Social scientists have long acknowledged that women are more likely than men to initiate divorce. The trend continues steadily even with recent societal changes in gender relations, advances in women’s opportunities and attitudes toward marriage itself.
A 2009 study found that women were the initiators of divorce 69 percent of the time, a number consistent with findings dating back to the mid-century where wives initiated roughly two-thirds of separations.
According to the findings of one prominent sociologist, women’s track record of initiating divorce is not part of some inherent aspect of marital relations, but rather is linked to the fact that a man is more likely than his wife to be content in a marriage.
The research attributes this to unfair expectations women are burdened with when they enter into marriage – a certain degree of ingrained male privilege and expectation takes root. The institution of marriage still assumes that the wife will spend more time on housework, take primary responsibility for children and undertake other “wife” roles carried over from an earlier era.
Despite the fact that women take a greater financial hit when a marriage dissolves, often negatively impacting them and their children, the trend continues. As one researcher put it, “For women to pursue divorce anyway, they have to really want to get out.” A message that resonates with many of those seeking fresh start.
If you are considering divorce and would like more information regarding child support and custody, spousal maintenance, property division or another family law matter, contact the Law Offices of Schlesinger & Strauss LLC for help today.
Source: New York Times, “Why Women Are More Likely Than Men to Initiate a Divorce”, by Alice Robb, accessed July 6, 2016.