This week, a new study by the Pew Research Center heralds the “Rise of Wives,” explaining that now, in stark contrast to 1970, wives tend to have better education, better salaries, and better-smelling bodies than their husbands.
(The third one might be our own scientific observation.)
In short: years ago, in terms of cold-hard-cash, on balance, marriage helped out women more than men. Now that’s (sort of) reversed. And a good chunk of that has to do, of course, with structural changes of women in the workplace, education, etc. The report says, “In the past, when relatively few wives worked, marriage enhanced the economic status of women more than that of men. In recent decades, however, the economic gains associated with marriage have been greater for men than for women.”
4 quick thoughts:
1. Any guy who uses this as a reason to get married… needs to graduate high school
It’s easy an easy joke. “Dude, now you should take the plunge, there’s money in it.” It’s also a dumb joke for two reasons. 1) These are big globs of averages, and probably have very little to do with your actual life. Also, the headline buries a lesser-cited statistic. As the Washington Post notes, “Men are still the major contributors of household income — with 78 percent making at least as much or more than their wives.” 2) Even if this were true in your specific case… is this what you want out of marriage? To goof off and let your wife support you? If that’s your primary motivation for choosing your partner, think harder.
2. Married folk earn more than unmarried folk
This is the second key finding of the study: married couples tend to be better off, financially, than singles. Not surprising and not new. And, again, it’s not something that should drive your decision to wed. Still, it might calm any irrational anxieties that you “can’t afford” to get married. Yes, the ring’s a bitch and yes, the wedding might cost a pretty nickel, but in the long run, you can.
3. She’s your financial partner, too
This will be obvious to many guys. But it should be stated nonetheless. The study hammers home something that every modern-day couple should know: the two of you are now financial partners, and that has certain implications. Since women are now often earning the same–or more–as their husbands, it only underscores the importance of joint decisions on Big Ticket Items, investments, schools, and whether you should spring for the 50″ plasma. Respect this dynamic, don’t begrudge it.
4. We like
We like women. We like strong women and smart women. So even if this isn’t earth-shattering stuff, we’re happy to see these kinds of trends and these kinds of stories. (Because, of course, we’re secretly hoping that in 20 years the trend will be complete and we can lazily bask in the shadow of our Sugar Mommas.)
Full article here: Pew Research Center.