ABSTRACT

Swiss families are not radically different from their counterparts in the United States or Europe, affirming the truism that “all happy families are alike.” They are, however, slightly more stable and close. The laws of the state, likewise, are somewhat more pro-family, or family based, than in most other highly developed countries. There is, moreover, a somewhat greater modesty in manners and dress, and in statutes governing such matters as decency in the mass media. Policies like those of social welfare treat the family, rather than the individual, as the fundamental unit of society, and thus, reinforce family structure. Switzerland has divorce, child abuse and neglect, deadbeat dads, and many of the other ills seen in the West. It has them, though, with marginally less frequency. And it responds differently, legally and socially, when these maladies appear.