Exceptionally comprehensive, innately interesting, and extremely readable, this best-selling exploration of contemporary marriages and families examines the diversity of American families--giving equal attention to all racial, ethnic, and other societal groups--and examines not only the choices, but the constraints that often limit our family-related choices today. Although written from a sociological perspective, it incorporates material from other disciplines as well--e.g., history, economics, social work, psychology, law, biology, and anthropology--all supported by both quantitative and qualitative research--most from the mid to late 1990s. Its open-minded approach, combined with a set of practical guidelines in each chapter, provide readers with a veritable handbook for understanding and dealing with the dynamics marriage and family life today. The Changing Family. Studying Marriage and the Family. The Family in Historical Perspective. Gender Roles and Socialization. Love and Loving Relationships. Sexuality and Sexual Expression Throughout Life. Dating and Mate Selection. Singlehood, Cohabitation, and Other Living Arrangements. Marriage and Communication in Intimate Relationships. To Be Or Not To Be a Parent. Raising Children: Contemporary Prospects and Pitfalls. Racial-Ethnic Families. Families and Work. Family Violence and Other Crisis-Related Issues. Separation and Divorce. Remarriage and Stepfamilies. Aging and Family Life: Grandparents, the Widowed, and Caregivers. For anyone who deals with families.
I. MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY IN PERSPECTIVE.
1. The Changing Family.
2. Studying Marriage and the Family.
3. The Family in Historical Perspective.
II. THE INDIVIDUAL AND DEVELOPING RELATIONSHIPS.
4. Gender Roles and Socialization.
5. Love and Loving Relationships.
6. Sexuality and Sexual Expression Throughout Life.
III. INDIVIDUAL AND MARITAL COMMITMENTS.
7. Choosing Others: Dating and Mate Selection.
8. Singlehood, Cohabitation, and Other Nonmarital Living Arrangements.
9. Marriage and Communication in Intimate Relationships.
IV. PARENTS AND CHILDREN.
10. To Be or Not to Be a Parent: More Choices, More Constraints.
11. Raising Children: Contemporary Prospects and Pitfalls.
12. Racial and Ethnic Families: Strengths and Stresses.
V. CONFLICTS AND CRISES.
13. Families and Work: Facing the Economic Squeeze.
14. Family Violence and Other Crisis-Related Issues in Family Life.
15. Separation and Divorce.
VI. CHANGES AND TRANSITIONS.
16. Remarriage and Stepfamilies: Life After Divorce.
17. Aging and Family Life: Grandparents, the Widowed, and Caregivers.
18. The Family in the Twenty-First Century.
Appendix A: Sexual Anatomy.
Appendix B: Sexual Problems, Dysfunctions, and Treatment.
Appendix C: Conception, Pregnancy, and Childbirth.
Appendix D: Birth Control and Disease-Prevention Techniques.
Appendix E: HIV/AIDS and Other Sexually-Transmitted Diseases.
Appendix F: Premarital and Nonmarital Agreements.