Assess sociological explanations of the increase in the number of divorces since the 1960s
Government statistics show that the rate in divorce has increased over the past 40 years with some fluctuations during that time. During the years 1968 was very low but it then it increased from 1970 to 1972. This is because of the introduction of the divorce reform act 1969; this influenced the number of divorces because it made it much more easier to get a divorce as neither partner had to blame the other partner of any matrimonial offences but could get a divorce simply if they fell out of love.
From 1972 to 1993 the rate of divorce increased further due to the changing expectations of marriage. Fletcher (1966) found that the higher the expectations people place on marriage are the major cause of rising divorce rates. The higher the expectations the less willing couples are to tolerate an unhappy marriage. The higher expectations are linked with the ideology of romantic love. This states that marriage should solely be based on love and ‘finding one’s true soul mate’. If an individual doesn’t find this with their partner or their love dies out, then there is no justification to being with that partner. Therefore divorce should be allowed.
Also, the introduction of the equal pay act 1970 made it so that women and men would get the same pay in the same employment and are not treated less favourably. This would lead to more dual-income household s as women were able to become more financially stable and therefore no longer dependent on their partners for finance. This meant that if they wanted to, it would be easier for women to divorce their husbands as they don’t have to tolerate with conflict as they don’t have to rely on each other financially; compared to before the equal pay act, where they were dependent financially. This is because they now have money to raise the children and therefore take care of them in a stable environment, with an education and not live in...