Every once in a while, researchers will attempt to glean information about divorce in an effort to predict divorce’s effects, or discover some direct relationship between certain groups of people and their propensity to file for divorce.
Inevitably, these studies unearth some fruitful information, but fail to categorize divorce in a way that makes divorce filings predictable.
A recent study from Bowling Green University, which tried to accumulate enough data to narrow divorce down to a science, shows that difficulties inherent in making sweeping claims about the nature of divorce in the United States.
According to a report from United Press International, researchers at the National Center for Family and Marriage Research have discovered conflicting information about the link between education and divorce.
Specifically, the researchers found that the women in the U.S. with the lowest levels of education and women with the highest levels of education file divorce at roughly similar rates.
And, even though they file at similar rates, these groups of women with widely disparate education histories account for the highest rates of divorce among all women.
According to the study, women who had not earned their high school diploma or a GED had a first divorce rate of 14.4 per 1,000. On the other hand, women who had earned a bachelor’s degree or a higher degree had a similar rate divorce rate of 14.2 per 1,000.
Oddly, both women with little education and women with experience in higher education had rates of divorce that were higher than the average divorce rates.
The study found that, among U.S. women who were 18 years or older, the average divorce rate for first-time divorcees was 17.5 per 1,000.
So, what do these figures mean? Well, for one, they seem to contradict a previously-held notion in the research community that women with lower levels of education were more likely to get divorced.
On the contrary, it seems that earning a college education does not make a woman any less vulnerable to a potential divorce.
In the words of Dr. Susan Brown, one of the directors of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, the “relationship between education and divorce is not straight-forward.”
Of course, this is not the first time that conventional wisdom about divorce has been proven wrong. In past decades, divorce was seen as a socially and financially disastrous decision for a woman to make.
Today, however, divorce is viewed by many people as a necessary fresh start. And, as people live longer and date at older ages, and as women become more financially independent, the financial and social barriers that once prevented divorces no longer apply.
Still, it is helpful for researchers to challenge their assumptions about divorce, particularly if these assumptions are based on silent prejudices or faulty notions about class and education.
So, if you are considering divorce, but are hesitant because of perceived social disadvantages that divorce may create, do some homework about divorce and the real effects it will have on your life.
And, for more information about your legal options when separating from your spouse, contact a local divorce lawyer today.