The Rise of Wives

January 19, 2010

The Pew Research Center has just published a revealing and fascinating look at the dramatic shifts underway in gender roles, particularly as they relate to marriage.  According to the report, "The institution of marriage has undergone significant changes in recent decades as women have outpaced men in education and earnings growth.  The unequal gains have been accompanied by gender role reversals in both the spousal characteristics and the economic benefits of marriage."

Two of the most fascinating facts, to me, were:

  • A few decades back, a majority of women said they would consider marrying a man they didn't love -- IF he were a strong financial provider.  In Pew's most recent research, an overwhelming majority (87%) of the American women surveyed said they would not marry a man they didn't love because of his money.  Instead, the top qualities they were looking for in a man were:  intimate communication skills and willingness to pitch in as an equal partner on the homefront.
  •  There's been a statistically significant increase in the number of men -- particularly in the 30-44 age group -- who are married to women who are better educated and earn more money than they do.

Here's the link to Pew Research Center's report on:  New Economics of Marriage:  The Rise of Wives. 

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