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HHS 4M Individuals and Families in a Diverse Society Unit Three – Couples Chapter Seven – Intimate Relationships & Marriage
Introduction • Chapter Six – Marriage, Intimate Relationships & Society • Chapter Seven – Intimate Relationships & Marriage • Chapter Eight – Relationships Issues & Trends
Introduction • Forming Intimate Relationships • Attraction, Mate Selection, & Romance • Theories of Mate Attraction & Mate Selection • Romantic Love • Courtship • Dating & Marital Success • Negotiating Satisfying Roles in Relationships • Problems, Conflict & Power
Top 10 Characteristics That People Want in a Partner 1. Honesty 2. Kindness 3. Respect 4. Compatibility 5. Humour 6. Dependability 7. Love 8. Values 9. Religious Commonality 10.Communication Source: Bibby, Reginal. (2004) A Canadian Hopes & Dreams. Vanier Institute of the Family.
Top 8 Reasons People Marry 1. Feeling that marriage signifies commitment 2. Moral values 3. Belief that children should have married parents 4. It is the natural thing to do 5. Financial security 6. Religious beliefs 7. Pressure from family 8. Pressure from friends Source: Bibby, Reginal. (2004) A Canadian Hopes & Dreams. Vanier Institute of the Family.
Forming Intimate Relationships • Many Canadians still worry about whether they will be able to form a satisfying relationship that will last a lifetime without having to give up who they are & who they want to be • Some sociologist estimate that only about 10% of contemporary marriages are truly monogamous relationships, in which one man marries one women for a lifelong relationship
Forming Intimate Relationships • What is the nature of sexual attraction and mate selection? • What is the nature of romantic love? • How do couples negotiate satisfying roles in their relationships? • How do couples manage conflict in their marriage?
Attraction, Mate Selection & Romance • What is romance? A love affair. Ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people; love: They kept the romance alive in their marriage for 35 years. A strong, sometimes short-lived attachment, fascination, or enthusiasm for something: a childhood romance with the sea. • Not clear as to whether romantic love is a fairly recent social development or whether love has a basis in human biology • 87% of all culture the relationships between men & women exhibit romantic love
Theories of Attraction & Mate Selection Natural Selection Theory Women preferred to mate with men who: • would be good fathers • would stay around to be good providers for themselves & their babies Men preferred to mate with women who: • could bear healthy babies • could feed their children • had the intelligence & temperament to raise them well Two processes were at work for men & women to exchange their valuable reproductive resources: • Individual preferences for an attractive mate • Competition with others for mate
Theories of Attraction & Mate Selection • Natural Selection Continued: The Evolution of Desire – by David Buss (evolutionary psychologist) • “Potential partners is still patterned to enable them to select the person with whom they can raise the most successful children” - In all societies women wish to “marry up” - Women are twice as likely to men to marry for financial resources - Women are attracted to healthy, intelligent, well-educated, hard-working and ambitious - Men are attracted to physically appealing, young & healthy In summary, according to anthropology & evolutionary psychology, women are attracted to good providers & men are attracted to women who appear to be fertile
Theories of Attraction & Mate Selection Social Homogamy - a theory that describes how individuals are attracted to others from a similar social background • Fits into a Structural Functionalists’ perspective • Individuals are attracted to those who have similar backgrounds, such as: • Age • Race • Ethnic background • Religion • Socio-economic status • Political views
Theories of Attraction & Mate Selection The Ideal Mate Theory – attraction based on an individual’s unconscious image of an ideal mate • Supports “love at first sight” and social homogamy • Perceptions of an ideal mate are formed from pleasant experiences with other individuals in childhood, usually a person’s family • Symbolic Interactionism
Theories of Attraction & Mate Selection Filter Theory (Murstein – 1970) • Suggests that patrners are first selected based on obvious stimulus characteristics, such as attractiveness, and are then passed through filters based on similar values and compatibility • Mate selection moves through stages (stimulus-values-roles) See text p.200
Romantic Love Both men & women desire love & commitment According to Sternberg, romantic love has three “faces”: 1)Passion – a strong feeling of sexual desire for another, develops the fastest 2) Intimacy – intense friendship develops more slowly, as the individual shares himself or herself with another 3) Commitment – maintaining the relationship while it grow & offering rewards The love triangle includes all three faces – each representing a side, but some sides grow at different rates & the nature of romantic love changes with time. Evolutionary perspective of Romantic Love is: - Love is advantageous: passion draws individuals together with a desire to reproduce, but the intimacy & commitment that follow allow them to maintain their relationship over the long term, to support each other & to culture & raise children
Courtship What sorts of activities do couples go through that could be called a courtship ritual? • Individuals are allowed to win each others affection • Courtship rituals in all societies • Men display their resources to prove they have the potential to be good providers • Women display the qualities that make them desirable & nurturing
The Cultural Diversity of Courtship • While the date is fairly casual in most European cultures, in many traditional societies, courtship is a highly structured activity, with very specific formal rules. • In some societies, the parents or community propose potential partners, and then allow limited dating to determine whether the parties are suited.
