The Typical White American Family (In-depth Look)

In this brief guide, we will discuss a White American Family.

A Typical White American Family

A typical white American family has always been considered to be straight white parents and their children, and the image associated with a family unit usually doesn’t take into consideration the fact that the adults in the white American family could be same-sex or of different genders.

Because of all the social changes that have happened throughout the world over the past decade, as a whole generation grows up and reaches the family age, many things have changed, and the typical white American family is now becoming a stereotypical white American family; the narrative of the man bringing home the bacon while the mother cooks it and the children obediently sit by the fire to regale the parents with what they learned in school has changed significantly.

With the so-called millennial generation reaching adulthood and becoming parents, defining their own gender roles, norms, identities and sexual orientations, the image of a white American family is not what it used to be, much to the chagrin of many who still espouse the same “values” that were instilled into them by their parents or by religious texts that frown upon or downright forbid same-sex relations.

Even before the change in the genders of the parental unit in a white American family came about because of the acceptance of same-sex parents, there were already changes in gender roles, leading to a significantly different family unit where the women worked just as much, and well, as men and did not feel compelled to stay home and be the person that tended to the fire or cared for the husband and children.

Texts from that era that defined the white American family as a unit run by the man now stand out like problematic thorns in a varied garden of society, and even the people who do stand by the belief that the mother or the woman is the nurturer, would, at some point, agree that those values were archaic and have no place in the world where there is just far too much evolution for typical, nay, stereotypical, gender roles simply don’t stand.

Perhaps that is the problem that the progressives have with the people who look at the typical white American family as a unit that should not evolve or change beyond the stock image of a mom, dad and their son and daughter; the people who favor those values pick and choose what values to ascribe to the family unit, and they conveniently ignore the other roles they would have to take on if they were to force that “typical” image onto the idea of family.

For instance, for someone who insists that the typical white American family must always be a man and woman and their children forgets that the man and woman in such a family unit must abide by certain rules dictated by the same guides they are brandishing with the intent of discrediting the newer types of families; values that they would not want to be held to themselves when push came to shove.

This discrepancy in how much to believe and how much to leave out is what causes the problems in defining what the white American family must look like; even the vehement opposers of the new age white American family could not specify what the change must be apart from the fact that it should be a man, a woman, and their two happy children and the family pet.

The need of the age is to accept that the typical white American family simply does not exist, and even when they do, there is too much room for change and growth to limit the idea to what it used to be, because evolution is an upward moving graph and has no place in it for the beliefs of the yesteryear.

If one insists that the woman must always tend to the fire or stove in the white American family, one also needs to realize that in doing so they are keeping roughly half the population at home, away from where they could be helping the economy and running countries, as they currently do.

Similarly, if one insists that the typical white American family must always consist of two adults of the opposite genders and nothing else, that means that thousands of children go without parents, as adoption rates are highest among same-sex couples, and removing them from the equation in any way takes away the hope from so many of those children of ever having a loving household.

Lastly, even the very idea of white American Family in a country that contains the largest variety of races is rather limited and odd, considering that the United States of America boasts the largest diversity in the world, and in saying that the White American family is the epitome of family a large section of the population gets cut out of the narrative completely, and in the process so does a large section of the workforce that keeps America great.

Types of White American Families

When talking about White American families one needs to consider how many types there exist, because there are many types of parenting structures and family units in America at the moment.

For instance, America has the largest percentage of single parent households, where due to divorce or separation or even death, there is only one parent, and the children from these families turn out just fine in most cases.

The single-parent household used to be frowned upon as a travesty of civil society, but as of the latest estimates about 22 million children live with a single parent, and a large section of these family units are women who are acting as a single parent.

In accordance with the values that most cheerleaders of the typical white American family seem to stand by, these women would not be allowed to have jobs or might not even be allowed to raise their children on their own, which would destroy the unit completely; however, because we live in a more progressive state than the earlier times when the stereotypical white American family was the normal, these new families are happy, healthy and functional.

Another type of white American family that used to be seen as a difficult or odd structure was the only-child family which went against the narrative of the two beautiful children with their heterosexual parents, but that previously sad and lonely configuration has now changed to these children being hailed as creative and resilient and excelling in their respective fields.

With the normalization of the idea that remarriage is okay, and that sometimes people break up and decide to change their family structure, white American families are also blended households now, where one might find a mash-up of step relatives, in brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, and whoever else comes with them. 

Many people say that it is very common to have a suicidal sister.

While a white American family that sees an amalgamation of relations is new and interesting, this is often not easy on its members and issues of discipline and bias and rules often come into play, but at the same time they bring together broken families which just as often also leads to healthier and more positive family units.

