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Gregory Seliverstov
Gregory Seliverstov

Family Values: The Ethics Of Parent-Child Relat... EXCLUSIVE



Professor of Political Theory and Political Philosophy at the department of political science, University College London. His 2014 book Family Values: The Ethics of Parent-Child Relationships reevaluates the ethics of parent-child relationships in terms of social inequality.




Family Values: The Ethics of Parent-Child Relat...



Abstract:The purpose of this article is to familiarize readers with the Chinese Civil Code, which entered into force in early 2021, and to draw their attention to the changes brought about by the Marriage and Family Book, which is now included in Volume V of the new code. The paternity system best reflects the changes in the Chinese Marriage and Family Book, especially Article 1073. A complete paternity system includes presumption, claim, and denial of the parent-child relationship. However, Article 1073 of the Civil Code, which regulates the parent-child relationship, is a guiding provision with a lack of operational rules. It is necessary to make general rules for operation and enforcement by adding supporting rules, including the presumption of legitimate children, the claim of children born out of wedlock, the denial of legitimate children, and other operational rules, to resolve paternity disputes. The Civil Code also makes changes to the adoption system in the Marriage and Family Book, mainly by further restricting the conditions for adopters with the aim of protecting the interests of the adoptee children. Although the Chinese Civil Code retains the concepts of legitimate and illegitimate children, in essence, there is no difference in their rights and legal status, including the right to inheritance. In conclusion, the legislative norms of paternity determination improve the Chinese paternity system, but lack operability, and it is important to accumulate experience through practice and draw on custom and jurisprudence to develop specific operational rules that complement the legislative provisions. This is exactly what this paper will address and the knowledge gap it will fill.Keywords: marriage and family law; private law; parent-child relationship; presumption; adoption; denial of legitimate children


Having had a boyfriend was positively associated with paternal income (odds ratio, 1.3), maternal educational attainment (1.3) and more liberal family values (1.3), and negatively associated with parent-child closeness (0.6). Very strict and very relaxed parental control during adolescence were both associated with having had a boyfriend, but only the former was associated with having had premarital sex. In addition, respondents were more likely to have had premarital intercourse if they did not live with both parents (2.0) or if their family had more liberal values (1.3); they had reduced odds of having had sex if they had a closer relationship with their parents (0.7).


Good family relationships may reduce the likelihood that youth will engage in premarital sex, possibly by fostering parent-child closeness. Moderate parental control may discourage premarital relationships more effectively than lesser or greater degrees of control.


Using this framework, we examine the following questions: In what ways do the socioeconomic characteristics, structure and values of a young woman's family predict her having had premarital relationships and sex? What elements of family function, such as parent-child communication and parental control, predict these outcomes?


Scores on all five family scales differed according to respondents' premarital activity. Family atmosphere was poorer among women who reported having had a boyfriend or having had sex than among their counterparts without such experiences (mean scores, 18.1 vs. 19.1, and 17.2 vs. 18.7, respectively). In addition, family values were significantly more liberal among students who had had premarital relationships or sex compared with those who had not (13.4 vs. 10.3, and 15.1 vs. 11.7, respectively). Contrary to our expectations, parental control during adolescence was stricter among those who reported premarital friendships or sex than among other women (3.4 vs. 3.3, and 3.5 vs. 3.3, respectively). Levels of mother-daughter communication on sensitive issues were lower among students who reported experiencing premarital friendships or sex than among others (15.8 vs. 16.6, and 14.9 vs. 16.3, respectively). Finally, parent-child closeness was a strong predictor of premarital heterosexual activity, as mean scores were lower among respondents who had had a boyfriend or premarital sex than among those who had not (6.1 vs. 8.1, and 5.5 vs. 7.3, respectively).


To sum up, having had a boyfriend or having had sex was more common among young women whose parents were well-off, were well educated, had liberal family values and had relaxed attitudes toward premarital relationships, and among young women who reported a poor family atmosphere, low levels of mother-daughter communication, lack of parent-child closeness and strict parental control.


The predictors of premarital sex were generally similar (Table 4). The crude odds ratios were significant for all of the family factors apart from family residence, living with both parents and father's education. In the adjusted model, premarital sex was no longer associated with father's income, maternal education, family atmosphere or mother-daughter communication. However, not living with both parents became a significant predictor of premarital sex in the multivariate model (odds ratio, 2.0). Other characteristics associated with premarital sex were more liberal family values (1.3), greater parental control (1.6) and lower parent-child closeness (0.7).


Motivation to comply with family values or parents' sexual beliefs is believed to be an important influence on teenagers' sexual behavior. Positive motives to comply with parental expectations may include consistency of parent-child views and morals and children's respect for their parents' views, which together were conceptualized in this study as parent-child closeness or attachment. Another motive, which can be considered negative, may be concern that parents might discover the premarital relationship. In preliminary logistic models not presented here, we found that parent-child closeness mediates the associations of family atmosphere and mother-daughter communication on sensitive issues with young people's sexual behaviors. This finding suggests that parent-child closeness can act as a pathway through which a positive family atmosphere and satisfying parent-child communication may influence youths' sexual behavior. In other words, better family atmosphere and parent-child communication may lead to more consistent parent-child sexual values and greater respect for parents' sexual attitudes (our measures of better parent-child closeness), and thus lead to lower levels of premarital heterosexual friendship and sexual intercourse. Studies of family processes and relationships have consistently shown that parent-child closeness is associated with lower adolescent pregnancy risk, primarily through delaying and reducing adolescent sexual activity.48


Finally, a comparison of predictors of premarital friendship and intercourse reveals similarities and differences. Father's income and parental education (especially mother's) were predictors of having had a boyfriend but not of having had sex. On the other hand, strict parental control, lack of parent-child closeness and liberal family values were associated with both premarital friendship and sex. Interestingly, not living with both parents was a predictor of premarital sex, but not friendship. Therefore, premarital heterosexual friendship is more related to positive family factors and modernity, while premarital sex appears to be more closely linked with poor family outcomes and relations. These results suggest the need for comprehensive studies that use qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the role of family structure and processes on the sexual behavior of young people in Iran. Such studies might be able to provide some policy guidance.


Both family structure and religious attendance effect the quality of parent-child relationships. The National Survey of Children's Health showed that children from intact families who frequently attended worship were most likely to have a high-quality relationship with their parents. 16) (See Chart Below)


In the interviews it became obvious, that eating is an inherent part of daily family life whereas this is not the case for physical activity, although families wish being more physically active as a family. Families talked much more about nutrition than about physical activities, when talking about everyday family life and health. Regular meals are implemented in every family, at least once a day. In contrast, common family physical activities were less prominent in the interviewed families. Obviously, they are much more difficult to realize in daily family life. Our findings are in line with the findings of Thompson and colleagues [38]. They conducted semi-structured interviews with parents and found that parents perceived joint physical activity as important and mentioned several benefits such as spending time together and increased parent-child communication. However, parents also reported that due to busy lifestyles, diverse ages and interests of children and adults, engaging in physical activity together as a family is rare in daily family life. Activities performed together were rather sedentary. These results indicate that families consider joint physical activity as important and beneficial. However, while regular family meals are integrated in daily family life this is not the case for joint physical activity. Therefore, strategies are needed that promote and facilitate joint physical activity in families and these strategies should be integrated in family-based health promoting interventions.


The study fully conformed to the Declaration of Helsinki and the ethics guidelines of the German Psychological Society. Written informed consent was obtained from each family member. For the participating children consents were signed from the children themselves and from at least one parent. Full ethical approval for the study was obtained from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Local Research Ethics Committee on June 16, 2016. 041b061a72


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