Will the rise in female degrees affect the birds and the bees?

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Graphic by Andrew Greenstone The Broadside
Graphic by Andrew Greenstone The Broadside

Look around at your classmates and tally the female to male ratio. For the first time in history there are more women obtaining degrees than men, according to Tom Barry.
“It definitely changes choices of what people are looking for in a mate,” Barry, Central Oregon Community College sociology professor said.
Historically females are more likely to “marry up” than males, according to anthropology professor Michel Waller.
Anna Quesenberry
The Broadside
Women value egalitarianism, according to Barry; they want men who are going to contribute more to the household.
Men are used to being in a dominant position and not having their authority questioned, Barry explained, so they’re more comfortable with the idea of “marrying down.”
“The role of women has very clearly changed,” Waller explained. “The big question is how is this going to affect men? Already, more men are not getting their college degree.”
Now women are landing jobs that had been pigeon-holed for men, Waller explained, though numbers show women are still making less money for the same work.
Women’s roles have altered to include more schooling and better jobs, according to Waller, and many are putting off having children.

More women graduate with master's degrees 2011 MCT
More women graduate with master’s degrees 2011 MCT

“Today many women are choosing not to have kids at all,” Waller said, “because they have opportunities to pursue education and careers, and chase after their dreams.”
Women are putting off childbirth until their late 20s to mid 30s, according to Waller, whereas in the past women would begin bearing children at 15, and continue on into their mid-forties.
“We are definitely seeing a shift,” Waller explained. “You now have more men staying home and taking care of the kids and females going out and getting jobs.”
“Roles are always changing,” COCC anthropology professor Amy Harper said. “I would say about half of my female friends with master’s or Ph.Ds have husbands who don’t have a degree.”
Some are perplexed as to why one’s level of education would have much to do with matters of the heart, like Kathy Williams, administrative assistant for world languages and cultures at Central Oregon Community College. She does not see any issue in a woman marrying a man who has a lower level of education, as long as the two respect one another’s intelligence and don’t get “all uppity.”
“My husband did not have the opportunity to finish high school. I have my bachelor’s and we’ve been happily married since 1971,” Williams said. “Just because somebody doesn’t have a degree, doesn’t mean they are less intelligent.”
(Contact: aquesenberry@cocc.edu)

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