Effectsof Divorce on Children
Effectsof Divorce on Children
Differentcultures view divorce issues from different aspects. Nevertheless,marriage break-ups have negative consequences on the sexual patternamong children. Some researchers argue that children from divorcedfamilies tend to have a negative attitude towards a conventionalfamily containing the mother, father and children. Although severalfactors may lead to the dissolution of marriages, cultures thatembrace monogamy have a higher frequency of divorce cases thancivilizations that embrace polygamy. On the same note, infidelity isalso a common ground for marriage invalidation.
Ina Christian community, an individual is expected to practice monogamy- have one wife or husband. However, the requirement is a commonsource of an ethical dilemma to both parents and children. Forinstance, Owusu (2007) describes a case of a Ghanaian man (Bempa) whohad married a barren wife. After some years, Bempa’s familysuggested that he marry his wife’s sister so that she could bearchildren for him. Both parties agreed. The second wife gave hereight children while the first wife remained childless. However,Bempa converted to Christianity afterwards. The Ghanaian Africanchurch denied him the permission to become a full Christian until hedivorced his second wife. From a critical perspective, monogamy insocieties that embrace procreation lead to divorce in case one of thepartners can bear children (Owusu, 2007).
Onthe contrary, Islamic culture encourages polygamy provided thehusband has adequate resources to cater for all the wives. As such,divorce cases for reasons concerned with infertility of a wife arerare. Islam allows men to have up to four wives, thereby, loweringthe probability of a childless woman facing divorce (Zeitzen, 2008).
Tsapelas,Fisher and Aron (2010), monogamy encourages infidelity. A husband ofone wife is likely to engage in premarital sex than a polygamous man.According to Amato (2001) notes that men can cheat on their wives ifthey are expectant, sick, menstruating, or she is suffering fromcomplications after giving birth. Nevertheless, polygamous men areless likely to stray since they will still get coitus from the otherwife or wives when one of them is not physically fit for coitus(Zeitzen, 2008).
AChristian woman is likely to file for a divorce if her husbandmarries another wife compared to a Muslim wife who may see polygamyas an ordinary issue since it is embedded in her traditions (Zeiten,2008). In case a man wants to have another wife, the Christianculture obliges him to divorce the first wife. However, the man isonly justified to divorce his wife when she engages in specificunethical conduct such as unfaithfulness.
Despitethe differences between the Christianity and Islam, both culturescondemn unanimously agree that sex outside marriage can lead todivorce. This means that an individual who has sexual relationshipswith other partners, other than the legally wedded spouse, justifiesmarriage dissolution. Another similarity in both religious culturesis that women are more likely to be punished for infidelity thantheir male counterparts are. In particular, Muslim men have thepower to divorce women while the woman cannot divorce a man. Theinequality results from the fact that Islam views men as superior towomen (Burdette, Ellison, Sherkat, & Gore, 2007).
Inconclusion, it is evident that sexual attitudes and behaviours canlead to divorce depending on the social and cultural context of themembers involved. Notably, since social and cultural factors ofcommunities keep on changing, the society members need to rethinktheir sexual attitudes and behaviours to live in agreement with thedesires of every partner in marriage. Social institutions also needto be reformed to allow family wealth to be divided equally amongpartners to reduce the chances of children suffering in case of amarriage termination.
Amato,P. R. (2001). Children of divorce in the 1990s: an update of theAmato and Keith (1991) meta-analysis. Journalof family psychology, 15(3),355-70.
Burdette,A. M., Ellison, C. G., Sherkat, D. E., & Gore, K. A. (2007). Arethere religious variations in marital infidelity? Journalof Family Issues, 28(12),1553-1581. doi: 10.1177/0192513X07304269.
Zeitzen,M. K. (2008). Polygamy:A cross-cultural analysis.Louvigny, France: Berg.
Tsapelas,I., Fisher H.E, & Aron A. (2010). Infidelity:when, where, why.INWR Cupach and BH Spitzberg, The Dark Side of CloseRelationships II, NewYork, NY: Routledge, pp 175-196.
Owusu,S. (2007). Towards a theology of marriage and polygamy. Direction,36(2),192–205.