Marriage and Family in the Future

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Changes in Marriage and Family Structure

Over the years, marriage has seen as a rite of passage for every individual in society. Recently, in the current world, marriage has changed from being a social requirement to an option. Apart from becoming less popular it has been replaced by other forms of relationships. The change in different institutions has caused this. Although these changes might not have made marriage to be optional, they strongly correlate with its decrease in value. Changes in the economy, education, religion, and government have all changed recently affecting marriage. The family is doubtfully an essential institution in the society, while marriage is an important aspect of this institution (Ogletree 71-62). Some issues like cohabitation, religion, changing gender roles, and divorce among others have all affected the way marriage is perceived.

Change in Gender Roles

Change in gender roles is another factor which has tremendously affected marriage. Traditionally, the man was the family breadwinner and the woman as the housewife and childcare provider. Recently, this has been changing as gender roles have evolved much (Bianchi& Milkie 705-725). The changing gender roles have impacted the quality of and satisfaction within marriage. According to Ogletree, many women in their middle college desire marriage more than men (71-82). Quine and Liana found out that marital satisfaction was related to perceptions of fairness in the division of household labour (383-400). These findings explain how future marriages will exactly be. The nature of marriage and family will tend to become more inclusive with less specified gender roles. The extremists in feminism they will most probably marry and decide not to have children.

Demographic Factors

Demographic factors which affect culture and religion have contributed significantly to changing the family structure and marriage patterns. High intermarriages coupled with immigration are changing the nature of marriages in the United States of America. The interaction of people from different races, religions, and cultures, has changed the view of marriages. People from different faiths and cultures backgrounds have intermarried who has caused an intermixing in religion and culture. Future generations will identify themselves as belonging to America without clinching to specific origins, customs, and religious beliefs. Families in coming decades will be as a result of intermixed racial marriages as opposed to the majority of current unions. Other demographic related factors are the recent decreasing infertility and birth rates. One of the reasons why people marry is the desire to have, love or economic security (Nadelson 1352-1356). This trend of viewing marriage as optional may lead to projection that future families will have less or no children at all.

Climate Change and Migration

Climate change is an essential aspect of predicting future migration. It is known that drought and temperature increase are linked to the rise in immigration. Immigrants due to climate change especially from neighboring countries intermarry with the Americans of Asians, Africans or European origin creating a multi-racial society. The immigrants also come with their own cultures and religions which are blended in the Americans' culture making it more diverse and accommodating. Due to this interracial marriage, the future family will be structured differently from the modern one and in a manner that it can accommodate the interracial couple.

Economic Factors

The economy has changed in a manner that the unemployment levels are increasing. This will continue rendering many young people jobless. The cost of living has been on the rise recently, and that seems the trend even in the future. Economics plays a crucial role in young adults' relationships which are the expected couples of the future. Financial instability is a critical role in relationship dissolution and divorce. Economic hardships may place stress on couples, thereby increasing conflict and eventually leading to divorce (Islam et al. 1496-1503)). Economic circumstances diminish relationship quality by increasing conflict and reducing intimacy. The trend brings out projections that in the future decades marriages will be less with more cohabiting which is a prelude to marriage.

The Changing Future of Marriage and Family

Due to the fast changes in marriage and family as an institution, the trends occurring in contemporary society with regards to marriage and family structure are not going away. Future families of our grandchildren’s will be completely different institutions from what we have today. These families will be characterized by equal and unspecified gender roles, unlike the current families. It is also evident that same-sex marriages will be introduced in more jurisdictions without any ill-effect on society as a whole affecting family structure based on children. Cohabitation and common law marriages will be common in the coming decades as it is opposed to the modern days.

Therefore, as much as these changes and perceptions in marriage will occur we may not be able to ascertain the population composition and structure in the coming decades. Also, we may not be able to account openly on the marriage between relations and group marriages. The question about marriages between close relatives in future is also left without a precise explanation since in the modern liberal democracies; consensual adult incest is viewed as a victimless crime. From these factors and expected changes, marriage in the coming decades will be less popular than it is today. The family structure, as an institution of society, will completely change to something new.

Work cited

Bianchi, Suzanne M., and Melissa A. Milkie. "Work and family research in the first decade of the 21st century." Journal of Marriage and Family 72.3 (2010): 705-725

Islam, M. Mofizul, et al. "The reliability of sensitive information provided by injecting drug users in a clinical setting: clinician-administered versus audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (ACASI)." AIDS Care 24.12 (2012): 1496-1503.

Nadelson, CAROL C., and MALKAH T. Notman. "To marry or not to marry: a choice." The American journal of psychiatry 138.10 (1981): 1352-1356.

Ogletree, Shirley M. "Gender role attitudes and expectations for marriage." Journal of Research on Women and Gender 5 (2014): 71-82.

Qin, Yue, and Liana C. Sayer. "Division of labor, gender ideology, and marital satisfaction in East Asia." Journal of Marriage and Family 78.2 (2016): 383-400.

August 14, 2023

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