“In a reversal of traditional gender roles, young women now surpass young men in the importance they place on having a high-paying career or profession, according to survey findings from the Pew Research Center. Two-thirds (66%) of young women ages 18 to 34 rate career high on their list of life priorities, compared with 59% of young men. In 1997, 56% of young women and 58% of young men felt the same way.
The past 15 years have also seen an increase in the share of middle-aged and older women who say being successful in a high-paying career or profession is “one of the most important things” or “very important” in their lives. Today about the same share of women (42%) and men (43%) ages 35 to 64 say this. In 1997, more middle-aged and older men than women felt this way (41% vs. 26%).
But fear not, my family values friend!
“Though women are increasingly focused on college and career, the share who place marriage and parenthood high on the list of priorities is undiminished. For both men and women, being a good parent and having a successful marriage remain much more important than career success.”
Oh, thank FSM for that… well…
“The share of women ages 18 to 34 who say that having a successful marriage is one of the most important things in their lives has risen nine percentage points since 1997, from 28% to 37%.
On the other hand, the share of young men ages 18 to 34 who say that having a successful marriage is one of the most important things has dropped from 35% in 1997 to 29% now. Today a significantly smaller share of young men (29%) than young women (37%) list marriage as one of their highest priorities; this represents a change from 1997, when men and women were statistically equal on this measure.”
I’m sure we can blame that last one on feminists one way or another. It would go something like this: feminists have made marriage so unattractive to men (what with the demands for equality and sharing) that men are less interested in it. There, all done.
At the same time, there is this:
“The increased value placed on marriage and family does not necessarily reflect the broader societal trends in these areas. Young adults today are marrying at lower rates and later ages than ever before—only a third (33%) of 18- to 34-year-old women are now married, compared with nearly three quarters (73%) of women this age in 1960.9 The median age for first marriage is now 27 for women, up from 20 in 1960.10And the median age for first-time mothers is now 24, up from 22 in 1960. So while marriage and family still remain among women’s top priorities, many are delaying these milestones when compared with earlier generations.”
In other words, people are more realistic and pragmatic about these things and more likely to individualize these decisions in the context of their own circumstances with regards to education, job prospects, etc.
“Generally, the public is supportive of more active roles for women in the workplace. A September 2011 Pew Research poll found that 73% of Americans feel that the trend toward more women in the workforce has been a change for the better in our society.15 Furthermore, an October 2010 Pew Research poll found that a majority (62%) of the general public feels that a marriage where the husband and wife share the responsibilities of work and children is more satisfying than a more traditional marriage with a male breadwinner. However, the public remains conflicted about the impact these changes have had on young children. When asked whether the trend toward more mothers of young children working outside the home is a good thing or a bad thing for society, only 21% of Americans said it is a good thing. Some 37% said this is a bad thing for society, and roughly the same share (38%) said it hasn’t made a difference.”