Why is the Divorce Rate So High?
Intro to Sociology
April 25, 2006
A question that has been plaguing sociologists for years is the issue of high divorce rates. Since the 80's there has been an extremely high rate of divorce in our country. In statistics I found from 2004 the percentage of divorce was at 47(NCHS). This question has been studied vigorously, sociologist have looked in every direction for one solid reason that our divorce rate is so high, even compared to other developed countries. As of right now, a simple answer has not been found, but various theories have been formed to attempt explaining the problem.
There are two theories I chose to present in this paper, each with a different stance on the reasons behind divorce. The theories do not necessarily disprove each other, but they are very different, therefore their reasoning rarely overlaps. The first theory is that divorce rates are extremely high because of how the place of women in society is changing. The role of a woman is no longer simply to watch over the house, cook, and clean. Now a woman's role in life can be very much the same as a man, with many more women in the workplace, and in almost all aspects of our economy, male dominance is slowly fading. The second theory takes a bit of a different stance, questioning the institution of marriage altogether. Marriage is not seen the way it used to be. Now it is cut and dry and less meaningful than it was.
The first theory is built around the role changes for women within the last 30-40 years. Now working mothers are much more common, and the expectations for married women are completely different. It is no longer the responsibility of the man to support the entire family on his income alone. Households with two working parents are becoming more common as years go by and are accepted through all statuses and communities. Now that the role of the woman has changed so much, it stretches the family out even more, and...
Cited: Brobeil, Andrea. "Marriage and Divorce." Georgetown Journal of Gender & the Law Spring 5.1 (2004): 529-544
White, Lynn K. "Determinants of Divorce: A Review of Research in the Eighties." Journal of Marriage & Family 52.4 (1990)
"Marriage and Divorce." National Center for Health Statistics.http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/divorce.htm
Thurnher, M. "Sociodemographic Perspectives on Reasons on Divorce." Journal of Divorce 6.4 (1983): 11, 25-35
Phillips, Bruce. "Female Earnings and Divorce Rates: Some Australian Evidence" Australian Economic Review 37.2 (2004): 14, 139-152
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