Examine Changes in the Patterns of Childbearing and Childrearing in the United Kingdom Since the 1970's

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Examine changes in the patterns of childbearing and childrearing in the United Kingdom since the 1970's Child bearing is the process of conceiving, being pregnant with, and giving birth to a child. There have been many changes involving childbearing such as age, marital status and the amount of children actually being born. Childrearing is the process of supporting the physical, emotional, social and intellectual development of a child. The changes to this involve the changes of family structures, such as lone parent families, step families, extended families and cohabilitating couples. A change that has happened to childbearing since the 1970's is that over four in ten children are now born outside of marriage, which is five times more than it was in 1971. This means that more children are being born into lone-parent families or cohabilitating families. A reason for this is that there has been a huge decline in the stigma that used to be held over births outside marriage and also a increase in cohabiliatation. An example of this is that only one third of 18-24 year olds think marriage should come before parenthood, meaning that the rise in births outside of marriage is more to do with the increase in cohabilitating couples than it is to do with single parents. 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
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