Kin Groups and Descent. Descent is bilateral with a very slight emphasis upon the male side. Men never use the wife's maiden name, but women may include it in a hyphenated form after marriage. No attempt is made to distinguish patrilateral or matrilateral kin. A distinction is made between female and male first cousins. No distinction exists for more distant cousins, although distant relatives are considered to be of the Stamm or kin group. Fictive kin, such as godparents, have a specific role in religious ceremonies in Catholic areas. Affinal kin terms are noted in normal speech. Neither fictive nor affinal designations connote any special reinforcement of obligations within kin groups today.