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Diversity in Families Maxine Baca Zinn D. Stanley Eitzen Chapter Eight: Contemporary Marriages.

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Presentation on theme: "Diversity in Families Maxine Baca Zinn D. Stanley Eitzen Chapter Eight: Contemporary Marriages."— Presentation transcript:

1 Diversity in Families Maxine Baca Zinn D. Stanley Eitzen Chapter Eight: Contemporary Marriages

2 Chapter Eight Overview  Marriage: Private and Public Spheres  Recent Trends  Are There Benefits to Marriage?  Micro Aspects of Marriage

3 Marriage: Private and Public Spheres  Marriage creates a unique relationship in profound and complex ways.  Marriage is a dynamic rather than a concrete entity.

4 Macro Influences on Marriage  The Law  The Issue of Homosexual Marriages  Religion  Societal Gender Expectations

5 Recent Trends 1.Unmarried Adults – The number of singles and cohabiting heterosexuals is increasing. Unmarried—never m, widowed, divorced Living alone—1/4 of all households Co-habitation—

6 Cohabitation-reasons 1. Same sex partners-marriage prohibited 2. Financial sharing expenses not-econ stable for marriage 3. Prelude to marriage 4. Older couples—lose econ benefits Soc security, widow status, estate

7 Cohabitation-statistics 2000—4.9 million——co-habitation 1980---1.6 million 1969---523,000 ____________ 41%--include a child under 18 ½--first marriages preceded by cohabitat. Most marry or split within 18 months ½ cohabitating couples marry Somewhat higher divorce rate than never cohab. 40% of all children will spend time with mother & cohabitating partner

8 2. Age at First Marriage – The median age of first marriage is increasing for women and men. 90% eventually marry Median age of first marriage: men women 1900 26 22 1960 22.8 20.3 2000 26.8 25.1 Effect: advanced educ, reduces # child., indep and flexibility—life choices.

9 3. Family Size – The fertility rate has declined steadily throughout most of the last 200 years. average household 2.6 persons 3.1 –thirty yrs ago 2002 white 2.4 black 2.7 native amer 2.8 asian amer 2.9 latino 3.5

10 Recent Trends  Racial Mixed Marriages – Interracial and interethnic marriages are increasing, but 95% of all marriages are between partners of the same race. (homogamy)  Life Span and Marriage – Increased longevity is one explanation for the relatively high rate of divorce.

11 Recent Trends  Divorce – Stabilized in the late 1990s at around 4.2 couples divorcing per 1000.  Remarriage – Most divorced persons remarry.

12 Remarriage— men—75% women—60% Tendency—majority soon after divorce ½ within 3 years. less likely for older women

13 The Benefits of Marriage  Research shows that marriage benefits the partners involved in several ways: 1) Better physical and mental health 2) Better sex lives 3) More economic resources

14 Health benefits Causes: males—less risky behavior monitored by spouse wife assists in dealing with stress sense of meaning, obligation, responsibility to others improved mental health—less depre, anxiety

15 2. Better sex lives More often--comparative frequency Enjoy it more—physically & emotionally

16 3. More economic resources 1. Increased productivity of men 2. economic contribution of women Effect: better nutrition, housing, travel May be that econ benefits— Instead of marriage bond that generates better emotional & physical health

17 The Benefits of Marriage Reconsidered  The benefits of marriage change when race, class, and gender are factored in: 1) The poor do not necessarily benefit economically from marriage. less marriage-where jobs unstable, low-w women not interested in marriage 2) This is especially true for racial minorities. 3) Many times, there is a “his” and “hers” marriage. Men benefit more from marr.--receive more care regardless of emotional quality Women benefits—depend on quality

18 Marital Success: Stability & Quality Cuber and Haroff—stability not same as satisfaction Study of affluent couples—similar 5 types of stable/enduring marriages: a. Conflict-habituated-centered on tension: quarreling, nagging, sarcasm, put-down b. Devitalized –duty c. Passive congenial—love not expected stability allowed other pursuits d. Vital marriages—true intimacy in all import. matters e. Total—more multi-faceted—involved in work

19 Marital Success : Quality  Factors that influence marriage quality: 1) Shared social characteristics-homogamous— why? shared values, politics, religion 2) Economic and personal resources—success can hold a marriage together. 3) Dual-earner couples positive—financial; negative--conflicts

20 4) The division of household labor women spend twice as much time 2/3 to 1/3 relationship of housework less women, more men— 1960 men increase housework when: 1. higher male education 2. wives’ jobs -similar or higher p

21 Marital Success  Factors that influence marriage quality: 5) Role fit—consensus traditional/egalitarian 6) Social class—m/cl—more egalitarian 7) Children—not correlated with m.quality U curve or declining over time 1 st 10 yrs sharply, then gradually 8) Life cycle 9) Communication—negotiation over difficulties

22 The Sexual Relationship in Marriage  Gendered Sexual Intimacy – Women and men differ in their sexuality.  The Sexual Stages in Marriage – Sexual contact occurs most often early in marriages.  Sex as Power – Sex can be used as an instrument of power.

23 Power and Decision Making in Marriage  Sources of Power in Marriage a) Resources—income 75%--7000 couples--power related to income b) Social Class --ideology & behavior c) Race and Ethnicity Latinas—more equality when wife works Af Amer---most egalitarian

24 Power and Decision Making in Marriage Individual Factors—age & size

25 Reconstructing gender roles Building an egalitarian marriage Pepper Schwartz—Peer Marriage Study of couples—based on equality, equity and intimacy Shared: 1. household work—no more than 60/40 2. both believe equal influence-decisions 3. both feel equal control of econ. Assets 4. work of each given equal weight

26 Future of marriage Changing or dying

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