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Family and Gender

             What is the definition of a family? Is it a "Mother- and "Father-, the father being .
             the breadwinner and the mother staying home doing the cooking, cleaning and raising the .
             children. Is it a same sexed couple with children, or it a single parent raising the .
             children alone. What is considered a women, is it a female that has the body of a model. .
             What is a man, is he a male that goes into the service to protect his family and country, .
             that is muscle bound. Over the last three decades the American family has been .
             undergoing a drastic and far-reaching transformation. Both family structure and family .
             values have been changing and as a result of these changes, the American family is a .
             much-altered institution.
             Today, two-thirds of all married women with children and an even higher .
             percentage of single mothers work outside the home, this compared to just 16 percent in .
             1950. Fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce "twice the rate in 1966 and three .
             times the rate in 1950, three out of ten children are born out of wedlock.
             In 2002 69 percent of children lived with 2 parents, while 23 percent of children live with only their mother, 5 percent lived with only their father, and another 4% live in households with neither parent present. Grandparents play a significant role in the family households of many children even when a parent is present. When children lived in households without either of the parents, very often they were living in their grandparent's household, which put a strain on the budgets of many.
             In the mean time, the proportion of women who remain unmarried and childless has .
             reached a record high; twenty percent of women between the ages of 30 and 34 have not .
             married and over a quarter have had no children, compared to seven percent, respectively, .
             in 1970. People are delaying marriage, the median age at first marriage rose from 22.8 to.
             26.8 years for men and from 20.

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