In 2015, the American Sociological Association looked at divorce statistics and found that, almost 70% of the time, they were initiated by women. The author of the study noted that marriage can create a double bind for many women. Statistics from 2019 show that over 50% of the workforce is made up of women. But at home, women are still largely expected to do most of the work. For many women, this can seem like a raw deal.
If they can earn their own living, or even be the breadwinner for the family, why should they also have to wait on everyone at home? What’s more, women may also have to do more of the emotional work in their romantic relationships. While men may comfortably stay with imperfect wives who provide support, women are less likely to stick with a partner who is not pulling his weight.
A new question
However, statistics from England show that the gender binary might not be entirely to blame. In 2017, the UK’s Office for National Statistics examined the rate of divorce among same sex couples. A shocking 78% of same-sex divorces were initiated by gay women. So although traditional gender roles may explain some of these rates, clearly they don’t explain it all. Hopefully, new research will be able to shed some light on these surprising figures.