Marriage, the Family, and Personal Fulfillment

By David A. Schulz; Stanley F. Rodgers | Go to book overview

12 PARENTS AND CHILDREN

In the revised edition of Decent and Indecent . . . I now start . . . with the needs of infants and young children for a sensitive, enthusiastic kind of care if they are to develop into warmhearted, creative people. They can receive this from loving fathers, mothers, grandparents. But each year it is harder to hire a full-time substitute caretaker whose personality and attitude approach those of good parents. . . . If neither parent is willing to take part time off from a job for a few years, they might do better without children.

Benjamin M. Spock


INTRODUCTION

By common understanding, children make a family. A young couple very often hesitate to call themselves a family until children are born; indeed, some young couples do not really feel themselves to be married until they have children. In some areas of the world today, such as rural Sweden and among the Swazi of Africa, a marriage is not considered consummated until the wife has borne a child.

Parenthood has been even more romanticized than love in American Society.1 Thus most young people look forward to growing up, getting married, and having children as the normal and natural sequence of events. In this context, the idea of someone's not wanting to have children seems

____________________
1
E. E. LeMasters, Parenthood in America, 2nd ed. (Homewood, III.: The Dorsey Press, 1974), pp. 8-32.

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Marriage, the Family, and Personal Fulfillment
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xv
  • 1 - Introduction 12
  • Part One - On Becoming Partners 15
  • 2 - On Partnerships 16
  • Introduction 17
  • 3 - Confirmation and Communication 35
  • 4 - Conflict in Intimate Partnerships 55
  • Introduction 79
  • 5 - Developing Partnerships 81
  • Part Two - Human Sexuality 111
  • 6 - The Biology of Sex and Reproduction 112
  • Introduction 113
  • 7 - On Birth Control 145
  • Introduction 170
  • 8 - The Art of Lovemaking 173
  • 9 - Sex Roles and Social Interaction 195
  • Part Three - Marriage 213
  • 10 - Marriage in Historical and Cultural Perspective 214
  • Introduction 215
  • 11 - Husbands and Wives 239
  • 12 - Parents and Children 269
  • Introduction 285
  • Summary 304
  • 14 - Disorganization and Divorce 307
  • Introduction 324
  • Part Four - Alternatives 327
  • 15 - Developing Styles for Singles 329
  • 16 - Communes and Multiple Marriages 349
  • Part Five - The Future of Marriage 371
  • 17 - Fantasies, Forecasts, and Trends 372
  • Introduction 373
  • Selected Bibliography 393
  • Index 403
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