Monday, January 22, 2007

About all those single American women:

Remember that statistic that came out a few days ago, about women and marriage? A study by the NY Times said that 51% of American adult women were living without a spouse, and "family advocacy" groups told us that was a lamentable statistic. As I wrote about here, I didn't see anything negative in that conclusion, and now some analysis is coming out to support my stance:

Statistics show that college educated women are more likely to marry than non college educated women — although they marry, on average, two years later. The popular image might have been true even 20 years ago — though generally speaking, most women probably didn’t boil the bunny rabbit the way Ms. Close’s character did in 1987. In the past, less educated women often “married up.” In “Working Girl,” Melanie Griffith triumphs. Now, marriage has become more one of equals; when more highly educated men marry, it tends to be more highly educated women. Today, Harrison Ford and Sigourney Weaver would live happily ever after.

Women with more education also are becoming less likely to divorce, or inclined to divorce, than those with less education. They are even less likely to be widowed all in all, less likely to end up alone.

“Educated women used to have a difficult time,” said David Popenoe, co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University. “Now they’re the most desired.” In Princeton, where he lives, men used to marry “way down the line,” Mr. Popenoe said. No more. (NYT)

The article closes with another positive finding:

All this leads to a happiness gap, too. According to the Marriage Project, the percentage of spouses who rate their marriage as “very happy” has dropped among those without a college education, while it has risen or held steady among those better educated.

1 comment:

I-Cat said...

This study also counted young women who had never moved out of their parents' homes yet as "choosing not to marry."