A new study has found that wives with more education than their husbands no longer face a higher risk of divorce than marriages in which husbands are more educated.The researchers said that they also found that couples in which both individuals have equal levels of education are now less likely to divorce than those in which the husbands have more education than their wives.
Christine R. Schwartz, lead author of the study and an associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison said that these trends are consistent with a shift away from a breadwinner-homemaker model of marriage toward a more egalitarian model of marriage in which women's status is less threatening to men's gender identity.
According to the study, rather than doggedly adhering to norms that wives should have lower status than their husbands, men and women are increasingly forming relationships in which women have the educational advantage — so much so that it is now more common for wives to have more education than their husbands than the reverse pattern.
It was also revealed that the relationship between one's educational attainment, marriage formation, and risk of divorce appears to suggest that couples are adapting to the demographic reality that women have more education than men.
The scientists said that their results speak against fears that women's growing educational advantage over men has had negative effects on marital stability and the findings provide an important counterpoint to claims that progress toward gender equality in heterosexual relationships has stalled.
The study was published in the American Sociological Review.