• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine the reasons for changes in the patterns of marriage, divorce and cohabitation over the past 40 years

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Examine the reasons for changes in the patterns of marriage, divorce and cohabitation over the past 40 years." The patterns of marriage, divorce and cohabitation over the past 40 years has varied quite significantly. In 1972, the highest ever number of couples (480,000) since the Second World War got married. Now, obviously there is a reason for this. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), this was due to the baby boom generation of the 1950s reaching marriageable age and these people choosing to marry at a younger age compared with previous generations. However, after this period, the number of marriages in England and Wales then went into decline. Most recently, marriages reached an all-time low in 2005 when only 244,710 couples got married. Some people would say that it reached so low because people are rejecting marriage and are no longer bothered about it. But in fact, statistics reveal that many people are actually delaying marriage. It is said that most people will marry at some point in their lives, but people are deciding to marry later in life, most likely after a period of cohabitation. ...read more.

Middle

To go into more detail of the trend of increased divorces, in 1993, the number of divorces peaked at 180,000. By 2000, this figure had fallen to 154,000, although the years 2001 - 2004 have seen a gradual rise to 167,100. There are now nearly half as many divorces as marriages and, if present trends continue, about 40% of current marriages will end in divorce. An acceptable reason for this increasing trend of divorce is that it is no longer associated with stigma and shame. Britain's culture is based upon Christian religion, and Christians believe that marriage is for life ('till death do us part'). However, over years, changes in attitudes and secularisation have emerged, and the view that divorce can lead to greater happiness for the individual is more acceptable. A third reason which could explain the increasing divorce rates is down to women wanting to improve educational and career opportunities. In 1870, the Education Act passed by Gladstone's government meant that every child between the ages of five and fifteen had the opportunity for elementary education. Not only did this produce a large literate generation of people, but it also improved the girls reading and writing ability, which previously was much lower than boys. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another reason for the said trend is that there are a significant number of people who live together whilst waiting for a divorce. For example, in 2005, 23% of cohabiting men were separated from a pervious partner whilst 36% were divorced. So although a person may be married, they may have separated and moved into another house to live with a person they have met. They will then be counted as a cohabitee. A third reason for the increased rate of cohabitation could be because people are put off the cost of marriage. According to Wedding Guide UK, the average cost of a traditional wedding in the UK is around �11,000. In addition to the price, some people are also put off because of the religious ceremony of marriage. This is because overtime we have become a more secular society. Both of these factors to some people will refrain them from marrying, because in their eyes they see it as long as they are with each other in a happy and loving relationship, they don't need a ring or a piece of paper with their names on it. ?? ?? ?? ?? AS Sociology F&H 17th November 2009 Marriage, Divorce and Cohabitation Essay Chris Cartwright ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. How has the family changed over the last 100 years

    The second type of family is the Extended Family, this type of family usually exists of three or more generators living all together in the same house. The usual name for this type of family is a ''vertically extended group'', because the extensions to the basic family group is that

  2. Identify current patterns of ill health and inequality in the UK. Explain probable ...

    * The ethnic population tend to have much larger families with a higher proportion of lone parent families. * People in the minority ethnic groups in the UK have much higher unemployment rates meaning limited income and lower social class.

  1. Examine the reasons for the increase in family and household diversity in the last ...

    The reason for this trend could possibly because their first marriages were empty-shell marriages. This is where there is no love or intimacy between them, but the marriage persists for the sake of the children until they are old enough.

  2. Assess the causes and consequences of changes in the UK population

    * Improved services for mothers and children such as antenatal and postnatal classes. The medical profession had a big impact through its campaigns to improve public health but until the mid 20th century, it is doubtful it had an impact through direct medical factors.

  1. Modern Britain is now a secular society

    Opinion poll evidence is perhaps the simplest type of data relating to religious beliefs. Figures show that in 2000, 70% of people held some sort of religious belief whereas only 15% rejected the idea of God, spirit or life force.

  2. Examine the extent to which husbands and wives now have a relationship based on ...

    The last area that definitely shows there is inequality within marriage is the existence of domestic violence. Many think that domestic violence is the work of a few troubled individuals but many sociologists have challenged this view, claiming that it is far too widespread and statistics show that domestic violence

  1. Demographic changes

    Another explanation are the welfare measures, during the later years of the 19th and early 20th century, national governments and local authorities started to claim more and well due responsibility for the health and welfare of their citizens. They began to provide a 'healthier' environment, which involved removing refuse, disposal of sewage and the purification of water.

  2. Britain During The Inter-war Years

    The government tried various ways to try and raise funds, they decided to reduce the wages paid to the few people who were still working to provide more funds to support the unemployed unfortunately this only succeeded to depress people further and encourage strikes.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work