As more individuals delay having children or opt for childlessness, the question arises: What value do people place on children in contemporary U.S. society? Dr. Laucks studies this question through a survey designed to elicit attitudes regarding the purpose and desirability of raising children in the context of a depersonalized, fragmented, and alienating society. The survey – of a large group of university graduates – points to marked discrepancies between individual attitudes favoring procreation and parenthood and individual actions that contradict traditional notions. Purported aspirations and goals still include the hope of raising happy, healthy children. Yet, while individually valuing children and family, Americans widely approve of and use contraceptives and other birth control methods, endorse easy dissolution of marriage, and approve of relationships that exclude children. The author examines these diverging attitudes in relation to contemporary and historical sentiments toward the family. Extensive tables display the detailed results of Dr. Laucks’s survey, giving demographic information on the respondents, along with their attitudes toward sexual practices, parenthood, child rearing, and the family.
Other Titles in This Series -- Also of Interest -- Introduction -- Notes on Historical Attitudes Toward Children -- Contemporary Trends Affecting the Meaning of Children -- A Survey to Elicit Contemporary Attitudes -- Attitudes and Opinions of Respondents -- Summation