Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Smart Women Less Likely to Marry?

That's what Maureen Dowd thinks.

She laments powerful men taking up with their secretaries, publicists, nannie, flight attendants, etc. In her view, men are not attracted to smart women. Dowd even quotes studies done by psychologists:

A new study by psychology researchers at the University of Michigan, using college undergraduates, suggests that men going for long-term relationships would rather marry women in subordinate jobs than women who are supervisors.

As Dr. Stephanie Brown, the lead author of the study, summed it up for reporters: "Powerful women are at a disadvantage in the marriage market because men may prefer to marry less-accomplished women." Men think that women with important jobs are more likely to cheat on them.

"The hypothesis," Dr. Brown said, "is that there are evolutionary pressures on males to take steps to minimize the risk of raising offspring that are not their own." Women, by contrast, did not show a marked difference in their attraction to men who might work above or below them. And men did not show a preference when it came to one-night stands.

A second study, which was by researchers at four British universities and reported last week, suggested that smart men with demanding jobs would rather have old-fashioned wives, like their mums, than equals. The study found that a high I.Q. hampers a woman's chance to get married, while it is a plus for men. The prospect for marriage increased by 35 percent for guys for each 16-point increase in I.Q.; for women, there is a 40 percent drop for each 16-point rise.

Evolution, my tukhas!

My feeling on "studies" is that they can, and often are used to justify whatever hypotheses the researchers set out to prove.

So my answer to Ms Dowd and these researchers is that smart is one thing. Being a castrating bitch is a completely different story.

In fact studies have shown that women (myself included) prefer working for a male boss as opposed to a female boss:

Generally, although attitudes are becoming more positive toward female managers, employees are still more likely to say they prefer a male boss to a female boss (Gallup, 2001)

But getting back to men and marriage, in her book "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" Dr. Laura Schlessinger directly takes on this type of woman:

SUZANNE: Hi Dr. Laura, I am a real estate agent, which is an all-or-none profession. I have been in it for about five years. I have just started to build up my career, and this past weekend, my husband gave me the ultimatum of either quitting my job or he wants a divorce.


SUZANNE: Because he feels neglected on weekends and evenings.

DR. LAURA: What if he was neglecting you on nights and weekends? Wouldn't you be in some women's group bitching about it?

Another Dr. Laura listener named Rachel was even more blunt:

Rachel, a listener, wrote that she also thought nagging was an inherent right of wifehood. Although she and her husband had been married for only about a year, they were arguing every day! She wanted the two of them to go into marriage counseling to help him discover what he was doing wrong. She felt that all her needs were important. For example, she would nag him about how to soak dishes, or get angry at him for forgetting something he'd said in passing three months earlier.

Who needs common sense when you can get paid for performing bogus studies, or for that matter, if you're Maureen Dowd.

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