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Still at odds : highly educated women and marriage Bennett, Diane 1988

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STILL A T ODDS: HIGHLY E D U C A T E D WOMEN AND MARRIAGE by DIANE BENNETT B.A., University of Washington, 1984 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Anthropology and Sociology We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA 21 June 1988 ® Diane Bennett, 1988 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at The University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Anthropology and Sociology The University of British Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date: 21 June 1988 ABSTRACT This research examines the relationship between higher education and eventual marriage in Canada using statistical, ethnographic and historical data. Data from the 1971, 1976 and 1981 Canadian census Public Use Sample Tapes are used to determine if the inverse relationship between higher education and eventual marriage for women in the United States is observed in the Canadian population. The data indicate a strong, negative relationship between higher education and eventual marriage for women in Canada. Although the relationship appears to be weakening, in 1981 20 percent of women, age 50-64 with a bachelor's degree and 27 percent with a graduate or professional degree never married compared to 5 percent of women with a high school education. For men in the same age group there was no difference in the percent who never married by educational level. Men with a high school education, bachelor's or graduate degree all had a nonmarriage rate of 8 percent. To account for this relationship for women, census data is also used to analyze mating preferences and sex ratios in Canada. With respect to education the preferences are in the predicted direction. Men tend to marry women with equal or less education and women tend to marry men with equal or greater education. This contributes to an unfavorable ratio of eligible males to highly educated females who have postponed marriage until their thirties. In addition, this research examines the relationship between education and marriage as it is perceived by the highly educated, unmarried woman. The data are from in-depth interviews with a sample of 15 never married women with ii professional and graduate degrees engaged in professional careers. The study profiles the career goals of these women and their expectations and perceptions about marriage. The women were not found to be antimarriage or antifamily. The major factor contributing to the women's postponement of marriage is the incompatibility of traditional marriage with career commitment, especially during the early stages of career development. The combination of both family life and participation in the labor force is difficult for women to manage, but add to that many years of post-secondary schooling, long hours of weekend work, geographic mobility and a competitive work environment and it is not difficult to understand that these women wait until their careers are established before trying to combine family life (as it is now structured) and career. Another important factor contributing to the women's postponement of marriage is their perception that most men have not changed their expectations of what men and women do for each other in a marital arrangement. They feel the majority of eligible males prefer a wife that will subordinate her own career development to the demands of family. For these women, the ideal marriage is one where both husband and wife have continuous and self-fulfilling extra-domestic career roles as well as meaningful and involving family roles. Finally, this research also provides a historical perspective on the relationship between education and marriage. Although higher education for women carried within it the potential for dramatic change in women's occupational as well as psychological states, a survey of one hundred years of college and domesticity in America shows that this dramatic shift did not occur.' Unlike feminists involved in political struggle, the earliest women in higher education did not have clearly iii defined targets or goals. Even into the mid-twentieth century higher education for women insured a clinging to traditional values of domesticity, placed in a frame of professionalism, and hindered the ease with which college-educated women could choose life styles not sanctioned by domesticity. Where possible, data in this study are placed in a historic framework to emphasize that, while the barriers to combining family and career are falling, many problems remain for highly educated women. iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENT My appreciation goes to the members of my committee and to the women who generously shared their thoughts with me. TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Acknowledgement v List of Figures vii List of Tables , viii Chapter 1. INTRODUCTION 1 Chapter 2. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE . . 6 2.1. A Century of College and Domesticity in America 9 Chapter 3. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION 30 3.1. Contemporary Marriage Patterns 30 3.2. Census Data, 1971-1981 47 3.3. Mate Selection 67 3.4. Sex Ratios 77 Chapter 4. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY 87 4.1. Is Marriage Still An Attractive Option? 95 4.2. Are Men Unwilling to Marry Highly Educated Women?" .. 105 4.3. Woman's Dilemma 120 Chapter 5. CONCLUSIONS 134 Bibliography 140 vi LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1. Contemporary Marriage Patterns 31 Figure 2. Women's Educational Attainment 41 Figure 3. Percent Never Married by Sex and Education, Age 30 + , 1981 49 Figure 4. Percent Never Married by Sex, Education and Year, Age 30+ 51 Figure 5. Percent Never Married by Sex, Education and Age 52 Figure 6. Percent Never Married, Age 50+ by Sex, Education and Year 54 Figure 7. Percent Never Married, Age 30-49 and 50-64, by Education and Year 62 vii LIST OF TABLES Table 1. Women's University Enrolment 43 Table 2. Degrees Earned by Field of Study 44 Table 3. Degrees held by Sex, Age and Year 45 Table 4. Percent Never Married by Sex, Education, Age and Year 48 Table 5. Percent Never Married by Age, Occupation and Education 56 Table 6. Percent Employed by Occupation and Presence of Children 59 Table 7. Percent Completing University by Age At First Marriage 60 Table 8. Percent Never Married: Census Traced Birth Cohorts 64 Table 9. Difference in Percent Never Married by Sex, Education and Year 65 Table 10. Assortative Mating for Education 71 Table 11. Ratio of Men per 100 Women 78 Table 12. Sex Ratios For The Highly Educated 80 viii CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION In contemporary North American society women's educational attainment and labor force participation are at an all-time high. These changes have given women greater choice about the direction of their lives, including more freedom to make deliberate decisions about marriage. More variation in marriage patterns exists today than was true in the past. Cohabitation before marriage, delaying marriage or foregoing marriage are becoming more socially acceptable (Goldscheider and Waite 1986). All of these changes combine to alter the centrality of marriage for women at different stages of the life cycle. Since the early 1970s, the rate of first marriages experienced by individuals aged fifteen and over has declined substantially in the U.S. and Canada. This pattern, which has been characteristic of both men and women and has been quite steady over time, has contributed to the increasing proportion of single young adults in the population. Becker (1981) presents theoretical models which suggest that the recent trends are primarily reflective of. changes in the incidence of marriage since the rising economic status of women leaves them with less incentive to enter traditional marriages. Other researchers believe the declining rate of first marriages reflects changes in the timing of marriages, and not changes in its ultimate incidence. According to Cherlin (1981: 11), "the higher proportion of single young adults in the 1970s and early 1980s suggests only that they are marrying later, not foregoing marriage. It is unlikely that their lifetime proportions marrying will fall below the historical minimum of 90 percent." Whatever the cause or causes of this growing percentage of single 1 INTRODUCTION / 2 adults, one of the most noteworthy demographic generalizations about this group is that they tend to include the highest percentages of people in the lower (those with less than five years of schooling) and upper extremes (those with more than sixteen years of schooling) of the educational distribution. And this is especially the case for women with higher education (Carter and Glick 1970, Moorman 1987). A growing number of adult women now work for wages in addition to caring for •their husbands, children and homes (Bianchi and Spain 1986: 2). If taking care of a family and home are traditionally important tasks to society and the individual, and if paid labor force participation is becoming increasingly important, how do women combine both successfully? Delayed age at marriage and delayed childbearing may be adaptations to competing roles. By remaining single longer, women can pursue schooling and work without family responsibilities. Women's median age at first marriage rose from 20.8 to 22.8 between 1970 and 1983 in the U.S. (Bianchi and Spain 1986) and from 21.4 to 23.1 in Canada (Statistics Canada 1984), suggesting that women were beginning to take advantage of increased opportunities in education and the labor force. Indeed, women have made great strides in educational attainment: the proportion of Canadian women, age 25-34 with a university degree more than doubled, from 5 percent to 14 percent, between 1971 and 1983 (Statistics Canada 1985), and in the U.S. the percent increased from 12 to 21 between 1970 and 1980 (Bianchi and Spain). The observation of a positive relationship between attaining a college education and postponing or foregoing marriage among American women is not a recent INTRODUCTION / 3 Finding. A survey taken in 1895 of 1,805 members of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae in the U.S. found that of those female graduates over age 35, 46 percent never married compared to 10 percent for non-collegians (Woody 1974: 207). Almost one hundred years later in 1986, the mass media1 seized on a Harvard-Yale study (Bennett and Bloom 1985) that predicted that a single, white, college-educated, thirty-year-old woman's chance of ever marrying was 20.2 percent and a forty-year-old's chance 1.3 percent. The message that delaying marriage may ultimately mean foregoing it for college-educated women sparked further investigation using different methods and data. But, despite the more optimistic forecast from the U.S. Census Bureau (Moorman 1987) of a 58 to 66 percent chance of ever marrying for thirty-year-olds and a 17 to 23 percent chance for forty-year-olds, a flurry of savage stories about thirty-year-old old maids swept the media,2 the popularity of which seemed to reflect a desire "to confirm what everybody suspected all along: that many women who seem to have it all will never have mates." (Faludi 1987: 62) Forecasts and probabilistic statements about eventual marriage aside, the actual percentage of women in the U.S. aged 35-44 with four or more years of college who never married was 31 percent in 1940, and declined in each successive decade to 21 percent in 1950, 14 percent in 1960, 13 percent in 1970 (Carter and Glick 1976: 310) and 11 percent in 1980 (Moorman 1987: 2). This nonmarriage rate of 11 percent for college educated women compares to a 9 ^Newsweek, June 2~ 1986. Cover Story "The Marriage Crunch"; Discover, March 1987. "Here Come the Brides, But In What Numbers?'"; Ms., July 1987. "The Marriage Trap". 2 Glamour, September 1986. "Forever Single?"; Harper's Bazaar, September 1987. "Are You Turning Men Off?". INTRODUCTION / 4 percent rate for college educated men and a 4 percent rate for women with only a high school education. Although the trend for better-educated women to have lower marriage rates appears to be declining in the U.S., it could be that 'better-educated' now means a graduate degree whereas before it was a bachelor's degree. For example, for those aged 50-64 in 1980 with more than a bachelor's degree, women were 2.5 times more likely to never marry than men in the same category (15 percent vs. 6 percent) and more than 3.5 times more likely to never marry than women with only a high school education (15 percent vs. 4 percent) (Moorman 1987: 3). In the U.S., the inverse relationship is still present, and with significant gender differences. Using Canadian census data from 1971, 1976 and 1981, this study will determine if the trends and variations in the relationship between education and marriage observed in the United States are present in the Canadian population. Because the process of marriage begins logically with the process of mate selection, census data will also be examined for assortative mating for education and sex ratios. In 1982, Canadian women earned 51 percent of all bachelor's degrees and 40 percent of all master's degrees. This means that fewer men must now "marry down" with regard to education and competition must now be increasing among college educated women for marriage to available college-educated men. What are the consequences for women's marital prospects if they attain higher levels of university education? To explore further the relationship between education and marriage and how issues such as assortative mating and sex INTRODUCTION / 5 ratios pertain to marital choices, this study examines women's feelings and experiences by in-depth interviews with 15 highly educated, unmarried women in professional careers. This research also provides a historical perspective on the relationship between education and marriage. This study is exploratory. Because no well-developed theory is available to guide analysis, specify critical variables or generate hypotheses, the research questions of this study called for an exploratory study designed to discover, not verify, theory. Thus, with the use of historical data, Chapter Two seeks to illuminate those issues that have and continue to impinge on highly educated women's marital behavior. With the use of statistical data, Chapter Three seeks a careful look at the record to disabuse us of any misleading common notions about the present relationship between education and marriage. And with the use of ethnographic data, Chapter Four seeks to explore the correlates and implications of the observed relationship for the individual and society. CHAPTER 2. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE Throughout the nineteenth century the idea of a separate sphere for women was the ideological framework within which North American women lived. Opening colleges to women did not threaten this idea of separate spheres because its purpose was to make women into better wives and mothers. However, higher education for women also carried within it the potential for dramatic change in women's occupational as well as psychological states. This dramatic shift did not occur. Unlike radical feminists involved in political struggle, the earliest women in higher education did not have clearly defined targets or goals. This chapter will show that even into the mid-twentieth century higher education for women insured a clinging to traditional values of domesticity, placed in a frame of professionalism, and hindered the ease with which college-educated women could choose life styles not sanctioned by domesticity. Despite the opening of Mary Sharp College in 1851, the significant breakthough in higher education for American women did not occur until after the Civil War with the opening of Vassar College in 1865. In Canada, university classes opened to women at Mount Allison in 1862. Other universities quickly followed, in 1878 Queen's, in 1881 Dalhousie, in 1884 McGill and the University of Toronto. Not all courses, however, were open to women. For example, McGill would not permit women to enter its faculty of medicine until 1917. In 1900 women made up 11 percent of all college students in Canada. In the United States, however, 36 percent of the students in universities and colleges were 6 EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 7 women. Cook and Mitchinson (1976: 120) believe the difference is due in part to the fact that "in the U.S. women's colleges received much financial support and thus offered a viable alternative to coeducation." In the late nineteenth century Canadian women's attempts to enter both professional schools and university life were met by fierce public controversy over the probable harmful effects study would have on their health, on their future roles as mothers and on the male students who would be in close proximity to them. However, as L'Esperance (1983: 9) observes, the same resistance was not encountered when a campaign for university courses in domestic science for women was started in the 1890s. Adelaide Hoodless spent many years attempting to make home economics (or domestic science, as it was originally called) a part of the school curriculum in Ontario. » What bothered Mrs. Hoodless was the absence of domestic science in higher education in Canada: "I am at the present time preparing my daughter for a university education, but to my sorrow I find that my conscience compels me to send her to the United States to be educated at Columbia University, because there is a Domestic Science class there" (Patterson 1977: 29). Domestic science seemed to Hoodless the only hope in stemming the tide of women away from the home. She believed, "girls should have special opportunties for acquiring a knowledge which not only develops strong character but fits them for their God-given place in life" (p. 33). With the establishment of college programs at Toronto, McGill, Acadia and Mount Allison by 1908, the vocation of homemaking was approaching the professional status that Hoodless always claimed was its EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 8 ultimate goal. L'Esperance concludes: The enthusiasm for home economics which members of the male educational bureacracy expressed was undoubtedly due to the ideology which Hoodless saw as underpinning the practical aspects of the subject. This ideology strongly reinforced the traditional doctrine of the separate spheres of men and women and stressed the moral and social importance of the domestic role for women (1983: 10). Despite this important domestic role for women, the literature on the history of women's higher education in Canada (Gillett 1981; Ford 1985; Guppy et al. 1987) emphasizes women's participation (admission, enrolment, degree attainment, performance), not the relationship between that university education and the women's domestic status. For example, in A Path Not Strewn With Roses: One Hundred Years of Women at The University of Toronto, 1884-1984, Anne Ford does not provide information on the marital status of the collegiate women she profiles. A typical entry reads, "in 1923 Norma Henrietta Ford became the first women to receive a PH.D. degree in Entomology at the University. In that same year, she was appointed the first female faculty member (with the title of Instructor) in the Department of Biology" (1985: 48). And in We Walked Very Warily: A History of Women at McGill, Margaret Gillett cites the U.S. statistics at Vassar College showing that of the 959 Vassar graduates of the classes of 1867-1892 only 53 percent were married by 1915 (1981: 16). She adds, "the marital record for the early women at McGill was consistent with this general picture" (Ibid), although she does not provide any numbers.3 And no discussion 3 Appendix E of the book (Gillett 1981: 432) shows that in 1923, of 680 McGill women who graduated between 1888-1923, 228 were married, 26 died and 92 had degrees beyond the bachelor's. (It is a mystery why the original investigator made the mutually exclusive categories of being married, being dead and having a higher degree.) Assuming that those who died or had higher degrees were married, the percent married was 51 percent. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 9 of the relationship between higher education and marriage is offered. There is much more information on the relationship between higher education and domesticity for the United States than for Canada, and what is available for Canada suggests a close parallel with the situation in the United States. The remainder of this chapter will therefore focus oh the better documented American experience. 2.1. A CENTURY OF COLLEGE AND DOMESTICITY IN AMERICA The ideal of the American family was challenged and changed at two historical periods. The first was the Industrial Revolution, and the second, World War II. The greatest change the Industrial Revolution made that affected gender roles was to shift the locus of work from the home to somewhere else. In the industrializing countries of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, with the decline of agriculture and handicraft and the organization of other activities in factories, firms and shops, the home was gradually replaced as the locus of work. The Industrial Revolution, by systematically separating the workplace from the home, destroyed for the first time the direct division of labor between husband and wife. Male and female roles remained distinct, as they had always been, but they assumed a radically new character. The man's work, instead of being directly integrated with that of wife and children in the home or on the surrounding land, was integrated with that of non-kin in factories, shops and firms. The man's economic role became in one sense more important to the family, for he was the link between the family and wider market economy, but EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 10 at the same time, his personal participation in the household diminished. His wife, relegated to the home as her sphere, still performed the parental and domestic duties that women had always performed, but to an unprecedented degree her economic role became restricted. She could not produce what the family consumed, because production had been removed from the home. She could not sell goods and services or her labor in the marketplace, because her domestic duties precluded that. She could not enter the wider economy except indirectly through her husband. The husband not only worked in the wider world but was paid as an individual with no reference to his family role. Although his wife and children had a claim on his income, it was still his income, and they had no control over its amount or its source. The ideological justification- of this division of labor and activity is referred to as the doctrine of separate spheres. It was strongest in the United States from 1860 to 1920 (Davis 1984: 404). Middle- and upper-class women were left to contemplate their own self-definition exclusively in terms of the domestic circle. Some historians have called this ideology of woman's sphere the "Cult of True Womanhood." In the eyes of these historians, the Cult of True Womanhood relegated women strictly to the confines of the home by declaring that the four female cardinal virtues were "piety, purity, submissiveness and domesticity." (Welter 1966: 372) Furthermore, the wife, as the mistress of the home, was perceived by society and herself as the moral superior of the husband, though his legal and social inferior. Men had an ethical obligation to protect and preserve women in the home since women were intrinsically more moral than men as well as uniquely endowed with the emotional qualities necessary to EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 11 oversee the private sphere. The close relationship between the higher education of women and their important place in the family is shown by the outcry against the education of women when that education seemed to be interfering with the traditional role of women in the family. The occasion was the discovery toward the end of the nineteenth century of the lower marriage rate among the college educated and their older age at marriage -- which postponed the birth of a first child, thereby reducing the total number of children ever born in alumna's families." For example, a survey taken in 1895 of 1,805 members of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae found that of those female graduates over age 35, 46 percent never married compared to 10 percent for non-collegians (Woody 1974: 207). But as the preceding figure indicates, the majority of college women did eventually marry, albeit later than most of the noneducated. When, in 1890, the median age at first marriage for women in the United States was 22, that of women graduates was over 25 (Solomon 1985: 121). And white mothers born in the 1900s with college degrees averaged one less child than those who did not finish high school (Spanier and Glick 1980a: 101). Solomon concludes that the earliest college women assumed they had to make a "Most students came from middle- to upper middle-class families, probably daughters of professional or business people. College did not become fashionable for upper-class women until well into the twentieth century. Most often, the established eastern elites preferred to educate daughters privately at home, in boarding school and through travel abroad. College was dismissed as preparation for women who had no option but to be schoolteachers. The Immigration Commission's report of 1911 found that of all female students at 63 colleges across the country, 24 percent had immigrant parents. The same report noted that blacks comprised only 0.3 percent of the female student population (Solomon 1985: 76). EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 12 definitive choice between marriage and its obligations, and career with its commitments (p. 119). A society with different values would have offered less sacrificial alternatives. Victorian America did not. And when fertility was hard to control, for a mother to pursue a career did indeed make it difficult to attend to the rearing of children. That career and marriage remained separate spheres for collegiate women is made particularly evident with regard to their participation in the prestigious professions: medicine, law and academia. In 1880 there were exactly 75 female lawyers in America: thirty years later, there were only 1,341. Meanwhile, some states were forbidding women to practice law, while dozens of the leading law schools excluded them from learning it, most notably Columbia, Harvard and Georgetown. In 1920 women still constituted only 1.4 percent of all lawyers in the United States. In medicine, women represented 6 percent of all doctors in 1910, but this participation rate was not sustained. Whereas women in medical schools sometimes comprised as much as 10 percent of their class in the 1880s and 1890s, by 1910 their proportion was usually half that. Mary Walsh's Doctors Wanted: No Women Need Apply5 argues that fluctuations in female enrolments depended on restrictive medical school policies which tightened as prestige for the field of medicine increased for men. And, as in the case of earning a law degree, women obtaining a medical degree encountered further obstacles to actual practice. In 1920 the American Medical Association directory listed only 40 out of 482 general hospitals that included women on their staffs. Those women who succeeded in becoming lawyers and doctors made a courageous commitment. A EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 13 substantial majority of women doctors (67 to 75 percent) did not combine medical careers with marriage (Solomon: 127).6 Of all the professions presumably open to collegiate women, in the end there was only one besides nursing that was readily accessible: teaching. In 1880 almost nine out of ten professional women were teachers; in 1910, two out three still chose this course. But of the half million women educators in 1910, only 3,000 worked in colleges. The large majority worked in one-room schoolhouses. Most were young, and, partly because so many communities would not employ married women, all but a Tew were single (Filene 1986: 33). Women pursuing careers in higher education faced many challenges. At most coeducational schools, doctoral fellowships were unequally distributed, with the proportion a lotted to women changing and usually declining in the 1900s. At Columbia, the best fellowships (of $650, at a time when a year's full-time study cost about $600) were reserved exclusively for men, and out of 32 scholarships of $150, women could apply for only four (Solomon: 136). Most PhD holders who realized professional goals remained single. Seventy-five percent of all women who earned PhDs between 1877 and 1924 remained unmarried (Degler 1980: 385). The lives of Alice Freeman Palmer and M. Carey Thomas illustrate that career and marriage remained separate spheres for college - educated women, and as presidents of women's colleges, these two women also serve as examples of those 6 Marriage rates for lawyers do" not seem to be available. A review of the lawyers listed in Notable American Women (James 1971), indicates that for those born between 1829 and 1887, only 50 percent combined a law career with marriage. And one third of these remained childless while another third worked either as social activists or in their husband's law firm. