Examine the ways in which government policies and laws affect the nature and extent of family diversity. (24 marks) (Ao1-14 Ao2-10)
Some sociologists have suggested that social policy has caused families to become more diverse while others disagree. Social policies are the laws and practices put in place by the government that effect social issues, in this case the family. For example, in the 1930’s the Nazi government in Germany wanted to encourage Aryan families and put in place policies that involved sterilising certain groups to prevent them from having children. More recently in China they have a one child policy, if individuals have more than one child the government have put in place a series of penalties try and control their population. In the UK sociologists are interested in if social policy has caused families to become more diverse or different. What this means is has social policy caused more families to be non-nuclear families such as same sex families, single parent families, etc?
One way in which families have become more diverse is an increase in same sex families. This is lesbian and gay couples living with children. Social policies that can be linked to this type of family diversity are laws to do with homosexuality in the UK. For example, in 1967 male homosexuality was legalised in the UK this has made homosexuality more socially accepted; this would allow gay individuals to start a family. However, other social policies have made same sex families even more accepted. For example, in 2002 the UK adoption laws were changed, these changes meant that gay couple were now allowed to adopt children meaning that they could have a family of their own without relying on surrogates or reproductive technology. Furthermore, in 2004 the Civil Partnership Act meant that gay individuals could now have a type of marriage; this may have meant that gay people felt that they had the stability and long term commitment that may be linked to...
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