Posts tagged ‘hypergamy’

September 30, 2013

Higher divorce risk among marriages where wives earn more than husbands, but why?

by Grace

Despite a worldwide increase in marriages where wives are more educated than their husbands, “there are so very few marriages where women earn more than their husbands”.  And these marriages are more likely to lead to divorce.

… Evidence suggests that couples are less likely to get married if the woman’s income exceeds her partner’s. Once married, a wife earning more than her husband is more likely to be unhappy in the marriage, more likely to feel pressured to take fewer hours, and more likely to get divorced.

In what Derek Thompson of the Atlantic describes as a “cool” research paper by Marianne Bertrand, Jessica Pan, and Emir Kamenica, an “intuitive” theory for these unhappy marriages is proposed.  It’s the husband’s fault.

… What if there’s a deficit of marriages where the wife is the top earner because — to put things bluntly — husbands hate being out-earned by their wives, and wives hate living with husbands who resent them?

If this were true, we would expect to see at least three four other things to be true. First, we’d expect marriages with female breadwinners to be surprisingly rare. Second, we’d expect them to produce unhappier marriages. Third, we might expect these women to cut back on hours, do more household, or make other gestures to make their husbands feel better. Fourth, we’d expect these marriages to end more in divorce. Lo and behold (as you no doubt guessed), the economists found all of those assumptions borne out by the evidence.

Wait a minute.  Commenters to this story argue that this is just as likely to be the wife’s fault. 

What is the basis for laying this issue squarely at the feet of men?

What if there’s a deficit of marriages where the wife is the top earner because — to put things bluntly — wives hate settling for men who earn less than them and many women’s hypergamy lead them to resenting husbands whom they out-earn.

If you’re going to resort to random speculation, why not speculate equitably.

This story follows what I’ve seen described as common rule of gender issue reporting; blame it on men.

It’s a fundamental law of gender-issue reporting. Should any inequity be discovered between men and women, it must always be framed as either advantageous towards women, or, if obviously disadvantageous towards women, be framed as somehow men’s fault.

More men graduating – this is obviously a product of a sexist society and we must spend resources and restructure society to rectify this travesty.

More women graduating – the is a natural consequence of earlier female maturity and better communication skills for an information-based economy.

Men make more money – Evil, sexist. We must ban pink princess toys and create a national daycare system.

Women make more money – Hail our new feminist overlords – it’s the End of Men and “Get over it, guys. It’s a woman’s world, now.”

What if “the wives resent their husbands as losers and parasites who are not as good as other men they know”?  Especially since “84% of working women want to stay home with kids”.

Related:  Trouble for some marriages where wives earn more than husbands (Cost of College)

April 11, 2013

How would you advise your daughter?

by Grace

Would you advise your daughter to look for a husband while she’s in college?

Susan Patton set off internet mania with her recent ‘letter to the Daily Princetonian newspaper advising the school’s female students: “You will never again have this concentration of men who are worthy of you. . . . Find a husband on campus before you graduate.”‘

Her advice proved wildly unpopular among a vocal segment of progressive thinkers.

Feminist attacks on Ms. Patton began immediately—the paper’s website was swamped with complaints, the Twitter crowd was livid, and writers lit into her at Slate, New York magazine and beyond.

Another mother gave the same advice.

Five years ago when she was a Dartmouth college junior, Emily Esfahani Smith was surprised when her mother gave her similar advice to start looking for a husband.  Why would “a strong, career-oriented feminist” start pressuring her daughter to get married?

..  She knew what few, if any, feminists would tell young women today: There is far more to happiness than career success.

It turns out academically gifted women value their careers less than similar men do.

Career success and relationships are both undoubtedly important to women’s happiness, but many young and ambitious women value their personal lives more than their career aspirations. And that feeling intensifies over time.

In a 2009 study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, David Lubinski and his team at Vanderbilt found that in a sample of academically gifted young adults, women became less career-oriented than men over time. As they approached middle age, women also placed more value than men on spending time with family, community and friends. These differences became more pronounced with parenthood.

