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home > sex & society > the sexual system > the family

The family

The family; veiled women with childrenBasically, a family consists of a mother and one or more children, with a father at some distance. The mother takes care of the children. The father helps her and also protects the family from outside dangers. Families have existed in this form ever since people lived in relatively small groups a long time ago, until these groups became larger, more complex and developed into present day societies. In other words, a society is a multitude of families each consisting of the mother and her children surrounded by father, grandparents and other relatives. Families constitute the basis of a society in all sorts of ways.
The existence of families is taken for granted as a consequence of our biological reproduction. The family is the dominant social unit and cannot be understood without considering its biological function, the distinction between the sexes and the regulation of sexual desire (lust). The popularity of the family is entrenched in all cultures. It generates personal convictions in line with mythologies and hierarchies of power.
The family; portret of a 19th century familyWe must ask whether the family is as good as it is generally believed to be.


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