If you want to do something really smart today, you’ll join us to meet Christine Whelan, author of Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women. To whet your appetite, here is what USA TODAY said about Whelan’s new, myth-busting book (here is the 411 on the event):
“In 2002, Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s book, Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children, claimed that only 60% of high-achieving women in their 40s and early 50s were married vs. 76% of men and 83% of extremely high-earning men. Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Maureen Dowd subsequently rued that despite succeeding beyond the dreams of her Irish maid ancestors, her odds of landing a husband might have jumped if she, too, never aspired to anything beyond keeping house.
“Dumb it down, we learned. Men don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.
“There’s just one problem. It’s not true – not anymore. A growing body of research finds that the success penalty – the lower marriage rates among high-achieving women vs. their lower-achieving sisters – has nearly disappeared.
“‘While there are certainly some men who want a woman to play fetch for them, the majority of men, and certainly the ones we would want to date, are definitely looking to volley with an equal,’ says Christine Whelan, author of the new book Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women. As children of egalitarian baby boomer moms and dads hit their 20s and 30s, high-achieving women now marry at the same rate as others, they just do so a few years later. The first part of that sentence is reason to celebrate. The latter is more worrisome. Later marriages tend to mean later and fewer births, and this country needs the bright kids bright moms raise. Though given how quickly society has changed on the first count, there’s every reason to hope that soon young women will succeed in changing the second part, too.
“Whelan, herself a Princeton grad who’s getting married next summer, combed through years of Census data, studies and a Harris poll that she commissioned. The finding? Hewlett and Dowd missed a big shift that’s just showing up on the radar among high achievers, whom Whelan defines as women with graduate degrees and/or incomes in the top 10% for their age. “