PROJECT Having Children

Discussion in 'DEVELOPING CHARACTERS & CULTURES' started by Minibit, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. Having children is the backbone of a lot of family life, gender roles, and many other elements of culture. In the Spartan culture, if your husband couldn't give you children, it was perfectly acceptable for one of his friends to sleep wtih you so that children could be had. Having multiple spouses or lovers was acceptable in many ancient cultures; just so you had lots and lots of kids. You can see the opposite in some cultures too, especially those who deal with overpopulation issues. As a contrast, consider China's One Child policy, versus the practice of Jewish couples having at least two children - one for the Holocaust. Having children can be important because children perform household tasks and tend fields for adults who go to war or perform other duties, it could be frowned upon for cultural reasons (ie: having a child of mixed blood or outside of wedlock), because of overpopulation or because of a genetic penalty the child would inherit.

    Answer the questions below as best you can to figure out where having kids sits in your fictional culture!



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    How important is having kids?

    How are barren women and sterile men treated?

    How many children, on average, will a healthy couple have?

    (If lots of children are encouraged) are nannies, wet nurses, or other help usually employed to help care for them?

    What is the stance on taking a lover? On taking a lover when married? What about multiple wives/husbands?

    What views are there on surrogacy (the practice of going through a pregnancy or inseminating a woman on behalf of someone who cannot)?

    How (if at all) does prostitution fit into this culture? Is it acceptable for a prostitute to bear children? To do it for the purpose of having many children?

    How are people who don't want children treated?

    Why is having children important/unimportant? What roles to children play in a household that would put them in that placement?

    If a man or woman has an illness, curse, or deformation that could be passed on to children, is it still acceptable to try and have kids?

    How important is lineage in a child? How are half-bloods, half-breeds, and the illegitimate treated?

    Do parents of illegitimate children recieve any particular scorn or help from their society?

    Do children take their parent's names?

    Is a genetic resemblance important or favoured?

    Are any particular genetic traits appreciated/tried for (strong bones, blue eyes, magical abilities, a particular height)
     
  2. I couldn't really choose which culture to answer this with, so I went ahead and answered it for two of mine. The green text is the Orcish view; the blue is the human Lluviana culture.


    How important is having kids?
    That is entirely dependent on social status. It is expected that the movers-and-shakers of the community have lots of children, but the progeny of lesser-ranked clan members are fairly optional. Generally speaking, the number of kids is expected to correlate directly with the parents' ability to provide. An exception is made for Shamans, who must not have children while they are serving with a clan. For those who have chosen the path of a Shaman, having children must wait until they have joined the Council, or chosen to wander and not be a permanent part of any clan.

    How are barren women and sterile men treated?
    It isn't taken into consideration for anything except leadership of a clan. In most positions having kids isn't that important, even if it is expected, but a clan Mogul has an obligation to provide sons who may one day take his place. Without sons, the warriors of the clan are more likely to be restless and let ambition overshadow their better natures. Moguls without heirs too often wind up the target of assassinations or coups.

    How many children, on average, will a healthy couple have?
    The average number is a little over three, but having one or having seven isn't unusual. It all depends on the amount of food available and the social status of the parents. In most clans it is considered rude to have more kids than the Mogul.

    (If lots of children are encouraged) are nannies, wet nurses, or other help usually employed to help care for them?
    It is unheard of to pay someone to raise or care for a child. Sisters, mothers, nieces, and cousins are usually used to provide child care if both parents are busy. Typically speaking if both parents will be gone for long periods of time, they will bring in a caretaker from the extended family into the nuclear- grandparents are the most popular choice, as they can easily care for children without having it interfere with regular duties.

    What is the stance on taking a lover? On taking a lover when married? What about multiple wives/husbands?
    As Orcs are permitted to marry and divorce at will, taking a lover when married is an offense punishable by banishing. Prior to marriage having short flings is acceptable as long as no children are conceived, but if a relationship lasts for longer than a month or two it is generally expected they be wed. And while no law or tradition specifically forbids taking multiple spouses, Orcs are generally monogamous, with the exception of a few historical Moguls.

    What views are there on surrogacy (the practice of going through a pregnancy or inseminating a woman on behalf of someone who cannot)?
    It isn't widely discussed among Orcs, and the rare cases where it becomes an issue are handled differently by every individual. Typically a couple incapable of conceiving will either stay together and be content without children, or try to find other spouses.

    How (if at all) does prostitution fit into this culture? Is it acceptable for a prostitute to bear children? To do it for the purpose of having many children?

    How are people who don't want children treated?

    Why is having children important/unimportant? What roles to children play in a household that would put them in that placement?

