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Disorganization Of The Modern Family

( Originally Published 1915 )

Increase of Divorces. — The remarkable decrease in the size of the families in Western civilization is one of the two striking things about the modem family. The other, as we have indicated, is the great increase in the number of divorces during the last fifty years. Do these two features have anything in common? Is one cause and the other effect? Or are they both effects of a common cause? Do the facts indicate any absolute increase of unhappiness between husbands and wives, or do they merely testify that it has become easier for uncongenial partners to separate? Such are some of the questions which arise on the contemplation of divorce statistics.

Divorce figures do not show whether there is or is not more marital unhappiness now than in the days of our grandfathers ; but they do testify to our greater willingness to seek legal recognition of our infelicity. From 1870 to 1900 divorces per 100,000 of population increased almost threefold in the United States.' The number in 1880 represented an increase of 30.1 per cent over the number in 1870, in 1890 an increase of 25.5 per cent over that of 1880, in 1900 an increase of 20.7 percent over that of 1890. A refined divorce rate based upon the married population is even more significant. Thus the number of divorces granted per hundred thousand of married population grew as follows :

1870 81
1880 107
1890 148
1900 200

Thus, in 1870, there were 1 1/2 divorces, in 1880 there were 2 divorces, in 1890 there were 3, and in 1900 4 divorces for each 1000 married couples in the United States, or, in relation to married population, the divorce rate was 21 times as great in 1900 as in 1870. More divorces were granted to the husband (34.2 per cent) from 1867 to 1886 than from 1887 to 1906 (33.4 per cent). More divorces (46.9 per cent) were granted to the husband in the South Atlantic group of states than any other group. The geographical divisions granting the smallest proportions of divorces to the husbands were the North Central with only 28.3 per cent, and the Western with but 27.7 per cent of the total number of divorces. It is probable that this difference between the North and the West, on the one hand, and the South on the other, is due to the greater freedom and economic independence enjoyed by women in the former groups. The women of the South probably are not so accustomed to the idea of earning their own living. It has been shown that divorced women more largely than any other class of women studied by the Census officials are following a gainful occupation. Divorces granted to husbands, therefore, are relatively less numerous in the industrial North and West than in the agricultural South. The increasing economic independence of women probably throws light also upon the slightly growing tendency of women to seek divorce as revealed in the divorces granted to husbands and wives respectively in the two periods 1867-1886 and 1887-1906.

Distribution of Divorces. — (I) Number of Years Married. — The divorce rate seems to reach its maximum about the fifth year of married life. At the end of that year more than one half of the separations have taken place. This would seem to indicate that the perilous period in the history of a family is in the first few years of wedlock. That is but natural. If the adjustment of relations cannot be made within that time, separation and divorce registers the fact. Yet, 3.1 per cent of the total number divorced from 1887 to 1906 had lived together 25 years or more.

(2) Families with and without Children.— Divorces are much more common between couples without children than between those with two or three children. This may or may not indicate that there is more unhappiness in the childless home than in the home with children. It does indicate that people with children are less willing to permit the home to be broken up. Moreover, one of the very strong ties between husband and wife is lacking when there are no children. Selfishness thrives in the childless home. There are no helpless ones appealing constantly to the best in their parents — weakness appealing to strength, childhood to maturity, helplessness to ability, — teaching their parents to deal with each other in love and gentleness.

(3) Differences in Occupations. — The Census Report shows that there is a great difference as to the frequency of divorce among those in different occupations.

Certain occupations show an exceedingly high divorce rate. Thus, in 1900, divorced actors, professional showmen, etc., numbered one sixth of the total number in such occupations married. Commercial travelers show a ratio of one divorced man to every nine commercial travelers married during the twenty years 1887-1906. Musicians, physicians, bartenders, and telephone and telegraph operators show almost as high a proportion one to about every 24 married. For farmers the ratio was 1 to 92 a ratio much below the average?

Some writers have held that the cities have a greater divorce rate than the country.3 Dr. Lichtenberger has thrown doubt upon the credibility of that generalization. He has shown that there are many cities which have rates lower than the country districts.' Professor Ellwood has suggested that where this is the case it is due to the presence of large numbers of Catholics and foreigners' One would expect that the conditions of city life would affect the family stability unfavorably. The city is characterized by those nervous, dynamic conditions which have such an unsettling effect upon our institutions. This expectation is borne out by a comparison of the rates of counties containing cities with those of the state as a whole and also with those of counties having only small cities and rural counties.'

