Appeal to family values


“Having both male and female influences in a child’s upbringing is extremely important. This is why traditional families raise more well-adjusted children.”


Appeals to family values are often a combination of an appeal to fear and an appeal to tradition in that it attempts to speak to parents about how to, or how not to, raise their kids. Often it is used to critique particular education styles, parenting fads or social issues and scientific advancements such as IVF, gay marriage, adoption and surrogacy.

Effect on reader

These appeals can be particularly effective when used to guilt parents into feeling like they are not raising their children “right” or suggesting to parents that other people’s children are not being raised “right.”

It is important to note that because appeals to family values generally involve children, they can often play significantly to feelings of fear and guilt. Children are part of a vulnerable group so suggestions that their welfare is under threat tend to carry more weight with the reader than a general threat.