Families may breakdown in the form of marriage breakdown, or as a break in the traditional structure of the family, nuclear or extended; it may also be indicated by a break in traditional family roles, such as a dominant father: submissive mother and children. Families also breakdown when destitute parents sell their children into slavery; or in a social welfare system when children may be taken from destitute parents and put into institutions. Homelessness and natural disasters, including death, may also split up families. Family breakdown may cause a loss of identity and severe adjustment problems for the individual, and have additional consequences for the society, depending on the nature of the community.
The migration of a large proportion of the able-bodied and younger men from rural, tribal areas to wage-earning occupations in urban industries frequently leaves the family system unbalanced and incapable of properly carrying out its conventional social and economic tasks, including the production of food. The balance of primitive agriculture is upset and no new markets appear to to give rise to a new equilibrium.
The subordination of the elementary needs of the family and the community to the manpower requirements and technical exigencies of the factory system finds physical expression in barracks systems, factory dormitories and compounds and workers tenements, workshop-sleeping and street-sleeping, and in numerous variants of shanty-towns, bidonvilles and native locations. Bad housing contributes to the disruption of the worker's family life and augments the losses which the traditional family system sustains in the course of adaptation to the industrial environment.
In the UK a 1993 study correlated a 10-fold increase in reported crime in the period between 1955 and 1991 with growth of divorce, cohabitation, and births outside marriage. The number of registered marriages in the UK dropped from 436,346 in 1974 to 375,410 in 1990 and was estimated to be continuing to drop at the rate of 7% per year. Divorces increased from 153,386 in 1961 to 153,386 in 1990, with nearly 50% of marriages ending in divorce in 1991. The number of birth outside marriage rose from 54,000 in 1961 to 236,000 in 1991, whilst births inside marriage fell from 890,000 in 1961 to 556,000 in 1991. The proportion of women who had cohabited with their future husbands prior to marriage rose from approximately 5% in the mid-1960s to over 50% in 1991.
2. Children are sold into slavery in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
3. Feminism is not the cause of the breakdown of the family; the breakdown of the family is due to men having remained in their traditional roles. Men have not changed. The woman should not be expected to take on double, triple loads; she must not be induced to sacrifice her professional career in order to look after the family because it is her job alone. Fathering is also a job as much as mothering is a job. Parents should share the responsibilities of parenting and the household work. Men must now take responsibility and change their roles.