Some of the difficulties that American families confront and success and failures

Some of the difficulties that American families confront and success and failures

Discuss some of the difficulties that American families confront, as well as the successes and failures of current family-supporting policies.


Since the 1950s, American families have undergone a lot of changes. Strong and frequently divergent opinions on the causes of these changes and their effects are held by academics, politicians, and the general public. Now, using the most recent social science research, we examine some of the most significant concerns affecting US families. Please refer back to Chapter 5 “Sexual Orientation and Inequality” on sexual orientation and inequality for information on this very important subject as it covered same-sex marriage and families.

Even though they are not yet married, some single persons live in a love relationship with a person of the opposite sex. According to the census, there are now 6 million opposite-sex relationships; this represents roughly 10% of all relationships.

More than half of those in their 20s and 30s have lived with someone else, and around a quarter of them are doing so right now (Brown, 2005). Approximately 55% of cohabiting couples are without biological children, 45% share a biological child, and 21% have a biological child with their partner. (These numbers sum up to more than 100% since many couples house both their own and their partner’s children.) Only 5% of kids share a residence with their biological parents.

Contrary to popular belief, numerous studies have shown that married couples who lived together prior to getting hitched are more likely to divorce than married couples who did not (Jose, O’Leary, & Moyer, 2010).

This apparent result, according to sociologist Susan L. Brown (2005, p. 34), is ironic because “the main reason people cohabit is to assess their relationship’s sustainability for marriage. Many people believe that they can avoid divorce by cohabitating terrible relationships. The probability of divorce, however, is actually increased by cohabitation before marriage. This outcome may be explained by two factors. First off, cohabitation may alter a couple’s dynamic and raise their likelihood of divorcing if they decide to get married. Second, people who are open to cohabitation may not be highly devoted to the idea of marriage and may be more amenable to divorcing if their future union proves to be miserable.