The Traditional Nuclear Family Has Had its Day

Gay parents, single parents, communes - anything goes!

Tuesday 29 January 2013, 5.34pm | VIDEO NOW ONLINE

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“They f**k you up, your mum and dad”. That was written in the bad old days when the traditional family held sway. Thank goodness that’s all over, argue those in favour of a more modern and liberal understanding of what constitutes a happy family. Children need to grow up in a loving environment, but love isn’t restricted to that which exists between a married man and woman. It comes, more and more frequently, in all sorts of combinations.

What libertarian clap-trap, say the traditionalists. The most depressing thing to come out of the sexual revolution of the 1960s is the utter selfishness of parents. Children are now produced in order for their parents to have fully realised lives, whether they are straight, gay, single or cohabiting, with little thought for the good of the children or society. Children need the stability of the nuclear family in order to flourish and develop a sense of duty and trust. These are the virtues which go on to lay the underpinnings of a well-structured society.

Combining the flair of Intelligence Squared debates with the innovative technology of Google+ Hangouts, we’re bringing the world’s best speakers to the fray, either hosting them on stage at Sadler’s Wells in London or beaming them onto the big screen from wherever they are in the world.


“Has the traditional nuclear family had its day?”
Click here to read an interview between Anne Atkins and Philippa Perry in the Guardian.


Speakers for the motion

Charlie CondouCharlie Condou

British actor, best known for his role in the TV series Coronation Street


Philippa PerryPhilippa Perry

British psychotherapist and author of the graphic novel, ‘Couch Fiction: a graphic tale of psychotherapy’. She is married to Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry


Speakers against the motion

Anne AtkinsAnne Atkins

British broadcaster, journalist and novelist. She is a regular contributor to Thought for the Day on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme



Stephanie CoontzDr Stephanie Coontz

Co-Chair and Director of Research and Public Education of the Council on Contemporary Families


John Onaiyekan

John Onaiyekan (via Google+ Hangouts)

Roman Catholic Cardinal Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria


Andrew SolomonAndrew Solomon (via Google+ Hangouts)

Writer and Author of Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity


Glenn Stanton

Glenn Stanton (via Google+ Hangouts)

Director for Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family in the United States




Manisha TankManisha Tank

Manisha Tank is a British television news presenter for CNN




Unfortunately Susan Golombok and Phillip Blond were not able to take part in the debate.


All speakers are subjects to change.