Dad dot info
Free online course for separated parents
Forum - Ask questions. Get answers.
Free online course for separated parents
DAD.info | Opinion | Latest News | Is marriage no longer ‘necessary’?

Is marriage no longer ‘necessary’?

Back in 1989 as many as 70% of people thought couples should marry before having a child, but it appears attitudes have changed a great deal

 

New research suggests having children outside of wedlock is no longer so widely considered to be a social taboo in the UK.

The gap between those who condemn people that want to start a family without tying the knot and those who think it is acceptable has narrowed to become virtually on par

Analysis of NatCen’s British Social Attitudes survey found that in 2014 37% of the population thought marriage should be a precondition to having children, while 35% did not.

This marks a significant shift in public opinion from 1989 when seven people in ten (70%) felt that people should be married if they want to have children, compared with less two in ten (17%) who disagreed.

Older people, and people who are religious, are more likely to believe that couples should marry before having children, however they are still much less likely to hold these views than in the 1980s.

In 1989, 78% of Anglicans said that people who want children should be married, but this had fallen to less than half (47%) in 2014.  

There has also been an increase in the proportion of people who believe that there is little difference between being married and living together in the last decade or so. In 2014, three quarters of people (74%) held this view, compared with two thirds (66%) in 2006. 

A significant majority (62%) of the 2,878 people interviewed also believe that it is just as difficult for unmarried parents to separate as it is for married parents.

Image: NatCen Social Research

Ian Simpson, Senior Researcher, NatCen Social Research said: “We seem to be reaching a tipping point for traditional views of marriage.

“For the first time the same proportion of people disagree that people who want children should get married as agree.

“Interestingly this change has happened across society. Even people who consider themselves to be religious are far less likely to think you need to be married to have children than in the past.

“Our views on marriage and relationships have changed a lot in the past 30 years. People are more accepting of same-sex marriages, are more accepting of people living together without getting married and are less likely to think that men should go out to work while women stay at home.”

NatCen is Britain’s largest independent social research organisation.

Related entries

Dads fear children lose out on learning over summer holidays

Dedicated dad sleeps under son’s hospital crib

We all know the love a parent feels for their child is unlike any other, but it’s always nice to be reminded in pictures A photograph of an American father sleeping under his son’s hospital bed has captured the hearts of people across the world.  Amy Palmer, from...

Latest entries

Eating together is important- for both you and your kids

Eating together is important- for both you and your kids

As busy parents it can be tempting to shovel our food down Homer Simpson-style, while the kids watch a cartoon. With our daily lives so busy, it can feel like too much effort to sit down to eat together. However, research is coming to light that shows why eating meals...

ASK DEBBIE: DO I SPLIT UP MY KIDS?

ASK DEBBIE: DO I SPLIT UP MY KIDS?

Hi Dad, What a difficult decision for you. There are several things to consider here before making the final decision. Separating the children could impact the quality of the sibling relationship. This relationship is important and beneficial to the two children....

Prostate problems: what you need to know

Prostate problems: what you need to know

As it's Men's Mental Health Month (Movember) in November, Dad Info is focussing on awareness of men's health issues. As part of this series we are focussing on prostate problems. What is a prostate? The prostate is a small tube found only in men, surrounding the tube...

Pin It on Pinterest