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Page 1

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Marriage Patterns & Trends
Marriage has undergone several changes in recent years. Try
& think of 4 important changes in the pattern of marriage
in recent years...

· Fewer people are marrying ­ less than half the number of
marriages in 2005 than the 1970's

· People are marrying later…

Page 2

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Other Reasons for
·Isolation of the nuclear family from
relatives who could provide support

·Growing financial and work pressures on
many couples due to a rise in living
standards (especially in current climate)

Consequences of Divorce for men, women, children and society?

Page 3

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Explaining the decline in `first'

Stigma Secularisation Female

Cohabitation Norms and

Page 4

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Reasons for decline in first marriages...
· Changing attitudes­ marriage is no longer `the norm' and
the value attached to it is weaker. Rather, we value
personal freedom & choice in our relationships; quality is
more important than legal status
· Secularisation ­ as church influence declines, people see

Page 5

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Link each reason to a
specific marriage pattern
e.g. secularisation = decline
in church marriages

Page 6

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For young people today, what's one of the
biggest reasons why people delay marriage?

More and more young people enter higher
education today and therefore, few people
consider marriage whilst they are dependent on
student loans and parental support.
As people's standards of living have risen, people
expect and want…

Page 7

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Making Connections
How might these changes affect the family

Partnership Changes The Family Structure

·Rise in divorce

·Decline in first marriages
The Nuclear Family?

·Rise in re marriages

Page 8

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· Cohabitation involves an unmarried couple in a
sexual relationship living together

· Whilst the number of couples marrying has been
falling, the number of couples cohabiting continues
to rise and it is the fastest growing family type in
the UK e.g. 2 million in Britain and this is…

Page 9

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Reasons for Cohabitation
What reason is being implied by each fact?
· In 1989, only 44% of people agreed that `premarital
sex is not wrong at all' but by 2000, 62% took this
view (British Social Attitudes Survey, 2000)
· 88% of 18- 24 year olds thought that `it was…

Page 10

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1.Less stigma (not seen as living in sin) to have sex outside
marriage ­ also more contraception available to do this.
2. Norms and values have changed
3.Secularisation ­ relationships don't have to bound in a
sacred way
4.Don't need financial security of marriage ­ change in
women's position


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