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 14 who spoke out on acceptable spheres of feminine concern in turn of the century America. Alice Freeman Palmer became the president of Wellesley college in 1882. It was always difficult for her to reconcile rigorous intellectual training for women with her feelings about the primacy of the family. Much of her energies at Wellesley were consumed in trying to mold college women so that their intellect and womanliness would be combined to insure their superior ability as wives, mothers, teachers and charity workers. But as president of Wellesley College she had amassed power and influence which did not fit images of submissive wives and mothers whose arena was limited to homes, schools and churches. In 1884 she met George Herbert Palmer, Harvard's moral philosopher, and in 1886 he urged her to leave Wellesley and marry him. When she raised the possibility of his coming to Wellesley, Palmer reacted strongly: "I am sure you would feel it somewhat humiliating to see me marry into a position." (Frankfort 1977: 20) She left the college in 1887, and although married life with George Palmer was never really "quiet," since Freeman worked on many charitable causes, she never again attained the power and influence that her years as Wellesley's president had brought her. The pattern of Palmer's life provides a contrast to Martha Carey Thomas, president of Bryn Mawr College. Thomas did not make concessions to domesticity and she took a firm stand in favor of the intellect. Thomas wished to prove women's equal - if not superior abilities, and in order to do this she felt men and women had to compete in the same arenas. It was in the area of EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 15 academics and research that Thomas believed women would best be able to demonstrate their strength. She never married, and in a widely quoted passage she strongly affirmed her belief that ambitious careers and marriage were diametrical opposites: Women scholars have another and still more cruel handicap. They have spent half a lifetime in fitting themselves for their chosen work and then may be asked to choose between it and marriage. No one can estimate the number of women who remain unmarried in revolt before such a horrible alternative (Frankfort: 33). The differences between Alice Freeman Palmer and M. Carey Thomas toward proper female roles were not merely rhetorical, for these women's administrations were intensely personal and reflected their own life experiences. Alice Freeman Palmer, in committing herself to training women first as women, rather than scholars, was concerned with all aspects of her students' development -- social, moral and intellectual. M. Carey Thomas, on the other hand, saw scholarly prowess as the essential goal of college life. In contrast to Wellesley, the curriculum of Bryn Mawr would not tolerate 'frivolous' subjects such as music or drawing. And even though courses in such areas as domestic science and hygiene began to appear as courses in many women's colleges by 1900, only courses in architecture or art history were allowed, since they had the potential to develop into disciplinary subjects. By 1910, careers for women in social work and domestic economy were becoming more clearly defined and professionalized, and because of the new technological emphasis, were given applied scientific status. But, as Frankfort observes: Thomas, always sensitive to the possible degradation of women, must have feared that these new careers were merely an attempt to EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 16 professionalize traditional areas of acceptability for women (p. 36). And, while Wellesley required students to care for their rooms as well as to participate in the general domestic work of the college, Bryn Mawr shunned this concession to domesticity. The curriculum as well as aspects of student life were modelled after the finest men's colleges, where no student would ever be asked to help with the maintenance of the college. Students who attended Bryn Mawr in its early years were, it seems, influenced by Thomas's views. When comparing statistical data for Wellesley College and Bryn Mawr, it becomes clear that there were differences between the two not only in image but also in career patterns of graduates. During the twenty year period, 1889 to 1908, 43 percent of all Wellesley graduates never married. Although the figure is still 33 percent higher than that for the general population, it is lower by 10 percent than the figure for Bryn Mawr students. More married Wellesley graduates had children than Bryn Mawr graduates: 77 compared with 68 percent. Figures for advanced study and occupation show more marked differences. For those Wellesley women who graduated between 1889 and 1908, 65 percent had no occupation listed in the registers while only 10 percent of Bryn Mawr graduates were in the same category. The fact that 10 percent of Bryn Mawr graduates became college instructors becomes more revealing when compared with a 2 percent figure for Wellesley. In addition, while 61 percent of Bryn Mawr women had some graduate school study, only 36 percent of Wellesley graduates did (Frankfort 1977). These figures give evidence to the fact that Bryn Mawr did really stand out as a school where, in these years, marriage rates were particulary low and advanced study and occupation rates EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 17 were quite high. The college represented a departure from traditional female colleges, which sought to mold wives and mothers whose intellects would be subservient to domestic preoccupations. This is reflected in the figures for Wellesley where a blend of married life with intellectual pursuits was considered desirable for the model college graduate. However, as will be discussed, Carey Thomas's attempts to create an institution which departed from traditional women's colleges became increasingly ineffective. In order to place these numbers in a more comprehensive perspective, it is useful to compare those of both colleges with those of a coeducational institution. The figures for the University of Michigan show they are more similar to Wellesley. For example, occupation rates are comparable between Michigan (34 percent) and Wellesley (35 percent), but these are in contrast to Bryn Mawr (90 percent). In addition, few women who attended Michigan or Wellesley went on for advanced study: 21 percent and 36 percent, respectively, compared with 61 percent of Bryn Mawr students (Ibid). Indeed, many academic men at the turn of the century -- in both coeducational and male institutions - feared an overlapping of the roles of educated men and women. They seemed intent not only on providing 'scientific' evidence of innate differences, but also on supporting separate courses of study. From the studies of Cornell's Professor Burt Wilder, in which he attempted to relate brain size to intelligence and found that the female brain was usually smaller and presumably less functional, to the monumental influence of Sigmund Freud, evidence appeared to establish sex differences. Even economic theory served to support and strengthen conservative notions of sex differences and reinforce separate spheres of activity for men and women. In The EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 18 Theory of. the Leisure Class, Thorstein Veblen, a graduate student in economics at Cornell in 1891 wrote of the separate economic functions for each sex. As the male produced, the female was the consumer of goods. In this theoretical framework, woman remained outside the sphere of economic productivity and was most honored for her lack of effort. Coupled with economic theory, the scientific evidence of sex differentials in intelligence, personality traits, and aptitudes refuted the arguments of reformers for equal educational and professional opportunity of women. In a similar vein, in 1887 the Association of Collegiate Alumnae, later known as the American Association of University Women, urged women's colleges to prepare women for homemaking and child rearing in addition to preparation for social work. Significantly, feminists never spoke before the ACA or contributed to its publications. Indeed, the ACA membership as a group had nothing to do with feminists who were active in the suffrage movement. Unlike these more radical spokeswomen who talked of equality between the sexes, most college women spoke instead of accommodating their education to the 'natural' inclinations of their sex (Frankfort 1977: 98).7 Coeducational colleges often appear in history textbooks as an enlightened societal development which testified to the possibility of realizing some form of equality between the sexes in mid-nineteenth century America, but as the following 7 Of the early Alumnae of McGill University, Gillett (1981: 374) reports, "when in 1910 Delta Sigma held a debate 'Resolved that women be given the franchise,' the motion was lost; then, as a matter of interest, a standing vote of the meeting was taken to ascertain the personal views of those present. It was found that 29 were in favour of suffrage and 32 were against." EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 7 19 example of Cornell University8 will show, shifts in policies only served to contain the enrolment of women and to change the focus of women's curricula in coeducational institutions. The decision to admit women to Cornell University was made in 1872 at a time when only 29 percent of the institutions of higher education in the U.S. were coeducational. But by 1879, Cornell was in a precarious condition: enrolment had declined and costs were higher. The anticipated increase in the number of women living in the women's dormitory had not materialized, so in 1884 it was ruled that all women would be required to live in the residence. Anyone who did not wish to comply could obtain an honorable dismissal. With the establishment of compulsory dormitory residence for women, the university administration made, for the first time, a clear distinction in its policy between male and female students. This policy, which began as an economic measure, lasted for 78 years, long after Sage Hall was filled to capacity and additional dorms for women were constructed. It had a widespread, long-range influence on the experience of women at Cornell. As a result of the compulsory dormitory requirement, the university assumed two functions in the education of women which it did not perform as extensively for men. The first was to protect women and to supervise their behavior, and the second was training in the social graces. Sage Hall was to provide the same social training provided by the 'excellent private home.' Mandatory residence also 8 The same trends have been documented for the University of California, Chicago, Michigan and Wisconsin as well as Boston and Stanford University (Conable 1977; Frankfort 1977; Newcomer 1959; Solomon 1985). EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 20 established an absolute limit on the numbers of women accepted for admission. Therefore, the admission criteria for women and men were no longer the same. As the numbers of students competing for admission continually increased, limits on enrolment were necessary and quotas for both sexes were established. Quotas for male applicants were determined by the availability of classroom space. For women, the quotas equalled the number of dormitory spaces available. This subjected women to more selective admission criteria than were applied for men. Home economics began its rise at Cornell in 1900. Such training offered the potential for improving American home and family life, but it also reaffirmed woman's traditional place in the domestic sphere, and was a means of removing women from the academic and professional mainstream. Many talented women, who might have become scientists and mathematicians, were counseled to study home economics. Cornell's admissions policies reflected this conservative view so that sex, rather than ability, did determine educational opportunities. Strict segregation of the sexes was maintained; only women were admitted to home economics and only men were permitted to prepare themselves in such fields as engineering and law (Conable 1977: 115). The university's home economics program was so well regarded and so popular that by 1925, it became a separate college and soon had its own specially designed building to facilitate the expansion of the curriculum. While in the nineteenth century most educated women had perceived two distinct life paths — marriage or career -.- women in the early twentieth century now started thinking about a third choice: marriage and Career. But it is crucial to EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 21 note that 'career' in this context still meant teaching and social work, the so-called semi-professions. Between 1889 and 1918, 69 percent of Bryn Mawr graduates who had ever worked were employed as teachers, social workers or librarians compared to 5 percent who were ever employed as doctors or lawyers. The respective figures for Wellesley graduates are 66 and 3 percent (Frankfort 1977). Social service occupations were to satisfy the college woman who was torn between domesticity and a desire to make use of her special preparation. An illustration of the 'new' professional wife that had heeded the call to make intellectuality subservient to domesticity is found in the life of Ellen H. Richards. She founded the American Home Economics Association and the titles of some of her numerous publications speak for themselves: The Chemistry of Cooking and Cleaning and Food Materials and their Adulteration. Richards was admitted to the non-coeducational Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a special student in chemistry where she received a B.S. degree in 1873, and in the same year a M.A. from Vassar, after submitting a thesis in which she estimated the amount of vanadium in iron ore from a deposit at Cold Spring, N.Y. Although she continued her graduate study at MIT for two years she never received the doctorate for which she had hoped, reportedly because, "the heads of the department did not wish a woman to receive the first D.S. in chemistry" (James 1971: 143). In 1876 she became an instructor in sanitary chemistry in the Woman's Laboratory, an alternative structure within MIT's domain - although not part of the regular academic program. Like Alice Palmer of Wellesley, Richards also married late in life, but her EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 22 marriage did not in any way interfere with her career. Both Richards and her husband remained on the faculty at MIT. He specialized in mining engineering, and as professor held a higher position than she, as instructor. Richards remained childless, and her success at MIT and her lack of conflict about her career in general is definitely related to the type of study that she was engaged in and her ideas about women's role as 'missionaries to a suffering humanity.' As early as 1890 she advocated the study of domestic economy in all colleges for women. The college must, she thought, maintain the dignity of woman's home sphere. For Richards, the conflict between intellectuality and domesticity was never really a problem; she had resolved it by finding a niche for herself that compromised neither her sense of womanliness nor her academic training. But as Frankfort concludes: Richards, in attempting to place home economics on an equal footing with other newly touted applied sciences such as engineering, was making a false comparison. Because home economy -- and even social service work -- were seen as inherently feminine, they would not easily attain the stature of men's work (p. 105). Ellen Richards's life was the prototype of the domestic complacency that seemed to characterize college-educated women after 1910 (Strieker 1976: 6). They clung to domesticity under the guise of domestic science. The numbers indicate that more and more Bryn Mawr and Wellesley women were choosing a life in which domestic affairs were the first priority. Of those Bryn Mawr students who graduated between 1909-1918, 33 percent never married compared to 53 percent between 1889-1908. Almost as dramatic are the respective figures for Wellesley at 27 and 42 percent. In addition, both groups of women were having more children after 1908: the increase for Bryn Mawr was from 68 to 74 percent, EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 23 and for Wellesley from 77 to 88 percent. However, figures for occupations of Bryn Mawr graduates indicate the percentage of those employed fell from 90 to 77 percent, while Wellesley figures in this category remain almost constant at 35 and 33 percent. Fewer Bryn Mawr women went on to graduate schools after 1908. The percentage dropped from 61 to 49 percent. For Wellesley students, there is a slight increase from 36 to 43 percent. Interestingly, the figures for both of these women's colleges now not only resembled each other but also approached the pattern of the coeducational University of Michigan. Indeed, Carey Thomas's orthodoxy at Bryn Mawr deteriorated, largely under the pressure of outside opinion which insisted upon female specialties that were in tune with domesticity. By 1910 her students' admiration was tinged with criticism, and they succeeded in modifying some of her harsh directives. At this time Thomas began to accept courses in social work at Bryn Mawr and her rhetoric began to change as well, telling her students that it might be possible for women to successfully combine marriage and an academic career. The question of how to combine career or job and marriage was urgent in the 1920s because so many women college graduates by then were marrying, as they had not at the end of the nineteenth century (Solomon: 120). In 1925, in recognition of the new trend, Smith College set up The Institute To Coordinate Women's Interests, which was to experiment with ways of helping women to combine career and family. The Institute established or experimented with cooperative nurseries, communal laundries, shopping groups, and central kitchens. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 24 And in 1932 the board of trustees of Barnard College also announced a policy of granting a six-month leave of absence with full pay to any woman faculty or staff member who was going to have a baby. How effectively the new schemes would have worked and how deeply they would have reached socially were not to be learned. The Depression of the 1930s killed off not only these particular efforts but even the public discussion of how women might combine career and family. As the Depression deepened, the most common experience of married women who worked was to be fired or denied jobs if they had working husbands. Degler (1980: 413) concludes that right down to 1940 the great majority of women shaped their lives and their work around their families. In 1940 only about 15 percent of married women in the country were working (p. 418). Although the years during World War II offered more women varied types of advanced training and professional opportunities, the period between 1945 and 1960 brought setbacks and changes. However, the post-World War II college woman . differed markedly from her predecessors: she was not only an eager candidate for matrimony, likely to be married by age twenty-two, but marriage no longer removed her from the work force. Paradoxically, at a time when more college-educated wives and mothers worked, a return to family values was the dominant cultural ethos, embodied in what has been referred to as the "togetherness doctrine" (Hunt and Hunt 1982), "the feminine mystique" (Friedan 1963), and the "cult of domesticity" (Filene 1986). It was a time when women's place in the home was idealized, and employed women, especially employed mothers, were portrayed unsympathetically. The myth of expanding affluence EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 25 prevailed, minimizing perceptions of social inequality and many women's need for paid jobs (Hunt and Hunt 1982). < Most educated wives and mothers were still employed in those fields regarded as traditional for females: teaching, nursing, social work, and low-level management. Those who pursued serious academic studies, especially in relation to careers in the prestigious male fields of medicine, law or academia took lonely paths. Women as potential graduate students and professional trainees often found themselves rejected, due in part to the discriminatory quotas favoring veterans under the GI Bill. Graduate women had to be far better qualified than men to gain admission; and married women desiring to enroll part-time found it very difficult. Of all PhDs conferred in 1950 10 percent were earned by women, as compared to 18 percent in 1930. Similarly, at the undergraduate level, women students lost ground relative to men; the proportion of women among college students decreased from 43 percent in 1930 to 3l percent in 1950 with the percentage of women earning bachelor's or first professional degrees falling from 40 to 24 between these years. For years it was almost an axiom of feminists and anti-feminists alike that when wives would enter the paid work force they would gain not only a sense of personal accomplishment but also a new sense of independence within the family that could not help altering traditional relationships. It is Carl Degler's thesis that neither the hopes of the one nor the fears of the other have been borne out. He believes women's work in the main is still shaped around the family, while the family is still shaped around, the work of men. Since the EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 26 Industrial Revolution, an assumption of the modern family has been that women are the primary child-rearers. As a result, there remains a fundamental tension, if not conflict, between the individualistic interests of women and those of the family. That domesticity still remained the primary concern and sphere of most women is indicated by census data from 1960. It shows that the more dependent the children in a family the less likely the mother was to work. The negative correlation between the presence of small children in the home and wives' participation in the labor force was not as strong in the 1970 census data, but it was still significant (p. 430). The continued orientation of women's lives to the family also explains why women over 45 constituted in the 1950s and 1960s the largest age group then entering the work force. They were women going to work after their children had been raised. It also accounts for the apparent paradox that the proportion of married women working was rising at the same time that the birth rate was going up. The women who were entering the work force were older women; it was the young women who were having the children. In 1960 only 16 percent of women ages 25-34 with a high school diploma worked full-time, year round. The respective percentages for women with a bachelor's degree and graduate education 'are 15 and 18. By 1970 the percentages had not changed significantly (18, 15 and 22 respectively). It was not until 1980 that the figures reached 29, 35 and 30 percent (Bianchi and Spain 1986: 31). Nevertheless, women's participation in the labor force over the life course still remains more discontinuous than men's, as women continue to exit and reenter the labor force more times than men. Estimates from 1980 suggest that on average, men will EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 27 enter the labor force 3.9 times and exit voluntarily 3.6 times. On average women will enter 5.5 times and exit voluntarily 5.4 times (p. 153). In 1980, 52 percent of all employed women worked part-time or part-year. Degler concludes that women's work is clearly subordinated to the needs of the family, in fact the work is often entered into for the physical comfort of the family and the achievement of its educational and consumer goals. While women were making great strides in their labor force participation between 1950 and 1980, they also made great gains in their educational attainment -- in both professional and academic programs. Fewer than 1 percent of dentistry degrees were awarded to women in i960 compared with 13 percent in 1980. The proportion of medical degrees granted to women rose from 6 percent in 1960 to 23 percent in 1980. The legal profession saw the greatest increase of all: from only 2 percent of all law degrees going to women in 1960 to 30 percent in 1980. Much of this change was concentrated in the latter half of the 1970s. The proportion of dental degrees awarded to women more than quadrupled, while the proportion of law degrees conferred on women doubled between 1975 and 1980 (Bianchi and Spain 1986: 123). This trend is evident in the percentage of women receiving doctorates. Of all the PhDs conferred in 1965 11 percent were earned by women; in 1970 the percent was up to 13, but by 1980 it had increased to 30 percent (p. 122). Along with women's gains in education and the labor force was the unprecedented increase in the proportion of women between the ages of 20 and 24 who remained single. In 1983 the figure was 56 percent, though in 1960 it had only been 28 percent (p. 12). Although the trend runs through all educational levels, it is especially noticeable among EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 28 college-educated women. That this postponement or eventual rejection of marriage is related to education is suggested by the fact that 15 percent of women between 35 and 44 years of age with some graduate education in 1980 had not married. This figure is to be compared with the 4 percent of women in that age bracket without college who were still single (Moorman 1987: 2). In the American family women are the primary child rearers. Thus philosophically and practically the family and women's individuality are difficult to reconcile. Compared with men the great majority of working women over the last century and a half have generally shaped their work around their family while, equally clearly, men have shaped their family life around their work. Certainly, even in the 1980s, it is difficult if not impossible for most women to think about a career under such an intra-family arrangement - that is, to' perceive work as enduring, personally important and primary, since by definition a career cannot be a part-time job or be interrupted for extended periods of child rearing. The very fact that some professional women have had to exert extraordinary personal efforts and incur exceptional financial costs to combine career and family make it clear that such a solution is hardly practical for women in general. Thus, Degler concludes that the current "postponement or outright rejection of marriage by educated women may be a sign of their pursuit of individuality, just as many college-educated women at the end of the nineteenth century also rejected marriage when it did not appear to accomodate their individual interest as women." (p. 458) The first collegiate women had to choose between career and marriage. And EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE / 29 when it became evident that they chose career to a greater extent than expected and when married, had a fertility rate lower than expected, university men at the turn of the century seemed intent not only on providing 'scientific' evidence of sex differences, but also on supporting separate courses of study - with the latter supported by many women themselves. It is concluded here that higher education did not permanently challenge the domesticity cult, but rather, continued to prescribe, even into the second half of the twentieth century, a role of subservience and dedication to the home and family for women. And in spite of the labor force transformation after World War II, women's relation to the family remained as primary and central as it had ever been. It was now combined with work, to be sure, but into the 1970s that outside job was secondary and supplementary to the family, which still remained the primary concern and sphere of most women. But, as the next chapter will show, there have been major changes in the marriage and work patterns in North America since the 1970s. Most notable are the older age at first marriage and lower marriage rates. Women are pursuing higher education and developing ties to the workplace that resemble the committed, permanent patterns once reserved for men. Canadian women in 1981 had a total representation of 19 percent in male-dominated professions, compared to 11 percent in 1971, with those age 15r34 accounting for 61 percent of this increase. Chapter Three provides a statistical picture of these women and their family status. CHAPTER 3. