Sandra Bem's An Unconventional Family

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In her book, An Unconventional Family, Sandra Bem describes her experience with an egalitarian marriage and her “gender-liberated, anti-homophobic, and sex-positive” (Bem, 1998, p. 178) child rearing practice. The book focuses on Bem’s childhood, her decision to marry Daryl Bem, her career, the decision on their parenting style and the outcomes of those decisions. While the book is a very interesting account of this type of parenting and marriage it, like many books, has its strengths and limitations. However, it discusses many concepts that, even today, are still considered relevant.
Overall, the book gives an interesting insight into the time period of the 60s and 70s in which most of Bem’s account takes place. While portraying the public's view on egalitarian marriages at the time, it also conveys the rising sense of …show more content…

Nontraditional gender socialisation can help the child develop a more complete understanding of their personality, that takes both their feminine traits and masculine traits into consideration. This can be illustrated by Jeremy telling his mother that he got to be “a complete person” (Bem, 1998, p. 190), when asked how his upbringing enhanced his life. Further this type of parenting allows the child to be more analytical of traditional gender roles and how they might be present and potentially affect their lives. This can make them more aware of them, and could help them avoid or fight against negative effects that might arise from their presents. This can often be advantageous. Bem educated her children about traditional gender roles and their negative aspects, like sexism, and through this allowed them to have the tools to identify them early on, like Emily did in nursery school (Bem, 1998, p. 119-120). When children are being educated about traditional gender roles and their disadvantages they have an easier time identifying them later on and possibly fighting

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