Men and Women Tend to Marry Within Their Class

You’ve read the back and forth comments on this blog. Women want to marry men with equal education and money. Men complain that women are “hypergamous,” and trying to marry “up.” What’s really happening is what is known as assortative mating. Per the New York Times:

“Assortative mating is the idea that people marry people like themselves, with similar education and earnings potential and the values and lifestyle that come with them.”

This makes sense. Studies on Tinder show that people aren’t, for the most part, racist, but rather, classist. Educated urban women – in general – would sooner go for a black man in a suit than a white man with a camouflage hat and rifle. This is reflective of the overall change in modern relationships.

Educated urban women – in general – would sooner go for a black man in a suit than a white man with a camouflage hat and rifle.


“The nature of marriage itself is changing. It used to be about the division of labor: Men sought homemakers, and women sought breadwinners. But as women’s roles changed, marriage became more about companionship, according to research by two University of Michigan economists, Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers (who also contributes to The Upshot). Now, people marry others they enjoy spending time with, and that tends to be people like themselves.”

“Husbands and wives had different roles in different spheres, so that was the opposites-attract view of marriage,” Mr. Wolfers said. “Today you want people with shared passions, similar interests to you, similar career goals, similar goals for the kids.”

The issue with this is that it can become a bit of a trap. In a world where women are more educated and increasingly likely to earn more money than their spouses, it’s impossible to always date “up.”

And yet when women try to date less educated and wealthy men, it can create a challenging dynamic:

“When these couples struggle, it is often over issues like sexual desire or the division of housework and child care, Dr. Doherty said, particularly if the woman loses respect for the man and the man feels insecure about his role in the family.”

As I’ve pointed out here repeatedly, it is a combination of BOTH that causes friction in relationships – not merely men’s insecurity about falling short of the old school protector/provider role, but the woman’s propensity to look down on him for this as well.

Thankfully, the new generation seems to have a better concept of equality – and are more likely to believe in egalitarian marriage.

When there are no traditional gender roles, things can get a bit…confusing.

Yet that dynamic seems to be changing, he and other researchers said, because young people have more egalitarian views about marriage and the division of labor. But, of course, this brings about another unintended consequence:

When there are no traditional gender roles, things can get a bit…confusing. Some may say they like it more, but many of my clients miss the days when men wanted to be providers, prioritized chivalry, courted regularly, and were aggressively clear with their motives. In the new world where men and women are more similar than ever, you end up with a lot of passive “Netflix and chill” guys who are perfectly content with their women taking control (and then resenting the women who do so).

Anyway, Great article by the New York Times about the state of relationships today. I don’t know that I have any answers, just the observation that, no matter whether you marry up or down, you’re just taking on a different set of complications in your life.

Your thoughts, below, are always appreciated.