A new study by the Pew Research Center suggests that attitudes toward non-traditional families are shifting in some ways, although they remain entrenched in others. Its nationally representative survey of 2,691 people found that Americans are more accepting of families led by gay and lesbian parents, although many still do not approve of single mothers.
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The respondents fell evenly into three categories: Acceptors, Rejectors and Skeptics. Acceptors are okay with a wide variety of family situations, Rejectors consider non-traditional families to be damaging to society, and Skeptics are mixed, approving of some kinds of families, but not others. While most Acceptors and Skeptics are fine with same-sex families, many Skeptics disapproved of families headed by single moms. Overall, acceptance of all kinds of two-parent families, from same-sex to unmarried, is on the rise, while negative stereotypes about single moms remain ingrained.
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Interestingly, questions about single dads were not included in the survey. The study also did not differentiate between the reasons for single motherhood, which could range from choice, to death of a spouse, to abandonment.
Plus: Read Single Mom Blogger Christine Coppa’s Personal Take on this Survey
Have you felt your own attitudes toward non-traditional families shifting? What made you change your mind?