The Impact Of Different Family Structures On Children’s Well Being And Development

1835 words - 7 pages

A well-functioning family structure has an essential value for society because its benefits cover all members of society: children, women, and men. Even though the majority of people recognize the importance of family, not many people fully understand how highly family impacts individual development, especially in young children. Researchers have indicated many types of family structures, yet the focus of this paper will emphasize on the “traditional family,” the “single-parent family,” and the “homosexual family” (Berman, 2012). Conservative Presidential candidate Rick Santorum argues that traditional families can provide a stable home for children’s well-being and development. Santorum’s article opens with an “open and shut case” argument about the benefit of children in two-parent families (2007). Others assert that certain family structures can potentially provide children a stable home, but not all of them can nurture their basic needs. In spite of the belief that families with a mother and a father present are beneficial for individuals and for society, Evan Wolfson’s “What is Marriage?” explores the context into same-sex families. In contrast to Santorum, David S. Buckel advocates marriage for homosexual families (2007). In Unequal childhoods: class, race, and family life, Annette Lareau (2011) focuses more about the impact of class, race, and socioeconomic factors in the aspect of child-rearing practices, but not so much about the influence of family structure on the children’s development. Nevertheless, within the context of different family structures, readers can clearly see the invisible benefits of well-functioning families on the growth and development of children. Children from functional two-parent families are less likely to become delinquent and to suffer long-term consequences; however, well-prepared single parents or same-sex parents can possibly do a remarkable job under more difficult circumstances. Whether in a “traditional family”, “single-parent family”, or “homosexual family”, what is best for children is not a matter of where they should be placed at, but the process of how they are nurtured and educated.
The Benefits of Traditional Family.
The traditional family structure sets the standard of a family: mother, father, and offsprings. In the opening of “It Takes a Family,” Santorum asserts the common good of society: “It is an open and shut case: the best place for kids to grow up is with a happily married mom and dad, and the more of these families there are in a community, the better it is for everyone” (2007, p. 88). Santorum acknowledges traditional family structure is the most important foundation of any society. Each family is a fundamental building block of society because the structure of society stems from every single family. If the base is not firmly solid, the social structure will inevitably collapse. Furthermore, Santorum (2007) emphasizes the necessity of heterosexual marriage because naturally...

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