self reflection on attitudes towards Infidelity Scale

Assignment:Self Reflection

After completing the Self Reflection: Attitudes Towards Infidelity Scale, compose a 1-2 page reflection of your results.

Did you find this tool useful?

Any surprises?

Do you feel your gender had an effect on your answers and opinions on this subject?

Compose your reflection in APA style with a title page, introduction, side headings  and conclusion. Submit your assignment using the assignments tab on the course menu. Please review the scoring rubric below for grading criteria.


Attitudes Toward Infidelity Scale

Infidelity can be defined as a person being unfaithful in a committed monogamous relationship.   The purpose of this scale is to gain a better understanding of what people think and feel about issues associated with infidelity. There are no right or wrong answers to any of these statements; we are interested in your honest reactions and opinions. Please read each statement carefully, and respond by using the following scale: (Click here for Printable Scale)



_____ 1.                       Being unfaithful never hurt anyone.

_____ 2.                       Infidelity in a marital relationship is grounds for divorce.

_____ 3.                       Infidelity is acceptable for retaliation of infidelity.

_____ 4.                       It is natural for people to be unfaithful.

_____ 5.                       Online/Internet behavior (e.g., sex chatrooms, porn sites) is an act of infidelity.

_____ 6.                       Infidelity is morally wrong in all circumstances regardless of the situation.

_____ 7.                       Being unfaithful in a relationship is one of the most dishonorable things a person

can do

_____ 8.                       Infidelity is unacceptable under any circumstances if the couple is married.

_____ 9.                       I would not mind if my significant other had an affair as long as I did not know

about it.

_____ 10.                     It would be acceptable for me to have an affair, but not my significant other.

_____ 11.                     I would have an affair if I knew my significant other would never find out.

_____ 12.                     If I knew my significant other was guilty of infidelity, I would confront him/her.



Selecting a 1 reflects the least acceptance of infidelity; selecting a 7 reflects the greatest acceptance of   infidelity.   Before adding the numbers you selected, reverse score items #2, #5,   #6,   #7,   #8, and #12 (i.e., 1 = 7; 2 = 6; 3 = 5; 4 = 4; 5 = 3; 6 = 2; 7 = 1). For example, if you responded to question #2 with a “6,” change this number to a “2.”   If you responded to question #12 with a “7,” change this number “1.”     After making these changes, add the numbers. The lower your total score (12 is the lowest possible score) the less accepting you are of infidelity; the higher your total score (84 is the highest possible score) the greater your acceptance of infidelity. A score of 48 places you at the midpoint between being very disapproving of infidelity and very accepting of infidelity.

Week 2: Family Life

The readings, activities, and assignments this week will assist you in achieving the following course objective(s):

  • Objective 2: Recognize the major challenges and changing trends facing marriage and family patterns.
  • Objective 3: Describe communication patterns and styles in intimate relationships.
  • Objective 6: Recognize the implications of family crises, divorce, and re-marriage


  • Chapter 3: Variations in American Family Life
  • Chapter 4: Gender and Family

Activities & Assignments Summary

  • Course Discussion
  • Review all pages of Lesson and watch videos/complete activities as applicable.
  • Assignment: Self Reflection 2

his week, we look at an historical perspective of marriage and the family; aspects of contemporary marriages and families; how contemporary families differ from each other; and racial and ethnic diversity in marriages and families.

American Families Across Time

The greatest diversity in American family life probably existed during our country’s earliest years.

  • Over 240 groups of Native Americans, with distinct family and kinship patterns, inhabited what is now the .S. and Canada.
  • Many groups were patrilineal (rights and property flowed from the father), others were matrilineal (rights and property descended from the mother).
  • Native American families tended to share certain characteristics such as small family size.
  • Children were taught by example.

European colonists who came to America attempted to replicate their familiar family system.

  • This system (strongly influenced by Christianity) emphasized patriarchy, the subordination of women, sexual restraint, and family-centered reproduction, particularly in New England.
  • The family was basically an economic and social institution, the primary unit for producing most goods and caring for the needs of its members.
  • Romantic love, not a factor in choosing a partner, came only after marriage and was considered a duty.
  • Because marriage had profound economic and social consequences, parents often selected their children’s mates.
  • Although the Puritan prohibited premarital intercourse, the practice of bundling resulted in one-third of all marriages having pregnant brides.
  • The colonial family was strictly patriarchal where fathers/husbands controlled land and property.
  • Wives served as helpmates rather than as equals and spent years of childbearing, childrearing, and performing numerous household duties.
  • The colonial conception of childhood was radically different from today in that children were believed to be evil by nature.
  • Childhood did not represent a period of life radically different from adulthood.   Children were given adult duties as soon as they were thought capable.
  • Children between the ages of 7-12 were often “bound out” or fostered as apprentices or domestic servants.
  • Adolescence-the separate life stage between childhood and adulthood-did not exist.

The first slaves were brought to what is today the United States in 1619.

  • Men outnumbered women making it hard to find wives.
  • The extended family provided support.
  • Slave children lived through harsh circumstances including separation from parents.
  • Marriage between slaves was legally prohibited, but slaves created their own marriage ceremonies.
  • Most slave children on large plantations lived in two-parent households.

In the nineteenth century, the industrialization of the United States transformed the face of America.

  • It transformed American families from self-sufficient farm families to wage-earning, increasingly urban families.
  • A radically new division of labor arose in the family.
  • As “breadwinners”, men’s paid-in-wages work came to be identified as “real” work.
  • As “housewives,” women’s unpaid work and services went unrecognized.

