Non-traditional families

Authored by: Ryan T. Cragun , Giuseppina Valle Holway

The Routledge Handbook of Mormonism and Gender

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815395218
eBook ISBN: 9781351181600
Adobe ISBN:


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Non-traditional families—families that do not align with the breadwinner–homemaker model—are on the rise in the U.S. Cohabitation, single-parent led homes, people delaying marriage and never marrying, and people opting to not have children are all on the rise for a variety of reasons. In this chapter, we use two data sources to examine shifts in the makeup of families among Mormons (in the General Social Survey) and in Utah (the American Community Survey). We find that these trends are also affecting Mormons. The majority of married Mormon women are working (either full- or part-time). Mormons are about as likely as non-Mormons to have divorced but are more likely to remarry. Mormons still have more kids than do non-Mormons, but fertility rates among Mormons have fallen as well. Mormons are less likely to cohabit and there are very few same-sex couples who identify as Mormon. We also note that the leadership of the LDS Church continues to advocate for the breadwinner–homemaker model, even though it is not the reality for most members of the LDS Church.

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