Has divorce lost its groove? The New York Times believes it has. The stigma, that a decades ago was associated with divorce, seems to be returning. The NY Times article first offers up anecdotal evidence from elite New York couples with perfect careers and perfect lives living in perfect upscale urban homes. But when they became the “divorcee,” attitudes toward them changed dramatically. One divorced women stated: “I feel like I have a giant letter ‘A’ on my front and back.”
Andrew Cherlin, a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University, confirms that there has been a change: “The shift in attitudes and behavior is very real. Among upper-middle-class Americans, the divorce rate is going down, and they’re becoming more conservative toward divorce.” In fact, “among college-educated couples who married in the mid-1990s, the likelihood of divorcing in the first 10 years of marriage fell 27 percent compared with college-educated couples who married in the 1970s.”
If, indeed, the tide has turned on societal acceptance of walking away from marriages, it’s not a minute to soon. The social science research is replete with the negative impact of divorce on the children who live through it – not to mention what it does to the two adults who are involved.
Some of the reasons offered for the change in perception regarding divorce is the fact that you have a generation of children who are now married adults who lived and suffered through their own parents’ divorce. They know firsthand the chaos and heartache that accompanies even the most amicable divorce.
Let’s hope, however, that the NY elite’s new aversion to divorce will trickle down through the societal ranks. After all it was the “progressive” feminist-supporting urban elite that first convinced society that divorce had little if any negative effects and was simply a way for women “to take their lives back.” These very people should be leading the way in restoring a culture that realizes that divorce is devastating and our children deserve better.
But don’t hold your breath… You’ll note that in the end of the article, the good ole’ NY Times couldn’t, resist spinning divorce back around into something that is a good thing. Old dogma dies hard.