2Individual Motivations for Marriage People get married for a variety of reasons.LoveIs this a mandatory requisite in the U.S?Personal fulfillmentWhat the heck?CompanionshipObviously… think about lonely nights….ParenthoodCan’t you raise children alone?Economic securityDo we do this consciously?Discussion: Would you consider marrying someone you were not in love with?
3Societal Functions of Marriage Important functions of marriage:Binds couple together who will reproduceProvides physical care for dependent youngSocializes children into societyRegulates sexual behaviorProvides companionshipDiscussion: Does society still need marriage?
4Marriage as Commitment Commitment: the intent to maintain a relationshipMarriage is a person-to-person commitment.Marriage is a family-to-family commitment.Marriage is a couple-to-state commitment. Social policy directs marriage, divorce, and child support.
5Marriage as a Rite of Passage Rite of passage: an event that marks the transition from one status to another.Families cooperate to produce the wedding.Brides often wear traditional artifacts—concrete symbols that reflect a phenomenon).
6Changes After Marriage While laws vary by state, partners typically become part owner of the other’s income and assets.New spouses often develop increased self-confidence and adopt new values and behaviors.Marriage affects relationships with friends.
7Changes After Marriage The couple’s relationship often changes to disenchantment—transition from a state of newness and high expectation to a state of the mundane tempered by reality.Partners shift their focus from each other to work or children.
8Changes After Marriage Couples also experience (Pg. 137):Loss of freedomMore responsibilityLess alone timeChanges in how money is spentDiscovering that one’s mate is different from one’s dateSexual changesPower changes
9Changes After Marriage Marriage affects relationships with parents.Only a minority of spouses report that they do not get along with their in-laws.Time spent with extended family rapidly increases after children are born.
10Changes After Marriage Marriage involves the need for spouses to discuss and negotiate how they are going to get and spend money.Debt tends to strain relationships.
11Diversity in Marriage May-December marriage: age-discrepant marriage. Typically the man is older than the woman.Research finds no difference in reported marital satisfaction between age-discrepant and age-similar marriages.Such marriages tend to benefit men more than women.Discussion: Why are May-December marriages beneficial for men?
12Diversity Interracial marriages About 15% of all marriages in the U.S. are racially mixed.Interracial partners sometimes experience negative reactions.Do the self assessmentDiscussion: Will interracial marriages become more common? Why?Interracial marriages are more likely to dissolve.
13Diversity Interreligious Marriages Over one third of marriages in the U.S. are interreligious.The impact of a mixed religious marriage may depend on the devoutness of the spouses.Those who are religious tend to be more satisfied with their marriages.
14Diversity Cross-national marriages Cross-national marriages are becoming more common.Much of the stress of these marriages is related to society’s intolerance of cross-national marriages.
15Diversity Military marriages About 60% of U.S. military personnel are married and/or have children.Military contract marriage: marriage in which a military person and a civilian participate to get more money and benefits from the governmentMilitary marriages are particularly difficult for women.Discussion: Why are military marriages difficult for women?
16Diversity Challenges for military marriages: Traditional gender roles are challenged.Loss of control over deploymentInfidelity: length of separation increases the chances of infidelityFrequent moves and separationsLower marital satisfaction and higher divorce ratesEmployment problemsDiscussion: What are the benefits of being in the military? What could the government do it make marriage easier for military spouses?
17Marital SuccessCharacteristics of couples in happy, stable relationshipsPersonal and emotional commitmentCommon interests/positive self-conceptsGood communication/effective use of humorReligiosityTrustNot materialistic
18Marital Success Characteristics of couples in happy, stable marriages Positive role models in their parentsSexual desireEquitable relationshipsAbsence of negative attributionsForgivenessHealthAttribution: assigning cause
19Marital SuccessThe Healthy Marriage Initiative is a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Research confirmed the positive effects of education and support for marriages and families.