By Cindy Holbrook
Analysts everywhere speculate about the rise of the divorce rate over the past 75 years in the United States. There are many different theories on the reason behind this. The divorce rates in the United States are alarming! 45% for a first marriage and over 60% for a second marriage. But before I share my theory of why divorce has been so steadily on the rise, let’s look at the plight of women in the United States over the past hundred years:
- “To Love, Honor and Obey,” were common vows of a bride to her groom until the 1980s.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 30% of mothers were in the workforce in 1960 vs. 72% in 2010.
- According to the Population Reference Bureau, the percentage of women, aged 18-24, has increased from 19% in 1967 to 43% in 2005.
- In 1919, women were given the right to vote.
- In 1963, laws passed regarding discrimination against women in the workplace, equal pay, maternity leave and affordable childcare.
- In 1969, California adopted a “no fault” divorce law that allowed couples to divorce by mutual consent. By 1985, all states had adopted similar laws.
- In 1976, Nebraska became the first state to enact a marital rape law that made it illegal for a husband to rape his wife.
You may be wondering what all this has to do with the divorce rate. Over the past 50 years, many laws have been passed that give women equal rights. This has enabled women to believe in their own gifts and talents. They now see their self-worth and all that they have to offer the world.
These laws have taught women that they are strong enough and capable enough to do anything that they set their minds to. Women no longer believe that they need a man to support them and to take care of them. They no longer believe that they are lower-class citizens compared to men.Simply put, the number one reason for the increase in the divorce rate is that women feel capable of caring for themselves and their children and refuse to be treated like second-class citizens.
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