Sociology – Part Of Childbearing Essay

Sociology – Part Of Childbearing Essay

In 1971 the average age was around 24. 3 years whereas in 2005 the average had risen by quite a lot to 27. 3 years. Some are even deciding to remain childless and it is also predicting that 25% of those born in 1973 will be childless by the time that they are 45 years old. They are also having less children than in the mid-1 ass’s. In 1964 the peak was 2. 95 per woman, and decreased to a record low of 1. 63 in 2001. Although it seems like it would keep decreasing, in 2006 the numbers rose slightly to 1. 84. There are various sociological reasons for these changes.

One of them being that there is a rise in the number of cohabiting couples with children. Cohabitation involves an unmarried couple in a sexual relationship who live together, and the reasons for the increase in this kind of relationship is that there is less stigma related to sex outside of marriage nowadays than what there was in 1 989 where only 44% of people agreed that premarital sex is not wrong at all and so because of this decline in stigma and secularists, which is the decline of religious influence, more cohabiting couples will be having ex outside of marriage and therefore producing children.

As well as this, there has been a fenestration of the workforce and due to this happening women may also feel that they no longer have as much of a need for financial security that they would get with marriage and so, decide to opt for cohabitation, because of this woman may rely more on the welfare system after having children even though they can rely on their partner for money sometimes, they may get extra help.

It is said that many people see cohabitation as a ‘trial marriage’ and some intend to marry if it all goes well or f they have children, Ernestine Coast (2006) said that cohabiting couple do expect to eventually marry each other. Although to contradict this, Eleanor Manikin (1980) also said that the term cohabitation covers a diverse range of partnerships and that the relationship between marriage and cohabitation is a very complex and variable one. Another reason for these changes is that more people are living in one-person households, mostly due to an increase in separation and divorce.

In 1971 there was a law change which made it easier to get divorced and since this, divorce rates have been increasing as hen the law change took place, the number of divorces increased dramatically to almost 425,000 throughout England and Wales, however it has since declined to 155,000 annually in the year 2000 and has remained steady ever since. This could contribute to women having less children as they may not have been married long enough to contemplate having children, they may have wanted to focus on their careers, or they and their partners simply did not want any.

If the couple didn’t want children, they also have the benefit that there is now better contraception available through the NASH than what here was in the sass’s due to an increase in medical technology and the formation of the NASH therefore giving people the option as to whether they want kids or not. Also because of divorce, if a couple has had children, then the courts usually give the mother custody of them as there is a widespread belief that woman are naturally suited to an expressive role.

However New Right believer Charles Murray (1984) believes that the growth of lone-parent families is the result of an over generous welfare state which provides benefits for unmarried mothers and their children which then creates a reverse incentive. This means that he believes that nuclear families are needed in society in order for children to have a correct upbringing because the men are meant to control the child’s behavior and the discipline of the child, and as women aren’t perceived as being able to do this, it creates children who behave irresponsibly.

Woman may also want to raise children on their own due to the rise of the feminist movement where women want to be more independent and rely less on men or be married as feminist believe nuclear families are traps. In the sass’s the majority of children were raised within a nuclear family as this was seen as the norm in society. However in recent years many more children are being raised in different family forms throughout the for all sorts of reasons.

One form is cohabiting couples, the number of cohabiting couples is expected to double to almost million by 2021 which is a massive increase as in 1986, the number was around 1 million. Children may be raised within this family form due to the woman getting pregnant and her boyfriend wanting to create an almost perfect family so they live together but do not get aired. Another reason may be because they feel as though marriage is not the right option but still agree to do the same as what married couples do such as raise children.

Another form is nuclear families which was the most common in the sass’s. This Cope of family is favored by the new right and functionalists as they believe it offers a perfect family structure and is perceived as a norm in society as an average family type. Nuclear families is where the parents are married, the father is the breadwinner and the mother is the homemaker. They see this as the essential basis for creating a stable environment in which they can up bring children and believe that divorce and cohabitation creates family instability which has a negative effect on children.

According to Amatol (2000) family breakdown leads to children being at a greater risk of poverty, educational failure, crime and health problems. The New Right also argue that the decline of the nuclear family are the cause of these social problems and that lone-parent families are unnatural as mothers cannot discipline their children properly and are a burden on the welfare state. Since 2002, same-sex couples have been able to adopt legally and it is estimated that around 5-7% of today’s population have these type of relationships.

In the 1 ass’s same-sex relationships were frowned upon in society as the stigma related to them was huge and it was also illegal until 1967 and because of this it is impossible to see if the statistics of today’s population is an increase due to not being able to get an accurate number as many relationships were probably hidden. Jeffrey Weeks (1999) seems same- sex families as ‘chosen families’ and argues that they offer the same security ND stability as heterosexual families.

This means that the child is less likely to be affected than if they were in a lone-parent family as in most same-sex relationships, one takes on the more masculine role and the other the more feminine role, which leads to an almost dysfunctional nuclear family. Another form is lone-parents families which take up around 24% of all families. Because of a decline in stigma attached to births outside of marriage, lone-parents families are increasing, whereas in the sass’s this was not very common at all and the only reason for the majority of lone-parent implies was because of the death of a partner.

The majority of lone-parent families are female headed and this is because either the woman is single by choice, or they may not wish to cohabit or marry. Jean Renville (1985) found that professional women were able to support their child without the fathers involvement. Feminist ideas and greater opportunities for women may also have encouraged an increase in the number of never-married lone mothers. Reconstituted families (Stalagmites) account for over 10% Of all families with dependent children in Britain. Stalagmites are families where either one or both partners are married with having had a previous marriage or relationship before.

In the sass’s this would have been very uncommon as there was stigma about divorcing then getting remarried, however it has increased within recent years with 3% of stalagmites having children from their previous marriage. However, stepparents are at a greater risk of poverty as they are taking on their partners children as well as their own and also some tensions faced by this type of family may be because of a lack of clear social norms about how individuals act in such families which concludes that although the parents have gotten out of unhappy relationships, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be easier due to these issues.

Extended families occur when there are three generations living within the same household. It has particularly being stereotyped as being within the Asian community. Roger Ballard (1982) found that extended family ties provided an important source of support among Asian migrants during the sass’s and sass’s. In the early stages of migration to Britain, houses were often shared by extended implies, however in modern times most Asian households contain nuclear families but have relatives that live nearby.

The benefits of extended families were that the grandparents could look after the children whilst the parents went about their daily tasks and would also help to teach them the importance of close family bonds as they could all rely on each other. This creates bean pole families, which is where there are strong relationships between children and their grandparents and these forms of families provide both practical and emotional support for those involved when they are called upon.

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