Friday, July 8, 2011

Gender equality myth: Women 'want rich husbands, not careers'

Headline via Mail online. So what do we have here. A new report by Catherine Hakim of the London School of Economics published by the Centre for Policy Studies:

[...]Despite years of equality campaigning, more women are choosing to marry wealthy men than in the 1940s

[...]Women’s aspiration to marry up, if they can, to a man who is better-educated and higher-earning persists in most European countries,’ she said. ‘Women thereby continue to use marriage as an alternative or supplement to their employment careers.’
The research, which drew on existing data drawn from Britain and Spain, showed that 20 per cent of British women married husbands with a significantly better education than their own in 1949.
By the 1990s, the percentage of women deciding to ‘marry up’ had climbed to 38 per cent – with a similar pattern repeated in the rest of Europe, the US and Australia.

[...]Dr Hakim added: ‘It is thus not surprising that wives generally earn less than their husbands, and that most couples rationally decide that it makes sense for her to take on the larger share of child care, and to use most or all the parental leave allowance.’ Her report also suggests that many women do not want to admit they want to be a housewife – even to their partners.
‘It has become impossible to say, “I wouldn’t mind being a housewife,” she said.
‘It is so politically incorrect that a lot of women don’t want to admit it.’

[...]‘Women today have more choices than men, including real choices between a focus on family work and/or paid employment.
‘Despite this, many politicians and feminists appear disappointed with the slow pace of change in women’s attainment of top jobs.
Sex differences are treated as self-evident proof of widespread sex discrimination and sex-role stereotyping rather than the result of personal choices and preferences.
‘Demands for further change rest on faulty assumptions and dated evidence. The latest research shows that most of the theories and ideas built up around gender equality in the last few decades are wrong.
‘Despite feminist claims, the truth is that many men and women have different career aspirations, priorities, and life goals.
‘Policy makers should therefore not expect the same job outcomes.’

The full report can be read here.

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