Essay Trends of Marriage and Divorce

Essay Trends of Marriage and Divorce

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Marriage is one of the oldest cultural institutions in the world. Its status has changed drastically over the years, and in the last few decades alone has gone from being a social expectation to simply an option for most people. In the 1920s, marriage was generally considered an expectation for all young women, lest they dry up like cacti before they bore children. Today, marriage is generally recognized as a commitment that may satisfy some, though many choose to forgo the process. The differences between the cultural perception of marriage in the “Roaring Twenties” compared to today have manifested themselves in many different ways.
Marriage in the 1920s was less of an option, and more of an expectation. Despite a decline in marriage rates compared to decades previous, marriage was still considered far and wide a social norm, albeit a faltering one. Couples were much more reluctant to get divorced, and many saw marriage as a commitment that illustrated their maturity and adulthood. Compared to what is probably the peak of marriage rates in America, the post-WWII era, the 1920s experienced over two-thirds the amount of marriages. While the highest annual rate of marriage in the mid-1940s peaked at 143 marriages per 1,000 single women, the rates of marriage in the 1920s averaged 99 per 1,000 single women (Shiono 16). In addition, the divorce rates for women born in 1920 were fairly tame by today's standards. By age 55, the chance of divorce for these women was approximately 27% (Shiono 20). Marriage today is a far different story.
The controversy over marriage today is much more observable than almost a century ago in the 1920s. Not only are divorce rates at 40% for young adult women (Shiono 20), but initial marri...


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...S. Quinn. "National Trends in Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage." Children and Divorce 4.1 (1994): 16-21. Print.

http://futureofchildren.org/publications/journals/article/index.xml?journalid=63&articleid=408§ionid=2781


Works Cited

"An Overview of Federal Rights and Protections Granted to Married Couples." Human Rights Campaign. Human Rights Campaign, n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.
Battista, Marni. "Has Marriage Become An Outdated Institution?" YourTango. Tango Media Corporation, 2013. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.
Bennett, Jessica. "The Case Against Marriage." Newsweek. Newsweek, 11 June 2010. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.
Nauert, Rick, Ph.D. "Is Marriage Outdated?" Psych Central. Psych Central, 19 Jan. 2012. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.
Shiono, Patricia H., and Linda S. Quinn. "National Trends in Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage." Children and Divorce 4.1 (1994): 16-21. Print.

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