Modern Family

Friday, February 28th, 2014

The definitions of the American family and of the nuclear family are changing. In the past, the typical family in theory consisted of a working father, a stay at home mother and, of course, well-rounded children. Today, less than 20 percent of American families fit into this cookie cutter image.  American households have never been more diverse. (Natalie Angier New York Times article).

A family is seen as a group of people who are biologically or psychologically related.  They connect on historical, emotional or economic bonds, and perceive themselves as part of a household.  Whilst there are several different types of family, I’m interested in the modern image, same-sex marriage family.

Though the image is less traditional, same-sex marriage families fit perfectly into the typical family type, which is a married couple with children.  The only difference is that the children have two fathers or two mothers.  In society today gay marriage is not widely accepted, nor is the idea of a same sex family.  This is due to a failure in cultural and legislative change. The same sex marriage community is growing though, and continues to challenge social norms.  Because the change is so significant to more conservative individuals, not all Americans have adjusted to the concept of gay marriage and the modern family.  Creating challenges for the same sex community, like the accusation that children have problems adapting to their lifestyle, is a common stereotypical behavior.  It has been suggested that kids raised by same-sex parents have a higher risk of drug and alcohol problems, troubles with grades, and behavior problems. However, New York Times writer Angier is convinced that those accusations are false.  She writes, “The Age of Independence: Interracial Unions, Same-sex Unions, and the Changing American Family, the children of same-sex parents are academically and emotionally indistinguishable from those of heterosexual parents.”  This support can make the biggest impact on getting unconvinced members of society to concede to understanding.  Support can create a future where same-sex families are able to start a life without discrimination and prejudice every step of the way.   Acceptance starts with a few people and grows until everyone is capable of understanding that love is love.