This could be called ‘The Jane Eyre Study.’ A new study suggests the main reason women pursue careers is because they fear they will not find a husband. And the “plainer” a woman is, they claim, the more she is driven to have a great, successful and lucrative career. The findings of this study are extremely disturbing and are not the main reason women get jobs.
The study – which was carried out by US and Dutch researchers – is published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The researchers examined three sets of statistics for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia: The ratio of unmarried men to unmarried women ages 15 to 44; the ratio of men to women in 10 high-paying jobs, including chief executive, pharmacist and lawyer; and the average maternal age at first birth.
They found “a strong relation between sex ratio and the percentage of women in the highest paying jobs. As the number of marriageable men decreased, the percentage of women in the highest paying jobs increased. In addition, as the number of marriageable men decreased, women had fewer children, and when women did have children, they had them at later ages.” The “local mating ecology,” impacts the career choices of women, except for those who don’t doubt their ability to find a long-term partner (so the not so “plain-looking” ladies, in their opinion) according to the study.
There are a lot of problems with this. To claim that finding a husband or fear of not finding a husband is our main motivation for having a prosperous career is sad. There is nothing wrong with wanting a career that will help you support yourself without the help of a husband but to say that your looks are the driving factor for succeeding in the workplace is just depressing. Does aptitude have no place? Ambition? What about just liking your job? Do female doctors go to eight years of school and then years of training because they fear they may not find a husband? I doubt it. Are women outnumbering men in college and grad school because our dating lives are slow. I’m sure that is what most PhD candidates will tell you.