As the world population and living conditions improved, divorce rates have also escalated along with this development, a total of 117,558 cases in 2011 according to The Guardian (1) (Rogers, 2012). It is believed that 50% of marriage will end in divorce (2) (Attorneys) but recently, developed countries are experiencing decreasing in rates of divorce. The US, England and Wales’ divorce and marriage rates have decreased since 1980 (3) (Landers, 2013). This essay will answer the focus question above: “Should divorce be encouraged or banned?”
Divorce was considered as a shameful action in history, especially if women file for divorce (4) (Zhenqi, 2013). In the US, the first legal divorce was granted to Anne Clarke of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in January 5th 1643. Her husband – Denis Clarke – deserted her with two children for another woman (5) (History.com). The rate of divorce in the US probably skyrocketed since then, but luckily, the rate has been showing a slight decrease recently.
In China, divorce rates drastically increased from 0.4 out of 1000 in 1985 to 1.6 out of 1000 about 2 decades later (6) (Weber).
There are reasons which cause married couples to end up filing for divorce. Firstly, poverty is a great factor that contributes to the decision of splitting (7) (Pear, 1993). Unemployment rates are accelerating, leading to many young unemployed adults, getting involved in alcohol and drug abuse – in the US, 2011, 51.5% of adults (18 and over) were frequent drinkers (8) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). These people usually live in rural areas and due to stress; they would beat up their wives. 16% of Chinese women complained they were beaten up by their husband, while 14.4% of Chinese men admitted that they abused their wives (9) (Xinhuanet). Frequent violence might not just end in divorce but it can also cost lives. In Vietnam, a married couple- Viet Quang and Tham- on March 10, 2013 experienced the tragic consequence of domestic violence: the wife tied herself to her son and committed suicide after years of being abused (10) (Thanh Nien News, 2013).
Increased divorce rates are also caused by Westernization in Asian countries. Women had never been educated and have never known about individualism until Westernization infiltrated these countries. The sense of individualism in women grew and they now realised that they were not required to put up with a spouse who would disrespect her or brutally harm her (11) (Nair). This makes some women nowadays reluctant to marry (12) (LiveScience, Couples Avoid Marriage Because They Fear Divorce, 2011), which can cause some problems with the world’s population.
The phenomenon brings both positive and negative impacts to spouses involved, sometimes their children and society as a whole. For spouses, applying for divorce means that they are given a chance to live a better life and find their true partner who can afford a decent living condition. Divorced men are usually richer by 25%...