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Course: MCAT > Unit 4

Lesson 1: Foundations of behavior passages

Marriage and family preferences


A group of sociologists interested in family dynamics decide to investigate marriage. In their work, they define marriage as a socially, religiously, or governmentally approved interpersonal relationship. They also state that marriage is a permanent, contractual agreement and includes rights and obligations that are unique and specific.
To further understand family and marriage dynamics the group of researchers first examine existing data, based on surveys that were administered once a year from 1936 to 2011. Around 6,000 random married individuals were polled annually (equal number men and women), and the surveys include questions about marriage beliefs, personal patterns of behavior in marital relationships, family values and preference, satisfaction in marriage, etc. The survey polls couples across all socioeconomic strata. Some results are shown below. In Figure 1, the graph depicts the percentage of individuals who prefer larger families or prefer smaller families over time.
Figure 1: Percentage of individuals who prefer larger or smaller families over time
Based on the same data, the researchers looked at the most recent 5 years to evaluate whether married women in recent years have children. Results below show surveyed married women ages 40-44 with no kids, by ethnic group and by education level.
Figure 2: Percentage of married women ages 40-44 with no kids, by race and education.
From those respondents, the sociologists also conducted in-depth case studies of married couples. The interview questions are similar to the surveys, but allow participants to divulge more information and explain their responses.
Source: Henslin, J. M. (2015). Essentials of sociology: A down-to-earth approach. Pearson.
Every respondent in the study strongly agreed with the following statement on one of the questionnaires. “Marriage between a parent and a child is morally wrong and reprehensible.” In addition, individuals from the case study called a marriage between a parent and child “incestuous,” “disgusting,” and “unacceptable in any circumstance.” If a person were to marry their child, according to the respondents in the study, which type of norm would most likely be violated?
Choose 1 answer: