London, Mar 18 (UNI) Scientists have found that girls of divorcee parents are less likely to marry and are more likely to delay having children.
They are also more likely to work because they cannot rely on finding a husband to support them, the study revealed.
The finding came from research into how changes in marriage laws have affected women's lives. Experts looked at four countries in which divorce was legalised between 1971 and 1996 - Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland.
They compared different aspects of women's lives, their likelihood of getting married, having children and getting a job, before and after the laws were changed.
The results were then compared with the situation in other European countries such as Britain, which has allowed divorce for centuries.
They discovered that in this country, the offsprings of divorced parents were much less likely to have children themselves.
The report said, ''Women exposed to divorce as children are 47 per cent less likely to have a dependent child under 16.'' The findings, which were published by the Royal Economic Society, suggested that since the 1970s, fewer women were getting married, more were bringing up children alone and more than half of all mothers of young children went out to work.
The researchers found that men and women who grew up in a country where divorce was legal were 11 per cent less likely to marry than in a society where divorce was forbidden. And in countries with legal divorce, those who did marry waited until later in life.
Researchers Dr Tarja Viitanen of Sheffield University and Dr Libertad Gonzalez, a Barcelona-based academic, said, ''Legal divorce appears to have effects beyond altering relationship behaviour.
Women who grow up in countries where divorce is legal are seven per cent more likely to participate in the labour force.
''They are more likely to earn more, but they are also likely to receive more in benefits. This makes sense, as women cannot rely on their husbands supporting them,'' the Daily Mail quoted them as saying.
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