Spinney Press, 2006.
If this book is anything to go by, the natural family of mum, dad and the kids is not only an aberration, an historical anomaly, and a freak of nature, but hardly anyone has ever lived in such a monstrosity.
Thus it is a good thing that this book is just an example of Politically Correctness gone ballistic, and not sound social science research. But the bad news is, this book is designed for school students, so it amounts to a real indoctrination tract which will mislead many.
This book is actually the latest (volume 328) in a long line of books in the “Issues in Society” series. The series is used mainly for secondary students across the country as they write or debate on social issues of the day.
These educational resource books have in the past covered topics such as aboriginal reconciliation, illicit drugs, globalization, sexuality and discrimination, the ‘stolen generation’, abortion, children’s rights, IVF and racism, among many others.
I have featured in a number of these books over the years – usually the token conservative voice. Often I am greatly outnumbered by the more progressive, trendy and leftist voices around.
This 44 page book features around 27 different articles, mostly gleaned from newspapers, magazines, and special interest groups. But if in the past I was the token conservative, it is certainly the case here, big time. Indeed, it appears that most of the articles here push the old (or really, new) line that the natural family is just a recent social construct, that it has never been the norm, and that it is repressive, stifling and hostile to real individual fulfillment and freedom.
It is amazing to see so many articles collected in one place all pushing the politically correct party line. What an interesting propaganda piece this appears to be. Sure there are several Bureau of Statistics and other government bodies giving the data, but they tend to just parrot the line that families are changing and we can’t define family anyway. Yet for all the spin about ‘changing families’ and ‘diversity’ and ‘variety’, the fact remains that most children today still live with their mother and father.
Sure that is changing, but the question is, is this a welcome trend? The truth is, what some regard as progress, can be more rightly regarded by others as an indication of regress. The breaking up the family, the dissolution of marriage, and the arrival of alternate lifestyles are not necessarily welcome trends. Indeed, the current assault on the family is one of the most harmful and far-reaching changes we have witnessed of late. The destruction of the biological family is not something to gloat over, but to worry about.
The biological family is still the best for couples, for children, and for society, something well established by the social science research. But of course those findings will not be found here, except for my article.
And the hard truth is, the natural family has always been the historical, universal norm. Throughout history and across cultures, mum, dad and the kids have been the primary family structure. Sure, there has been the extended family and so on, but the natural biological family is a universal and historical social constant. (See for example my summary of the huge amount of evidence in my research paper, “Deconstructing the Family”.).
But our new thought police would have us believe otherwise. How many times do we hear today that the biological family is simply an American invention of the 1950s, and that it has long since disappeared from the scene? Well it seems that every social engineer in the world who has ever pushed that patently false line is featured here in this book!
Indeed, my article, “‘Innovative’ Definitions of ‘Family’ Flout Tradition” is second last. The last article by Kay Millican is entitled “Exploding the Nuclear Family…” and it starts off with these words (I kid you not!): “Family is steadily emerging as something completely unfamiliar from the 50’s nuclear mum-and-dad style unit that John Howard supports.” Well there you have it: just an invention of the 1950s. Why am I not surprised to find her comment here?
Of course we should note that Kay is a lesbian, and she spends most of her article attacking John Howard, claiming he lives “in a dreamtime utopia that will never return”. There you have it again. The most fundamental unit of society is simply an LSD trip in John Howard’s mind!
By the way, she confesses that her parents divorced when she was nine, and her dad left town. Yet she seeks to convince us that everyone has had a lousy family background like she had, and that proves that there is no such thing as a nice, warm two-parent family. But in fact it is nice of her to make my point. Broken families have real negative impacts on children, and her search for love in all the wrong places makes my case. Why is it that homosexuals and lesbians so consistently come from broken and/or abusive homes?
In this book, all the usual suspects are to be found. The Australian Institute of Family Studies features throughout. It has long been partial in its advocacy of alternate lifestyle families, telling us that day care is great for kids, and divorce has no lasting negative impact on children. (See my critique, “Time For a Rethink on the AIFS”.)
Sydney Morning Herald columnist and feminist Adele Horin informs us that “kids turn out just fine” after divorce. Sorry, the social science research tells us just the opposite. Divorce is devastating for children, and negatively affects them for decades afterward. The research on this is again both ample and clear. See for example my review of The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce in this web site (in the Divorce section).
Unfortunately Adele Horin is greatly overrepresented here: she also has two other pieces, one telling us that custodial mums after divorce do not like the idea of shared parenting (why are we not surprised?), and another on lesbian couples wanting children.
All in all, you would never know that there ever was such a thing as natural biological families in reading most of the contributors to this book. It is one long exercise in trying to convince us that families are changing, there never has been a norm for families, and it is a good thing to celebrate this “diversity’ in family structure. Exactly what the feminist, homosexual activists and other social engineers want us to believe. But hardly supported in the social sciences.