Then there are those couples that don’t have children at all, which is something that is often criticized as being wrong or something that goes against nature because human beings are thought to have the need to procreate and further their species, but there are separate issues associated with that concept as well.

The problem with questioning why some people don’t have children is deeper than just accusing them of going against their primal need to procreate, and when we do so we forget that humans are apex predators, there is no outer force keeping our rates of procreation in check so if all family units kept giving in to the need to procreate, it will eventually lead to our society crumbling under our own weight.

We forget to take into account the fact that when families choose to not have children, perhaps they shouldn’t be knocked by saying that they aren’t typical white American families, because it might just be nature trying to balance the scales and making sure we don’t deplete our already dwindling resources.

White American Family and Children

The primary reason a unit known as the white American family even exists is because children are considered to be the most important thing in just about any society and they should be provided with the absolute correct type of environment growing up, which is why most people who support the typical white American family oppose all the other types.

However, does it mean that any white American family that follows the so-called norm guarantees that the children will be stellar members of society as adults? No, it does not, and here is why.

Growing up, a child needs much, much more than good role models; they need the right kind of attachment, the right kind of education, the right physical environment (weather patterns, climate, world around them), and a biological structure that is without faults.

For any one child to have every single one of those things in the current world is practically next to impossible, because there are simply too many factors involved.

Take education, for instance; in the best possible public school condition in the USA, the teacher student ratio is 16:1, and this is the ideal figure, which means that there is a likelihood that in most places this figure runs much higher, meaning an underpaid and overworked teacher is taking care of so many students that it is just not possible for them to pay individual attention to each student.

It is also not possible for the parents to always give the right kind of attachment system to the child, or ensure that they are always getting along with other children, and so on and so forth, meaning that at any given time in a child’s life, there are many factors at play apart from the parental attributes in their family.

Furthermore, even if all of these factors were somehow controlled to give the child an idyllic upbringing, it does not change the fact that when they enter the workforce as an adult, or basically start fending for themselves as an adult, that they aren’t always going to have things just as perfect as they did when they were a child, and the fact that they had an easy childhood will eventually work against them because they never had the chance to build any resilience or see the different facets of what can be.

This is why it is not possible to limit the idea of a white American family, or any typical family unit, for that matter, to be upheld, because for things to stay the same in the family unit, things must stay the same in society; an idea that is hard to implement in the rapidly changing world of today.

When we try to stick to the old ideals we forget to take into account all the advancements that were made by those who didn’t do that, and that means that if we wanted to revert to the older times because there were some aspects of it that were more picturesque, we must then also bid adieu to all the new things we have gotten used to, because society cannot evolve or regress in pieces; it goes all the way either way, so it becomes a matter of choosing which way we go.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we discussed a White American Family. 

The concepts of family, especially a white American family, have changed significantly over the past decade, much to the chagrin of some people but ultimately for the better, in some cases.

A study of the typical white American family currently gives a good idea of what the average family is like right now, and how society has evolved as a whole with all the changes of gender and sexual orientation and other important individual aspects that have come about.

If you have any more questions or comments about the White American family, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): White American Family

What percentage of the US population is Caucasian?

73% of the US population is Caucasian.

White people constitute the majority of the U.S. population, and a total of about 234,370,202 or 73% of the population as of 2017 in the United States was Caucasian.

“Non-Hispanic Whites” make up 60.7% of the country’s population.

How the definition of an American family has changed?

The definition of an American Family has changed considerably because of how much Two-parent households are on the decline, with concepts like divorce, remarriage and cohabitation being on the rise. 

It has also been seen that the definition of an American family has changed because families are generally smaller now, perhaps because of the drop in fertility as well as because of the rise in single parent households.

What percentage of the United States is black?

13.4% of the United States is Black.

Citations

https://perspectives.pressbooks.com/chapter/family-and-marriage/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/family-dynamics

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Americans#Albion’s_Seed:_Four_British_Folkways_in_America

https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2015/12/17/1-the-American-family-today/

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Sara Quitlag is an Applied Psychologist, with a deep interest in psychopathology and neuropsychology and how psychology impacts and permeates every aspect of our environment. She has worked in Clinical settings (as Special Ed. Counselor, CBT Therapist) and has contributed at local Universities as a Faculty member from time to time. She has a graduate degree in English Literature and feels very connected to how literature and psychology interact. She feels accountable and passionate about making a "QUALITY" contribution to the overall global reform and well-being. She actively seeks out opportunities where she can spread awareness and make a positive difference across the globe for the welfare of our global society.