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Dr. Wendy Walsh
There’s a reason why Facebook put “It’s Complicated’ as a relationship status. Relationships are darn complicated!
Not so long ago, marriage was a great option for women. It gave women a provider and a safe nest to raise kids.
It also provided laundry, cooking, child-related labor and all the busy work of traditional gender roles.
In 1950, nearly three-quarters of Americans were married, and now that number has dropped to about half.
Today, women have many relationship choices, and some are choosing not to marry for many reasons.
First of all, marriage these days doesn’t always guarantee a good provider.
Women are on the rise, in power and in money, so they may not see marriage as a financial gain at all.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 39 of the 50 largest urban areas, childless, single women are bringing in a bigger paycheck than their male peers.
When more women begin to see the new power man is the one who can power a stroller, they may gravitate back to a legal arrangement.
“Women aren’t as ambitious to get married
because there are fewer marriageable men.”
The mate crunch is another thing that makes women focus on careers over marriage.
In the current high-supply sexual economy, men are less likely to commit while their female peers are in their childbearing prime.
Researchers from the University of Texas at San Antonio have found a bleak dating scene leads a woman to pursue her career rather than start a family.
In fact, one study they conducted revealed a scarcity of bachelors results in an increase of high-paying career women.
And as women become more educated and wealthy, it only becomes even harder to find a man because women tend to raise their standards as they rise up.
Marriage is still the best nest to raise offspring. Children who are born to married parents tend to do better in terms of health, education and social adjustment.
Despite this, many single women are attempting to offset the dismal statistics of single motherhood by employing professional childcare and extended family as support systems.
Others are opting out of motherhood all together. One in five American women in their 40s is childless and a percentage of those are childless by choice.
In some ways, this is social advancement. In previous eras, women who were not so thrilled with the thought of a tiny bundle were subtly pressured by society to become mothers, as that identity was so revered.
Today, an unmarried woman can become the nurturer of our social order. She can baby corporations and run charities — and we all benefit from her brand of mothering.
Bottom line: Women today aren’t as ambitious to get married because there are fewer marriageable men and they have the alternative to climb the career ladder and support themselves.
Ladies, why do you or don’t you want to get married? I’d love to hear both sides!
Photo source: endtimepilgrim.org.