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Why Are Couples With Daughters More Likely to Divorce?

Why Are Couples With Daughters More Likely to Divorce?

Having a daughter increases a couple's chance of divorce by five percent, and with each additional daughter the risk goes up. This might lead you to believe that daughters add extra stress on their parents, but experts say the opposite is true, and in fact, a daughter's supportive role can explain why her parents might divorce.

One psychologist explains, "A conclusion we might draw is that wives with daughters are less likely to stay with their husbands because they know that with a girl, they'll never be lonely or without help." Perhaps women, who file 75 percent of divorces, have less of a reason to stay in an undesirable relationship because they know that they have daughters to fill the emotional void. This theory fits with findings we've seen before: girls with brothers don't grow up as fast as their brotherless peers, partly because they have to assume caretaking roles for their brothers. There seems to be evidence that daughters offer significant emotional and social support for their families, almost acting like third parents.

But what if we phrased this question a different way: why are couples with sons less likely to divorce? While it may be about avoiding loneliness, couldn't it also be that parents want the son to grow up with a male role model? If mothers often get custody, a daughter will have a female role model, but a son wouldn't necessarily live with a father figure. We can debate the merits of gender-based role models, but might this be a consideration?

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totygoliguez totygoliguez 7 years
In a way I can relate with this article. My parents didn't get a divorce, but my dad died when I was 11, and I definitely became a support and companion for my mother. @ Anonymous 5, it is admirable what you did for your daughter. Most woman don't realize the damage they cause to their children when they state in an abusive relationship.
lickety-split lickety-split 7 years
The man in the house is the example of HOW a man should act. If your husband is a jerk and the boys see that, well they might grow up to be jerks. But if the girls see dad being a jerk they will CHOOSE jerk after jerk after jerk, for a partner. Do you want that for your daughter? No way. Better no male role model in the house than a shity one.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 7 years
Maybe the men wish to save face for their sons.
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 7 years
That would make sense if the divorcing couple had a school-age or older daughter. My daughter is three years old, so she's not very good at the emotional support (though she tries), and she creates WAY more housework than she completes. That being said, I tried everything to keep my marriage together because I have a daughter. One day, our preschooler will be a teenager, and I think she'll fare much better if she has two parents on a united front. That will be harder to do, though not impossible, when we're in separate homes.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
It does seem to make sense when you think that a daughter is great for emotional support and is more likely than a boy to keep the household running smoothly. I never would have though of that, but it does make a bit of sense!
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