Increases in divorces rates are among the most significant behavioral change that affects the family in the last few decades. Globally, more couples are resulting to divorce as a way of escaping the challenges of married life. There are various reasons for the increase in the divorce rates some of which include the changing role of women in the society, the legal availability of divorce, and social acceptability of divorce.
Changes in the legal availability of divorce and the simplification of divorce requirements have significantly influenced global divorce rates. The liberalization of divorce laws in numerous countries has led to the increased deinstitutionalization of marriages thus allowing more couple to dissolve their marriages. According to PerelliHarris, Berrington, Gassen, Galezewska, and Holland, (2017), a majority of countries have introduced and legally support divorce procedures that do not require the establishment of fault. The gradual introduction of divorce by mutual consent in most countries is also contributing to the increase in global divorce rates.
Subsequently, a significant event that characterizes the twenty-first century is the continued change of the role and the improvement of the status of women in private and public life. As a result of global economic development, more people, especially women have higher rates of education thus have the skills, knowledge, and resources to maintain themselves outside of married life. Research has shown that countries with a greater percentage of women in the workforce have higher divorce rates (DePaulo, 2019).
Presently, divorce has become more socially acceptable as a result of most nations moving away from values that emphasize family ties and more towards individualistic values such as personal choice and happiness, self-expression, uniqueness, and independence. Studies have shown that the more a country focuses on the individual, the more the society is accepting of divorce. Consequently, society is more accepting of a marriage being subjected to divorce if it did not deliver on the well-being and happiness of the individual (Santos, Varnum, and Grossmann, 2017).
Ultimately, the changes in gender roles, especially those of women, the legal availability of divorce and the increased promotion of individualistic values and practices making divorce more acceptable are among the leading factors of increased global divorce rates. However, these factors can also be employed to achieve a happy and long-lasting marriage provided the couple set realistic goals and expectations for the marriage.
DePaulo, B. (2019, February 3). Divorce Rates Around the World: A Love Story. Retrieved from Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/living-single/201902/divorce-rates-around-the-world-love-story
PerelliHarris, B., Berrington, A., Gassen, N. S., Galezewska, P., & Holland, J. A. (2017). The Rise in Divorce and Cohabitation: Is There a Link? Population and development review, 303-329.
Santos, H. C., Varnum, M. E., & Grossmann, I. (2017). Global Increases in Individualism. Psychological Science, 1228-1239.
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