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September 1965

Observations on the Contemporary Family

Author Affiliations

From the University of Virginia.

Am J Dis Child. 1965;110(3):279-286. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090030293010

BEFORE DISCUSSING the family, I would like to point out that marriage is now extremely popular. At the moment, the United States has the highest proportion of married people in the population that it has ever had. One reason for this is demographic change in the population: we now have an almost equal number of marriageable men and women. This popularity of marriage is bound to provide a further supply of patients for the medical profession, because people who in the past would not have married are today able to marry—diabetics, for instance, and even schizophrenics—through advances in the understanding and treatment of many previously disabling conditions. Medicine now keeps many people with chronic conditions sufficiently normal to enable them to undertake the bonds of matrimony. In the past, many physical handicaps tended to prevent marriage for certain people, but this is becoming less so. But inevitably, many people of

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