This question came up in the AQA’s November 2021 7192/2 topics paper, in the families and households section.
This post includes some advice on how to interpret the item and answer the question.
Applying material from Item C, analyse two ways in which family diversity in the
UK has been influenced by government policies (10)
Using the item…
The item in this case is very short and also a bit tricky, directing you to ‘aspects of diversity’ rather than policies.
TWO types of increasing diversity…..
- more divorced families….
- more same sex couples.
The item then refers to government policies more generally.
So what this seems to be directing you to do is to talk about a range of policies in relation to increasing divorce and the increase in same sex couples.
As with any question it’s probably a good idea to not have too much overlap, so try to apply different policies to both types of diversity.
Policies relating to increasing divorce
- The divorce act of 1969 led to a rapid increase in divorce, changing the grounds (you should include details of this). However divorce had been increasing before the act and continued to increase after the act so clearly there were social changes contributing rather than just the policy.
- The 1984 divorce act made divorce possible after a shorter period of marriage, there was an immediate spike in that year, so clearly this made a difference.
- Benefits for single parents make it easier for women to get divorced in families with children so they are not as financially dependent on men, apply terms such as breadwinner/ role/ carer role and Feminism.
- The equal pay act of 1975 – women equal pay to men, more financial independence, same logic as above.
- This is crying out to be evaluated… divorce has been going down for 20 years, one of the reasons is immigration (still a policy), immigrants have lower divorce rates.
- Maternity and paternity pay may have helped ease (lower) the divorce rate as these take pressure off young families.
- Final evaluation – it’s probably more about social changes and social policy changes reflect that!
Polices relating to an increase in same sex couples
- The civil partnerships act 2004 made it legal for same sex couples to get a civil partnership, same basis as marriage, reduced stigma, increases number of formally partnered couples.
- Same sex marriage act 2013 enabled same sex couples to get married, further reducing stigma.
- Analysis point: possibly the number hasn’t increased, just the amount of openly gay couples.
- Adoption Act (2004) made it legal for same sex couples to adopt children on same basis as opposite sex couples, increase in same sex families.
Signposting and related posts
For more information on how to answer exam questions please see my exams and essay writing advice page.