What Causes the Erosion of Family Values in America?
On Hub Pages I read the question, “Why are equal rights the cause of eroding family values in the western world?”
The question, itself, really got me thinking about the meaning of family values, if they are in fact declining, what that looks like, and does equal rights have anything to do with it, if that is the case? It was the inspiration for this hub.
To begin, I must start at the beginning, the question. The question assumes at least two things, possibly three. First, equal rights are the cause of eroding family values.
Second, family values in the western world are eroding or perhaps even have eroded. Lastly, the question implies a fault, or blame if you will, for the decline in family values on “equal rights.”
So basically, by extension, it implies, be it purposefully or not, that females, or more specifically legally acknowledging the rights of females, is to blame.
Upon first glance the original question appears simple, if somewhat loaded. It really isn’t. Just the term ‘family values” can be and is interpreted differently depending on what one’s individual experience and expectations of and with family is.
The fact that things are not really equal has more to do with it and the why of that inequality more so than that. It is also a decline, an eating away of the belief system and lifestyle we had that is at the heart of the problem. It springs from the very language we use to frame our conversations about it, from the ambiguous, conflicting laws and policies addressing it, and it spills over into every aspect of our society. It is affecting all of us negatively be we male or female.
This hub shall endeavor to do the following.
- Define Equal Rights and critically examine if they contribute to a fading value system.
- Define family values. Examine how they have changed over recent time.
- Show observable, measurable evidence of the decline of family values.
- Establish that the cause/s of the decline in traditional family values and to a large extent the inequality that divides us stem from the laws, policies, messages and socialization we receive from the systems that surround us.
- Examine how the evolution of language is contributing to not only the declining value system but to further division as well. Simply stated, it will look at how the idea that all communication must be politically correct is fanning the flames of inequality.
The shrinking/mutating of the traditional family value system is leading to the increasingly fast failing of our nation as a whole. It all begins with the decline of the family itself. Equal rights has nothing to do with it in the sense one might expect.
"Destroy the family, you destroy the country."
Vladimir Ulyich Lenin
(First leader of the Soviet Union).
Do you think perhaps someone put this plan into play? Do you think considering his political affiliations that maybe that person was a socialist? Have you been hearing that word much in relation to our current leaders? Food for thought.
1.) What are equal rights?
Equal rights, as a legal term is, "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."
Guess what? Equal rights is real, right? Not. Nope, not even, gals. It never passed. For real. Check it out. Google it, Youtube it. You won't like what you find.
How can something that really doesn’t exist, since it was never fully ratified by all needed states, be the cause of anything? Surprised girls? It’s a rather sobering thought is it not? We are not considered equal to men, by law, or in this case, the lack thereof. Does this lack of legal equality perhaps have something to do with the decline of traditional values itself? Could a devaluation of women, of over half the population, through lack of legal equality have played a part in things such as…
- Statistics | RAINN | Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network
- Child Abuse Symptoms, Causes, Treatment - Are girls more often abused than boys on MedicineNet
Get information on child abuse and neglect types (sexual, physical, emotional), causes, treatment, long-term effects, statistics and preventing and reporting maltreatment.
- The number of single parent households headed by women. In 2006 over 10 million families were classified as single head of household with a female as that single head. That was 80% of all single head of households reported.
- The number of women assaulted each year. Almost two million women are physically assualted in this country every year. That's just the number reported mind you. Each year over 120 thousand people are sexually assualted, men and women. It is estimated that only 60% of rapes are ever reported.
- The number of female children assaulted each year. In America, over three and a half million children are abused each year. Girls are more likely to be abused than boys. In cases of sexual abuse 75% of all cases is of abuse against girls.
The incidence of child abuse against all children reported, only what is reported, is going up steadily each year.
The only reason women got the right to vote was because the then president promised it in exchange for the support of the Women's Sufferage Group for America entering the war.
Or, are men and women equal in a legal sense?
How can that be considering Equal Rights never passed? To be fair, there are laws that do protect the rights of women, when enforced. So, if nothing else, it is becoming increasingly clear that our nation is at the very least sending mixed signals about the value of women.
On August 26, 1920 the 19th amendment was signed into law “granting” women the right to vote. This often lulls us females into thinking we are equal.
