Following up on my previous post about marriage falling out of the majority, here's an encouraging perspective on older but wiser marriages.
In fact, increased education leads to better marriages and stronger families. College graduates are less likely to divorce--and more specifically, families with highly educated mothers are half as likely to split. So says an upcoming article in Demographic Research by Steven P. Martin, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland. Looking at marriages that began between 1990 and 1994, Mr. Martin found that, of marriages in which the wife had a college education (or more), only 16.5% dissolved in the first 10 years, compared with 38% in which the wife had only a high-school diploma.
Indeed, in a Harris Interactive poll that I commissioned earlier this year on this topic, 71% of men who earn in the top 10% for their age groups, or who have a graduate degree, said that a woman's career or educational success makes her more desirable as a wife, and 68% believe that smart women make better mothers. Not surprisingly, then, 90% of high-achieving men say that they want to marry--or have already married--a woman who is as intelligent as they are, or more intelligent.
Aside from everything Christine Whelan mentions in her article, my generation has seen the effects of divorce thanks to our parents, and I think we're determined not to make the same mistakes. That fear, along with our vast propserity, makes many people my age more gun-shy... which may turn out to be very beneficial in the long run.