(4) Difference in Divorce Rate between the Sexes. — Two thirds of all the divorces in the United States are granted to the wife. This may mean that the men are more liable to give occasion for divorce than women. As we shall see, the chief cause alleged by the men who apply for divorce is adultery of the wife.

(5) Divorce in the United States compared with Other Countries. — The divorce rate is much higher in the United States than in any other country in the world except Japan. Switzerland's, which is the highest rate in Europe, compared with that of the United States is as 3 to 7.4 While, however, the rates of other countries are much lower than that of the United States they show a like tendency to increase.

(6) Geographic Distribution of Divorces in the United States. — Certain sections of our country had a higher divorce rate than others. Thus, in 1906 the Western Division of states had a rate of more than four times that of the North Atlantic Division (168 to 41), and almost four times that of the South Atlantic (168 to 43). The North Central States had a rate two and two-thirds that of the North Atlantic (108 to 41), and the South Central two and three fourths that of the South Atlantic (118 to 43). In general it may be said that the rate increases as one goes westward. Perhaps it will be more significant if one observes that it increases as one goes from the sections of country settled by foreigners, many of whom are Catholics, to those sections in which one will find the characteristic American elements of the population, people who have become thoroughly Americanized, if they are not of the old American stock. This will be more graphic in a map of the United States so printed as to show the differences and similarities in divorce rates in the various states in 1900.'

Great changes have come about in the distribution of divorces among the several states as shown by the following maps indicating the distribution in 1870, 1880, and 1890. These maps should be compared with the ones above. It is apparent that in 1900 there were but three sections with a number of divorces below 75 per 100,000 population. One of these is of the Atlantic seaboard states with the exception of New England and Florida. Another is composed of the two states Wisconsin and Minnesota, and the third is the territory (then) of New Mexico. Moreover, by these maps the increase of divorce in this country is strikingly shown.'

The Probability of Divorce. — The statistical probability of divorce has been investigated by the Census Bureau and some tentative figures were presented which, while not comparable in their reliability with the tables of expectancy of human life prepared by life insurance companies, are yet suggestive. The Census experts conclude that it is quite probable that the true rate of expectancy is about one in every twelve, and some think even as high as one in ten. The probabilities are that the divorce rate reveals less than the true state of marital infelicity. Almost 94 per cent of all the divorces granted from 1887 to 1906 were on grounds of five principal causes, adultery, cruelty, desertion, drunkenness, and neglect to provide. When these can be proved in so large a percentage of the causes in which divorce is granted, it is probable that there are many more cases in which these or other causes operated but which had not come to action for divorce or were not capable of proof.'

Grounds of Divorce. — While the causes alleged in the petitions for divorce are not always the real ones, they throw some light nevertheless on the subject. Thus, the legal ground most frequently alleged was desertion, being the ground stated in 38.9 per cent of all the divorces granted from 1887 to 1906. It was alleged in the case of almost half of the divorces granted to men (49.4 per cent) and just about one third of those granted to women (33.6 per cent). Of the divorces granted to husbands 28.7 per cent were on grounds of adultery of the wife and 10.5 per cent for cruelty by the wife. Of those granted to wives 27.5 per cent were for cruelty by the husband, and only r0 per cent for adultery by the husband — an almost exact reversal of relative proportions of these two grounds. Drunkenness as the sole ground was alleged in only 5.3 per cent of the cases granted to the wife and in but 1.1 per cent of those granted to the husband. It was the indirect cause in 13.8 per cent of the cases; in 4.7 per cent of the divorces granted to husbands and in 18.3 per cent of those granted to wives it was alleged as a contributory cause. Moreover, it was present as a contributory cause in 32.4 per cent of the cases in which the wife was granted a divorce on grounds of cruelty, and over one fifth of the cases (21.2 per cent) of those granted on grounds of neglect to provide.

One point in this enumeration of causes needs a word. It would appear from the statements made above that adultery was a more common ground in divorces granted to men than to women. Of the divorces granted on this ground alone 59.1 per cent of the offenses were committed by the wife and 40.9 per cent by the husband. The probability is, however, that the women are no more guilty in this matter than the men, but that evidence is more easily secured against women guilty of this offense than against men, the double standard of morality making the offense in the man more easily overlooked than in the woman, and the woman finding other grounds easier to prove.

