Human Development 201

HUMD 201: Marriage and Alternative Lifestyles

Credit Hours: (3)

Examines traditional and modern marriage, alternatives to marriage, the choice-making process and factors influencing choices.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course examines the various configurations of traditional and contemporary family living pattern and various alternative lifestyles in American society.

I. Marriage in a Changing Society
II. Alternatives to Traditional Marriage
III. Mate Selection
IV. Contractual Aspects of Marriage
V. Gender Roles
VI. Redefining Work Roles and Relationships
VII. Communication Strategies
VIII. Marriage and Sexuality
IX. Marriage Throughout the Life Cycle
X. Extension of Intimacy--Children, Relatives, Community
XI. Terminating Intimate Relationships
XII. Recoupling
XIII. Stepparenting
XIV. Relationship stress
XV. The Future of Marriage


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Lecture, discussion, written projects, oral presentations, guest lecturers, video presentations, problem-solving


Goals and Objectives of the Course

I. To identify the limitations of "Common Sense" ideas about marriage and family arrangements and alternative life style and distinguish between personal
opinion and what can be empirically known about families.
II. To become aware of the alternatives that individuals face in marriage and family life.
III. To exhibit empathy for the belief of others.
IV. To become aware of behavioral expectations of interpersonal skills including communication and conflict resolution, parenting, and sexual expression.
V. To identify decision making processes involved in redefining work roles and relationships, terminating intimate relationships,remarriage and stepparenting and money in marriage.
VI. To recognize the similarities and differences in male and female biological and social perceptions.
VII. To discuss projected view in regard to the future of marriage and alternate lifestyle.


Assessment Measures

  • Three exams 60%
  • Written project 20%
  • Oral presentation 20%


Other Course Information

Course objectives are reviewed periodically throughout the semester. No prerequisite; open as elective course for non-majors.


Review and Approval
April 1998 Updated Dr. Janette Newhouse/Dr. Sheila Reyna