By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency     1/27/2020

WASHINGTON (CNA) — A new study says that while most Californians support the redefinition of marriage and the family, they choose intact marriages and traditional families. 

“People with the most amount of choice and privilege, when they have a choice, they choose things like these traditional structures which are most pleasant to live in,” said Catherine Pakaluk, assistant professor of social research and economic thought at the Catholic University of America, in an interview on Wednesday with CNA. 

The new report by the Institute for Family Studies (IFS), “State of Contradiction: Progressive family culture, traditional family structure in California,” focuses on a survey of Californians about marriage and children. 

Authored by Wendy Wang, director of research at IFS, and W. Bradford Wilcox, a senior fellow at IFS, the report “reveals a paradox at the heart of California’s success.” While Californians mostly supported “family diversity,” or non-traditional families, they also reported higher-than-average intact marriages and families where children live with their biological parents—“traditional” families. 

“On the one hand, the Golden State, especially through Hollywood and Silicon Valley, has been a global messenger of expressive individualism, personal fulfillment, and tolerance—values associated with progressivism,” Wang and Wilcox wrote. 

“On the other hand, the families that actually live in the Golden State tend to be traditional.” 

For the study, IFS analyzed data from its California Family Survey conducted by the polling company YouGov between Sept. 6 and Oct. 11, 2019, of 2,000 adults in California ages 18 to 50.