It is also worthy of remark that adultery as a ground of divorce has been steadily decreasing since 1867 -- a statistical fact regarding this moral delinquency which runs counter to popular belief. Thus the percentage of divorces granted for this cause has fallen as follows :

1867-1871 25.6%

1872-1876 20.7%

1877-1881 19.4%

1882-1886 19.2%

1887-1891 17.8%

1892-1896 17.3%

1897-1901 15.8%

1902-1906 15.3%

Cruelty as a cause, on the other hand, has nearly doubled from 1867 to 1906. Neglect to provide has risen during the same period from 1.7 per cent of the total causes to 3.8 per cent.

Whether there is an actual decrease in marital infidelity or whether adultery as a ground of divorce appears less frequently, because other causes are now grounds for divorce and therefore adultery need not be alleged, is a question concerning which no categorical answer can now be given.

Causes of the Growth of Divorce. These causes just discussed are legal grounds. They do not always indicate the real causes of divorce. Down beneath these lie those intangible but none the less real and influential psychological and social causes which bring forth this harvest of legally acknowledged broken vows. Many of the same influences which we reviewed in seeking to understand the decrease in the size of the family must be invoked in order to explain the phenomena of divorce. Possessing greater economic opportunities than the women of former generations, modern women refuse to be bound for the sake of livelihood by ties which have come to be galling.

(1) Economic Causes explain Divorce in Part. — Poverty with its grinding toil and its strained relations between provider and housekeeper must be considered. On the other hand, there is wealth with its false demands for means to allay the ennui of an existence sated with the enjoyments of life. Moreover, while the marriage for money is perhaps less common than in some civilizations, there are of course marriages still to be found in which the monetary consideration is the real basis of the family. Sometimes such a consideration remains the basis and constitutes the chief reason for its continuance. Let, however, that consideration wane in its importance by reason of the loss of money, or from a growing appreciation of the falsity of such a bond for such intimate relations, and the breaking of the bond is quite certain to occur.

(2) Changes in the Social Position of Women. — Vastly more important are the changes which have come over the social status of woman in the last fifty years. With her change in economic independence, she can now free herself from bonds which once had to be endured in order that she might escape starvation. Once the power of tradition which visited with social ostracism the woman who revolted from a life made hard by a mate who was in no sense a companion held her bound and prevented the legal breaking of a bond which no longer was backed by love. Mohammedan countries and the countries of Europe in which divorce is seldom permitted furnish plenty of evidence that there are other ways than divorce by which a woman may get rid of an undesirable husband.' Where the spirit of the woman was not of that desperate character, she suffered and lived a loveless life, a slave to a being she could not respect or love. Tradition has not yet been broken entirely. Many a woman still suffers and endures for the sake of the opinion of her relatives and friends or because of the attitude of her church towards divorce, or for the sake of her children. With woman's industrial enfranchisement, however, a great impetus has been given to divorce. With the breaking down of social tradition condemning divorce it will naturally grow in the absence of a better method of contracting marriages. With the increasing education of woman she is thinking upon the question of her relations to men. When she began to think, tradition's power began to break.

(3) Mental Emancipation of Women. Out of an appeal to her reason has grown the emancipation of woman. The awakening rationality of the sex began to doubt the old sanctions. The doubts have raised questions which many women are not prepared to settle practically. One result, however, of this spirit of the age is woman's attempt to gain the ballot in England and America. A much more important effect, however, is woman's lessened respect for the traditional sanctions of an indissoluble marriage bond and hence an increase in divorce.' Woman's growing conviction that something is wrong with her lot in some cases was brought to expression by the movement for her emancipation. Political enfranchisement was the least of the burden she felt. She felt much more keenly her domestic bonds and therefore she desired the more intensely her emancipation from ties which she felt to be hateful.

Like all reformers, doubtless the advocates of woman's freedom have gone too far. To make their case perhaps the leaders have overstated her distress. Doubtless the agitation has stirred some excitable women to exaggerate their unhappiness. Reiterated declarations concerning women's " slavery " have without question worked as a suggestion to some who otherwise would never have thought of revolt against their position. Perhaps, therefore, we may reasonably anticipate after the agitation has quieted down a decline in divorce.

