Changing patterns in the family

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  • Changing family patterns
    • The marriage rate is declining
      • Changing attitudes towards marriage
      • Less religiousness and lack of pressure from religious groups/beliefsto marry
      • Fear of divorce puts people off marrying
      • Changing positions and opportunities for women
      • Decline in stigma attached to alternatives to marriage e.g cohabitation
    • Births outside of marriage are increasing
      • Decline in stigma
      • Increase in cohabitation
      • Opportunities for women to raise a child alone through reproductive technologies such as IVF and sperm donor
    • Reconstitutedfamilies are increasing - 10%of all families
      • Increase in lone parents and remarriage leads to more stepfamilies
    • Alternatives to the traditional nuclear family
      • Same-sex ‘nuclear’
      • Lone parent
      • One person households
      • Reconstituted/ stepfamilies
      • Extended and beanpole families
      • Cohabiting couples
    • The divorce rate is increasing
      • Changes to the law have made it easier and cheaper for divorce. Women now also have equal rights to divorce
      • Changing attitudes towards divorce and a decrease in stigma
      • Secularisation- less religiousness
      • Expectations for marriage are rising - when these are not met, divorce occurs
      • Women now have better independencefinancially and do not have to depend on a man
      • Individualisation and not being able to reach the pure relationship
    • Cohabitation is increasing
      • Decline in stigma attached to sex before marriage
      • More acceptance towards cohabitation
      • Better career prospects reduces need for financial dependence
      • Secularisation
    • One person households are increasing
      • Increase in divorce and separation
      • More people are staying single and not marrying
      • Too few partner prospects in an age group
      • Disparities between the life expectancy of men and women
    • Lone-parent families are increasing - 22% of all families
      • Single by choice - women are able to choose to raise a child alone
      • Increase in divorce and separation
      • Increase of children born outside of marriage
        • No legal commitment reduces staying of (usually) the father
          • 90% of all lone-parent households are headed by a woman
            • View that women are maternal and nurturing
            • Courts rule children to mother
            • Women more likely to give up work to look after a child
            • Single by choice - women are able to choose to raise a child alone


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