New Research on the Family -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 05:2 (Fall 2000)
Article: New Research on the Family
Author: Anonymous

New Research on the Family

From The Howard Center For Family, Religion, & Society

Tiger’s Tale

The unexpected and often pernicious consequences of widespread contraception, welfare, and feminism are surveyed in the pages of Society in an interview with the noted anthropologist Lionel Tiger, author of such works as The Decline of Males and The Pursuit of Pleasure.

A principal consequence of contraception, Tiger suggests, is that men “have become less committed to the reproductive process, though not to sexual activity.” He notes that upwards of one-third of marriages used to occur during a pregnancy, “because men clearly understood their responsibility.” The pill, by largely removing men from the reproductive choice, made them “increasingly reluctant to ‘do the right thing.’”

According to Tiger, the feckless fathers that are one consequence of contraception have sired a “new kinship system” that Tiger labels “bureaugamy”: the union between woman, child, and their bureaucrat. Fathers are not seen as critical elements of the welfare family; their diminished importance contributes to the much-lamented “deadbeat dad” who enlivens the dreams of headline-hunting members of congress.

Tiger explains deadbeat dads by observing that “many men may resent the fact that even though they are publicly labeled as ‘patriarchs’, they are…expected to support families without the public approval [such a] ‘family man’ used to receive.”

Tiger suggests that we abandon the folly that the sexes are identical or interchangeable: “The notion is silly that all differences between men and women are the result of television, magazines, Barbie dolls, GI Joe and stereotypes. Sex differences are seen in other primates, too, and they can’t read and don’t own remote controls.”

Source: Lionel Tiger (an interview), “The Decline of Males,” Society, 3 Volume 37, No. 2 [January/February 2000]: 6-9.

The Best Preparation for Divorce

Some progressive theorists have endorsed premarital cohabitation as a sensible way to prepare for marriage by testing for compatibility. But in a study recently pub-lished in the Journal of Marriage and the Family, sociol-ogists at the University of California, Irvine, report that what cohabitation best prepares couples to do is not to make wedding vows but rather to break them.

Using data from national surveys, the researchers establish that “although cohabitors held less conven-tional gender and family values, cohabiting hetero-sexuals were only slightly less likely (94% versus 99%) to expect sexual exclusivity than married persons who had never lived together [outside of wedlock]. Once marr...

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