Another change that has happened in childbearing since the 1970's is that women are having fewer children and children later in life. Between 1971 and 2005 the average age of a women when having her first child rose by three years. Also the average number of children per family went all the way down to 1.84 in the UK when 30 years back it was 2.95. Women are also choosing to remain childless and a prediction has been made that a quarter of people who were born in 1973 will be childless when they reach 45. This all reflects the changes in society since the 20th century and that women have more options
Outline and explain the reasons for the rise in single parent families in UK society British people are increasingly likely to live in single-parent families, stay at home for longer, marry later and struggle to afford a house. The Office of National Statistics said children in the UK were three times more likely to live in one-parent households than they were in 1972. According to the ONS, since 1971 the proportion of all people living in "nuclear" family households of married couples with children has fallen from 52% to 37%. There are several reasons to why there is a rise in single parent families. More children are born in Britain today outside of marriage than in most other European countries.
Discuss how far sociologist would agree that the nuclear family is no longer the norm in modern day Britain. A nuclear family is one of many family types in modern day society, there are many different variations. Some sociologists say that nuclear families is and should remain the norm, whilst others believe that society is now too diverse to simply have only one family type. In this essay I will explore whether the nuclear family is no longer the norm in Britain and what thee different reasons are. A reason in particular that nuclear families are no longer the norm is that, divorce rate has increased.
Examine the ways in which government policies and laws may affect the nature and extent of family diversity? Over the years, government policies have been introduced which have affected the nature of several family types. These policies are mainly seen as beneficial to family life; however, sociologists such as functionalists may see it as a threat to the traditional nuclear family. One of the main families which have been affected by a number of policies is the nuclear family. One of these policies is the divorce act 1969; which has made it easier for couples to get divorced.
The average child now has over £17,000 worth of toys within their bedroom, more time is now spent with our children, and in 1975 it was 25 minutes in 2007 it was 95 minutes, there are classes on how to bring up your own child and adults now adapt their social life around the children. We can argue that society is actually now becoming a very selfish adult world, as we now have day care centres and babysitters so adults can go off and work or have fun without the worry of their children, both parents working, more parental separation and fertility rates going down 20% of females will not have children, proving that society is becoming more selfish for adults. Society is becoming more children centred as there is now more ways to protect our children, to extend their childhood, to make sure they are as comfortable as possible. An example of this would be the start of Childline by Esther Rantzen, checks on everyone who wants to start working with children for criminal records and anything that could harm their ability to work and the know how on how to react when a person hears about child abuse. Along with the protection for children, the prolonging of their education makes children stay younger for longer, it leaves them being more reliant on information and support for longer, this fits and supports that parents are trying to make their children as comfortable as possible they
Examine the reasons for changes in the divorce rate in the UK since 1969 There is plenty of reasons in which divorces rates have changed since 1969, such as legal changes, the position of women and roles changing in the household. Comparing the past and present to understand why changes have taken place would be necessary. Traditionally the 'nuclear' family, a man, a woman and two children, was the most historically popular. However today divorce is very highly acceptable for half of the couples who get married. Children are now living with one parents (a lone parent family), with another family member or are being adopted.
Functionalist Parsons believes that instability is created with diversity and the nuclear family is a lot more predictable and therefore practical family structure. New Right sociologist Murray believes that benefits given to diverse families such as lone parent families are harmful to the nuclear family and he believes that it encourages irresponsibility and laziness. This view is criticised by the Labour view as they believe that benefits help those in poverty and encourage family diversity as people should be able to live how they choose. The New Labour has nothing against the nuclear family but does believe that people should be able to live in different family structures and they should be supported in doing so. Also post modernists believe that the nuclear family is no longer dominant and people now live in a society where they make their own decisions and every family is different in structure as peopled live with freedom and they don’t have to follow convention.
Secularisation means the decline of the importance / influence of religion in society. Due to science becoming more influential in a modern society, religion is no longer necessarily seen as such an important contributor. As marriage is a religious concept, it might also now be seen as somewhat less significant in society and many might not perceive it to be as valuable or important as it once was. Divorce could be the result of this as the decline of the value of marriage might lead people to believe it is not long term. A third reason for changes in the divorce rate is the changes in women’s expectations surrounding marriage.
This shows that nuclear families now have decreased. As well as that, reconstituted families are also an increase in Britain due to the rise in divorce. This means more step families are becoming visible in Britain. This can happen due to broken marriage, adoption or even death. Cohabitation and single sex families have all started to become the norm in Britain today.
If that happened in the US, the policies would not work to the advantage of the State for a number of reasons: the USA is not suffering from overpopulation, strategies to control the population have failed in a number of countries which have tried to impose it, and using birth control or abortion is unethical. This essay will discuss issue of population control and explain why the U.S. government should not limit the number of children a family should have. The total fertility rate (defined as the total number of children a woman is likely to have during her lifetime) in the USA in the last decade has been decreasing (Newman, B. & Newman, P., 2008). As many women concentrate on their educational goals and careers rather than on marriage and children, the growth rate of the American population has slowed significantly.