Jayla had a difficult childhood that kept her busy. She was an African American girl living with a working class family. She had problems with her family which even increased when her parents refused to buy her vegetarian meals. She just didn’t like the taste of meat. She had a child at 16 and was forced to raise the child on her own. It was an untimely pregnancy like 88% of teen births in the US. When she was 14, she thought she had found the love of her life in a classmate of hers named Jaylin. She thought that he would help he forget about the troubled relationship with her parents which she had formerly tried by using alcohol.
These risk factors increased the chance that she would get engaged in early sex. The relationship was not as great as she had thought. It showed the exchange theory when her boyfriend paid less costs in the relationship and got more rewards which was the opposite for Jayla. This caused her to have dependency issues with him. One of the rewards for Jaylin was sex. Jayla had sex because of a threat to end the relationship because she grew so attached to him that she would rather have sex than have him leave her.
They only used barriers like condoms to protect her against pregnancy. She didn’t have as much of a problem with having it after a while because she was told by her parents if she was going to have sex to use protection which is common for most parents. Their attitudes demonstrated the permissiveness with affection category of Ira Reiss’ four categories. In August Jaya gave birth to her daughter who she named Rain because the rain was the only thing that seemed to calm her down after a long fight with her parents.
This made Rain a part of the 39. % of unmarried births in the US. After Rain was born, it didn’t get much easier for Jayla. Her mother had forced her to take care of the child on her own without any help from other family. She was forced to drop out of high school to take care of Rain. Shortly after giving birth, Jaylin left because he said it was too much work for him to be a father. This left Jayla devastated and made her one of the 9. 9 million single mothers in the US. She faced responsibility overload trying to have enough money to pay for Rain’s needs as a child.
She also had to contend with emotional overload because she didn’t have enough time to focus on her own needs. She dealt with task overload because she had to do the work of two parents almost by herself. She started going to church with Rain which is where she lost her dependency issues and it helped her refrain from sexual activity. This also made her mind more expressive which is the norm for females. Aiden’s childhood was also troubled. He was an only child who lived with a fairly wealthy family. His parents focused more on their work than they did on him.
Also the family was moving constantly from place to place because of his father’s job. Aiden never had enough time to make close friendships with people because of this frequent moving around. Both of these factors caused him to develop emotional loneliness which is fewer intimate relationships than desired. This loneliness made him focus on people and their reactions which interested him. His mind mainly focused on logic and reasoning which is the average for males. When he went to college he started his studies in sociology to continue his interest in the interactions between people.
This loneliness went away during college when he started going to church and interacted with fellow Christians. This church was where he met Jayla. When Jayla and Aiden met, they both could feel a connection between them. It helped their growing relationship that they were both androgynous which means they take on both feminine and masculine traits. This is because it increased their intimacy with more love, affection, and attachment to one another. They got married two and a half years after they started dating. This early marriage is quite rare nowadays.
Their gender roles in the family skewed some from traditional views. Both of them helped raised the children, worked for a living, and took care of the trailer. The fact that both of the parents worked made it unlike a monolithic family. Jayla wanted to extend the family early because she wanted to have children while she had healthy eggs and have more energy to keep up with them. Her fertility was better because she was a vegetarian so it increased by eating proteins from plants and not animals. Eleven months after they were married Jayla gave birth to her second child, a baby boy named Kyle.
Their relationship didn’t come without its share of problems. A while into their relationship they noticed people border patrolling against them. People were treating them like they were abnormal just because they were an interracial couple. Their relationship seemed even more abnormal because it was a white man with a black woman. Later on, Aiden was arrested for assault on Jayla’s supervisor for sexually harassing her. Her supervisor was not charged with anything because harassment is in the eye of the beholder and co-workers saw no harm in what the supervisor was doing.
They just believed that Aiden was overreacting. Even worse, he lost his job as a researcher at a local university because of that. Fortunately, Jayla had completed her GED a month before this happened and was starting a full-time job to replace her part-time one. While Aiden was looking for a job, the systems theory started showing in the family. The family could not go eat out as much, everyone had to eat less expensive food, be careful how many resources they used, and buy fewer luxuries.
Early in their marriage while Kyle was still very young Jayla and Aiden had intimacy problems because they forgot that they were partners before they were parents. (Pierce) They had gotten so caught up in taking care of their children that they lost sight of their own relationship with one another. They overcame this obstacle after a while. Despite their problems, Jayla and Aiden grew even closer together. They lived in what Levinger described as a full-shell marriage that was fulfilling and strong. They showed the symbolic interaction theory by being able to interpret each other’s verbal and non-verbal symbols to one another.
For example, they knew when each other was “in the mood” by Aiden wanting to go to bed early and Jayla twisting her hair around her finger and constantly looking at Aiden with a smile. They would have the occasional argument, but it never became anything serious. Their arguments were never seen as a problem because it is a myth that a happily married couple doesn’t have conflict. They indulged in what they didn’t have in common as much as what they had in common. They were both surprised by how different their dreams were. Aiden’s dreams were more like action films while Jayla’s focused more on love and family.
It made for very interesting conversations in their day-to-day lives. Raising children and getting older posed some adventures of its own. Both children were raised in the normal behaviors for their sex. Rain was given dolls to play with including baby dolls allowed her to pretend to be a mother. Kyle, on the other hand, was encouraged to play outside and his scrapes and bruises were not treated like a big deal which toughened him up. Conflict from within the family expanded with grandchildren because, as Durkheim says, it had become more heterogeneous.
The family became more of a group of diverse individuals. Jayla was disappointed that Rain had a child before getting married which is a risk factor for a child born to a teen mother. Jayla was relieved that the father stayed with her and eventually married her. As they got even older, Aiden had to start using Viagra because his refractory period was getting to be too long that he could not have sex with Jayla as frequently as they both wanted. Though they both had their share of problems, they had a very long and successful marriage. Both of them lived well into their eighties, happy and in love.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 1 October 2016
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