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: T H E CANADIAN POPULATION This section examines the relationship between education and marriage, providing a statistical portrait of women and men in Canada by comparing census data from 1971, 1976 and 1981. The decade of the 1970s was of special significance to women in Canada; during this period society's attitudes towards women as well as women's self-perceptions underwent a profound change. This was due to complex economic, social and cultural transformations which have been and are still being debated. A summary of contemporary marriage patterns and women's present educational status will introduce this chapter. 3.1. CONTEMPORARY MARRIAGE PATTERNS The recent increase in the proportion of adults in their twenties and early thirties who have never married combined with increasingly favorable attitudes toward single life have led to speculation that a higher proportion of adults are remaining single throughout life now than was true in the past. It is still unclear whether the proportion who never marry will rise above the historic maxium of 10 percent. Between 1971 and 1981 the percent never married increased for younger cohorts of women from 69 to 72 for those age 15-24 and from 10 to 12 for those age 25-44, but for women age 65 and over the percentage never married decreased from 11 to 7, with similar patterns for men (Statistics Canada 1985). While these decreases are admittedly small, they do not suggest that lifetime singlehood is increasing. Moorman (1987: 2), of the U.S. 30 EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 31 Figure 1. Contemporary Marriage Patterns EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 32 Census Bureau, describes the similar situation found among Americans as a "combination of delay and forego with delay probably playing the stronger role." Between 1972 and 1982, the marriage rate9 in Canada has decreased from 71 to 51 for women and from 74 to 56 for men (see Figure 1). Since 1946 the median age at first marriage decreased fairly consistently for both women and men. In 1946 it stood at 23 and 25 years respectively and by 1975 it had declined to 22 for .women and 24 for men. Since 1975, however, the median age at first marriage has steadily increased to 24 years in 1985 for women and 26 years for men (see Figure 1). One. result of later marriages is a delayed age at first birth which is related to reduced fertility (Marini 1981). Figure 1 also shows this overall decline in fertility in Canada from a rate of 68 in 1971 to 56 in 1982. The decline in fertility is evident for women of all ages, although among women in their early thirties the rate has actually risen somewhat from 64 in 1975 to 69 in 1982 (Statistics Canada 1985: 14). The number of divorces in Canada climbed steadily since 1968. Prior to 1968 adultery had been the principal basis for divorce in Canada (Wilson 1986: 21), but the Divorce Act of that year added to the number of justifiable grounds for dissolution. Between 1970 and 1983, the divorce rate1 0 nearly doubled. The rate, however, has actually declined since 1982 from 1164 to 1003 in 1985 (see Figure 1). Thus, while there has been a recent decrease in the divorce rate, the increase in median age at first marriage and lower marriage rates do indicate a trend to delay and possibly forego marriage in Canada at present. 9 Marriages per 1,000 single, widowed and divorced population 15 and over. 1 °Divorces per 100,000 married women aged 15 years and over. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION 7 33 Several causes and correlates of delayed and rejected marriage have been suggested. If recent cohorts are indeed foregoing marriage, an explanation can be found in the "marriage squeeze" concept associated with the baby boom generation. Demographers have coined the phrase "marriage squeeze" to describe the instability that arises when there is an imbalance in the number of marriageable persons of each sex. Such squeezes have frequently occurred in countries suffering severe war losses, where there is a shortage in the number of marriageable-age males. An abrupt change in fertility also generates a subsequent marriage squeeze. This occurred following World War II in the United States and Canada as a result of the baby boom between 1945-1965. In 1947, there were nearly one million more babies born in the U.S. than there were in 1945. In the mid-1960s the large cohort of females born in 1947 would normally have sought spouses from cohorts of slightly older males born in 1945 and earlier, but there were too few such men. Those that propose a sex ratio imbalance as the cause of delaying and foregoing marriage (Guttentag and Secord 1983) state that when eligible males are in scarce supply and there is an overabundance of women, women have a subjective sense of powerlessness and feel devalued by society, that marriage will tend to 1 lose its value for both sexes and women will seek their economic independence apart from marriage. These authors conclude that the outstanding characteristic of times when women are in oversupply is that "men would not remain committed to the same woman throughout her childbearing years. The culture would not emphasize love and commitment, and a lower value would be placed on marriage and the family" (p. 21). EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 34 There are of course several possible outcomes to a marriage squeeze. A larger proportion of women may remain permanently single or marry later than they otherwise would. Or, for example, with respect to the baby boom generation, the proportion ever marrying may not change at all if women adjust their preferences for slightly older males downward or upward. Schoen and Baj (1985) have studied marriage squeezes of varying intensities over the 1910-76 period in the U.S., Belgium, Sweden, and Switzerland and concluded that the marriage squeeze has generally had relatively small but non-negligible effects on the proportion ever marrying and small to moderate effects on the average age at marriage. Another explanation for the current postponement of marriage is the rebirth of the women's movement, which emerged in the late 1960s and gained strength in the early 1970s. A goal of the movement was to demonstrate that women had alternatives to being wives and mothers. The climate created by the movement opened new educational, occupational and legal options for all women. Heer and Grossbard-Schechtman (1981) suggest that in addition to the women's movement, various other social and demographic factors, many linked to the movement, served to increase the attractiveness of alternatives to the traditional roles of wife and mother. Legalized abortion and advances in contraception contributed to the ability to avoid unplanned children, which in turn led to more tolerant attitudes toward premarital sex and cohabitation. The practice of men and women living together before or instead of marriage is a growing trend which may account for part of the delay in age at first marriage (Spanier 1983). The actual number of unmarried couples living together in the U.S. more than tripled EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 35 between 1960 and 1983, from 439,000 to 1.9 million (Ibid). Living together as husband and wife without legal sanction of marriage has become more socially acceptable in the past twenty years, primarily among younger adults. One quarter of men and nearly two fifths of cohabiting women in 1981 were under age twenty-five. Spanier (1983) found that never married women in a cohabiting relationship were more likely to have a college degree than either married women or cohabiting men and were most likely to be living with highly educated men. Bianchi and Spain (p. 20) believe this evidence suggests "that cohabitation is seen as an alternative or precursor to marriage for less traditional women interested in higher education and careers." Other attitudinal and lifestyle variables may also be related to a delay in marriage. The high divorce rate may dissuade people from early marriage, and lifetime singlehood is a more acceptable option now than it was in the past. Attitudinal evidence shows that most young people and their parents no longer view getting married as preferable to remaining single and do not disapprove of those who choose not to wed (Goldscheider and Waite 1986). Are women choosing not to marry because marriage has become a relatively less attractive option than nonmarriage? Research on sex role differences shows that traditionally defined family roles are very different for men and women. Women, historically have gained financially from marriage, but they give up more than men in terms of privacy, friends, and control over schedules and lifestyles (Bernard 1982). Demographic data indicate that the married state appears to be associated with more stress for women than for men. Men gain disproportionately from the noneconomic benefits associated with marriage - in particular, household, services, EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 36 but also survivorship and mental and physical health (Gove and Hughes 1979). Nadelson and Notman (1981) report that married women seek help for physical and emotional problems more often than married men or single women. However, with regard to mental health, a survey of those released from Canadian mental and psychiatric hospitals shows that the rate for married women was 97 and for married men 98. In comparison, the rate for never married women was 217 and for never married men 401. Rates for widowed or divorced people were even higher: 236 for women and 551 for men (Statistics Canada: 100). Others argue that the high levels of nonmarriage characteristic of the 1970s have resulted from economic hardship. Easterlin (1978) suggests that the recession of the 1970s which included labor market problems for the large baby boom generation made it difficult for young people to marry and start a family while "maintaining the standard of living they had come to expect from growing up in relatively affluent homes" (p. 380). Modernization or social change theory attributes the decline in marriage to the loss of functions that society expects families to perform as industrialization and economic growth advances. Westoff (1983) proposes that both later age at marriage and low fertility are a result of social change that are propelled by fundamental changes in the economic system. These social changes include the erosion of traditional and religious authority, the growth of individualism, urbanization, mass education, a rising status of women reflected in increasing equality and independence of women, and the ideology of consumerism. He proposes that with such social change has come a loss in family functions EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 37 including economic, religious and educational functions. Future plans and preferences to work later in life appear to result in a postponement of marriage. As a result of the rise in labor force participation for older, married women, single young women today are more likely to believe they will be working later in life. This expectation might lead some women, especially the more educated, to postpone marrying while they invest time establishing themselves in the ' work world. Cherlin (1981) found some evidence for this hypothesis in a U.S. national sample of single women in their late teens and early twenties who were first interviewed in 1969, then reinterviewed two years later. Whether a woman was working at the time of the first interview made little or no difference for whether she had married two years later. But women who said at the first interview that they planned to work at age thirty-five were, in general, less likely to have married two years later. During the period in which the study took place: 1969-1975, the proportion of young single women who planned to work at age thirty-five rose dramatically, especially among those with more education. Bianchi and Spain (1986) assert that the data on the substitution of work for marriage are contradictory. Cherlin (1981) cites two studies showing that fewer "women had married in areas of the U.S. where job opportunities for women were better, as measured by the demand in the area for jobs usually filled by women. Waite and Spitze (1981), however, found that employment can act to increase a single woman's contacts with eligible men and thus increase the likelihood of marriage. Bianchi and Spain (1986: 18) conclude: EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 38 The increase in female labor force participation means that more women are financially independent and do not view marriage as a way of being cared for. Some would argue that marriage, therefore, may provide less economic utility to women - and to men -- in a situation in which both partners work outside the home versus one in which husbands specialize in market work and wives in nonmarket work (p. 18). This argument is based on Becker's (1981) economic theory which focuses on the gain to marriage as. the key element. He argues that since women are becoming more like men in the workplace and have fewer chores to perform at home because of lowered fertility and technological improvements, a sexual division of labor makes less sense on economic grounds than it once did, thus reducing the gain to marriage and therefore the incentive to be married. The key question is whether there are fundamental economic and social changes under way that are undermining the sexual division of labor and the comparative advantage than men and women were historically believed to have in market activity and home production, respectively. Rather than viewing delayed or rejected marriage as the result of the substitution of work for marriage, perhaps it is more useful to view changing marriage patterns as a result of the conflict between work and marriage for women, especially for women in professional careers. Marshall (1987) makes the observation: A professional career requires certain levels of education, work-force commitment, and is usually associated with a demanding work environment. For women, these requirements are not compatible with a traditional family notion of a breadwinning husband and homemaking wife (p. 14). EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 39 Married women with full-time employment in the labor force are also responsible for most of the housework, and those with children do most of the parenting (Geerken and Gove 1983; Luxton 1981: Meissner et al. 1975). Because women who are employed outside the home continue to bear the primary burden of family and home care, Canadian women in the labor force average almost four hours each day on domestic and child care duties compared with six hours for women not in the labor force and two hours for men. Employed women have an average of a half-hour of discretionary time less each day than men and an hour and three-quarter less than women who are not in the labor force (Statistics Canada 1985: 5). Thus, in order to fulfill their career aspirations, Marshall suggests that many women have indeed developed new patterns of behavior that vary from the traditional role. With respect to foregoing marriage, she found that in Canada 15 percent of females, age 45 and over in male-dominated professions had never married, compared to 7 percent of women in non-professional occupations. And if the women in these occupations hold a university degree then the percentages never marrying increase to 27 and 19, respectively. The other response to conflicting work and family roles for women is to postpone marriage. The average age at first marriage is consistently one to three years higher for females with a university degree, within all occupational groups (Marshall: 41). Bianchi and Spain (1986) believe a college education exposes a woman to a variety of experiences, in particular greater employment opportunities, which "may reduce her interest in marriage" (p. 71). But rather than this 'substitution of work for marriage' argument, Marini (1984), like Marshall, proposes that EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 40 individual attainment and family roles function as complements for women but are more discrete spheres for men. She found that males were more likely to experience marriage and children prior to leaving school because sex differences in adult family roles made marriage and parenthood more compatible with the continuation of education for males than for females. Marini concludes that educational attainment is the most important determinant of the ordering of role changes during the transition to adulthood for both sexes, and that: Although for men, the continuation of education does not permit direct fulfillment of the traditional . male role of provider, because of its future payoff for the well-being of the family, it is viewed as an investment in the family's future. Women's educational and occupational pursuits tend to be viewed as secondary to those of their husbands. Women who pursue high levels of education therefore experience a small increase in the probability of entry into marriage and parenthood prior to leaving school than males who pursue correspondingly high levels of education (1984: 79). To summarize, there have been major changes in the marriage patterns of North America since the 1970s. Most notable is the older age at first marriage and lower marriage rates, for both men and women. Although lifetime singlehood may be increasing, the role of wife continues to be adopted by the vast majority of adult women. Marriage remains central to most women's lives (Bianchi and Spain: 39). What has changed is the timing of entry into marriage and the extent of a woman's adult life that is spent in the married state. Women's Present Educational Status During the period 1970-71 to 1982-83 Canadian women made great strides in improving their educational qualifications. Figure 2 provides a summary. One of EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 41 Figure 2. Women's Educational Attainment EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 42 these improvements has been the increase in the number of women attending university. Between 1970 and 1982, total undergraduate enrolment of women more than doubled. This compares with a 17 percent increase for men. Nevertheless, the full-time enrolment rate for men in 1982 was almost 2 percent greater than that of women, although the gap has grown smaller each year (Satistics Canada 1985: 23). In 1982, 51 percent of all university students were women, an increase from 37 percent in 1970 (Ibid). At the undergraduate level, women made up 52 percent of students in 1982, up from 39 in 1970. However, they are still underrepresented at graduate levels. Women accounted for only 40 percent of graduate students in 1982 although this is an increase from 23 percent in 1970 (see Figure 2). The small female majority in total enrolment and at the undergraduate level is a function, in part, of the large number of women enrolled part-time. As Table 1 shows, in 1982 women comprised 61 percent of the total part-time undergraduate population; however, as full-time undergraduate students as well as part-time and full-time graduate students, women were still in the minority as percent of the total: 47, 42 and 38 respectively. Given the higher enrolment rates of women between 1970-71 and 1982-83, it follows that a growing proportion of those receiving degrees are women. The more advanced the degree, however, the smaller the percentage of women. In 1982, women received 51 percent of all bachelor's degrees, 40 percent of master's degrees and 25 percent of doctorates. The corresponding percentages in 1971 were 38, 22 and 9 (p. 24). Despite the fact that more women are earning EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 43 FULL-TIME AND PART-TIME UNIVERSITY ENROLMENT, BY LEVEL, 1970-71 to 1982-83 Undergraduate Graduate Total Full-time Part-time Full-tine Part^lme Women as a Women as a Women as a Women as a Women as a X of Total X of Total X of Total X of Total X of Total 1970-71 36.7 42.4 22.3 23.7 37.0 1971-72 37.7 47.2 22.6 24.1 38.7 1972-73 38.5 52.8 24.3 26.0 40.8 1973-74 39.6 54.0 26.0 27.3 42.0 1974-75 41.1 54.7 27.3 28.8 43.4 1975-76 42.4 54.3 . 29.2 30.0 44.2 1076-77 43.7 56.3 30.5 32.5 45.9 1977-78 44.4 58.0 31.8 34.8 47.3 1978-79 45.0 58.5 33.2 36.1 48.0 1979-80 * * 35.3 37.0 49.0 1980-81 46.0 60.1 36.1 38.7 49.7 1981-82 46.7 60.0 37.3 40.7 50.1 1982-83 46.8 60.6 37.6 42.3 50.6 *Data alas Ing f i t m source. SOURCE: Women l n Canada: A S t a t i s t i c a l Report. S t a t i s t i c s Canada Catalogue 89-503E, Tables 1 Table 1. Women's University Enrolment degrees, they remain concentrated in traditional female fields of study including education, fine and applied arts and the humanities. But as Table 2 and Figure 2 show, women have made some inroads into male dominated areas. Between 1971 and 1982 the percent of law graduates who were women went from 9 to 38 percent, and in medicine from 13 to 36 percent. Because until recently so few women enrolled in master's programs of any kind, men dominated in virtually all fields except in fine and applied arts. However, as Table 2 shows, by 1982 women were earning more master's degrees than men in education and health professions, as well as in fine and applied arts. Also, the proportion of EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 44 BACHELOR'S, MASTER'S AND DOCTORAL DECREES GRANTED BY FIELD OF STUDY, 1971 AND 1982 Bachelor's Master's Doctoral 1971 1982 Women as a 7. of Total 1971 1982 Women as a 7. of Total 1971 1982 Women as a 7. of Total Biological sciences 39.2 52.8 21.8 37.9 8.7 23.1 Commer 6.2 34.2 1.4 25.5 0.0 5.6 Dentistry - - 4.3 19.8 - -Education 52.8 70.0 27.7 52.3 6.5 42.7 Engineering & applied sciences 1.2 9.3 1.0 8.5 0.0 4.4 Fine & applied arts 54.8 64.1 52.4 55.5 16.7 33.3 Health professions 48.6 62.5 33.1 59.2 9.7 25.2 Humanities 47.0 61.5 36.8 56.9 21.1 34.5 Law - - 9.3 37.6 - -Math 4 physical sciences 19.4 28.5 9.8 20.0 6.7 11.4 Medicine - - 12.8 36.2 - -Includes person with Master's and Professional degrees (MD, LLB, DDS). SOURCE: Women In Canada: A Statistical Report. Statistics Canada Catalogue 89-503E, Tables 4,5,6. Table 2. Degrees Earned by Field of Study women graduating from traditionally male disciplines is increasing. The percentage of master's degrees in commerce awarded to women rose from 1 to 26 percent between 1971 and 1982 (see Figure 2). Although there is no field of study in which women earn more doctorates than men, the proportion of women graduates has increased in all fields. For example, EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 45 in 1982 women accounted for 11 percent of math and physical science doctoral graduates, up from 7 in 1971 (see Table 2). PERCENT OF WOMEN AND MEN HOLDING BACHELOR AND GRADUATE DEGREES BY AGE AND CENSUS YEAR Bachelor's - - Woman Men 1971 1976 1981 1971 1976 1981 Age 20-29 years 4.S 7.9 7.8 5.1 9.2 8.2 30-39 years 2.4 5.2 7.7 3.8 9.4 10.8 40-49 years 1.7 2.8 3.4 3.2 5.3 6.0 50-64 years 1.4 2.2 2.2 2.3 4.1 4.0 Over 64 .6 1.0 1.4 1.4 2.4 2.5 Graduate Women Men 1971 1976 1981 1971 1976 1981 20-29 years 1.9 .9 1.9 4.9 2.1 2.3 30-39 years 1.3 1.4 3.4 6.0 5.4 7.5 40-49 years 1.1 .8 1.9 4.5 3.6 6.2 50-64 years , .9 .5 1.3 3.2 2.2 4.3 Over 64 .5 .3 .7 1.3 1.5 2.5 SOURCE: 1971, 1976 and 1981 Canadian Census Public Use Sample Tapes. Table 3. Degrees held by Sex, Age and Year The narrowing of the education gap is more pronounced in the younger age cohorts. Table 3 shows the percentage of each age cohort completing bachelor's and graduate degrees. For all age groups and all census years, the percent of men shows a higher value at both educational levels. For those age 30 and over EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 46 at the bachelor's level, both men and women show consistently higher values with each successively younger age group and with each succeeding census year. For example, just over 3 percent of women aged 40-49 held a bachelor's degree in 1981, while just under 8 percent of women aged 30-39 had completed college in that year. This improvement is somewhat tempered by the fact that there is still a fairly large discrepancy between the proportion of men and women age 30-39 who completed a bachelor's degree. In 1971 there was a 1.4 percentage point difference between men and women, but by 1981 that gap had widened to 3.1 percentage points. However, for those 20-29 an almost negligible gap of 0.6 percentage points in 1971 decreased to 0.4 in 1981. As evident at the bachelor's level, the percent of men again shows a higher value across all age groups and census years among holders of graduate degrees. Also evident is the narrowing of an education gap for the younger age cohorts. In 1971, among those age 40-49, there was a 3 percentage point difference between men and women. By 1981 that gap had widened to 4. However, for those age 20-29 the gap narrowed from 3.0 percentage points in 1971 to less than half a percentage point in 1981. To summarize, women have made great strides in the proportion enrolled in university and attaining university degrees. However, they are still underrepresented in both full-time undergraduate and graduate levels and as recipients of master's and doctoral degrees. But as higher education has become more of a norm for women these gaps have grown smaller between 1971 and 1981, especially for the youngest cohort (see Figure 2). EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 47 3.2. CENSUS D A T A , 1971-1981 This section examines the relationship between education and marriage and provides a statistical picture of women and men in Canada by comparing census data from 1971, 1976 and 1981. The analysis is based on the Public Use Sample Tape prepared from the Canadian census. The data are based on a one-in-five random sample of Canadian census reports in 1971 and 1976 and a one-in-twenty random sample from the 1981 census. These tapes provide a subsample representative of the Canadian population as a whole (Cook: 1972). It should be noted that beginning in 1976 the Canadian census no longer distinguished between legally-married couples and those living together in 'common law' marriages. Thus, when census respondents declare that they are part of a husband-wife household, this statement is accepted at face value whether or not a formal marriage ceremony has taken place (Davids 1980: 177). Even if Statistics Canada has not made the assumption that the definition of marriage has remained constant, the ambiguity around the issue of the definition of marriage does cloud interpretation and comparison of data over time. During the decade of the 1970s, society's attitudes towards cohabitation underwent change and this may have affected the ease with which census respondents reported marital status over time. What has not changed is the assumption that the definition of what constitutes a married couple is heterosexual, so homosexual couples are excluded from the census data on marriage. The message from the census data is unequivocal. Figure 3 shows that PERCENTAGE NEVER MARRIED BY EDUCATION, AGE AND CENSUS YEAR E d u c a t i o n H i g h . S c h o o l 1 Some Pos t Secondary B a c h e l o r ' s Degree Gradua t e Degree Census Year 1971 1976 1981 1971 1976 1981 1971 1976 1981 1971 1976 1981 Females 20-7.9 y e a r s 26.3 29.2 32.7 45.5 35.2 41.6 51.0 44.0 46.6 45.8 45.7 47.3 30-39 y e a r s 6.5 6.6 7.2 11.7 9.4 10.2 23.3 19.0 17.0 26.5 17.9 19.5 40-49 y e a r s 6.4 5.2 4.8 9.5 7.6 6.9 18.1 21.4 14.4 28.7 31.1 21.8 50-64 y e a r s 8.1 6.0 5.3 11.1 12.4 9.8 29.1 23.1 19.6 40.0 35.0 26.6 Over 64 y e a r s 10.3 8.2 7.7 14.4 19.8 18.0 32.8 34.3 29.9 38.0 54.3 34.4 Males 20-29 y e a r s 45.6 49.3 52.2 61.6 42.6 53.9 52.0 51.0 54.7 39.3 38.1 45.0 30-39 y e a r s 11.7 11.4 11.8 10.6 8.7 11.1 11.3 13.3 16.7 13.3 11.3 13.3 40-49 y e a r s 9.9 8.7 7.6 6.1 4.8 4.8 10.1 10.9 6.3 11.1 9.4 7.5 50-64 y e a r s 9.1 8.3 7.5 5.2 5.2 4.7 7.2 10.4 8.3 9.6 9.9 8.2 Over 64 y e a r s 10.6 9.5 7.3 9.4 8.1 6.9 16.0 11.8 9.0 17.0 9.0 10.4 I n c l u d e s persons w i t h a h i g h s c h o o l d i p l o m a o r l e s s . 2 I n c l u d e s persons w i t h M a s t e r ' s , D o c t o r a l and P r o f e s s i o n a l d e g r e e s . SOURCE: 1971, 1976 and 1981 Canadian Census P u b l i c Use Sample Tapes. