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Education Opinion

The Right Man is Getting Harder to Find

By Richard Whitmire — January 22, 2010 1 min read

That’s the headline the Wall Street Journal put atop my commentary running today.

When I started researching the “boy troubles” I focused on elementary school -- looking for the causes -- and ended up gazing into the future. What are the consequences of these gender gaps? There are several: men disconnected from society, an economy lacking potential talent and the marriageable mate dilemma.

This last one, the marriageable mate, is the most controversial of the three. Feminists bristle at the idea that a woman either has find an educationally compatible mate -- or even a mate at all. I try to steer clear of the ideologies and stick with facts on the ground, which are that most women do seek mates and they try very, very hard to avoid “marrying down.”

Avoiding marrying down, however, is proving to be mathematically impossible, at least for some women. With nearly 58 percent of BA-earners female -- and 62 percent of associate’s degree-earners female -- something has to give.

Put simply, white, educated middle class women are now experiencing what educated African American women have endured for years. If they want to marry an educated black man, they face a severe shortage. For more on those consequences, order a copy of Bitch is the New Black.

This is not a humorous “dating game” issue. The health of our society depends on the health of our families. And once again trying to duck ideologies and stick with facts on the ground, sociologists agree that children from traditional two-parent families experience the best outcomes. That institution is about to experience even further turbulence.

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.

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