(4) Irrational Methods of choosing Mates. — When one contemplates the irrational way in which matches are made one wonders, not that one marriage out of every twelve ends in the divorce court, but that so few come to that conclusion. Two theories dominate in present-day thought as reflected in our modern novels centering about the tender passion. Either " marriages are made in heaven," or, according to the new theological version of that theory, people are intended for each other by that paganized, but none the less personal, something called Nature. The one is as metaphysical and as unscientific as the other. Both are prescientific statements of an actual situation less definitely determined, however, than the theories would make us believe. The elements of attraction between well-mated personalities have never been scientifically established. Sexual attraction rests partly on a physical basis. The popular belief is that people with unlike or complementary physical qualities attract each other, very much as the positive and negative poles of a magnet. Thus, light and dark, the slim and the stout, attract each other. Some sociologists think that the novel in one's experience attracts. Others think that each group of people forms an ideal of personal beauty corresponding to its degree of mental development and of civilization. Unquestionably this ideal, to a considerable extent, grows out of imitation of superiors in social status. However, the subject waits for more careful scientific study.

Moreover, certain mental and social qualities unquestionably affect the choice. Here, again, the principle of the attraction of the unlike has been invoked. Complementary temperaments attract each other, say the advocates of this theory. A priori such a thing is conceivable. Psychologically it is possible that the slightly novel mental characteristic might attract the attention and stir the interest of another, and lead to the development of love. A standard of mental qualities each of us possesses perhaps. What are its constituent elements and how these elements are selected and organized into an ideal has never been investigated.

The important point in this connection, however, is that choice of a mate is made ordinarily on an instinctive, or at least an irrational, basis. People choose marriage partners because they like them. Certain physical and mental qualities enter into the ideal of the loved one, without a doubt, but how often are those qualities clearly analyzed and considered in all their bearings upon the future of the home and family which may be established by the two who are sexually attracted? How seldom is as much attention given by the parties to even the physical characteristics of each other as is given by stock-breeders to the physical qualities of the dams and sires of their herd ! Such questions are seldom considered even by the envious critics of the couple, not to mention the couple them-selves. All too frequently these two persons most interested in the matter do not ask themselves the question as to whether the other party to the contemplated contract is fitted to be the father or mother of their children. The attachment is formed on a romantic basis. The all-important question is, Do they love each other ? not, Have they the qualities, physical and mental, which make them suited to each other and so make possible the continuance of romantic love? Romantic love's young dream will fade. Is the basis there for love between the mature man and woman after the romance has vanished? In too many cases those questions are not considered; hence divorce.

Proposed Remedies. (1) Are Uniform Divorce Laws a Remedy? Uniform divorce laws have been suggested as a partial remedy for the present evils. It is often said that divorce is made easy for all by the fact that one state has laws providing for easy divorce, although others may have stringent laws. Those who do not find it possible to obtain a divorce in one state go therefore into the state where divorce can be easily obtained. If, on the other hand, these people argue, all the states had uniform laws modeled on a strict basis, it would be impossible for those who desire an easy divorce to obtain it. The inference is that if divorce were impossible or difficult, then the evil would cease. Is that inference justified?

No one doubts that in certain cases the law may be a stimulus to morals. There are other cases, however, in which the law is a challenge to immorality. The question as to just how far a law may go and yet be a brace to the moral sense of the community rather than a red rag flaunted in the face of a bull has not been very carefully determined. It is probable that strict divorce laws would prevent some divorces, — those which now result from mere childish caprice or ephemeral discord. Would strict laws, however, prevent the separation of those parties who have discovered between them an incompatibility which time could not overcome? Would it prevent the joyless life, and the frequent intrigues and faithlessness which history has shown can go on in despite of marriage bonds? Would it pre-vent the clandestine alliances and even poisonings, resort to which has been had in those countries and times in which divorce has been forbidden? If a mismating has occurred, such a proposal would not cure it, in fact, it might even accentuate the differences. When two people are united in the bonds of marriage and cannot live together without the deepest unhappiness, is it not the best thing for them and for any children they may have to separate?

(2) Stricter Regulation of Marriage. The much more important remedy for the divorce evil is a closer regulation of marriage. There are many good points to the banns. They are at least a recognition of the social character of marriage. They give opportunity for social regulation of a sort. If there is any real objection to the contemplated marriage, the banns give the opportunity to have such objections offered. Moreover, they put a check upon undue haste and give time for somewhat careful deliberation. On the other hand, the banns are not scientific in their nature. They do not put any emphasis upon such considerations as those suggested above. Based primarily upon religious conditions, they do not cover fundamental biological and mental and the wider social considerations. The religious banns are important for those in religious communions. It is of importance whether the people married are of the same religious persuasion, especially those of a zealous nature. The chief defects are that the banns are limited to religious people, they are based upon religious rather than social considerations, and the tests appealed to are not biological, mental, or sociological. In the absence of a more scientific method the banns of the church serve a splendid purpose for a limited part of the population who wish to get married.