    If a man or woman has an illness, curse, or deformation that could be passed on to children, is it still acceptable to try and have kids?

    How important is lineage in a child? How are half-bloods, half-breeds, and the illegitimate treated?

    Do parents of illegitimate children recieve any particular scorn or help from their society?

    Do children take their parent's names?

    Is a genetic resemblance important or favoured?

    Are any particular genetic traits appreciated/tried for (strong bones, blue eyes, magical abilities, a particular height)
     
  3. I want to try this with two of my races seeing as I couldn't choose which view on the matter I wanted to show. This is for the Zaitra.

    How important is having kids?
    Very, and while it is not requiered to have kids a Zaitra who doesn't want kids is seen as strange and has less chance of finding a partner.

    How are barren women and sterile men treated?
    They are not treated badly, instead people tend to pity them for their inability to have their own children, it is not uncommon for a barren woman or sterile man to help care for the village children or adopt an orphan.

    How many children, on average, will a healthy couple have?
    With the Zaitras long lifespan you'd expect them to birth many children but it's more common with between three and six during their life time, they can also chose to get two children then wait a few hundred years until they try again for more children.

    (If lots of children are encouraged) are nannies, wet nurses, or other help usually employed to help care for them?
    Yes in a way. Both parents are supposed to care for their children but people from their village, especially those who can not have their own children and the parents' family, help care for them when their parents do not have time, but it's not a payed job, children are important so it's expected that people will help care for them.

    What is the stance on taking a lover? On taking a lover when married? What about multiple wives/husbands?
    Multiple wifes/husbands or a lover when married are not allowed and is a crime punished by banishment as the Zaitra live in strict monogamy with a free choice over their future spouse. However among the less traditional Zaitra in Aldeor you can have a lover or boy/girl friend type relationship before marriage, if it goes on for several months then most people expect them to marry although it is not requiered. However among the traditional Zaitra in Zarradeo both the man and woman are supposed to be only with their spouse and it's very frowned upon to have a lover before a marriage.

    What views are there on surrogacy (the practice of going through a pregnancy or inseminating a woman on behalf of someone who cannot)?
    The kind of technology for arteficial insemination isn't available in Yuriaah, if you are barren/sterile you can only get a child through the adoption of an orphaned child.

    How (if at all) does prostitution fit into this culture? Is it acceptable for a prostitute to bear children? To do it for the purpose of having many children?
    Prostitution is not seen among the Zaitra, neither would it be allowed.

    How are people who don't want children treated?
    While they are not treated any different they can have a hard time finding a partner and other Zaitra will find them strange for their opinion.

    Why is having children important/unimportant? What roles to children play in a household that would put them in that placement?
    Families are very important to the Zaitra community, and while elders are revered for their age and wisdom children are valued for their youth, innocence and potential. Zaitra children are quite free growing up, spending their time playing and maybe help out at home or with siblings. As they mature they are still free to play but expected to start learning from the older Zaitra, a sort of open school system, learning what is important to survive in their community. Teenage Zaitra are expected to help with all sorts of chores, and the sorting between Guardian and Keeper is done which also means that the Zaitra teen will have to start training for their future occupation. This strong love for children and families and their racial pride also leads to the strict rules of couples, mixed blood offspring and being unfaithful to your spouse.

    If a man or woman has an illness, curse, or deformation that could be passed on to children, is it still acceptable to try and have kids?
    No, the concept of illnessess, deformations and such being genetical and able to be transferred to your child is not something the Zaitra are aware of and so these people can have children, however depending on what it is said man or woman can have a hard time finding a spouse. If it is a curse or a person with a bad sign then no one will marry that person, the Zaitra are highly religious and relie heaviy on signs and magic and takes curses and omens seriously.

    How important is lineage in a child? How are half-bloods, half-breeds, and the illegitimate treated?
    Both branches of the Zaitra are very strict when it comes to their race and to keep it clean and half bloods are not allowed, a Zaitra that has had a connection with another race is exiled along with his/her child. If a Zaitra woman has been raped by a person of another race then that woman is cared for and if it's too late to cause a miscarriage then when her child is born it is killed regardless of what the mother wants. An illegitamate child is not treated any different, when it ias born his or hers parents are banished while the child itself is adopted by another Zaitra family.

    Do parents of illegitimate children recieve any particular scorn or help from their society?
    A child born outside of a marriage is not accepted and both of the responsible parents are banished and their marriage is considered annulled, giving them freedom to remarry. However, seeing as the child is innocent in this crime he or she is often permitted to stay, being adopted by a Zaitra family.

