Saturday 17 November 2018

Mary Kenny: Marriage or master's?

It seems the better-educated a woman is, the harder for her to find a mate

Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

In the latter years of his life, my husband used to greet breathless announcements of new developments and events with the philosophical words: "'Twas ever thus!" In old age, you see the same themes of life returning as if in a cycle.

I thought of that response when I read that "better- educated women find it more difficult to meet partners than those who are less educated". This report comes from Margaret Fine-Davis' TCD study Changing Gender Roles and Attitudes to Family Formation in Ireland.

This may be hot-off-the-press news, but it is also a trend which has been noted over many decades. Even in the 1900s, it was observed that the better educated a woman was, the less likely she was to marry. One of the reasons why some reactionary-minded parents were reluctant to educate daughters was because educated females might be less likely to find a husband.

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