In recent decades, profound and powerful changes in the forms and functions of family have taken place in the highly industrialized countries of Europe and North America. Young adults nowadays remain unmarried long after they achieve physical adulthood, and marriage is no longer considered to be a lifelong commitment. Sexual relationships, cohabiting, and childbearing and rearing are not limited to married couples (Bumpass 1990; Lesthaeghe 1983; Lesthaeghe and Wilson 1986). At the same time, the proportion of married women who are in paid employment has increased rapidly (Oppenheimer 1994). Rising educational standards and declining levels of fertility and mortality have given women more opportunities for employment. In addition, married women’s employment has become less affected by family characteristics such as the number of babies a couple has or the age of their children (DaVanzo and Rahman 1993). These changes in lifestyle are closely related to the emergence of modern institutions that have provided modern society with social security, educational, and welfare services. Increased affluence has contributed to the growing independence of individuals because many who want to establish their own households can afford to do so. In general, higher levels of education, more contact with the outside world through mass media, and increased employment opportunities have tended to undermine values and norms supporting the “traditional” family system and gender roles (Lesthage 1983; Mason et al. 1998).