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花旗国的半边天

An Exploration of Women's Issues

 
 
 

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聪明的女人不能结婚吗? (Too Smart to Marry?)  

2011-08-02 11:33:31|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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聪明的女人不能结婚吗? (Too Smart to Marry?) - 美国马尾妹 - 花旗国的半边天
 在美国,大量女性争取获得高级学位的时候,高学历女性保持单身的可能性比教育程度较低的女性更高。她们有的仅仅因为不想结婚,也有人有结婚的意愿却受一种认为高等教育与婚姻不相容的社会偏见影响,最终无法如愿。当时,大多数美国人在25岁以下结婚。这意味着很多美国人在高中毕业后不久,还没完成更高程度的教育就步入婚姻的礼堂。婚姻不会成为男性继续进修学业的阻碍,但由于已婚男女性别分工的社会偏见根深蒂固,婚姻成为了女性继续求学的障碍。人们普遍认为,男性理应拥有一份工作,成为家庭的经济支柱,已婚妇女则应该专心致志地料理家务、相夫教子。

When significant numbers of American women began earning higher education (college, graduate, and postgraduate) degrees, degree-holding women were more likely to remain unmarried than less educated women. Some simply did not wish to marry, but others wanted to marry but were unable to because of societal expectations that made higher education and marriage incompatible for many women. At the time, most Americans married young, often by the time they were 25. This meant that many Americans were married shortly after leaving high school and before they had a chance to complete any level of higher education. While marriage did not prevent men from continuing their education, it certainly did so for most women because of deeply ingrained social norms that dictated separate responsibilities for married men and women. Men were expected to hold jobs and financially provide for their families, while married women were generally expected to devote all their time and energy to housekeeping and looking after the needs of their husbands and children.

Because of women's prescribed duties at home, it was deemed unimportant for them to continue their education after marriage. Those women that did earn degrees before getting married rarely used them after marriage because they did not have to opportunity to have careers outside of the home. Thus, the combined expectations that women marry early and that they devote themselves to being “homemakers” once married made higher education and marriage mutually exclusive for some women and rendered the degrees of other women irrelevant after marriage. As a result, women who wanted to continue their education and use their degrees to begin a career were often unable to marry, even if they wanted to. Many women had to make the choice between marriage on the one hand and higher education and a career on the other.

This need for women to choose persisted for many years, largely unchallenged, but recently, that need to choose has gradually disappeared. A recent study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that women who want to pursue higher education and get married are just as likely to get married as women who do not seek degrees. This change is due in part to widespread social change that has made it easier for women to balance education, a career, and a family; the expectation that married women stay at home is virtually nonexistent and more women than ever before are earning advanced degrees. However, while the findings of the University of Pennsylvania's study paint a promising picture of women's ability to get the education they want without sacrificing their chances of getting married, other studies have shown that not all women share this opportunity equally. According to a study by the American Sociological Society, highly educated black women's chances of marrying have declined compared to highly educated white women's. While white women do not seem to have to choose between education and marriage anymore, many black women are still forced to make that choice. Speculation about the reason for this disparity is abundant, but no definitive explanation has been found. Whatever the reason, however, a significant number of women seem forced to make the unjust choice between education and marriage. The gains made by women as a whole in this regard should not be allowed to mask the challenges faced by a segment of the female population.



讨论:你认为获得高级学位的女性在追求婚姻的过程中面临挑战吗?

(Discussion Question: Do you think that women pursuing advanced degrees face challenges if they want to get married?)


Sources:

Isen, Adam, and Betsy Stevenson. WOMEN’S EDUCATION AND FAMILY BEHAVIOR: TRENDS IN MARRIAGE, DIVORCE 
     AND FERTILITY . PDF file. 
"Marriage Eludes High Achieving Black Women." MSNBC 13 Aug. 2009: n. pag. MSNBC.com. Web. 1 Aug. 
     2011. <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32379727/ns/health-sexual_health/t/ 
     marriage-eludes-high-achieving-black-women/>. 
"People & Events: Mrs. America: Women's Roles in the 1950s ." American Experience. PBS Online,
2001. Web. 1 Aug. 2011. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/pill/peopleevents/p_mrs.html>.

Image:

By Sowter1 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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