C. Discuss Cherlin’s argument for why Americans have both high rates of marriage and high rates of divorce compared to other industrialized nations.
Andrew Cherlin reviewed the historical changes while noting that marriage still remained the most common and effective living arrangement for bringing up of children. However, children are more likely to grow up in single-parent families, and to experience instability of families especially minority and poor children. His view why the US has high marriage and divorce rates, which is called family metabolism, is attributed to cultural and economic forces that have continually transformed family life (Chambers 32). Changes in the job market have drawn many married women to work and deprived less educated men of blue-collar jobs, which traditionally have been the means to support their families. Cherlin also notes that marriages appearing stronger in the US more than in other developed countries and claims that the share of adults in the US who are likely to get married is higher, but so is the lot likely to divorce. This is the reason he claims is behind the high marriage metabolism.
E. What is the difference between open and closed adoptions? Which type is becoming more common and why?
Open adoptions refer to the fact that the adoptive family and the birth parents have direct contact before and even after the birth of the child. The contact includes phone calls and even face to face visits. Whereas, closed adoptions occur only when the birth parents and the adoptive family remain confidential. No contact is between these two parties whatsoever. Common today is an open adoption as much more families would like to know the profile of the birth parents before adoption ensues (Chambers 61).
F. What is TFR? What is happening to these fertility rates in the United States and most of Europe?
Total Fertility Rate refers to the total number of children that a woman could have over her lifetime if the following conditions were fulfilled:
- She was to experience ASFRs (Age Specific Fertility Rates) through her life time.
- She was to survive from birth to the end of her reproductive life.
In the US and other industrialized countries, these rates tend to decline during periods in which the face economic decline.
G. Why are women said to be “delaying births?” discuss the reasons and possible consequences of this trend.
“Delaying” births is a term accorded to the new trend of taking measures to keep at bay conception using technology like contraceptive pills. The main reason for this is that women are spending more and more time at work trying to improve their credentials, thus, the put off childbearing activities. This is in an effort to spend more time at work. A major consequence to this will have both a positive and negative effect on the future workface (Fan et al. 425). For the women, the workforce will have qualified women to work but for the overall effect, there will be a decline in the number of future workers.
J. Discuss ethical issues regarding reproductive technologies such as surrogacy and in-vitro fertilization
Often connoted as assisted reproductive, reproductive technologies such as surrogacy and in-vitro fertilization are clouded by a number of ethical concerns. One of the major ethical concerns regarding these technologies align with the fact that they may entail the destruction of the embryos, especially in-vitro fertilization. In most cases, the excess embryos from in-vitro fertilization procedures are discarded through various means. As an example, some couples who have utilized assisted reproductive technologies may opt to bury, whereas other choose to donate for use on fertility and stem cell researches. In other cases, the embryos are destroyed in the clinics. Disposal of the excess embryos notwithstanding the means used to dispose of them is unethical because it relates to annihilation of life. An embryo is a living organism; hence, discarding it relatively similar to abortion (Ryan 28).
B. Johnson discusses two primary but different types of intimate partner violence. List and briefly describe each type.
Intimate partner violence refers to the domestic violence that is propagated against a spouse or other intimate partner one has. Michael Johnson describes two primary types, namely:
- Intimate terrorism: this occurs when one partner utilizes coercive control and power over the other partner. This is by use of intimidation, isolation and threats. Such cases has that one of the partners, most commonly the man, controls every aspect of the partner, in this case the woman (Chambers 19). A report by Michael Johnson showed that 97 percent, in 2001, of the perpetrators of this form of intimate partner violence were men.
- Situational Couple Violence (SCV): also called common couple violence. It is connected to control behaviour that is general but surfaces in a single argument where one or both of the partner’s lashes out physically at the other. It is the most common form of violence, particularly in the Western world and also among young couple it also involves members of both sexes nearly equally. Johnson also found it to be perpetrated at a rate of about 44 percent by women among the college students and 55 percent by men. There are rare cases of emergencies and it is not connected to any attempt to control the partner. Johnson estimated that an approximate of 50 percent of couples in existence do experience SCV in their relationships.
C. According to Mason, what are some of the legal issues associated with step parents? Discuss at least two of these issues
With regards to parentage, policies have indeed changed and even extended the rights that parents had initially in terms of child support and custody rights for the unwed and divorced parents but not the step parents. Inheritance rights for children are present as a result of their biological ties with their real parents despite their relationship with their parents. However, the step parents do not possess any legal right regarding the visitation as well as custody of the child when the real biological parent passes away or divorces with him or her. Moreover, these parents do not possess the legal obligations towards the support of the child when the biological parents die for instance. Apart from child support, the step parents lack the legality when it comes to custody control of the child or children and when their marriage is terminated by the death of the partner or through divorce, step parents have no right to be the custodians (Chambers 82).
