Wednesday, August 22, 2007

As women move up in the workplace, the institution of marriage declines

High Job Prestige

Mid-level Job Prestige

Low Job Prestige

In the last post, I showed that marital decline has accompanied the movement of women into the workforce. What about occupational status? Feminists have told us for decades that increases in female job prestige will equalize men and women, and equality will improve the quality of relationships. The graph above (generated from GSS data for Americans 30 and over) shows marital status by job prestige--high, middle, and low prestige as we move from top to bottom. The green section of the bars indicate the percent divorced, and yellow is for separated. About 35% are the middle and high status women are separated, divorced, or never married, compared to 25% of low-prestige women. Once again, liberal social scientists have gotten it wrong: as women move up in the workplace, the institution of marriage declines.


  1. Anonymous3:54 PM

    Again, I think you are making an issue out of a non-issue. The fact that fewer people are getting married or not is irrelevant. The real issue is if the percentage of non-married people that are having kids is increasing or decreasing. We all know that kids grow up best in stable, two-parent families and, therefor, if you want to have kids, you should be in a stable marrage.

    However, your consideration of the marrage issue, independent of kids, suggests that you think there is some sort of problem with people choosing not to get married, even if they have no desire to have kids at all. This is an irrelevant issue.

    Marrage is useful (and necessary) for having kids. It is not at all necessary for those who do not want to have kids.

  2. kurt9: The thrust of these last posts is that liberals don't know what they're talking about. But I do think marriage is a good thing in general: research shows that married people are, on average, healthier, happier, and wealthier. This might not apply to everyone, but it is a observable pattern.

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  4. Anonymous8:51 PM

    Also note the high percentage of never-married men in the top occupational prestige group.

  5. Anonymous6:08 AM

    I am ready to buy the data as evidence that women's advancement in the professional world has failed to deliver the promised concomitant improvement in marital bliss. However, I don't necessarily see this as evidence that people peddling this theory "didn't know what they were talking about".

    I am inclined to consider the justification based on better marriages as a mere stalking horse argument. The feminists in the vanguard of the workplace equality movement didn't really give two bits about marriage, since they saw and continue to see men as basically the enemy. However, they did need an argument that average women would find compelling so that their movement could get broader support. And here we are.

  6. Anonymous12:44 PM


    I agree with you that liberals are generally full of it. However, I do not necessarly agree with you about the desirability of marrage for those who choose not to have kids. It is known that many sucessful entreprenuers, scientists, and athletes do their best work when single and that their porductivity declines when they get married. Scientific research shows this to be true because testostorine levels in men decline somewhat with marrage and decline considerably with kids.

    Also, I despute the health claims as well. Most people I know personally have gained 15-20 pounds above their ideal weight within the first year of getting married.

    Happiness? Maybe. If its a "soul-mate" marrage, I agree. However, I totally disagree in the cases of "non" soulmate marrages.

  7. Anonymous10:04 AM

    women, like men, cannot escape their prime directive.

  8. Anonymous6:22 PM

    The reduction in the marriage rate is most likely women at the bottom who have to choose from a pretty poor bunch of males deciding that the freebies provided by the welfare state, such as it is, allows them to go it alone.

    Of course, as more work opportunities open up for women, this again increases their reluctance to put up with less than acceptable males, and as their earning capacity goes up, the percentage of acceptable males goes down.

    Don't be surprised if we see moves to legalize polygamy from among women.


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