Contemporary Marriages After 1950

Marriages taking place after the 1950s and 1960s, in which the couple have been actively involved in choosing their partner, are much more likely to be affectionate, loving, and companionable. In these families, husbands and wives almost always eat together, sleep together, and spend their spare time together doing such things as taking rides down the beach. Household decisions usually involve a lot of discussion between the two spouses before the husband actually "makes" a decision. Within households, however, the relatively strict gendered division of subsistence tasks is maintained. Men seldom do cooking or food-management-related tasks. Women are unlikely to work on boat-carpentering tasks or to repair hunting equipment.

In the past, the most successful men sometimes had more than one wife. This was a tribute to their ability to feed two families. Such an arrangement has not existed in the St Lawrence Island communities since the early 1940s when members of both communities were baptized into the Presbyterian Church.

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