Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage. Women are more likely than men to initiate divorces, but women and men are just as likely to end non-marital relationships, revealed a new study.
Author Michael Rosenfeld of the Stanford University said, "Breakups of non-marital heterosexual relationships in the United States were quite gender neutral and fairly egalitarian."
For the study, researchers followed 2,262 adults, aged 19 to 94 years, who had opposite sex partners in 2009. By 2015, 371 of these people had broken up with their partners or gotten divorced. Rosenfeld found that women initiated 69% of all divorces, compared to 31% for men. However, there was not a statistically significant difference between the percentage of breakups initiated by unmarried men and women, regardless of whether they had been co-habitating with their partners.
Rosenfeld said, "Women seemed to have a predominant role in initiating divorces in the U.S. as far back as there was data from a variety of sources, back to the 1940s. Women's role in initiating breakups was unique to heterosexual marriage. We found that women were more likely to initiate divorces because married women reported lower levels of relationship quality than married men."
The researchers further concluded that his results supported the feminist assertion that some women experience heterosexual marriage as oppressive or uncomfortable.