Preparing people for marriage informally, as by observation of parents and relatives or formally through schools or religious or government sponsored programmes. This education includes: theory of human sexuality; the culturally accepted means of spacing children; children's education to be done by the family; household finance; domestic skills including health, sanitation, cooking, cleaning and minor repairs; sex roles, family rites and rituals and the acceptable behaviour by members towards each other and non-family members. Such education prepares people for the individual functions of married life: to provide psychological and physical security and sexual satisfaction; and for the social functions: procreation and child socialization, regulation of sexual behaviour, contributions to social and economic life of society and contributions to social order.
The forms of the household include the corporate family, the extended family, the conjugal family, the nuclear family and the experimental family. The forms of marriage have included monogamy, polygyny, when husbands are allowed more than one wife, polyandry, the rarer form where wives are allowed more than one husband, and the rare and unstable group cohabitation or 'marriage' where there is more than one husband and wife.
A consortium of communities, parishes, doctors, lawyers and families in the Oberdrautal in rural Austria established an Academy for Family Education. They reasoned that formal education systems are one-sidely preparing for remunerated work and neglect to prepare for those areas of life that are the foundations of human existence: partnership, family, happiness, social competence etc. – the non-material values.
Traditional forms of marriage education are failing to prepare people for the roles and functions of marriage and are resulting in psychological and social problems. New insights are called for in preparing people for the married state.
Society is already over organized and has no helpful way of dealing with family issues.