Stages of Family Life By Student Sociologists: Bryan and Kim
Stages of Family Life There are four stages of family life: –C–Courtship –S–Settling In: Ideal and Real Marriages –C–Child Rearing –T–The Family in Later Life
Courtship Arranged marriage –T–Throughout the world, people consider courtship to be too important to leave to the younger generations. –T–They represent alliances between families with similar social standings. –S–Some are married as young as 15. –T–They put little thought into whether two individuals will be personally compatible, they only care about culturally compatible.
Courtship (cont) Romantic Love –Affection and sexual passion for another person is the basis of marriage. –Romantic love is a less stable foundation for marriage than social and economic consideration. –The divorce rate is higher than those with arranged marriages. –However, most people fall in love with others of the same race/age/social class.
Courtship ( cont again ) Homogamy- Marriage between people of the same social characteristics.
Settling in : Ideal and Real Marriage Ideal Marriage –“Happily Ever After” picture. –We fall in love with other not necessarily as they are, but as we want them to be. –An endless sexual honeymoon with all- consuming passion.
Settling in : Ideal and Real Marriages (cont.) Real Marriage –Only after marriage do people face day to day routines and responsibilties. – Marital sex does decline over time. –Couples with the most fulfilling sexual relationships experience the most satisfaction in their marriages. –Good sex and good relationships go together.
Marriages : Ideal and Real Marriages VOCAB. Infidelity- Sexual activity outside of marriage. That’s it.
Child Rearing Despite the demands children make on us, adults identify raising children as one of the greatest joys. Most people only want three children, instead of 8, the national average 2 centuries ago. Big families were needed in the pre-industrial societies to supply labor It now costs $200,000 to raise a child. ( note the small families now. )
Child Rearing About 2/3 of parents would like to devote more time to child rearing, but that means a lower standard of living. Children of working parents spend time a school but then come home and fend for themselves. Family and Medical Leave Act in 1993 was passed to allow women to have 90 days of unpaid leave from work for a new child.
The Family in Later Life At age 50 raising children is usually completed. “Empty Nest” occurs. Couples experience an increase in understanding and compassion for one another. Some adults may begin to take care of their elderly parents. The final transition in married life comes with the death of spouse. Wives typically outlive their husbands. ( who have beards by the way ) Men have a harder time because they keep less friends and have poor housekeeping skills.