New York Times columnist John Tierney has an interesting op/ed today on the looming crisis of too many edumacated uppity wimmin chasing after a dwindling supply of eligible (edumacated and white collar) males. The "crisis" stems from the fact that nearly 3 women graduate from college for every 2 men who do. Tierney points out that under 35 year old men say in polls that they have no big problem marrying women who make more money than they do. However, women who have gone to the trouble of getting a college degree do not want to marry a guy whose pint-sized paycheck would occasion malicious gossip among her friends.
Tierney seems to be onto something. A year or so ago, a professor in a graduate political science program at a leading state university told me that his department was beginning to think about an affirmative action plan for males. Why? Because his department could fill all its classes with qualified women, but women wouldn't apply to the program unless there are some eligible bachelors alongside them in the classrooms.
The women surveyed were less willing to marry down--marry someone with much lower earnings or less education--than the men were to marry up. And, in line with Jane Austen, the women were also more determined to marry up than the men were. You may think that women's attitudes are changing as they get more college degrees and financial independence. A woman who's an executive can afford to marry a struggling musician. But that doesn't necessarily mean she wants to. Studies by David Buss of the University of Texas and others have shown that women with higher incomes, far from relaxing their standards, put more emphasis on their mate's financial resources.
I would link to the op/ed except that the New York Times wants you to pay for seeing it.