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 49 i Percent never married by sex and education, 1981 50 T I Figure 3. Percent Never Married by Sex and Education, Age 30 + , 1981 for women, there is a positive association between education and postponing or foregoing marriage (the percentage of women never married increases as one reads across the figure from high school education to graduate education). For men, there is little difference in the percent who never marry by educational attainment. In 1981 the percentage of men, age 30 and over, who never EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 50 married was 9 percent for those with a high school education or less and 10 percent for those with a bachelor's or graduate degree. For women, the percentage who never married was 6 percent for those with high school, increased 5 points for those with some post-secondary education, increased a further 9 points for those with a bachelor's degree and increased an even further 6 percent for those with a professional or graduate degree. That is, 20 percent of women with a bachelor's degree and 26 percent with a graduate degree postponed or rejected marriage compared to 6 percent of women with high school or less. Figure 4 shows that when controlled for census year, the positive relationship between education and delaying or foregoing marriage for women still holds, although it is weaker in 1981 than in 1971. (This will be addressed fully in a subsequent section.) For example, 13 percent of men age 30 and over with graduate degrees never married in 1971 in contrast to 33 percent of women with graduate degrees. The respective percentages in 1976 and 1981 are 10 percent versus 35 percent and 10 percent verus 26 percent. Figure 5 shows that when controlled for age this positive relationship between educational attainment and never marrying for women continues to hold. For all age groups the percentage difference between men and women never married at the high school or less category ranges from less than 1 point (age 65 and over) to 5 points (age 30-39), whereas at the graduate level the percentage differences are greater, ranging from 6 points (age 30-39) to 24 points (age 65+). That is, the significant gender difference in percent never marrying by EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 51 Percent never married by sex and education, 1971 1 I -2 Percent never married by sex and education, 1976 0 *+ Percent never married by sax and education, 1981 Figure 4. Percent Never Married by Sex, Education and Year, Age 30+ EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 52 Percent never married by sex and education, age 30-39,1981 < Percent never married by education and census year, age 40-49, 1981 Percent never married by education and census year, age 50-64,1981 EtJUOOtlOH Percent never momed by education and census year, age 65+, 1981 v»tf* Sort* Figure 5. Percent Never Married by Sex, Education and Age education is evident in all age groups, although it is less for the youngest cohort (30-39). While there are still 6 percentage points separating the sexes in this cohort at the graduate level, there is a negligible .3 percentage points between them at the bachelor's level. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 53 But because education is selective by age, and because the likelihood of marriage extends well beyond the mean age at first marriage, it is useful to look at those over age 49 for a consideration of the never married population. Otherwise, it is likely to underestimate the final marriage experience for those age 20-29 or even age 30-39. A detail of the 1981 Public Use Sample Tape not presented here shows that 95 percent of women and men at all educational levels have married for the first time by age 34 to 37. Selecting out those over age 49 ensures that those being considered are the most likely to never marry. Figure 6 indicates that for those age 50 and over in the high school or less educational category, men are slightly more likely to never marry than are women. In 1976 9 percent of men and 7 percent of women never married and there was less than one percentage point difference between the sexes in the other census years. But as soon as women are exposed to post-secondary education, regardless of level attained (see Table 4), the percent of women never marrying is greater than for men and this higher nonmarriage rate increases further for those with a university degree. For example, in 1971 13 percent of men with a university degree (bachelor's or above) never married compared to 34 percent of women. By 1976, the respective percentages had dropped to 11 and 32 and by 1981 to 9 and 28, reducing the gender gap from 21 to 19 percentage points between 1971 and 1981. Nevertheless, in each census year, women with a university degree were two and half to three times more likely to never marry than were men with a university degree. That higher education does increase the likelihood of never marrying for women is supported by the findings of a recent Statistics Canada report in which EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 54 Percent never married, age 50+ with high school or less by sex and census year 40- •• a 30-Legend eZJ Mala • • F o m a » C 204 o p SOUaCX: Tabla l 1971 1976 1981 Census year Percent never married, age 50+ with a university degree by sex and census year 1971 1976 1981 Census year Figure 6. Percent Never Married, Age 50+ by Sex, Education and Year EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 55 Marshall (1987) examined the effect of occupation and higher education on marriage in 1981. Canadian women in 1981 had a total representation of 19 percent in male-dominated professions, compared to 11 percent in 1971, with those age 15-34 accounting for 61 percent of this increase (p. 24). Marshall's definition for male-dominated professions takes into consideration the percentage that female and male workers constitute of all workers in the labor force. For example, in 1971, females as a percentage of all workers were 35 percent, therefore if 66 percent or more of the people in a profession were male, Marshall defined the profession as 'male-dominated.' According to this definition, in 1971, 34 of 46 professions were male-dominated and they include: engineers, architects, physicists, judges, lawyers, university professors, physicians and dentists (p. 20). Marshall used census data to examine the relationship between occupation and marriage, while controlling for educational level. She found significant differences in the never married and age at first marriage categories. For example, Table 5 shows that for women age 45 and over with schooling below a university degree, 15 percent of those in male-dominated professions never married compared to 27 percent of those with a university degree in male-dominated professions. And for those in other professions with less than a university degree 10 percent never married compared to 23 percent of women with a university degree in other professions. The respective percentages for those women in non-professions are 7 and 19. Thus, even in non-professional occupations women with a university degree are more likely to never marry than women without a degree at any occupational level. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 56 PERCENT OF WOMEN 25 YEARS AND OVER WHO WORKED SINCE JANAUARY 1, 1980, BY AGE GROUPS, OCCUPATION AND LEVEL OF EDUCATION SHOWING NEVER MARRIED AND AVERAGE AGE AT FIRST MARRIAGE, 1981 Education and Occupation groups Age group Schooling below u n i v e r s i t y degree Male Other Non dominated profes- p r o f e s -p r o f e s - sions slona sions U n i v e r s i t y degree or above Male Other Non dominated p r o f e s - p r o f e s -p r o f e s - sions sions sions 25 years and over Never married .16.11 11.3 10.3 27.3 24.1 24.7 Average age at f i r s t marriage 23 23 22 24 24 24 25-34 years Never married 21.7 16.3 16.1 31.6 26.9 29.5 Average age at f i r s t marriage 22 22 21 23 23 23 35-44 years Never Married 9.9 7.7 6.3 18.9 19.3 15.2 Average age a t f i r s t marriage 22 23 21 25 24 24 45 years and over Never married 14.9 9.9 7.1 26.7 22.8 19.1 Average age a t f i r s t marriage 24 24 23 26 25 26 SOURCE: Katharine M a r s h a l l , Who are the P r o f e s s i o n a l Women? S t a t i s t i c s Canada Catalogue 99-951, Table X I I I . Table 5. Percent Never Married by Age, Occupation and Education EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 57 The data also indicate variation between occupational groups within the same educational category. In each case, the male-dominated professional group had the highest percent of never married. For those women age 45 and over with a university degree, 27 percent in male-dominated professions had never married compared to 23 percent in other professions and 19 percent in non-professions (see Table 5). That the combination of a university degree and labor force participation in a male-dominated profession is the situation most likely to result in a woman never marrying is illustrated below. Percent of Women Age 45 + Never Married by Occupation and Education, 1981 (Source: Table 5) Occupation Non- Male-Profes- dominated sional Profession Education Without Univ. Degree 7 15 With Univ. Degree 19 27 That is, 7 percent of women in non-professional occupations never married compared to 15 percent of women in male-dominated professions. But when women attain a university degree those percentages increase to 19 and 27, respectively. Marshall concludes: EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 58 The combination of both home and family responsibilities and a work-force occupation is difficult for women to manage. However, it would be even more difficult if the job in the work-force was a professional career which required many years of post-secondary schooling, possibly long hours of weekend work, travelling and a competitive work environment, which demands career commitment (p. 41). Again, the delaying effect of higher education is also evident in Marshall's data: the average age at first marriage was consistently one to three years higher for females with a university degree than for those without a degree, within all occupational groups. For example, the average age at first marriage for the non-professional group, 45 years and over with a university degree was 26 years, while for the same group without a university degree the average was 23 years (see Table 5). Table 6 shows that women in male-dominated professions stand out as distinct from women in other professions and non-professions in that only 62 percent of women in male-dominated professions are wives, compared to 69 percent of women in other professions and 71 percent in non-professions. And the 62 percent of women in male-dominated professions that are wives stand in contrast to the 80 percent of-males in male-dominated professions who are husbands. A second significant difference is the fact that 40 percent of married women in male-dominated professions had no children at home whereas men and women in all other groups had much lower rates, ranging from 25 percent to 32 percent (Table 6). Marshall (p. 43) suggests that females in male-dominated professions may either be delaying having children or are choosing not to have children at EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 59 PERCENTAGE OF FAMILY PERSONS 25 YEARS AND OVER WHO WORKED SINCE JANUARY 1, 1980, BY OCCUPATION AND SEX, 1981 Total With No children . children present present  FEMALE ; Male-dominated professions 61.9 39.8 40.2 Other professions 69.1 67.9 32.1 Non-professions 71.4 69.0 31.0 MALE Male-dominated professions 80.0 69.9 30.1 Other professions 78.6 75.2 24.8 Non-professions 79.4 69.2 30.8 SOURCE: Katharine Marshall, Who are the Professional Women? S t a t i s t i c s Canada Catalogue 99-951 Table 6. Percent Employed by Occupation and Presence of Children all, and concludes that these findings, "are further indication that it may be easier for males than for females to maintain both a family and a professional career at the same time" (p. 34). The delay in marriage associated with completing four or more years of college can be clearly demonstrated by examining the median age at first marriage by educational level. A detail of the data from the 1981 census Public Use Sample Tape, not presented here, shows that women age 30 and over who held a bachelor's degree had a median age at first marriage 2.1 years later than those EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 60 with a high school education or less (22.9 years and 20.8 years, respectively); and those with a graduate degree had a median age at first marriage of 23.5 years. PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN AND MEN AGES 30 AND OVER WHO COMPLETED FOUR OR MORE YEARS OF COLLEGE BY AGE AT FIRST MARRIAGE AND CENSUS YEAR T. Completing BA X Completing Craiduaee Degree Degree Women Men Women Men Age ac F i r s c Marriage 1971 1981 1971 1981 1871 1981 1971 1981 Under 18 years 1.0 1.0 .0 .0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 18 or 19 years 3.0 5.0 1.0 1.0 3.0 4.0 1.0 1.0 20 or 21 years 11.0 18.0 4.0 6.0 9.0 16.0 5.0 7.0 22 or 23 years 22.0 27.0 16.0 22.0 18.0 24.0 13.0 20.0 24 or 23 years 21.0 19.0 30.0 24.0 19.0 19.0 22.0 23.0 26 Co 30 years 29.0 20.0 35.0 32.0 27.0 23.0 41.0 33.0 31 Co 34 years 8.0 6.0 8.0 8.0 11.0 7.0 12.0 9.0 Over 34 years 5.0 3.0 6.0 4.0 12.0 5.0 8.0 6.0 SOURCE: 1971 and 1981 Canadian Census P u b l i c Use Sample Tapes. Table 7. Percent Completing University by Age At First Marriage Table 7 shows the relationship between age at first marriage and completion of a college degree. In 1981 only 6 percent of women, age 30 and over who had married in their teens held a bachelor's degree, and 0.4 percent a graduate degree. Only 1 percent of teenaged grooms had either a bachelor's or graduate degree. In contrast, persons who married after age 21 had much higher college completion rates. In 1981, women age 30 and over who had married at age 22 or 23 had the highest completion rates for both bachelor's and graduate degrees. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 61 Men who married at 24 or 25 years were the most likely to hold either degree. In Table 7, it should be noted that in 1971 women who had the highest completion rates for graduate degrees were married at age 24 or 25, but in 1981 the highest graduate degree completion rates were found among those married at the earlier age of 22 or 23 years. Table 7 also indicates that in 1971 a greater percentage of women who had married at 20 and 21 years held bachelor's and graduate degrees (11 and 9 percent) than the percent of men who had married at these ages (4 and 5 percent), and further that this higher completion rate increased in 1981 to 18 and 16 percent for women compared to 6 and 7 percent for men. Although census variables do not indicate whether these men and women were currently in a first or second marriage or divorced, this higher completion rate for women who had married at these young ages suggests a greater accessibility for women to continued higher education after marriage compared to men and is certainly a reflection of the dramatic rise in female university enrolment in the mid-1970s. Neither of the observed trends in contemporary marriage patterns (delaying or foregoing) requires nor presumes that the positive relationship for women- between education and never marrying in Canada will be maintained for future cohorts. By examining the marriage experiences of birth cohorts of women by education level one can see that this relationship has been weakening with successive cohorts and between census years. This is shown graphically in Figure 7. Table 8 shows the percent never married by age and education for three birth cohorts of women from the 1971 to 1981 census. It should be noted that the percent never married decreases within a cohort as it ages. For example, among women EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 62 Percent never irrarried of women, age 30—¥9 by education and census year 50-Legend eZl High ichoot •1 Sam* post «M CSJ BacMori dor O Gradual* dor 30-80 50-Percent never married of women, age 50— 64 by education and census year Legend EZJ Mali school SB Sonw post soc IS] Bachelor's dor O Graduate dor ' SOUCCtl TaMa t Figure 7. Percent Never Married, Age 30-49 and 50-64, by Education and Year EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 63 age 30-39 in 1971 with a bachelor's degree 23 percent had never married but as the cohort ages to 40-49 in 1981 14 percent' had never married. And for this same cohort with a graduate degree the respective numbers are 27 and 22 percent. However, these lower never married percentages (ie., 14 for women with bachelor's degrees and 22 for women with graduate degrees) must still be contrasted to the respective figures for men: 6 and 8 percent as well as the 5 percent of women with a high school education or less who never married. Table 8 shows that the percent never married also decreases with identical age groups across census years, supporting the suggestion that the positive relationship between education and delaying or foregoing marriage for women is weakening over time. For example, among those women age 40-49 in 1971 with a graduate degree 29 percent had never married, but in 1981 22 percent of the 40-49 age group had never married. Again, this contrasts to the respective figure of 8 percent for men and to the 5 percent of women with only a high school education who never married (see Table 4). Table 9 shows that for all age groups there is a decreasing difference in the percent never marrying between women with high school and women with a university degree across the census years. For example, the percentage difference between those with a high school education who never married and those with a bachelor's degree who never married has decreased from 17 in 1971 to 12 in 1976 to 10 in 1981 for women age 30-39. And the percentage difference between those with a high school education and those with a graduate degree has changed from 20 in 1971 to 11 in 1976 to 12 in 1981 for women age I EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 64 PERCENT OF WOMEN, AGES 20-64, NEVER MARRIED BY ACE AND EDUCATION: CENSUS TRACED BIRTH COHORTS Age and Education Age ac Census High School or l e s s 20-29 years 30-39 years 40-49 years 50-64 years 1922-1932 6.4 5.3 - B i r t h Cohorts-1932-1941 6.5 4.3 1942-1951 26.3 7.2 Some Post Secondary 20-29 years 30-39 years 40-49 years 50-64 years Bachelor's Degree 20-29 years 30-39 years . 40-49 years 50-64 years 11.1 9.8 18.1 19.6 11.7 6.9 23.3 14.4 45.5 10.2 51.0 17.0 Graduate Degree 20-29 years 30-39 years 40-49 years 50-64 years 28.7 26.6 26.5 21.8 45.8 19.5 SOURCE: 1971 and 1981 Canadian Census P u b l i c Use Sample Tapes. Table 8. Percent Never Married: Census Traced Birth Cohorts 30-39. That the relationship between education and never marrying shows signs of weakening is made particularly evident by the youngest cohorts (20-29, 30-39). For example, in 1981 for those women age 20-29 the percentage difference between those with high school and those with a bachelor' degree was 14 while EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 65 DIFFERENCE IN PERCENT NEVER MARRIED BETWEEN HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE EDUCATION LEVELS FOR WOMEN, BY AGE AND YEAR Age 20-29 years 30-39 years 40-49 years 50-64 years Difference between high school and bachelor's degree 1971 1976 1981 24.7 14.8 13.9 16.8 12.4 9.8 •11.7 16.2 9.6 21.0 17.1 14.3 Difference between high school and graduate degree 1971 1976 1981 19.5 16.5 14.6 20.0 11.3 12.3, 22.3 25.9 17.0 31.9 29.0 21.3 DIFFERENCE IN PERCENT NEVER MARRIED BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN FOR COLLEGE DEGREE, AGE AND CENSUS YEAR Age 20-29 years 30-39 years 40-49 years 50-64 years Difference between men and women with bachelor's degree Difference between men and women with graduate degree 1971 1976 1981 1971 1976 1981 -1.0 12.0 8.0 21.9 -7.0 5.7 10.5 12.7 -8.1* 0.3 8.1 11.3 6. 13. 17. 30. 7.6 6.6 21.7 25.1 2.3 6.2 14.3 18.4 *NegaCive figure refle c t s that MORE men never marry in this category than women. SOURCE: 1971, 1976 and 1981 Canadian Census Public Use Sample Tapes. Table 9. Difference in Percent Never Married by Sex, Education and Year the percentage difference for those with high school and those with a graduate degree was 15. For the 30-39 cohort the respective figures are 10 and 12. For the older cohorts the effect of obtaining a graduate degree is still strong: the percentage difference between those with high school and those with a bachelor's EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 66 degree is 14 whereas the percentage difference between those with high school and those with a graduate degree remains high at 21. The differences between men and women are also declining across census years. For those men and women age 30-39 with a bachelor's degree, the percentage difference in those never marrying decreased from 12 in 1971 to 6 in 1976 to less than .5 in 1981. At the graduate level, the differences have also decreased. In 1981 the difference between men and women was 2.3 for those age 20-29 and 6.0 for those age 30-39. For the older cohorts the gender differences are still strong. In 1981, for those men and women age 50-64 with a bachelor's degree the difference was 11 percent. For those with a graduate or professional degree the difference was 18 percent (see Table 9). Although the relationship between education and never marrying for women in Canada appears to be weakening, especially for the younger and middle cohorts, the relationship remains strong. In 1981 14 percent of women age 40-49 with a bachelor's degree and 22 percent with a graduate degree postponed or rejected marriage compared to 5 percent of women with high school and 8 percent of men at any educational level. One possible explanation for the positive association between education, and postponing and foregoing marriage for women is the difference between the mate selection process among men and women. What follows in the final sections of this chapter is a consideration of (1) human mate selection and (2) imbalances between the number of males and females available for mate selection. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 67 3.3. MATE SELECTION Historically, human mating systems have deviated from randomness in nearly every way imaginable. Major variants include polygyny, polyandry, endogamy, exogamy and hypergamy. One deviation from randomness that has never been reliably demonstrated, however, is the tendency of opposites to marry or mate. In contrast, assortative mating, which can be defined as the coupling of individuals based on their similarity on one or more characteristics, is the most common deviation from random mating in Western societies (Thiessen and Gregg 1985). Homogamy is another term to denote positive assortative mating, whereas heterogamy refers to the tendency toward dissimilar or negative assortative mating. The range of traits for which marriage partners assort is astonishing. Individuals assort on nearly all anthropometric characteristics, various achievement and ability measures and a host of sociological and demographic variables (Buss 1985: 48). Age is probably the variable for which assortment is the strongest.1 1 Correlations between spouses for age typically range between 0.7 and 0.9, with a mean of about 0.8; in this context, more than 0.5 is a high degree of correlation (Ibid). In addition to age, generally, education, race, religion, ethnic background and socioeconomic status show the strongest assortment (.6-. 9).1 2 These are followed by overall physical attractiveness (.4) personality variables It should be noted, however, that younger couples tend to be more similar in age than older couples, a finding that reflects a larger age gap between spouses in second marriages (Secord 1983). 1 2 Numbers in brackets are correlation coefficients. A higher correlation indicates more similarity on a trait. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 68 (.25), number of siblings (.2), height, weight and eye color (. 1-.2), and a host of other physical characteristics (.15) (Buss 1985: 49). Prospective mates do indeed associate on the basis of resemblance, especially physical attractiveness. Social psychologists have documented the importance of physical beauty in mate selection (Adams 1977). Clearly, individuals express interest in others • of high physical attractiveness, but in fact associate with those of equal attractiveness. In one study of college students cited by Thiessen and Gregg couples on campus were rated for attractiveness on a 5-point scale by independent investigators. The findings gave dramatic evidence for assortment. Sixty percent of the coupled individuals were within one-half scale point of each other, and 85 percent were within one scale point. No couple showed a disparity between the partners of more than 2.5 points. And 60 percent of couples who were highly similar in attractiveness engaged in more intimate contacts, such as holding hands and walking arm-in-arm compared to 46 percent of those of moderate similarity and 22 percent of those of low similarity. Thiessen and Gregg also report that couples who date in college are more likely to remain together for at least two years if they are more similar on attributes than if they are less similar. Couples who separated and couples who remained together had the following correlations13 on selected characteristics, respectively: physical attractiveness: .16 vs. .32; SAT, math: .11 vs. .31; SAT, verbal: .15 vs. .33; and sex-role attitudes: .41 vs. .50 (p. 118). And in a longitudinal study involving four years (p. 119), it was demonstrated that couples who remained married for four or more years were more similar on a host of traits than were couples who Once again, a higher correlation indicates more similarity on a trait. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 69 obtained a divorce. For 36 physical, cultural and personality characteristics 25 (69 percent) showed greater concordance among those couples remaining married. To date there is no agreement as to why assortative mating occurs, why it is generally positive, rather than negative, and why the degree of assortment varies according to the trait involved. Three classes of explanation have been given: individualistic, sociocultural and genetic (Eckland 1968; Murstein 1976; Thiessen and Gregg 1980). Individualistic theories suggest that there are perceptual reactions among people that predispose certain individuals to gravitate toward each other. Accordingly, individuals search out others who fit an unconscious template, presumably instinctual in form, seek others who conform to images of their parents or siblings or who seem to be like themselves, or look for those individuals who complement their need systems. Sociocultural theories, on the other hand, attend to demographic or economic influences on mate selection. Individuals may marry simply because of geographic proximity, because they share similar values and belief patterns within a population, or because they are socially confined to the same economic class or the same racial and ethnic groups. Finally, assortative mating may occur in order to insure a perpetuation of wealth and tradition, or the exchange of goods and favors. Behavior geneticists point out that while the individualistic and sociocultural EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 70 theories offer some definition of the range and conditions of mate selection, and that sociocultural barriers may set the outside limits on mating practices, they do not explain why assortment still occurs within these limits and is typically positive. Several genetic models have been devised which point to the possible evolutionary consequences of positive assortment and it is concluded that natural selection would favor positive assortment (at least up to the point where inbreeding results in deleterious consequences) because "positive assortment increases the genetic potential for altruism (reduces its cost) and increases the number of each parent's genes among the offspring without an additional reproductive effort" (Thiessen and Gregg 1980: 116). Conversely, disassortative mating is less likely to evolve because it diminishes gene similarity among family members and therefore kin selection. Thus disassortative mating would have to be offset by substantial reproductive advantages in order for the strategy to succeed. Among the demographic characteristics of husbands and wives, education is one of the most appropriate for analyzing the process of mate selection because it can be applied to both spouses, whereas occupation and income can sometimes be applied to only one of the partners. Table 10 shows the extent to which marital partners tend to have a similar level of educational attainment by showing how far married couples deviate from marrying at random with respect to their partner's educational level. All entries in the table would be 1.0 if there were no deviations from the "expected value." Entries above 1.0 show a greater concentration of marital partners with specified combinations of education than a random distribution would produce. The most frequently occurring combinations of marital partners, as shown in Table 10 is for those with some post-secondary EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 71 RATIO OF ACTUAL NUMBER OF COUPLES WITH SPECIFIED EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT COMPLETED BY HUSBAND AND WIFE TO EXPECTED NUMBER IF COUPLES MARRIED  AT RANDOM. FOR MARRIED COUPLES Education of HUSBAND Education of WIFE 1 High school 1 Some post secondary Bachelor or above s j 1971 1976 1981 1971 1976 1981 1971 1976 1981 High school j j 20-29 years 1 1.2 .8 .7 1 .9 2.0 2.4 .6 .4 .4 30-39 years ! 