Holy reversal, Batman! A new study shows men gain a weightier financial advantage out of (straight) marriage than women do.
Vivian Manning-Schaffel: An article in USA Today highlights a study from the Pew Research Center that says in terms of financial advantage in marriage between men and women, men actually make out ahead of women.
The study apparently shows that "women's education and earnings advancements are translating into overall improvement for men."
"'Marriage is a different deal than it was 40 years ago,' says Pew economist Richard Fry, a co-author of the study. 'Typically, most wives did not work, so for economic well-being, marriage penalized guys with more mouths to feed but no extra income. Now most wives work. For guys, the economics of marriage have become much more beneficial.' "
Because more women than men have college degrees these days, we're closing in on the earnings gap. Our earnings have grown by 44% over the past 37 years, as opposed to men, who've only seen a 6% gain. And more women are marrying men who are less educated and earn less than they do.
To explain the leveling of income, historian Stephanie Coontz, author of Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage, comments in the article: "Just as women are saying they want more from marriage than an economic security blanket, men are more open to marrying women with more education and earnings."
Although the study clearly shows that marriages consist of more "equal market producers," another expert cited in the article claims the study omits a very important element -- the family time factor.
Now about that family factor. Women may be getting closer to earning as much as their husbands, but there seems to be a disconnect when it comes to who hangs back with the kids. Stay-at-home dads are on the rise, but according to a press release from the Census Bureau, they only clock in at a mere 25% -- and that's a guesstimate.
What do you guys think? Do you think the time's approaching when we'll earn as much as, if not more than, men overall? And if so, will more men opt to stay at home?
|Vivian Manning-Schaffel has written for Babble, Parenting, The Advocate, The New York Post, Business Week and a variety of other publications and lives and works in the heart of breeder Brooklyn with her husband and two kids. She authors two pop culture blogs: The Mad Mom and A Hag Supreme, and is on the web at vivianmanningschaffel.com.|