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sociology a level about divorce and how children are effected

some intere­sting facts about divorce

divorce rates have increased over the last 40-50 years
divorces in 2012 were 6 times higher than 1961
42% of marriages end in divorce
serial monogamy is now taking place at a higher rate - divorcing and remarrying different partners
more couples are choosing to cohabit rather than marry
65% of divorce applic­ations comes from women - most common reason is the uncommon behaviour of her husband
couples who are more likely to divorce - those who marry young, have a child before marriage, those who cohabit before marriage, when one or both people have been married before

key words

divorce - legal ending of a marriage gone through court

Personal life perspe­ctive

Divorce can cause many diffic­ulties such as financial problems ( especially for women)
Smart - divorce has become ’norma­lised’
We now see divorce as being positive ’one transition amongst others in the life source’


Disrupts society and family structure
Has a negative impact on males as being breadw­inners
Wouldn’t take into account the female perspe­ctive

personal life expectancy




5 non-th­eor­etical reasons for divorce

changes in law
in 2022 the law changed so couples can get married without giving a reason making it easier to divorce
equalising the ground - women can also file for divorce 62% of divorces were filed by women
making divorce cheaper so everyone can afford it but it still costs to try and discourage divorce
decline stigma and changing attitudes
becoming more common - around 50% of couples in Western culture have gotten divorced
more socially acceptable - people aren't looked down upon making people less anxious about getting a divorce
secula­ris­ation (society turns away from religious values)
religion is losing its power and influence over people as modern society is becoming less religious
rising expect­ations of marriage
people expect­ations of marriage being really romantic is the leading cause of divorce
social media has set unrealist expect­ations of a happy perfect marriage making people comare their lives to social media and therefore become unhappy and get a divorce in hope of getting happier
woman's increased financial indepe­ndence
women working in 1971 - 53%
women working in 2013 - 67%
girls normally do better in school than boys meaning girls leave school with higher grades giving them access to higher paying jobs
the idea of men going to work and women being house wives is disapp­earing as women are able to earn equal to or more than men making them financ­ially stable on their own and not need a man for support

1950s marriages

some people had little choice over who they married
marriages were often based around econimic factors
romance was a 'bonus' not an exception. it was not something marriages should be based upon

high divorce

The meaning of high divorce
The new right - undesi­reable
Undermines the tradit­ional nuclear family
Creates an underclass of welfare dependant female lone parents
Leaves young boys without a male role model
Feminists - high divorce
High divorce - desirable
Women’s liberation
Women are breaking free of the oppression of the patria­rchal nuclear family
Postmo­der­nists - high divorce
Gives people freedom to choose what they want
Creates greater family diversity
Functi­ona­lists - high divorce
High divorce rate does not prove that marriage as a social instit­ution is under threat
Just shows people high expect­ations
High remarr­iages show a commitment to marriage
You need to understand what divorce means to every couple
You can not generalise about the meaning divorce
Everybody has different experi­ences

Impact of the rise in divorce on children

Roger and Pryor (1998)
The divorce is only one factor in causing problems in children
Hether­ington (2002)
For 75% of children divorce has few negative effects
Jon Bernardo’s (1997)
Divorce is less damaging than a negative marriage
New right
Divorce is eroding the very fabric of society
Divorce laws have helped women to gain freedom, indepe­ndence and social equality
Rising divorce doesn’t mean people are becoming anti-m­arriage
40% of marriages are remarr­iages


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