1 , 1 .9 .7 j .3 1.3 1.9 .5 .3 .3 40-49 years i i . i .9 .8 I .8 1.3 1.9 .6 .3 .3 50-59 years j 1.0 .9 .8 j .8 1.5 2.1 .7 .3 .4 Some pose see. } j 20-29 years 1 .4 .6 .7 1 1.5 4.8 6.9 1.7 1.9 1.9 30-39 years J .5 .7 .8 j 2.6 4.5 6.8 2.9 2.4 2.1 40-49 years 1 .5 .9 1.1 1 2.9 7.6 9.5 3.1 3.6 3.4 50-59 years ! * 6 1.0 1.2 j 4.0 9.8 13.3 3.5 5.1 5.3 • Bachelor's or above I 20-29 years i . i .1 .1 1 -.7 1.2 1.9 4.8 3.0 3.1 30-39 years j .2 .1 .1 ! 1 - 3 1.1 1.5 6.0 4.6 3.6 40-49 years 1 .3 .2 .2 1 1.0 2.3 2.4 7.5 7.3 6.0 50-59 years ! * 7 .2 .2 1 1 - 5 4.0 4.0 13.0 6.5 6.7 Includes persons w i t h a high school diploma or l e s s . SOURCE: 1981 Canadian Census P u b l i c Use Sample Tape. Table 10. Assortative Mating for Education education to have spouses with some post-secondary education, and for those with a university degree to have spouses with a university degree. For example, in 1981, marriages between those age 40-49 in which both spouses have some EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 72 post-secondary education occurred 10 times more often than would have been expected by chance, and for. those where both spouses have a university degree, these marriages occurred 6 times more often than would be expected if people were randomly mating. As expected, the highest values in the rows and columns are those where the spouses were in the same educational level, and the next highest are those where they were in an adjacent level. But for a husband the adjacent level means having a wife with a lower educational level, and for a wife the adjacent level means having a husband with a higher level of education. For those age 40-49 in 1981, marriages between men with a university degree and women with some post-secondary education occurred 3.4 times more than expected, while marriages between men with some post-secondary education and women with a university degree occurred 2.4 times more than would have been expected by chance. The following is a summary of data on the educational levels of married couples from Table 10.1 4 In 1971, among every 100 couples: 80 husbands and wives were in the same educational level 15 husbands were higher 5 wives were higher In 1976, among every 100 couples: 64 husbands and wives were in the same educational level 26 husbands were higher 11 wives were higher 1 "It is important to note that these figures would vary if different educational categories were used. For example, selecting out graduate degrees would mean fewer matches in the 'same educational level' category. Unfortunately, census categories on these variables collapsed all university degrees into BACHELOR'S DEGREE OR HIGHER. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 73 In 1981, among every 100 couples: 59 husbands and wives were in the same educational level 28 husbands were higher 13 wives were higher The above tabulations show that both men and women have increasingly married up educationally, but that men are more likely to outdistance their wives in educational attainment. In 1981, among every 100 married couples 28 involved husbands with higher levels of education than the wives, while only 13 couples involved wives with higher education than the husband. For the combination of spouses having the same education as their partners, Table 10 shows that assortment is more important for the older cohorts. For example, those age 50-59 with some post-secondary education married partners with the same education 13 times more often than was expected by chance, while those age 20-29 did so 7 times more often. Between 1971 and 198.1, assortment has become more important for those with some post-secondary education across all age groups, while for those with high school or less or a university degree, the frequency has declined across all age groups. In 1971 those age 20-29 with a university degree were 5 times more likely to marry someone with a university degree than is expected by chance, while in 1981 they were 3 times more likely to assort. For the combination of men marrying women with less education, _ Table 10 shows that men with a university degree are only half as likely to marry women with high school or less than is expected. Men with a university degree EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 74 however, do marry women with some post-secondary education 2 to 5 times more often than expected and these ratios have remained fairly stable from 1971 to 1981. The trend for increasing assortment with the older cohorts is also evident for men marrying women with less education. For the combination of women marrying men with less education, the least frequently occurring combination in the table is for women with a university degree to marry men with high school or less (and conversely, for a man with high school or less to marry a woman with a university degree). This occurs only 20 percent as often as expected. However, women with a university degree increasingly married men with some post-secondary education between 1971 and 1981, and across all age groups. In 1971, female college graduates age 20-29 married men with some post-secondary education 70 percent as often as expected, in 1976 such marriages increased to 120 percent and by 1981 increased to 190 percent, or almost twice as often as expected. The situation is similar for those women age 30-39 with some post-secondary education marrying men with high school or less. Here the respective observed to expected percents are: 50 in 1971, 90 in 1976 and 110 in 1981, so that these women married down in 1981 10 percent more than was expected by chance. Conversely, men are also marrying up more frequently. However, it is important to note that while men age 40-49 with some post-secondary education in 1981 married women with bachelor's degrees twice as often as expected (up 100 percent from 1971) - they are still 10 times more likely to marry women with some post-secondary education than is expected. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 75 While Table 10 does indicate that women tend to marry up, women with high school or less are least likely to do so, especially in the combination of high school educated wives with college educated husbands. In 1981 this combination occurred only 30 to 40 percent as often as expected, while women with some post-secondary education married college educated men 2 to 5 times more often than expected. The limitations of this data need to be highlighted. First, educational categories were collapsed to 'bachelor's degree or higher' in the census data required for Table 10. This did not allow for selecting out graduate degrees. Also, the census data do not reveal if the husbands and wives in Table 10 were in a first or subsequent marriage: the two variables cross-tabulated are HIGHEST LEVEL OF SCHOOLING and HIGHEST LEVEL OF SCHOOLING OF SPOUSE. This is important because mate selection appears to change in second marriages (Mott and Moore 1983; Spanier 1983). However, where data has been used of couples who are in a first marriage, the results indicate the same assortment by education (Carter and Glick 1976). To summarize, generally both men and women tend to marry mates with the same general class and cultural background. But within that common background, men tend to marry women slightly below them in education, occupation and age. This is known sociologically as the marriage gradiant and the result is that there is no one for the men at the bottom to marry, and conversely, there are no men for the women at the top to marry. That is, the never married men tend to be 'bottom-of-the-barreF and the never married women 'cream-of-the-crop' EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 76 (Bernard 1982). Carter and Glick (1976) provide some evidence for the male 'bottom of the barrel' phenomenon in the United States. For men age 35-44 in 1960, the largest percent never married were those with less than five years of schooling (19 percent) compared to those with a bachelor's degree (7 percent) (p. 403). In 1960, those occupations with the largest percent of men age 30 and over never married were waiters, personal-service laborers, gardeners, stock clerks and finance clerks (p. 316). Canadian 1981 census data, not presented here, show that 6.6 percent of men over age 50 in blue collar occupations never married compared to 3.6 percent of men in professional occupations. And when classified by socioeconomic status (SES), white men in the U.S. in 1970, age 45-54 with high SES, (ie., those with the highest education, occupation and earnings) were nearly all currently married (95 percent).1 5 Only a few (2 percent) of the upper SES men had never married. By contrast, ,77 percent of the low SES men were currently married and 13 percent had never married (p. 405). And further, when SES level is defined in terms of only two characteristics, education and occupation, then upper SES men who have never married have the lowest earnings of any marital status in that SES level. Lower SES men who have never married have the second lowest earnings of that level, only slightly higher than divorced men (Ibid). Thus for 'women at the top' the men they want are those that are least available - statistically. The popular notion appears to be: 1 5 Further, educated, professional men marry earlier and stay married longer than other men (Blumstein 1983), while their female peers have a higher probability of divorce (Stein 1981) and a lower probability of remarriage than other women (Mott and Moore 1983). EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 77 The female elite have become demographic losers; they've priced themselves out of the market. The problem that used to concern only heiresses -- where to find a suitable mate among the sparsely stocked and heavily fished pool of men at the top -- now afflicts an entire class. (Stein 1981: 22) The following section will examine more closely the imbalances between the numbers of males and females available for mate selection. 3.4. SEX RATIOS Table 11 shows that in 1981, for every 100 unmarried1 6 women age 22-26 there were 102 unmarried men age 24-28. And for each ten year increment in age the respective number of men to 100 women is 84, 81, and 67 until for women over age 56 the ratio is 33. These numbers reflect another form of marriage squeeze, that of differential mortality rates between men and women. The sex ratio, which favors males at birth (about 105 white males for every 100 white females in the U.S.) begins to drop below 100 at 32 years of age (Spanier and Glick 1980). But because of the 'marrying up' syndrome outlined above, a direct comparison of the men and women in each age bracket underestimates the problem. For a more realistic picture of eligible mates, Table 11 also outlines the sex ratio (usually expressed as number of males per 100 females) by women's educational level. Based on the mating/marriage patterns observed in Table 10, potential mates for women1 7 are assumed as follows: Men with high school or some post-secondary education as potential mates for women with high school or less. 1 6 Never married, divorced or widowed 1 7 A man two years older than a woman is considered the potential mate. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 78 RATIO OF MEN PER 100 WOMEN: 1981 By Education High school Soma BA Grad. T o t a l or leas Post Sec. Degree Degree Unmarried 24-28 years Unmarried women 22-26 years 102 133 151 138 139 Unmarried men 29-33 years Unmarried women 27-31 years 91 118 171 174 133 Unmarried man 34-38 years Unmarried women 32-36 years 84 105 130 167' 130 Unmarried men 39-43 years Unmarried women 37-41 years 78 97 99 149 133 Unmarried men 44-48 years Unmarried women 42-46 years 81 96 87 152 132 Unmarried men 49-53 years Unmarried women 47-51 years 79 91 35 155 99 Unmarried men 54-58 years Unmarried women 52-56 years 67 75 75 145 85 Unmarried men over 58 years Unmarried women over 56 years 33 35 35 97 88 1Men wi t h high school or some school. post as p o t e n t i a l mates f o r women wi t h high Men wi t h some post secondary ed. BA and graduate degree as p o t e n t i a l mates f o r women wi t h some post secondary education. 3Men wi t h a BA and graduate degree as p o t e n t i a l mates f o r women wi t h a BA. Sten w i t h a graduate degree as p o t e n t i a l mates f o r women w i t h a graduate degree. SOURCE: 1981 Canadian Census P u b l i c Use Sample Tapes. Table 11. Ratio of Men per 100 Women EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 79 Men with some post-secondary education, a bachelor's or graduate degree as potential mates for women with some post-secondary education. Men with a bachelor's or graduate degree as potential mates for women with a bachelor's degree. Men with a graduate degree as potential mates for women with a graduate degree. From Table 11, it can be seen that women with bachelor's as well as graduate degrees experience a more favorable sex ratio than do women with only a high school education. For example, for women age 32-36 there are 167 men for every 100 women with a bachelor's degree, 130 for women with a graduate degree and 105 for women with high school or less. Between women with bachelor's and graduate degrees, those with bachelor's degrees experience a more favorable sex ratio in all but one age category. In fact, at the bachelor's level it is only women over 56 years who experience a sex ratio of less than 100 men per 100 women. And even women with graduate degrees do not experience a negative sex ratio until age 47-51. At this point, one cannot accept numerical imbalances against highly educated women as a viable explanation for their higher percent never married. However, on a relative scale, a very different picture is painted when number of women per 100 men is considered. Again, using Table 10 to determine eligible mates, potential marriage partners are assumed as follows: Women with some post-secondary education, bachelor's and graduate degrees as potential mates for men with a graduate degree. Men with a graduate degree as potential mates for women with a graduate degree. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 80 SEX RATIO FOR MEM AND WOMEN WITH GRADUATE DEGREES: 1981 Age Ratio of Women1, 7 R a t i o of Men' per 100 men per 100 women Unmarried Unmarried men 24-28 years women 22-26 years 952 139 Unmarried man 29-33 years 543 133 Unmarried women 27-31 years Unmarried men 34-38 years 490 130 Unmarried women 32-36 years Unmarried men 39-43 years 516 133 Unmarried woman 37-41 years Unmarried Unmarried man 44-48 years women 42-46 years 508 132 Unmarried men 49-53 years 630 99 Unmarried women 47-51 years Unmarried man 54-58 years 783 85 Unmarried woman 52-56 years Unmarried Unmarried men over 58 years women over 56 years 1184 88 Women w i t h some post secondary education, BA degree and graduate degree as p o t e n t i a l mates f o r men wi t h a graduate degree. ^Men w i t h a graduate degree as p o t e n c i a l mates f o r women w i t h a graduate degree. SOURCE: 1981 Canadian Census P u b l i c Use Sample Tape. Table 12. Sex Ratios For The Highly Educated The numbers in Table 12 are dramatic and unequivocal. Because men tend to marry women with equal or less education, the potential mate pool for them is much larger than for women who tend not to 'marry down.' For example, for every 100 unmarried men age 34-38, with graduate or professional degrees, there are 490 potential women. This compares to 130 men for every 100 women age EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 81 32-36. And for every 100 men over 58 there are 1,184 women available, in contrast to 88 men for every 100 women over age 56. What are the consequences for such an unbalanced sex ratio for the highly educated? Two social psychologists, Marci Guttentag and Paul Secord (1983) have written on this subject and their theory of marriage in terms of sex ratio imbalances states that both the attractiveness and the stability of marriage depend on the sex. ratio among eligible mates. When men are in excess supply and women are in undersupply, young adult women are highly valued because of their scarcity, and traditional sex roles are common. There is likely to be a clear sexual division of labor, which implies that men earn most of the income while women occupy the family role of homemaker and mother. Women do not strive for economic independence, but pin their hopes for upward economic mobility on marriage to a man from a high socioeconomic background. In general, society places a strong cultural emphasis on the male's commitment to a single partner for many years or for life. Conversely, if men are in scarce supply and there is a surplus of women, women have a subjective sense of powerlessness and feel devalued by society. The outstanding characteristic of times when women are in oversupply is: That men would not remain committed to the same woman throughout her childbearing years. The culture would not emphasize love and commitment, and a lower value would be placed on marriage and the family (Guttentag and Secord 1983:21). When men are in short supply they have more bargaining power in a. potential relationship because there are more women among whom they can choose. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 82 Conversely, women have relatively less leverage because they have fewer options. Under such circumstances men have a 'favorable balance of exchange.' Guttentag and Secord's theory of marriage in terms of sex ratio imbalances is rooted in social exchange theory. The link between sex ratios and the form that sex roles take is as follows: Each relationship is initially formed and maintained through a process of negotiation, bargaining, and compromise .... The individual member whose sex is in short supply has a stronger position and is less dependent on the partner because of the larger number of alternative relationships available to him or her (p. 23). This aspect of social exchange theory is similar to Becker's (1981) economic theory of marriage. According to Becker, if the number of men in the marriage market is less than the number of women, then most of the gain from marriage accrues to men. More generally, the sex ratio of eligible men and women has a bearing on who gains from marriage. If men are scarce relative to the number of women, exchange theory predicts the following events: (1) first marriage will occur at a later age for men; (2) there will be an increase in the proportion of men who remain single; (3) the pool of divorced men will grow; and (4) there will be more divorced and widowed men who do not remarry. Taken together, these predictions imply that men should want to avoid marriage (Espanshade 1985). As for women, Guttentag and Secord feel that, under conditions of low sex ratios, the social bond of commitment in male-female relationships is weakened. Women are likely to feel exploited, and this sentiment induces women to redefine male-female roles and to reduce their dependency on a male partner. Women EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 83 may rapidly become less willing to make a commitment to a relationship with a man. Thus, because of the oversupply of women, weakened commitments by men toward women lead in turn to weakened commitments in the opposite direction. Guttentag and Secord outline other historical periods which offer some interesting parallels in terms of what sheer numbers can mean to the status of women. In the late Middle Ages, a surplus of upper-class women (the result, primarily, of the Crusades) coincided with an upsurge of feminism. Women began running feudal estates for the first time. They entered convents in increasing numbers, and their power in the Catholic Church increased, giving rise to the cult of the Virgin Mary. The convents were, in fact, so crowded that female communes called "Beguines" evolved outside the church and produced radical literature that argued that women might commune directly with God without going through male priests. The spinning wheel, invented in twelfth-century France, made it possible for the first time for a woman to have some economic independence (hence the derivation of the word 'spinster'). In seventeenth and eighteenth-century Europe, the excess of women led to a strong upsurge of feminine mysticism. When religious leaders from Europe tried to transplant that tradition to America - which in those days offered the much rarer phenomenon of a sex imbalance favoring females rather than males — the reception was very different: religion flourished in the new world, but mysticism did not. Historian Herbert Moller notes that the "vast majority of women had no reason to withdraw to solitary lives and to indulge in fantasy gratification, since their chances of marriage were excellent and their economic utility high" (p. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 84 117). Though it would be simplistic to suggest a direct causal link between the numerical imbalance arising in the 1960s in the U.S. and the beginning of contemporary feminism, Stein (1981) suggests that the plurality of women, coupled with post-World War II economic growth, created a more fertile ground for feminism than had existed ever before in history. Social psychologist Carol Tavris concludes: "You get feminist movements only in particular times, but not when women are a scarcity. Consciousness is the result of social and economic conditions, and not the other way around." 1 8 What are the consequences of an unfavorable sex ratio on women's entrance into marriage? Women can either forego marriage or marry at a later age, or they can alter the long-ingrained tradition of marrying up with regard to slightly older males and socioeconomic status. As discussed, Canadian women married down more in 1981 with regard to education, but there are few historical precedents to a reversal in the age pattern: in England in 1599, 21 percent of wives were older than their husbands; in France in 1778, 27 percent were older (Stein 1981: 33). However, it is interesting to note that for cohabitating couples in the U.S., 12 percent of the couples with a never married man and 6 percent of the couples with an ever married man involve a female partner that is in an older five-year cohort than the man (only 4 percent of married women are in this older cohort). In general, therefore, young unmarried women regardless of their marital history, are more likely than married women to be older than their EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 85 partners (Spanier 1983:284). Among the black population in the United States, where sex ratio imbalances are even more extreme than among whites, differential patterns of mate selection are evident (Spanier and Glick 1980). Espenshade (1985) lists several factors which account for the lower sex ratios among blacks than whites. First, there is typically a greater underenumeration of black males than black females in U.S. census counts. Second, a disproportionate number of black men are in the armed forces and in penal and other institutions. Third, blacks have lower sex ratios at birth than whites, with 102 black male births to every 100 black females, compared to 105 white males born to every 100 white females. Fourth, death rates are especially high among black males. Black males are more than six times as likely as whites to die from homicides (p.233). The result is a more restricted field of marriage eligibles for black females than for white females. Spanier and Glick (1980) have found that black women enlarge their field of eligibles by marrying males who tend to be older (however, black females are no more likely than white females to marry males who are younger than they are); who have lower educational attainment (the husband is higher in educational attainment in only 18 percent of couples, whereas the wife is higher in 36 percent); and who have previously been married. These findings suggest that the sex ratio imbalance may have important consequences for the black population's entrance into marriage, as well as: "providing preliminary support to the speculation that higher rates of maritial instability among blacks may be associated with their higher incidence of deviation from normative mate selection patterns" (p. 723). EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: THE CANADIAN POPULATION / 86 In summary, there is in Canada an unfavorable sex ratio for highly educated women who postpone marriage, relative to men. But this unfavorable sex ratio (which results from the differential mating preferences discussed above, as well as differential mortality) does not usually precede the age at which marital decisions are made. While the census data have revealed that an unfavorable sex ratio is a major factor inhibiting the marital prospects of highly educated women in their thirties, the question remains: why do highly educated, successful women postpone marriage until this age, thereby increasing their chances of foregoing marriage? To answer this question, ethnographic data is necessary. Chapter Four explores the thoughts and experiences of fifteen women who have departed from the traditional path of marriage and child rearing which usually occurs at ages 23 and 24 respectively; who have pursued higher education and developed ties to the workplace that resemble the committed, permanent pattern once reserved for men; and who have rejected the domestic path that places children, family and home above all else. These women's lives offer especially rich clues to understanding the sources, shape and likely future implications of the changes in women's behavior. CHAPTER 4. