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sex ratio

The proportion of men to women in a country or group.

female infanticide

The intentional killing of baby girls because of a preference for sons.

marriage squeeze

A sex imbalance


A living arrangement in which two unrelated people are unmarried but live together and are in a sexual relationship.


Persons of the opposite sex sharing living quarters

dating cohabitation

A living arrangement that occurs when a couple who spends a great deal of time together eventually decides to move in together.

serial cohabitation

Living with different sexual partners over time.

premarital cohabitation

A living arrangement in which a couple tests its relationship before making a final commitment to get married.

trial marriage

An arrangement in which people live together to find out what marriage might be like.

substitute marriage

A long-term commitment between two people who don't plan to marry.


The formalization of a couple's decision to marry.

conflict-habituated marriage

a marriage in which the partners fight both verbally and physically but do not believe that fighting is a good reason for divorce.

devitalized marriage

A marriage in which the partners are initially in love, spend time together, and have a satisfying sex life but in time find they are staying together out of duty; because they see no alternatives, they do not consider divorce.

passive-cogenial marriage

A marriage in which partners with minimal emotional investment and expectations maintain independent spheres of interests and activities and derive satisfaction from relationships with others rather than from each other.

vital marriage

A marriage in which spouses maintain a close relationship, resolve conflicts quickly through compromise, and often make sacrifices for each other.

total marriage

A marriage in which the spouses participate in each other's lives at all levels and have little tension or unresolved hostility.

marital burnout

The gradual deterioration of love and, ultimately, the loss of an emotional attachment between married partners.

marital roles

the specific ways that married people define their behavior and structure their time.

identity bargaining

A process in marriage in which newly married partners must modify their idealized expectations and deal with the realities of living together as husband and wife.

boomerang generation

Young adults who move back into their parents' homes after living independently for a while.


The ability to impose one's will on others.

fetal alcohol syndrome

Physical deformities and/or mental retardation in an infant caused by the mother's excessive use of alcohol during pregnancy.

postpartum depression

A serious illness that can occur up to a year after childbirth.


The number of live births in a population.

total fertility rate

The average number of children born to a woman during her lifetime.


The prevention of pregnancy by behavioral, mechanical, or chemical means.

infant mortality rate

The number of babies under age 1 who die per 1000 live births in a given year.

pelvic inflammatory disease

An infection of the uterus that spreads to the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and surrounding tissues and produces scarring that blocks the fallopian tubes.


A Sexually transmitted bacterial infection that can contribute to infertility.


A condition in which tissue spreads outsides the womb and attaches itself to other pelvic organs, such as the ovaries or the fallopian tubes.


Taking a child into one's through legal means and raising her or him as one's own.

open adoption

The practice of sharing info and maintaining contact between biological and adoptive parents throughout the child's life.

closed adoption

The records of the adoption are kept sealed, the birth parent is not involved in the adoptee's life, and the child has no contact with the biological parents or little, if any, info about them.

semi-open adoption

Sometimes called mediated adoption, there is communication between the adoptive parents, birth parents, and adopted children, but through a third party rather than direct.

artificial insemination

Sometimes called donor insemination, a medical procedure in which semen is introduced artificially into the vagina or uterus at about the time of ovulation.

fertility drugs

Medications that stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs.

assisted reproductive technology

A general term that includes all treatments and procedures that involve the handling of human eggs and sperms to establish a pregnancy.

in vitro fertilization

The surgical removal of eggs from a woman's ovaries, their fertilization in a petri dish with sperm from her husband or another donor, and then the implantation of the embryos into the woman's uterus.


A woman who is capable of carrying a pregnancy to term serves as a substitute for a woman who cannot bear children.

preimplantation genetic diagnosis

A new assisted reproductive technology that enables physicians to identify genetic diseases in the embryo prior to implantation, before the pregnancy is established.


A procedure performed in the 20th week of pregnancy, in which a sample of the amniotic fluid is withdrawn by a needle inserted into the abdomen; the fluid is analyzed for possible genetic disorders and biochemical abnormalities in the fetus.

chorionic villus sampling

A procedure in which some of the villi, or protrusions, of the membrane that surrounds the embryo are removed by a catheter through the vagina and analyzed for abnormalities in the fetus.


The expulsion of an embryo or fetus from the uterus.

role conflict

The frustrations and uncertainties a person experiences when the expectations of two or more roles are incompatible.

role strain

Conflicts that someone feels within a role.

generalized other

People who do not have close ties to a child but who influence the child's internalization of society's norms and values.

socioeconomic status

An overall rank of an individual's position in society based on income, education, and occupation.

role overload

A feeling of being overwhelmed by multiple commitments.

parenting style

A general approach to interacting with and disciplining children.

authoritarian style

An approach to parenting that is demanding, controlling, and punitive; emphasizes respect for authority, work, and order.

permissive style

An approach to parenting that is highly responsive, warm, and indulgent; this approach places few requirements on children for orderly behavior or household tasks.

authoritative style

An approach to parenting that is demanding but supportive and responsive.

uninvolved style

A parenting approach in which parents are neither supportive nor demanding because they are indifferent.


A family in which both parents are employed full time outside the home.

latchkey kids

Children who return after school to an empty home and are alone and unsupervised until their parents or another adult arrives.

foster home

A home in which a family raises a child or children who are not their own for a period of time but does not formally adopt them.

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