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Examine some of the reasons for changes in the patterns of marriage and cohabitation (24)
There have been many changes in the patterns of marriage and cohabitation in the last 40 years. This is due a number of different factors including secularisation and changing attitudes towards the value of marriage and larger acceptance of cohabitation. Divorce rates have also influenced patterns of marriages and remarriages – likewise has women’s liberation and changing attitudes in women’s position.
Secularisation – or the decreased value of religion in society has had a large impact on marriage roles and cohabitation. Marriage is now viewed as a contract of love, friendship and trust – often resulting in divorce if these fail to continue throughout the marriage (only ½ of marriages last for ten years). This is juxtaposed to the religious nature of marriage in the past – a binding contract – ‘til death do us part’. Cohabitation has also become less frowned upon. However, this trend seems to be generational. 80% of 16-24 year olds said it was acceptable to cohabit in 2007, compared to only 44% of the 56-64 year olds.
Thus these changes in societal values have resulted in a decrease of marriage – due to declining of value and the increasing accessibility of divorce whilst roles of cohabitation are still on a steady incline.
The divorce act of 1969 made irretrievable breakdown the sole basis for attaining divorce. This caused a large influx of divorce, peaking in 1999. The seemingly stable idea of marriage now began to contract for many people. If their partner was not suitable, divorce was now available, which is another factor for the rise in cohabitation and the decrease in marriage.
Cohabitation is now seen as an option instead of marriage supporting more freedom and flexibility. Living together apart is one example of a serious relationship type where people do not live together. However, 80% of cohabitating partners intend to marry.
A decrease in secularisation has brought about an acceptance of cohabitation of same sex couples. The 2004 civil partnership act also allowed homosexual couples to marry – some sociologists argue that cohabitation – particularly a lesbian couple – is a way of resisting gender scripts and norms
This is relative to women’s liberation – women now resist the idea of marriage due to financial independent and stability. Also, women are increasingly resisting the idea of segregated conjugal roles for a more symmetrical relationship. For many women, cohabitation offers these opportunities. Availability of contraception has lessened the obligation of having to conceive children when in a long term relationship.
Feminists argue this is a movement of resistance towards the patriarchal institutions of marriage not the family as such.
Concluding, patterns of marriage and cohabitation have changed significantly due to divorce, women’s liberation and secularisation. Secularisation is perhaps the basis for the change due to social change in attitudes towards cohabitation and marriage. However, women’s liberation and divorce further instil this idea, offering more choice to the individual.
Marriage, Divorce and Cohabitation Short Answer Questions (Answers)
Explaining the Changing Patterns of Marriage
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Cohabitation Introduction Essay
“ The ritual of marriage is not simply a social event ; it is a crossing of threads in the
fabric of fate.Many strands bring the couple and their families together and spin their
lives into a fabric that is woven on their children.”
However,sadly,the value of this quote has been diminishing over the last few decades as it is being engulfed by another whole new word known as ‘cohabitation’.Traditionally,marriage is a holy matrimony that brings together two hearts, bonding them with unconditional love and strong commitments towards each other and their forthcoming family.Nevertheless,young couples nowadays are opting for its alternative that seems more popular and economical, which is to live together without being married.This a practice that used to be considered illegal before the mid 1900s (Measuring and Modelling Cohabitation, 2006) in many parts of the world and is still illegal in certain places now, but has been and is being accepted more and more globally.These cohabiting couples are just like married couples in every other way except that they are just not legally linked by marriage.
So,why do they prefer cohabiting than marriage? The Marriage And Family Encyclopedia(2001) states that some couples do so because they want to test their compatibility before actually getting married and being bonded for life. They claim cohabiting also helps them in getting to know their partner’s habits and actual lifestyle. Another excuse that is often heard is that these individuals want to establish financial security first. Besides that, cohabitation of couples is the best way in avoiding divorce and paying higher income taxes in countries that require both people with income to pay. And last but not least, cohabitation is said to give couples the ‘access’ to unlimited sexual and emotional intimacy without the obligations of marriage.In fact,research has shown that many of them even have children.
For example,in the past ten years up to 2006,the...
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