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY Chapter Two concluded with Carl Degler's argument that the equality of women and the institution of the family have long been at odds with each other because the historic North American family has depended for its existence and character on women's subordination of their individual interests to those of the family. He further argues that this essential nature, which first became apparent in the early nineteenth century, has not altered: Women" are still the primary child-rearers, even when they work, and the purpose of their work, in the main, is to support and advance the family, not to realize themselves as individuals (Degler 1980: 453). That the individual interest of women and the family are at odds is supported by the census data for Canada presented in Chapter Three. Women with a university degree are two and a half times more likely to never marry than are those men with the same education. In 198.1, 27 percent of women over age 45 with a university degree employed in male-dominated professions never married compared to 7 percent of women in the general population. Professional roles, as they are presently conceived reduce women's chances for family life. Some women don't care and have rejected marriage or motherhood voluntarily, but the greater number do care (McBroom 1986: 239). Is this fundamental tension, if not conflict, between the individual interests of women and those of the family the reason highly educated, professional women are postponing and rejecting marriage? Or, as women enter positions once held by men do they become less attracted to marriage or less attractive as marriage partners? To try to answer these questions I have asked a group of never married, highly educated, professional 87 EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 88 women to speak for themselves. The Sample The following discussion of highly educated women who have postponed marriage is based on interviews with a nonprobability sample of fifteen women, thirty-one to forty years of age currently living in Vancouver, B.C.. Names of potential participants were obtained from personal and organization contacts of colleagues as well as suggestions from participants themselves of others who met the study criteria. The interview schedule was structured to guide the interview and ensure comparability. It was open-ended to allow for probing and discovery of the range of possible answers. The interviews, which averaged one to two hours in length, were taped and subsequently transcribed. Care was taken to achieve a sense of rapport and trust with the respondents. The interviews took place at times and in settings deemed most comfortable by the respondents. Although the women are excellent articulators, the issue of having never married is a sensitive one. The choice of a non-threatening environment and my assurance to prospective respondents that the interview questions on being single had not been found to be 'too personal' by women in preliminary interviews put the respondents at ease and encouraged disclosure -to which only the interview material itself can testify. Being single is an issue about which the women have read and thought a great deal. It is a subject . they discuss with friends. With remarkably little prodding, most respondents spoke of their lives with ease, confidence and enthusiasm. In fact, many questions were EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 89 answered before I could ask them. Participants were assured that their answers would be held in strict confidence and, where necessary, depictions of individual respondents have been altered in order to preserve anonymity. This small, nonrandom sample does not allow interpretation of the data as representative or to infer significance for larger groups. In light of these limitations this study is considered exploratory in nature. The criteria for sample selection was never married, heterosexual women, between the ages of 30 and 40 with a degree beyond the bachelor's level. The fifteen participants earned various credentials, including first professional degrees in architecture, dentistry, law, medicine; master's degrees; and doctorates. Three of the women hold master's degrees in addition to a professional degree, and two have more than one professional degree. Only one of the women has not completed requirements for a higher degree beyond the bachelor's. The distribution of the occupations is as follows: four lawyers, four physicians (all are specialists), two architects, two professors, one dentist, one journalist and one stock broker. Nirie attended professional or graduate school shortly after college and the remaining six enrolled after gaining other work experience. The age range is from 31 to 40, with a mean age of slightly over 34 years and a median age of 33.5 years. In North America, marriage is a dominant and favored reality. In fact, married life, whether happy or unhappy, is viewed as normative, while the single life is EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 90 commonly thought of as an unnatural status and as a manifestation of cultural incompetence.1 9 This has led to misrepresentation, misunderstanding and stereotyping. But as this and other studies (Austrom 1984; Lovell 1978; Peters 1983) show, the stereotypes of the never married woman are not supported. Aside from being highly educated and involved in successful careers, the participants in this group are socially active, with friends of both sexes. All are articulate as well as sophisticated in grooming and manner. The level of self-confidence highlights the physical attractiveness of these women. The majority had had at least one opportunity to marry and most have had the experience of cohabiting. Using Stein's (1981) typology of singlehood (see Table 1) the distribution of the sample is as follows: fourteen of the fifteen participants are singles who expect to be married within some finite period of time (two temporary voluntary and twelve temporary involuntary), and one plans "absolutely on not getting married unless the perfect man drops himself on my doorstep" (stable involuntary). The Demand For An Account In this culture it is simply assumed that everyone will marry. It is further assumed that they will marry by a certain age. If an individual has not married between the ages of twenty-five and thirty this becomes observable and mentionable. For individuals who are otherwise competent, their having never 1 9 Lovell (1978: 41) uses the term 'competence' to refer to "the display of commonsense knowledge of the social structures of any given collective enterprise that is provided by its bona fide members." EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 91 T A B L E 1 TYPOLOGY OF SINGLEHOOD Voluntary Involuntary Temporary Never married and formerly married who are postponing marriage by not currently seeking mates, but who are not opposed to the idea of marriage. Those who have been actively seeking mates for shorter or longer periods of time, but have not yet found mates. Includes those who are living together in order to try out marriagelike arrangements. Those who were not interested in marriage or remarriage for some period of time but are now actively seeking mates. Stable Those choosing to be single. Those cohabiting who do not intend to marry. Those whose life styles preclude the possibility of marriage. Never marrieds and formerly marrieds who wanted to marry or remarry, have hot found a mate and and have more or less accepted being single as a probable life state. SOURCE: (Stein 1981: 11) married is seen as unexpected and perplexing. Thus it is demanded by the culture that such individuals account20 for their single status. 2 0 Scott and Lyman define an account as: "A linguistic device employed whenever an action is subjected to valuative inquiry. Such devices are a crucial element in EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 92 This chapter takes such 'accounts for being still single' as its point of departure.2 1 From them, it is hoped that a better understanding can be gained of the choices highly educated women make in their personal and professional lives -- especially with regard to their expectations and perceptions about marriage. One of the earliest demands for an account of why highly educated women marry less than noncollegiate women took the form of an article in Harper's Monthly Magazine in 1928. The title pointedly asked, "Why They Failed to Marry?" (Davis 1928). Indeed, observation of the inverse relationship between education and marriage for women was not new even in 1928, for from the time when colleges were opened to women in America sixty years earlier, marriage rates of collegiate women indicated "that higher education was detrimental to a woman's matrimonial chances" (p. 460). Davis lists the popularly held reasons in 1928 for the 'failure of college women to marry': First: If they attend a woman's college, girls are removed from the society of eligible young men during four of the most important years. Second: They either enter college with a desire for a career or during their college course become fired with some specific enthusiasm. Third: Having received more than the non-college women in the way of training of powers of observation and reason, they are more likely to be critical of men and less likely to fall in love blindly. Fourth: Being prepared to earn an honest livelihood, they need not marry for support. Fifth: The type of girl who attends college is likely to be personally unbeautiful, unattractive 2 0 (cont'd) the social order since they prevent conflicts from arising by verbally bridging the gap between action and expectation. Moreover, accounts are 'situated' according to the statuses of the interactants, and are standardized within cultures so that certain accounts are terminologically stabilized and routinely expected when activity falls outside the domain of expectations (Cited in Lovell 1978: 42). 2 1 See Verna Lovell, 1978. Still Single: An Ethnography of Having Never Married. Unpublished Master's Thesis, University of British Columbia. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 93 and dowdy. Sixth: Men as a class do not care to marry women who may prove to be their intellectual equals or superiors (p. 461). Katharine Davis's response to the above was to let a group of college women speak for themselves. The words of those who spoke for themselves were collected from written answers to, "a questionnaire on the sex life of the normal never married college graduate out of college at least five years" (p. 462). Of the 1200 respondents,2 2 1044 told why, from their own point of view, they had not married. Some of the comments are especially noteworthy for their similarity to those made sixty years later by the participants in this study. They include: "No opportunity to meet men." "I find that the men who are congenial are already married, and often to very stupid women." "The real reason is my own selfishness." "I have no desire to marry for the sake of marrying. The right man did not appear and I would marry no other." "Personal ambition prevented marriage. Since I was twenty-eight, however, I have had less personal ambition and more eagerness for motherhood." Specifically, the largest number of women in 1928, (28 percent) said they never met the right man. And in the present sample from 1988 one third of the women also gave that reason. Other similar accounts given across the years are: fell in love with man I could not marry --for example, "He died," "He married someone else"; lack of opportunity to meet men; currently engaged; and homosexual relations prevented. Davis mentions that the 1927 presentation of the play, "The Captive" focused the attention of the public upon homosexuality which before that time had never been made a topic of conversation in polite society. In answer to the question as to why she had failed to marry, 17 women of the 1044 replied that it was due to their 2 2The mean age of the sample is just under 37 years and the mode 30; 340 of these women had professional or graduate degrees. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 94 relations with other women; but in another section of the questionnaire dealing with "intense emotional relations with other girls or women," 22 women stated that this relationship had been one influence in causing them to remain single, while 41 others stated that it was possibly a factor.2 3 Davis was surprised to find the small number of women citing desire for career (2 percent) as the reason for not marrying. And in 1988 it is still surprising that only one participant cited this in light of the often expressed opinion as to the responsibility of this factor. But despite the similarities of accounts between 1928 and 1988, there are two significant differences. Present in 1928, but totally lacking in 1988 are references to familial obligations and/or objections as reasons for not marrying. It is not surprising that cohabitation is cited only in 1988. Neither of the two women cohabiting (one for seven years, the other for less than one year) see it as a replacement for legal marriage. Each has plans to eventually marry the man she is living with. 2 3 Although alternative sexual orientations are reasons why some professional women have elected not to marry or become involved in any other form of lasting heterosexual relationship, I have elected not to include homosexual women in the sample because I feel this would introduce a new and complicating dimension to the subject I am trying to understand. Nevertheless, one woman told me of her homosexual relationship during the interview, and although I have not included her in the data, I do recognize that highly educated, professional women who are lesbians justifiably feel that their goals and way of life are in need of definition and interpretation as well as heterosexual's. For professional women cohabiting in lesbian relationships there is the burden of being in a discriminated-against minority. This woman does not make the relationship known within her profession at large or to her colleagues. (This explains why she was suggested as a participant.) To them she simply has a female roommate. She believes that if she were labelled a lesbian it would affect her perceived effectiveness and status in her profession. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 95 Today, the three popularly held notions of why highly educated women postpone or reject marriage is the lack of interest of highly educated women in marriage at all; the unwillingness of males to marry women of that status; and the difficulty for women to reconcile the conflicts of maintaining both a professional career and family life. These will be considered in turn. A complete consideration of the relationship between education and marriage would require hearing from men, especially college educated men married to women who are not -- but this will have to await further study. Nevertheless, gaining an insight into the male perspective can be approached by examining why one third of the participants say the reason they are not married is because they have not met the right man. Why did not the right man appear? 4.1. IS M A R R I A G E ST ILL A N A T T R A C T I V E OPTION? One of the popularly held reasons as to why highly educated, successful women tend to postpone or reject marriage assumes that the higher the economic achievement of females, the less their desire to accept the confining traditional familial sex-role of w'ife-mother-homemaker. But, since economic achievement rarely precedes marital decisons, this explanation is open to question. Most of the women are just now becoming financially secure or finishing payments on student loans. Only one has been able to buy real estate -- and this is in partnership with the man she is living with. Yohalem (1979: 30) believes it is possible, "that women who are strongly motivated toward careers may refrain from marrying in order to concentrate upon their occupational goals, thereby eventually achieving greater economic success than those who do marry." Presumptive future EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 96 gains does seem to result in a feeling among the women that they do not need marriage for economic security: Yes, I would say we need marriage less economically and also in the sense of time because out of twenty-four hours a career takes a lot of time and our life is filled. I think often, people — maybe who don't have a particular path •- look to marriage as something that will take care of them in a financial sense for the rest of their life, but also take care of what they're going to be doing with the rest of their lives. Whereas if you want to go off and be an architect you know that a lot of your time will be spent on architecture. You have something in your life already to do. People like to do things. You never see a person who really likes to just sit around day after day doing nothing. But, while they may need marriage less in a financial or time sense, all the women want a permanent, committed relationship, and preferably within legal marriage. And this includes those women who are cohabiting. Spanier (1980) concludes that society is more willing to ignore marital status in its evaluation and treatment of unmarried cohabiting individuals, and those who are already in the mainstream of society are more willing to consider unmarried cohabitation as an acceptable (or tolerable) living arrangement (p. 287). He believes that among never married persons, unmarried cohabitation can be seen as a contemporary extension of the courtship process, perhaps contributing to the postponement of marriage. This applies to the two lawyers in this sample who are cohabiting. They consider their status to be very different from legal EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 97 marriage. Neither plan to forego marriage because they are now cohabiting. One wants to marry because she wants, "that feeling of permanence, it's important to me and I don't feel married now." For the other, the reason is more social: I'm beginning to feel it's time for us to get married, and he's certainly open to that. I think the legal dimension just ties you down to a lot of restrictions and difficulties you don't need to have. A n d the religious dimension of it is not significant to me. But I'm beginning to think the social dimension actually has validity. It impinges on m e not to be able to call him my husband. The face we show to the world is not really an accurate one because we have a completely committed relationship. We're not sort of looking for someone else. The reason why we're not married is not because we haven't quite found the person we want to marry. Before, I was afraid of commitment — and it has taken years, but now I can honestly say I want to spend the rest of my life with this person. If their lives proceed as planned, cohabitation will have served to postpone marriage in their lives, not to forego it. Not only do all of the women want a committed relationship within legal marriage, but twelve of the fifteen women want to have children (only one does not and two are ambivalent). Although some had originally wanted three or more children, with the biological clock ticking, most now speak in terms of one or two. The answers to the question: 'By what age would you like to start a family?' range from "Two years ago!" to "Last year it was thirty-eight, now it's forty!" Most said, "It changes all the time!" But the cut-off age seems to be EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY 7 98 forty. It is to this age that most of the women are postponing a decision on whether to have children without marriage -- whether biologically or by adoption. Seven reject outright the idea of having children without marriage because "it is selfish to intentionally bring a child into a single-parent family," or because of financial reasons. If I'm forty and have not met someone I want to have a relationship with, or if he is not committed to co-parenting, I would adopt on my own. I would not, I would definitely not biologically bring a child into the world without a father. But adoption on my own, if I can get myself set up financially, I am amenable to that. Who wants to go through life without kids! [age 37] It is important to note that the women emphasize their willingness to make the compromises required to sustain a relationship. But it is equally important to note that one must distinguish between the building phase of a career and the more established phase. These women make it clear that during the training and building stages a woman is definitely not likely to compromise her career plans for a relationship. But those who are established and can afford to, give examples of cutting back work hours, relocating, planning on fewer children and "accomplishing less" as compromises they have or are making. This is especially true for those who have had experience cohabiting. Thus it is not correct to conclude that these women lack an interest in marriage or children or that they are not willing to compromise to do so, but it must be emphasized that they have not been ready to do this until their early thirties. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 99 Even more, it must be emphasized that it is not traditional marriage these women are interested in. In fact, one of the most striking attributes of these women generally is that they are nontraditional. They are nontraditional because of their involvement in careers which are less compatible with the conventional pattern of subordination of women's personal career development to the demands of families and husbands' careers than are the more typical job roles for women.2 4 That is, the careers of these women are not compatible with "companionate" marriage which emphasizes the wife's emotional support rather than her labor in the household or marketplace and does not question the breadwinner/homemaker distinction. In this "companionate" marriage women channel their talents and energies into an auxiliary role relative to their husbands' careers, rather than pursuing their own mobility (Hunt and Hunt 1982). But for these participants, the ideal marriage is one where both husband and wife have continuous and self-fulfilling extra-domestic career roles as well as meaningful and involving family roles. In such a family the wife invests in her own career development, moving toward a principle of equity based on role "symmetry" between spouses (Young and Willmott 1973). This principle assumes that as women pursue their own careers, men engage in more domestic work, resulting in a more balanced sharing of breadwinning and 2 "The term 'career' Hi used here to designate a form of work involvement that is continuous, developmental, demands a high level of commitment, and is intrinsically rewarding (Hunt and Hunt 1982: 499). The job-versus-career distinction is partly subjective and represents a continuum rather than discrete categories of work involvement. The arguments presented here with respect to careers apply to work roles that require more than a nine-to-five (or conventional full - time) investment of self for success or satisfaction. The premise underlying this research is that a woman's decision to undertake advanced studies in a professional or graduate degree program is an implied commitment to a career. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 100 homemaking responsibilities in families. Whether to take extended periods out for child rearing is really not an option for these women, for their careers are not compatible with traditional family life. This is not surprising because career and family involvement have never been combined easily in the same person. As Hochschild2 5 observed, "The career system is shaped for and by the man with a family who is family-free." And certainly those institutions whose primary goals are power and profit have a vested interest in rewarding most highly those whose personal orientations give priority to political or corporate success over family well-being. There seems to be an inherent contradiction between the commitment to become No. 1, the best, the first and the commitment to a rich family life. These women have made a commitment to career. They see their work as enduring, personally important and primary. And, as for men, this means full-time, year-round employment without interruptions for extended periods of child rearing. Even the self-employed physicians and lawyers do not feel they can leave a practice for more than six months. For the freelance journalist and architects there appears to be more freedom in exiting and reentering the profession, as well as some amount of flexibility in scheduling. Thus, given the desire to pursue the most competitive, demanding and often rewarding careers, it is not surprising that the women expect — require — changes in the sex-role division of labor in the family. While housework could be taken .over by paid help, all but one woman assumes that child rearing will be 2 5 Quoted in Hunt and Hunt 1982: 503. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 101 an equally shared responsibilty in her marriage. Over and over it came out that if a man was not willing to share in this, "Then, I'd walk away." "I wouldn't marry him." And they have 'walked away' and 'not married him.' One woman tells of returning from a month in France, where her sister is seeing a man there who "doesn't do a thing!" She describes, for example, how this man sits at the table, and how everything is brought to him and how everything is taken away. She concludes that, "He would never survive in North America. No woman would look at him." The general feeling is: I don't ever want to get into that situation of writing down a list of this is your job and this is mine. But at the same time it shouldn't be an assumption that it would be my duty to look after the kids and that he was doing me this great favor by sharing in it. You know, you have women saying 'Oh, he's so good he helps with this, that and the other.' Big deal. I mean she's out working full-time too so what's so good about it? I mean that's just part of it. Sure that's nice — but I'm waiting for the day when it's something not for comment. Even when the women were growing up and thinking about the future, marriage was not a top priority although most remember having "always assumed that I would get married." A lawyer, who also holds a master's degree in English literature is the only exception: At sixteen I wanted a traditional, absolutely traditional female role. Even later, at twenty, I really wanted to look after a family, a husband and a house. That's what I wanted and I think I would have been very happy doing it, but intelligence gets in the way sometimes if you are good in EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 102 school. And I was very good in school. You know, you get scholarships and you go to university and you start on the treadmill. Otherwise, the majority of the responses to the question, 'When you were a teenager and starting to think about the future, what did you think you'd be doing at the age you are now?' went like this: University. I wanted to go to university, but that's it. I didn't see beyond that. I always knew it would be something intellectual. To get at future family plans, I had to probe further: "How about combining that with marriage and a family?" It was always work related. It was always my career goals. I never thought of marrying and a family or anything like that -- that I can recall. It was always what I was going to do. From the time I was a little kid — you know when people say to little girls, what do you want to be when you grow up and some say 'I want to be a mommy,' or 'I want to get married and have babies,' I never said that. That was not my goal in life. Never did I think my whole object in life was to marry somebody and devote myself to someone. I think maybe I'm too selfish on that. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 103 If the women don't remember marriage being a concrete goal or an aspiration in the teen years, neither do they mention it or the idea of combining marriage and career when they think back to their future plans at the age of twenty. Again, I had to probe to get at their future image of themselves in relation to marriage -- and even then, marriage remained a distant, foreign concept: Even at nineteen when I was involved in a serious relationship I just couldn't picture it. I could not feature it. It didn't make any sense. I remember saying to him, kids? Kids! Are you serious! Get married. Forget it. A couple of our friends at that time had gotten married at twenty-one. I remember saying — H-O-L-Y, they're ruining their lives getting married at this age. I mean I always thought I would get married. But I was still really, just really strongly career oriented. But part of it was he really didn't think I would ever change. But at that age I was so keenly career oriented. Nothing at that point was going to dissuade me at all. That traditional marriage is not compatible with the women's concept of married life is evident in their response to: 'When you see other women about your age with children, who don't have jobs or careers -- does that bring out any response in you?' Three women say they feel sorry for them. Another three say they don't know anyone in that category and can't comment, although one of them, a lawyer who has practiced family law, believes: A lot depends on the husband. If he doesn't value it, it is a sad situation. You're so vulnerable to being left with those children and no money and no EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 104 access to money and totally dependent on his good will. For the remaining eight there is a sense of "I wouldn't see myself doing that," as well as "Awe and amazement that they can do it." As much as I say I could be a full-time mother and I think I am sure I could. I don't think I'd want that as a long-time thing. Really, to be a completely fulfilled individual. But I don't know if I could juggle both at the same time. Yea, I think, are they different than me? I just think I'd go crazy after a year. I don't think I could be happy just staying home day after day after day after day. I'm not particularly good at housework. I don't like it. Cooking is only fun if you're cooking for an event. As a day to day activity, it's frightening. I do envy them the children, but I think I envy the concept rather than the reality. I feel sorry for them. Like my poor sister. She hates me because from where she sits I have everything. Unless they are a special kind of woman that can channel what little energy they have left into something they really want to do — which is hard for them especially if their husband doesn't encourage them, they have a pretty tough time. I admire a good mother. I really do. And I think they're wonderful. I don't know how they do it. I couldn't just sit at home. It would drive me crazy. When I look at my mom who had no choice I think — / mean depression is classically a EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 105 woman's disease and there may be some biological differences but I think a lot of it has to do just with the situation women are put in. They are trapped. I mean sure someone has to do it and it's all very satisfying, but being trapped with the kids all day long would drive you up the wall. And even if husbands understand, they still go to work and you still sit at home and clean up after the kids and they get social contact and prestige for what they do. What prestige do you get for sitting at home. 