marriage and the family

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  • Created on: 15-05-11 17:17
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Changing attitudes to marriage, divorce, family life and homosexuality in the UK:
How attitudes have changed:
· Most people have sex before marriage
· It is now socially acceptable to cohabit rather than marry
· The average age for marriage has risen
· Only a minority of marriages happen in churches
· Divorce is now accepted as a normal part of family life
· The extended family is becoming more popular for child care
· Single parent families have increased in number as more people are getting divorced
· More children are being brought up by cohabiting parents (11% of families)
· Society now treats homosexual sex in the same way as heterosexual sex
· Civil partnership act 2004
Reasons for the changes:
· Increased availability of contraception
· Christianity has lost its influence on society
· Increased media publicity made cohabitation and homosexuals more acceptable
· The presentation in films and on television of sexual relationships outside marriage has made
sex outside marriage more acceptable
Divorce made easier and more acceptable:
· 1969 - new laws making it easier and cheaper to divorce
· Women are more financially independent
· Most marriages only last 10 years which was the average length of a marriage 100 years ago
Family life:
· More cohabitation means more families were the parents aren't married
· Increase in divorce has lead to the increase in re marriages which leads to more reconstituted
· Increase in using the extended family for child care because the role of women has changed
· Divorce and the acceptance of unmarried mothers has lead to the increase in the amount of
single parent families
· Changes in laws has made it easier to be openly homosexual
· Medical research has shown that being a homosexual could be partly genetic
· Medical research has shown that around 5% of the population is homosexual
· The increased openness of homosexual celebrities has lead to a greater acceptance
· Organizations e.g. stone wall, have changed people's views and lead to a greater acceptance of
equal rights for homosexuals
Summary: 50 years ago most people only had sex in marriage, and they married in church. Now
people have sex before they marry, cohabiting is socially acceptable and most marriages are not
in church. This could be caused by safer contraception and fewer people being influenced by
Divorce and re-marriage used to be rare but are accepted today, 2/5 marriages end in divorce. The
changes may have been caused by cheaper divorce and women having more equality.
Family life has changed so that although most children are still brought up by a mother and a
father, the parents may not be married or might have been married before. These changes are
probably caused by the changing attitudes to sex, marriage and divorce.
Christian attitudes to sex outside marriage:
Christians teach that sex should only take place between a man and a woman who are married to
each other. Therefore most Christians believe that sex outside marriage is wrong, because:
· Sex was given by G-d for procreation, joy, pleasure and to make a bond and therefore children
should be brought up by married parents
· The Bible says that fornication (a religious word meaning premarital sex and promiscuity) is a
· The catechism of the catholic church says that pre marital sex is wrong

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All Christians are against adultery because it breaks their wedding vows
· Adultery is condemned in the 10 commandments
· Adultery is condemned by Jesus in the Gospels and all Christians should follow Jesus' teachings
Summary: all Christians believe adultery is wrong as it breaks one of the 10 commandments
· Most Christians believe that sex before marriage is wrong because the church and the Bible
says it is
The Purpose of marriage:
Procreation - marriage is the best environment for a child to be…read more

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Churches try to be family friendly so that family life can be strengthened by worship
· Many churches provide financial support if e.g. the family wage earner is ill or made redundant
Summary: Christian churches help with family life by:
· Welcoming families to worship together
· The priest/minister offering help/advice for family problems
· Sermons in service encouraging and strengthening family values
· Providing financial support and links to Christian family charities
Christian attitudes to homosexuality:
1.…read more

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There is nothing in the Bible forbidding contraception
· In 1930 the Lanbeth conference of the world wide Anglican Communion (church of England)
declared it was legitimate for Christian so use contraception to limit family size.…read more

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Faithfulness Staying with your marriage partner and having sex only with them
Re-constituted Where 2 sets of children (step brothers and step sisters) become
family one family when their divorced parents marry each other…read more


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