As someone with a degree in the social sciences, and an interest in the hard sciences, I find it informative to look at causes and effects.
As infants, children are without self-restraint; they have no discipline. Parents impose "external" discipline to regulate the behavior of their children. For most, as they mature, this external discipline transforms into self-discipline.
For most of human history, the Biblical maxim, "spare the rod and spoil the child," has been applied in child rearing. With this rule as a justification, parents have physically abused their children.
To protect children from abuse, we have impressed upon parents that punishing a child may be criminal behavior. We teach young adults that they need to be their child's friend. We try to convince parents that narcissism, disobedience, and tantrums are just a phase of development that will pass in time.
As a result, children grow up believing that the world revolves around their desires and wind up never developing self-discipline.
Since the founding of our nation, and centuries before, God played a central role in the daily lives of ordinary people.
Since then, we learned that the universe does not revolve around an Earth God created just for us. We learned that disease is caused by bacteria and viruses. Weather phenomena have scientific explanation. Psychologists assert that there really is no such thing as evil, rather what we perceive as evil is really mental disorder. All while "modern" philosophers and scientists systematically push God deeper and deeper into the recesses and believers are ridiculed.
Following that, we conclude that praying at school is a violation of the Constitution. So is displaying the nativity at local courthouses. Likewise are monuments with the Ten Commandments or made in the shape of a cross.
As a result, people have become more fearful of being caught by the law than they are the ridicule and scorn of their community and answering for their choices to their maker who sees all.
In the past, from time to time, some young lady's dreams would be forever shattered by becoming pregnant with a bastard child. These illegitimate children, through no fault of their own, would be looked down upon by society. Sometimes, a poor family would give birth to one child too many and have to put the child in an orphanage.
To reduce the numbers of these tragedies, we invented medications and devices of all types to prevent or "fix" these problems. As time went on, various leaders insisted that these medicines and devices must be distributed far and wide.
As a result, knowing we can plan our pregnancies, sex became a recreational activity. Sex was no longer a sacramental aspect of marriage and adultery and fornication became commonplace. As a result, the numbers of illegitimate children ballooned; divorce became the norm, and marriage passť.
Humans are apparently designed to crave a relationship with their creator. As God is ignored, emptiness opens in the human soul. More and more, despite their increasing worldly comforts and pleasures, people feel emptiness inside. They try to fill or cover over the emptiness with sex, drugs, alcohol, video entertainment, etc. but the emptiness persists.
As a result can we truly be surprised that ours has become a dysfunctional society?
If there ever were a time and place of perfection on Earth, it was lost shortly after God endowed man with a soul and "Eden" was lost. There will always be suffering as a part of the human condition. As a result, I am more and more convinced that most of life's choices are between bad and worse, not good and bad, and that the world's problems will never be solved.
Perhaps we were better before curing many of our ills. We were better when children were disciplined, even though some were abused. We were better when there was good and evil and God figured prominently in our daily lives even though it offended some people. Perhaps we were better when abstinence was the norm and people in troubled marriages struggled to work things out even though there was a stigma associated with divorce and having illegitimate children.