Further support for our equality, in a legal sense, can be found in anti discrimination policies and laws in regards to hiring and work environments. Are these laws always enforced? No, but they do help, when one has the vast energy and resources needed to maneuver through the system. There’s that word again… system.
2.) What are family values?
Dictionary.com defines them as…
“the moral and ethical principles traditionally upheld and transmitted within a family, as honesty, loyalty, industry, and faith.”
Thefreedictionary.com defines them as…
“The moral and social values traditionally maintained and affirmed within a family.”
As we can see, subtle differences exist even within the dictionaries. While such differences seem small, they contribute to a lack of overall understanding which further plays into the decline. How can we practice what we can’t even readily define? Assuming we all agreed on the four values contained within the first definition, and we don’t, how are said values to be transmitted via the family when families are breaking up all over the country?
The divorce rate in our country is roughly 50%. One in every two marriages ends in divorce. Divorce rates increase with each successive marriage.
- Divorce Rates In America Why So High? Statistics & Reasons
What are the current divorce rates in America? It is frequently reported that the divorce rate in America is 50%.
- Number of homeless children on the rise | McClatchy
A national study released Monday finds that one in 50 children in America is homeless.
- Homeless Children
Homeless children tell their stories of surviving abuse and life on the streets.
Created by SerbianDoll23 on You Tube
3.) Measurable, obserable data illustrating the decline of family values in America.
- See the above data on divorce rates and abuse.
- Homeless children abound in America.
In 2009 it was estimated one in fifty children in this country were homeless. Today the numbers are much higher. It’s estimated there are one to two million children on the street every night. You may be wondering what’s up with the one million range there. I did. The range is due to things like “couch surfing,” staying in a shelter, being in jail, or just not being counted, falling so far below the radar that even the bean counters fail to see.
- The number of children in state care.
There are close to half a million children in foster care. That number is down a surprising 20% since 2009. Does our nation seem kinder, better off, or vastly improved to you since 2009? Do you wonder if maybe there is some kind of connection between the rising number of homeless children and the lower number of abused children going into protective services? Do you wonder if maybe some of these kids are running into the streets rather than protective services? Why would that be?
- The percentage of children dropping out of school.
Estimations range from 50 to 75% completion rates for high school graduation. These numbers are so misleading. It is much worse. Why? The numbers are skewed. Some ways in which that happens are, first, children are withdrawn all the time for home schooling. How many high school age students do you really think end up graduating from home? A student can be withdrawn saying they are moving to another district. At the point of withdrawal said student is no longer figured into the reporting schools numbers. Second, typically, the senior class is used as the reporting pool. That does not take into account all the students that exited the system before making it to be a senior. If you want a more accurate picture, compare the number of freshman in one year to the number of graduating seniors four years later. The numbers will not be good.
I think we have observed measurable evidence of the decline of traditional family values. How can we not have? What can be more of a family value than the family itself? American families are disintegrating. If the above is not enough evidence for you, check out the links.
Not only is the nuclear family disintegrating at an alarming rate, but fewer and fewer of us maintain extended family ties. With that said, I have to send out a huge Thank You to grandparents across the country for raising their grandchildren.
What does it say about younger generations that our parents are raising our children?
What does it say about the differing value systems held by each generation? Do you think it's improving?
4.) What caused the decline?
Systems - Great big ones.
A. Controls much of employees time
B. Controls employees financial stability to a large degree. (no job, no check)
C. In some ways enforces law - Example: Hiring, harassment policies. A double edged sword.
A. Socializes the young. Teaches what to think, how to think, what’s right, what’s wrong.
B. Gets as much of the time of the young as employment gets of the older.
C. Exerts some control over families via mandatory reporting/enforcement of truancy laws, immunization laws, and so forth.
(Have you read the “drill” for what happens to your children if they are in school
in the even of a national threat/incident?)
D. Exerts some control over families too in that it provides child care many can’t pay for otherwise.
A. Establishes law - including family law
B. Enforces law
C. Some control over money on family level
(sales tax, federal taxes, property taxes, and so on)
A. Contributes significantly to defining what is morally acceptable
A. Projects images of what is desired/not desired
B. Projects messages of what is correct/incorrect, good/bad, right/wrong
C. Is more prevalent in many people’s lives than, well, people
D. Most prevalent system - t.v., print, internet, radio. It’s literally in the air!
In America we have huge, powerful systems in operation that effect us directly and indirectly every day. They are so ingrained within our culture as to shape the very way we think. The degree to which their “messages” influences us varies widely among individuals. The young are typically much more susceptible to such messages, but they affect us all to some degree. The family is effected by each of the systems it interacts with as a unit, as are we all as individuals.
