What Effect Does a High Divorce Rate Have on Society?

Published: 12th February 2008
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The main ones include emancipation of women through equal opportunities for education and jobs, rise of individualism, relaxed divorce laws, changing attitude of the society toward divorced people and relaxed social mores and customs.

Though divorce at an individual level is a liberating factor for estranged couples, the problem arises when the divorce rate becomes too high and people begin to see it as a quick and easy way out of their marriages. An abnormally high divorce rate is not good for the society at all. A generation down the line, it will have serious social consequences, some of which are given below.

Missing Parent

A divorce splits the family right down the middle. One parent, usually the father, has to pack his or her bags and move out of the house. Children are then forced to live with one parent while the other parent gets only visitation rights. The family becomes lopsided. The single parent has to juggle both job as well as domestic duties, and is unable to give the kind of upbringing and attention that should be given to the children for their healthy growth.

Single-parent upbringing with the permanent absence of one parent creates serious psychological problems for boys as well as girls. Such children when they grow up are unable to have stable and secure relationships and often become confused about their gender, that is, if a boy has been brought up by the mother, he will develop some soft and feminine qualities.

Increased Delinquency

Children of divorce suffer from stress, anxiety and depression in their childhood. These feelings often persist well into adulthood. There is a very high probability of such children becoming involved in cases of petty crimes such as theft, muggings and financial misdemeanours.

Boys who come from divorced families have a much higher probability of ending up in jail compared to those who hail from intact and loving families. A major reason for this is that boys are often brought up by divorced mothers and thus are unable to benefit from the supervision and discipline imposed by the father.

Leads to a Generation of Under-achievers

Children of divorce, because of the anxiety and stress prevailing at their homes, are unable to concentrate on their studies because they suffer from a short attention span. They soon start lagging behind in studies and are not able to make the grade academically, even though they may be much more intelligent and sharp than others.

This lack of academic achievement haunts them for the rest of their lives and impacts their careers negatively. Children of divorce turn out to be chronic under-achievers and lead a frustrated life because they know they are capable of doing much better.

Bad for Adults

Divorce is bad for adults. Marriage is a very close relationship that provides solid emotional support and comfort. You get to be intimate with another individual and share all your secrets with your spouse. You are duty-bound to come to each other's assistance when in need and provide a shoulder to lean on whenever your husband or wife is feeling low and depressed.

People who divorce deprive themselves of the support offered by the marital relationship. They suffer from the trauma of divorce and may slip into a chronic depression. This affects the success of their future relationships since they may develop a feeling deep down within them that their partners just cannot be trusted. People bitten by divorce may take to alcoholism and even attempt suicide. Worse, if they have children, the latter suffer too with them and may also develop many psychological problems.

Bad for Girls

Parental divorce is especially bad for girls who are much softer and more vulnerable in their mental makeup than boys. They start skipping school and look for an escape from their stress and anxiety in romantic relationships. They also develop low self-esteem. Many become teenage mothers and are saddled with the burden of rearing children at a young age.

Bad Treatment of Stepchildren

When parents get divorced, it is quite a traumatic experience for the children. When the former get remarried, the kids suffer even more. Research shows that stepchildren are mistreated and physically and emotionally abused much more than children in intact families. Such abuse leaves deep scars on the minds of the children and distorts their personalities permanently.

James Walsh is a freelance writer and copy editor. If you want to find out more about a solicitor managed divorce see http://www.managed-divorce.co.uk

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