Once upon a time, you maybe won’t be surprised to hear, if a wife was more educated than her husband, the chances were higher that the marriage would end in divorce.
Whether it was because the less educated husbands were threatened, or this particular distinction indicated that the husband and wife were probably so different in so many other ways that they were already headed for their lawyers’ offices anyway, researchers were never sure—but they were sure about was the pattern.
It is no longer so, say the scientists! Well thank goodness and sheesh, it’s 2014, say the rest of us.
The study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, published in the August issue of the American Sociological Review, declares that times really have changed when it comes to this particular topic. They looked at marriages starting back in 1950, and guess what the numbers show:
It finds that marriages between educational equals have remained most common, but that when there is a difference, women are increasingly likely to have the educational edge.
In about half of marriages begun in the early 2000s, spouses had roughly equal educations. In nearly 30%, the wife had more and in about 20%, the husband had more — a reversal of the pattern seen in the 1950s through at least the late 1970s.
In those earlier eras, marriages in which wives were more educated were less likely to last.
It all suggests, they say, that all those traditional gender expectations pertaining to marriage are waning, and that the menfolk are now pretty much A-ok with their ladies being huge smarty pants, and with them raking in the big bucks.
All of which is good, especially if you fully plan on racking up those degrees along with that marriage certificate.