学得好 嫁得好 活得好 做新三好女生
TODAY women earn almost 60 percent of all bachelor's degrees and more than half of master's and Ph.D.'s. Many people believe that, while this may be good for women as income earners, it bodes ill for their marital prospects.
As Kate Bolick wrote in a much-discussed article in The Atlantic last fall, American women face "a radically shrinking pool of what are traditionally considered to be 'marriageable' men — those who are better educated and earn more than they do." Educated women worry that they are scaring away potential partners, and pundits claim that those who do marry will end up with unsatisfactory matches. They point to outdated studies suggesting that women with higher earnings than their husbands do more housework to compensate for the threat to their mates' egos, and that men who earn less than their wives are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction.
Is this really the fate facing educated heterosexual women: either no marriage at all or a marriage with more housework and less sex? Nonsense. That may have been the case in the past, but no longer. For a woman seeking a satisfying relationship as well as a secure economic future, there has never been a better time to be or become highly educated.
For more than a century, women often were forced to choose between an education and a husband. Of women who graduated from college before 1900, more than three-quarters remained single. As late as 1950, one-third of white female college graduates ages 55 to 59 had never married, compared with only 7 percent of their counterparts without college degrees.
Some of these women chose to stay single, of course, and that choice has always been easier and more rewarding for educated women. But the low marriage rates of educated women in the past were also because of the romantic and sexual prejudices of men. One physician explained the problem in Popular Science Monthly in 1905: An educated woman developed a "self-assertive, independent character" that made it "impossible to love, honor and obey" as a real wife should. He warned that as more middle-class women attended college, middle-class men would look to the lower classes to find uneducated wives.
That is exactly what happened in the mid-20th century. From 1940 to the mid-1970s, the tendency for men to marry down educationally became more pronounced and the cultural ideal of hypergamy — that women must marry up — became more insistent.
Postwar dating manuals advised women to "play dumb" to catch a man — and 40 percent of college women in one survey said they actually did so. As one guidebook put it: "Warning! ... Be careful not to seem smarter than your man." If you hide your intelligence, another promised, "you'll soon become the little woman to be pooh-poohed, patronized and wed."
二战后的约会指南建议女性，要抓住男人的心，女人得“装傻充愣”，在一份调查中，40%的大学女性称他们就是这样做的。一本手册如此建议：“当心！...... 别让自己看上去比你的男人聪明。” 如果能隐藏你的智慧，“很快你就会变成小女人，被男人怜爱和保护，并步入婚姻。”
Insulting as it may have been, such advice was largely sound. Studying national surveys on mate preferences, David M. Buss, a psychologist at the University of Texas, and his colleagues found that in 1956, education and intelligence were together ranked 11th among the things men sought in a mate. Much more important to them was finding a good cook and housekeeper who was refined, neat and had a pleasing disposition. By 1967, education and intelligence had moved up only one place, to No. 10, on men's wish lists.
Men in the postwar period were threatened by the thought of a woman with more or even as much education as they had. One man who taught at a women's college in the 1950s told me his colleagues used to joke that once they knew a woman had earned a Ph.D., they didn't even need to ask what she had specialized in: clearly, it was in "Putting Hubby Down."
But over the past 30 years, these prejudices have largely disappeared. By 1996, intelligence and education had moved up to No. 5 on men's ranking of desirable qualities in a mate. The desire for a good cook and housekeeper had dropped to 14th place, near the bottom of the 18-point scale. The sociologist Christine B. Whelan reports that by 2008, men's interest in a woman's education and intelligence had risen to No. 4, just after mutual attraction, dependable character and emotional stability.
30多年过去了，这些偏见大部分已经不复存在了。1996年时，智力和教育状况已经上升到男人寻求伴侣理想的品质排名的第5 位。找一位厨师和家庭主妇已经降到第14位，接近一共18个排名的底部了。社会学家克里斯汀·威尔兰（Christine B. Whelan）称，2008年时男性对女性的教育和智力状况的兴趣已经上升到第4位了，仅次于彼此的吸引、可靠的品质和稳定的情感。
The result has been a historic reversal of what the economist Elaina Rose calls the "success" penalty for educated women. By 2008, the percentage of college-educated white women ages 55 to 59 who had never been married was down to 9 percent, just 3 points higher than their counterparts without college degrees. And among women 35 to 39, there was no longer any difference in the percentage who were married.
African-American women are less likely to marry than white women overall, but educated black women are considerably more likely to marry than their less-educated counterparts. As of 2008, 70 percent of African-American female college graduates had married, compared with 60 percent of high school graduates and just 53 percent of high school dropouts.
