A story released today by the Divorce-Online reports that according to a
new research conducted by Learning, Family Formation and Dissolution,
reports that British women who go to college are less likely to marry and
The research says that getting good qualifications 'gave women increased
earning power and therefore more choice about whether or not to get a
partner'. Faced with the difficulty of balancing career and family, many
seem to choose the career.
Men do not seem to face the same choice, and they may even find the higher
earning power gained from a degree makes them a better catch.
The findings are part of a wider project at the Centre for Research on the
Wider Benefits of Learning, which was set up by the Department for Education
and Skills (DfES) to study the lifelong social changes triggered by
The report calls for new, Scandinavian-style policies to make it easier to
combine a career and children, so that educated women are no longer forced
to choose between the two.
'For men, marriage is seen as very much part of a career, but for women it
comes down to a choice,' said John Bynner, joint author of the report with
Louisa Blackwell of the Office for National Statistics.
'For some women there seems to be a conflict that there isn't for men: it
fits into the grain of what men want to do. Not everybody wants to get
married or become a parent, but for those that do it ought to be made
The report, published by the DfES using a range of cohort studies of
children born in the Seventies, notes that 26-year-old women living alone or
with flatmates were nearly three times as likely to have degrees as women of
the same age who were already married.
Men with degrees or PhDs were slightly more likely than less educated males
to settle down. Only 20 percent of university educated men had not done so
by that age. But more than 18 percent of highly-educated women were single
and childless at 33, more than twice the rate for their less educated
When they did get married, highly educated women were less likely than the
average woman to get divorced. But this was because they were less likely to
marry young, and early marriages are more likely to break down.