Social institutions that have been around for thousands of years generally change slowly, when they change at all. But that's not the way things have been playing out with marriage and family since the middle of the 20th Century. Some scholars argue that in the past five decades, the basic architecture of these age-old institutions has changed as rapidly as at any time in human history. This Pew Research Center report, done in association with TIME, sets out to illuminate these changes by using two complementary research methodologies: a nationwide survey of 2,691 adults we conducted from Oct.1-21, 2010; and the Pew analysis of a half century of demographic and economic data, drawn mainly from the U.S. Census. The trend analysis is designed to show how Americans' behaviors related to marriage and family have changed since 1960. The survey is intended to help explain why these changes have happened and what the public makes of them. (Author abstract)
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