Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Professional Women More Likely to Get Divorced

Women with MBAs, medical degrees and law degrees are much more likely to get divorced or separated than their male counterparts, according to Robin Fretwell Wilson, a professor at Washington & Lee Law School, and a study she will be publishing next week. Her study is apparently based upon her analysis of a National Science Foundation survey of over one hundred thousand professionals.

Although it is unclear exactly what these data mean, Wilson herself has talked about the findings in relation to the current tendency of many professional women to "opt out" of having a family. As Wilson is quoted in yesterday's Wall Street Journal article on this by Anita Raghavan: "'It's like the Virginia Slims ad -- we've come so far -- but, man, we haven't come so far,' says Prof. Wilson, herself a divorcée. 'In a lot of ways women aren't getting the same deal as men.' Unlike men, she says, 'women can't have it all because there is a social stigma to having or being a stay-at-home spouse.'"

For more on this story, see the Wall Street Journal article (link above) and the ABA Journal article on this by Debra Cassens Weiss.

And if you are interested in some provocative, gender counterpoint on professional careers and marriage, look at the Forbes opinion piece from 2006, Careers and Marriage, which includes both "Point: Don't Marry Career Women" by Michael Noer and "Counterpoint: Don't Marry A Lazy Man" by Elizabeth Corcoran.

For information about Massachusetts divorce and family law, see the divorce and family law page of my law firm website.


Anonymous said...

It's funny, I blogged about 3 successful women in the law and one person's comment was "Bet they are single". The thing is only one was the other two were still married. I'd love if you'd submit this post to my moms in law at blog carnival at
I notice you stayed out of the debate:-)

Unknown said...

I often stay out of debates when I'm not sure what to think. And as for the study that is to come out soon, I reserve judgment. A lot of social "science" studies are not very scientific in fact. Sometimes the data don't clearly prove anything, and purported conclusions are suspect. But I'm interested. Thanks for the comments.