Family married and having or adopting children.

Family of procreation is defined as the family that we create by getting married and having children. In this lesson, you’ll learn more about family of procreation and how it differs from family of orientation.


Kevin and Susan, two video game enthusiasts, met at a local gaming convention. The pair quickly hit it off and became great friends. It was no surprise when Kevin and Susan began dating a few weeks after the convention.

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Two years later, Kevin and Susan married. Within ten years, they had three children, Todd, Cindy, and Mike. Kevin and Susan are both computer engineers, believe education is important, and value creativity and individuality, so they’ve decided to bring up their children to share these same values. In this example, we just described Kevin and Susan’s family of procreation.Simply put, family of procreation refers to the family that we create when we marry someone and have or adopt children. In the example above, Kevin and Susan’s family of procreation consists of each other and their three children, Todd, Cindy, and Mike.

When we get married and have children, we can influence our children’s socialization and teach them the values and behaviors that we deem appropriate. We can also influence our kids’ personalities as well as impact how our kids develop and learn.

Family of Orientation

Sociologists often compare family of procreation to family of orientation. While these terms may sound similar, they refer to two different types of families. Family of orientation refers to the family that we are born into and raised in.

While we have some choice over our family of procreation (that is, we get to choose our spouses and if we have or adopt children), we do not get to pick our family of orientation.The initial example in this lesson is told from Kevin and Susan’s point of view. We learned about the family they created by marrying each other and having three children. Now let’s look at the example from Cindy’s (Kevin and Susan’s daughter’s) point of view.

A Different Point of View

Cindy is a nine-year-old with two brothers, Todd and Mike. Since Cindy’s parents are both computer engineers who love to play video games, Cindy and her siblings grew up surrounded by the latest technology and played every video game system there was.

Cindy grew up in a household where her parents taught her to value education, be creative, and not be afraid to be herself. Cindy tries to uphold these values every day. In this example, I am describing Cindy’s family of orientation.So what is the difference between the two examples? When we look at the family from the parents’ point of view, we are looking at family of procreation. However, when we look at family from the point of view of the children in a family, we are talking about family of orientation.

Lesson Summary

Family of procreation refers to the family that we create by getting married and having or adopting children. Through the family of procreation, parents can influence the values, behaviors, learning, and development of their children. Family of procreation is often compared to family of orientation, which is the family that we are born into. In the same way that our family of orientation influenced us as children, we get to influence our own children when we create a family of procreation.


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