Historians of women and the family have already demonstrated the malleabillity o f family and gender roles. We have learned much about family history through demographic studies and research on households and the family economy. We now know, for example, that because o f high death rates, single parenting and what we now call blended families were very common i n past centuries. We also know that since the late M i d d l e Ages marriage i n Europe has taken place at a much later age than i n Asia or Africa. Moreover, attitudes about breast-feeding, chi ld labor, disciplining children and the like have varied tremendously from one region to another and over time. In addition, gender divisions of labor wi th in the house-

Maynes, Waltner, Soland and Strasser

hold, while they exist everywhere, vary from place to place, and both respond and

contribute to historical change.