Continued from page 1

Cultural progressives of the 1950s derided any “Victorian” worries as “puritanical.” Yet as a result of social changes then beginning, armies of children grow up in bizarre domestic situations today, often without fathers.

We insist there’s no problem—but we don’t believe it.

Put together violent, porn-saturated electronic entertainment and armed, shame-free, unparented young men. Crazy things happen. 

Most Americans love the idea of a rebel. Many shrink from ostracism of juvenile anything, especially if abuse or bullying somehow enters the picture.

Who is delinquent? A sociopath? A truant, an unwed mother, a rapist of drunken and unconscious girls, a meth addict or a mass murderer? Where does anybody rightly draw the line? 

Instead of minimizing or deriding “Victorian” alarm over delinquency and rising challenges to family formation after World War II, we should consider the broad social consequences of these changes two generations later.

Gilbert T. Sewall is director of the American Textbook Council in New York City and co-author of “After Hiroshima: The USA since 1945” (1978).