(1) Families are a place of comfort, security, and nurture through a dynamic of balanced power among the parents, which creates a calm environment for the children. Through a balanced power between th

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Families are a place of comfort, security, and nurture through a dynamic of balanced power among the parents, which creates a calm environment for the children. Through a balanced power between the parents, they are sharing the responsibility and the relationship is much more equal. If the power balance is unequal, the family can also be a place of domination, conflict, and violence. In this case, the man is usually holding the most power due to patriarchal norms that determine that men should be dominant. This dominance can lead to violence within the family.  In family systems, women are defined by their domestic and reproductive roles. Men are the sources of power and authority. Heterosexual families as the only legitimate family which is one inequality between people who are heterosexual and people that aren’t heterosexual The three structures of marriage are monogamy, polygamy, and cenogamy. The equal partner models occur infrequently because of the idea that men are seen as higher than women. Men, as previously mentioned, are supposed to participate in the workforce and provide financially for their families. Women, on the other hand, are supposed to socialize future workers, making their job within the family to raise the children and handle all of the housework.


The emphasis we place on the importance of family can create comfort and security for members. Sayings like “family is everything” and “at the end of the day, you still have family” serve to perpetuate an idealized version of family within our society. We enjoy the images of loving, loyal, and supportive families and aim to shape our own in that image the best we can. For most of us, at least some of this narrative is true. Coming home after a long day brings a sense of relief. Visiting your childhood home on holidays fills you with comfort and nostalgia. It is easy to forget that our place of comfort can also serve as a home for conflict. Power struggles exist in many homes. The most common power struggle emerges around traditional gender roles in a modernized world. How many heated discussions have children witness between parents about the disproportionate disbursement of household chores between partners who are both employed full time? Although women joined the workforce decades ago, majority of household and child rearing responsibilities fall on our shoulders.

There are three models for structuring marriage. First is the “head-complement” model. This is a traditional arrangement where the husband provides for the family and the wife stays home to care for the children and house. Second is the “junior/senior partner” model. I feel like this model can be seen in majority of American homes. Both husband and wife work outside of the home but, the wife’s work is considered secondary, and the responsibility of home and childcare still fall on her. The third model is “equal partners”. Both careers are valued, and responsibilities are shared equally. Examples of such marriages are rare. Despite similar employment and educational attainment gained by women over the years, when it comes to domestic areas, the equal partner marriage has rarely been modeled in generations of past and society has not yet promoted such a set up in a significant way.



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