The Decrease of the Nuclear Family

Topics: Marriage, Family, Alimony Pages: 2 (759 words) Published: October 10, 2012
Decrease in the amount of nuclear families
There are several possible reasons for the decrease in the number of nuclear families, particularly in the past forty years. This includes rising cohabitation, higher divorce rates, secularisation, rising same sex relationships, more career seekers and the rise in feminism. Firstly, a nuclear family is a family consisting of a man and woman (usually married) in a sexual relationship with one or more children. One reason for this type of family becoming less common is due to the rising number of divorces. Getting divorced has become much easier than in the past. 40% of all marriages end in divorce. There is much less stigma attached to divorce in modern society so people are less afraid to do it, resulting in more people divorcing. In the past divorce was highly frowned upon within society. This could have been because people were more religious and using the example of Christianity divorce was not allowed according to the church. Divorce breaks down a nuclear family into what would become a single parent family and a singleton. If more divorces occur then less nuclear families are able to exist therefore explaining part of the decrease of nuclear families. Secondly, another reason is because cohabiting is becoming more popular. People are seeing the up sides of cohabitation such as it is cheaper than paying for a marriage ceremony, also people are scared of divorce so to not be married takes away this fear and people find it good to cohabit before marrying to get to know your partner better. Most people cohabit before they marry as a sort of ‘tester’ marriage. If fewer marriages as a whole are taking place and more people finding it appealing to cohabit then less nuclear families are able to form due to the lack of first marriages. Thirdly, sex before marriage and previously mentioned, Cohabitation and divorce are all examples of the effect of secularisation. Secularisation is the decrease in influence of religion and...
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