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Politics, culture, and American life — from the family perspective.

‘What Me, Marry?’


Kay Hymowitz responds to The Atlantic cover story:

 Bolick rightfully observes that with women making up 57% of college grads, some of them faced with the prospect of marrying down may well choose not to marry at all.

But that still leaves us with the question as to why at this point women who can actually afford to raise children on their own almost always avoid doing so, while the women who have almost nothing in the bank are going it alone. 

In the not so distant past, college educated women were often destined for spinsterhood; today they are more likely to marry. That’s the opposite of what one might expect.

The answer to the question of why women who can afford to raise children on their own but decide not to, reveals the limitation of arguments like Bolicks; focused on the economics of marriage, they ignore the institution’s deep connection to childbearing. 

Educated women are still the marrying kind because they know intuitively what research concludes: children are more likely to succeed in school, go to college, and get good jobs if they grow up with their two married parents. Prepping your kids for a competitive knowledge economy is a time-consuming, devotional task; no wonder it works better with a steady, focused twosome.

“Alternative family arrangements” that can do that job anywhere near as well? Good luck.


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