The Public Renders a Split Verdict on Changes in Family Structure

Feb 16, 2011

The American public is sharply divided in its judgments about the sweeping changes in the structure of the American family that have unfolded over the past half century. About a third generally accepts the changes, a third is tolerant but skeptical and a third considers them bad for society.

This finding emerges from an analysis that the Pew Research Center conducted of responses to a survey in which a nationally representative sample of 2,691 adults were asked whether they considered the following seven trends to be good, bad or of no consequence to society: more unmarried couples raising children; more gay and lesbian couples raising children; more single women having children without a male partner to help raise them; more people living together without getting married; more mothers of young children working outside the home; more people of different races marrying each other; and more women not ever having children.

Read the full report, The Public Renders a Split Verdict on Changes in Family Structure, on the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Web site.

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