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Chapter 8

Marriage, A Private and Public Relationship

Chapter Outline

The Marriage Premise: Permanence and Sexual Exclusivity Marriage and Kinship Social Change: From Marriage As Institution to Pluralistic Families

Chapter Outline

Same-Sex Couples and Legal Marriage Marital Satisfaction and Choices Throughout Life Creating Adaptable Marriage Relationships

The Marriage Premise

Expectation of Permanence - Wanting to stay married and feeling morally obligated to stay married. Expectation of Primariness - Includes expectation of sexual exclusivity.

Social Change: From Marriage As Institution to Pluralistic Families

Social scientist William Doherty (1992), documented an historical change from marriage as a social institution to marriage as psychological. Doherty characterizes families in todays industrialized societies as pluralistic, a term he uses to describe a situation similar to the postmodern family

Marriage As a Social Institution

The institutional family represented the tradition of a family organized around economic production, kinship network, community connections, fathers authority, and marriage as a partnership rather than a romance. As urbanization and individualism emerged, kinship ties weakened while values of self actualization and individual achievement emerged.

The Psychological Marriage

The psychological marriage aspired to something unprecedented in human history: a family based on the personal satisfaction and fulfillment of its individual members in a nuclear, two-parent arrangement. The chief value of the psychological marriage was satisfaction.

Marriage Relationships Within The Psychological Family

In the interactional relationship pattern, partners expect companionship and intimacy as well as more practical benefits. In a parallel relationship, the husband was expected mainly to be a hardworking provider and the wife was expected to be a good housekeeper and cook.

Young Womens Preferred Name Choice at Marriage


Choices For Own Last Name
Take husbands name Keep my own name for all purposes Use my name for professional purposes, husbands for social

% 59.5 9.8 13.7

Young Womens Preferred Name Choice at Marriage


Choices For Own Last Name
Hyphenate my name, but not expect him to hyphenate his Hyphenate my name, and he will hyphenate his Husband and I will choose new name and both use

% 9.2 3.9 0.7

Young Womens Preferred Name Choice at Marriage


Choices for Childrens Last Name Husbands name My name Hyphenated name Daughters will have my name, sons my husbands New name % 79.6 0.7 12.1 0.7 0.7

Do you think marriages between homosexuals should or should not be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages?

Extramarital Sex

1/4 of all husbands and 15% of wives report having had at least one affair. 37% of men in their 50s report having had at least one affair. Women are more likely to have an affair if their marriage is emotionally distant. Men have affairs for sexual variety.

Factors in Extramarital Affairs


1. 2. 3. 4.

Opportunity Willingness to take advantage of the opportunity. Expectations for satisfaction. Likelihood of the affair being discovered.

Recovering from An Affair

Offending spouse apologizes sincerely without defending the behavior. Offending spouse needs to allow and hear the anger and rage of the offended partner. Offending spouse needs to allow trust to rebuild gradually (possibly 2 years or longer).

Recovering from An Affair

Offending spouse needs to do things to regain trust. Offended spouse needs to decide whether to stay committed to the marriage and if so to let go of resentments. Couple must consider marriage counseling.

Quick Quiz

1. Social scientist William Doherty has documented a historical change from marriage as a social institution to marriage as a) sociological. b) psychological. c) biological. d) physical.

Answer: b

Social scientist William Doherty has documented a historical change from marriage as a social institution to marriage as psychological.

2. The _____________ Act is a federal statute declaring marriage to be a legal union of one man and one woman, and relieving states of the obligation to grant reciprocity or full faith and credit to marriages performed in another state. a) Take a Stand on Marriage b) Fidelity c) Defense of Marriage d) Polyamory

Answer: c

The Defense of Marriage Act is a federal statute declaring marriage to be a legal union of one man and one woman, and relieving states of the obligation to grant reciprocity or full faith and credit to marriages performed in another state.

3. Role __________ refers to modifying or adjusting the expectations and obligations traditionally associated with a role. a) adaptation b) taking c) making d) reflection

Answer: c

Role making refers to modifying or adjusting the expectations and obligations traditionally associated with a role.

4. According to the text, in comparison with women, men who have extramarital affairs are likely to do so a) because they feel emotionally distanced by their wives. b) for the sexual excitement and variety they hope to find. c) in order to persuade their wives to engage in certain sexual acts. d) as direct retaliation for perceivedtransgressions of their wives.

Answer: b

According to the text, in comparison with women, men who have extramarital affairs are likely to do so for the sexual excitement and variety they hope to find.

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