The family is the basic unit in all societies. It´s provides its members with protection, companionship, security, love and socialization, which is often replaced by mass media. The structure of family varies from society to society. For example in the east people are used to have many children on the other hand in the west there are mainly nuclear families with one child.
There are 3 main types of family:
The 1st is extended family, which consisted of parents and children who live together with their grandparents and other relatives. It was common in the past because it wasn´t so financial demanding, grandparents could take care of little children and on the other hand the young could learn from the old.
The other type is nuclear family which is formed of two adults and their children. It´s common nowadays because the young want to have their privacy and they don´t the old to talk to their lives.
The 3rd type is the single-parent family which is consisted of children living with an unmarried, widowed or divorced parent.
Since the law made it easier to get a divorce, the number of divorces has increased. In fact one marriage in every three now ends in divorce. This means that there are a lot of one-parent families. It must be very difficult for the child, who lives in one-parent family because every child should be brought up by the both parents. Society is now more tolerant than it used to be of unmarried people, unmarried couples and single parents. I think that people can prevent from their divorce if they try to live together without marriage for some time. Then they will know if they are able to live together and have a family.
The other reason, which causes changes in family life, is economic situation. Women gained higher position on the social ladder so they aren´t so dependant on men and can earn enough money to support themselves and even their children. But a lot of people prefer their own career, so they postpone their family life until the career are established. And then it could be late, which is connected with the third reason the health. Some spouses cannot have a child in nature way so they try the artificial fertilization which causes the birth of twins or triplets. But it sometimes isn´t successful so this couple often decides for foster or adopted child. The difference is that the foster family is supported by the state.
Marriage and the family are not so popular as were once. Couples prefer living together without being married because it´s easier to break up without problems with dividing property. Some people prefer signing the prenuptial agreement which is ussual mainly between spouses where one is much richer than the second. It states what happen to their money and possession when they break up. These marriages doesn´t last long, which isn´t surprising.
Some countries mainly in the east are typical for their arranged marriage when father chooses a husband for his daughter. The husband often is much older than his future wife who will become the property of him and he can do it with her what he wants. There women have no rights. In these countries there is common the polygamy which means that a man can have how many wives he wants and can offer. Furthermore the more wives he has the more respected he is. In European countries the polygamy is banned, one man can have only one wife which leads to infidelity and than to divorce.