Hmm, turns out that women really do "marry up"–they choose husbands whose socioeconomic status at the very least mirrors, but preferably exceeds their own.
That's the lesson to be learned from Bloomberg News's just-released "Who Marries Whom" interactive chart, using data from the 3.5 million households surveyed in the U.S. Census Bureau's 2014 American Community Survey. Bloomberg reporters Adam Pearce and Dorothy Gambrell write:
High-earning women (doctors, lawyers) tend to pair up with their economic equals, while middle- and lower-tier women often marry up. In other words, female CEOs tend to marry other CEOs; male CEOs are OK marrying their secretaries.
This is interesting because it comports with evolutionary psychologists' theory of "hypergamy"–that women instinctively tend to seek mates with higher financial resources than their own so as to assure that their offspring will be provided for. It's a theory that has been supported by experiments indicating that women find men of higher social status more attractive than lower-status men, but feminists hate it.
Here's an example: a 2015 article by The New Republic's Elizabeth Breunig titled "Pick-Up Artists and Pro-Family Conservatives Agree: Women Only Marry for Money." Breunig writes:
There are infinite varieties of misogyny on the Internet. Arguably the most visible type of digital woman-hating emanates from the pick-up artist movement, something between a sociopathic self-help theory and an ersatz philosophy….
In fact, the idea that marriage is such a financial lifejacket for women that they must be forced into via the threat of poverty lest they revert to nasty instincts is somewhat typical of the pro-family right.
In other words, the only thing worse than a dastardly pick-up artist is a conservative who believes that the traditional family is a healthy social arrangement. Breunig writes:
Brad Wilcox, the director of the National Marriage Project, expressed a similar objection to my recent criticism of an Economist editorial which argued that people who use welfare should refuse public assistance, and leave their families and homes in order to seek work. I contended that this approach removes vital social supports from the people who need their networks the most. But according to Wilcox, any form of long-term assistance weakens one’s dependence upon one’s spouse, thus undermining family formation.
Even the most doctrinaire feminists have to concede that at least in the West, you can't force people to marry people not of their own choosing (although knowing feminists, they'll probably figure out some way to make mate-selection compulsory). So it's fascinating to see it confirmed–by women themselves–that the instinctual desire for a good provider for one's children is still trumping the ideology of freedom from "dependence upon one's spouse."