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Downward Spiral

In Charles Swindoll's new book, The Quest for Character (Multnomah), 'sociologist and historian Carle Zimmerman, in his 1947 book Family and Civilization, recorded his keen observations as he compared the disintegration of various cultures with the parallel decline of family life in those cultures.

Eight specific patterns of domestic behavior typified the downward spiral of each culture Zimmerman studied:

  • Marriage loses its sacredness ... is frequently broken by divorce;
  • Traditional meaning of the marriage ceremony is lost;
  • Feminist movements abound;
  • There is increased public disrespect for parents and authority in general;
  • An acceleration of juvenile delinquency, promiscuity and rebellion occurs;
  • There is refusal of people with traditional marriages to accept family responsibilities;
  • A growing desire for, and acceptance of, adultery is evident;
  • There is increasing interest in, and spread of, sexual perversions and sex-related crimes.

Confident Living, November 1987, p. 34