Educate Yourself: More Education in Women Doesn’t Mean Divorce

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In the past, a highly educated woman was a recipe for divorce.  Social tradition and stigma put women in a role of primary caregiver, not primary provider, and in marriages where the woman was more educated than her spouse, the marriage was much less likely to last.

Times have changed.  Research reveals that heterosexual marriages in the United States are becoming less and less defined by traditional gender expectations. Married couples are embracing a new normal: as women’s education continues to outpace men’s, such marriages become more common and successful over time.

A study highlighted in USA Today explains it all.  Release in the August issue of American Sociological Review, this study takes a look at marriages formed between 1950 and 2004.  Starting in the 2000s, it became clear that in marriages with an educational difference, women typically have the edge — in 30 percent of marriages, the wife has more education.

In earlier eras, like the 70s, marriages in which wives were more educated were much less likely to survive.  Theories suggest that less-educated men felt intimidated by their wives success. But, further evidence suggests hat these couples were more prone to a divorce for a plethora of other reasons.

This recent study shows that couples with highly educated women have had no higher divorce rates than other couples.  In fact, there is a chance that these couples are even less likely to divorce.

These results are the latest proof that today’s married couples are throwing out the old script that “a man had to earn more than the woman, know more than the woman, be stronger, older, taller, and wiser than the woman,” according to a professor of history and family studies at Evergreen State College in Washington.

As women come closer to breaking through the “glass ceiling,” family dynamics will continue to change and evolve. The reason a couple chooses divorce depends completely on their unique situation and education level is only one factor.  If you have questions about the divorce process, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced divorce lawyer in your area.

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About Julie Clark

Julie M. Clark graduated from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law. She has been practicing law in Riverside County since February of 1992. Julie Clark's Google+ Profile

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