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The primary function of the family is to ensure the continuation of society, both biologically through procreation, and socially through socialization. Given these functions, the nature of one's role in the family changes over time. From the perspective of children, the family instills a sense of orientation: The family functions to locate children socially, and plays a major role in their socialization . From the point of view of the parents, the family's primary purpose is procreation: The family functions to produce and socialize children. In some cultures marriage imposes upon women the obligation to bear children. In northern Ghana, for example, payment of bride wealth signifies a woman's requirement to bear children, and women using birth control face substantial threats of physical abuse and reprisals.

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