Sociologists, demographists and psychologists in most of the developed countries have to recognize that in the XXI century the traditional institution of marriage is living out its last days.
What will come to replace the patriarchal family? Will it be a family of a new unknown model or some other type of community, a kind of human ant-hill, a tribe or some clan? In what way will children come into being in 50, 100 or 200 years? Out of the test-tube or the womb in the old way? And which kind of sex will be popular among lovers of the next generation: sex over the Internet, in the virtual reality or in the state of weightlessness? Though many of the scientists abstain from any kind of long-term prognoses, some individual bold-spirits are ready to express their ideas on this matter. You may believe them or not, but don’t forget that futurologists predict future through the light of the present days.
Uninvited Husband Is Never Welcome
What is the secret of family happiness? Experienced people say that a bagatelle is needed – separate bathrooms. Give a couple some vacant place to put away their toiletries, and you’ll get a stable family. And vice a versa, make them wash themselves every morning in a common bathroom year in, year out and they will never recollect that at the very beginning of their relations they adored each other. Be they Romeo and Juliet, they would pour strychnine in each other’s food.
Every year the number of exterritorial marriages is growing. Maybe it’s because of the housing problem in Russia, which is very acute nowadays, and there are no prospects of its quick solution.
What is meant by exterritorial marriage? Every spouse has his/her house, and they live separately. But they can meet in some other places, or eat out, or spend their holidays together.
If you rate highly your spiritual comfort and personal freedom of your partner, then there is no need of living and spending 24 hours a day together, according to exterritorial (or guest) married couples. The family relations of such people do not take all their time, but some part of it. For example, several times a week or even a year (as the spouses arrange) they live as an ordinary family. The rest of the time they live their own private lives and are free from everyday routine.
Test on the Matrimonial Compatibility
Futurologists say that in foreseeable future all lovers will have to take a detailed psychological test on the emotional, sexual and physical and other kinds of compatibility. Probably, this will happen one day. But nowadays the compatibility verification of the newly-married couple in often goes under the principle “you will like it when you get used to it”. At first people get married, give birth to a couple of children and then it becomes clear that they are absolutely incompatible with each other. However, in many countries partners prefer living for some time together in so-called “experimental” marriage before they officially get married.
And even here in Russia, where the extramarital sex is proclaimed to be a sin and is condemned by public morale because of the rules of the Russian Orthodox Church, lovers before official registering their marriage often try to live for some time under one roof and see what will turn out of it. The optimal length of the period of such pre-marital psychological adjustment for future spouses is about a year or so, but for many couples it last much longer.
Who will give birth to children in the XXI century?
According to the European Union countries statistics, every fourth civil marriage ends with the march of Mendelssohn. The same number of couples lives without official registration of their relationships for years. Up to recent years the specialists on family problems knew only one reason of such popularity of civil marriage – infantilism of men, who do not want to accept the burden of responsibility for his partner and their children. But the latest research showed that the governments in many developed countries provoke such a state of affairs themselves. Due to generous social privileges for many women it is much more profitable for them to stay single mothers. In this way, the woman can not only live comfortably and raise her child, but support her lover as well. And thanks to the latest achievements of the science women can give birth to children with no men’s help.
Impregnation in the test-tube let you bear from whoever you like, even from Rockefeller with one testicle, or from Schwarzenegger with a small number of convolutions of the brain. The main thing today is that the woman does not face the problem of choice between her child and career.
Nobody can be astonished by the delivery after the age of 35, and in 50 years it will be possible for a women to give birth to a first-born child even after having menopause.
On the whole, traditional ideas about the assignment of duties and rights in the patriarchal family have become so obsolete that constantly cause various kinds of family conflicts. 20 percent of divorced couples named the unsolved problem of authority the reason of their divorce. Psychologists state the fact that the family of the authoritarian model has ceased to exist. Egalitarian families, where the question of authority is not discussed at all, will arise. All the members of such a family including a new-born child must and will have equal rights and feasible duties. Abolishing the problem of the master of the house, the family of future will not only avoid chronic scandals, concerning the questions of whose salary is higher and who keeps the house, but will also protect itself against family life parasitism of some members of a family and against exploitation in family life.
