The first part of our lives is ruined by our parents and the second half by our children.
--Clarence Darrow

Penelope Leach found that the average time spent between parent and child dropped forty percent between 1973 and 1993. In his 1981 book New Rules, Daniel Yankelovich wrote that "one of the most far-reaching changes in [moral] norms relates to what parents believe they owe their children and what their children owe them. ...The overall pattern is clear: today's parents expect to make fewer sacrifices for their children than in the past, but they also demand less from their offspring in the form of future obligations than their parents demanded of them....Sixty-seven percent believe that 'children do not have an obligation to their parents regardless of what their parents have done for them'"(p.86).  (See Larry Bumpass's "The Changing Contexts of Parenting in the U.S." and other papers from the 1998 Parenthood in America conference)

Of the nearly 16.5 million births to ever-married women that occurred from 1983 through 1988, approximately 5.8 million, or 35 percent, were unintended. Of those, about 30 percent were unwanted, and the other 70 percent were mistimed (wanted at a later time). Statistics from a recent National Survey of Family Growth reveal an apparent increase in unwanted births for the first time since the widespread acceptance of the most effective methods of contraception.