Marital and Sexual Lifestyles in the United States

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Learn the changing role of sexuality in American life!

This helpful book offers a solid background in the sociology of family life and personal sexuality. Marital and Sexual Lifestyles in the United States: Attitudes, Behaviors, and Relationships in Social Context is designed to give readers a broad view of the diversity of contemporary U. S. attitudes, behaviors, and relationships. It also covers basic sociological concepts and research methods.

Most human sexuality texts focus on the individual, whereas texts designed for sociology courses on the family downplay individual sexual expression. Marital and Sexual Lifestyles in the United Statesintegrates the two approaches. The choices of the individual take on additional meaning when seen within a unified historical, statistical, and conceptual framework.

Marital and Sexual Lifestyles in the United States gives readers the tools to consider such pressing issues as:

  • Does the divorce rate mean that the institution of marriage is in trouble?
  • Are children's futures impaired if they come from single-parent households?
  • Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?
  • How does marriage differ from cohabitation?
  • What are the real sexual differences between the genders?
  • What is sexual morality?
  • How much confidence can we place in studies of human sexuality by such social scientists as Alfred Kinsey and Masters and Johnson?

    These questions and others like them are placed in the context of U. S. social trends, beginning with the 1950s and moving toward today. Plentifully illustrated with tables, charts, and figures that show where we are going as well as where we have been, Marital and Sexual Lifestyles in the United States gives a clear perspective on relationships in social context.

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Editorial Reviews

Alan E. Bayer
An outstanding textbook. The author skillfully integrates the core concepts and perspectives of the discipline of sociology to provide a context of understanding to lifecourse diversity in America. This book engages the reader in an inclusive and nonjudgmental understanding of historical and contemporary life choices and lifestyles. Helpful tools for self-development,personal exploration,and relational problem solving are also provided. A compelling candidate for adoption in college-level sociology classes on marriage,divorce,and interpersonal family dynamics. . . . an engaging reference work that will stay on the shelves of students long after it has been first eagerly read for a course.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Needs Addressed by This Text
  • Content Covered
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Marital Lifestyles in the United States
  • Human Sexuality
  • The Effects of Change
  • Summary
  • Chapter 1. Research Methods
  • Facts and Values
  • Rules and Exceptions
  • Validity and Generalizability
  • Methods of Data Collection
  • Research Methods Supplement
  • Chapter 2. Marital Lifestyles: Single, Married, and Cohabiting
  • Being Single
  • Dating and Mate Selection
  • Theories of Mate Selection
  • Starting New Relationships
  • Chapter 3. Sex and Singles
  • Premarital Sex: Attitudes and Behaviors
  • Repercussions of Changing Sexual Standards
  • Sex and Communication
  • Contraception
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Responding to STDs
  • The Individual and Social Change
  • Chapter 4. Marriage, Divorce, and Sex
  • Marriage and Overall Well-Being
  • Divorce As a Safety Valve
  • Sex and Divorce
  • Participation in Extramarital Sex
  • Open Marriage, Sexually Open Marriages, and Swinging
  • Marital Sex
  • Frequency of Intercourse
  • Talking to a Partner About Sex
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 5. Sexual Morality and Sexual Hang-Ups
  • Sexual Morality
  • Institutional Perspectives
  • Personal Preferences in Social Context
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 6. Homosexuality
  • The Nature of Homosexuality
  • Can Homosexuality Be “Cured”?
  • Public Attitudes
  • Prevalence of Homosexuality
  • Homosexuality and the Family
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 7. Marital Relationships: Men, Women, and Children
  • Gender Roles
  • Working Wives
  • Egalitarian Relationships
  • Expectations of Parenthood
  • Work Versus Family: A Historical Overview
  • Effects of Divorce
  • Chapter 8. Growing Older and Improving Relationships
  • Growing Older
  • Improving Relationships
  • Theoretical Perspectives in Counseling
  • Myths About Relationships
  • Successful Relationships
  • Sex Therapy
  • Chapter 9. Looking Ahead
  • Marital Lifestyles: Divorce and Cohabitation Trends
  • Sexual Lifestyles: Continuing Concerns
  • Facts, Values, and Social Science Revisited
  • Diversity
  • Social Policy
  • Closing Comment
  • Appendix: Sample Survey Items
  • References
  • Index
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