Women are More Likely to Initiate a Divorce—Here’s Why

Women taking off her wedding ringIn 1956, sociologist William Goode studied the economic consequences of divorce for women. In his research, he found that back then, women asked for divorce more often than men.

Modern times have caused the gender landscape to shift. While women continue to fight for equality with men, they have achieved this to great degrees, in many aspects. Recent studies have found, though, that women are still more likely to file for divorce than men.

Divorce in the Modern Day

The myth that half of marriages end in divorce lives on. But the truth is the divorce rate in the U.S. has been dropping for the past 20 years.

Many factors affect modern marriage and divorce statistics. For one, marriage today doesn’t look anywhere near what it looked like in the 50s. Interracial couples, same-sex marriages, and being a single parent are now norms in society.

The movement for equality is also one of the biggest factors affecting modern marriage statistics. Most women now are well-educated. They wait longer to get married, opting to establish their careers first.

Feminism has likewise given women a louder voice. In a 2016 study by Michael Rosenfeld, a sociology professor at Stanford University, more women than men reported lower satisfaction levels in their marriage. Rosenfeld also found that despite modern times, the institution of marriage bears expectations of women that are archaic. This has resulted in 69 percent of female-initiated divorces.

Economic Consequences of Divorce for Women

In his study, Rosenfeld said, “Women are not unaware that divorce can have negative economic and material consequences for them and their kids.” Recent researches prove this. Men, particularly fathers, get richer while a woman’s income falls after divorce.

Despite this, statistics show that women pursue divorce anyway. This is consistent with the view of Long Island divorce lawyers who note that divorce often offers freedom from a toxic relationship.

If anything, these results show that, despite how far the movement for gender equality has come, there are still aspects that have not improved over time.