Family

Articles from The Atlantic Monthly's archive and related links

"The Kids Are All Right" (July/August 2004)
Teens aren't as warped as some of the books about them. By Tom Carson.

"A More Perfect Union" (April 2004)
How the Founding Fathers would have handled gay marriage. By Jonathan Rauch.

"How Serfdom Saved the Women's Movement" (March 2004)
Dispatches from the nanny wars. By Caitlin Flanagan

"Marriage Counselor" (March 2004)
Matt Daniels believes he's found a solution to the political problem of gay marriage. So why do his fellow conservatives want to divorce him? By Franklin Foer

"Do as I Say" (January/February 2004)
Dr. Laura's counsel is caustic and oftentimes hypocritical, but it is also persuasive. By Caitlin Flanagan

"A Stepford for Our Times" (December 2003)
To work as social satire today, a remake of The Stepford Wives should be as much about perfecting children as about perfecting wives. By Margaret Talbot

"The Lonely Passion" (December 2003)
The Between Boyfrends Book, by Cindy Chupack. By Caitlin Flanagan

"Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" (November 2003)
Is it time to cancel the wedding? By Caitlin Flanagan

"Nannyhood and Apple Pie" (October 2003)
A popular sociologist wonders whether the hired help is better at parenting than are parents. Reviewed by Sandra Tsing Loh

"Sticking Together" (October 2003)
Friendship, Family, and Commitment, by Ethan Watters. Reviewed by Caitlin Flanagan

"Housewife Confidential" (September 2003)
A tribute to the old-fashioned housewife, and to Erma Bombeck, her champion and guide. By Caitlin Flanagan

"In Praise of Nepotism" (July/August 2003)
Americans censure nepotism on the one hand and practice it as much as they can on the other. There's much to be said for "good" nepotism, the author argues—which is fortunate, because we're living in a nepotistic Golden Age. By Adam Bellow

"The Baby Experts" (May 2003)
The high anxiety of child-rearing . By Sandra Tsing Loh

"Grade A: The Market for a Yale Woman's Eggs" (December 2002)
When a Yale undergraduate explored becoming an egg donor for a wealthy couple willing to pay top dollar to the right candidate, she didn't realize how unsettling the process of candidacy would prove to be. By Jessica Cohen

"The At-risk-youth Industry" (December 2002)
Private companies that run prisons and treatment centers for juveniles have turned out not to be very good at making money or rehabilitating kids. By Eyal Press & Jennifer Washburn

"The Mother Load" (October 2002)
Many of today's working mothers have upper-middle class lifestyles but middle-class aspirations. By Caitlin Flanagan

"Home Alone" (September 2002)
It's all too easy to deride Martha Stewart, but the attacks on her often point up how much there is to admire. By Caitlin Flanagan

"What Price Valor?" (June 2002)
Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children by Sylvia Ann Hewlett, reviewed by Caitlin Flanagan.

"The Marrying Kind" (May 2002)
Why social conservatives should support same-sex marriage. By Jonathan Rauch

"The Apocalypse of Adolescence" (March 2002)
The murder last year of two Dartmouth College professors offers entry to a disturbing subject—lethal violence by "ordinary" teenagers from "ordinary" communities. By Ron Powers

"Inspired Immaturity" (March 2002)
The midlife crisis as a patriotic duty. By David Brooks

"Women of God" (January 2002)
Nuns are an endangered species. The novelist and memoirist Mary Gordon examines this disappearing way of life, talks to survivors here and abroad, and wonders what, if anything, can replace the iconic figure of the nun in the popular imagination. By Mary Gordon

"Mr. Goodbar Redux" (January 2002)
Illusions. Affectation. Lies. This is the insidious and incapacitating legacy of modern dating books. By Cristina Nehring

"A New Counterculture" (November 2001)
The rapid growth of the home-schooling movement owes much to the energy and organizational skills of its Christian advocates. By Margaret Talbot

"Love, Singaporean Style" (July/August 2001)
Faced with a graying population, a notoriously staid government has sanctioned an "All-Out Make-Out" campaign. By Joshua Kurlantzick

"Rush to Judgment" (June 2001)
There may be more—and less—behind the high-profile news account of a boy's setting himself on fire. By Teller

"The Organization Kid" (April 2001)
The young men and women of America's future elite work their laptops to the bone, rarely question authority, and happily accept their positions at the top of the heap as part of the natural order of life. By David Brooks

"Wooed By Freedom" (September 2000)
Why the young distrust love and fear commitment. By Peter Berkowitz

"A New Social Type Is Born" (June 2000)
In this work of "comic sociology" David Brooks presents a conceptual key to American society. By Thomas Mallon

"Uncertain Objects of Desire" (March 2000)
In India, a country that straddles the old and the new, a good place to look for signs of shifting values might be the matrimonial columns of The Times of India. By Chitra Divakaruni

"The Plight of the High-Status Woman" (December 1999)
Getting dumped is the defining theme of a new popular genre. By Barbara Dafoe Whitehead

"The Mystique of Betty Friedan" (September 1999)
She helped to change not only the thinking but the lives of many American women, but recent books throw into question the intellectual and personal sources of her work. By Alan Wolfe

"A Politics for Generation X" (August 1999)
Today's young adults may be the most politically disengaged in American history. The author explains why, and puts forth a new political agenda that just might galvanize his generation. By Ted Halstead

"The Grads of '69" (June 1999)
A review of Miriam Horn's Rebels in White Gloves: Coming of Age With Hillary's Class—Wellesley '69. By Wendy Kaminer

"Children and Money" (April 1998)
Turning childish greed into grown-up capitalism. By David Owen

