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Address. Yue Qian : My study did not discredit the importance of education in shaping marriage patterns, but it advanced prior research toward a more comprehensive understanding of mate selection by taking income into consideration.
Institute for Family Studies P. Box Charlottesville, VA michael ifstudies. Indeed, income may have become increasingly important in the selection of marriage partners in recent decades. Thus, men may hesitate to form marital relationships with women who have both more education and higher incomes than they do. Yue Qian: No, I was not really surprised because prior research has found a stalling of progress toward gender equality since the s, suggesting that the norm against marriages in which women have higher status than their husbands may also have changed little in recent decades.
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Some well-educated women today choose to step out of the workforce temporarily to be at home with their children. Mailing Address: P. Box Charlottesville, VA info ifstudies. First Name. Why do think the pattern differed for these couples?
The sample included U. Following is that discussion, which has been edited for length:. Last Name. Please feel free to by using your preferred method detailed below. Your donation will be tax-deductible. Yue Qian: For the most part, the tendency for women to marry up in income was greater among couples who shared the same education level: When compared with couples in which the wife had less education than the husband, the tendency for women to marry up in income was 54 percent higher among couples in which both spouses had a high school education, 31 percent higher among couples in which both spouses had some college education, and 23 percent higher among couples in which both spouses had a college degree or above.
What impact has this had on marriage patterns? Yue Qian: Indeed, women have made greater gains in education than men during the past few decades in the United States and, to some extent, globally.
It was beyond the scope of my study to investigate why it was the case, but I can make some speculations based on recent family and economic trends. Family LifeCoronavirus. Using sophisticated statistical models log-linear models to control for gender differences and shifts in marginal distributions of education and income, I found that the tendency for women to marry up in income was greater when they married down in education : Women were 93 percent more likely to marry men in higher income deciles than themselves among couples in which the wife had more education than the husband than among couples in which the wife had less education than the husband.
My study showed that for a majority of couples, husbands were in a higher income decile than their wives regardless of the time period and the educational pairing of spouses. But recent research indicates that is not the case: male breadwinning continues to be central to not only marriage formation but also marital stability.
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For media inquiries, contact Michael Toscano michael ifstudies. The Institute for Family Studies P. Box Charlottesville, VA If you would like to donate online, please click the button below to be taken to our donation form:. MarriageWomenMenMedia and Technology. You did find one exception—among couples where both the husband and wife had low levels of education.
We encourage members of the media interested in learning more about the people and projects behind the work of the Institute for Family Studies to get started by perusing our "Media Kit" materials. Men with no high school diploma, but not their female counterparts, have experienced a dramatic decline in income in recent decades.
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Contact Interested in learning more about the work of the Institute for Family Studies? In Defense of Housework by John A. MarriageDating. In other words, if two spouses differed in their level of education, in the husband was more likely to have more education, but in —, the wife was more likely to be the more educated spouse.
Rigged for Exclusivity by Julia Evanko. Yue Qian: Couples in which both spouses had very low levels of education appeared to be an exception to this pattern: The tendency for women to marry up in income did not differ ificantly between couples in which both spouses had less than a high school education and couples in which the wife had less education than the husband. Between andeducational assortative mating patterns i.
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The economic vulnerability of men with very low levels of education suggests that a pronounced tendency for women to marry up in income may not be particularly evident among couples in which both spouses have less than a high school education. My study resonated with this line of research and showed that men and women continued to form marriages in which the wife's socioeconomic status did not exceed that of the husband.
The growing income inequality in recent decades likely increases the costs of women marrying down economically. Interested in learning more about the work of the Institute for Family Studies? Media Inquiries For media inquiries, contact Michael Toscano michael ifstudies.
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Among newlywed couples, the percentage of couples in which the husband had more education than the wife declined from 24 percent in to 15 percent in —, whereas the share of couples in which the wife had more education than the husband increased from 22 percent to 29 percent during the same period.
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Did it surprise you at all that despite women having more education and opportunity than ever before, most still prefer to marry men with higher incomes? You found that despite advancements in women's educational achievement and workforce participation, women continue to marry up in income, especially when they are more educated than their husbands. Tell us more about that finding.