Education Opinion

For the Atlantic, Once is Not Enough

By Richard Whitmire — October 11, 2011 1 min read
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Hanna Rosin racked up an Atlantic Magazine hot seller with her, End of Men, soon to become a book. Why stop there? This month the Atlantic gets down to the nitty gritty question everyone wants answered: What does this mean for me? Am I going to land a similarly educated husband?

Short answer: Maybe.

All but new readers of this blog know that the “marriageable mate” dilemma has long been my forecast of the most significant impact arising from the gender gaps. (Check the categories section of this blog and you’ll find a library of information on this issue.) For African Americans, this is an old issue. For whites, this is still somewhat new. Let me distill the issue: If you look at the current pool of white recipients of four-year degrees, 57 percent are white. And the Department of Education forecasts show this gap broadening in the coming years.

Simple math: Thousands of college-educated white women will not find similarly educated white males. What will they do? Hard to predict. From the Atlantic:

...we no longer need husbands to have children, nor do we have to have children if we don't want to. For those who want their own biological child, and haven't found the right man, now is a good time to be alive. Biological parenthood in a nuclear family need not be the be-all and end-all of womanhood--and in fact it increasingly is not. Today 40 percent of children are born to single mothers. This isn't to say all of these women preferred that route, but the fact that so many upper-middle-class women are choosing to travel it--and that gays and lesbians (married or single) and older women are also having children, via adoption or in vitro fertilization--has helped shrink the stigma against single motherhood. Even as single motherhood is no longer a disgrace, motherhood itself is no longer compulsory. Since 1976, the percentage of women in their early 40s who have not given birth has nearly doubled. A childless single woman of a certain age is no longer automatically perceived as a barren spinster.

The opinions expressed in Why Boys Fail are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.