Non-Traditional Families Are Now the Majority, so Don't Feel Weird about Your Strange Relatives This Holiday
If you didn't grow up with two heterosexual parents, a loyal dog, and a well-kept lawn on which to spend your idyllic summers as a child, it looks like you have a chance to get back at all your smug peers with their Leave It to Beaver lives, because according to the Pew Research Center, non-traditional families are now the majority. Who are the weirdos now? I'm not saying you should turn the tables and take these kids' lunch money at the next high school reunion, but... No, really, you shouldn't do that. Just to be clear, I'm totally kidding. Still, won't it be fun to watch the American Family Association go nuts over this information?Pew's recent poll showed that only 46 percent of children in the U.S. live in households that fit the "traditional" mold — that is, two married parents, Jezebel reports. The dog and picket fence are optional, apparently. The remaining 54 percent is a mishmash of household types: in 15 percent, either one or both parents are remarried, 5 percent are parent-less (Pew points out that this usually means they're being raised by a relative, not living on the streets), and 34 percent are single-parent homes. But what about the children?
While it's definitely true that the kids of single parents deal with "more poverty, more instability, and more problems at school, among other things," as The Washington Post writes, research also indicates that when you control for poverty and other such factors, they really aren't any unhappier than their peers with married parents. Studies on the subject are often oversimplified, and don't factor in environmental factors. In fact, recent studies have shown that it's the quality of relationships at home that matter, not how many parents you have.
So if you used to feel weird about not going home to a Bill O'Reilly-approved household for the holidays, take comfort in the fact that you're far from the only one these days, and sooner or later, policies are going to have to catch up to the new normal. Plus, who doesn't love to irritate old white conservative pundits?Images: Anders Ruff Custom Designs/Flickr, ineedthisforreactions/Tumblr