America is the best country in the world. We have the best doctors, the best military, the best schools and best of all the most freedom. But as with any system there are possible improvements. One of America’s biggest current problems is the broken family. In America one out of two marriages ends in divorce. This drop in stable marriages also increases the number of children being raised by single parents of whom eighty three percent are female (Wood). This is creating a generation of children who have no idea how a family should be run and they don’t understand how to be a good spouse. This experience in a child’s youth also causes kids to try and have all of the things that come with marriage with out the commitment because they are afraid of it.
This decrease in lasting marriages can be accounted for by many factors. One contributing factor is the idea today that love is what you want it to be and only lasts as long as things are easy or comfortable. This misconception causes many couples to just forget about the “till death do you part” section of the vows and decide that they should sleep with whoever makes them feel good (Wilson). These decisions can also cause a large spread of diseases. With our youth going and having sex with many people to whom they are not married, many diseases are being passed along and spreading through the society. If these people had the traditional values of marriage and abstinence then the diseases wouldn’t be a problem.
The fall of traditional values in America has brought an increase in the spread of STDs. As more and more teens decide that they are mature enough or free enough to pick a mate at the age of sixteen and sleep with them shows: for one, a lack of general education on health and risks that come from this, and a lack of value placed on the family. This new generation of unmarried teenagers at risk of STDs and not caring should scare the decision makers and educators into action but regardless of this they choose to ignore what is happening and cover it up.
The frequent divorces that leave behind children with only a single parent cause these children to grow up without some of the guidance that they need. As many children only have a mother they lack the strong guidance that can come from a father. Because of this America has seen a rise in gang participation and violence. Gang membership provides a fatherless child with a level of guidance, acceptance and discipline that all youth desperately need. At the beginning of 2002 there were approximately 18 active gangs; now there are around 89 active gangs on record. (Atkins) According to Toney Atkins, the courier for The Southern Poverty Law Center, the gangs are now more violent and more active, committing more atrocities and pulling in new members daily.
The American media is one of the largest culprits of poor education to our youth. Every day the news is flooded with all of the problems in America and all of the youth know everything that goes wrong. Every single murder, rape, divorce, sexual scandal, and the next top model all show up to tell them what the worlds problems are and how horrible it can be to be out in the world and its strife. These children are deeply influenced by everything they hear and will see these things as normal. One proof of this is seen in the growing rates of teenage violence.
These problems all compounded with each other and America’s drift away from absolute truth and right and wrong are making America a much scarier place to be than it was fifty years ago. The easiest solution to these problems is education and awareness. If the American schools were willing to tell their students the truth about what their actions do to them, then the American public could begin its path back to strength and unity. Dr. Ann Crickard, while giving a lecture on STDs to a Westland high school health class, stated “…Condoms are not 100% protective against STDs especially HIV…” The teacher of the class immediately stood up and said to Dr. Crickard “You can’t say that!” disallowing Dr. Crickard the right to defend her statement. The teacher quickly removed her from the classroom.(Crickard) This symbol of America’s ignorance and attempt to hide information from the youth needs to be stopped in order to protect our future generations.
If America opens the minds of its youth to the studies and facts around them, then the many problems arising from and with the broken families could begin to fade. To use an old cliché “the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow”. If our generation is kept completely ignorant and uninformed then the results will destroy our country. A strong education and a belief and hunger for absolute truth are forces that will put America back into a rush forward to a strong leadership role in the world.
Improved strength in the American family and a return to the traditional family values can bring American society out of the scare that it is in due to all of the crimes occurring and bring back the common “hello” to passing strangers. If America gives the new generations an education about the value and strength of a close family, then the family can come back and give America the strength and values to be a light shining in a dark and scary world.