The future of family and romance


Published in 1970, browsing through some chapters of this book literally gave me a shock.

Firstly, the trends he predicted have been fairly accurate.

Secondly, I was shocked.

The fracturing of the concepts of motherhood, parenthood and the family model in view of technological changes (e.g. purchasing embryos), diversification of gender (e.g. homosexuals) are some issues that are emerging problems for governments today.

What really struck a chord with me was “The odds against love”, where he challenged the notion of a marriage that lasts forever, as both husband and wife would need to develop equally in life to make successful marriages. In short, the fast-moving pace of society today meant that it was difficult for both husband and wifes to continue to match their developments at comparable rates because changes happened quickly and often.

Instead, “serial marriages” — short, temporary marriages — would become common and people would “marry” a few times based on which junctures they were in life. The would start off with a “trial” marriage, then decide to formalize it by actually getting married, and when they enter parenthood have to decide again if it is working out. At each of these three junctures, it becomes a mathematical challenge to ensure their developments at that stage are comparable and thus people often separate at these junctures.

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