Gender Differences In Reasons For Divorce

Read Complete Research Material


Gender differences in reasons for divorce and its consequences


Divorce, like all family topics, is fundamentally intertwined with gender. The causes and consequences of divorce are gendered in various ways because the family itself is historically a gendered institution. Divorce laws, especially in Western societies, have generally moved from laws based on an explicitly gendered marriage contract to more liberalized laws that are gender neutral. However, gender-neutral laws can still have gendered consequences; this is particularly noticeable in the economic consequences of divorce, with women more likely than men to suffer a decline in economic well-being. The causes of increased divorce rates are also gendered, with changes in the expectations of marriage playing a role along with changing employment opportunities for men and women. An individual's reason for divorcing also varies by gender, with women more likely than men to cite problems with the relationship itself. Gender differences in reasons for divorce and its consequences


The article under summary is "Divorce" by Fuller, D. Kim published in Encyclopedia of Human Development, 2005. Divorce is one of the major issues in the world today. The consequences of divorce for people vary. In the long term, most divorced people experience levels of well-being similar to that during their marriage. Some people, however, experience a significant decline in well-being while others experience enhanced well-being. Factors that influence the “quality” of the divorce include the quality of the marriage itself, the degree of social support available, the degree to which economic decline is experienced, and the degree to which the woman is able to adapt to her new situation. Finally, there is considerable variation in attitudes toward and laws about divorce both within and across countries (Amato, 2000).

Summary and Analysis of the article


The top 10 world divorce rates in 2002 were Sweden, 54.9 percent; Belarus, 52.9 percent; Finland, 51.2 percent; Luxembourg, 47.4 percent; Estonia, 46.7 percent; Australia, 46 percent; United States, 45.8 percent; Denmark, 44.5 percent; Belgium, 44 percent; and Austria, 43.4 percent. The bottom 10 rates were Guatemala, 0.13 percent; Sri Lanka, 0.15 percent; Libya, 0.24 percent; Armenia, 0.3 percent; Mongolia, 0.38 percent; Georgia, 0.40 percent; Bosnia and Herzegovina, 0.40 percent; Chile, 0.42 percent; Mexico, 0.48 percent; and El Salvador, 0.49 percent (Coltrane, 2008).

Causes of Divorce

At the societal level, there are several causes of rising (or high) divorce rates. Since the Enlightenment era, marriage in Western societies has increasingly emphasized romantic love and self-fulfillment, in line with a broader trend toward individualism. In contrast to a marriage model that stresses duty and commitment, this individualistic marriage model is more fragile and subject to dissolution. These types of changes have begun to occur in countries with traditionally low rates of divorce-such as Japan, Indian, and Korea-as well. Some commentators emphasize the personal liberation aspect of a “divorce culture,” while others decry the same as reflecting a lack of commitment to marriage.

Employment trends also play a role in divorce rates. Theoretically, women's employment could increase the likelihood of divorce ...
Related Ads