Divorce and different methods of measuring divorce
Divorce and different methods of measuring divorce
Divorce is a legal and official dissolution of marriages by several component bodies
especially the court. Divorce arises due to several reasons some of which will be discussed in the
research paper below. Measuring divorce may sound like an easy task but owing to the variations
in the factors resulting to divorce, it has proven to be an uphill task. There are a number of
methods that are used to measure divorce rates. They include the crude divorce ratio which is
majorly based on telling the number of divorces within a group of 1000 people. Another way of
measuring divorce rate is called divorce to marriage ratio. The results of this research method are
based on the ratio of divorces to marriages in a certain year. Another rare but usable method is
by conducting longitudinal studies to determine the divorce rates in a population. Each of the
methods above faces a number of limitations while trying to determine the divorce rates.
Limitations when measuring divorce
To start with, the crude ratio method has been compromised in that; there are fewer
married couples among the 1000 adults that are selected compared to 20 years ago. The number
of married couples has drastically reduced such that in 2015, only 52% of the adults were
married (Wolcott & Hughes, 2015). The marriage to divorce ratio method becomes rather
inaccurate because it compares two unrelated fields. Research shows that people rarely wed and
divorce in the same year. Thus comparing the number of marriages to the number of divorces in
a single year may produce inaccurate data. Many people nowadays are not getting married and if
they do they marry later in life. We would never have divorce analysis without marriage, and
counting people is less meaningful. It is for this reason that the longitudinal analysis method
faces difficult in determining the divorce rates.
According to Wagg, divorce rates are higher today compared to some past years. A recent
survey has however conflicted with those findings. The survey showed that the divorce rates
between 2008–2015 have significantly dropped by 8% and are still dropping (Hamilton &
Logan, 2015). However, according to Bess Kelly, the conductor of the survey, the reducing cases
of divorce could be attributed to a number of factors. The ratio of married couples has been
decreasing significantly for the last 20 years. Common unions and lone-parent families have on
the other hand increased.Examining the possible causes of divorce helps researchers to determine
the key factors that lead to divorces and hence they get a starting point to creating a solution to
those factors. This paper explains a number of economic, socio-demographic, and cultural
factors that may lead to a divorce risk. The following are a number of factors that may lead to
divorce: Level of house hold income, domestic division and labor, age of marriage, level of
religiosity and Liberalization of divorce laws.
Level of household income
College and university education does not always mean that a person will get higher
income. On the same note, several sources state that people with lower socioeconomic status face
a greater risk of divorce. Poorer couples are more likely to face divorced marriages because of
money problems that put a lot of pressure in their marriage (Hamilton & Logan, 2015). It is also
more likely for poor people with low household income to face a divorce because they do not
afford the type of marriage counseling that is available to the wealthier couples, moreover,
educated women barely get into a marriage for financial security unlike the less educated women
with lower income who get into marriages majorly because of financial needs instead of
Household income acts as a proxy for the unexpected events that may arise in the
household. Research shows that unstable household incomes increase the divorce rates because
these unexpected events affect the expected incomes from the couples. These negative shocks on
the household income reduce the savings and may lead a divorce. On the other hand, positive
shock can result to self-reliance which also doubles the risk of a divorce.
Domestic division and labor
A marriage is an institution where couples have varied expectations from the other
partner ones they get into it. With time, most of these expectations are changing; the factors that
affect the risks of divorce have also changed. Research shows that couples who married in the
70s have a more traditional take on sharing labor between the couples. Recently wedded couples
on the other hand have a different and modern view of dividing labor among themselves. The
amount of housework that the wife does is linked to a relative risk of divorce. It is said that wives
who do 75% of the housework are less likely to face a divorce while the wives who do 50% and
below of the house work face a higher risk of facing a divorce (Que, 2014).
This shows that the expectation of the couples for their marriage match with the society’s
expectations of what the people expect from “a good wife”. The research findings also show that
most women in modern marriages still do most of the house work while men are regarded as the
family breadwinners. On the other hand, men who do not have full time jobs are more likely to
be divorced unlike men with full time jobs whose breadwinner roles are key for the marriage.
Most men do 25% of the housework which is more technical and masculine like changing bulbs,
fixing electronics and moving heavy objects (Wiegand, 2013).
Liberalization of divorce laws
The rise of feminist movements has provoked a growth in the risks of divorce since the
80s. Feminists overtly and subtly encourage divorce in a number of ways. The success of
feminists to liberalize the divorce laws so as to provide possibilities for abused or unhappy
women to quit their marriage is one of these ways (McDaniel, Tepperman, & Tamarack, 2014).
They also argue that marriage is a system of oppression, segregation and sex abuse. This has led
to increase in the risk of divorce. The feminists tirelessly pushed for high paying jobs for women
so that they could become financially independent. This states that women seized to get in
marriage for economic independence and financial stability which is why some of the unsatisfied
women stayed in their marriages.
