The Multifarious Family

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UnhitchedUnhitched: Love, Marriage, and Family Values
from West Hollywood to Western China

by Judith Stacey
New York University Press.  275 pages, $27.95

 

IT WASN’T long ago that the generally held definition of a “family” was simple: a unit comprised of mom, dad, and the kids. And the popular image wasn’t far off: in the 1950’s, four out of five households consisted of a married couple of the opposite sex, with children typically present. But today’s homes are filled with millions of unmarried adults with or without a significant other and mostly without children. The divorce rate is a contributing factor, as is the willingness of couples to cohabitate without marriage. Conversely, more and more same-sex couples are forming domestic partnerships or, where it’s legal, getting married, and many are adopting children or having their own.

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