F. What does Fisher mean when he argues adoption “is still as good as your own?”
Child adoption remains one of the most pertinent concerns across various settings. As such, varied opinions have been hypothesized regarding adoption. Fisher asserts adoption “is still as good as your own.” With this Fisher meant that parents with an adopted are relatively similar to those with children of their own. Researches carried out in the recent past indicate that parenting adopted children is as satisfying as or even more satisfying than parenting biological children. In fact, a significant proportion of populations; close to 90% have a positive attitude towards children adoption (Moe 33). In a nutshell, Fisher in the statement adoption “is still as good as your own” means that there is no difference between adopted children and biological ones.
Despite the fact that a significant proportion of the populations harbours a positive attitude towards adoption, there exists a disconnect between such attitudes and the response from the populations. In America, a significant proportion of children are awaiting adoption. Perhaps this may indicate that certain populations feel indifferent regarding Fisher’s notion that adoption “is still as good as your own.” Notably, there are certain factors that predict an individual’s consideration of adoption. One of the most pertinent factors that predict an individual’s consideration for adoption is infertility. A high number of infertile couples are often more likely to adopt children (Moe 64). For this reason, those opposed to Fisher’s notion that adoption “is still as good as your own” often have the notion that child adoption is a realm for the infertile couples. From this analysis, it is evident that the overwhelming majority of the populations approve of adoption. This is because of the primary fact that adopted children as the same as biological. This confirms Fisher’s notions that adoption “is as good as your own.”
In the United States of America, there has been the traditional family structure that has existed for a very long time. This traditional family structure is basically made up of two parents, the father and mother, and the child. Moreover, this two-parent structure has been termed as the nuclear family and was the most common type of family in the United States of America. However, out of this basic structure, another traditional type of family exists and is known as the extended family. This second type of family structure is actually an extension of the nuclear family considering it consists of the mother, father and the relatives of both family sides together with the child in the initial family structure (Gennetian 422). In other words, the extended family type is made up of the grandfathers, grandmothers, uncles, aunts and cousins of that very child.
A second perspective of the family states is actually originated of the traditional structure. This perspective is a modification of the traditional structure and involves factors that lead to the destructions of the initial structure. These factors might be inclusive of divorce leading single parentage, adoption, teenage pregnancy, same-sex marriages as well as the social movements that have led to the creation of modified family versions. As a result of these modifications, there have arisen a good number of different types of families other than the traditional families. They include stepfamilies, single-parent families and even the same-sex marriages. In this sense, stepfamilies involve remarrying after a divorce with the current marriage partner to a new one (Fan et al. 424). Single parentage, however, might result after divorce or even death of one’s partner while same-sex marriages are as a result of individuals of the same gender (gays and lesbians) marrying and initiate a family together.
The traditional perspective of families is the oldest and has been used for quite some time compared to these modern family structures. Moreover, the traditional family is the best family state. This is because, this type of family structure, the nuclear and extended family structures, offers the best environment for the child to grow mentally. In other words, the child is expected to grow morally upright unlike the other family states like the same-sex marriages. For instance, if a child is brought up in a family of lesbians, it is more logical to think that the child will also end up with the same character as well. In other words, the child will view lesbianism as a normal behaviour for persons. Thus, it is appropriate that a child is brought up in the nuclear and extended family structure for moral stability (Gennetian 431).
The child also needs an environment where both the parents are accessible to him or her in order to feel sufficient psychologically. In types of single-parent family states for example lack in either the father or the mother side. The single parentage involves the child lacking sufficient psychological development regarding that parent who is missing and maybe as a result of divorce or death of a parent. Thirdly, the nuclear structure is appropriate in the sense that there lacks loneliness in the family. Loneliness is a very disturbing factor in the lives of human beings which might lead to stress. Family states like single-parent families, lack in regards of a particular parent and this may result in loneliness of the spouse that lost his or her partner as well as the child losing a parent and this might mess up their lives with stress (Fan et al. 421).
Chambers, Deborah. A Sociology of Family Life: Change and Diversity in Intimate Relations. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2012. Print.
Fan, Y., French, S. A., & Das, K. V. (2012). Family Structure and Park Use among Parents. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 43.5 (2012): 520-526. Print.
Gennetian, L. One or two parents? Half or step siblings? The effect of family structure on young children's achievement. Journal of Population Economics 18.3 (2005): 415-436. Print.
Moe, Barbara A. Adoption: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2007. Print.
Ryan, Maura. Ethics and Economic of Assisted Reproduction: The Cost of Longing. Georgetown: Georgetown University Press, 2003. Print.