(3) Eugenic Marriage Laws, as they are called, have been passed by several states. In general they require a certificate of sound health and freedom from disease, especially from venereal disease. Before them there were laws forbidding marriage between certain mental defectives, such as idiots or imbeciles, insane, and those otherwise mentally diseased. The idea at the basis of these laws is most commendable. The practical difficulty with all measures so far proposed is in the lack of scientific methods of determining whether a person is unfit for marriage. As yet, in most states, unless the person is a. manifest mental incompetent, he can get a license to wed. In some cases people who have been in insane asylums or other institutions for the mentally diseased or defective have had no trouble in securing the license. Until such time as public sentiment shall approve the introduction of careful examinations into both the physical and mental defect of people who intend to marry we shall have to be content to let the stream of human life be poisoned at its source, or have it controlled only by the rough methods which have been built out of a prescientific experience. In several states of the United States the law re-quires every person who applies for a license to marry to present a certificate from some reputable physician declaring that he has made a careful examination of the party named in the certificate and that such person is free from all venereal diseases. Great difficulty has been experienced in getting physicians who were willing to make such a declaration, especially in view of the fact that the law usually has set the price which should be charged by the physician for this examination, - a price for which the physician could not afford to make the most thorough examination known to medical science, the Wasserman test. Many physicians assert that even with the Wasserman test it cannot be known certainly that there is no disease of the kind intended to be discovered by the examination. The chief difficulty with this law is that the law requires an examination which for the common man is prohibitive in price if the regular price is charged, and which the conscientious physician cannot afford to make at the low price set in the law. As a result of these difficulties the attorney-general of Wisconsin has declared that the Wasserman test need not be applied, but that the physician may write the certificate after such examination as he can make for $3.00 the price the law allows him to charge. That interpretation, of course, destroys much of the value of the law and opens the way for charlatans to make a business of granting certificates on easy terms. A simple change making it possible for physicians to have the test made at the State Hygienic Laboratory, or at the State Psychiatric Institute, and providing the institution designated by law with the men and equipment necessary would be one method by which the present difficulties could be obviated. Still another method which might be adopted would be a requirement that the Wasserman test be made but the cost of it paid for by the county and the applicant jointly. Against this policy, however, is the objection that there would not be the certainty that the test would be properly made, while uniformity of test and thoroughness would be insured in either of the state institutions just named. This test for physical disease should be supplemented, however, by requirements that not only venereal diseases, but certain others, like tuberculosis, should be sought for, and that tests of mentality should also be given so that those who are slightly feeble-minded should not be allowed to marry.

(4) The Court of Domestic Relations. — In a number of cities in the United States this novel and interesting kind of court has been established in the hope that thereby divorce may be diminished. It is based partly on the theory that many divorces are due to the fact that there is no disinterested party which has authority to review those differences which are not fundamental in a family where discord has risen and act as mediator between the two parties. The experience of this court has shown that many families on the verge of disruption can be saved by the exercise of wise counsel and kindly help.'

(5) Raising the Social Ideals of Marriage is Necessary. — The measures just noticed, excellent as they are, merely touch the problem of divorce. They will make entrance into matrimony more deliberate, and by calling attention to some features which should be considered in selecting a mate will cause more careful thought on the whole question of fitness for such high responsibility. Vastly more important, however, are measures looking to the dissemination of information concerning the social responsibilities involved in the marriage relation and in the creation of a sentiment in favor of careful consideration of the physical and mental fitness of people for the high task of being the progenitors of the next generation. Let the taboo be lifted from this subject. People should consider these matters in the light of modern knowledge. At least, let it come to be the custom of men and women to ask themselves seriously whether they are mentally and physically fitted to be happy with the prospective partner and whether they are prepared to make the sacrifices involved in living intimately with another person for life so as to make that partnership endurable if not happy.

