IELTS WRITING ACTUAL TOPIC ( March 5th, 2016): In recent years, the family structure and the role of its members are gradually changing. What kinds of changes can occur? Do you think these changes are positive and negative?
It is true that these days the family structure has considerably shifted, and the changing roles of men and women in the family has become increasingly similar. There are several new forms of family composition, and in my opinion, these developments are not always desirable.
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In the past, nuclear families where parents and their offspring living together under one roof used to be prevalent. However, there is now a huge trend towards single-parent families due to more marriages ending in divorce, while the increase in cohabiting couple families and stepfamilies is probably a result of cohabitation and remarriage becoming much more acceptable. In addition, the number of single mother families has increased as many mothers want to have children without getting married. In terms of changing parental roles in a family, there has been a rise in the number of stay-at-home dads in recent years when it has become normal for women to gain qualifications and pursue their own career path. This is in sharp contrast to about half a decade ago when men were breadwinners and women were in charge of household chores in their families.
In my view, the changes described above could have both positive and negative consequences. On the one hand, due to the lack of emotional attachment and legal binding, non-traditional households such as stepfamilies and cohabiting parents are more prone to breaking down. Consequently, children of these families are more likely to be involved in antisocial behaviors while their parent may experience feelings of loneliness and worry. On the other hand, the changes in the roles of members in the family could be seen as progress because women are not put under pressure to sacrifice their own careers to assume childcare and domestic responsibilities.
In conclusion, I believe that the changes in the roles of family members and the family structure are both positive and negative because of the aforementioned reasons.
(313 words – by IELTS lecturer)