Without its central importance as a work unit, and less and less the source of other important societal functions, the family became the focus and abode of feelings.

  • Love, as a basis for marriage, came to the foreground.
  • Women now had a new degree of power in the ability to choose whom they would marry.
  • The nineteenth century witnessed the most dramatic decline in fertility in American history—women began to control the frequency of intercourse.
  • A new sentimentality surrounded childhood and protecting children from the evils of the world became a major part of childrearing.
  • In contrast to the colonial period, nineteenth-century adolescents were kept eco­nomically dependent and separate from adult activities.
  • Education changes as schools, rather than families, become responsible for teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic, as well as educating students about ideas and values.

Under slavery, the African-American family lacked two key factors which helped give free African-Americans and white families’ stability, autonomy and economic importance.

  • The separation of slave families was common, creating grief and despair among thousands of slaves.
  • It was impossible for the slave husband/father to become the provider for his family.
  • Slave children endured deep and lasting deprivation.
  • Many slaves and slave families displayed resilience and survived by relying on their families and by adapting their family system to the conditions of their lives.
  • When the formerly enslaved became free, the African-American family had strong emotional ties and traditions forged from slavery and their West African heritage.

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, great waves of immigration swept over America.

  • Most immigrants were uprooted; they left only when life in the old country became intolerable.
  • Kinship groups were central to the immigrants’ experience and survival.
  • Many immigrant families could survive only by pooling their resources and sending mothers and children to work in the mills and factories.
  • Most groups experienced hostility.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, the functions of American middle-class families had been dramatically altered from earlier times.

  • Families lost many of their traditional economic, educational, and welfare functions.
  • In the 1920s, a new ideal family form, based on companionate marriage, was beginning to emerge, rejecting the “old” family based on male authority and sexual repression.
  • The Depression and the two world wars brought about changes in the relationship between the family and the wider society, and changes in women’s and men’s roles in and outside of the family.
  • During the 1950s, marriage and family seemed to be central to American lives largely because of economic prosperity after WWII.
  • Suburbanization especially affected women and families and not always to women’s satisfaction.

Contemporary Marriages and Families

Trends in the latter decades of the twentieth century reveal that the only constant in American families is change.

  • Changes can be perceived as signaling a decline in the American family or as opening up more options for family life.
  • Some of the more significant trends include: decrease in birthrates, increase in median age for marriage; increase in divorce; and increase in cohabitation.
  • Cohabitation refers to unmarried individuals sharing living arrangements in an intimate relationship.
  • Cohabitation used to be uncommon but is now more widely practiced by both heterosexual and homosexual couples of all ages.
  • Approximately 75 to 80 percent of the adult population in America will marry but expectations for marriage have changed.
  • Divorce rates increased, declined, and have now stabilized yet millions of Americans still experience divorce.
  • About half of those over 25 who have divorced have also remarried and remarriages, particularly if there are children involved, are more at risk for breaking up.
  • Stepfamilies and blended families are increasingly common and are more complex than ‘intact’ families.
  • Divorce and births to unmarried mothers has led to an increase in single-parent households.

There are five factors that promote change in American families.

  1. Economics: the family has shifted from being an economically productive unit to a consuming, service-oriented unit.
  2. Technological innovations: major technological developments and innovations have altered the way families maintain contact, engage in recreation and socialize, work, and even in how they reproduce. People who in the past would have been unable to become parents have the opportunity to enjoy childbearing and rearing as a result of assisted reproductive technologies.
  3. Demographics: the most significant changes have been the increased life span, increased divorce rate, and decreased fertility rate.
  4. Gender roles/Opportunities for Women: the past decades have brought about major gender role shifts contributing to a third force of change in American marriages and families.
  5. Cultural Changes:   There has also been a major shift in American values from an emphasis on obligation and self-sacrifice to individualism and self-gratification


It is important to recognize that your gender is not the same as your sex.

  • Sex refers to biological aspects of being male or female.
  • Gender refers to everything else: self-concept, expectations others hold for us, roles we play, and the opportunities we have in education, work, and politics.
  • Gender is multidimensional.
  • At one and the same time, gender is both highly personal and eminently political.
  • Gender is dynamic and highly variable.

Gender and Inequality

  • Most societies, past and present, have been characterized by gender inequality.
  • The majority of societies are patriarchal systems in which males dominate political and economic institutions and exercise power in interpersonal relationships.
  • Although many societies have been identified as more egalitarian, truly matriarchal societies have not been evident.
  • Male dominance and female subordination can be extreme and include the practice of aborting female fetuses, engaging in honor killings, the practice of marrying daughters as children, and female genital mutilation.
  • Male dominance exists in the political and economic institutions in the United States.
  • Male dominance exists in families as evidenced in a division of labor and decision making practices that favor males.

Gender Identities, Gendered Roles, and Gender Stereotypes

  • Gender identity is perhaps the deepest concept we hold of ourselves.
  • Gender identity is usually based on biology, but some identify as members of the other sex or alternate their identification between genders.
  • Transgendered is the broadest category and refers to those who alter their social identity but not necessarily their physical characteristics.
  • The differing expectations to which males and females are held are what we mean by gendered roles.
  • gendered stereotype is a rigid simplification and a rigid belief that all males and females, as a result of their sex, possess distinct psychological and behavioral traits.
  • Historically, studies of gender have focused on Caucasian members of the middle class making it difficult to know whether and how gender expectations differ for African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and   other ethnic groups.



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