The slogan “private is Political” was sparked by feminists in a move to make women to
have open discussions on private marital and family matters such as their marriages and abortion.
The discussions from peers led to several women opting to stay independent instead of being
housewives. This feminist propelled fight for liberalization of divorce laws and equality causes
many women to seek for equality in marriages and homes, and if equality is not granted, the
simply leave. Finally, the abolition of social stigma on topics like sex, abortion and divorce by
feminists on their fight for women rights has sparkled confusion in marriages, reflection, conflict
and action. This has sadly left an increase in the divorce trends.
Age of marriage
Several researches show that the best age to get a spouse is between 27 and 34. Several
researches also show that many people who marry at a younger age face a higher likelihood of
divorcing because they are often not prepared for the responsibilities that come with a family.
At the age of 18-25, a lot is changing in the individual’s body and mind but at a later age, one
gains self-conscious and what they are capable of (Wiegand, 2013). Age is therefore a major
determinant of whether the marriage is going to last or not. However, there are some factors that
vary from one person to another. A strong marriage is built on variables such as maturity and
resources that an individual has to bring up a family. Some young people are wealthy while
others show a higher degree of maturity for their age but this happens on rare occasions.
Couples should contemplate on their willingness, their ability to correlate and invest in
relationships which are factors that are greatly affected by age. The decisions about life made by
a 20 year old are less effective compared to decision made by a person at 28 years because of the
difference in maturity (Que, 2014). Some researchers however believe that what matters in a
marriage is the level of commitment and the willingness to safeguard the marriage. Goes ahead
to state that it is more advantageous to marry at a younger age so that the couple can build and
mold one another. In conclusion, couples who marry at a younger age face a higher risk of
divorce due to poor and immature decisions unlike the couples who marry above 30 years. These
couples are less likely to divorce and if they do, there are solid reasons for the divorce.
Level of religiosity
Most couples get satisfied with their marriages if their religion or believes are similar.
Research reveals that when a couple has similar religious affiliations, the divorce rates were low.
They seem to be united by the religion and they attend religious services. Contrary to this,a
couple that does not share similar theological and religious beliefs are more likely to get into a
conflict thus increasing their likelihood of a divorce. Amusingly, highly religious couples who
share different believe often get into disagreements.In general, religiosity or religiousness is a
major determinant of marital satisfaction. Attending similar religious services leads to better
marital satisfaction and brings down the risk of divorce; this is because religiosity teaches on
marital adjustments and how to safeguard marriages. (McDaniel, Tepperman, & Tamarack,
States that when the husband goes for religious services they become more religious and
they are less likely to engage in marital arguments hence lowering the risks of divorces. He
further states that the level of religiosity on the wife’s side does not have a great impact on the
marriage. However, when both are religious, there tends to be a greater level of marital
adjustments. It is also crucial to note that the risk of divorce also increases when the husband or
the wife attend more to religious services than they do to their partner. Joint religious attendance
creates a protective effect as it provides a social network with other likeminded believers and
strengthens the bond between them by highlighting lifestyle and ideology. Marital satisfaction
increases when the couples attend services together, when they engage in home worship
activities and other positive religious activities.
When one marries from a different religion or culture, a set of new challenges may arise
while at the same time the marriage can provide wonderful and enriching opportunities. When a
couple shares religious beliefs or behaviors, their union is more likely to last and the risks of a
divorce are very minimal. On the contrary when the couple have different believes, they are
more likely to engage in arguments and conflict that may lead to divorce.
The above are some of the determinants of a divorce between a couple and how they
affect the marriage. It is notably that couples can divorce as a result of several factors hence;
there can never be a single solution for avoiding divorce. Collective measures however can be
used to safeguard marriages and lower the rate of divorce among wedded couples. I advocate for
positive psychology in marriages that focuses on the positive aspects in a marriage rather than
the negative side (Wolcott & Hughes, 2015). Positivity between married couples brings out
strengths, past experiences and positive emotions. These factors coupled with the fruitful aspects
in marriages promote happiness and responsibility between couples and drastically lowers the
possibility of a divorce. Happy marriages lead to closeness between partners and generate mutual
respect and affection. Such couples work united and they agreeably discuss the problems they
face in a calm and controlled exchange and try to come up with solutions. I believe that this is
the best way that a couple can avoid divorce.
Hamilton, M., & Logan, D. (2015). The case against divorce(pp.104-107) . Dublin: Lir Press,.
McDaniel, S. A., Tepperman, L., & Tamarack. (2014). Close relations– an introduction to the
sociology of families, second edition(pp.50-86). Don Mills: Pearson Education Canada,.
Que, J. (2014). Perceptions of reasons for divorce(pp.36-60). California: California State
Wiegand, S. (2013). Canada history for divorce(pp. 4-10). Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons.
Wolcott, I., & Hughes, J. (2015). Towards understanding the reasons for divorce(pp.15-25).
Melbourne: Institute of Family Studies.