Courtship, Marriage and the Family for Fall 2011
7400.201-002 Meeting
TuTh 12:15PM - 1:30PM 110 Schrank Hall South
Contact Information: Office 215f SHS  Phone: 972-6044    Office Hours before and after class
Email Prof. David Witt   Prof. Witt's Home Page     Relevant Web Links
Course Evaluations:

Note: The Provost's Office requires that all students taking this class must be registered by the 14th day of classes.
Students are advised to read this syllabus carefully. Failure to adhere to the rules of the class will have consequences in calculating final grades. This is your online course syllabus - with clickable blue underlined links

PURPOSE OF THE COURSE: to provide a vocabulary for the discussion and analysis of courtship, marriage and the family. Central to the concerns of American family life are issues of love and intimacy, relationship development, sexuality, and child rearing. These issues are dealt with in a lifespan perspective. At the end of the course, the student will have a well rounded view of marriage and family life with its demands and expectations, rights and obligations. The course is intended to provide facts about all aspects of family life and marriage for personal and professional use.

GROUND RULES: Understanding the material in this course will take effort on your part. Your attendance, attention to your readings, and your performance in class is critical. As university students, you need not be reminded of the importance of regular class attendance. However, the choice to attend class or not is strictly up to each individual. But be forewarned that actions have consequences. Lecture material will definitely appear on in-class examinations, and only one comprehensive make-up exam will be given during finals week for anyone who missed any exam at the time it was originally given. Further, attendance points will be given. We will be discussing the text material in class, which means that  Students must read the text assignments before classtime.

GRADES: Your final grade will consist of the following:

  • Attendance points (0-3 absences=50 points, 4=40, 5=30, 6=20, 7=10, 8 or more=0 points)
  • Four in-class examinations  (100 points each) 400 points for exams - All examinations will be of the multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, essay type and all will be held in class with online essay questions to be answered out of class and deposited on the Springboard Dropbox (see the course outline).
  • Four take home assignments (15 points each)  60 points for assignments. Assignments are listed below - Including examinations, students will have assignments or examinations due 9 out of 15 weeks.  Due dates are firm and are on the syllabus. Ink them in your calendars now!  
  • Total possible points for the class:  Attendance 50 + Exams 400 + Assignments 60 = 510 points.
  • To figure your grade, divide the points you've earned by the total possible points at that time in the class.

TEXTBOOK: Lauer, Robert, and Jeanette Lauer. Marriage and Family, 5th - 8th Edition. ISBN 0072878843.  Note that I am allowing students to purchase editions of the textbook prior to the current 8th edition. I do this for your benefit as a consumer of academic materials.  As it turns out, the content of the chapters doesn't change much from one edition to the next, however the chapters are often renumbered and the chapter topics in one text do not always correspond to those of a later edition. Therefore the content of the course is organized around topic and not chapter number.  Students can find these earlier editions online for a few dollars compared to the new edition price of over $80. How you spend your textbook dollars is completely your choice. 

Week of Semester - Topic for Discussion - Assignments - Exams

Week 1    Aug 23-25        Introduction and Topic 1 - Myths and Dreams About the American Family
Week 2    Aug 30-Sep 1 
Topic 2. Diversity In Families  
Week 3    Sep 6-8            Topic 3. Gender Roles: Foundation for Heterosexual Intimacy
Week 4    Sep 13-15        Topic 4. Sexuality and see for new contraception info 
                                                Assignment 1 Due Thursday evening of Week 4 in the Dropbox
Week 5    Sep 20                 Exam 1  Tuesday of Week 5  - In class Exam 1- covering Topics 1-4 and class notes
Essays for exam 1 Due same day In the Dropbox

Week 5    Sep. 22         Topic 5. Getting to Know Someone Else
Week 6    Sep 27-29    Topic  6. Getting Involved  and Topic 7. Falling In Love                                   
Week 7    Oct 4-6          Topic 8. Selecting a Life Partner
                                            Assignment 2 Due Thursday evening of Week 7 in the Dropbox
Week 8    Oct 11               Exam 2 - Tuesday of Week 8 - In class Exam 2 covering Topics 4-8 and class notes
                                            Essays for exam 2 Due same day in the Dropbox

Week 8     Oct 13          Topic 9. - he Single Option (notes only)
Week 9     Oct 18-20    Topic 10. - Getting Married
Week 10   Oct 25-27    Topic 11. - The Challenge of Communication    
Week 11   Nov 1-3        Topic 12. - Power and Conflict in Marriage  and   Topic 13. - Work And Home
Assignment 3 Due Thursday evening of Week 11 in the Dropbox
Week 12   Nov 8               
Exam 3 - Tuesday of Week 12 - In class Exam 2 covering Topics 9-13 plus Singlhood+class notes 
Essays for exam 3 Due same day in the Dropbox

Week 12   Nov 10             Topic 14. Becoming A Parent     
Week 13   Nov 15-17       Topic 15. The Family Life Cycle -
Week 14   Nov 22             Topic 16. Family Crises - Notes Only
                   Nov 24th        Thanksgiving
Week 15   Nov 29-Dec 1  Topic 17. Separation and Divorce and  and Topic 18 . Remarriage and Stepfamilies
                                             Assignment 4 Due Wednesday evening of Week 14 in the Dropbox
                                             Wrapup notes and course evaluation

Finals Week Final Exam due by 2:00 pm Friday Dec 9th- Take Home Final Exam Here in the Dropbox

Course Evaluations: Please take time to fill out the
online evaluation for this course at