A new study led by researchers from the University of Wisconsin has found that today’s young husbands are the first generation of men to not find wives with an equal or better education “threatening.” In fact, unlike previous generations, younger married couples who are evenly matched, education-wise, are more likely to stay together than couples in which the husband has a higher level of education.
“Researchers studied data from thousands of couples who married over a period of more than 50 years, and, for marriages which took place between the 1950s and 1980s, those in which the wife had higher levels of education than the husband were around a third more likely to end in divorce than those in which the husband was better qualified. But for couples who married after the early 1990s, when women closed the gender gap in educational attainment, the trend has gone into reverse. And those who married since the turn of the century who have equal levels of education are now more likely to stay together than their counterparts in which the man was more qualified.”
Among the younger generation of married couples — those married in the 21st century — women who had less education than their husband were about 40% more likely to divorce than those with higher levels of education than their husbands. And women with an equal level of education were about 1/3 less likely to divorce than those with less education.
Researchers say: “These trends are consistent with a shift away from a breadwinner-homemaker model of marriage toward a more egalitarian model of marriage in which women’s status is less threatening to men’s gender identity. […] The relationship between one’s educational attainment, marriage formation, and risk of divorce appears to suggest that couples are adapting to the reality that women have more education than men. Overall, our results speak against fears that women’s growing educational advantage has had more negative effects on marital stability.”
A report earlier this year, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, stated that American women born in the early 1980s are 33% more likely to have earned a college degree by the time they’re 27 than men the same age. Based on a study of more than 9,000 men and women born between 1980-1984, women were found to be more likely to attend college and more likely to have finished their degree than their male contemporaries. Of the 70% of women who started college, 46% completed their bachelor’s degree by age 27, compared to 61% of men who started college and 39% who had completed their bachelor’s degree.
Now that it’s becoming the norm for modern wives to be better educated than their husbands, surely it’s just a matter of time before a larger percentage of young wives out-earn their husbands as well AND before men are totally not threatened by that. On the contrary, I think we’ll begin to see a shift of the “sugar daddy/ trophy wife” stereotypical model of marriage — which, of course, is just ONE model — to a sugar mama/ trophy husband stereotypical model of marriage. In other words: Addie Pray, your time for a trophy husband is coming (just keep on billing those hours, girl)!!