The Ever Changing American Family

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The Ever Changing American Family
Isabel Meza
CHFD 340

The Ever Changing American Family
The American family is not in a state of decline but rather in a state of change. The ever changing American family has seen the biggest change in the past quarter century. Starting back with the colonial era until now the mid-twentieth century has seen much change in the family structure or development. History tells about the three forms of the American family within the white middle class. The first form was named The Godly Family. In The Godly Family the father was the head of the family. This was a religious era and this type of family was biblically based. The Godly Family began in the 1600s until about the late 1700s. During this period women had to be married to survive and have their basic needs met. Women did not marry for love but rather for necessity. Women were not allowed to own any land. Children worked starting at age seven. Children were to be seen and not heard. The relationship between parents and children was not very warm and affectionate. The second family form was named The Modern Family. The Modern Family began in the late 1700s until the .early 1970s. The Modern Family can be divided into two periods. The first period was the Democratic Family. This period began in the 1780s through the 1900s. During this period women would and could marry for love. Husbands were to work outside the home at a job with pay. Women were to stay home and care for the children and the household. Women had fewer children during this period. Women and men were split into two forms of work, paid work for men and household work for women. The second period was The Companionate Family. This period began in the 1900s through the 1970s. This period stressed the importance of marriage fulfillment. Husband and wives were to be content and happy in their relationships with each other. In this era husbands and wives liked and were attracted to each other. The Companionate Family emphasized physical gratification between a husband and wife. This gave way to the development of contraceptives. The use of contraceptives was legalized in 1936. Also The Companionate Family gave rise to a better, close and loving relationship between children and their parents. Children were given much more liberties. Children were given less work and adults began to view children in a different form. In this era children had seen the biggest change. Now in this day in age the family form in use is the Post Modern Family. This period began in the 1970s until present time. Many more changes took place during this time with women, children, men and families. What is seen in modern day society today is change. The American Family is in a state of change. The traditional American family has gone through a complete transformation. In every part of the American family is seeing a change. This includes adults who enter into marriage, the number of those living in one household that are shaped by married people, the number of pregnancies, the financial role of women or mothers and even the significance of marriage. There has been a decrease in marriage. However, the decline in white people marriages is happening at a slower rate; then among African Americans. In the year 2000 22 percent of Caucasian women had never been married and 42 percent of African American women had never been married. Mother and father households with children are in a state decline or change. One parent households with children are rising. Decades ago back in the sixties 75% of households were married couples and their children. By the year 2000 that number dropped to 53%. Non-related households are now on the rise as well; as much as 31% are seen. Single parent household report for up to 27% of families. Moreover, the greatest change seen is in African American families with children. These families reported for 4 out of 10 married households. However, no persons were exempt in this...
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