Americans idolize model family but see limits, study shows

Recognizing gap between ideals and reality
A new survey shows that even as Americans have become more accepting of nontraditional family structures, their view of the ideal family has remained the same—a heterosexual couple, married for life, with children.

The survey, commissioned by the PBS program Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, was conducted by the Washington polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. It forms the basis for a four-week series on the public-television show that began the weekend of October 28.

Findings released to the press show “that there is a significant gap between what we call beliefs and reality” about the family, said pollster Anna Greenberg, who designed the survey. “Nearly everyone in this country supports what we would call the ‘traditional family,’” Greenberg continued, noting that 71 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “God’s plan for marriage is one man, one woman, for life.”

 

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