How family structures have changed since World War II Essay
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At the end of World War II “…marriage, at least once, became almost universal…”(www.ehs.org.uk 12/09/17). In 2006 14% of families had a child and they were not married but they were “…officially registered as parents of their joint children, this was seen as historically new…” (www.ehs.org.uk 12/09/17) Then six years on in 2016, the nuclear family is still seen as the norm, this type of family is what the media try to promote. “In 2016 there were 18.9 million families in the UK” within this “12.
7 million married or civil partner couple families in the UK.”(www.ons.gov.uk 12/09/17) Although “cohabiting couple families were the fastest growing family type over the last 20 years” (www.ons.gov.uk 12/09/17)
There are many reasons for why the family structure has changed since World War II, some of these reasons are; people do not want to get married, people are marrying later in life and there are now more people living alone. In 1961 women lived very different to today’s society as they were expected to get married young and start a family. In today’s society within families and society, there is less pressure to get married. During World War II the number of a woman getting paid jobs outside of their home “increased by 25% to 36%”(www.thoughtco.com 18/09/17). This was because of the number of men that were away fighting in the war, this opened up a lot of opportunity for women. In London, while dealing with the bombing of the city, women had to step up and “protect their families — children, the elderly…”
(www.thoughtco.com 18/09/17). Women nowadays are more focused on their jobs that they do not want to get married or have children. In the society, like we have today women are able to provide for themselves and their families without depending on a man to be the breadwinners. On the other hand, in some religions around the world, there are arranged marriages within the family, this is where the mother and father decide who their child is going to marry. There are some reasons why they do this “To protect perceived cultural or religious ideals and family ‘honour’ or long-standing family commitments…” (www.bbc.co.uk 19/09/17) “In the first nine months of 2008, the UK’s Forced Marriage handled more than 1,300 cases…” (www.bbc.co.uk 19/09/17)
The contraceptive pill was instrumental in changing woman having babies young or when they are not wanted. When the pill was “introduced on the NHS, the pill was prescribed mainly to the older woman who already had children and did not want any more…” (www.bbc.co.uk 18/09/17) Today “the pill is now 99% effective in preventing pregnancy…” ( www.nhs.uk 18/09/17) In the present day, the contraceptive pill is suitable for all woman if the woman has no medical reasons why she cannot take it or if the woman smokes. “There has been a rise in single-person households from 18% of households in 1971 to 29% of all households in 2005.” (Social trend and patterns of the family.) In the 1940’s the divorce rates increased right after World War II. It has been suggested that this is because “families were strained under the burden of living with a man who may have been incapacitated during the war… women had a new found freedom in working and didn’t want to give that up.” (divorce.lovetoknow.com 18/09/17). In the UK in the year 2005, there were “141,750 divorces, compared with 153,399 in 2004.” (news.bbc.co.uk 18/09/17) A family Lawyer Emma Hatley stated, “Half of the divorces involve children who are under the age of 16 so its impact on the whole family is obviously huge.” (news.bbc.co.uk 18/09/17) The Matrimonial Causes Act 1857 enabled men to petition in court for a divorce on the basis of their wife’s adultery. In 1923 The Matrimonial Causes Act “put men and women on an equal footing for the first time, enabling either spouse to petition the court for a divorce on the basis of their spouse’s adultery.” (www.cflp.co.uk 18/09/17) in 1960 the Archbishop of Canterbury “prepared a report demanding reform of the law to ensure that people could obtain a divorce if they could show the breakdown of their marriage.” (www.cflp.co.uk 18/09/17) One – parent families are becoming more and more popular in today’s society. One – parent household with dependent children has risen from 3% in 1971 to 7% in 2005… 1.7 billion lone parent families in Britain, making up about 25% of all families.” (Fisher et al 2012 19/09/17)
On the 29th of March 2014, the first same-sex marriage took place at midnight once gay marriage became legal in England and Wales. Since the law has been brought in that same-sex couple can marry there have been 15,000 marriages. (www.bbc.co.uk 29/09/17)In 1945 same-sex marriage was seen as a wrong thing and from a religious point of view, it is seen as you are going again the wishes of God. In today’s society, a same-sex couple is given the same rights as a heterosexual couple, for example, people in the same-sex marriage are allowed to adopt a child.