Today in Sex: College Degree No Longer Equals Spinsterhood

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Historically, a college education might have helped a lady get a better job, but when it came to landing a husband, the less-educated broad had the advantage. No more. A study by the Pew Research Center has found for the first time, that white college graduates, between the ages of 35 and 39, were just as likely to marry as those who didn't graduate.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Richard Fry, author of the study said, "It's a historic reversal. There was a time in the early 20th century when there was a huge marriage gap." Whether or not this has anything to do with it, it's also interesting to note that recent statistics show women attending college in greater numbers than men. (Twenty-nine percent of women, compared with 25% of men.)

According to the study, "in 1950, 66 percent of white female college graduates married by age 40, compared with 93 percent of their less-educated counterparts. That gap has been steadily shrinking for decades." Today that gap evaporated completely.

Among African American women, there's still a gap, but it's in the opposite direction: Since 1990, college-educated Black women have been more likely to marry than those with less education. (There's no historic data on Hispanic women.)

According to the Post, "Probing the trend, researchers found that much of this shift has been driven by a declining likelihood of marriage among men and women without college degrees." It's thought that both groups are putting off marriage and shacking up instead, until they're financially stable. Thus raising the average age for first marriage to 28 whether you've got the cap and gown or not.

"College-educated women of all races are basically in the heyday of marriage today," she said. "They are marrying at rates similar to what the college-educated women of their mothers' generation did, but doing so later in life, and they are marrying at rates much higher than the college-educated women of their grandmothers' generation. And they have become less likely to divorce compared to their mothers' generation."

But one thing to remember, ladies—in order to hang onto that husband, you're probably going to want to make less money than he does. Sigh.

 
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