Forbes offers some rather uh... non-PC advice: "Don't marry career women".
Guys ... whatever you do, don't marry a woman with a career.
Why? Because if many social scientists are to be believed, you run a higher risk of having a rocky marriage. While everyone knows that marriage can be stressful, recent studies have found professional women are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat, less likely to have children, and, if they do have kids, they are more likely to be unhappy about it.
Well well well... lots of blog commentary already, but I'll have to read it tomorrow.
The counterpoint doesn't really address the statistical claims of the first article. Writes Michael Noer, the original author:
If a host of studies are to be believed, marrying [career] women is asking for trouble. If they quit their jobs and stay home with the kids, they will be unhappy (Journal of Marriage and Family, 2003). They will be unhappy if they make more money than you do (Social Forces, 2006). You will be unhappy if they make more money than you do (Journal of Marriage and Family, 2001). You will be more likely to fall ill (American Journal of Sociology). Even your house will be dirtier (Institute for Social Research). ...
In 2004, John H. Johnson examined data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation and concluded that gender has a significant influence on the relationship between work hours and increases in the probability of divorce. Women's work hours consistently increase divorce, whereas increases in men's work hours often have no statistical effect. "I also find that the incidence in divorce is far higher in couples where both spouses are working than in couples where only one spouse is employed," Johnson says. A few other studies, which have focused on employment (as opposed to working hours) have concluded that working outside the home actually increases marital stability, at least when the marriage is a happy one. But even in these studies, wives' employment does correlate positively to divorce rates, when the marriage is of "low marital quality."
The author of the counterpoint, Elizabeth Corcoran, attempts to refute these studies by sharing her own personal experiences.
I'm not usually a fan of dipstick tests, particularly when it comes to marriage and relationships. But a downright frightening story written by my colleague, Michael Noer, on our Web site today drove me to it. According to the experts cited by Michael, marrying a "career girl" seems to lead to a fate worse than tangling with a hungry cougar.
OK, call me a cougar. I've been working since the day I graduated from college 20-odd years ago. I have two grade-school-aged children. Work definitely takes up more than 35 hours a week for me. Thankfully, I do seem to make more than $30,000. All of which, according to Michael, should make me a wretched wife.
In spite of those dangerous statistics, my husband and I are about to celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary. You'll see us snuggling at a mountain-winery concert this month, enjoying the occasion. I don't think I'm all that unusual--so it seemed like a good time to test Michael's grim assertions.
It appears that Mrs. Corcoran has experienced "high marital quality", which is laudible and most likely due in large part her and her husband's own level of quality -- however, high quality marriages seem to be rather rare these days. The whole reason we do studies and generate statistics is because the personal experiences of a single person are often wildly divergent from reality.
Crystal at the Biblical Womanhood Blog writes that limitetime forces us to make choices that prevent us from having everything.
My applause to Noer for saying what few others are willing to for fear of being ripped to shreds by the feminist crowd. You can read his article here. For once, someone is willing to state the truth: Women who work full-time can't be as good of a wife. I don't understand what is so hard to understand. A woman who devotes 40 or more hours of her week exerting time, effort, mental capacity, and energy into a career is just not going to have as much to give to her husband.
Now, one may argue that the money a wife (or husband) earns is more important than whatever they'd otherwise be doing. It's certainly possible that there are men who don't want anything from a wife other than to earn some extra money -- there are certainly wives who would be pleased for their husbands to do nothing but work and send home a check. However, the studies above indicate that those are the long term desires of most couples, even if at any given instant they might think they'd prefer more money to the alternatives.