He discerns three phases of family policy expansion in Western Europe:
First, part of financial support for the family; tagged by a phase of policy intended at the well-being of the family as a whole and at the personal progress of each of its members; and last of all is a phase distinguished by measures that aim at rendering themselves momentarily or partly unnecessary.
Eighties were a decade in Britain that saw the most foremost changes in family and household work that have taken place this century. Marriage was delayed as more couples recognized cohabiting unions, and a drift toward the severance of childbearing and marriage became perceptible with trebling in the proportion of babies born outside marriage. Marital break and divorce were other distinctive features of the decade. Divorce rates doubled throughout seventies, following legislation that permitted easier divorce. Throughout eighties, they retained the plateau reached in divorce rates, and more than one-third of the marriages were likely to end in divorce.
The impact of these changes has been perceptible for women at both ends of the childbearing years. ...