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Are men or women more likely to start a divorce?

New research that was conducted by Stanford-based sociologist Michael Rosenfeld shows that in heterosexual marriages women have a higher chance of initiating divorce. The survey looked at relationships of 2,262 heterosexuals over the course of five years, and what it found was that it was women who filed for divorce in 69 percent of breakups. In addition, the survey discovered that women tend to be less satisfied than men in their marriages.

The fact that women are more likely to begin a divorce has been known by sociologists for decades; however, one piece of information that Rosenfeld discovered was not previously known. This has to do with the fact that women and men in nonmarital relationships have an equal likelihood of ending the relationship. So what is it about marriages that make them so much more difficult for women to deal with?

The answer to this question is not entirely clear, but Rosenfeld has his theories. For one, Rosenfeld says that it is known that women usually carry out more domestic responsibilities than men do in marriages, even though gender stereotypes and roles have changed considerably since the 1950s. He said that most women are working and earning a living these days, in addition to carrying out the same old household responsibilities they did in the past. Since women have more financial freedoms, and with the changing perspectives relating to gender roles, they might be less willing to stay in a relationship that does not make them happy these days.

All that said, Rosenfeld's explanation does not illuminate why men tend to be less likely to initiate divorces. It just explains why women are more apt to initiate divorce than they were in the past.

While it still remains unclear why women are more apt to begin divorces than men, the fact is that when two Alberta spouses choose to go their separate ways, it is always a difficult experience -- no matter which side of the divorce one happens to be one. This is why many spouses choose to obtain the services of a qualified divorce lawyer to help them navigate the intricacies of the law, and protect their legal rights in a divorce.

Source: Washington Post, "Why women are more likely o initiate divorce," Yanan Wang, accessed Aug. 28, 2015

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