I recently had the honor of giving this talk at the 2019 Ancestral Health Symposium in San Diego. In it, I discuss why the nuclear family is failing, and what an ancestral perspective can teach us about it.
To answer this question, we might consider that ancient nomadic tribes did not live in houses. Permanent structures only became possible when agriculture permitted staying in one place long term. Without houses, tribes were not organized by nuclear family units, but rather communal kin-based groups of up to about 150 members. Children were raised collectively rather than by monogamous parental pairs.
The nuclear family, which developed only after permanent housing allowed people to segregate themselves by parentage, has attempted to replace community living but has fallen short on many counts. By examining the health, social, and growth-oriented criteria that a domestic environment seeks to fulfill, we can evaluate the ways in which an ancestrally inspired, gender-segregated housing model suggested here might outperform the nuclear family domestic model as a basic unit of family and society.
As this talk will raise at least as many questions as it answers, please comment below with your most burning questions, so I can prioritize future posts and content to best answer those questions. Thank you for your support! — Stephanie