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Access the Socilogical Explanations of the Increase in the Number of Divorces Since the 1960s

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Access the sociological explanations of the increase in the number of divorces since the 1960s
Divorce refers a married couple ending their marriage contract between themselves. Official statistics show that the divorce rate has generally risen over the last 40 years; also there have been fluctuations during that time. Since the 1960s the numbers of divorces have increased greatly in the United Kingdom, the number of divorces doubled between 1961 and 1969, and had then doubled again by 1972. The upward trend continued, peaking in 1993 at 180,000. Since then, numbers have slightly decreased to 157,000 in 2001. This rate means that about 40% of marriages end in divorce. About 7 out of 10 applications for divorce come from women; this is in contrast to the situation in the past. For example, in 1946 only 37% of applications came from women – barely half todays figure. Sociologists have identified the following reasons for the increase in divorce: changes in the law, declining stigma and changing attitudes, secularisation, rising expectations of marriage and changes in the position of women.
One explanation for the increase in the number of divorces since 1960 is the changes in law. Divorce was very difficult to do in the 19th century Britain, especially for women. Gradually, over time divorce has been made easier. There are three kinds of changes in the law; equalising the legal reasons for divorce been the sexes, widening the grounds for divorce and divorce being made cheaper. The most significant change in law was the introduction of the Divorce Reform Act in 1969, this made irretrievable breakdown of marriage the sole ground for divorce, established by proving unreasonable behaviour, adultery, desertion, or separation with or without consent. After 1969 divorce was also available after two years agreed separation, or five years if only one person in the…...

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