From the M.R.S to the Ph.D.

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In this article, Stephanie Coontz argues that the traditional gender roles relating a woman's education level and her marriage no longer hold. In the past, basically up through the 1970s and 80s, men were supposed to be smarter than their female counterparts. This forced many women to choose between having an education or a "successful" marriage. Today, though, 30% of all wives are more educated than their husbands, as opposed to 20% of husbands being more educated.

These statistics, as well as studies on male preferences among other things, provide strong evidence that gender roles in marriage are changing. Coontz's argument is presented in a chronological fashion, beginning by explaining the past and continuing on to show the evolution of female education and its effect on their marriages.

The author brings up an interesting counterpoint to her argument, which is that many young women today want a man to be smarter than them, a man they can admire. To counter this point she argues that while yes, maybe you do want that, but (statistically) you also want a man that is sensitive to your emotional cues and that helps around the house; in order to satisfy the latter two, you will likely be better off with a "low-key" guy rather than a "powerhouse."

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This page contains a single entry by Gretchen Buechler published on February 13, 2012 8:33 AM.

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