Some reasons to try for early marriage:

  1. There is a larger pool of eligible men for younger women, given the historical patterns of assortative mating and hypergamy.
  2. Finding the right husband is important whether a woman wants to prioritize career or family.
  3. A good marriage can be personally fulfilling.

Some reasons to wait:

  1. In some cases, early marriages are at greater risk of divorce.  (The more important factors correlating with higher divorce rates appear to be marriage at age 20 or younger and the lack of a college degree.)
  2. Marriage may limit a woman’s education and career choices.
  3. Some people need more time to develop and understand their values.

The middle ground:

… Don’t get married so young you don’t understand life, or too old that you can’t experience the joy of losing yourself in a loving spouse and family. I’d spend a couple years seeing the world after the Ivy League before making the leap.

Megan McArdle expounded on the topic, and made the point that the “age at which the right person comes along depends on luck, not some kind of calendar”.

In this annoying but slightly amusing video, Garfunkel and Oates sing about how things change for a woman between the ages of 29 and 31.


Related:

March 27, 2013

Quick Links – Middle school mess; hypergamy and single-parent families; bipartisan cuts to higher ed; and more

by Grace

◊◊◊  The middle school debate

Various views on the middle school model were presented in the New York Times last year.

You don’t have to have to read all the studies to know that the ages between 10 and 13 are socially awkward ones. But they are also important ones academically, crucial in determining college and career outcomes. Would these preteens be better off staying in an elementary school that covers kindergarten through eighth grade? Or is there a reason why this age group needs to be sectioned off into a separate middle school?

Another observation on the Middle School Mess:

American middle schools have become the places “where academic achievement goes to die.”  — Cheri Pierson Yecke

◊◊◊  Fewer college-educated men are reason for rise in single parent families?

The effects of a low sex ratio

As this column has repeatedly noted, women are hypergamous, which means that their instinct is to be attracted to men of higher status than themselves. When the societywide status of women increases relative to men, the effect is to diminish the pool of suitable men for any given woman. If most women reject most men as not good enough for them, the effect is no different from that of a low sex ratio. High-status men, being in short supply, set the terms of relationships, resulting in libertine sexual mores and higher illegitimacy.

I rarely see the term “illegitimacy” used these days.

◊◊◊  ‘Bipartisan Support for Cutting Higher-Ed

The national trend is marked: between 2009 and 2012, 47 states cut higher education spending per FTE. The median (mean) reduction was just over 23 percent (22 percent). Just three states saw increases: Illinois (unified Democratic government), North Dakota (unified Republican government), and Rhode Island (divided government with Republican governor).

When they have had unified government, both Democrats and Republicans have cut higher education funding. If we look at the seven states with unified Democratic control over this period, six reduced funding. Those six (excluding Illinois’s 2.8 percent increase) reduced funding by between 19 and 31 percent (West Virginia and Washington respectively) for an average reduction of 22.9 percent.

Of the nine states under unified Republican control, eight reduced funding by an average of 25.2 percent, ranging from a 0.2 percent decline in South Dakota to 42.8 percent reduction in Idaho. Texas, one of Leonard’s great villains, reduced funding by 9.2 percent (less than any of the Democratically-controlled states). Florida cut funding by 27 percent, which outranked all but one unified Democratic state. So while Republican-controlled states did cut higher education spending, they were not alone; unified Democratic governments more than held their own. (Of the 17 states with divided government, 16 reduced higher ed spending by an average of 25 percent during the period)….

These data suggest a bipartisan national trend, not a conservative conspiracy. The vast majority of states–whether controlled by Republicans or Democrats–have cut higher education funding in response to budget deficits.

◊◊◊  Grandparents’ contribution make up about 9.5 percent of the total 529 assets

By all accounts, Grandma and Grandpa are more active than ever in funding their grandkids’ educations, including sinking money into 529 college savings plans….

By the end of 2012, American families had a record $190.7 billion socked away in 529 college savings plans, according to a March 13 report from the College Savings Plans Network. …

Parents still contribute the lion’s share of funds invested in 529 accounts. But contributions from grandparents now make up about 9.5 percent of the total, according to the most recent data from the Financial Research Corp, which tracks 529 investments. It was a substantial enough increase that FRC started keeping track of which types of relatives were funding 529s for the first time last year.

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