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Physical disciplinary methods (ROUGH DRAFT)
More discipline at home, and school. This includes allowing physical disciplinary methods in extreme cases where this is needed (It is always needed as a last option). Because it is essential that children show the proper respect for the adult and know that the adult has the required “sanction methods/tools” in their arsenal without the fear of being persecuted by the state. A society (school institutions especially) cannot function properly without the right to allow physical disciplinary methods in extreme cases.
Family & Society - The Traditional Family is Disappearing (ROUGH DRAFT)
Area of Study:Social Theory, Social Structure and Change
The traditional British family structure is in decay and is facing extinction. Liberal permissiveness has wrecked havoc with our society and the results are there for all to see.
The recently published Social Trends report states that single parent households have nearly tripled from 4% in 1971 to 11% in 2008. The percentage of traditional nuclear family households had fallen by 52% to 36% over the same period and women are more likely to give birth by the time they are 25 than get married.
· Since the early 1970s there has been a decline in marriage, and a marked rise in the numbers of lone parent families.
· The ongoing rise in family breakdown affecting young children has been driven by the dissolution of cohabiting partnerships. The majority of these are less stable than marriage (European data shows that by a child’s fifth birthday less than 1 in 12 (8%) married parents have split up compared to almost 1 in 2 (43%) cohabiting parents).
· The intergenerational transmission of family breakdown and its associated disadvantages is seen in the way children who have been neglected or un-nurtured are highly likely to go on to create dysfunctional families subject to further breakdown. Similarly there is an overrepresentation in teen pregnancy statistics of girls from fatherless and broken homes.
· Crime is strongly correlated with family breakdown - 70% of young offenders are from lone parent families and one third of prisoners were in local authority care (yet only 0.6% of the nation’s children are in care at any one time).
· Costs of family breakdown to the exchequer are estimated to be well over £20bn per annum in Britain alone.
Family forms are shaped by the attitudes toward gender roles in a given society which, in turn, are influenced by the demographic, social, economic, and political realities of the time. The traditional family, idealised during the Victorian era and reestablished in the 1950s, is identified as a unit consisting of a married couple with two or more children where the breadwinning father goes out to work while the mother stays home to keep house and care for the children and her husband. This profile of the family, which reflected and was supported by the prevailing attitudes and realities of a particular period which no longer exists, continues to be lauded, endorsed, and longed for by right wing politicians and religious groups.(1) However, due to the major socio-cultural changes of the past three decades, a variety of family forms has emerged and now the traditional family accounts for "only 5 percent of American households."
The Way We Were
After the second world war, government propaganda was combined with effective advertising, and supported by Freudian psychology, to restore the traditional family as the societal norm where women were assigned the identity of wives and mothers, with increased emphasis on gender difference, and men assumed the role of breadwinners and strong, male heads of families. In this traditional family, specific male and female gender roles are instilled in the children from the outset. Males learn to be assertive, aggressive, and dominant while females learn to be docile, gentle, and passive. They learn that men are expected to be tough, courageous, and rational while women are expected to be tender, timid, and emotional. They learn that men are the power holders while women are expected to be submissive, that men make the decisions while women are expected to comply. In other words, the traditional game which is called gender-role socialisation is really a very clever way of ensuring that women learn that their place in the scheme of life is to be dependent on and subservient to men where they are denied direct access to economic opportunity and control of their own sexuality. However, such gender-role socialisation also takes its toll on men's physical and mental health because it necessitates repression of their feelings and denial of their needs. It seems that traditional gender-role socialisation "limits the options and opportunities open to males as well as females" and can prevent both from achieving their full human potential.
Black American families were not confined by such gender-role socialisation because the segregation laws that operated to keep black men out of the labour force thrust black women into the role of breadwinners for their families and thus contributed to more equitable gender roles in black households. Black parents instill both instrumental and expressive behaviours in their sons and daughters from an early age because they learned from their own experience that "black men and black women had to develop together strength, perseverance, and resiliency in order to survive."
In the 1960s, family life began to change when the student movement led the revolt against sexual repression, social injustice, the Vietnam war, and racial discrimination. This was the decade when the baby-boomers came of age and changed societal norms irrevocably. This was the decade when the civil rights movement challenged the discriminatory laws and practices of white supremacy, and equality of opportunity became the right of black Americans. This was the decade when the second wave of feminism emerged and gave birth to the women's movement, a movement that has had the most lasting and profound effect on both public and private life in America. In short, this was the decade when children, women, and men challenged the patriarchal, authoritarian structures of family, society, and government and demanded equal rights for all, regardless of gender, colour, or race. In my discussion, I will focus on changes in gender roles in relation to economic opportunity and sexuality, and how these changes contribute to the autonomy versus intimacy struggles in human relationships.
Changes in Gender Roles
In the traditional family, men were socialised to develop instrumental behaviours and women were socialised to develop expressive behaviours. This insured that, while men had direct access to economic opportunity and independence, women were always dependent on their husbands for social and economic rewards. As access to economic opportunity is a source of power and prestige in all societies, it follows that women lacked this power and prestige because of their confinement to the domestic sphere. In order for women to achieve equality of status with men, it was imperative that they participate in paid employment in the public sphere and that they have some degree of economic independence.
With this emphasis on changing their role, unprecedented numbers of women have not only joined the labour force since 1960 but have also become highly educated and have won the right to compete with men in all areas of professional, business, and public life. However, even though women have achieved equality of status through education, occupation, and income, a corresponding change in men's roles has been slow to develop. While men have supported the changing role of women, at least in areas in which it benefits them, many have allowed their wives to continue to take full responsibility for the domestic sphere in addition to their sharing in the breadwinning role and have failed to see that "to be effective, change must move in two directions: men must share in domestic and childrearing tasks even as women share in the world of outside work."
