Family Diversity: Lone parents
There is evidence to show that there has been increased number of LONE PARENT HOUSEHOLDS:
- Morgan: she argues this is due to increased opportunities where women can be financially dependant on themselves and do not need a man to be dependnat on. This is due to Equal Pay Opporutunity's which has given women more work- they do not meen to help them cope
- Allan and Crow argue that increased lone parenting is due to increaed divorce rates. People are looking for MORE in their marriage and if they are unsatisfied, they become single parents instead
They also claim this is due to increased teenage pregancies and births outside marriage, where they are left as a single parents
- Murray: he claims that increased longe-parenting is due to over-generous welfare system where the government has made it possible for parents to live as a single parenting by suporting them i.e. benefits and council housing
Effects of lone-parenting
New Right argue that there are negative effects on children escpecially boys since 90% of single parent households are headed by women and boys LACK THE MALE ROLE MODEL. They are more likely to be vulnerable to peer pressure and form gangs which show masculinity and compensates for decline of father figure. They become involved in street crime so undderachieve
On the other hand, Coshmore argues that lone parenting can have positive effects towards children because one parents is better for them than two fighting parents
Radical Feminists argue that marriage can be oppressive and abusive towards women i.e. 4 per 1000 women suffer from domestic violence. They are dominated by patriarchal men and so becoming a single parent can make them more liberated
Other sociologists argue that lone-parents are negatively labelled by teachers, social workers, police, etc. They even scapegoat many lone parents for underachievement and inner city crime when this is the result of unemployment and povert instead. This shows that nuclear family are seen as ideal
There has been a growth of sexual diversity and there are now more gay couples than there was before. Reasons for this......
- Less Homophobia in the UK: people have become more acceptant of gay couples than they were before
- They were given Rights to Civil partnership in 2005 which has meant that they are treated the same equal way as heterosexual couples are
- There are ways for them to have a child via adotpion or IVF
- Less beliefs in religioun so people do not think that it is morally wrong if they are in a gay relationship
AO2: The New Right are critical of such families because they argue that they NOT NATURAL and that children should be raised by their natural parents.
They argue that such families have a negative impact on children because they are more likely to be BULLIED due to their parents sexuality and they may face PRESSURE to also experiement with their sexuality.
However, Gottman criticised this view and argued that daughters from same sex parents did NOT FACE PRESSURE
Class and Ethnic diversity
Families are also diverse because they vary in terms of their CLASS TYPE.
Rappoport et al claimed that middle class parents are more likely to be child-entered because they focused more on their child's edcuational achievemnt and they were morel ikely to help them succeed than w/c parents did
AO2: However, critics argue that w/c parents are also very child-centered but they are materially deprived so they are limited in terms of how much they can give to their children
Families are also diverse in terms of their ETHNIC TYPE.
Berthoud argued that families varied betweem Asians and white British families. Asian families were more likely to be different from British in terms of .....
- Their views on marriage: Asians VALUE marriage moe, its more likley to be arranged and there are low divorce rates
- Children from Asian families are taught to respect their cultural and religious traditions
- Asian children are taught to respect their parents more escpecially their elders
Another way families have become more diverse is that there are more cohabiting couples and in 2012 ONS found that there were approx 5.6 million couples cohabiting in the UK. Reasons
- Different attitudes to sex- less likely to be done in the context of marriage
- Less pressure to be married and people follow their own beliefs rather than what their parents or grandparents think is acceptable
- Media presents cohabiting and married couples in the same way
- Can be expensive to marry
AO2: Radical feminists argue that this gives women freedom to check the man out- make sure that they are compatible for each other
New Right argue that they are relatively less stable and children and the couple are less likely to be happy. Kids more likely to underacheive, etc.
However, Chandler claims thats cohabitation is seen as a relatively long term alternative to marriage
Postmodernists- they see diversity as a good thing
Despite the high levels of diversity, this can be over-exaggerated and Chandler argues that marriage and tradional nucelar family types are still VALUED
i.e. 7 out of 10 couples in the UK are based around a marriage relationship
many children are STILL raised by their natural parents