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Marriage & Family Research

1. Describe the changing patterns on intimate relationships in contemporary society. What role has media played in this and how so?
2. Define what a family really is.
3. Discuss how families have varied across time and societies.
4. Discuss problems encountered by "single-parent families".
5. Describe psychological and social similarities and differences that exist between men and women.

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Please note that these are brainstorming ideas and references, not ready-made, structured responses. They merely serve as ideas to jump start your own exploration and assignment.

1. As you briefly describe the changing patterns on intimate relationships in contemporary society, it seems like blockbuster movies, such as 50 Shades of Grey, have made sex, not romantic dating or courting, as it was emphasized formerly in history, more heavily accentuated, I feel. Accordingly, I also strongly attribute the media's role as highly significant in this as it perpetuates images, stereotypes, and myths about what constitutes feminine and masculine and makes relationships over sexualized. In turn, it seems like women are more sexual commodities and submissive, while men are more dominant intimately. Women are seen more as play things or objects, quite sadly, in the media.

One article explores this topic:

Monto, M. A., & Carey, A. G. (2014). A New Standard of Sexual Behavior? Are Claims Associated With the "Hookup Culture" Supported by General Social Survey Data?. Journal Of Sex Research, 51(6), 605-615.

The authors argue that popular media tends to depict intimate relationships " dominated by a pervasive sexual "hookup culture." It seems like cultural shifts in make intimate relationships much more rooted in casual sex and often with multiple partners, as TV shows such as Grey's Anatomy and Empire definitely depict.

Patterns have also changed as more as more openness toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered couples and intimacy have emerged, as one article concurs:

Holz Ivory, A., Gibson, R., & Ivory, J. D. (2009). Gendered Relationships on Television: Portrayals of Same-Sex and Heterosexual Couples. Mass Communication & Society, 12(2), 170-192.

The authors contend that intimate heterosexual couples often exhibit power imbalances in gender role behaviors, with one partner more dominant and the other more submissive, and the same holds true, especially as "...television portrays both heterosexual and homosexual couples as gendered."

2. As you then define what a family really is, to me, it is a bonded, loyal, trusting, giving, ...

Solution Summary

Marriage & Family research is briefly presented in 800 words of notes.