    Do children take their parent's names?
    It is not uncommon for children to get parts of their mother or grandmothers name, gender differences are seen by male names ending on consonants and female names ending on vowels.

    Is a genetic resemblance important or favoured?
    It is favoured for a child to resemble one or both of its parents but no one sees it as strange if it does not.

    Are any particular genetic traits appreciated/tried for (strong bones, blue eyes, magical abilities, a particular height)
    In females especially strong magic is very sought after and a trait that is highly favoured in this matriarchal society. Strong and healthy horns are wanted in both sexes, especially for those that wants to end up as members of the Guardians and height is also wished for, a Zaitra below 5'7" is not very attractive.
     
    #3 Elflady, Nov 14, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
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  4. This is for the desert living Tiesal.

    How important is having kids?
    It is important as every man wants his lineage passed on and children are important for the survival of the race.

    How are barren women and sterile men treated?
    They have a low social status, not mistreated but they have little to say in any matter and will probably never find a spouse.

    How many children, on average, will a healthy couple have?
    One to three, it is seen as irresponsible to have more than three due to their harsh environment and few resources.

    (If lots of children are encouraged) are nannies, wet nurses, or other help usually employed to help care for them?)
    No, the wife is supposed to care for her children, if needed her relatives (sister, mother, cousin etc.) are expected to help.

    What is the stance on taking a lover? On taking a lover when married? What about multiple wives/husbands?
    It is very common, however it is not accepted for women to take a lover. Men often have a wife that they get their heir with and one or more lovers that they can have several illegitimate children with. A man who is already married can take on more wifes as long as he can provide for all of them and their children, however only the children with his first wife are counted as the legitimate heirs and she also has the highest status in the household.

    What views are there on surrogacy (the practice of going through a pregnancy or inseminating a woman on behalf of someone who cannot)?
    They do not have the kind of technology on Yuriaah for arteficial insemination. While more traditional options are available like a woman sleeping with another man than her husband to get a child their culture do not allow that. A man however can always marry another woman to get children, he can keep the barren wife if he loves her but is allowed to divorce her. A woman married to a barren man would have the choice to divorce him, one of the few times a woman is allowed a divorce.

    How (if at all) does prostitution fit into this culture? Is it acceptable for a prostitute to bear children? To do it for the purpose of having many children?
    Prostitution is seen as one of the lowest forms of occupation in their society and is not accepted and would be punished by banishment.

    How are people who don't want children treated?
    Not very differently, while having children is considered important it is not requiered and no one can judge a person choiceon the matter.

    Why is having children important/unimportant? What roles to children play in a household that would put them in that placement?
    A child is important to keep the race alive and to pass on a man's lineage. Children will early on learn to help with chores, tending to younger siblings and otherwise be of use, in the desert no one can glide through life on a silver cloud. Girls will eventually either become a priestess or be raised traditionally and be married off and start her own family. A boy will be taught the ways of the sword and other skills important for him to know to be able to support his future family.

    If a man or woman has an illness, curse, or deformation that could be passed on to children, is it still acceptable to try and have kids?
    It depends a little on how serious it is, health and strength is very important in the desert and an illness or deformation that in some way hinder a person is considered too weak and can never find a spouse, in the past a child born with a physical or mental handicap in some way was killed so as to spare it and others later on.

    How important is lineage in a child? How are half-bloods, half-breeds, and the illegitimate treated?
    It depends, half-bloods between the subraces of the Phareun are treated just as any other child and marriages between differing races is common. But a half-blood or marriage between a Phareun and a human race is not accepted and the child can be killed and the parent banished or executed depending on cicumstances. Illegitimate children are not mistreated, they do have a simpler status than their parent and legitimate siblings but they are full members of society.

    Do parents of illegitimate children recieve any particular scorn or help from their society?
    No, and they recieve no help either, you are expected to provide for your children and wife/wifes and if you can't then it is your own fault and responsibility.

    Do children take their parent's names?
    No.

    Is a genetic resemblance important or favoured?
    It is not something that people pay much attention to.

    Are any particular genetic traits appreciated/tried for (strong bones, blue eyes, magical abilities, a particular height)
    Magical abilities are wished for among girls and among boys it is very important that they are resilient and tough although not bigger than normal for the small Tiesal. Tiesal care more for ability and skill than for a certain appearance, in the desert a pretty face wont save you, skill and endurance will.
     
