March 10, 2011

Judging Family Trends

31-32-37

The sweeping changes in family structure that have occurred roughly over the past 50 years have split the public into three roughly equal groups: Accepters, Rejecters and Skeptics.

The American family has seen sweeping changes over the past half century. How these changes are viewed splits the public into three roughly equal groups: Accepters, Rejecters and Skeptics. A national sample of Americans was asked about seven family trends, such as gay couples raising children, single women raising children and people of different races marrying each other. A third of the public (31%) are deemed Accepters. Anywhere from half to two-thirds of this group say these seven trends make no difference to society while the remainder of the group say these trends are good. Women, Hispanics, residents of the East Coast and the non-religious are more likely to be Accepters. Roughly an equal number of Americans (32%) are Rejecters. A majority of this group say five of the seven changes are bad for society (interracial marriage is a notable exception). Whites, older adults, Republicans, the religiously observant and married adults are overrepresented in this group. The largest group, at 37%, are Skeptics. While they share most of the tolerant views of the Accepters, they also express concern about the impact of these trends on society (single motherhood being a key example). Young people, Democrats and political independents, and minorities are disproportionately represented in this group. Read More