Examine the Reasons for Changes in the Patterns of Marriage and Cohabitation in the Last 40 Years or so

1186 Words5 Pages
The past 40 years have seen the views and opinions on marriage and cohabitation change significantly at a rapid pace. Culture has played a big part in these changes, and has given the outlook on marriage, what some would describe as a totally different meaning and outcome. Today it's felt by a considerable portion that the 'traditional family' that marriage forms, is under threat and that there is less of a emphasis on the family as an institution. Rather, marriage and family today, focuses on the emotional needs of two individuals – A statement taken from Philosopher Brenda Almond in 2006. The late 60's early 70's saw marriages in the UK grow, reaching the highest peak recorded in the history of the UK in 1972 at 480,000, however by 2001 this figure had dropped to 206,000. Along side this, the average age for first marriages rose by seven years between 1971 and 2005, where the figure reached 30 for women and 32 for males. The significant drop in marriage rates over the years is due to many factors. Firstly, the late 60's/early 70's, saw the so-called 'baby-boom' period from the 50's come into effect, after WW2 ended in the early 50's, men where coming back from war, and getting there wife's pregnant, due to not seeing each other for so long etc, this in turn meant that there was a boom period for baby's being born, the late 60's/early 70's where now seeing these baby's, who by this time where in their late teens and early twenties marrying each other at a younger age, than previous generations. This explains why there is such a peak between 1970-1980, a higher birth rate years before meant that there was a higher marriage rate, especially the record figure in 72. The 60's – 80's also saw a period in time, where secularisation played a part in marriage. Religious beliefs and influences where a lot stronger in the 60's – 70's than those today,
Open Document