The state's chief concern with marriage is the question of the children. Where no children have been born to married persons, there is some doubt as to whether the state has a right to meddle with such intimate concerns as the family. Growing originally out of the state's concern for children as food for bullets or slaves for forced labor, the state has always exercised some care over the family by reason of its concern for the children. Now, with higher motives prompting the attitude, such as concern for men and women who shall be efficient citizens, strong in body and mind, adapted to the changing industrial and social conditions of our society, the state is interfering with the schooling and the working of the child. In the minds of many statesmen and social students the question is rising as to why the state should not go back one step farther and concern itself actively with the heredity of that child. Before such a program can be effective, however, the people must be educated up to the necessity of founding a family on the right biological basis. No less important is it that each individual be brought to an appreciation of the importance of considering psychological and social factors also in the choice of a mate. By the psychological factors I mean such things as the question of temperaments suitable to each other. Science will have to come to the aid of emotion in the selection of a temperamental mate. By the social considerations I mean such questions as social ideals, tastes, attitudes, and traditions. Unequal standards of living, or different ideals as to methods of bringing up children, are sometimes the entering wedges of divisive strife. Incompatible attitudes towards such things as amusements, drinking customs, personal habits, and family customs sometimes mar the peace of the family. Above all these in importance are the ideals of what a family should be and what it is for. Ideals are products of social endeavor or of social neglect. If the ideals of the family relationship are wrong, they can be corrected by social action. Education, social ostracism, social emulation, can all be used to furnish ideals of family life. The press and the pulpit, the clubs and societies which address themselves to questions of public welfare, the schools and the family itself, are all instruments of the formation of family ideals. The schools to-day, so far as they touch the problem of the family, are concerned largely with the problem of food and clothing. Where is there one which deals with the much larger problem of social adjustments in the home? We teach our girls how to cook for a man and children, and how to manage a household. Why do we not teach them how to manage a home so as to secure peace and happiness, to make it an instrument of social betterment? The boys we do not teach even that much about homemaking. We have only begun to dabble at teaching the boy how to make a living. We have not even thought about teaching him how to make a life for himself and the woman he takes as his wife, and with whom he makes the most solemn covenant to "love, honor, and protect her, to cherish her in joy and sorrow, in health and sickness, in prosperity and adversity, to be faithful to her, and never to forsake her," — a task large enough in all conscience to warrant an intelligent, instructed assent, and one which is made only to be broken in spirit probably in more than one case out of ten. When one views all the factors carefully, it ceases to excite surprise that so many marriages find their way to the divorce court.


ADLER, FELIX. Marriage and Divorce, Chap. II

COOLEY, CHARLES H. Social Organization, Chap. XXXI.

EllIS, HAVELOCK. The Task of Social Hygiene, Chaps. II—VI.

LICHTENBERGER, J. P. Divorce: A Study in Social Causation.

Special Reports of the Census Office: Marriage and Divorce, 1867-1906, 2 vols. 1909. Marriage and Divorce, Census Bulletin No. 96, 1908.

WILCOX, WALTER F. The Divorce Problem: A Study in Statistics.


1. What in your judgment has been the influence upon the divorce rate in America of the modern legal facilitations for divorce?

2. Do you think that stricter divorce laws would solve the problem presented by divorce? Why?

3. Give your explanation of the fact that so large a proportion of the divorces occur in the first five years of married life. What bearing does this fact have upon the contention that stricter divorce laws will solve the problem?

4. State the psychology of the fact that children in the home prevents divorce.

5. Explain the differences in the divorce rate in different occupations.

6. Show that the differing geographic or physical conditions of various parts of the United States do not account for the differences in the divorce rates of these parts of the country.

7. Work out the statistics of divorce for your own state and account for the variations from the figures for the whole country. (Special Reports of the Census Office: Marriage and Divorce, 1867-1906, Washington, 1909.)

8. Explain the changes which have come over many of the states of the Union in their divorce rates during the past forty years.

9. Suggest ways in which the mathematical probability of divorce can be modified by social measures.

10. Show that the legal grounds of divorce may not be the real causes.

11. State the main features of a eugenic marriage law.

12. What do you think of the French plan which requires the consent of the parents to a marriage until a certain age has been reached ? Does this unduly emphasize the interest of the family and the social idea ? Should fathers and mothers have any control? Should they be notified and should it be required that, say, six months elapse after their protest before a marriage may take place?

13. Suggest a constructive program for marriage which would lessen the number of divorces.

Outlines Of Sociology:
Social Life In General

Definition And Scope Of Sociology

Purpose And Method Of Sociology

Social Origins

Land And Its People

Social Activities

Social Organization

Organization And Life Of The Family

Disorganization Of The Modern Family

Origin And Development Of The State

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