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Study notes

Families: Childbearing

  • Levels: A Level
  • Exam boards: AQA, Edexcel, OCR, Eduqas, WJEC

By childbearing we mean the act of having children, while childrearing is how they are brought up (which is more relevant to other sections).

Many of the changes in childbearing and childrearing over this period come as direct result of the other trends. For example:

  • Women are having children later (this links with women getting married later and having careers)
  • Women are having fewer children (as above)
  • A higher proportion of women are choosing not to have children (approximately a quarter of women today will not have children)
  • More than 40% of children are born outside marriage (this links with increasing numbers of couples choosing to cohabit rather than get married)

Currently it would appear that these trends will continue for the foreseeable future. While they mostly link to changes in marriage, they also relate to broad social change, such as:

  • Secularisation
  • Changing role of women in society

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