The Evolution of Courtship • In more closed societies, courtship is virtually eliminated altogether by the practice of arranged marriages, where partners are chosen for young people, typically by their parents. • Forbidding experimental and serial courtship and sanctioning only arranged matches is partly a means of guarding the chastity of young people and partly a matter of furthering family interests, which in such cultures may be considered more important than individual romantic preferences. • Over recent decades though, the concept of arranged marriage has changed or simply been mixed with other forms of dating, including Eastern and Indian ones; potential couples have the opportunity to meet and date each other before one decides on whether to continue the relationship or not.
Modern Dating • In earlier centuries, when marriage was an expectation rather than an option, young adults were expected to court with the intention of finding a marriage partner, rather than for social reasons. • However, by the Jazz Age of the 1920's, dating for fun was becoming an expectation, and by the 1930's, it was assumed that any popular young person would have lots of dates. • This form of dating, though, was usually more chaste than is seen today, since pre-marital sex was not considered the norm. • After the sexual revolution of the 1960's and 1970's, this "old-fashioned" form of dating waned in popularity. • Couples became more likely to "hook up" or "hang out" with large groups than to go on an old-fashioned date, and frequently went from "hanging out" to an exclusive relationship without engaging in what their parents or grandparents might have called dating.
Dating & Marital Success • Free-choice marriages suggest that dating experiences leads to greater marital success • The best indicator of marital success is – being in love when you marry
Negotiating Satisfying Roles in Relationships • Getting married can appear to be the happiest & easiest transition in life because it is ritualized, highly organized and supported by family & friends • However, the relationship roles within marriage are often difficult to set • Erikson explained that individuals need to resolve the dilemma of intimacy verses isolation to develop the enduring strength of love within the relationship • The challenge is to know how to grow independently and as a partner within a couple
Role Expectations in Marriage • Contemporary marriages are based on companionship, not parenting • Therefore, marriages are based upon the principle of equality • This principle of equality is not an event, but a process • Systems Theory – couples must discuss the structures, or the hidden rules of their new marital system • Negotiation is a process of conferring with others in order to reach an agreement • Negotiation is not just the joining of two individuals, but also a joining & overlapping of two family systems to create a third.
Nine “Psychological Tasks” Needed for a Good Marriage • Separate emotionally from the family you grew up in; not to the point of estrangement, but enough so that your identity is separate from that of your parents and siblings. • Build togetherness based on a shared intimacy and identity, while at the same time set boundaries to protect each partner's autonomy. • Establish a rich and pleasurable sexual relationship and protect it from the intrusions of the workplace and family obligations. 4. For couples with children, embrace the daunting roles of parenthood and absorb the impact of a baby's entrance into the marriage. Learn to continue the work of protecting the privacy of you and your spouse as a couple.
Nine “Psychological Tasks” Needed for a Good Marriage 5. Confront and master the inevitable crises of life 6. Maintain the strength of the marital bond in the face of adversity. The marriage should be a safe haven in which partners are able to express their differences, anger and conflict. 7. Use humor and laughter to keep things in perspective and to avoid boredom and isolation. 8. Nurture and comfort each other, satisfying each partnerís needs for dependency and offering continuing encouragement and support. 9. Keep alive the early romantic, idealized images of falling in love, while facing the sober realities of the changes wrought by time.5
Stages in a Marriage • What do you think are the stages of marriage? • Three Predictable stages of a relationship: Stage One – Relationships are romantic, warm & respectful, focusing on exploration, sexual attraction and the idealization of the partner. Individuals also build self-esteem as they try to develop the relationship that they want Stage Two – Conflict arises as individuals become more demanding to meet their own needs. This results in instability in the relationship & requires both partners to change their behaviour. Individuals feel let down because the relationship is less rewarding Stage Three – Couples compromise & negotiate a relationship that meets their needs as well as possible. The relationship becomes more realistic, mature, & stable
Defining Success Several characteristics in common for a successful marriage: • Similar values • Similar leisure time activities • Pooling their incomes • Sharing in power & decision making • Having friends in common • Having an active social life together Review Research Study: Why Marriages Succeed or Fail (pages 210 - 211) Some interesting findings
Achieving a Satisfying Relationship • Familiarity breeds intimacy • Knowing who you are, helps you understand your partner • Honest communication nurtures trust & shows respect for the other by allowing each partner to maintain his/her differences • Be able to agree on solutions to problems • Be successful at negotiation – requires individual to respect & honour spouses opinions • Successful couple turn to each other, not away from each other when a problems arises
Claude Guldner’s Six “R’s” of Marriage 1. Roots 2. Rhythms 3. Rule 4. Roles 5. Relationships 6. Rituals See text p. 214
Problems, Conflict, and Power What do you thing is the most common problem in marriage? • Communication was most frequently mentioned • Jealousy was thought to be the largest issue Conflict Theory suggest: Nature of intimate relationships & changing roles of men & women in a diverse-post industrial society such as Canada's results in 3 related dilemmas for couple relationships 1. Individual verses collective interest 2. Women’s rights verses male entitlement 3. “mine” verse “yours” Many of these issues revolve around two things: • Division of labour • Expressive quality of the relationship
Bibliography • Holloway, Maureen, Holloway,G., Witte, J. (2003) Individuals and Families in a Diverse Society. McGraw-Hill Ryerson., Toronto. http://sitemaker.umich.edu/psy457_lamyiu/sternberg_s_theory_of_love