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Examine the view that 'successful families need two loving heterosexual parents'.

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Introduction

Examine the view that 'successful families need two loving heterosexual parents' This statement represents the view that the typical family is a nuclear family; that is: 2 generations of parents & children living together in 1 household, & legally married, and that the nuclear family is the ideal. Murdock claimed that the nuclear family is universal and for any society to exist four basic functions [functional requisites] must be fulfilled. These are > Reproduction - to produce the next generation. > Sexual - to control sexual behaviour, to prevent conflict between adult males over women. ...read more.

Middle

One example being the 'new world black family'. Generally these families are Matrifocal and mother-centred and consist of a woman and her dependant children and do not include an adult male. The mother is the main carer and breadwinner and rely's on help from female kin relatives. Another example is 'The Nayer' of south India. After marriage the husband did not live with his wife nor was he under any obligation to have any further contact with her. The males in the household would be either uncles or brothers but not the biological father. ...read more.

Conclusion

Reproduction can start without sexual contact, as the lone parent tends to rear the children in the early years, and then educational establishment assists. Even with only one gender role to be followed, socialisation prepares children for their wider social and gender roles. It would be fair to say that Murdock did not take into account the various diversities within the family, such as structural & cultural diversities. The family is socially constructed and varies from one culture to another. To say that 'successful families need two loving heterosexual parents' is a very narrow functionalist view of the family. People are now choosing to have different types of family life, and it is more socially acceptable. Many families are no longer conventional but society still exists. 2 1 ...read more.

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