Writing for Mic.com, Derrick Clifton celebrates the death of the traditional family using the latest Pew research analysis showing that less than half of kids in America live with two heterosexual parents in their first marriage.
"Move over, Ward and June Cleaver — the archetypal nuclear families with a wife, husband and 2.5 kids is not so normal anymore," Clifton writes gleefully.
The Pew data was compiled by senior researcher Gretchen Livingston and posted online. Livingston explains the results:
While the old "ideal" involved couples marrying young, then starting a family, and staying married till "death do they part," the family has become more complex, and less "traditional."
Here is a quick rundown of the data:
- Americans are delaying marriage, and more may be foregoing the institution altogether
- The share of children born outside of marriage now stands at 41%, up from just 5% in 1960. The share of people who have been previously married is rising, as is remarriage.
- 15% of children are living with two parents who are in a remarriage
- 6% of all children are living with a step-parent
- 34% of children today are living with an unmarried parent—up from just 9% in 1960, and 19% in 1980
- 4%–are living with two cohabiting parents
- The remaining 5% of children are not living with either parent. In most of these cases, they are living with a grandparent.
Livingston notes that adopted children of homosexual parents are lumped into the single parent category.
Clifton delighted in the data: "How's that for a modern family?" He adds that the research simply "confirms what many know intuitively" and that is, "There's no right or wrong way to have a family."
And that, he says, is thanks in part to the diverse images America is soaking up through its consumption of media and entertainment. Clifton celebrates the uptick in the "gaby boom" by showing a photo that captured two men tearfully welcoming their adopted daughter shortly after she was birthed by her surrogate mother.
Clifton's piece, The "Traditional Family" is Officially Dead, concludes:
So perhaps it's time the debate end over what constitutes a "traditional" American family. People live in families of birth and in families of choice: What matters most is having a network of love and support.
As is more and more the case, Clifton, and other liberals like him, seem to be in such celebration over the death of the traditional family that those who fit the traditional mold are left feeling isolated and perhaps illegitimate. And isn't that antithetical to the liberal mantra of diversity and inclusion?