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Gender Stratification and Divorce Trends

The question of gender stratification is tightly integrated into various vital parts of individuals’ personal and public lives. The ways males and females interact within the society is essential to fully comprehend the effect gender roles have on various aspects of culture. Different thinkers have applied theories and perspectives to analyze how gender has shaped people’s behavior and experiences. Some frameworks explain the reasons behind inequalities and ways to challenge the status quo. One of the most prominent societal processes is marriage, as it directly reflects family trends in the given decade. Thus, understanding gender stratification through various sociological approaches can help learn more about divorce trends and their applications.

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Various theories have contributed to the analysis of gender inequalities. The functionalist perspective perceives social structures as a complex order whose elements work collectively to strengthen cooperation and security (Griffiths et al., 2015). The theory implies that gender stratification exists as a method to form a division of labor or a universal order in which a distinct part of the community is liable for specific acts of work. Whereas, different work segment is qualified for separate tasks within the system.

Another perspective is a conflict theory, which perceives the societal relations from a macro-level view. Furthermore, it examines society from the viewpoint of a struggle for limited resources (Griffiths et al., 2015). Similarly to other members of a community with control or capital advantage in conflict theory, males actively fight to sustain their authority over political and economic resources. Thus, the disagreement between the two gender groups prompted the Women’s Suffrage Movement and had influenced social change. Lastly, symbolic interactionism is a micro-level perspective in sociology that focuses on how society is built and sustained through constant communications among people. The theoretical notion of “doing gender” illustrates the artificially assembled essence of masculinity and femininity emerging out of repeated interaction and means of cultural socialization (Carter & Fuller, 2016). Overall, different perspectives have examined gender stratification in the context of their theoretical frameworks.

Furthermore, marriage and divorce trends are directly connected to gender stratification. During the second half of the twentieth century, the reformed gender roles of females in the household and the job market transcribed into a withdrawal from conventional marriage. Moreover, fertility has also declined, and marital instability increased (Pessin, 2018). Suddenly, in the United States, divorce rates stabilized at the beginning of the 1980s and were dropping ever since. Thus, the subgroup of baby boomers was particularly affected by the rapid changes. A contemporary explanation of this implies that gender equality’s predominance is core to comprehending new marriage and fertility adjustments. At first, the inconsistency between women’s improvement in the social sphere and traditional performance in personal life raised household instability and fertility decline. After that, at the turn of the twenty-first century and further, scholars predict a return of steady marriages (Pessin, 2018). Thus, the subgroups of Generation Z families will experience the long-lasting family units. Such projection is connected to the fact that social institutions and families begin readjusting to women’s novel roles outside the institute of marriage.

In conclusion, gender stratification can be examined through numerous sociological theories, which explain changes in divorce trends. The functionalist theoretical perspective suggests that gender inequalities help to form a division of labor. Moreover, the struggle between the two genders, based on the conflict theory, inspired positive social transformation. Lastly, the symbolic interactionism explains the social origins of masculinity and femininity. Overall, the development of women’s roles in the late twentieth century has prompted a change in marriage, leading to emerging divorces. However, the family unit became more stable over time, as public and private spheres of life are not in conflict.


Carter, M. J., & Fuller, C. (2016). Symbols, meaning, and action: The past, present, and future of symbolic interactionism. Current Sociology, 64(6), 931-961. Web.

Griffiths, H., Keirns, N., Strayer, E., Sadler, T., Cody-Rydzewski, S., Scaramuzzo, G., Vyain, S., Bry, J., & Jones, F. (2015). Introduction to Sociology 2e. OpenStax.

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Pessin, L. (2018). Changing gender norms and marriage dynamics in the United States. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 80(1), 25–41. Web.

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