The Modern Canadian Family

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The Canadian family has been changing drastically over the 20th century. The definition of family has changed, along with the functions of families. Many modern families have veered from what we once considered the tradition family. This essay will discuss the different types of newly developed families, and some factors contributing to this change.

Same-sex couples are increasing among families. In 2001, the definition of census family was changed to incorporate same-sex couples whom live in a common-law relationship. If previous statistics before 2006 did not include same-sex common-law relationships, how accurate could the statistics have been? Herizons (2008) stated that the 2006 Canadian census was the first to allow marital status polls specifically for gay and lesbian couples. According to Canadian Social Trends (2007) same-sex couples increased 33% from the 2001 statistics. “This was over five times the growth rate of opposite-sex couples, the number of which rose by 6% in the same period” (Canadian Social Trends, 2006). Not only did same-sex common-laws increase, but marriages. Out of those same-sex couples, 17% were married (Canadian Social Trends, 2007). The rates vary across the country, but one thing is evident, lesbian married couples were more likely to have children than gay couples (Herizon, 2008).

Same-sex couples are not the only couples changing. Heterosexual marriages are undergoing large transformations due to gender roles and expectations. In 1981, 90% of women by the age of 50 were involved in a marriage (Canadian Social Trends, 2007). What is more astonishing is, in 1981, 1 out of 1000 marriages ended in divorce and in 2006 the census recorded out of 1000 marriages 120 resulted in divorce (Canadian S...

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