This is especially actual for Russia where every second marriage is destroyed by social problems. And drunkenness is at the top of the list of reasons for divorce, a serious disease of 2/3 of the male population in our country.
Even today single-parent families – i.e. a woman and her children - amount 1/3 part of our society! And if the government elaborates a perfect system of social privileges, our granddaughters may conceivably prefer a quiet life in a family with no husband.
While the specialists rack their brains over the problem how to preserve the basis of everything, namely the family, average men and women do not give a damn about this. They get married at 22, divorce in 6 years, get married anew 4 years later, give birth to some more children and divorce again. The statistics is more than convincing: in our country, where patriarchal matrimonial model is still valued, 1.6 marriages per man is registered, and among women this figure is even higher -1.8 marriages. These data are valid only for registered marriages. If you add to this figure the number of civil marriages, which spring up and break up with the velocity of movement of chaotic Brown’s elements, then even staunch romanticists and apologists of morality will have to acknowledge the fact that the oaths of love and faithfulness until death worth nothing on the border of the centuries.
However that may be, you can erase your ex-husband (or ex-wife) out of your life and memory but you cannot apply this principle to your children. Even after their parents’ divorce, children need both mother’s and father’s love and care, as well as the personal contacts with their grandparents and communicating with step-brothers and step-sisters. That’s the point, where the knotty problems and misunderstandings begin. When the divorce is not finished yet, a wife usually tries to be the only guardian and trustee to their children and to deprive their father of any contacts with them, and a husband, in his turn, tries to punish her by not proving support. Then add the jealousy of new spouses in the newly-made families and the gossips of other relatives, and the situation will reach its breaking point.
Fortunately, many ex-married couples even after their divorce contrive to keep friendly relations with each other and bring up their children together. They do not stand in the way of their children’s relations with their step-brothers and step-sisters. Swedes succeeded in it most of all.
That’s why practical Americans guided by the experience of Swedes worked out a psychological training for the families that have to pass through divorce.
Even in a very impoverished town of the USA you can find a psychologist’s consulting-room, where members of the collapsed family learn to communicate with each other anew.
From Bestiality to Virtual Sex
Apologists of the rigid morality foretell the quickest perdition to the mankind if it does not change its way of living and restrain its sexual appetites. Are they right? Can it be possible that the men’s and women’s strive for deriving orgasms 24 hours a day will lead us to the worldwide catastrophe? Futurologists have no straightforward answer to this question.
On the one hand, sexual deviants existed in all times. Homosexuality and zoophilism were sung by ancient lyric poets, some centuries later Marquis de Sad, followed by Masoch, brought fame to sado-masochist games. The list of sexual deviations from the norm is replenished every decade with new diagnoses. And the end of the second millennium brought its sexual eccentricity: today you can make love over the telephone, fax, pager and even in the virtual world. Is it a sexual deviation or not? Even sexologists themselves find it difficult to answer this question.
But still, in spite of sexual desire inherited by all of us from Adam and Eva, we are quite different from our forebears in sex. They did it for the sake of the continuation of the human race and the gratification of their physical need. Nowadays the lovers make love not only for deriving and giving pleasure. The motto of the sexual revolution “Sex for the sake of orgasm” has lost its actuality for the last several years. Representatives of the new generation make love for the sake of friendship. They proclaim sex to be the ambassador of peace. Owing to this sexual freedom the appeal for chastity, conjugal faithfulness and renunciation of the polygamous relations seem old-fashioned and naпve.
Nevertheless, futurologists and historians announce unanimously that either in 100 or in 200 years the mankind will be able to exist only in the conditions of polygamous marriage. Otherwise, as scientists claim, we will face either a doomsday or the end of civilization. Without such a social institute as family, people will lose their cast of mind before they know where they are. Remember the epoch of matriarchy, when a tribe consisted mainly of mothers and children and fortuitous fathers roamed from one place to another. By the way, nowadays some tribes of Africa and Oceania lead the same way of life. In fact, except their ability for spontaneous reproduction they can produce nothing.