17 Traditional Values That Don’t Hold Up in Today’s Society

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By Jonathan Trent

Society is constantly changing and evolving, adapting its norms and traditions to fit in with the more progressive views of the people who are part of it. To give you some examples, here are 17 traditional values that no longer hold up in today’s society.

Different Jobs for Different Genders

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Household chores have historically been divided into two categories: chores for men and chores for women. Men tackled the more physical tasks, such as mowing the lawn and completing DIY projects, while women tackled domestic chores, such as cooking and cleaning. Thankfully, we live in a more equal world today!

Marriage is Between a Man and a Woman

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In many parts of the world, marriage is no longer reserved for heterosexual relationships, with LGBTQ+ couples also allowed to tie the knot. According to data put forward by the Pew Research Center, there are over 710,000 same-sex married couples in the US! We still have a long way to go, but it’s progress.

Not Speaking Out

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Social injustices and hate crimes would have previously been ignored by generations gone by, with many preferring not to get involved rather than stepping in. Nowadays, people are willing to speak out against forms of prejudice that take place in public and online spaces, which is a huge relief.

Living to Procreate

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There is no longer a stigma hanging over those who choose not to have children. As women are being afforded more opportunities in the workplace and are no longer expected to sacrifice their careers to take control of domestic life, more couples are choosing to go child-free, and that’s OK.

Keeping Quiet on Mental Health

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Thanks to the excellent work of millennials and Gen Z, there is no longer a stigma attached to those suffering from mental health problems. Victims are not looked down upon as though they are crazy, with more people feeling comfortable talking about their state of mind.

Being Relentlessly Ambitious

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While ambition is still very much seen as a desirable trait, it isn’t the be-all and end-all of someone’s personality. People are allowed to coast in a certain job role and settle for what they have if they desire. There’s no requirement to keep pushing yourself forward unnecessarily!

Using Materialism to Define Success

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Older generations had an awful habit of comparing themselves to their peers, attempting to keep themselves aligned through materialism. Everyone had to have the latest car, stereo system, or fashion. In some ways, this is still common, but most of today’s society appreciates relationships and memories over materialism.

Working for Someone

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Traditional employment requires working for somebody and working your way up the ladder over time. However, over the last decade, digital working has made it possible for more people to make a living by being self-employed, with Bloomberg revealing that freelancers in the USA have surged above the 60 million mark!

Not Standing Up to Authority

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In the light of the multiple misuses of power by police documented on social media in the last decade, Americans’ trust in their police force has hit an all-time low. People are now more aware of their rights and are unafraid to stand up to authority, which can only be a good thing.

Parenting Roles Determined by Gender

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Traditionally, the mother of the children would stay at home, making sure the children were fed, dressed, and educated, while the father would be at work supporting the family financially. Changing times ensure that parenting roles are no longer dictated by gender; now, there are many stay-at-home dads and bread-winning mothers!

Sticking to a Career

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Career paths have never been so fluid, with workers able to make a full 180-degree turn on their careers should they wish to. In previous times, employees would often stick with the career they chose as teenagers until their retirement, which sounds awfully boring to us!

Marrying into the Same Race/Religion

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Since the Loving v. Virginia case of 1967 eradicated laws against interracial marriage, opinions have shifted dramatically, allowing Americans to have more freedom over who they marry. A report by The Guardian suggests that migration patterns, availability, and higher education levels have also contributed to a rise in interracial marriages.

Sticking With Traditional Education

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In modern times, all paths through the United States education system are accepted, with some choosing to take on apprenticeships, some going to college, and some heading straight into the workforce. It has finally been realized that different people have different educational needs. 

Underestimating the Elderly

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In previous generations, after retirement, there was a high chance that you’d be regarded as ‘past it,’ unable to contribute anything meaningful to society anymore. However, with health in older people at an all-time high, the elderly are proving they still have a lot more to give. It’s truly wonderful to see!

Live to Work

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A common archaic attitude among the American people was that you should live to work rather than work to live. However, the pendulum has begun to swing against this belief system, with people realizing the importance of rest and spending time with family and friends. What a relief!

Marriage for Life

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Traditionally, once you were married, there was no changing your mind. This often left people trapped in relationships that have turned sour, but thankfully, this is no longer the case. Divorce is now normalized, although sadly, this means that, as reported by Forbes, over 689,000 Americans got divorced in 2021 alone.

Shaming Single People

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Finally, those who voluntarily chose to remain single would historically have been considered losers, with people assuming their personality wasn’t suitable for a relationship. This is no longer the case, with people given more autonomy over their own love lives. As long as you’re happy, there’s nothing wrong with being single!