Cultural acceptance of divorce is shifting, experts say

There is little doubt that cultural and social norms are changing in the United States of America, and a recent survey discovered how attitudes are changing along with them. Some of the results were more surprising than others. While there was increased acceptance of a wide range of social changes, cultural acceptance of divorce appears to be on a downward slide.

On average, divorce has become a common occurrence in California and throughout the rest of America. Government experts who routinely pose questions about family relationships to young adults and teens apparently expected divorce acceptance to also increase, but they found that the opposite was true. When asked if divorce was a good idea if a marriage is unstable, 47 percent of women said “yes.” That was 10 years ago, and the number of women who agree now has fallen to 38 percent. Men experienced a similar decline, with 44 percent saying “yes” 10 years ago and only 39 percent having the same answer today.

Experts have several hypotheses for this trend, including the selective nature of current-day marriage. As people tend to put off marriage for longer than previous generations, marriage is considered to be more of an achievement of status. However, there are likely a myriad of reasons driving the change rather than a single attitude or outlook.

Lowered cultural acceptance of divorce can have a tremendous negative impact on couples who are no longer happily married. While splitting up might not be the best course of action for some, for others the answer is clear — divorce is the only viable option for them. When considering the possibility of divorce, it is important for people in California to consider the impact on their personal lives rather than the expectations of others.

Source:, “Survey: More acceptance of social changes-except divorce“, Mike Stobbe