America’s Divorce Rates: Why Are They So High?
The sanctity of marriage is a tradition that has been entered by generations over the past thousands of years. In the United States alone, 2,200,000 people choose to enter the lifetime commitment of marriage every year. Yet, less than half of that population is expected to keep that commitment. In a 1999 Rutgers University study, it is said that only 38 percent of Americans consider themselves happy in their married state, which has decreased from 53 percent 25 years ago. With the current, alarming statistic of over half of marriages resulting in divorce, there is much reason to take notice of how these numbers got so high. Although I personally have not grown up in a divorced household, I sought to understand why so many other people have, and in turn possibly gain knowledge to avoid becoming a part of the divorced population as well. In Steven Nock’s article, “America’s Divorce Problem,” he encloses the important point that “Divorce is not the problem, but rather a symptom of the problem” (1 Nock). With varying symptoms such as the feminist movement in the 1960s, an increase in financial dependence, increased career mobility, and the overall changed perception of marriage, the divorce rates have increased rapidly since the 1960s and deserve further explanation. The overall family structure has been challenged, and fault lines in American families have widened since the 1960s and the 1970s, which is when the divorce rate doubled. In the magazine article, "The Pursuit of Autonomy," Alan Wolfe states that "the family is no longer a haven; all too often a center of dysfunction, it has become one with the heartless world that surrounds it." While this statement may be a slight exaggeration of the family perception, reasons remain for the rapid increase of 30 percent in the divorce rate since the 1960s. Discussed in Barbara LeBay’s article, “American Families Are Drifting Apart,” there are supposedly four main...
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