Marrying Up Is on the Way Down

Is there any generation that doesn’t consider itself a watershed? We’re suckers for studies that prove we were born at a true turning point. Research by the Institute for Public Policy Research — a lefty, UK-based think tank — shows that “marrying up” is becoming a thing of the past, and the change really started with women born in the 1970s (hi!). While there has been a slight rise in the number of women who “marry down” (we prefer to think of it as a rise in the number of men seeking “aspirational marriages”), the most significant change is that more and more women are choosing to marry men of a similar social status, rather than trying to “bag a rich man,” as the classy saying goes.  Sorry, Don Draper.

Amongst women born in 1958, for example, 38% married “well” — and please take those distancing quote-marks seriously! 23% married someone from a poorer background, and about a third married someone of similar status. Amongst women born in 1970, the number “marrying up” dropped by 5%, and 45% married someone of similar status. And for women born between 1976 and 1981, only 16% married a Don Draper.

Read the rest of this post on SUNfiltered

One Comment

  1. Hmm… how ’bout that “hypergamy instinct” women are supposed to have evolved according to the usual evo-psycho suspects?

    A 50% drop in the number of women “marrying up” and a corresponding increase in the number marrying across would require a heck of a lot of “evolution” in a single generation. On the other hand, if women were, like, people maybe it’s something more like when when have the financial, economic, and political power to marry who you want instead of who you have to you marry who you want!

    And more often than not (unsurprisingly) that means marrying someone pretty much like you rather than “higher” or “lower.”

    Pretty cool.


Comments are closed.