High Divorce Rates Essay

1168 Words May 1st, 2006 5 Pages
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
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This gives the wife an option which was not present 40 years ago, now her survival can fall on her own shoulders instead of her spouse's. It was often said that the difference in roles between a man and a woman provided for a functions in both the family and society. Now that those roles have changed, the functionalism that previously explained the situation is losing validity to a conflict analysis, where women are gaining the power in relationships as well as society over men who previously held that power.

The second theory is centered on the actual idea of marriage. What used to be the sacred bond between a man and woman is now "the legal union of man and woman as husband and wife." The previous statement seems to take all the romance out of one of our most ancient traditions. Many would agree that the institution of marriage is becoming less and less sacred, and accordingly less important. The idea that divorce is happening and accepted is simply helping the percentage to increase. When people see that something is no longer taboo or looked down upon they are more likely to do it, having no social or otherwise consequences. Marriage has been moving from the public to being a private institution for many years. What used to be a public status which showed values and a respectable lifestyle has turned into a private agreement based on a contract

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