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Title: 2-Parent Family Assailed

Author: Shere Hite

Source: Reuters

Date: Unknown

Contributor: Anonymous

The following article appears here as food for thought. It is intended to aquaint the reader with an argument that is currently being offered in our increasingly liberal society. Although no date of its print is known, from internal evidence, it appears to have been circa. early 1990s. Hopefully, enough is given to identify it with today's technology for anyone interested in sourcing it. The opinions of the writer are not that of

2-Parent Family Assailed

Shere Hite
'Hite Report': It's at root of injustices
Shere Hite / Says the "holy family" model of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is "an essentially repressive one."

LONDON - In a new book, American feminist researcher Shere Hite denounces the traditional two-parent family as outdated, authoritarian and the cradle of many of society's injustices, and she says it is a structure not worth saving.

The influential Hite, who broke new ground in 1976 with a devastating report on female sexuality, is about to publish her fourth report on a topic striking right at the heart of the current debate on "family values."

The Hite Report on the Family: Growing Up Under Patriarchy  is based on more than 3,000 responses from the United States, Britain and other nations to questionnaires about childhood, sexual development and parent-child relationships.

The result, to be published by Bloomsbury on March 1, is an examination of whether the Western nuclear family, with its hierarchical, male-dominated structure, is worth saving. Hite's controversial conclusion, after 15 years of study, is "probably not."

Her methods and findings are the subject of controversy. Her work has been hailed by many feminists but denounced by sociologists and other researchers as unscientific.

"A Golden Age of family bliss exists more in people's imaginations than in their experience," says Hite, 51, who is making a TV documentary in Britain. "The current slogan — 'preservation of family values' — really means not preservation of love in the family but preservation of the hierarchical family."

Family In an age when divorce is rising, Hite questions whether the family is in crisis or merely going through a long-overdue process of democratization. She asks whether the Western nuclear family is the only or best way of creating a safe, loving environment and teaching children how to make adult relationships work.

She says the "holy family" model of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is "an essentially repressive one, teaching authoritarian psychological patterns and a belief in the unchanging rightness of male power."

"How can there be a successful democracy in public life if there is an authoritarian model in private life?" Hite writes.

She bases her arguments on detailed and often emotional accounts by women and men, girls and boys on their upbringing, how they were punished, how much physical contact they had with their parents, their early sexual experiences and the different treatment of brothers and sisters in their family.

Among the main findings:

  • 79 percent of boys from two-parent families said their fathers behaved as if they were superior to their mothers.
  • 81 percent of men who grew up with just their mother found it easier to form good relationships with women later, as opposed to 40 percent of men from 2-parent families.
  • Less than 24 percent of boys said their fathers were affectionate toward them.
  • Children in 2-parent families are often torn by a loyalty crisis between their father and their mother.
  • Boys reaching puberty are taught simultaneously that women are objects of desire, yet objects of contempt, leading to a love-hate relationship with women in later life.

Hite argues that a family can be made up of any combination of people, heterosexual or homosexual, who share their lives in an intimate way. Children have more need of "warm and mature people around them" than the archetypal two-parent family, and are often better off growing up in a single-parent family than an "atmosphere poisoned by gender inequality."

Hite says she welcomes progress over the past 30 years in children's rights, the questioning by men of their roles and the naming and eliminating of emotional violence.

"There is a positive new diversity springing up in families and relationships today in Western society," Hite says. "Far from being a sign of the breakdown of society, it is a sign of a new, more open and tolerant society.

This book salutes the gentler and more diverse family system that seems to be arising one that does not keep fathers in terror lest they not be 'manly' ...mothers in terror lest they be beaten in their own bedrooms and ridiculed by their children; children in terror of being forced to do things against their will."

End Article
- Shere Hite

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