American Vision and Values: (required)

Chapter 8 – Marriage and Family 179

Kirkpatrick Signature Series Reader:

Required Readings:

Skolnick:“Beyond the ‘M’ Word: The Tangled Web of Politics and Marriage” 518

Strober:“Children as a Public Good” 524

Marshall,Lerman, Whitehead, Horn, and Rector: “The Collapse of Marriage and the Rise ofWelfare Dependence” 529

Graglia:from Domestic Tranquility 540

Hymowitz:“Marriage and Caste in America” 559

Crittenden:“The Mother of All Problems” 563

Santorum:“The Necessity of Marriage” 570

Parker:“Superwoman: Myth, Reality—or What? 573

Horn:“Why There Is No Substitute for Parents” 580


Tocqueville:from Democracy in America 515

Eberstadt:“Home-Alone America” 549

Hagelin:“Taking Back Our Homes” 576


The Family is the Heart ofSociety—President of Mexico:

Writing Assignment 9.1:

Post to the Week 9 forum ofthe Discussion Board by midnight (11:59p.m. Central Time) of the Sunday of Week 9. Please write only the following in the subject line:9.1 and your last name.

Compose a 1,000-1,200-wordessay on this topic:

Introduction: The median age for marriagetoday (first marriages) is approximately 28.5 for men and 26.5 for women,according to the U.S. Census Bureau. More and more couples are choosing tocohabit first before marrying, or to cohabit and not marry at all, even if theyhave children together. Many people now see the marriage license as “just asheet of paper.” It is sometimes jokingly stated that the only large segment ofthe adult population that yearns to marry today are gay and lesbian couples.

Althoughthere have been significant reductions in the past twenty years in the numberof teens becoming mothers, an extraordinary number of children are still borneach year to teenage mothers:

. . the latest data from theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention

show that the actual rate of teen pregnancies in the U.S.has declined to a

record low. In 2009, around 410,000 teenage girls, ages15 to 19, gave

birth in the United States. That’s a 37 percent decreasefrom the teen birth

rate in1991. Then, 61.8 births per every 1,000 femaleswas a teen

pregnancy. The rate has now dropped to 39.1 births per1,000 women.

Yet according to the United Nations, the rate of teenpregnancy in the

United States is nearly nine times higher than in the majorityof other

developed nations. (“Teen pregnancy rate lowest in twodecades.” 5, 2011.)

Thevast majority of these teen mothers are not married to, and may well nevermarry, the biological fathers of their children.

Tobe fair, one might recognize that, despite the kind of statistics cited in anumber of our readings, many single parents do an excellent job of raisingtheir children, producing well behaved, responsible, and productive young menand women.

Inmarried couples, the question arises as to whether one parent or the othershould stay home with the children—or whether, given today’s economic realitiesand tax rates, both parents have to work. Asurvey from a few years ago found that only 5% of men who could be in theworkforce chose to stay home with their children. Perhaps there are a few more“Mr. Moms” today, but there has not been a dramatic increase in thatpercentage.

In your essay: Assess the ideas in theintroduction and take a position on the institution of marriage? Is it anarchaic tradition that should be abandoned, or is it a vital institution, thebedrock of the social health and stability of the American nation? Why do youthink so? Since children quite literally are the future, devote some space tochildrearing and to how parents (and society?) should see that the needs ofchildren, any country’s most vulnerable population, are met in an increasinglyuncivil world, in which change arrives at a breakneck pace.

ImportantNotes on the Assignments:
Write in Arial 12 font, unless otherwise directed by your instructor.
Comment on specific ideas from ALL of this week’s required readings from the Kirkpatrick Signature Series Reader to support your position.
Always name the author whose ideas you are discussing. This is the author of the specific reading, not the editors of your text.
Provide in-text citations for all ideas, opinions, and facts derived from the course readings, whether you simply refer to them, paraphrase them (put them entirely into your own words), or quote them. Place the in-text citation at the end of your sentence but before the period that ends your sentence. The in-text citation should give the author’s last name (unless you’ve used it already in your sentence), the year of publication for your text (found on the title page), and the page number from the text (using p. for page or pp. for more than one page).
Provide a References page at the end of your essay that includes bibliographic references for every reading cited in your essay. Center the word References at the top of the page (do not underline it, place it in quotation marks, or place it in bold font). Follow APA procedure. The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) offers excellent detailed explanations of APA Style requirements. This is the URL for the Purdue OWL:

The Reader is an anthology,so that is the type of bibliographic reference that should be used. Here is anexample:

Emerson, R. (2008). Self-reliance. In E. Rauchut& K. Mason (Eds.),

Kirkpatricksignature series reader (pp. 374-383). Bellevue, NE:

BellevueUniversity Press. (Original work published 1841)

Note1: The first line of thereference begins at the left margin. All subsequent lines should be indentedone tab.

Note 2: Do not includebibliographic references for any reading not cited in your essay. If you leaveout one or more readings, your references list should honestly reflect that.

Writing Assignment 9.2:

Please post as replies toyour classmates’ essays on the Discussion Board by midnight (11:59 p.m. Central Time) of the Tuesday of Week 10.

Please do notgive a special label to your responses; they will automatically be labeled“Re:…”)

Write a minimum of 2responses to your classmates’ 9.1 threads.

Minimum length = 100words each.

Each response is worth up to 8 pointson the week’s grade. These responses should offer critical thinking opinion onthe specific ideas in the threads and/or in week’s readings.

Note: You are also encouraged to make critical thinkingresponses to those who have written replies to your postings. These responsesmay be of any length. Though such responses are not counted as the two requiredresponses for the assignment, they are noted. Please avoid responses thatmerely say “thank you.” Remember, theessence of online learning is substantive student interaction on significantideas.

Your instructor will either write a reply to your essay on the Discussion Board or post comments on your essay in the Grade Center, pointing out its strengths and noting areas for improvement, as well as posing questions for further thought and/or offering further expert knowledge on the assignment topic.
Your instructor will post your grade for the week to the Grade Center. You can access your grades by clicking on the Tools button and then on My Grades.
Your grade will be based on the quality of your work on both written assignments (.1 and .2). Unless your instructor tells you otherwise, you should assume you have earned the 16% possible on the week’s grade. Your instructor will assign your essay the grade it would earn based on a 100% scale. Then, if deductions are needed for inadequate or missing required responses, those points are deducted from the week’s grade. For example, your instructor might (hypothetically) decide that your essay has earned a grade of 95% (an A); however, the fact that (hypothetically) you have posted only one of the two required responses results in 8% being deducted. Your grade for the week, then, is 87% (a B+). Please see the Grading Policy, Grading Scale, and Criteria for Grading sections of the Syllabus (found in the Course Information area) for more information about grading.

Practical Adviceon All Writing Assignments:
Spell- and grammar-check your essays.

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