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  • Created on: 02-02-23 10:35
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  • Causes and Significance of the Decline in Marraige
    • The Debate
      • Feminists argue that the cultural attitudes towards marriage has caused both men and women to be willing to delay marriage to ensure that their partner is actually their life partner.
      • The decline in marriage indicates that women feel less pressured and more care-free about marriage, despite still feeling cautious about their life-partner choices.
      • Women are far more likely to be focused on their career rather than marriage or a family as they have more choice through contraceptive techniques such as birth control, helping women to make choices about when to and whether to have children. This also means thate the age in which women are choosng to marry is inreasing.
      • Alternatives to marriage such as cohabitation or living apart together (LAT) means that people are less inclined to get married as a formality.
      • Changes in the cost of marriage may be a practical economic reason for the decline in marriage. Weddings are expensive especially for lower-class people and so many people choose to cohabt in order to save money for the event.
    • The Position of the New Right
      • New Right Sociologists argue that marriage is important to society, morality and social order because it involves unique attachments that logically and ethically regulate people's behaviour.
      • They state that marriage contributes to social stability and they also argue that married men are more likely t be in full-time work and that married couples tend to live longer than single or divorced people.
      • Secularization - the decline in religious belief and practice, especially among Christians - is part of the blame that the New Right places on the decline in marriage rates. People are less likely to get married in a church and to take their 'sacred' vows serious.  In 2012, only 30% of marriages took place in a place of worship.
      • The Welfare State has also been blamed for putting people of marriage because mothers only get the benefits if they're not married. Married women also receive benefits for their children, but the amount is reduced when married.
      • Morgan objects to same-sex marriages because she argues that it rejects Christian values and has a general moral decline.
    • Same-sex marriages
      • Same-sex marriages are actually increasing compared to heterosexual marriages which are decreasing. Many couples who were previously in civil partnerships have also been choosing to switch to a marriage since it was legalised in 2013.
    • Arranged Marriages
      • Epstein found that arranged marriages grow more stable as time goes on whereas loving marriages are more likely to deteriorate. This is because many people take a long time in discussing people's attributes and beliefs before pairing people and so they're more likely to commit to someone with similar goals.
      • A significant number of Asian people - Muslim, Sikhs and Hindus - as well as Orthodox Jews still practice arranged marriage. This usually involves a mutual discussion about a proposed match.
    • Forced Marriages
      • Forced Marriage is defined by The Forced Marriage Unit as 'a marriage conducted without the valid consent of both parties where emotional pressure in addition to physical abuse is a factor.'
      • In 2013, there were 1,302 forced marriages, although The Forced Marriage Unit states that this is more likely o be 8,000 per year.
      • Victims are often reluctant to come forward because they're often unwilling to report their parents to the authorities. If they do report the incident, 'honor crimes' such as abduction, acid attack's, mutilation's and even murder may occur. There were 2,823 honor incidents reported in 2010.


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