Thursday, September 24, 2015

No shortage of marriageable men after all

A most interesting piece from Brookings challenges the traditional idea that there is a shortage of men in the marriage market.

The original definition of marriageability, from sociologist William Julius Wilson, was based on the ratio of employed men to all women of the same age. All women of the right age are assumed, under this definition, to be equally marriageable. But this is an outdated assumption, given cultural, economic, and social changes. A high percentage of women participate in the workforce; many have children from a prior relationship.  

On only one definition of marriageability—Wilson’s original one, comparing employed men to all women—do we find a ‘shortage’ of men so often lamented in the media. On all other measures, there is in fact a surplus

However the surplus disappears for black men and women. (Inter-racial marriage rates in the US are very low - in 2010 only 4.6% of married Black females had a non-black husband).

The writer says the difference is due to lower employment prospects, high rates of incarceration and shorter lives.

Terribly sad state of affairs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I suspect the stats do not show the whole picture in that 'marriageable' is not necessarily just being available. Having been flicked by first wife at 40 I found there were many great women looking for a respectful 'nice' man but were struggling to find men that they perceived as suitable. Men were about but they were not perceived as marriageable. It wasn't the money either I suspect although that cannot be ignored - it was morals. Likewise there were woman available that you wouldn't want a relationship with. I also encountered men that had been burned and were simply not interested in risking everything again.