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Recent studies have found that less educated women are less likely to get married than more educated women, and also more likely to get a divorce if they are married.
This emerging “marriage gap” between the educated and non-educated is now the subject of frequent study by demographers and sociologists.
Statistics reveal that college-educated women have a greater chance of marrying, though they marry two years later on average.
They also show that while in the past, it was very common for women to “marry up,” today, marriages tend to be between equals. More educated men marry more educated women.
Studies show that more highly educated women are increasingly less likely to divorce. They are also less likely to be widowed, so in all, they are less likely to be alone.
“Educated women used to have a difficult time,” said Co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, David Popenoe. “Now they’re the most desired.” Men used to marry “way down the line,” said Popenoe. Not anymore.
In 2006, among women between the ages of 25 and 34, 51 percent of non-college graduates are married, while 59 percent of college graduates are married, according to the Census Bureau.
The trend continues into the older age ranges. Among women between 35 and 44, 75 percent of college-educated women are married, compared with 62 percent of non-college educated women. Similarly, the numbers are 50 percent and 41 percent for women 65 and older.
Researchers attribute this to the fact that there are more women than men, and to the fact that women live longer, which makes them more likely to be widowed. They are also less likely to get married after a divorce.
They also say the research bears out certain old man stereotypes, such as that of the commitment averse male in his 20’s or 30’s who fear a loss of liberty, don’t trust women to tell the truth about their pasts, are waiting for a true soul mate, or are in no hurry to get married because can get lots of sex in cohabitation.
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