"Feminism's Unfinished Business" (November 1997)
A review of Deborah Rhode's Speaking of Sex: the Denial of Gender Inequality. By Katha Pollitt

"Can the Government Prevent Divorce?" (October 1997)
Some researchers say they can tell (sort of) which prospective marriages are destined (maybe) for failure. Now moves are afoot to harden research findings into public policy. By Eric Schlosser

"A Grief Like No Other" (September 1997)
Americans are fascinated by murders and murderers but not by the families of the people who are killed—an amazingly numerous group, whose members can turn only to one another for sympathy and understanding. By Eric Schlosser

"The Man Who Counts the Killings" (May 1997)
George Gerbner, who thirty years ago founded the Cultural Indicators project, which is best known for its estimate that the average American child will have watched 8,000 murders on television by the age of twelve, is so alarmed about the baneful effects of TV that he describes them in terms of "fascism." By Scott Stossel

"The Worst Thing Bill Clinton Has Done" (March 1997)
A Clinton appointee who resigned in protest over the new welfare law explains why it is so bad and suggests how its worst effects could be mitigated. By Peter Edelman

"The Failure of Sex Education" (October 1994)
"Comprehensive sex education" mandated in seventeen states, is the educational fad of the hour, yet there is little evidence that it "works"—prevents teenage pregnancy and stanches the spread of sexually transmitted disease. Defended By its professional-class originators as "getting real" about teenage sex, it fails to speak to the grim reality of what the author calls "the new sexual revolution" among the young. By Barbara Dafoe Whitehead

"Dan Quayle Was Right" (April 1993)
The social-science evidence is in: though it may benefit the adults involved, the dissolution of intact two-parent families is harmful to large numbers of children. Moreover, the author argues, family diversity in the form of increasing numbers of single-parent and stepparent families does not strengthen the social fabric but, rather, dramatically weakens and undermines society. By Barbara Dafoe Whitehead

"The New Generation Gap" (December 1992)
It isn't yet at a sixties boil, but the emerging conflict between fortysomethings and twentysomethings will help to define this decade. By Neil Howe and William Strauss

"Crashing the Locker Room" (July 1992)
Why are there so few women in Congress? Why is it especially difficult for women to make it to the Senate? With a record number of women running for the Senate this year, our reporter takes a careful look at the obstacles in the way of women candidates and at their emerging advantages. By Wendy Kaminer

"Growing Up Scared" (June 1990)
Spurred on by family instability, violent crime now touches millions of young lives. The control of crime in the streets, in the schools, and in the home ought to be the pre-eminent "children's issue." By Karl Zinsmeister

"Kids as Capital" (August 1989)
"Today, as we face the need to nurture our work force and safeguard our retirements, the question forcing its way onto the agenda is how much more we will pay for other people's children. More out of necessity than out of choice, a new redistributional politics is emerging—a politics of redistribution from the childless to the child-rearing." By Jonathan Rauch

"Babes in Day Care" (August 1988)
The controversy over whether nonmaternal care harms infants. By Ellen Ruppel Shell

"Intimate Partners" (November and December 1986)
Part I: An examination of the underlying architecture of love relationships—the influence of the past, the causes of infidelity, and the systems that couples create. Part II: A series of structured exercises that enable some couples to interrupt their repetitive power struggles and transform their partnership By Maggie Scarf

"The Amazon of Peshawar" (April 1986)
In which an Englishman explores the frontiers of feminism. By John Keegan

"Raising Kids" (October 1983)
"More mothers and fathers may have found children to be a burden as the traditional social and moral supports for family life have become more precarious and the opportunities for distraction and entertainment outside the family have become greater. Parents who once just got by as child-rearers now find themselves slipping over the edge as it becomes harder, or less necessary, just to get by...." By James Q. Wilson

"The Biggest Pimp of All" (January 1977)
"It is time to take note that there are ways to provide sex for money that are acceptable to prostitutes, law enforcement officials, and the surrounding communities." By Elizabeth and James Vorenberg

"Divorce and the Family in America" (November 1966)
"The argument that there would be fewer divorces if there were fewer romantic illusions about marriage expresses an undoubted truth; but it is not clear, as the argument seems to assume, that there is something intrinsically undesirable about a high rate of divorce. Most reformers, when confronted with particular cases, admit that divorce is better than trying to save a bad marriage. Yet many of them shy away from the conclusion toward which these sentiments seem to point, that one way of promoting more mature marriages might be to make marriage as voluntary an arrangement, both as to its inception and as to its termination, as possible." By Christopher Lasch

"The Captivity of Marriage" (June 1961)
"Marriage, entered upon maturely, is the only life for most women. But it is a way of life, not a magic bag of goodies at the end of the road." By Nora Johnson

"The Russian Effort to Abolish Marriage" (July 1926)
"Men took to changing wives with the same zest which they displayed in the consumption of the recently restored forty-per-cent vodka." By A Woman Resident in Russia

"One View of Domestic Science" (October 1911)
"The idea that every woman needs practical instruction in housekeeping as a part of her education is as absurd as would be the claim that every man needs to be taught in school to plant corn or milk a cow." By Mary Leal Harkness

"Is Marriage Holy?" (March 1875)
"What attitude of mind does a perception of the inward holiness or religious sanctity of marriage enjoin upon those who suffer from any of the offenses included in the violation of the outward bond?—a vindictive attitude or a forgiving one?" By Henry James, Sr.



Related Links

Administration for Children and Families

American Family Association Journal

Family Education Network

Family Research Council

Family.com

What is a Family? —A Discussion of Family Values


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