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Ashley Crumpler

Mrs. Thomas
UWRT 1102
16 February 2016

When reflecting on my question I enjoyed researching the topic of my question. I felt as though it
opened my eyes to see different areas of divorce even though I had my own experience that I
encountered. One of the difficulties with this question was finding ways to word my paper to
make it sound unbiased even though it was hard to do when I had experienced it firsthand.
However, in dealing with that difficulty I found information to help me view divorce from a
different angle and see other factors that lead to and causes divorces. As of right now I dont
have any questions or concerns I know that I will be able to find more information as I continue
to research my question.

Causation of Divorce
In choosing my inquiry question I wanted to choose something that really hit home and
was easy for me to relate to. Something that everyone has most likely heard about or even
witnessed. You always hear things like divorces are expensive and stressful, or you can have
this property and Ill take this one. That question being: Why do 60% of Americans get
divorced? I have always wondered why people get divorced and if they really could have worked
their marriage out. Why would people let it get to the point of divorce knowing that divorce is
Divorce has always been a touchy and messy topic. Until my parents got a divorce I
really was not sure about what it really was. By law a divorce is a legal dissolution of marriage

by a court or other competent body. However to me it was a division of the family, a life
changer, and an emotional roller coaster. There are many factors that can cause or lead to couples
encountering a divorce such as: marrying at a young age, less education, having a low income,
premarital cohabitation, no religious affiliations, parents divorce, and insecurities. Although
those are the main factors, they are not the only factors.
The importance of this question would be that many people have experienced their
parents going through a divorce. Even if a person hasnt experienced their parents going through
it, it is most likely that they have heard one of their friends or relatives discuss the subject. It can
be emotionally draining because it breaks up a family. However even though divorce can damage
a person emotionally it can also help someone mature and grow from the situation. Some
individuals may have been happy when their parents got divorced. You may think how can they
be happy about their family being split apart? In one scenario, one of the individuals parents
may have been getting physically, mentally, and/or emotionally abused. In those types of
situations when someone is in definite danger they need to leave. This can relieve a lot of stress
on each of the individuals life, making home feel like home.
In researching this question a researcher asked individuals who were once married to take
a survey saying why they got a divorce. The most common reasons that people gave were lack of
commitment, arguing, infidelity, marrying too young, unrealistic expectations, lack of equality in
the relationship, lack of preparations for marriage, and abuse. The highest percent of these
common reasons were lack of commitment which was 73% according to Dr. William H. Doherty,
marriage scholar and therapist (55). The lowest common reason was abuse which was 29%.
Therefore I wanted to do more research on exactly when did this all began and if the percentage
60%, was a constant number for todays divorces.

In the 1970s and 1980s divorce rates were at their highest peak. During that time period
the new feminist movement was going on and it caused a social and economic upheaval. You
may wonder what a new feminist movement has to do with divorce. This movement caused
women to become more independent, allowing them to work instead of being homemakers. In
the 1950s and 1960s men/husbands were breadwinners and women were homemakers.
Marriage has evolved to a modern day form meaning that its based on love and shared passions,
often two incomes, and shared housekeeping duties versus in the 1950s and 1960s. For many
years, law and custom enforced the subordination of wives to husbands. As the feminist
movement began to take off, wives slowly began to insist on being regarded as their husbands'
equals, rather than their property. "By 1970," said Marilyn Yalom, author of A History of the
Wife, "marriage law had become gender-neutral in Western democracy." At the same time, the
rise of effective contraception fundamentally transformed marriage: Couples could choose how
many children to have, and even to have no children at all. If they were unhappy with each other,
they could divorce and nearly half of all couples did. Marriage had become primarily a
personal contract between two equals seeking love, stability, and happiness says author of The
Week magazine.
My prior knowledge of divorce came from my personal experience of my parents getting
a divorce. I knew that divorce can get ugly and can be emotionally devastating. It ripped my
family apart because on weekdays I would be at home with my mother and on weekends go to
my fathers house. Even though I went through that situation it taught me a lesson; that family is
extremely important in life because even though my parents were not together I was still able to
build a bond and relationship with both of my parents. When I was researching my question a lot
of statistical websites mentioned that parents being divorce doubles the risk of an individual

getting a divorce and if that individual spouses parents experienced divorce too than it triples the
risk of the couple.
In conclusion divorce can be defined legally or personally. It all depends on the way you
perceive the situations that surround it. Although I gave some statistical outcomes of common
marriages; that does not mean that every statistic that I mentioned has to become a married
couples reality. I believe that some of the common reasons that individuals gave can be fixed
and marriages can be restored. Therefore some of the questions that I still wonder are: Are those
common reasons based on a certain ethnicity group? What percent of race made these
percentages go up? Were people basing those answers off of how they felt in the marriage or
what was really happening? What percent of those marriages could have been fixed or restored?
My goal of this proposal was to really consider the factors and the reason as to why marriages
are failing with such a high percentage.