commitments, economic independence, opportunities to meet newpeople and develop new relationships, room for personal growth, andthe ability to have a more varied sex life that is free of guilt (Macklin,1987). CohabitationCohabitation, or what is commonly called living together, refers torelationships in which two people live in the same household and sharesexual, emotional, and often economic ties without being legallymarried. The US Bureau of the Census determined that in 2013, about 8 million“unmarried-couple” households existed in the US, with two unrelatedadults of the opposite sex sharing the same household. Although some people continue to see marriage as the preferableroute for organizing one’s life, a growing number of people arechoosing cohabitation, and the courts are establishing a legalframework that sees cohabitation as being very much like marriage. Single ParenthoodA rapidly growing alternative to the conventional two-parent nuclearfamily is one with only one parent (Ventura, 2009). Today, 30% of all families with children under 18 are headed by onlyone parent, mostly by women (US Bureau of the Census, 2012).
Almost 1 of every 3 children lives in a family in which one or bothparents are absent, and half of all children may spend at least part oftheir childhood in a single-parent home. The number of children living with a mother who never marriedincreased to 10% in 2010 compared to 1% in 1970. 40% of the total births are to unmarried women today, in comparisonwith 4% in 1950 (US Bureau of the Census, 2011). A Global PerspectiveIn the past few decades, the proportion of births to unmarried womenhas increased in most nations, in some cases dramatically. The proportion has doubled in the US to 36%, but in nations as diverseas Denmark, Norway, and Guam it has increased 300-400%. The birthrate in most societies around the world has been declining,and the divorce rate has been increasing. Violence in the Family3.5 Identify the nature and extent of violence in the family todayand analyze the social conditions that produce it.
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