Examine the Reasons for Changing Patterns of Marriage and Divorce over the Last 50 Years or so:

660 Words3 Pages
Over the last 50 years or so, the patterns of marriage and divorce have changed significantly, and are still changing in today’s society. Due to many factors including: less stigma, changes in women’s positions, secularization and cohabitation. Nowadays, there is less pressure to marry and a lot more freedom for individuals to choose the type of relationship they want. It’s considered more important about the quality of a couples relationship, rather than the legal status. Secularisation is also involved in why there are changing patterns of marriage due to churches being in favour of marriage, but as their influence declines, people feel freer to choose not to marry – according to the 2001 Cenus, 3% of young people with no religion were married, compared to up to 17% of those with a religion. High divorce rates mean divorcees are able to re-marry, however some churches do not marry divorcees. People are also now marrying later as people stay in education till later and are likely to cohabit first. In addition, Alan and Crow agree with the idea that there have been changes in the position of women, they are now better educated, which makes them less dependent on men financially, which makes women have greater freedom not to marry or to end a marriage. In support, feminists see divorce as desirable as it shows that women are breaking free from the oppression of the patriarchal nuclear family. There is a greater fear of divorce, which is why some people choose not to marry. The divorce rate is rising all the time, for example, at least 1 in 2 marriages will end in divorce; 40% of marriages end in divorce, 6 times more than 50 years ago – this scares people, and puts them off getting married to their partner, so instead they just cohabit to avoid the hassle of getting divorced. 1.5 couples in England and Wales cohabit. Similarly, declining stigma is
Open Document