Heads or Tails?

It was known at a young age that Tiger Woods was going to be something special. Tiger shot a 48 at the age of 3. He went on to win the junior world championships six times, was a All-American at Stanford, won 14 major championships, and was the first ever athlete to be worth a billion dollars. He has won a countless amount of  other awards over the years also.  He continually dominated the game of golf year after year. Throughout this whole time one thing was known and that was Tiger Woods was a winner. What everyone didn’t know was while Tiger Woods the golfer was excelling, Tiger Woods the person was struggling with marital issues.

On November 25, 2009 it hit the news that Tiger Woods had been having multiple affairs. This was a huge shock for me and I’m sure it was also a big shock to many other Tiger Woods fans. When people today think of professional athletes they are seen as spectacles and people forget that a lot of them have issues just like us normal people. I have gotten past Tiger Woods mistakes and continue to be a supporter. For many other former Tiger Woods fans this is not the case though. This has not only hurt his fan base but has also caused a loss of endorsements.

According to divorcerate.org the divorce rate in America is almost 50% for people getting married for the first time and increases in the second and third marriage.[1] I understand that Tiger Woods is looked up to by many and is held to a higher set of standards, but lets cut the man some slack here. Is he not just simply  falling in a category that half of the people getting married in America have fallen into? Which I think brings up a even greater issue; is marriage becoming over rated? I mean, if 50% of marriages are failing and this percentage is on a constant rise it seems like its a coin flip whether or not the marriage is going to last. Divorce is not only problematic for the couple involved. It can also be trying for the children of the divorcees. In 92 meta-analysis studies done on children  that compared children living in divorced single-parent families with children living in continuously intact families on measures of well-being, it was found that  children of divorce scored lower than children in intact families across a variety of outcomes.[2]

If someone said to you heads or tails, heads you have a great beautiful wife with two children and an everlasting marriage and tails you still have a beautiful wife with two children, but after 7 or 8 years the marriage comes crashing down, your wife takes the house, the kids, and you’re stuck paying child support and only seeing your children every other weekend. Do you take the coin flip?

Some might say that the risks are starting to outweigh the rewards in this case. Moving forward, what has caused this shocking statistic and what can be done to get the divorce rate moving in the right direction?


1. http://www.divorcerate.org/

2. Parental divorce and the well-being of children: A meta-analysis.

Amato, Paul R.; Keith, Bruce

Psychological Bulletin, Vol 110(1), Jul 1991, 26-46. doi:



7 thoughts on “Heads or Tails?

  1. I think this a great topic to discuss for this post. The news about Tiger Woods certainly surprised many people, even those of us who don’t follow sports. In our culture, athletes, singers, and actors become untouchable icons. We idolize and try to be like them. But the reality is that these are just human beings. They face many of the same problems and challenges that we do every day. At the same time, these celebrities should realize that people look up to them – kids and adults. They are constantly under a microscope and are always being watched. Because of this, they should try to be on their best behavior. Being a role model is a challenging but important position and should be treated as such.

  2. Divorce in the U.S. is definitely a very interesting topic to discuss. Being an only child of divorced parents, I must admit that having divorced parents has had its challenges; however, I am extremely fortunate to have parents who tolerate each other and can be at my events in peace and harmony. It is rather startling to see the statistics about divorce and how the divorce rate has exponentially increased from the early 1900s. It seems to me that peoples’ inabilities to stay married is now a social norm. You bring up a great point about whether or not people are supposed to get married in 2014. Although statistics fight against my belief, I believe that marriage is a crucial aspect of one’s life. It provides a person with challenges and rewards. Overall, marriage improves one’s character and I hope this trend of divorce does not replace long-term devotion to a partner.

  3. Wow. You are doing maybe two volte faces here. Firstly, the misdirection from are athletes held to a higher standard? to divorce and its prevalence.

    Then, within that, wondering whether marriage is worth it.

    Divorce rates going up is not per se all bad. It was rarer in earlier times because women died more often in childbirth, women had fewer economic opportunities and so divorce was a sure fire trip to poverty town (it still can be), and, of course, religion and custom forbade it.

    I can say that a higher divorce rate is a sign of more economic and personal freedom for women and all people.

    Now, if kids are left without emotional or financial support, that is a problem.

    A few states, like Louisiana, I think, have experimented with two kinds of marriage: normal and “covenant”. If you opt in to the latter you have to show that your spouse did something wrong to get a divorce. the law is a way to opt in to the “good old days.”

    Would you opt in to one if you thought it would raise your chances of life long marriage?

  4. I think there is an interesting point. Would you marry someone if you know that there will be a 50% chance you will divorce? I remember that there is a joke about statistics. A statistic mathematician is afraid of the terrorist attack on planes, so he never take flights. And he found that the possibility of one terrorist bombing a plane is about 1/10000. However, the possibility of two terrorists on the bombing the same plane is nearly 0. So every time he take flights, he will carry a bomb personally. So is the statistics always apply to reality? Should people never marry simply because that they are likely to divorce later on. I do not think so.

  5. You bring up some interesting points here. Celebrities are often overly criticized for things that normal people do to. “So and so spotted without make up on!” Like, SHOCKING but I don’t wear makeup sometimes too! This double standard is not necessarily fair, but I guess that is the risk these celebrities face.

    I think the topic of divorce and how it is becoming more prevalent is extremely interesting. I agree with Professor Comas that women having more economic freedom has likely contributed to this rise, and I also think that women having a higher standing in society has contributed to this as well. Before, divorce was frowned upon and women did not want to shock society with a divorce, so they often were forced to stay in these horrible, sometimes abusive, marriages. Now with divorce becoming more common and socially acceptable, women are able to stand up for themselves more.

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