    #4 Elflady, Nov 14, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
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  5. How important is having kids?
    Very important, every married couple should have at least one child, and they should get their first child as fast as possible after marriage. If they don't have children within five years after they have gotten married they will no longer be seen as a married couple, and in certain parts of the country they might even get banished for not doing what they are meant to do, raising the next generation.
    How are barren women and sterile men treated?
    People sees them as the lowest of the lowest. It is said that if a human are unable to give life to a new child then they are cursed by the Gods for something they have done. Because they must have offended the Gods in some way, they have also offended humanity and won't be treated as humans. Sometimes they are killed because they are seen as useless.
    How many children, on average, will a healthy couple have?
    In wealthy families it is normal to have up to ten children, but for people with a normal income it's more common with three to five children.

    (If lots of children are encouraged) are nannies, wet nurses, or other help usually employed to help care for them?
    Richer families almost never takes care of the children themselves, during the first years they are raised by nannies, while when they get a bit older they will mainly be taken care of by their home tutors. The parents usually doesn't take care of the children and mainly just sees them while eating dinner and breakfast. The oldest child(ren) usually spends more time with the parents than the younger siblings because they are supposed to take over whatever the parent is working with.

    In middle class families it's not rare to have one nanny, but it's not uncommon for the mother to do the job of the nanny either.


    What is the stance on taking a lover? On taking a lover when married? What about multiple wives/husbands?
    The golden rule is 'you shall only have one'. The one you marry is the only one you can have children (or sex) with. Anyone that takes another lover than their wife or husband (Doesn't matter if they are married or not) can be sentenced to death or get banished.

    What views are there on surrogacy (the practice of going through a pregnancy or inseminating a woman on behalf of someone who cannot)?
    It's a very common practice even though it is illegal. If a person cannot get children of their own it means that they are punished by the Gods. They should not get around it by getting a child from someone else. Even though it is illegal, no one has been able to decide who to punish for the act. In some cases it is the surrogate mother that is punished and sometimes it is the couple that wants a child, sometimes it's both. No one has really put up a line for how to punish them either, so sometimes they are killed and other times they are imprisoned and sometimes they are punished in other ways.
    How (if at all) does prostitution fit into this culture? Is it acceptable for a prostitute to bear children? To do it for the purpose of having many children?
    Prostitution is completely illegal because of the golden rule, 'you shall only have one'. But there are still prostitutes and people willing to buy them. They have to be careful though since if they become pregnant and aren't married, they could face execution. Most people that goes into prostitution already knows of ways to get miscarriages if it comes to that. They make sure that there are places where they can buy poison if they ever happen to get a child. Some prostitutes refuses to do so though, and runs away from the country if they ever were to get pregnant. While others makes sure to either threatens or begs a man she has been laying around with to marry her before the child is born.

    How are people who don't want children treated?
    People that doesn't want children are often treated as outcasts. If they get married and doesn't get children then they can face violence from the people around them to such a degree that they could die. If they wouldn't get married though, then people would most likely not become violent towards them, but they would certainly not be very friendly either after an unmarried person reached a certain age. It's usually harder for unmarried people to get a job if they aren't too young to get married. And some people are fired because they don't get married or have children. Most people will only accept you if your goal in life is to have as many children as possible.

    Why is having children important/unimportant? What roles to children play in a household that would put them in that placement?
    Children are very important because they will grow up to be the adults one day. They will be the people. They also represent the innocence and purity that the adults lost long ago. The purity in newborns are said to be on the same levels as Gods.

    In middle class homes and poor homes children will start to work in the house as early as it's possible. Usually they start off with easy tasks like dishes and cleaning, then sewing, collecting water etc. Eventually they will come with the parents to their work if they don't have school. Middle class children can go in school, but some parents doesn't send their children to school because they want them to take over their work. If they have many children they can usually only afford to send one or two of them to school, while the others have to work. The rich usually give their oldest children home education while the younger goes to school. The richer families doesn't let their children work at home, instead they prepare them more with education from a younger age than the middle class does so they can get much higher jobs with their knowledge.

    If a man or woman has an illness, curse, or deformation that could be passed on to children, is it still acceptable to try and have kids?
    If someone have an illness that might get to their kids then they shall still have kids. The Gods won't allow a child to get such a horrible disease if they don't deserve it. If the whole family still gets the illness then they are cursed and should keep getting children and their family should suffer from the curse until the Gods forgives their descendants.

    How important is lineage in a child? How are half-bloods, half-breeds, and the illegitimate treated?
    Different races can get married and have children without any social troubles. The only thing that is not acceptable is when someone has a child outside of marriage. A child born outside of marriage will most likely be treated as an outcast if people knows about it. Most people would never raise their hands against a child, but once the child becomes a certain age people can become more violent towards them because they were born outside of marriage. Usually these children are taken away from their parents when they are or shortly after they are born and put in special children homes. When they reach the age when they can take care of themselves they are sent off to somewhere where no one knows of their shame and they can start their life from the beginning. Because if they stayed in the town they were born in, no one would ever let them have a job or live a worthy life.

