Front Page Titles (by Subject) Children and Family - Literature of Liberty, Spring 1980, vol. 3, No. 1
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Children and Family - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, Spring 1980, vol. 3, No. 1 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Children and Family
“The Meaning of Children in America.” The Center Magazine 13(January-February 1980):6–14.
The meaning and value of children in contemporary society is often muddled by the trends and mores that characterize a current generation. Eulah Laucks’s questionnaire survey aims to discover what kind of attitudes modern society reflects toward the purpose, importance, and role children play. Laucks sampling involved a fairly homogenous group of graduates from the University of California, with a wide variety of generations.
Her findings are surprisingly traditional; the plight of the American family is not as bleak as it may seem. Children are generally wanted and considered an important enhancement of a marriage. They are perceived as only slight hindrances to their parents’ personal pursuits. Though Americans value a harmonious family life, attitudes toward the use of contraceptives, abortions, sterilization, and divorce are increasingly liberal. In short, “opinions regarding family and children often are not matched by their actions.”
Laucks evaluates the sexual revolution (which she believes began in the 1950s and ended in the 1970s) as a revolution against intimacy and vulnerability. Young men and women are “afraid to make commitments. Making a commitment which is deeper than just a casual one is considered a sign of one’s own weakness.”
“Many of the previous generations prized commitment at that age and sought involvement as a source of pleasure and satisfaction in life. Their children perceive a different truth: they believe that emotional involvement invites disaster.”
Laucks concludes by stating that she determined parents still want their children, still value them, and still see that society needs some kind of family institutions.