Examine changes in the patterns of childbearing and childrearing in the UK since the 1970’s?

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Abi Outred
Examine changes in the patterns of childbearing and childrearing in the UK since the
Since 1970 there have been many changes in the way families bear and rear children, many
changes happened slowly thought out the years and in this essay I will examine them.
Before 1970 there was a need for many children, even though the child protection act had
lowered the amount of children a couple would have, this is because after the first and
second world war, there was a lot of deaths across the country and to replace them,
children were to be born. When the soldiers got back from war they came home to there
wives and then in the long term that caused a lot of births in the UK. This was before 1970,
after 1970 there was less needs to have as many children because many things had changes
came from the war. Women now had the vote, the same as men, they had the opportunities
to get further education, more women were paid for employment, there was a change of
attitude to the role of the women in the house because more families were single parent
because of the death of a husband in the war, it was easier to get a divorce out of a
relationships that wasn't working and women after 1967 had the choice to have a child or to
abort the child. This gave women much more freedom and rights to do what they wanted to
in life, and for many women a family was not at the top of the list, many women wanted to
work and do what they wanted to do, then settle down to have a family of a smaller size
because the need for many children had decreased.
Infant mortality rate lowered a lot of births in the UK because more births were successful
and more children were surviving to childhood and adulthood, this caused more parents to
have less children so they can focuses there love and attention on the children they have.
When the IMR was high in the UK the parent would have many children for work purpose
and they would not care if the one child died because they had for example six more
children to replace that one. Children were used for mostly work and to get money, but
since the act that stopped children working under a age, children were then becoming the
child centre of the home, the parents would see there child more and the child would then
need the mother or father to help the when they are at home, this lead to lower IMR
because there were breakthrough to stop infants death, but not just for children, to benefit
the whole country. These were, improved housing and better sanitation such as toilets and
fresh water, this reduced the amount of disease and infection that would spread across the
country. There was better nutrition for the child and mother so more children were surviving
thought childhood. There was better knowledge of hygiene child welfare, which would
spread in magazines. Since the 1950's infant immunisation were introduced which would
also decrease IMR.
Thought the country in the 19th century children were becoming important to the country,
they were the future, the ones who would get more money for everyone so, laws were
introduced to better the children. Child labour was banned, and compulsory education was
introduced, this lead to the children being more dependant on the parent for longer. Also
changing the norms of what children were expected to do were slowly changing and parents
were expected to care and provide for their children. This lea to finical pressure, which
would stop parents having so many children.
The final factor for the change of childbearing and childrearing is the total fertility rate. As
there were more protection acts, more rights for women etc the TFR was also increasing.

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Abi Outred
Women were now able to choose when to have children instead of worrying if they were
too old to have children. Women postpone having children to an average age of 29 and
fertility rates for women in their 30 ­ 40' is increasing so many women can have children
later in life.…read more


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