'Oh, aren't you a good mother.' It would be impossible for me. 4.2. A R E MEN UNWILLING TO MARRY HIGHLY E D U C A T E D WOMEN? The highly educated women in this sample want to be married, although not perhaps in traditional marriages. They would like to see marriage move toward a principle based on role 'symmetry' between spouses. This principle assumes that as women pursue their own careers, men engage in more domestic work, resulting in a more balanced sharing of breadwinning and homemaking responsibilities in families. If women want fifty-fifty child rearing responsibilities, both careers may suffer, so the question of the husband's willingness to accept such a limitation on his own career is an important issue. The majority of the women in this sample think most men have not changed their expectations of what men and women do for each other in a marital arrangement. They're looking at the women who can give up their careers with no problem, that can look after kids, that have the time to extend themselves for them. They want you to have more of your mind available for them. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 106 They want you to be there - to fit into their plans. But men don't really want the clinging type either, so you have to be independent — you know, a Barbie doll that is bright. But as the second entry hints at, there is also a perception that men do not want to marry a woman who is completely traditional. There is the realization that, "most men want a better standard of living than they can provide on one salary," while, at the same time expecting their wife to look after the child rearing responsibilities: "They expect her to take out the few years [for the children] and then hop back into something satisfying again." One woman referred to this as "selective traditionalism." Some of the young male lawyers I know are very, very interested in having the other income. In fact, they're sort of adding it up: 'Well if I marry her and she makes this, and I make that, then we're gonna have this much — and it's gonna be fantastic!' But at the same time they want the structure of the relationship to be pretty traditional. It would probably be me who wanted to take more time off to be home with the kids. He's afraid I want to be "a West Van woman." You know, take the kids to hockey, play tennis, come home, watch soap operas, throw some dinner on with the help of the Nanny! He sees being a traditional wife as a way of being lazy. In 1962 Strole et al.. concluded that females with high education were most likely to remain single because "many males in their active courting roles tend EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 107 to choose a wife who enhances their culturally conditioned self-image of masculine dominance" (p. 180). This raises the issue of mate selection (see Chapter Three). Generally both men and women tend to marry mates within the same general class and cultural background. But within that same background, men tend to marry women slightly below them in education, occupation and age. Most of the women believe, "there are very few men who are willing to put up with the difficulties of having somebody who is an equal partner." I think men often get their intellectual socialization in discussion from other men — I mean that's the history of men's clubs. And their wife, they see differently. They love her and the family, but they don't expect her to carry on intellectual discussions. Still, in our society men will accept marrying a woman who isn't nearly as well educated -- the 'don't worry your pretty little head about it' sort of attitude, whereas women, when they get married they want someone they can talk to. A lot of male doctors don't want to marry a doctor because they don't want the horrendous lifestyle in a wife — and for a male doctor there are lots of bright nurses and technicians and those sorts of people out there. I mean they may not be bright enough to pass a theoretical chemistry course like I did, but they are certainly bright enough to have a good life with. "The problem for highly educated women is that men just stay right clear of them. You just don't get asked out and that's it." It seems that most men are still threatened by successful women. Nearly everyone had an anecdote about 'being found out' as a successful woman: "You can see the expression on their face change automatically." One woman, whose appearance brings Princess Diana EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 108 to mind, tells of meeting men at Whistler Mountain: I've met quite a few men skiing, like on the chair and you just start talking ' and he'll come for a few runs. And I'm just waiting for the inevitable "What do you do?" And as soon as I say that I am a physician, I have to -- without a doubt, I have to have a response ready or something ready to continue the conversation on because there's always a big pause. And then they go, "oh, so you're a family doctor." I get a sense that if I said, oh yea I'm your general, nice family doctor delivering babies and stuff -- it's hard to say, but definitely as soon as I say I'm a specialist some will say "what in," but usually that's it. Usually there's silence, and then they get off the chair and "see ya." I haven't met a man skiing who can take it, 'cause most of them are at that level. I haven't managed to run into a lawyer or somebody like that. A stock broker who is also an accomplished golfer adds, / mean I play golf to a three handicap and if I beat a guy on the golf course — well, we might not even be considered appropriate .... How can they be inferior for Christ's sake! My friends say, why don't you just three-putt every time you get to the green so you won't beat them. I've never done that. I'm not going to blow my brains out. I mean, if you do something better than they can because you've been at it for twenty-five years — if they can't deal with it, what kind of relationship am I gonna build! I am not going to put up with their ego problems. Men are definitely threatened by successful women, one hundred percent. It EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 109 has happened at least twenty times to me. (That's why I went out with younger men.) There were all kinds of men that really wanted to ask me out and they wouldn't. And I'd hear like two or three years later about so and so who really, really liked me, but wouldn't ask me out -- because I was a professor — whatever big deal that was. While men tend to prefer equal or lower status wives, women tend to prefer equal or more status in their husbands. In her study of forty-four professional women entitled The Third Sex: The New Professional Women, anthropologist Patricia McBroom (1986) approached the issue of the standards highly educated women set for potential mates: Their crossed expectations, the fact that they are still single and hoping to have a family, indicate how complicated the issues are. Why haven't these women found men they wanted to marry? Why are so many of them still single? From my interviews, I could find no simple answer. There were many reasons, one of them being that the more money and status a woman achieves, the more she expects from a prospective mate. No matter how good she is, he must still be better. Shades of the old double standard, female variety (p. 178). The women in this sample 'admit' to this. One lawyer offers an explanation for why trying to 'marry up' doesn't usually work for successful women: One of the real factors is that I think most women are still looking for men who are more successful. You're simply not going to find men who are more successful than you who are going to let you continue to wail through your career. He's going to want support and he's going to want to put you in a subordinate role — and generally speaking, men like that already have some woman in a subordinate role. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 110 While only one woman admitted that a potential husband "must be wealthy," intellectual compatibility was the primary consideration and thirteen of the Fifteen reported that most of the men they are or have been involved with are at least as educated or successful as they themselves are. The women maintain that they don't discriminate: "I don't say I can't go out with an electrician -- it's just that we don't have the same values. There's nothing to talk about." It has to be someone who is intellectual because that's important to me. I don't mean to sound -- intellectual sounds kind of snobby, but you know what I mean, to be able to have a conversation with somebody on an abstract level. If I couldn't do that I'd be very frustrated. But one third of the women believe it is silly to think that highly educated women "are too picky." They believe "It's the other way around -- an electrician would not go out with us!" To my question, 'Do most men think successful women demand too much in a relationship?' eight of the women said yes, emphatically; only one said no; and the remaining six said they didn't know. In fact, this question got the most "don't know" responses of any of the questions: "I don't know. I don't know what goes through men's minds." "I think men are confused at the moment." "I'm not too sure what men are looking for in women these days." Nevertheless, those that were emphatic, gave emphatic answers: A lot of men don't want a partner as I see a partner and I think most women who have attained certain standards in the working world and who are comfortable in the working world -- I mean the working world operates EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 111 in such a way that, you know, you want something and your client wants something; or you want something and your subcontractor wants something and a compromise is reached. I mean there's a certain way that you work things through in the rational business world. And so women who work in that world I think would have those kinds of expectations for their relationships and a lot of men may shy away from that because they wouldn't have as much control. You know, they wouldn't be gods in the eyes of their women.. One woman offered an "admittedly extreme example," but one that she believes reflects "a very, very, very common attitude." There is this man, a friend of a good friend. He's successful, a lawyer now in the fdm business. He's thirty-seven, sophisticated, a good looking guy — a real Canadian success story. He's gone to the Philipines to look for a wife. He's interviewed a number of women and chances are he's going to go through with this because he does not want a demanding Canadian woman. Men aren't used to dealing — this is a social revolution we are talking about. This is a shocking thing that women are now trying to take some control. It's not a comfortable situation for men. Because the women "don't have to look at someone with the view to being financially dependent on them" they often concentrate on various other qualities of a man, not primarily his earning power. But as the following passage indicates, women who are dependent on a man's income are perhaps more likely to accept the less desireable attributes in a potential mate or to enhance a EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 112 man's "culturally conditioned self-image of masculine dominance" (Strole et al. 1962: 180) than are women who are not financially dependent: A generation ago a lot of women married to gain a status whereas professional women ask: why am I getting married? I can have an interesting life, travel, have a nice home, I can have everything — except a relationship with someone — on my own. So therefore that actual interpersonal relationship becomes a very important thing. I mean in a way I think we are almost more romantic and less sensible than these, other women who are thinking in more practical terms, whereas for us what we want is this. very special relationship because we have all the other things. And so therefore that's maybe why we are so demanding. I was also interested in the women's perception of the sex ratio. Despite the mass media image of a 'male shortage' or a 'marriage squeeze,' the rather favorable ratio of educated men to women in their age category in Canada (see Chapter Three) has not escaped the women's attention. There is a feeling that, "they're somehow, somehow I think they're out there." Only two women mentioned that the "pool of marriageable applicants, has shrunk by the time we want to marry." But what they all have an appreciation of is men's preference' to marry down with regard to occupation or status and women's preference to marry up — which expands men's potential mate pool (and excludes most of these women) relative to that of the women. For example, a lawyer says male lawyers will go out with another lawyer, but not one that is more successful. Thus: EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 113 / wouldn't say lack of available men. I would say it's hard to meet the men that are out there. There aren't very many men that I am likely to be able to relate to because there are too many men who are threatened by successful women. If you are a certain kind of person, there's lots of single men. There was a woman staying with me this summer (who drove me out of my mind actually) who looks a lot like Daryl Hannah, the actress! Well, let me tell ya there are a lot of single men in this city because she found a whole bunch of them. Real fast. Some of them are still phoning here .... The majority of the women believe it is not simply a lack of men in absolute numerical terms, but a lack of opportunity to meet those that are available. In addition to the perception that many men are still threatened by successful women, the lifestyle inherent in being a professional means less time to devote to relationships as well as a greater chance of geographic mobility. A professor observes: You can find the men. They are there, but it takes energy. You have to dig hard. Men complain about a lack of good women too. You have to work at it. Are you working at it now? Are you kidding — with teaching and meeting the publisher's deadline. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 114 / don't know if there is or whether it's the lack of a method of meeting them. My personal experience is that there is a lack of available men, but I don't make, maybe, as much of a concentrated effort to meet them. Because I don't know where to meet these people. There are good people there. As one lawyer observes, "No one ever teaches you how to go out there and think about getting married and accomplishing it. It just rolls along." Only one woman, who is now engaged at thirty-eight, said she developed a 'five-year plan' at age thirty-five to get married. She knew marriage and a family was an important priority for her so she decided to approach it systematically, as she had other challenges and goals in her professional life. "I went to places where I might meet the kinds of men I like . . . I changed my hair." The man she is marrying is in the same profession and it is he who is relocating. This is not to imply that these women do not have very strong social lives. Their female friends are extremely important to them, as are their platonic male friends. But when it comes to romantic interests, about one third of the women voluntarily added that "I don't really date enough to contribute much to this conversation." "This gets embarrassing. Hardly any of us go out." One woman makes this observation: I might be better at looking and finding relationships with men if I didn't have male friends because I feel part of it — as well as wanting a relationship — part of it is having the male perspective and point of view in EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 115 your life. And because you're often with platonic friends you don't feel there are no men in your life or that it's void in terms of the male perspective --you sort of get it in a surrogate sense without the intimacy. And if you're somewhat intellectual — if you're mind has some strength over your physical needs for men then you can sort of say, 'Yea, I see men and I talk to men, and we go to movies and we go out dancing and we do these things together -- and you're getting everything except the sexual intimate contact — so you can fool yourself. Not one of the women said they . could ask a. man out for whom they had a romantic interest. The general consensus being: "I don't have the guts." Only one architect said she is able to ask men to whom she is attracted to lectures or conferences of mutual interest. For those women returning to university for further post-graduate degrees or physicians in residency for a specialized area of medicine, lack of time is a critical factor in limiting their opportunity to meet men and sustain relationships. A resident in internal medicine states that she can't recall a weekend where she hasn't done any work. And for a recent qualifying exam, she recalls taking off exactly four Saturday nights in four months. Otherwise, in addition to working at the hospital during the week, she studied every Friday night, every Saturday night and all day Sunday. She reassured me that, "everyone does it, to pass." One PhD candidate was obviously dismayed that I, as a graduate student - who should know better - would ask: What priority does your relationship with xxxx have in your life? EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 116 Well •- I don't — there is nothing else that -- Because -- As you know, going to school is so all consuming there isn't any time to rank anything else. You can't. Even women well established in their professions feel a time pressure, so that when there is free time, it's spent catching up with friends or family: / know more nonprofessional women, who are younger -- secretaries and things like that who do plan evenings out where they meet lots of people. But as you age, as you get more into your career, you also — how you socialize changes too. When I see my friends I just really want to see my friends and spend time with them. And it's almost like I'd rather have dinner with them at home than go out. Your time is short, your time is precious. Who you see is precious. And it's almost like I'd rather spend the time with my friends that I know and that I can count on than put myself in the situation of doing things that I might like to do — and that I might enjoy like a gourmet cooking class or a cross country skiing club, but it's almost like I'd rather stay with who I know because you need a certain amount of emotional sustenance and you can rely on the people you already know for that. Another characteristic of the women is their willingness to relocate to accept a job or attend graduate school. Eleven have moved to/from Eastern Canada, Europe or the United States at various times in their careers. A thirty-two year old internist who has trained in four Canadian cities from Halifax to Vancouver believes she has not made much attempt to "get close" because she knew she EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 117 might be leaving within a year: The last thing I want to do is, get attached to somebody and then not have a job here because there are no positions here (well there are research positions but I want to see patients). I think I've put it off. What would I do if I got attached to someone here? For instance xxxx owns a business here. You can't move when you own a business and what would I do? Then I would be sacrificing my career and maybe with the old biological clock ticking maybe I've put it off too long. When one of the lawyers mentioned to her female colleagues2 6 that she was being interviewed for this study on 'highly educated, single women committed to their careers,' their reaction was: Whoever concluded that because you're not married and over thirty that this was a choice of a career! They think people assume they chose career over marriage? Yea, but most of them think, I feel, that it just happened to you. You are so busy doing what you're doing. And I think a lot of us get sucked into the money thing. People get tied up in their professions. Life gets too complicated to slow down and get married. I don't know a lot of people who set out with the priorty of finding someone to marry any more. You get so involved in what you're doing that you don't really think about it.. You think they might happen along — but they don't. 2 6 Of the five women lawyers in this twenty person firm, one is married. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 118 This feeling of there being lots of time is a common theme: You don't really think about it too much and then suddenly you're roaring into the end of your twenties and you think — wait a minute, I think I blew it. We all think we're kids. I know the clock is going tick somewhere but inside we all feel there's lots of time. I don't know when you start thinking there's not lots of time because there's gotta be a time when there's not — most of my friends who are at this age [age 31 ] inside don't believe that they're not going to be married. That's someone else. We all think we're eighteen and life is great. Wanting children and the biological clock seems to be the factor that starts women thinking 'there's not lots of time.' Oh absolutely. Oh yea. Otherwise you've got forever really don't you, in terms of time. I mean it's not great but it doesn't really matter, but in terms of children it really matters, [age 38] To the question, 'Do you think that, overall, the attitude of professional women is: if marriage happens, that's great, if not, I've got a good life?' Six unequivocally said yes: "Although it's still a big deal you don't have to be devastated." Five unequivocally said no: "Women with careers only are not all that happy." And the remaining four qualified their answers. The stock broker said it best: EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 119 / think you have to adopt that attitude otherwise you're going to be dead in the water. I will not quote at length from these responses because I think the mere asking of this question points to the primary argument and basic assumption of this thesis: that highly educated, professional women and the institution of marriage and the family have long been -- and still remain in conflict with each other. The family's existence assumes that a woman will subordinate her individual interests to those of her family. And if a woman chooses to pursue higher education and work in a serious way, thereby increasing her chances of postponing or foregoing marriage, she is asked by anthropologists and society as a whole to produce rationalizations of contentment with that choice. The point is this: that a man will spend one third of his adult life in gainful work is the premise on which the plans for his life are based. But for a woman, widespread social expectations create the necessity for a choice. She must decide whether to include work in her plans, and, if so, how much of her life she should devote to it. Graduate or professionl education represents such a decision point, but women who decide to include work in a serious way can rarely look forward to fulfilling their career commitments with as much certainty as most men because men know that regardless of their marital or paternal status, they usually will be able to give as much time as necessary to their careers. For women, looming in the future is the probability that marriage and motherhood will demand modification or abandonment of the work goals. EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 120 4.3. WOMAN'S DILEMMA The woman who is seriously interested in preparing for a professional career is disadvantaged from the start. She may have the option of not getting married or of not having children, but this is not really socially acceptable (although it may be becoming more so), even if it proves to be personally satisfying, which is not always the case. She does have the option of marriage and motherhood, which is acceptable, even expected, but in that event she is likely to have to accomodate her career to her family. To assume that such accommodations are always satisfying is to deprecate the seriousness of purpose with which many women enter career training (Yohalem 1979: 6). Alice Yohalem (1979) has studied the lives of 226 women who graduated from Columbia University in 1963. These women represent every graduate faculty and professional school at Columbia University. In 1974 she estimated each woman's occupational achievement using the following criteria: earnings, rank or job title, job responsibilities, professional reputation, equality of employing institution, and productivity. She reports that a composite portrait of the typical high achiever included attainment of a first professional degree or of the PhD in a social science who had always worked full-time, full-year; was working in public employment in a male-dominated occupation; and who had either never married or, if married, had borne no more than one child. Those with the lowest occupational achievement were typified by a master's degree in science or the humanities who had spent less than three-fourths of her life in the labor force; was working for a business firm in an occupation in which female employees are well or overrepresented; and who had a minimum of three children (p. 142). Yohalem concludes that it is not the presence of children, per se, but the absence from the labor force they cause that leads to the lower achievement of mothers. Given this association (for women) of occupational success and family EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 121 status, it is surprising that only one woman made reference to this and it is the woman who cites desire for career as her reason for not marrying: In India there were several women specialists around and I saw most weren't married. And I went to England and saw the same thing. The women doctors that were married were GPs. They were not specialists. I saw that and sort of thought, if I am going to do anything I knew the chances were high that I might not get married simply because of what I was doing. It is also surprising that not one of the women in this sample cited the difficulty or conflict of combining career and marriage as a reason for not marrying, even though reference to 'woman's dilemma' surfaced over and over again: I am not convinced if I had children if I could be a full-time career person and mother at the same time. I don't know, a lot of people do it and they all have nannies and this kind of thing. I'm still amazed. They /"full-time mothers./ have different — it's not even priorities — their life is on a different schedule. They've built a family and I've built a career. They could not have spent the same amount of time or intensity in a job because a great amount of their intensity goes toward their children. My intensity has gone elsewhere. Lovell (1978) believes that because marriage is such a highly valued institution in our society, the never married must provide for a display of their cultural EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 122 competence by affirming a number of society's other values and beliefs. So, for example, a man who emphasizes the importance of establishing a career "will be seen by his peers as displaying not only an 'adequate' account but, as well, an admirable account for having never married" (p. 52). But is 'establishing a career' a culturally competent or admirable account for a woman to offer given that another highly valued institution, the family, has depended for its existence and character on a woman's subordination of her individual interest to the members of her family? As Slater (1970: 72) observes: "Career" is in itself a masculine concept (i.e., designed for males in our society). When we say "career" it connotes a demanding, rigorous, preordained life pattern, to whose goals everything else is ruthlessly subordinated -- everything pleasurable, human, emotional, bodily, frivolous. It is a stern Calvinistic word. When a man asks a woman if she wants a career, it is intimidating. He is saying, are you willing to suppress half of your being as I am, neglect your family as I do, exploit personal relationships as I do, renouce all personal spontaneity as I do? And of course, to cite the conflict of career and marriage for not marrying is to admit that marriage and family has been subordinated to career. Unlike men, highly educated women are confronted with the need to reconcile conflicting personal and social expectations because of the choice they have made to pursue work in a serious way. And thirteen of the women feel stigmatized for it. This ranges from being invited to dinner parties only when one is seeing someone on a steady basis to messages of, "Doesn't any man want you?" or "What the hell is wrong with you?" At thirty-six I went through a really insecure period where I thought: well I think I'm OK, but maybe there is something wrong with me. But it's not my fault. Society makes you feel it is, though. It