Examine the ways in which social policies and laws may influence families and households.
Social policies and laws have influenced families and household very significantly for the past century, take same-sex marriage as a famous example, Stonewall (2008) did a campaign for homosexual and bisexual rights, estimates that about 5-7% of the adult population today have same-sex relationships, research also shown that the number of the one-person household increased to a ratio at 30% of the total household. This wouldn’t have happened if social policies or laws weren’t better established. In the past, people wouldn’t even consider the possibility of same-sex marriage or cohabitating, death penalty or prison life is the only choice for those people who break the rules. As attitudes changed and better-established social policies, the stigma of homosexuality has reduced, it is now more socially accepted, Netherlands was the first country to permit same-sex marriage in 2001, and then there are more and more countries starting to legalize same-sex marriage. However, Kath Weston (1992) point out that many gay couples are now deciding to cohabit as stable partners, they would reject monogamy and family life and in favor of causal relationships. Allan and Crow argue that, because of the legal framework which recently came up, same-sex partners have had to negotiate their commitment and responsibilities more than married couples, this may have made same-sex relationships both more flexible and less stable than heterosexual relationships. Also, supported by David Cheal (2002), while many gays and lesbians welcome the opportunity to have their partnerships legally recognized, but some fear that it may limit the flexibility and negotiability of relationships, therefore, rather than adopt what they see as heterosexual relationship norms, they wish to retain a status of ‘difference’. Nevertheless, Social policy is now beginning to treat all couples more equally, whether homosexual or more on, for example, since 2002, cohabiting couples have had the same rights to married couples, since 2004, the Civil Partnership Act has given same-sex couples similar legal rights to married couples in. Radical feminists argue men are the enemy and all the women are exploited by men, the only job women in the past is reproduce and social children for the society, also have to cater the emotion and physical need of the husbands. For the past decades, feminists have gain so many rights and opportunities for women, laws have changed differently because there are increasing number of people realized that women are being oppressed. Statistics tell us that the world’s average level of female employment is about 53%. Moreover, after establishment of The Sex Discrimination Act (1975) and The Equal Pay Act (1963), which outlaws discrimination in employment and lowered the wage differences, therefore, there will be greater chances or choices for them, women are no longer in a vulnerable position whether in the workplace or in the general living. Yet still, biology is fixed, men are often stronger than women, and this gives them the ability to physical abuse women. According to British Crime Survey (2007), domestic violence accounts for almost a sixth of all violent crime, and nearly one in four women has been assaulted by a partner at some time of her life. Radical feminists, widespread domestic violence is an evitable feature of patriarchal society and serves to preserve the power that all men have over all women. The Violent Against Women Act (1994) was the first major law to help government agencies and victim advocates work together to fight domestic violence, it provides violence prevention programs and protection of victims, see also, Crime and Victims Act 2004 provides for a range of protection for victims including making common assault an arrestable offense. Nevertheless, as we all know, in...
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