Unhitched: 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.