We will watch the Business of Being Born in class on Tuesday October 6 and Thursday October 8, after our discussion of the assigned readings.
Group 1 will lead us in a discussion of the assigned readings and they will post their relevant materials in the comments section below.

  • “Sex and Marriage in the minds of emerging adults” (Skolnick)

“Grounds for Marriage: How relationships succeed or fail,” By Arlene Skolnick
The death of marriage is a popular story recycled through the media, but the fact remains that 90% of Americans will eventually marry, which is the highest rate out of all industrialized nations. As Stephanie Coontz pointed out, historically marriage was about bringing together these two families and economic security, the biggest change of contemporary marriage is that it is based on this ephemeral ideal of love.

The author bases the paper on two of her studies, the first of which is based on the longitudinal studies carried out at the Institute of Human Development (IHD) at the University of California, Berkeley. This study spanned from 1958 to 1982. Relationships have different perspectives: that of the different spouses and the good and the bad. By analyzing the statements of good and bad from the couples, researchers could not determine the happy couples from analyzing the statements based on the negative reports, only the positive reports demonstrated the happy couples. John Gottman developed four behavioral patterns that reflected marital breakdown: criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling. Relationships needed to demonstrate a 5 to 1 ratio of positive feedback to negative interactions for the healthy couples. Lifestyle or common interests didn’t matter; the emotional core of the marriage was the single determining factor.