Do unmarried women face shortages of partners in the US marriage market?

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One explanation for declines in marriage is a shortage of economically-attractive men for unmarried women to marry. Indeed, a new study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family reveals a significant scarcity of such potential male spouses.

The study's authors developed estimates of the sociodemographic characteristics of unmarried women's potential spouses who resemble the husbands of otherwise comparable married women. These estimates were compared with the actual distribution of unmarried men at the national, state, and local levels.

Women's potential husbands had an average income that was about 58% higher than the actual unmarried men currently available to unmarried women. They also were 30% more likely to be employed and 19% more likely to have a .

The researchers found that racial and ethnic minorities, especially , face serious shortages of potential marital partners, as do with either low or high socioeconomic status.

"Most American women hope to marry but current shortages of marriageable men—men with a stable job and a good income—make this increasingly difficult, especially in the current gig economy of unstable low-paying service jobs," said lead author Daniel T. Lichter, Ph.D., of Cornell University. "Marriage is still based on love, but it also is fundamentally an economic transaction. Many young men today have little to bring to the marriage bargain, especially as young women's educational levels on average now exceed their male suitors."


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More information: Daniel T. Lichter et al, Mismatches in the Marriage Market, Journal of Marriage and Family (2019). DOI: 10.1111/jomf.12603
Journal information: Journal of Marriage and Family

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Citation: Do unmarried women face shortages of partners in the US marriage market? (2019, September 5) retrieved 17 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-09-unmarried-women-shortages-partners-marriage.html
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mqr
Sep 05, 2019
Before society decayed, marriage's ceremonies used to include a commitment piece that said something like: "be together in wealth and in poverty, in health and in disease".

Marriage was not based on love, it was based on commitment, it was based on the fact that we humans can make a sacred deal and honor it.

Nowadays, the marriage's implicitly is based upon: "be together in wealth and in health, if there is poverty or disease, then you guys must get a divorce, especially if the poor or sick is the man".

It may be better to have relationships with prostitutes than to have a "wife". The role of the wife seems to spend money and to judge the husband.

Sep 06, 2019
Marrying younger would have kept those options plentiful. By women delaying marriage past their 30s, all the good men will be taken, and their own fertility-value will have fallen even to the leftover men.

Sep 06, 2019
Marriage is still based on love, but it also is fundamentally an economic transaction. Many young men today have little to bring to the marriage bargain, especially as young women's educational levels on average now exceed their male suitors.

Yep, even the biggest heart, yields to the smallest wallet.

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