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Why Do Couples With Daughters Divorce More Than Couples With Sons?

19th October 2010
By amnorge in Divorce
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Recently published statistics have shown that more couple’s divorce if they have girls than if they have boys. Parents with one girl are 5% more likely to divorce than parents with one boy, while parents with three girls are 10% more likely to divorce than parents with three boys. Less divorced women remarry if they have girls and if they do they are more likely to divorce for a second time. There are also statistics to suggest that unmarried couples expecting a boy are more likely to get married than those expecting a girl. It is possible that these are just coincidences with only a 5% difference (with one child), but let’s explore some of the possible reasons that have been suggested for this.

REASON: Boys need a male role model more than girls do.

It is possible that parents may take this into consideration and fight for their marriage. Father’s may be less reluctant to leave if they feel this would have a negative impact on their son’s, while Mother’s might believe that a male role model remaining in the home is more crucial. Everyone needs role models and it could be argued that boys are more likely to look up to men and therefore use them as an example. A male role model within the home is only a good thing though, if it is a positive role model.

REASON: Men prefer to have sons.

Do men prefer to have sons over daughters? They are more likely to have certain things in common with boys, while women are more likely to have things in common with girls. For example Fathers may have dreams of playing sport will their sons. This could make men more likely to stay in their marriage, while women might be less reluctant to fight for a struggling marriage if they have more common interests with their daughter than with their husband.

REASON: A negative male influence can be bad for girls.

Some have suggested that if a Father is a negative influence then Mothers are more likely to worry about their daughters witnessing this. The most extreme cases with be those of abuse, either towards a man’s wife or children. Where this is the case she may want to remove her daughter from this environment for her own safety. Women may also be keen to be a positive influence on their daughters by showing that women shouldn’t have to stand for this kind of behaviour.

REASON: Women have a better understanding of girls.

Having experienced growing up as a girl themselves, women are more likely to understand what girls go through than men. This could mean they don’t think the Father figure is as important as a Mother figure, and therefore she doesn’t need a man to help her bring up her daughter.

REASON: Girls are easier to bring up.

There are arguments for both girls and boys being easier to being up (see boys below). If a Mother feels that it is easier to bring up girls she might be less willing to fight for her marriage, while if she thinks it would be harder to bring up a boy she might be more willing to attempt to keep the marriage going if she has a son.

REASON: Boys are easier to bring up.

Some who believe that boys are easier to bring up may think that a marriage is more likely to last if a couple has a boy. Is it possible that girls can put more strain on a relationship?

REASON: Girls offer Mothers more emotional support.

Some Mothers have a strong emotional relationship with their daughters. They may therefore believe they no longer need a man for emotional support. They might come to the opinion that even if they divorce they will always have the support of their daughters.

Many of these are generalisation, and things will be different in every family situation. Something that is true for some families may have no influence on others. It could be argued that both boys and girls are better off in the perfect world if they have positive male and female role models; that one will show them how they should behave while the other will mean they respect the opposite gender. If there is a reason for more divorce amongst couples who have girls it seems likely that it is a combination of reasons depending on the particular family, as there seems to be no single reason that is likely to have such an impact in a significant number of cases.

Beatrice Sareen (c)
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