When I was a sweet young thing (well, maybe not so sweet) my parents encouraged me to go to college so that I could always have a “fall-back position.” They saw it as insurance for survival but they were worried: Would a man want me if I had so much education?
They had reason to worry.
Historically, the more education a woman had, the less likely she was to marry. That was still true in 2010 but there may be hint of change in the air.
A study by the Contemporary Council on the Family shows, using Census figures, although women with college and advanced degrees were still less likely to get married, once they did marry, they were significantly less likely to divorce than women who had less education.
And a study recently published by New York University conclusively shows that college-educated women are as likely to marry as any other women, more likely to marry than high school drops outs and absolutely less likely to divorce. The tide has turned – a college education is now a valuable asset in romance as well as in the job market.
Most of us reading this have daughters and granddaughters making choices about higher education. It’s expensive and there’s a lot of talk about “Is it worth it?” Putting aside the issue of whether or not it should be so expensive, I think it is clear that a higher education is a gift that keeps on giving. Everyone – male and female – benefits from higher education and should be encouraged not only to go.
My parents’ worries were unfounded. I married, I had children, and although I have been divorced, I have never felt my ambition or my education has gotten in my way.
Quite the contrary.
My investment and my parents investment, in my education has been repaid, multiple times over. Not only does higher education translate into more money and more security for a single or married woman, but educated women, like men, are a better catch these days and more likely to remain in a lifetime relationship.
What more could we want for the girls and women we love?
Follower Pepper on Twitter @pepperschwartz.