really does. It's like you've EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 123 got some incredible social disease if you are still on the shelf. The three most frequently cited accounts for having not married in this sample are: never met the right man; haven't felt ready until now ("not emotionally ready," "now I know more what I want in a man"); and loved man I could not marry ("he died," "he married someone else"). All are displays of cultural competence because they "support the cultural value that while marriage in its own right is certainly important it is even more important to have a good marriage. While one might have married any number of men . . . it was seen, in the interest of the values of the culture, as 'better' not to" (Lovell: 53). Thus, these accounts are within the boundaries of our culturally sanctioned beliefs and values. While both men and women are asked to account for not marrying, citing pursuit of a career does not yet seem to be one 'sanctioned' for women. About one third of the women prefaced statements about their career goals, what Degler would refer to as 'their individualistic interests,' with: "maybe I'm too selfish." When asked if women have had to give up anything important in order to pursue a career, the response was always related to family. The Super Women I know have had to make some sacrifices because they can't do it. But these women figured it out for us, so we know that there isn't such a thing. The Super Women had to come to grips with it and finally admit it: you have to give up something, a clean house, money to pay someone to clean it, time with the kids. I think men have to give up family life too but maybe they never really thought of it as something really EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 124 important to start with. When asked about marriage and career and whether they could have combined the two successfully, most think they could not have done it. / doubt it. I shouldn't say that unequivocally, but I have friends who are married and were married through law school. In a lot of cases I think the way they managed it was because of the type of positions their husbands had, for instance those that worked shifts or had odd schedules. I think it's harder and takes more time and your freedom is not there. If I had been married I would not have gone to graduate school in California or practiced in Hawaii. I could have gone to the master's program at UBC, but frankly it was more appealing to go somewhere else to do graduate work. Well, other women have done it — / could have been married, but not with children. What this woman doesn't mention at this point in the interview is that she left a man in California with whom she had been cohabiting (he was unable to work in Canada) to come here for a professorship. What if she had been married and relocation was not an option for her husband? Children are obviously at the heart of the problem of reconciling family and career. The women's impressions of working women with young children range from "I envy her, she's managed to do both," to "pretty skeptical - the kids are getting the short end of the stick," or "I wonder how tired she is!" As for EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 125 seeing themselves combine child rearing and career, most assume they will manage it. For those involved in freelance work the combination is perceived to be easier primarily because of the ease in reentry and flexibility in scheduling. / write humor. I can write humor about kids. It's all grist for the mill, it's all research, right! The women have been reluctant to renounce careers in favor of motherhood, and they are equally unwilling to do the reverse. / don't see realistically having children before age 33, 34, 35 /"age 31 now7 because we have just bought this house and there is no way I could take that kind of time off, financially. Personally, I see myself wanting to take at least a year off after the first child, yet in the back of my mind I know that's not gonna happen. It seems like three or four months is all you can manage. You just can't leave in terms of the money lost; the loss of a year counting towards partnership; and the loss of a year's experience everything is so important at this beginning stage. Again, the distinction between the early phase of career versus the more established phase surfaced. I think if you're really serious about a career, you need to get that set up first - to. a certain level. I could have gotten married at the end of med school and had kids in residency — that's manageable, but you have to first get to a certain level. I did my undergraduate degree with a girlfriend who now has three kids. She says, 'I'll never do med school, how can I, it's impossible.' She's right. There were two women in my class who had kids EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 126 going through med school. One almost didn't make it and the other was always at the bottom of the class. It's horrible, they barely made it. But, therein lies part of the dilemma. When the women are established in their careers somewhere in their thirties -- and can now begin to manage both career and family all the problems of not having/taking the opportunity to meet men set in: "I didn't realize how easy it had been to meet people at university, after I got out meeting men fell off by about eighty percent." With increasing age, the marriage market becomes progressively more favorable for men and less favorable for women, not only because of the 'double standard of aging' but also because of differential mortality. The combination of mating preferences and the sex ratio also become important factors. While there are 130 single 2 7 men in their thirties, with professional or graduate degrees for every 100 single women in that category, because men tend to 'marry down' there are 490 single women with some post-secondary education, bachelor's, professional or graduate degrees to those 100 single men (see Table 12, Chapter 3). Thus, it is very likely that one reason one third of the women have not met the right man yet is, as Stein phrases it, The female elite have become demographic losers; they've priced themselves out of the market. The problem that used to concern only heiresses - where to find a suitable mate among the sparsely stocked and heavily fished pool of men at the top -- now afflicts an entire class (1981: 22). If many highly educated women must postpone marriage in order to pursue a career -- only to become 'demographic losers,' should they shift downward their Never married, divorced, widowed EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 127 preference for men with equal education? A study which surveyed couples filing suit for divorce in an American midwestern city found that in 45 percent of the couples where the wife had a higher educational level, husbands had resorted to violence within the family compared to 9 percent of husbands in couples where the wife had equal or less education (Blood and Blood 1978: 144). Houseknecht and Macke (1981) have looked at the marital adjustment of 663 professional women who received graduate and professional degrees from a large American university between 1964 and 1974. They found that the most important factor determining the women's marital adjustment was having a supportive husband, specifically, "one who is willing to quit his job and move to advance the wife's career; one who does not insist that the wife quit her job and move to advance his career; and one who shares similar values and beliefs, especially about women's employment, as represented by educational homogamy" (p. 651). Women in educationally homogamous marriages reported greater consensus (shared beliefs, value orientations) between themselves and their husbands than did women who were not in homogamous marriages,2 8 "which is not surprising since education has been found to be one of the most important variables for predicting attitudes, generally, and sex-role attitudes, specifically" (p. 656). Interestingly, the women in educationally homogamous marriages did not differ significantly from those in educationally nonhomogamous marriages on the scales for cohesion and affection expression. But because educational homogamy is related to greater consensus (specifically, husbands and wives' beliefs about whether wives should make use of their training and pursue their careers) and therefore presumably 2 8 The authors of this report state that women in nonhomogamous marriages could have only married down since these women had as much education as could be obtained in this society (p. 655). EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 128 related to a husband's support and accomodation to his wife's career, educational homogamy appears to be an important factor in the marital adjustment of highly educated, professional women. If the female elite become 'demographic losers' because they postpone marriage, and if they postpone marriage at least partly because of the difficulty in combining both career and family life -- what is the solution for the conflict between the individualistic interests of women and those of the family? Quality child care is not a pressing need for these women because they can afford nannies or other reliable child care. The majority of the women see part-time work as the solution because they do want to spend as much time as possible with their children, especially during the first years. Bianchi and Spain (1986: 132) report that: Women with college degrees devote more than twice as many hours to childcare as women with fewer than 12 years of schooling, 83 percent more time than high school graduates, and 59 percent more time than women with one to three years of college. Highly educated mothers of preschoolers spend more time playing with their children, reading to them and taking them on educational outings than do less-well educated mothers. After more than a century of higher education for women, it appears that it is achieving its original goal of making women more effective mothers. But as the professional world is now structured, part-time employment is simply not an option -- for women or men. Once again, those women involved in freelance work find it easier: / have a friend who is a landscape architect who is married with a two and a half year old. She works out of her home. It's a very good situation, theoretically, because she is able to combine being a wife and EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 129 mother -- doing all the important things she wants to do with her daughter and still work. I say theoretically, because she still has to juggle back and forth, and she takes clients who understand that she has a little girl, so that when her little girl gets sick the clients know they won't get their drawings until a few days later. This woman has made a very important point. Some social scientists, seeing the dilemma of combining career and family for women, have called for a restructuring of the work environment to create the kind of part-time work or job-sharing that would permit women to structure their work and careers around family responsibilities. They speak only of the woman's role, that women are uniquely responsible for child rearing. But if traditional work patterns must be abandoned to accomodate women's family responsibilities, then the work of most women will in fact be different from men's. Two different career structures would leave women, once again, as inferiors and their work as second best ~ and as with the landscape architect above, filling two roles with difficulty. Thus McBroom (1986) insists that something more profound is needed than a change in work patterns for women. She advocates that men be integrated into the domestic sphere, with the same rights and duties as women in the family. She believes that if men are brought close to their children as nurturant parents, the entire system of professions and corporations (which arose in the nineteenth century from a masculine culture separated from the family) will be changed and will effect a change in the masculine ethos (p. 248). Specifically, men with the same rights and duties as women in the family sphere would mean that corporations offer fathers the same privileges they offer mothers, with the exception of disability leave for childbirth. It would also mean that women give EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 130 up their primary right over children, sharing not only the responsibility for rearing them but the legal preference at gaining custody in a divorce suit. And it means that the priorities of the workplace would change significantly, to allow both men and women the time and energy to rear families. In contemporary North American society, women claim custody of children on the basis of their dominant role in nurturing. The crux of the issue is the child's welfare, not the mother's right. McBroom believes men will integrate the gender spheres just as women have been struggling to do because: It makes sense that in a time when women must relinquish their domination of this [domestic] sphere to pursue careers, men would increase their participation, not because they are altrusitically motivated to make things easier for women but because it is the only way to reach equality with women in the divorce courts, where women have the right and means of taking the children. American men have no choice but to become better parents or let their children go (p. 250). This is certainly a revolutionary idea -- and not just with respect to men. The outcry from women at the growing number of fathers being granted custody of children is a reminder that many women, from the anti-feminists in the nineteenth century to those of today, believe that women are in need of protection under the law, not equality. Another dilemma for professional women is that the reality of women's lives in the professional world is that they don't gain the authority they seek unless they learn to act like men (McBroom 1986: 66). This includes full-time, full-year participation in one's profession to adoption of its behavior, style, dress, mentality EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 131 and value systems. McBroom puts it this way: They learn that many human dimensions of the personality must be kept out of sight during working hours. Learning to act like men, or at least, not to stand out as different from men, is an important first step in developing a successful professional identity. A woman may struggle against these models or refuse to learn them, but at her peril. The unreconstructed woman does not do well in a professional setting (p. 66). This dilemma surfaced during the interviews for this study: To get to the top you have to be very competitive and very aggressive. And that's acceptable if it's a man. But you listen to men talking about successful women. They are afraid of her. Men ask, 'Why can't she relax?' I say she can't. She has had to be three times better than you guys to get where she's going. She can't switch off all of a sudden. This then sets up an absolute paradox: how can women change the professional culture to include the instrumentalities to facilitate combined attention to career and family when, in gaining their own power in the professional world, women validate a male attitude that the way men have been doing it all along is the correct way? McBroom is correct to point out, "The fault lies in the roles, not in the gender" (p. 235). The women in the sample acknowledge this important aspect of how men are perceiving the changes in traditional roles: Although I resent it, I understand. I have sympathy for men who got changed midstream because they feel they've lost out. They used to be able to have a woman raise their children and do everything and now they have EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 132 to do all this - and they don't feel they've gained anything. They feel women have gained something and they are sympathetic to women, yet they don't want it to change. Men say, well what do women want — it's true, women don't know what they want either. There are the Feminists and those that want to stay home and those that are caught inbetween. I don't feel bitter. But there is a sadness that I haven't been able to find somebody, or that it hasn't worked out. To summarize this chapter is to first underline the major limitation of this study. Because the sample is small and nonrandom, it is impossible to infer significance for larger groups. It is exploratory in nature, and with this consideration it is concluded that highly educated women postpone and forego marriage because they do in fact lack an interest in marriage, but only in traditional marriage where women are expected to channel their talents and energies into an auxiliary role relative to their husbands' careers, rather than pursuing their own career mobility. Traditional marriage is still at odds with those women who choose to pursue work in a serious way, primarily because women are still the primary child rearers and this impedes full-time, full-year uninterrupted participation in the labor force. The demographic reality of postponing marriage in order to realize individualistic interests also means that the marriage market becomes progressively less favorable for women, not only because of the 'double standard of aging' but also because of a less favorable sex ratio. And if the women's perception that most men have not changed their expectations of what men and women do for each other in a marital arrangement is accurate, the majority of eligible males will prefer a wife that EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE: WHAT WOMEN SAY / 133 will subordinate her own career development to the demands of family. The women who prefer a marital arrangement where wives pursue their own careers while husbands engage in more domestic roles resulting in a more balanced sharing of breadwinning and homemaking responsibilities are assuming a situation in which both careers may suffer. For most men, such a situation would not enhance "their culturally conditioned self-image of masculine dominance" (Strole et al. 1962: 180). A physician concludes: > There aren't many men who can handle a smart, successful woman and not feel threatened, although there are getting to be more and more and more of them -- and in twenty years I'm sure there'll be tons of them. So, I think it's just an unfortunate time that we're in and we're caught in a bad time because the women have made a lot more sociological progress than men. It is so unfortunate that there are so few men who have moved as fast in their changing perceptions of roles as women have. The above passage and Davis's "Why They Failed to Marry?" of 1928 are included in this chapter not to prove that reconciliation of the domestic/professional sphere is impossible, but to point out that the problems highly educated women cope with, at great personal cost, are deep and recurring and they are not over. CHAPTER 5. CONCLUSIONS This concluding chapter summarizes the major findings about the relationship between marriage and higher education in Canada. Data from the Canadian census Public Use Sample Tapes of 1971, 1976 and 1981 show that there is a strong, negative relationship between education and eventual marriage for women. In 1981 20 percent of women, age 30 and over with a bachelor's degree and 26 percent with a graduate or professional degree postponed or rejected marriage compared to 6 percent of women with a high school education. For men there was little difference in the percent who never married by educational level. The percentages never married ranged from 9 percent for those with high, school to 10 percent for those with a bachelor's or graduate degree. When controlled for age, this relationship between education and marriage continues to hold. In 1981 9 percent of men age 50 and over with a university degree (bachelor's and above) never married compared to 28 percent of women in that category. And when controlled for census year the relationship holds, although it appears to be weakening. For women age 50 and over with a bachelor's degree, the percent never married declined from 29 in 1971 to 23 in 1976 to 20 in 1981. The respective figures for women with a graduate degree are 40, 35, and 27 percent. Nevertheless, these lower 1981 figures (20 percent for women with a bachelor's degree and 27 percent for women with a graduate degree) must still be compared to the 5 percent nonmarriage rate for women with a high school education and the 5-8 percent rate for men at any educational level. 134 CONCLUSIONS / 135 Katharine Marshall (1987) included occupational status in her analysis of Canadian women's family status, and her data show that a woman with a university degree increases her chance of' delaying and foregoing marriage even further if she combines that education with employment in a male-dominated profession. In 1981, 27 percent of women over age 45 with a university degree employed in a male-dominated profession never married compared to 19 percent of women with a university degree employed in a non-professional occupation. And, again, this relationship holds when controlled for age. Although the negative relationship between education and marriage for women in Canada appears to be weakening, the relationship remains strong. One possible explanation for this relationship is the difference between the mate selection process between men and women. The census data show that in Canada men tend to marry women with equal or less education while women tend to marry men with equal or more education. In 1981, among every 100 couples, 59 husbands and wives were in the same educational level, 28 husbands were higher and 13 wives were higher. Such mating preferences affect the sex ratio of eligible men for highly educated, professional women who postpone marriage. Because women with graduate and professional degrees have as much education as can be obtained in this society they cannot marry up educationally, and because highly educated women tend not to marry down the ratio of men with equal education is 130 to every 100 women with a graduate or professional degree. By contrast, because men do tend to marry down the ratio of eligible females is 490 for every 100 men with a graduate or professional degree. Guttentag and Secord (1983) believe that when men are in short supply they CONCLUSIONS / 136 have more bargaining power in a potential relationship because there are more women among whom they can choose. Conversely, they believe women have relatively less leverage because they have fewer options. Under such circumstances women have a 'less favorable balance of exchange.' But this unfavorable sex ratio for highly educated women who have postponed marriage (which results from the mating preferences mentioned above as well as differential mortality) does not usually precede the age at which marital decisions are made. While the census data has revealed that an unfavorable sex ratio is a major factor inhibiting the marital prospects of highly educated women in their thirties, the question remains: why do many highly educated women postpone marrying until this age, thereby increasing their chances of foregoing marriage? To answer this question, ethnographic data is necessary. My in-depth interviews with fifteen highly educated, professional women were exploratory. I began them with the three popularly held reasons for why highly educated women marry less. These are: (1) as women enter positions once held by men they become less attracted to marriage; (2) as they enter positions once held by men they become less attractive as marriage partners; and (3) the conflict between marriage and career mobility for women forces women to postpone marriage until they are established in their careers. The women in this sample do express a lack of interest in traditional marriage where women are expected to channel their talents and energies into an auxiliary role relative to their husbands' careers, rather than pursuing their own CONCLUSIONS / 137 career mobility. Traditional marriage is still at odds with those women who choose to pursue work in a serious way, primarily because women are still the major child rearers and this impedes full-time, full-year uninterupted participation in the labor force. These women want a marital arrangement where wives pursue their own careers while husbands engage in more domestic roles resulting in a more balanced sharing of breadwinning and homemaking responsibilities. To consider whether highly educated, professional women are considered less attractive as marriage partners would require talking to men, but if these women's perception that most men have not changed their expectations of what men and women do for each other in a marital arrangement is accurate, the majority of eligible males will prefer a wife that will subordinate her own career development to the demands of family. And, while none of the women cite 'conflict of combining career and family' as a reason for not being married, this issue surfaced over and over again in the interviews. The majority believe they could not have successfully combined family life and career at the early stages of their career. The women feel that most men are not willing to risk their own career success by assuming half the responsibility for child rearing or by quitting a job and moving to advance a wife's career. Some analysts view the statistics which show a weakening of the relationship between education and marriage for women as representative of a transitional generation of women: CONCLUSIONS / 138 If higher education becomes even more of a norm for women than it is for the most recent cohorts included here, it should have less of an effect on eventual marriage, and the trend of decreasing differences in percent ever marrying by education level should continue (Moorman 1987: 6). In such analyses (see also Carter, and Glick 1976: 404) there are always the pioneers, the women who made the difficult transition from traditional to professional roles, with the implication that this was in the past, that it is changed now. Yet history tells us a different story. Chapter Two shows that when it became evident that highly educated women in the late nineteenth century chose career to a greater extent than expected and when married, had a fertility rate lower than expected, university men at the turn of the century seemed intent not only on providing 'scientific' evidence of sex differences, but also on supporting separate courses of study -- with the latter supported by many women themselves. This professionalization of domestic science and social work insured a clinging to traditional values of domesticity in the higher education of women even into mid-twentieth century, and hindered the ease with which college-educated women could choose life styles not sanctioned by domesticity. The point of summarizing the history of college and domesticity in America is not to prove that integration of the spheres is impossible for women, but to point out that the problems highly educated women cope with are deep and recurring and they are not over. As McBroom (1986) points out, "The historic division in the spheres that puts parenting in the hands of women and productivity in the hands of men means that every woman who wants both roles has to cope with cultural problems, making the merger difficult. And, while the barriers are falling, many problems remain" (p. 237). CONCLUSIONS / 139 Degler believes that the realization of women's individuality and family life will be difficult to combine because the central values of the family stand in opposition to those that underlie women's emancipation. Where the women's movement has stood for democracy, individualism and meritocracy the companionate family of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has extolled hierarchy and scorned equality and meritocracy. Thus philosophically and practically the family and women's individuality are difficult to reconcile. Although most women still consider a family relationship to be important, many women today find the realization of themselves as persons impossible to achieve within a family situation. At present, women seem to have two choices: (1) a continuation of traditional marriage, with perhaps an opportunity for the woman to work outside the home, though for supportive rather than individualistic ends, or (2) to postpone (and thereby increase chances of foregoing) family life in pursuit of individual fulfillment. The ideal goal, it would seem, would be one in which the values of family and the realization of women's individuality could be reconciled. In 1919, the Smith College Weekly raised an issue that still confronts women sixty years later: We cannot believe that it is fixed in the nature of things that a woman must choose between a home and her work, when a man may have both. 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