A Comparative Study of Family Values Between China and America - Family Values

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Family values are political and social beliefs that hold the nuclear family to be the essential ethical and moral unit of society. Familialism is the ideology that promotes the family and its values as an institution.[1] Although the phrase is vague and has shifting meanings, it is most often associated with social and religious conservatives. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the term has been frequently used in political debate, to claim that the world has seen a decline in family values since the end of the Second World War.[2]

Definition

[edit] In the United States
Typically, the term is used by the media to refer to Christian values, but in a 1998 Harris survey it was defined as "loving, taking care of, and supporting each other" by 52% of women and 42% of men, as "knowing right from wrong and having good values" by 38% of women and 35% of men, and as the traditional family by 2% of women and 1% men. The survey also noted that 93% of women thought that society should value all types of families.[3] [edit] Conservative definitions

Since 1980, the Republican Party has used the issue of family values to attract socially conservative voters.[4] While family values remains a rather vague concept, social conservatives usually understand the term to include some combination of the following principles (also referenced in the 2004 Republican Party platform):[5] ▪ Promotion of "traditional marriage" and opposition to sex outside of conventional marriage, including pre-marital sex, adultery, polygamy, bestiality, and incest[6][7][8][9] ▪ Support for a roll back of aspects of feminism and support for a traditional role for women in the family.[10][citation needed] ▪ Opposition to same-sex marriage[5]

▪ Support for traditional education and parental involvement in that education, including such things as vouchers for private, non-secular education.[11] ▪ Support for complementarianism[12][13][14]

▪ Opposition to legalization of abortion and support for policies that instead encourage abstinence and adoption[15] ▪ Support for abstinence education exclusively regarding risks associated with early sexual activity such as teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases[5] while not teaching such topics of sex education as human sexual behavior, safe sex and birth control[16] ▪ Support for policies that are said to protect children from obscenity and exploitation[17][18][19][20][21][22][23] Social and religious conservatives often use the term "family values" to promote conservative ideology that supports traditional morality or Christian values.[24] American Christians often see their religion as the source of morality and consider the nuclear family to be an essential element in society. Some conservative family values advocates believe the government should endorse Christian morality,[25] for example by displaying the Ten Commandments or allowing teachers to conduct prayers in public schools. Religious conservatives often view the United States as a "Christian nation"[26] For example, "The American Family Association exists to motivate and equip citizens to change the culture to reflect Biblical truth and traditional family values."[27] These groups variously oppose abortion, pornography, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, certain aspects of feminism,[28] cohabitation, separation of church and state, and depictions of sexuality in the media. [edit] Progressive definitions

Although the term "family values" remains a core issue for the Republican Party, in recent years the Democratic Party has also used the term, though differing in its definition. For example, in his acceptance speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, John Kerry said "it is time for those who talk about family values to start valuing families."[29] The Democratic Party definitions of family values often include items that specifically target working families such as support of: ▪ a living wage

▪ universal health care
▪ the...
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