Here’s a quick summary of that story: Once upon a time, the natural family was a school for children, a nursing home for the aged, and, most importantly, a productive and largely self-sufficient economy. But with the rise of the factory and the exchange of the family’s most physically productive member for money, the center of economic life moved out of the home. Fathers now spent most of their time someplace else.
This weakened the natural family and made it dependent. Eventually, many of its traditional social-welfare functions were outsourced: education to public schools, care for the aged to nursing homes. Households were downgraded to outlets for recreation and personal expression. Children were no longer valued for their contributions to the household, but now rather resembled pets—creatures to lavish ourselves upon, but unnecessary. With the industrial revolution, religion was called upon to justify the burden of these little, clinging liabilities. Then came the sexual revolution.