January 6, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Gender Studies, Human Sexuality
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Outline    

Pre-industrial Marriage Patterns Control of women’s sexuality Families and children Modernization and change in marriage patterns – The divorce revolution

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Violence in the family Child abuse

Introduction   

Marriage is found in all human societies, although in different forms Marriages may be between one man and one woman (monogamy) On man and multiple women (polygyny) One woman and multiple men (polyandry)

Pre-industrial Marriage Patterns 

Most pre-industrial societies have permitted polygyny, very few societies have permitted polyandry. Male sexual jealousy means that polyandry is often difficult. Usually involves brothers, works best with only two brothers.

Type of marriage differs depending on type of society Monogamy is most common in hunting and gathering societies, polygyny is most common in horticultural and agrarian societies.

In all societies, men typically marry younger women, women typically marry older men. Women are most likely to marry someone with greater resources and status than themselves (referred to as hypergamy)

This can pose problems for low status men, who can find it difficult to get married. Many groups are endogamous – members are obligated to marry within the group

For example, President Barack Obama’s father was from Kenya, an agrarian society, and his ethnic group was Luo. As a Luo, Barack Obama Senior was expected to marry a Luo, which he did in 1954 (his first wife Kezia). Later he traveled to the United States, where he met Barack Obama’s mother.

The opposite of endogamy is exogamy – marrying outside of the group

Bridewealth and Dowry 

Bridewealth is a payment of goods and or services by the groom to the bride’s parents. Dowry is the money and goods a bride’s family gives to her husband when she marries.

Most pre-industrial societies have bridewealth customs In highly stratified agrarian societies, dowry is common. Our custom of the bride’s family paying for the wedding is a remnant of a dowry system.

Rules of descent 

All societies have rules of descent – how descent is traced Four patterns of descent – patrilineal, matrilineal, bilateral and double descent

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Patrilineal descent traces the family line from father to son Matrilineal descent traces the family line from mother’s brother to sister’s son. Bilateral descent traces the family line through both the father and mother Double descent recognizes both father and mother’s lines, but they typically have different functions

Most pre-industrial societies are patrilineal.

Rules of residence 

Most societies have a customs determining the residence of a couple after they are married. Patrilocal means the couple lives with the husband’s parents. Matrilocal means the couple lives with the wife’s parents

The majority of pre-industrial societies are patrilocal.

Control of women’s sexuality 

In most pre-industrial societies, there is a great deal of concern with controlling the sexuality of women Stems from male concerns with paternity certainty

Control of women’s sexuality is most common in patrilineal societies, where sons inherit from their fathers, and least common in matrilineal societies, where sons inherit from their uncle (mother’s brother).

In most patrilineal societies, the penalty for adultery for women is high. E.g. Hester Prynne, current Sharia (traditional Islamic) law

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Women’s sexual behavior is also indirectly controlled Foot binding in China Women are forbidden from working outside of the home, getting an education, going out unchaperoned.

In many African societies today, women have their sexuality controlled by clitoridectomy (cutting out of the clitoris) and infibulation (sewing up of the vagina)

Trends in female genital cutting

Menstrual taboos   

Likely an indirect way of controlling women’s sexuality Women are banished to huts during their menstrual period Way of letting everyone know who is menstruating (and hence not pregnant) and who is not (and hence pregnant)

Sex and the double standard 

In most human societies there is a double standard for male and female sexuality Males are typically given much more freedom than females

Families and children 

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Families in hunting and gathering societies are small (2or 3 surviving children) In part because of breast feeding and consequent cessation of ovulation In horticultural and agrarian societies families are larger (7 to 8 surviving children)

Modernization and change in marriage patterns  

Early twentieth century saw increasing numbers of women in the workforce After World War II, the percentage of women working outside of the home rapidly increased. The feminist revolution of the 1960s helped change rules that stopped women working

Increase in women working outside home (U.S.)

The divorce revolution 

Following the feminist revolution was the divorce revolution.

Divorces per 1,000 population, U.S. 1920-2004

In part because of these trends, people are now more likely to delay marriage

Why do people marry? 

One reason is because people fall in love. Being in love is a biochemical state characterized by higher levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in blood.

Contemporary marriage 

Despite love marriages, many similarities between modern marriages and marriages in pre-industrial societies People of similar class and status backgrounds tend to marry each other

Women are still more likely to pick mates who offer resources and status Men are still more likely to pick young and attractive mates. Men still prefer younger women, women still prefer older men

The contemporary family 

Within the family, sex roles have become more egalitarian But…men still disproportionately major providers and spend more time working Women still tend to do more of the housework and childcare

Mothers are still more committed to children than fathers, on average. Most likely to get custody of children after divorce.

In industrial societies such as the U.S., children are a major investment Costs approximately $250,000 to raise a child to the age of 18

Children have a stabilizing effect on marriages Marriage of parents encourages joint investment in children Divorce disrupts this joint investment

Children of divorced parents receive less education and have lower occupational achievement than children raised by their biological parents.

Nonbiological families 

Increasing numbers of nonbiological families – adoptive and other Adopting families tend to be high income and high status Adopted children receive about the same amount of investment as biological children

Stepchildren do not receive as much investment as biological or adopted children

Rise of fertility industry 

Delayed marriage and childbearing has meant increased incidence of fertility problems, mostly for women Rise in use of assisted reproduction technologies Problems – multiple births, health problems

Also increases in numbers of frozen embryos that couples do not know what to do with! They don’t want to throw them away

Violence in the family 

While family life is a happy experience for most, it can also be a place of conflict and even homicide Much violence by males against their partners is fuelled by sexual jealousy and fear of losing a partner to another man.

Women are most at risk of violence after they have just left a relationship

Child abuse 

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Most parents do not abuse their children Yet child abuse and infanticide occur. If the mother is involved in infanticide, it tends to be young mothers with little financial or social support.

Chances of a biological parent killing a child are must smaller than the chances of a nonbiological guardian killing a child Most children live with their biological parents. Controlling for this, chances of a nonbiological caregiver harming a child are about 40 times that of a biological parent harming a child.

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