World without cousins

Declining fertility means not just fewer children, but much less rich and complex family structures in general. A culture in which one’s parents have one or no siblings is one very nearly without aunts and uncles. The University of Maine’s Robert Milardo has called these “the forgotten kin” arguing that “aunts and uncles complement the work of parents, sometimes act as second parents, and sometimes form entirely unique brands of intimacy.”

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About Eve Tushnet

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