Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Damage of divorce

A study has found, unsurprisingly, that just because divorce is socially acceptable and easier to obtain these days it is no less damaging to the children involved.

Comparing the outcomes of people born in 1958 and those born in 1970 when they reached their early 30s, the researchers found that the children of divorced parents in both groups were equally likely to lack qualifications, be on benefits and suffer from depression.

I don't quite know what else they expected to find. Children are not really concerned about the social acceptability of divorce - all they really care about is that mum and dad split up and the sense of betrayal and abandonment that brings.

Making divorce easier was never going to solve that - it just ensured that there would be far more kids condemned to "repercussions that reverberate through childhood and into adulthood."

Easier divorce is, of course, a liberal progressive idea. The spin behind it was that it would enable women to escape abusive relationships and that a less protracted divorce would be easier on the children. Of course, the law already provided for women to escape abusive relationships and the effects of divorce on children were already well known.

But it was never really about women or children. It was always about breaking down traditional family values and morality which were seen as a brake on progressive liberal goals. I recently heard some fading has-been pop star ludicrously claim that the knife culture was the fault of Thatcher - presumably because of the "me first" society which she was blamed with creating.

But the foundations of the "me first" society - a society where the only moral boundaries are the ones you set yourself - were laid long before Thatcher came to power and the idea that a societal change can happen in under 10 years is ridiculous - it takes, at least, a generation. The Thatcher years saw a flourishing of the foundations laid by the progressives back in the sixties. There was little about the Thatcher government that encouraged the "me first" society - it was just a coincidence that her time in power arrived with the coming of age of liberal progressive ideals.

Getting back to the subject of divorce - if anything, the law needs to be tightened particularly if their are children involved. I think there should be a one year "cooling off" period after a wedding during which - if there are no children - a couple can have their marriage annulled quickly and easily, but after that it should be much harder for them to divorce.

1 comment:

zorayda said...

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