However, the shifts in social organization such as growth of factories, schools and bureaucratic organizations decreased the importance of family in controlling individual identities, living arrangements and childbearing. Changes in religious structures diminished ability of the church to influence individuals thus leading to decreased sense of shared morality. The enlightenment period stressed the importance of liberty and equality thus increasing the degree of individualism, tolerance to diverse ideas and reducing the collectivism in the society (Arland and Linda 1011).
The changes in family and social relationships in the beginning of the second half of 20th century were influenced by increased participation of women in formal employment, the baby boom after the Second World War and high divorce rates of 1960s. In 1970s, non-marital cohabitation and out-of-wedlock childbearing increased, but the period saw advancements in biology that led to the birth control pills and other contraceptives (Arland and Linda 1011).
The changes in marriage have been brought by endorsement of gender equality in families and trends towards individual autonomy and increased acceptance of divorce. There has been a change in family relationships that has been brought by the decline in the commitment to family life. Accordingly, the desire for more freedom, autonomy and tolerance of differing family norms has led to shifts in the family structure. Another change that has been witnessed in the desire for gender equality in families due to equal opportunities, desire for shared decision-making within families and sharing of resources (Arland and Linda 1017).
The last four decades have witnessed changes in attitudes towards family behaviour and relationships such increased acceptance of divorce, premarital sex, extramarital sex, childlessness, cohabitation, and unmarried
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