Marriage & Marital breakdown statistics - Families & Households revision

As the title says. The document includes:

  • Trends of marriages
  • Why marriage 'loosing it's popularity' is exaggerated
  • Reasons for the decline in marriages
  • Feminist views of marriage - Wilkinson, Smith, Campbell
  • Cohabitation statistics
  • Reasons for the rise in cohabitation
  • Marital breakdown/divorce
  • Reasons for marital breakdown/divorce
  • Births outside of marriage statistics
  • Reasons for births outside of marriage
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AS Sociology 26th April 2010
Families & Households Revision
Marriage and Marital Breakdown (Statistics)
TRENDS
There was a peak in marriages in the early 70s because of the `baby boom'
generation
But since then there has been a steadily decline in marriages
FURTHER STATISTICS ON MARRIAGE
There were fewer than 250,000 weddings in 2001, down from 426,000 in 1972
In 2002, only 34% of marriages involved a religious ceremony compared to 51%
in 1991
Only 1/3 of British women in their late 20s in 1996 were married, compared to
2/3 in 1973
Despite these trends, the fear that marriage is losing popularity is exaggerated for the
following reasons:
1971 2001
Bride 22 28.4
Groom 24 30.6
1. Delaying marriage: Most people marry at some time.
2. Marriage still seen as a desirable life goal: The BSA survey found that people
still believe having children is best done within marriage.
3. Commitment to the institution of marriage (Remarriages): 40% of
marriages are remarriages therefore these people are committed to the
institution of marriage.
REASONS FOR THE DECLINE IN MARRIAGES
People are put off by high divorce rates
Cost of marriage
People don't want to make commitments
More socially acceptable to cohabitate
Women have careers and thus don't need any financial support
Chris Cartwright

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AS Sociology 26th April 2010
Families & Households Revision
FEMINIST VIEWS ON MARRIAGES
WILKINSON "GENDERQUAKE"
Women no longer prioritise marriage and children
This is because of educational opportunities and the feminisation of the
economy (career women)
SMITH
Women are sceptical about the value of marriage
Sexual freedom seen in today's society does not tie in with monogamous
marriage
People have a variety of needs that can only be gained from a new partner
CAMPBELL
Marriage is only promoted due to fears about the lack of…read more

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AS Sociology 26th April 2010
Families & Households Revision
MARITAL BREAKDOWN / DIVORCE
In 1993 there were 165,000 divorces compared to only 6000 back in 1938
There was a slight drop, but divorces raised again to 148,000 in 2002
If current trends continue, 40% of marriages will end in divorce
REASONS FOR INCREASE IN DIVORCE
Easier and quicker: Divorce Reform Act 1969 ­ allowed divorce on the grounds
of `irretrievable breakdown'
Women's improved educational and career opportunities means that they don't
have to be financially…read more

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