It is common knowledge that divorce rates in the U.S. have skyrocketed over the past 50 years, with many attributing the shift in marital stability to the legalization of no fault divorce beginning in 1969. U.S. Census Bureau data (https://www2.census.gov/library/publications/2011/compendia/statab/131ed/tables/vitstat.pdf - table 78) confirms that divorce rates peaked in 1979 and 1981 when 5.3 per 1,000 persons were divorced. Compare that to 2.2 persons per 1,000 in 1960. Numbers have dropped fairly consistently since 1981, though divorce rates in recent times are still much higher than in 1960, with 3.5 persons per 1,000 getting divorced in 2008 (confirm statistics). However, as Kennedy and Ruggles show, “breaking up is hard to count” (http://users.hist.umn.edu/~ruggles/Articles/breaking_up.pdf). “ They conclude that “Divorce rates have doubled over the past two decades among persons over age 35. Among the youngest couples, however, divorce rates are stable or declining.” More couples are delaying marriage and instead cohabiting.Many factors contribute to marital stability. Religiosity is often cited as a key factory, as many religions, especially Mormonism, Catholicism, and fundamental christianity, emphasize marital fidelity, and discourage cohabitation and premarital sex, two things that have been linked to higher divorce rates.11Wolfinger, N. H. (2016), Counterintuitive Trends in the Link between Premarital Sex and Marital Stability. Institute for Family Studies research brief. https://ifstudies.org/blog/counterintuitive-trends-in-the-link-between-premarital-sex-and-marital-stability/, retrieved April 4, 2017.*This is an article for fewer sexual partners being linked to marital stability However, as Brad Wilcox points out in an article on the children of divorce, religious institutions were not immune from the no-fault divorce epidemic (https://static1.squarespace.com/static/531b36ade4b045034d6a0977/t/57865dd220099e1db58e90f0/1468423635554/The+Evolution+of+Divorce+_+Publications+_+National+Affairs.pdf): “The anti­-institutional tenor of the age also meant that churches lost much of their moral authority to reinforce the marital vow. It didn’t help that many mainline Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish leaders were caught up in the zeitgeist, and lent explicit or implicit support to the divorce revolution sweeping across American society.”
It is common knowledge that divorce rates in the U.S. have skyrocketed over the past 50 years, with many attributing the shift in marital stability to the legalization of no fault divorce beginning in 1969. U.S. Census Bureau data (https://www2.census.gov/library/publications/2011/compendia/statab/131ed/tables/vitstat.pdf - table 78) confirms that divorce rates peaked in 1979 and 1981 when 5.3 per 1,000 persons were divorced. Compare that to 2.2 persons per 1,000 in 1960. Numbers have dropped fairly consistently since 1981, though divorce rates in recent times are still much higher than in 1960, with 3.5 persons per 1,000 getting divorced in 2008 (confirm statistics). However, as Kennedy and Ruggles show, “breaking up is hard to count” (http://users.hist.umn.edu/~ruggles/Articles/breaking_up.pdf). “ They conclude that “Divorce rates have doubled over the past two decades among persons over age 35. Among the youngest couples, however, divorce rates are stable or declining.” More couples are delaying marriage and instead cohabiting. Many factors contribute to marital stability. Religiosity is often cited as a key factory, as many religions, especially Mormonism, Catholicism, and fundamental christianity, emphasize marital fidelity, and discourage cohabitation and premarital sex, two things that have been linked to higher divorce rates.11Wolfinger, N. H. (2016), Counterintuitive Trends in the Link between Premarital Sex and Marital Stability. Institute for Family Studies research brief. https://ifstudies.org/blog/counterintuitive-trends-in-the-link-between-premarital-sex-and-marital-stability/, retrieved April 4, 2017. *This is an article for fewer sexual partners being linked to marital stability However, as Brad Wilcox points out in an article on the children of divorce, religious institutions were not immune from the no-fault divorce epidemic (https://static1.squarespace.com/static/531b36ade4b045034d6a0977/t/57865dd220099e1db58e90f0/1468423635554/The+Evolution+of+Divorce+_+Publications+_+National+Affairs.pdf): “The anti­-institutional tenor of the age also meant that churches lost much of their moral authority to reinforce the marital vow. It didn’t help that many mainline Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish leaders were caught up in the zeitgeist, and lent explicit or implicit support to the divorce revolution sweeping across American society.”