In a big study about male preferences in their mate, some interesting data emerged. Writing in the NYT Stephanie Coontz makes the case for why women getting educated in increasing numbers does not mean they will become less attractive to men, but more.
For more than a century, women oftenwere forced to choose between an education and a husband. Of women who graduated from college before 1900, more than three-quarters remained single. As late as 1950, one-third of white female college graduates ages 55 to 59 had never married, compared with only 7 percent of their counterparts without college degrees.
But over the past 30 years, these prejudices have largely disappeared. By 1996, intelligence and education had moved up to No. 5 on men’s ranking of desirable qualities in a mate. The desire for a good cook and housekeeper had dropped to 14th place, near the bottom of the 18-point scale. The sociologist Christine B. Whelan reports that by 2008, men’s interest in a woman’s education and intelligence had risen to No. 4, just after mutual attraction, dependable character and emotional stability.
The result has been a historic reversal of what the economist Elaina Rose calls the “success” penalty for educated women. By 2008, the percentage of college-educated white women ages 55 to 59 who had never been married was down to 9 percent, just 3 points higher than their counterparts without college degrees. And among women 35 to 39, there was no longer any difference in the percentage who were married.
My wife is definitely smarter than I am, a lawyer for many years before moving on to design and then work with children’s advocacy. And that intelligence was a big factor in my being attracted to her.
Guys, what to you think?
(PS I am glad to see that “Chastity” has basically dropped off the list)