Is There Such a Thing as Marrying Down?

6 May

During a blog talk panel that I recently participated in the question was posed, “is there such a thing as marrying down?” [http://www.blogtalkradio.com/intheknow/2014/02/06/black-love-the-problems-we-face-finding-it-and-keeping-it] My answer was, “it depends on the person and what their definition of marrying down is.” For some people, marrying down might mean that they are in a white collar career and marry someone who is a blue collar worker; or for others this could mean, they attended an Ivy League institution and their partner attended a state university. I shared my own experience of when I was in my twenties, had just received my Bachelor’s degree and was having a difficult time finding someone who I felt was a compatible dating choice. My Pastor at the time, shared with and enlightened me that there was nothing wrong with me dating someone who may be a blue collar worker that did not have a degree if they were a hard working, driven individual that was equally yoked with me in other ways, primarily spiritually. I took his advice to heart and grew by leaps and bounds that day.

Career Woman_4 blue collar worker

Research shows that women are entering and graduating from college at a much faster pace than their male counterparts; especially among Hispanics and Blacks. An analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Pew Research Center shows in 1994, 63% of high school female graduates and 61% of high school male graduates were enrolled in college in the fall following their graduation. In 2012, the percentage of female high school graduates enrolled in college right after high school had increased to 71%, but remained unchanged at 61% for males. The Hispanic community saw a similar pattern; in 1994 of both male and female graduates about half enrolled in college in the fall; and in 2012, enrollment in college increased for both Hispanic men and women, but the female enrollment increased by 13% over males. The percentages for Black high school graduates in 1994 showed that 56% of male graduates and 48% of black female graduates enrolled in college right after high school graduation; however in 2012, enrollment for black males in college right after graduation was 57% and 69% for black females; black females saw a 12% increase over black males. There is a concrete trend of more females entering college right after high school graduation than males. For full analysis click: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/03/06/womens-college-enrollment-gains-leave-men-behind/ Has this pattern caused women to consider marrying down?

As we age and marriage is being considered, the whole marrying down phenomenon is a bit more complicated. Whether or not the other person has the same level of education may not be as important as if we have commonalities and are compatible. More than anything, I believe not just women, but men desire to marry someone they enjoy being around and enjoy doing things with; and I doubt if level of education or lack of will preempt this.

What are your thoughts is there such a thing as marrying down?

 

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