This edition: Marriage and Family
The lesson begins with Helen Mendoza and Pam Privett explaining that families today take many forms. They are partners in a same-sex marriage, raising children of their own. Lesson 8 explained why some cultures find polygamy a preferred marriage arrangement, and Lesson 9 highlights the familial and household benefits of the polygynous system. However, the lesson points out that not all such marriages are cooperative. Under some circumstances, competition among wives can cause serious tensions. The terms consanguinal family, conjugal family, and fictive kin are defined, and varying family forms such as nuclear family, extended family, and blended family are illustrated. The Yolmo, pastoralists of east-central Nepal, are featured to illustrate how monogamy within a nuclear family organization functions within this group. Residence patterns and marriage customs, such as bride price and bride service, are discussed, and the reasons for their practice are illustrated. The final segment of the lesson comments on newer adaptations of the family made possible because of advances in reproductive technology and changes in adoption laws within the United States.