    Do parents of illegitimate children recieve any particular scorn or help from their society?
    The children are usually taken away from them and the parents themselves can be put in prison for some time. If the parent(s) aren't sent to prison, and against all odds gets to keep the child(ren), society won't help them and they usually have to flee from wherever they live because of the harassment and death threads they might receive.

    Do children take their parent's names?
    Children usually gets their fathers surname (sometimes the mothers, if her family line is more well known) and a middle name from either the mother (if it's a daughter) or the father (if it's a son). The first name should not be like any living family members name since they don't want to cause confusion. In wealthy families it is not unusual to give them up to five middle names so that they can share their names with other close relatives (grandmothers, mother, cousins etc.) While in middle class they usually only have their parents name as middle name. That way it's easy for other people to know who their parents are. "I'm Akhila Hami Tonera." That would mean that he is son of Hami, and they come from the family line of Tonera, and he was named Akhila at birth. If people have more than one middle name then they only present themselves with their fathers or mothers middle name so that there will be no confusion.

    Is a genetic resemblance important or favoured?
    It is mostly favored among the higher class people. One of the best compliments you can get on a party is "You look just like your mother/father". But among the middle or low class no on notices if you look like your parents or not.
    Are any particular genetic traits appreciated/tried for (strong bones, blue eyes, magical abilities, a particular height)
    There is no traits that people appreciate more than others, but there are those they try to avoid. Blue eyed people are said to be able to look into peoples souls. Many people avoid those with blue eyes because of that. Most babies are born with blue eyes which then changes into other colors some months later, which is why many people doesn't want their child to see them at all before their eyes have changed. That's why most upper class people never sees their child before their first birthday, and lets it child look into the soul of the nanny instead.
     
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  6. The technology of having sex?

    Loved your answers, but I'm confused on this one.
     
  7. I guess I should have expanded my answer on that one^^ I meant that the technology of arteficial insemination do not exist.
     
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  8. How important is having kids?
    Very, very important. It pleases her lady Maia, the great goddess of life.

    How are barren women and sterile men treated?
    Barren women are treated differently depending on their partner; They will either be beaten to death, raped to death or left alone. It depends on the man.

    Sterile Men usually hide their condition and access a rare state of insanity which makes them try to have children with virtually every women they meet. If the woman does not carry child, the man will usually kill them. Or maybe they don't.

    How many children, on average, will a healthy couple have?
    It depends on how many they want and how dedicated they are to Maia.
    The average is two, although those dedicated to Maia will begin having children at 17 and continue until they are about 35, so they usually end up with about fifteen children.

    (If lots of children are encouraged) are nannies, wet nurses, or other help usually employed to help care for them?
    It is strongly believed that mothers should look after their own children, although nannies are sometimes employed.

    What is the stance on taking a lover? On taking a lover when married? What about multiple wives/husbands?
    Taking a lover when married is declared heresy to Maia.
    Traditionalists usually take multiple wives, although women are considered sacred for they carry the children, so one man per woman.

    What views are there on surrogacy (the practice of going through a pregnancy or inseminating a woman on behalf of someone who cannot)?
    Surrogacy is considered evil and heresy to Maia.

    How (if at all) does prostitution fit into this culture? Is it acceptable for a prostitute to bear children? To do it for the purpose of having many children?
    A prostitute having a child is considered to be virtually the same thing as giving a drunkard a lifetimes supply of booze, although great believers of Maia understand that it is her will.

    How are people who don't want children treated?
    Disdain and Pity, for they are obviously hiding in the shadows from Maias brilliant light.

    Why is having children important/unimportant? What roles to children play in a household that would put them in that placement?
    Having children is important because it pleases Maia.

    If a man or woman has an illness, curse, or deformation that could be passed on to children, is it still acceptable to try and have kids?
    It is acceptable to try, but if the child is born unhealthy, it shall be slain to save it suffering.

    How important is lineage in a child? How are half-bloods, half-breeds, and the illegitimate treated?
    Half breeds are incredibly common and to be expected.
    Lineage is very important.

    Do parents of illegitimate children recieve any particular scorn or help from their society?
    No

    Do children take their parent's names?
    Yes

    Is a genetic resemblance important or favoured?
    No

    Are any particular genetic traits appreciated/tried for (strong bones, blue eyes, magical abilities, a particular height)
    Ni
     
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