THE TIES THAT BIND

SHOULD BREAKING UP BE HARDER TO DO? THE DEBATE OVER EASY DIVORCE RAGES ON

How quickly in a free society controversy becomes consensus only to become controversy again when the new conventional wisdom jells. Take the national debate about divorce. In 1992 Vice President Dan Quayle made his infamous Murphy Brown speech railing against single motherhood and was ridiculed by almost every social observer to the left of Pat Robertson. Less than a year later, social historian Barbara Dafoe Whitehead published an essay in the Atlantic Monthly titled "Dan Quayle Was Right." Citing studies that tracked the development of children raised by single parents, she identified broken families as Public Enemy No. 1, responsible for...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!