Women who are more educated than their husbands used to have a higher chance of divorce, but a new study found that this trend stopped in the 1990s.
A team of researchers examined statistics on heterosexual marriages in the United States from 1950 through 2009, and found changes over the decades in the rates of divorce. The study found that a woman’s education was actually linked to a lower risk of divorce, at least from 2000 to 2004. That is, during that period, couples with equal levels of education were 30 percent less likely to divorce than couples in which husbands were more educated than their wives.
That represents a change from the 1950s, when couples were just as likely to divorce whether or not they had the same level of education, or whether the husbands were more educated.
These trends are consistent with a shift 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, the study’s lead researcher Chritine Schwartz, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said in a statement.
Before the early 1980s husbands commonly had more education than their wives, the researchers found. But since then, more women than men have been earning college degrees, a trend that continues today.
For couples who married between 1950 and 1954, men completed about 12.4 year of education, compared to 12 years for their wives. In contrast, among people who married between 2005 and 2009, men averaged 13.8 years of schooling compared to 14.1 years for their wives.
In the early 1950s, women had more education than their husbands in about 35 percent of married couples. That percentage jumped to 60 percent among couples who tied the knot between 2005 and 2009, the researchers found.
“Rather than doggedly adhering to norms that wives should have lower status than their husbands, 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 said.
1. What does the underlined phrase “heterosexual marriages”(paragraph 2) mean?
A. Marriage between people of equal status
B. Marriage between man and man
C. Marriage between people of different status
D. Marriage between man and woman
2. Women’s education linked to a lower risk of divorce was based on statistics over ______.
A. 50 years
B. 40 years
C. 19 years
D. 5 years
3. What is behind the trend that women’s education is linked to low risk of divorce?
A. A breadwinner-homemaker model of marriage
B. A more egalitarian model of marriage
C. Men’s threatening gender identity
D. Dominating status of women in marriage
4. Since ______, women have started to enjoy better education than man.
A. the beginning of 1980s
B. the early 1950s
C. the beginning of 1990s
D. the early 2000s
5. Which of the following statements is true according to the article?
A. Women’s education arises with low risk of divorce.
B. Better-educated women are more likely to divorce.
C. Well-educated men are more likely to divorce.
D. Women have the educational advantage in marriage now.