Now, 25 years into our country's most recent "women's movement" for equality, it is appropriate to reexamine the social and cultural experiences of women. Thanks to the media, researchers, clinicians, and the general public, all are aware that women have been unable to realize many of their goals. At times, distress rather than satisfaction and rejection and disap pointment rather than contentment have been the result of the ongoing struggle of women to achieve change-the change in attitudes, behavior, and values necessary to broaden the personal choices and work options open to women. Nationally recognized authorities on several of the sociocultural issues addressed in this volume, the editors invited noted scholars and clinicians to study some of those issues particularly relevant to women. These include frequently neglected topics, such as the multiplicity of responsibilities of single women and the spectrum of mothering roles, and those more commonly discussed, such as the various roles and patterns in the family, work options and burdens, and interpersonal relationships. The volume provides insightful detail on two prominent and poignant problems of the 1980s-the causes and repercussions of homelessness and sexual life-styles. Such material may facilitate under standing and serve as a catalyst for positive action.
I Some Family Structures.- 1 What Is a Woman's Family: Fluctuations in Definitions, Structure, and Functions.- 2 Single Women.- 3 Foster Families: The Demands and Rewards of Being a Foster Mother.- II Families of Adoption.- 4 Adoption: Coping Constructively with the Social and Psychological Contexts.- 5 Adopting Children from Other Cultures.- III Parenting.- 6 Working Mothers.- 7 Mothers of Exceptional Children.- 8 Mothers of the Retarded.- IV Women with Extraordinary Problems.- 9 On Becoming Empowered.- 10 Mothers Who Abuse Their Children.- 11 Female Offenders.- 12 Battered Women.- 13 Homeless Mentally Ill Women: A Special Population.- V Sexual Issues.- 14 Homosexuality and Parenting.- 15 Transsexualism and Choices.