Have You Been Hit By The "Man-Cession"?

   By drodriguez  Jan 26, 2010

We’ve seen many changes over the last couple of years as we adjust to the difficulties of an economy in decline, but the latest reports coming out about the way new relationships are forming (or failing to form) may be somewhat of a revolution.  Current research is telling a story about how difficult it has become for college-educated women to find suitable mates. 

An article from the Wall Street Journal reports about a study that recently came out from the Pew Research Center.  The report shows that more than ever we are seeing wives earning more than their husbands and women attaining higher educations than men.  The Pew report states that 22 percent of men with "some college" are being out-earned by their wives.  This number is up from 4 percent in 1970.

More successful educated women are also making the decision to begin families as single mothers.  Since 1980, we have seen a 145 percent increase in the amount of unmarried college-educated women giving birth as single mothers.  And this number would be even higher if it were to include the amount of single-mothers adopting children. 

One reason for women marrying less, having a difficult time finding a husband to live up to their standards, or making more than their husbands is the current "man-cession".  The latest buzz word, "man-cession", has to do with the fact that many jobs once predominantly held by men, like construction and manufacturing jobs, are no longer in great demand during the recession.  About 80 percent of the jobs that have been lost in the recession were held by men.  Since a lot of these jobs did not require a college education, men are finding it harder to enter back into the workforce or compete with higher educated women.  They are also finding it more difficult to entice women holding higher paying jobs and higher degrees.

It doesn’t seem like the gender imbalance will even out anytime soon as we see 58 percent of bachelors degrees and 62 percent of associates degrees are currently held by women.  The current education gaps are making a lot of women uneasy about dating men that are "not on their level".  Rachel Downtain , a telecommunications project manager, tells the Wall Street Journal, that at 35 she is growing tired of waiting for "Mr. Right". Downtain says, "Going the sperm-bank method is definitely not my first choice, but I am not willing to give up my dream of having a child just because I can’t find Mr. Right.  I am having to realize that my fairy tale dream may just be inverted a bit...I may have the child before finding Mr. Right."

What do you think of the recent reports about more women finding themselves in the higher-earner role?

Have you or someone you’ve known found it more difficult to find Mr. Right because of differences in education or earnings?

Make a Comment

starrynight415 by starrynight415 | Folsom, PA
Feb 22, 2010

I don't agree that any gender should get used to being the primary breadwinner. Nowadays, the economy is awful, and instead of worrying about who makes the bigger salary, we need to worry about how are bills are being paid and what we're going to live off of when we retire. My BF has a Bachelor's, and I have a Master's, but we make about the same amount of money. Does that bother me? No. Do I see him as a suitable life mate even though he has less education than me? Yes. I think it's great that women today have higher standards and aren't willing to settle, but we need to make sure that we're not discounting quality men simply because their paychecks aren't as fat as ours.

joy9281 by joy9281 | TOLEDO, OH
Feb 21, 2010


pabennett by pabennett | louisville, KY
Feb 21, 2010

I never have found a man that cared if I mad more money then he does, Men I have found are lazy and would love to take and not give. ladies I wouldn't mind a average joe in my life.

c5dcc1 by c5dcc1 | BUFORD, GA
Feb 16, 2010

Well after being a widow and seeing how peole treat me differently. i know all to well that things are differently and dont care for it. also know that men are too much like marshmellows if they havent been though the hard coretraining or know how to treat a women right . being hey you cant expect a widow to have $. which most do and that turns m e out of the dating thing.

sbeckytatt by sbeckytatt | lebanon, OH
Feb 03, 2010

I agree with jemappel. I am a 4H vollunteer and get to watch children grow and learn and alot of the children are going through major struggels. I know a young boy going through identity crisis and a few young girls who are very unhappy. I support women having good jobs and equal to men in the workplace, but men need to have their place too. In order for boys to learn life skills and morals men need to show them, an example of who they can become. I firmly believe that in order for a boy to understand himself he needs the example of a real man; not just men on tv, but a father or father figure. Just as girls need their mothers, boys need their fathers. There needs to be a balance between men and women. I believe that balance will come in time. The Women's Rights Movement set the pendulem in motion, this is just the upswing, and in time it will swing back closer to the middle.

courtnisomer by courtnisomer | Fredericksburg, VA
Feb 01, 2010

i still believe that the man should be the provider.

idahospud by idahospud | haines, AK
Jan 31, 2010

I make alot more than my other half.I have been dedicated to my job for 10 years.I deserve everything I get.We women,are making more because we have insisted on it & worked for it,so thank yourselves.

jemappel by jemappel | Rye Brook, NY
Jan 28, 2010

I'm married but this is a genuine problem. This has been a problem for a while in Native American and Latino communities where more women have been going to college than men for years. Unlike "myralee" says WE DO NEED MEN. Sorry, but young boys learn to be who they are by modeling themselves after the men around them, particularly their fathers. That might sound old-fashioned to some but years of social research prove it to be true. So we need strong successful women AND men...the either/or thing is prejudiced, sexist and doomed to fail.

cybrown551 by cybrown551 | HOOKSETT, NH
Jan 28, 2010

Well it is about time. And yes I do know of and I have very close friends who are face with this situation of not being able to fine Mr. Right. But I rather have women earning the same amount that men earn doing the same job. However on the other hand it does make it difficult when women are faced with wanting to start a family and not being able to find a suitable mate. Hopefully this trend will eventually improve and even out.

HJFinnie by HJFinnie | Ypsilanti, MI
Jan 27, 2010

Men need to feel like "men," I feel bad for the ones that are having a difficult time right now. I have many successful friends that are single. We have a theory that educated women have a disadvantage in finding a partner in today's world. We are smart enough to look at things like income and the pro's and cons of kids, marriage, and everyday things.

myralee by myralee | north pole, AK
Jan 27, 2010

men are like marshmellow in cereal they are nice to have but you dont really need them

Jaimarie by Jaimarie | Los angeles, CA
Jan 27, 2010

We rock!

amariebrown82 by amariebrown82 | Dallas, TX
Jan 27, 2010

LOL!!! I don't make a lot of money right now. I do well enough to feed my son and take care of our day to day expenses. I am working towards working for myself. Men are very much intimidated by me. I'm not really sure why. I blame it on the fact that I have always taken care of myself and my little one with no outside help. So yes, I do have standards and expectations. Not high expectations. I fear that when I do succeed with being a business owner it will be even more difficult for me to find a husband. It's almost like you have to choose between a career or a husband.

aves_2911 by aves_2911 | Franklin, MA
Jan 27, 2010

Wish I had this problem but being a preschool teacher I don't make that much money. I guess men won't be intimidated by me!

frogunderfoot by frogunderfoot | fort riley, KS
Jan 27, 2010

Great article.........I agree it it about time we are getting what we dis serve..... but sad about the men are loosing their job....................... no i have not been hit by the men-cession.