society in general.
"Estimates vary widely, but scholars have said that changes in marriage patterns — as opposed to changes in individual earnings — may account for as much as 40 percent of the growth in certain measures of inequality."
Though there were documented monetary benefits associated with the traditional family in society, Johnson offered that the question runs much deeper than dollars and cents:
"The most important impact of differing marriage trends is not economic but social and spiritual, and it is visited not on the parents but upon the children."
Recently, there has been a vitriolic reaction to comments by the founder of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, outlined in an interview with the Baptist press. But, apparently, Cathy's support of traditional family values has been in line with the research. The interview with BP highlights a few key quotes by Dan Cathy: "Some have opposed the company's support of the traditional family. "Well, guilty as charged," said Cathy when asked about the company's position." Cathy emphasized. "We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that." Cathy credits the financial success of his fast food chain to one thing. Cathy and his team have striven to follow the many guiding principles outlined in scripture. And one of those principles is the understanding that the traditional family is a core feature of a strong and healthy society.
1. Are much more likely to have received welfare (IBF 17%; LM 69%; GF 57%)
2. Have lower educational attainment
3. Report less safety and security in their family of origin
4. Report more ongoing "negative impact" from their family of origin
5. Are more likely to suffer from depression
6. Have been arrested more often
7. If they are female, have had more sexual partners--both male and female
There is no doubt that these mentioned studies will not be the end of the debate on the effects of family structures. And if there are any noteworthy peer-reviwed studies and scientific articles that favor non-traditional families, anyone is welcome to post the results here in the comments for comparison.
Note: Norman Rockwell Image is public domain. Baby image is by consent from artist Traqair.
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