Prior to the 1960s, abstinence from premarital sex was considered the official standard for men and women. However, the double standard, which holds that sexual intercourse before marriage is permissible for males but not for females, was widely practiced. In the 1960s, young people rejected the double standard and set more egalitarian standards: permissiveness with affection, and permissiveness without affection. Permissiveness with affection allows premarital sex between males and females when love is present; permissiveness without affection sanctions premarital sex for fun between a man and a woman in a casual relationship. As men engaged in such behaviour down through the decades, the greatest changes in premarital sexual norms have been changes in female behaviours.
Changes in sexual behaviours are influenced by the social realities of the time and in the 1960s the United States was not only becoming a postindustrial society but was also engaged in a major war with Vietnam. Society was in a state of turmoil and young people especially were questioning its values and its morals. The upsurge in premarital sexual permissiveness during this period is viewed as the "desire for autonomy, for control over one's own sexual destiny." Women wanted the right to control their own lives and what better time to stake their claim on their autonomy than at the beginning of a new era.
While the goal of feminism is the achievement of equality of standards in attitudes and behaviours for both men and women, feminists did not necessarily envisage an increase in sexual permissiveness. However, the findings from sociological research carried out during the 1970s among female and male teenagers indicate that they were much more sexually active at the end of the decade than they were at the beginning. Studies undertaken among college students point to a similar pattern, especially among women. Not only has the sexual behaviours of teenagers and young adults changed during this period, their attitudes toward the morality of this behaviour has also changed considerably. Between 1969 and 1985, the number of young adults who do not believe that premarital sex is wrong increased by almost 35 percent.
An increase in premarital pregnancies is the most likely outcome of an increase in premarital sexual activity, unless couples are using reliable forms of contraception. The responsibility for the use of contraception usually falls to the woman because she is the one who is most likely to have to deal with the costs and rewards related to both contraception and pregnancy. The decision to use contraception is influenced by a woman's attitude toward her own sexuality, gender roles, and her sense of autonomy as well as her relationship and communication with her partner. Women holding egalitarian attitudes toward gender roles who choose to become sexually active with their partners for their own pleasure and expressive needs, also choose to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies by using reliable forms of contraception. Young adolescent women, molded in the traditional gender-role pattern, may become sexually active at an early age in order to boost their self-esteem and are unlikely to take contraceptive precautions.
With increasing emphasis on egalitarian gender-role conditioning, many men are moving away from the stereotypical sexual aggressor attitudes of the traditional male when women were considered the subordinate, sexual conquests, and are looking for the expressive qualities of mutual love and caring in their sexual relationships. Similarly, women look for equality in their sexual relationships where they are active participants rather than passive objects. "The popularity of the permissiveness-with-affection standard may indicate some convergence in the perspectives of considerable numbers of women and men who want something more than casual sex."
Traditionally, a man and a woman became involved in a steady dating relationship as a preparation for marriage. Men looked for partners whose physical appearance would enhance their image, and women looked for partners whose achievements, financially and socially, would provide security and social status. These choices reflected the self- identity of both parties: women saw themselves in terms of their physical attributes with their future role revolving around the needs and desires of their husbands; men saw themselves in terms of their accomplishments and career prospects, with an additional future role as breadwinner and head of his family.
In the past three decades, all of this has changed as feminist- minded women emphasise their own instrumental as well as expressive qualities, and look for more expressive and intellectual qualities in the men they choose for long-term relationships. Men who are open to more egalitarian gender roles focus less on physical qualities and more on the expressive and intellectual qualities of women. Women's sense of autonomy is also evident in their tendency "to initiate dates and to share date expenses." (20) Feminist-minded women no longer wait to be chosen, they choose for themselves the men they want to be with in exclusive relationships.
Marriage is not necessarily the goal of long-term relationships in today's world. "Individuals are expected to be deeply committed to the current serious relationship in an exclusive dating partnership, a living-together arrangement, or a socially recognised marriage." When couples decide to marry, they do so in the belief that it will provide the rewards and satisfactions they seek in terms of both instrumental and expressive exchanges.
Autonomy versus Intimacy
In traditional relationships, men had autonomy and authority while women had neither. Women were expected to be submissive and subservient, without the right to their own opinions, feelings or needs. In modern relationships based on equality of gender roles, female and male autonomy are of equal importance, and intimacy, the mutual sharing of the being of each partner, is of vital importance to the continual development and deepening of mutual trust and love. According to Scarf, each partner not only brings herself or himself to the relationship but also the influences of known and unknown family backgrounds which have a profound bearing on the struggle between autonomy and intimacy in the relationship.
Each person in a relationship needs space to be a person in his/her own right, to pursue independent goals which meet his/her independent needs. Each one also has intimacy needs, the need to set aside time for the sharing of oneself in love and closeness with the other. However, despite the modern emphasis on equality of gender roles, both men and women are still influenced by the traditional gender-role conditioning which demanded that women be the love- and caregivers to their highly-sexed, emotionless husbands and that men be the strong, male providers for their fragile, emotional wives. Women feel guilty about having autonomous needs and feel they should be always available to provide the love and the closeness in the relationship, while men feel they should be strong and independent and cannot admit to their need for love and closeness. For both men and women, the struggle is also in the questions: how much they can give of each other to each other in intimacy without losing their autonomy, without being absorbed into the identity of the other; and, how can they "be intimate without exposing yourself to the terrible possibility of rejection and abandonment?"
Today, the struggle between autonomy and intimacy is part and parcel of the deepening and development of mature, loving relationships.
Also, see the full report; Breakthrough Britain:
Solutions:The Japanese model, the South Korean model
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