The Mosuo: families without fathers.

This short article from Sociological Images (but since I refuse to link to them, I linked to Pacific Standard instead) discusses the Mosuo of China and their father-less family structure. There is not even a word in their language for “father,” apparently.

From the Mosuo point of view, separating marriage from the raising of children ensures that the vagaries of romance do not disrupt the happiness and health of the child and its mother. Nor can the father wield power over the mother by threatening to withdraw from the marriage. Meanwhile, because the family of origin is never eclipsed by a procreative family, the Mosuo system reduces the likelihood that elders will be abandoned by their families when they need support in old age.

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