Monday, January 25, 2010

The Right Man Is Getting Harder to Find?

mister_right Richard Whitmire, author of the blog “Why Boys Fail”, on what happens when fairy-tale dreams collide with the dreaded ‘operational sex-ratio.’

A sea change in relationships is taking place as everyone adjusts to the new reality of women being better educated and in some cases more preferred than men in the workforce. Especially unsettling to some men is their role as second-best earner in the family. As the Pew report documents, 22% of men with "some college" are now outearned by their wives, up from 4% in 1970…

There's no single answer to the "why" question, but social scientists agree that the education mismatch Ms. Downtain experiences with men is a significant player behind the increase in college-educated women choosing single motherhood…

Women are feeling the pinch from years of gender imbalances on college campuses, where today nearly 58% of all bachelor's degrees and 62% of associate's degrees are earned by women. Given that women prefer to find a well-educated, reliable earner as a husband, this creates a simple math problem. Well-educated women can't find enough equally or better-educated men to marry.

Couple the education gap with the current economic "man-cession"—as many as 80% of the jobs lost in the recession were held by men—and the dilemma for single women becomes even worse. Today, more and more well-educated women have to ask themselves: Am I willing to "marry down"?

Read the whole thing.


thinking said...

That Pew report was interesting in many ways.

Tara Parker-Pope, writing in the NYTimes, notes:
While the changing economic roles of husbands and wives may take some getting used to, the shift has had a surprising effect on marital stability. Over all, the evidence shows that the shifts within marriages — men taking on more housework and women earning more outside the home — have had a positive effect, contributing to lower divorce rates and happier unions.

...The net result tends to be a marriage that is more fair and equitable to husbands and wives.

thinking said...

Interesting data from the article:

In states where fewer wives have paid jobs, divorce rates are higher.

American couples where both the husband and wife work have lower divorce rates than couples where the man is the main breadwinner.

Divorce rates in the US have fallen as women have gained more financial independence.