Is Fertility the Unspoken Issue in the Debate between Liberal and Conservative Family Values?
58 Pages Posted: 7 May 2007
In two recent books, Linda McClain, The Place of Families: Fostering Capacity, Equality, and Responsibility (2006), and James Q. Wilson, The Marriage Problem: How Our Culture Has Weakened Families (2002), lay out the respective positions in the opposing family values that divide the United States Wilson maintains that family well-being requires a "powerful cultural reassertion of . . . marriage" while McClain articulates liberal feminist values that require equality within and among families. This article maintains that delayed childbearing, not marriage or equality, holds the key to the new middle class morality, and discusses the prospects for family law pragmatism in an era of values polarization.
Keywords: family law, values, polarization, liberalism, marriage, marriage movement, gender, sex education, sexuality, fertility, abstinence, welfare reform, parenting
JEL Classification: A12, A13, A14, D63, D64, J12, J13, J16, H53, I38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation