To what extent is the institution of marriage under threat in your country?
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To what extent is the institution of marriage under threat in your country? Marriage can be defined as an institution in which two people engage themselves for the rest of their lives. Many people think that in today’s society, the marriage institution is in decline nowadays. This may be because people no longer believe in marriage. There are also a lot of factors contributing to the decline of this particular institution. But is marriage really in decline in today’s society? One of the factors for which we can say that marriage is in decline today is the rise in divorce rate. This has caused people to no longer believe in marriage and has also liberated people in the way that they can easily end their marriage. Nowadays’ generation are not afraid of the social consequences of divorce when they seek a legal end to an unhappy marriage. Also ,the costs of getting a divorce have reduced drastically and changes in the divorce law has meant that there are equal rights for men and women as it no longer hinders their careers. However, the reduced social stigma and more sympathetic public attitudes that is, society no longer disapprove of divorcees have meant that people are more likely to end unhappy marriages because marriages today are based on love and companionship rather than on the customs and get financial dependence. In this way, people get divorced to remarry someone they approve of. This shows that they are not rejecting marriage as an institution but only a particular marriage partner.
People divorce nowadays hoping to turn an empty shell marriage that is an unhappy marriage into a happy new one. Marriages that exist today are way happier and stronger than ever as unhappy ones are easily ended by divorce. Another factor that shows marriage is a declining institution is the rise in lone parent families. Developing technology has meant that there is improved contraception, easier and safer access to abortion. Also, women nowadays have greater economic independence and have more job and support from the welfare state. In this way, many women may not want to abort the child if ever they get pregnant and nowadays with the changing male attitudes, the man may feel less under pressure to marry the mother if she gets pregnant. Another factor which has contributed to the rise in lone parenthood is the factor that society views lone parenthood in a different way. There has also been improvement in the reproductive technology with surrogate motherhood and IVF. An argument that opposes this view is the fact that lone parenthood can exist because of many reasons. It is only due to the failure of marriage that lone parenthood existed, it may also be because of the death of a partner. It has also been proved that a lone parent can provide better care than two parents who don’t get along in a family.
The rise in lone parenthood may also have been because of the fact that the person wants to marry but is not finding a particular marriage partner. Another reason may be because there are more gay and lesbian families and they are still waiting for the law to pass so that they can get married. There is also the rise in cohabitation which is another cause for the decline in marriage. People nowadays no longer consider marriage as sacred. There are also the easy going attitudes among youngsters; they want to have a sort of trial marriage before getting married. Also people nowadays have higher expectations of marriage, so they prefer not to marry. However most of the couples that cohabit eventually and end up marrying to that same partner. There are also many children being born with two people not married but having the same address showing that children are still being born in stable relationships and live-in families with concerned parents. Today marriage may be in decline with the emergence of lone parenthood, reconstituted, gay and lesbian families. However marriage still remains an important social norm and strong pressure from elders like parent, peer group and all responsibities brought by the birth of a child continue to propel people in marriage.