Quote of the Day:
One explanation for the declines in marriage is the putative shortage of economically attractive partners for unmarried women to marry.
—article in Journal of Marriage and Family
We hear a lot about how hard it is to be a professional woman.
But the real story may be that women are outstripping men financially and that this is making it difficult for women to find—shall we say?—men they regard as economically suitable.
Two Cornell professors have studied this phenomenon and produced an article for the Journal of Marriage and Family. The New York Post reports:
“There are shortages of economically attractive men,” lead study author Daniel T. Lichter tells The Post. Although we like to think marriage is based on love, he says, it “also is fundamentally an economic transaction,” and women want partners whom they can call their equals.
Lichter, who has been studying marriage for 30 years, says the gig economy and a “lack of good jobs” have contributed to the dearth of well-to-do dudes. So has the fact that women are outpacing men educationally, upending the age-old dominance of the male breadwinner over the past five to 10 years.
Actually, the economy is booming. So the cause of the paucity of economically eligible guys may be that women are outpacing them.
The Post quotes a single New York woman named Gina Thibodeaux
“I find generally that dudes these days just do less across the board,” says the nurse practitioner. “Their parents have coddled them and taken care of them, and they just don’t go out there and make more money.”
The 38-year-old Upper East Sider stresses that she’s not looking for “anything outrageous” — “safety and security, as far as finances go” — but she’s still coming up empty on dates.
She says it’s because the men she goes out with don’t feel the innate “push” to succeed that she does.
Then Ms. Thibodeaux dips a toe on the pool of political correctness:
“I think for years they’ve always just taken their role in society for granted, and I think that they’re just getting lazy culturally,” she says.
An alternative explanation might be that we are devaluing men and masculinity and men no longer have a firm grasp on their “role in society,” and thus are less ambitious to succeed.