Family values, sometimes referred to as familial values, are traditional or cultural values that pertain to the family's structure, function, roles, beliefs, attitudes, and ideals.

In the social sciences and U.S. political discourse, the conventional term "traditional family" describes an imagined nuclear family—a child-rearing environment composed of a breadwinning father, a homemaking mother, and their nominally biological children. A family deviating from this model is considered a nontraditional family. However, in most cultures at most times, the extended family model has been most common, not the nuclear family,[1] and the "nuclear family" became the most common form in the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s.[2]


Several online dictionaries define "family values" as the following:

In politics

Main article: Familialism

Familialism or familism is the ideology that puts priority on family and family values.[6] Familialism advocates for a welfare system where families, rather than the government, take responsibility for the care of their members.[6]

In the United States, the banner of "family values" has been used by social conservatives to express opposition to abortion, feminism, pornography, comprehensive sex education, divorce, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, civil unions, secularism, and atheism.[7] American conservative groups have made inroads promoting these policies in Africa since the early 2000s, describing them as African family values.[8]

In culture

This article is missing information about other cultures. Please expand the article to include this information. Further details may exist on the talk page. (November 2016)

Cultures outside of the United States

Interpretations of Islamic learnings and Arab culture are common for the majority of Saudis. Islam is a driving cultural force that dictates a submission to the will of Allah.[9] The academic literature suggests that the family is regarded as the main foundation of Muslim society and culture; the family structure and nature of the relationship between family members are influenced by the Islamic religion.[10] Marriage in Saudi culture means the union of two families, not just two individuals.[11] In Muslim society, marriage involves a social contract that occurs with the consent of parents or guardians. Furthermore, marriage is considered the only legitimate outlet for sexual desires, and sex outside marriage (zina) is a crime that is punished under Islamic law.[12] This view of marriage is similar to the Western Christian view of marriage, created in 12th century France, which promised salvation, sex without sin, and much more.[13]

The Saudi family includes extended families, as the extended family provides the individual with a sense of identity. The father is often the breadwinner and protector of the family, whereas the mother is often the homemaker and the primary caretaker of the children.[14] Parents are regarded with high respect, and children are strongly encouraged to respect and obey their parents.[15] Often, families provide care for elders. Until recently, because families and friends are expected to provide elderly care, nursing homes were considered culturally unacceptable.[16]

United States culture

In sociological terms, nontraditional families make up the majority of American households.[17] As of 2014, only 46% of children in the U.S. live in a traditional family, down from 61% in 1980.[18] This number includes only families with parents who are in their first marriage, whereas the percentage of children simply living with two married parents is 65% as of 2016.[19]

See also


  1. ^ "Parenting Myths And Facts". Archived from the original on 13 April 2019. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  2. ^ "History of Nuclear Families". 3 January 2017. Archived from the original on 13 April 2019. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  3. ^ "family values". Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  4. ^ "family values". Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, Inc. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  5. ^ "family values". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  6. ^ a b Emiko Ochiai, Leo Aoi Hosoya (2014). Transformation of the Intimate and the Public in Asian Modernity. The Intimate and the Public in Asian and Global Perspectives. BRILL. pp. 20–1. ISBN 9789004264359.
  7. ^ Dowland, Seth (2015). Family Values and the Rise of the Christian Right. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 9780812247602.
  8. ^ McEwen, Haley (May 25, 2017). "Nuclear power: The family in decolonial perspective and 'pro-family' politics in Africa". Development Southern Africa. 34 (6): 738–751. doi:10.1080/0376835X.2017.1318700. S2CID 148956131.
  9. ^ Peachy, William S. (1999). A brief look upon Islam. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Darussalam Publishers and Distributors. p. 48. Archived from the original on 13 April 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  10. ^ Mutair, A; Plummer, V; O'Brien, A; Clerehan, R (2014). "Providing culturally congruent care for Saudi patients and their families". Contemporary Nurse. 46 (2): 254–258. doi:10.5172/conu.2014.46.2.254. PMID 24787260. S2CID 20386177.
  11. ^ Khalaf, I; Callister, L (1997). "Cultural meanings of childbirth: Muslim women living in Jordan". Journal of Holistic Nursing. 4 (15): 373–388. doi:10.1177/089801019701500405. PMID 9397746. S2CID 40338008.
  12. ^ Lemu, A; Heeren, F (1992). Women in Islam. Leicester, England: The Islamic Foundation.
  13. ^ McDougall, Sara (2013). "The Making of Marriage in Medieval France". Journal of Family History. 38 (2): 103–121. doi:10.1177/0363199013484680. S2CID 143759807.
  14. ^ Luna, J (1989). "Transcultural nursing care of Arab Muslims". Journal of Transcultural Nursing. 1 (1): 22–26. doi:10.1177/104365968900100105. PMID 2803661. S2CID 25951878.
  15. ^ Ghazwi, F.; Nock, L. (1989). "Religion as mediating force in the effects of modernization on parent–child relations in Jordan". Middle Eastern Studies. 25 (3): 363–369. doi:10.1080/00263208908700786.
  16. ^ Luna, J (1989). "Transcultural nursing care of Arab Muslims". Journal of Transcultural Nursing. 1 (1): 22–26. doi:10.1177/104365968900100105. PMID 2803661. S2CID 25951878.
  17. ^ Panasenko, N (2013). "Czech and Slovak Family Patterns and Family Values in Historical, Social and Cultural Context". Journal of Comparative Family Studies. 44 (1): 79–98. doi:10.3138/jcfs.44.1.79.
  18. ^ "Fewer than half of US kids live in 'traditional' family". December 22, 2014. Archived from the original on 11 April 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  19. ^ "The Majority of Children Live With Two Parents, Census Bureau Reports". The United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 16 July 2019. Retrieved 4 January 2019.

Further reading