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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Changing games: Well-educated wives no longer at divorce risk

IANS  New York, July 26, 2014
First Published: 19:56 IST(26/7/2014) | Last Updated: 20:10 IST(26/7/2014)

Take heart and show some humility if your wife is more educated than you and earns better. With changing times, this may not drive your relationship to the dead end any more.

A study finds that couples in which both individuals have equal levels of education are now less likely to divorce than those in which husbands have more education than their wives.

"The study suggests new trends which are consistent with a shift away from a breadwinner-homemaker model of marriage toward a more egalitarian model of marriage in which women's status is less threatening to men's gender identity," explained Christine R Schwartz, an associate professor of sociology at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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According to the study, among US couples who married between 2005 and 2009, more than 60 percent of those consisting of individuals with different levels of education featured a wife who was more educated than her husband - an increase from about 35 percent in the early 1950s.

Among couples who married in the 1990s or later, a wife's educational advantage over her husband was no longer associated with an increased risk of divorce.

"Men and women are increasingly forming relationships in which women have the educational advantage - so much so that it is now more common for wives to have more education than their husbands than the reverse pattern," Schwartz added.

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The relationship between one's educational attainment, marriage formation and risk of divorce appears to suggest that couples are adapting to the demographic reality that women have more education than men.

"Moreover, young people today strongly believe in egalitarian marriage  even if they do not always follow it in practice," she noted.

Titled "The Reversal of the Gender Gap in Education and Trends in Martial Dissolution", the study appeared in the journal American Sociological Review.


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