Only 42 per cent of British people think couples should marry before having children, according to a new survey.
The number of people who think marriage is a prerequisite for having children has dropped sharply in the last 24 years, according to the annual, government-backed British Social Attitudes survey. In 1989, the figure stood at 70 per cent.
Nearly 25 per cent of people, meanwhile, say they are unsure whether marriage is important to family life, neither agreeing or disagreeing with the suggestion that couples should marry. Thirty four per cent, by contrast, said they were sure marriage is not necessary for people staring a family.
However, modern couples still place great emphasis on fidelity. More than 84 per cent people surveyed said adultery and infidelity were wrong – a figure which has remained unchanged since the 1980s.
The report said:
“While sex outside marriage is acceptable to the majority of the British public, there is a continued commitment to marital fidelity – that people who are married should be faithful to their partner.”
“… views about marriage have become more liberal over time. When it comes to sex outside marriage, there is a considerable unanimity of opinion, with only religion and, to some extent, generation still being clearly linked to differences in views now. “