What does marriage in the United States and other countries around the world mean? Debunking has five myths about marriage 1- The Universal Nuclear Family, 2-The Self-Reliant Traditional Family, 3- The Naturalness of Different spheres for Wives and Husbands, 4- The Unstable African American Family, and 5- The Idealized Nuclear family of the 1950’s. The Universal Nuclear Family is basically everything under the sun. It is everything and anything describing family from monogamy to permanence. Having one spouse, two spouses, or even more, even just living together under the same roof is considered family. Basically regardless of race, gender, social status, and education, anyone living in the same house is family.
The second myth, the Self-Reliant Traditional family, they did not get help for others they had to help themselves. No government assistance or any handouts of any kind would be taken by the family. They did not like owing debts and refuse to rely or depend on anyone but themselves. If there were a crisis they did what it took to survive and got through it with their family.
The third myth, different spheres for men and women, was around the mid- nineteenth century, and this is where it became the woman’s responsibility to be the main person to rear the child and the man was to provide and protect the family. Women stayed at home and did the household chores and small jobs while teaching the children. The man did the hard labor, mainly from sunrise to sunset, and worked all week.
The best way to sum up myth four is “African American families experience a pattern of chronic and persistent poverty. Some of the most visible manifestations of this pattern are high levels of unemployment, welfare dependency, low marriage rates, high rates of teenage pregnancy, mother-focused families composed of a mother and her dependent children without a father, an increasing number of