By Naomi Cahn, John Theodore Fey Research Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School & June Carbone, Edward A. Smith/Missouri Chair of Law, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
Released last week, a new study found that women over the age of 35 in the U.S. gave birth to more babies than did American teens -- a reversal of the situation 20 years ago.
Given our research into family formation, this doesn't surprise us. In Red Families v. Blue Families, we discuss which families are succeeding in the 21st Century. It is "blue" families, which invest in women as well as men, delay family formation until after young adults reach emotional maturity and financial independence, and view sexuality as a private matter, that have adapted to the new information economy. By contrast, the "red" family system is a traditional one that continues to preach abstinence, early marriage and more traditional gender roles. The religious backlash against the new values has locked red families into a war against modernity. The book also shows how cultural controversies over abortion, gay marriage and single motherhood are masking the country's real divisions, and then suggest practical steps to reshape the debate surrounding red and blue America.