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Understanding Legitimacy Social Implications

Legitimacy Social Implications

Society tends to judge individuals harshly, and there was a period when unwed mothers and their illegitimate children were scorned by the public. Unwed mothers were considered to be inferior to married mothers and also earned a negative reputation regarding their activities with men.

These views have changed drastically within the past 30 years. This is due to the large increase in births to unwed mothers as well as laws which have made it more socially acceptable to have a child out of wedlock.

The stigma associated with illegitimacy have generally faded. The social implications of unwed mothers having children are not the same as what they used to be years ago.

Problems with out of wedlock pregnancies mainly existed in a time when society did not expect women to have pre-marital sex. While some religions and cultures still look down on people who have sexual intercourse without being married, it has become more socially acceptable.

Married mothers are still sometimes looked at in a different light from unwed mothers. In general, society is pleased for an expectant married woman, while the same is not always true for unwed mothers. The child of an unmarried woman in the past may not have been treated the same as a legitimate child. These days, the child is usually held blameless even if the same consideration is not paid to an unwed mother.

Many women used to marry because of the fact that they were pregnant. The shame of having a child outside of marriage used to be overwhelming, though this shame has diminished in recent years.

NEXT: Understanding The Issues To Modern Legitimacy

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