The Career Women Who Are Saying NO to Divorce; THEY BLAME BREAK-UPS FOR SOARING CRIME RATES AND YOBBISH BEHAVIOUR

Daily Mail (London), January 23, 2006 | Go to article overview

The Career Women Who Are Saying NO to Divorce; THEY BLAME BREAK-UPS FOR SOARING CRIME RATES AND YOBBISH BEHAVIOUR


Byline: REBECCA CAMBER

FREEDOM from marriage was once cherished by the liberal female elite as one of the most important acts of women's emancipation.

But now well- educated women are turning against divorce in their droves, say researchers.

Divorce is becoming the preserve of the poor and illeducated as career women shun the 'easy way out' of marriage, a study claims.

Despite divorce rates rocketing in the past decade, researchers claim that it is the least educated who are responsible for increasing numbers of family breakdowns as they have the more liberal attitude towards divorce.

Women with university degrees are the social group most likely to think divorce should be made harder.

In a trend that is said to be mirrored in Britain, researchers at the University of Maryland in the U.S. say well-heeled women are becoming more conservative in their views about marriage as they blame break-ups for soaring crime rates and yobbish behaviour.

A survey of 5,000 women aged 25-39 carried out annually since 1970 revealed that almost twothirds of female graduates from 2000 to 2004 thought divorce should be made more difficult.

But by contrast, when women were asked between 1970 and 1979 whether divorce should be made easier, more difficult or left the same, only 36 per cent of university educated women supported making it harder.

The study also found the divorce rate among graduates in the first ten years of marriage had fallen by a third between 1970 and the 1990s.

Steven Martin, assistant professor of sociology at Maryland University, who led the study, said: 'Highly educated women in the 1970s were the most likely to say divorce should be made easier. They now say divorce should be made more difficult.

'Women who had not completed high school education have moved from being essentially neutral to having the least restrictive attitudes toward divorce.' It is thought that many affluent women are more determined to work through the problems in their relationship having witnessed the damage caused by divorce in their parents' generation. …

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