Number of Divorced Women Increasing in the United States
A research study by Bowling Green State University’s National Center for Marriage and Family Research (NCFMR) recently established that the number of divorced women in the United States is rising. Divorced Women In America On The Rise, According To New Research, Huffington Post, July 22, 2013. According to the report, “Marriage: More Than A Century of Change,” 15% of women in the United States are currently divorced or separated. This is a huge increase from 1920, when less than one percent of women were divorced or separated.
One main reason for this trend is likely that divorce is much more socially acceptable now. Even as recently as the 1980s you may not have known someone who was divorced or going through a divorce. Now it is more likely that you know several people who have gone through it. Even if you don’t know someone personally, celebrities, athletes, and political figures have all gone through divorces that have garnered headlines and public interest.
In addition, women have become more empowered in the last century and may be more likely not to remain in an unhappy situation. In fact, a 2000 report called “These Boots Are Made For Walking’: Why Most Divorce Filers are Women,” published by the American Law and Economics Review found that women file over two-thirds of the divorces in the United States.
Further, many women work full time jobs and are financially self-sufficient, as opposed to the norm in the early to mid-twentieth century. For this reason, many women don’t have to worry about whether they may receive alimony or a property settlement sufficient to support them. Conversely, women who do need financial support from an ex-spouse after a divorce may look at society’s acceptance of divorce and be more likely to go that route as well, opting to be happy and work through any hardships with the help of friends or family members who may have already gone through a similar situation.