The systems that surround us not only interact with us as individuals, but further, they act upon us in groups of every conceivable demographic imagined. The first demographic group, traditionally the strongest, and the most basic was, of course, the family. They, the systems, also interact with each other. Each is effected by the others and in turn is constantly effecting all the others. The systems themselves are the source of much division and provide the ongoing fuel that keeps the fires of dissention among us blazing at all times.
Is this a new phenomenon? No. Of course not. Gender in fact, if we really think about it, had to be the first “label”, the first indicator of some silly difference that could be used to divide.
You know what they say… Divide and conquer. Then, of course, came other things such as race, nationality in various forms, religion, and any other thing one can think of that makes any and all of us in any way unique, an individual.
Media - Largest System and Most Powerful
Capsule Added 12-26-11
This makes some strong points about how the media is programming people. I don't agree with all of his argument, but much of it is inarguable.
Think about how we all have been affected. Remember some popular shows of the past.
Take Star Trek for example; Regardless of being a fan or not, no one can argue many things that were first shown on that show, only dreamed of at the time, are now commonplace.
Examples of this include, but are not limited to, a women in a position of authority, personal computers, hand held computers (cell phones/tricorders...hello), and many, many more. A lot of what came from that show was good.
Now, think of how many shows have run since the mediums inception and how our society has changed.
Is it not possible, even probable, many, many undesirable things came from this too? Just look at how the nature of family as depicted on TV has changed. Try comparing and contrasting Leave It to Beaver or The Waltons with a modern family sitcom.
End of capsule addition
We are surrounded by these systems. Name a time in your day when you're not. They program how we think even. It is in the best interest of those profiting off our division to keep us divided.
As you can see, I never got to point five and in truth barely scratched the surface of points three and four. I sincerely apologize. The topic is just too big to cover here in one hub. I am attempting to address it in a series of hubs examining how the ideology of politically correct speech is destroying America and will post a link here in the very near future.
Lastly, to the hubber that posed the initial question... You are a wonderful hubber and I know for a fact you meant nothing negative when you posed the question. In fact, I thank you for doing so as it got me to thinking.
I actually wrote this months ago when you first posed the question but got so overwhelmed I had to walk away. I got overwhelmed because I began to see more clearly how huge the ideology of politically correct is, how it has infected all systems and how imprisoned we are by said systems.
Thank you for sparking this thought tract as it has taken me to places I never would have dreamed and confirmed and solidified my initial thoughts in a way only fighting through an idea again and again from many angles can. God bless you.
Updates to the current state of family values in America
Well, here it is 2013, about two years after I originally wrote this. Things are much worse. Our nation is rocked in scandal at the very top levels of government. Elected leaders and their employees are embroiled in such current scandals as child molestation, systemic discrimination against those who do not support the current administration through the use of the IRS as a weapon, confiscation of private phone records and a judge just announcing criticizing Islam can be a crime. Mind you, this is just the headlines of the last few weeks.
Non traditional marriage is at the forefront of the news, while tax breaks for families are disappearing. Obamacare promises to pay for abortions but special needs children across the country are finding it hard to get medical care as more and more doctors retire and refuse to take Medicare. IRS jobs are still on the upswing. Homelessness is up. Unemployment is up.
Christianity is under attack in virtually every state in the union. Funny, that judge mentioned just a bit ago, I don't remember him mentioning anything about Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American Christian being tortured still in an Iranian prison just for being Christian. Doesn't that sound like a government instituted form of discrimination, a targeting of certain groups? Is not that the very opposite of what are supposed to be family values?
The very foundations of what is considered right and wrong are being redefined by the beast that is our government through all of the systems they control and surround us in.
The government is supposed to lead the people. When the leaders are so corrupt, so totally and completely devoid of family values themselves, how can the nation do anything but follow suit as long as it keeps said leaders?
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