One reason educated heterosexual women may worry about their marriage prospects today is that overall marriage rates have been slipping since 1980. But they have slipped less for educated women than for anyone else. Furthermore, college-educated women, once they do marry, are much less likely to divorce. As a result, by age 30, and especially at ages 35 and 40, college-educated women are significantly more likely to be married than any other group. And according to calculations by the economist Betsey Stevenson, an educated woman still single at age 40 is much more likely to marry in the next decade than her less educated counterparts.
Even for women who don't marry, it's better to be educated; a 2002 study found that never-married white women with more education than average lived "the longest, healthiest lives of all groups."
ONE of the dire predictions about educated women is true: today, more of them are "marrying down." Almost 30 percent of wives today have more education than their husbands, while less than 20 percent of husbands have more education than their wives, almost the exact reverse of the percentages in 1970.
But there is not a shred of evidence that such marriages are any less satisfying than marriages in which men have equal or higher education than their wives. Indeed, they have many benefits for women.
In a forthcoming paper from the Council on Contemporary Families, Oriel Sullivan, a researcher at Oxford University, reports that the higher a woman's human capital in relation to her husband — measured by her educational resources and earnings potential — the more help with housework she actually gets from her mate. The degree to which housework is shared is now one of the two most important predictors of a woman's marital satisfaction. And husbands benefit too, since studies show that women feel more sexually attracted to partners who pitch in.
哈佛大学研究员奥瑞儿·沙利文（Oriel Sullivan）在《当代家庭协会》发表的一篇论文称， 与丈夫相比，女性的人力资本（用教育资源和可能的收入来衡量）越多，干家务时伴侣给予她的帮助也就越多。家务被分担的程度是现在两个最重要的估计女性婚姻状况的指标之一。而且，这也有利于男性，因为研究显示女性对教育水平不高的伴侣更有性吸引力。
Speaking of which, educated wives also get better sex, whatever their partner's educational level, according to the sexuality researchers Pepper Schwartz and Virginia Rutter. They are more likely to receive as well as give oral sex, to use a greater variety of sexual positions and to experience orgasm regularly.
提到这一点，性研究员佩珀·施瓦兹（Pepper Schwartz） and弗吉尼亚·瑞特（ Virginia Rutter）认为受到良好教育的妻子的性生活更加和谐，而不论他们伴侣的教育水平如何。他们更愿意口交或被口交，更可能使用多种体位和经常达到性高潮。
Certainly, some guys are still threatened by a woman's achievements. But scaring these types off might be a good thing. The men most likely to feel emotional and physical distress when their wives have a higher status or income tend to be those who are more invested in their identity as breadwinners than as partners and who define success in materialistic ways. Both these traits are associated with lower marital quality. Few women really want to marry a man whose penis rises and falls in tandem with the size of his paycheck or the prestige of his diploma.
Yet when the journalist Liza Mundy interviewed young women for her forthcoming book on female breadwinners, she found that most wanted a mate they could "look up to" or "admire" — and didn't think they could admire a man who was less educated than they were. During a talk I recently gave to a women's group in San Francisco, an audience member said, "I want him to respect what I know, but I also want him to know just a little more than me." One of my students once told me, "it's exciting to be a bit in awe of a guy."
但是当她为新书采访一些女性家庭支柱时，记者丽莎·曼迪（Liza Mundy） 发现绝大数人都希望找个可以“ 仰望 ”或“ 羡慕”的对象，不希望他们羡慕的人受到的教育比不上自己。最近在旧金山跟一个女性团体谈话时，一名观众说，“我希望他尊重我知道的东西，而且我还希望他知道的比我多。” 有个学生也曾经告诉我，“对一个人有点敬畏也是比较有趣的。”
For a century, women have binged on romance novels that encouraged them to associate intimidation with infatuation; it's no wonder that this emotional hangover still lingers. Valentine's Day is a perfect time to reject the idea that the ideal man is taller, richer, more knowledgeable, more renowned or more powerful. The most important predictor of marital happiness for a woman is not how much she looks up to her husband but how sensitive he is to her emotional cues and how willing he is to share the housework and child-care. And those traits are often easier to find in a low-key guy than a powerhouse.
I am not arguing that women ought to "settle." I am arguing that we can now expect more of a mate than we could when we depended on men for our financial security, social status and sense of accomplishment. But that requires ditching the Lois Lane syndrome, where we ignore the attractions and attention of Clark Kent because we're so eager for the occasional fly-by from Superman.