Sociology of the Family

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The traditional marriage, or should I say monogamy was the typical marriage in the 1950s. The male-breadwinner marriage, where the man works full-time and the woman is the homemaker was the base for what made these traditional marriages a success. This cultural ideal did not come about until the early 20th century, however, most couples didn’t comply with this new living standard until after WWII. The “nuclear family” became more common shortly after. Not to long after this, the dissatisfaction of women arose, which brought about the “battle of the sexes,” and the decline of the male-breadwinner marriage.

The rise of the male-breadwinner nuclear family brought about the great compression of newly shared prosperity, job discrimination against women, and economic independence for seniors. This typical family was comprised only of one man and one woman with at least one child. This ideal culture for marriage set women with the title of being a homemaker and with men providing everything for the family. This made life very difficult if you were a woman without a husband trying to survive on no salary. This, in turn, forced almost all women to turn to men for survival, which in most cases put them up against norms in which they were trying not to break. Men in this time sought sex, however, women were taught that they were to hold out on this until marriage. Not only was this looked down upon for women to take part in, but it was extremely risky. In this time (the 1950’s) there was no birth control or safe and legal abortion, plus if you were caught you were more than likely the head of the newest scandal and looked down upon by everyone in your social world. Unfortunately, the woman would be looked down upon and called diminishing names such as sluts. But because this was trendy, hip, and an accomplishing thing for guys to do, men were rewarded and congratulated by peers and those in a surrounding area.

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This is why we call this a heterosexual double standard because the reactions to men and women having sex were not the same, which isn’t fair. This standard, however, didn’t last for long due to the youth movement of the 1960s and the women’s movement,

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