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Marriage - Do Educated Women have a chance?


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#1 Rail Paul

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 09:39 PM

NPR ran a short piece about a recent study at the University of Washington which looked at the chances of highly educated women ever marrying. Contrary to their original expectation, the researchers found that a woman's chances of becoming married increase with educational level.

The survey examined census data from 1980 and 2000, and determined that many men find an educated woman more attractive. They surmise that the shift in roles toward two equal partners and away from master-subordinate roles played a part.

The "success gap" which measures educational levels stood at 18 points in 1980, but had shrunk to 5 points by 2000, as people married other people of reasonably similar backgrounds. Dr Elaina Rose was asked whether "marrying up" is still common. She responded that it is much less likely in 2000 than in 1980, although men were slightly more likely to marry up now than in 1980. (I speculate the rapid increase in the number of educated women might play a role here.)

One area she did not develop, and which Bob Edwards didn't pursue, was her assertion that marriage had dropped dramatically as education levels declined. It's much less common, statistically, for persons of lower educational achievement to be married now than in 1980, she said. My sense is that would have led into an area NPR would prefer not to pursue...

Decline in Marriage?
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#2 Orik

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 09:51 PM

This study, based on fairly recent data, seems to reach different conclusions:

http://www.socio.eth...ds/marriage.pdf
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#3 Rail Paul

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 10:16 PM

I'd like to read the UW study, and compare it to the German study.

I know that, in my office, the subject has been discussed quite often. Usually in the context of "why are all the decent guys married?"
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#4 Orik

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 10:23 PM

I would think that it's quite easy to get a qualitative picture from examining the evolution of age, gender and claimed education and status on personal ad boards.
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#5 SFJoe

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 02:36 PM

The "success gap" which measures educational levels stood at 18 points in 1980, but had shrunk to 5 points by 2000

This has the interesting effect of increasing the inequality of household incomes. If the doctors marry the doctors and the nurses marry the nurses, for instance, the disparity is much larger than in the more traditional model where the male doctors married the female nurses.

#6 Rail Paul

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 04:08 PM


The "success gap" which measures educational levels stood at 18 points in 1980, but had shrunk to 5 points by 2000

This has the interesting effect of increasing the inequality of household incomes. If the doctors marry the doctors and the nurses marry the nurses, for instance, the disparity is much larger than in the more traditional model where the male doctors married the female nurses.

That's an interesting observation. As more women accumulate professional accomplishments, it will likely become even more true. In some professional schools, women are now half the population (as well they should be)

I believe the piece mentioned it's very unusual for women to marry down. They almost always marry across, or marry up. Men are much more likely to marry down. That will emerge as a social issue in ethnic and racial groups where the educational level achievements between men and women has widened significantly.
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#7 Rich

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 02:14 AM

Where are we now???

Interesting topic. I wish my wife was smart.

Before anyone gets offended - if she was, she never would have said yes!!!