Bodycrimes made this comment in reply on a post she wrote about Older men and Younger women:
“Except that women aren’t making that sacrifice at all. Women who are university educated are now the most likely to get married and have families. Professional and educated men do not marry uneducated women. The worst thing a woman who aspires to a middle class or above life could do is to fail to get an education and career.”
Are there studies that on the surface would seem to support what she said? Yes.
This study sited at the HuffingtonPost would be one that seems to confirm her opinion:
“According to a new study by NYU sociologists Paula England and Jonathan Bearak, prepared for the Council on Contemporary Families, college-educated women are now as likely to get married as their less-educated peers — even if the weddings happen in a somewhat older age range. These findings contradict the previously prevailing idea that women who pursued higher education were more likely to delay finding a mate past some stereotypical “marriageable age” while studying and building demanding careers.”
However as you dig deeper into the study, you note the disparity between races on this issue.
“In terms of race, the delayed marriage boost that college education produces is far more pronounced for black women than for white women. While “black women have lower odds of ever marrying than white women … getting a college education raises ultimate marriage rates by the 30s and 40s much more substantially for blacks than whites.” Black women who don’t complete high school are far less likely to get married than any other group.”
Because there is a complete breakdown of the nuclear family in the black community of the United States, where almost 70% of black children are born out of wedlock Black women need that extra education to give them that leg up. But in other racial groups, especially with whites, where the out of wedlock birth rate is more around 30%, a woman having a college education does not have as high an impact on her marriageability or getting into the middle class.
This study cited by the Huffington Post also shows that these same college educated women, while having a better chance of getting married (and as I pointed out this is more in the black community than in other racial communities) also marry much later.
What they don’t report is that these women who marry later in life often have a lot more fertility issues and this is one of the contributing factors to declining birth rates in most western nations (including the US).
But is a higher education all positive for women? Not really according to this study cited at Bloomberg.com:
“Women who have come out on top in the job market may not find similar success in the marriage market… Aversion to wives earning more than husbands could be leading to fewer weddings and more divorces, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper… couples where a wife earns more are less satisfied with their marriage and are more likely to divorce”
The higher educated a woman is, and the more she makes directly lessens her chances of getting married and even if she does get married her chances of divorce are much higher.
The study cited in the HuffingtonPost and the one at Bloomberg.com are not contradictory when you look at the racial factor. There is truly a marriage crisis in the Black community, to deny so would be to deny what every government and private study shows us. Does poverty have some affect? Yes. But even in other racial communities where poverty exists marriage rates are much higher than in lower income black areas.
If you remove the racial factor, for whites especially, a woman having a higher education makes her LESS likely to get married, and when she does get married she will have a much higher chance of divorce.
That may not sit well with my feminist and egalitarian friends, but it is the truth.