Friday, July 26, 2002

The Time Mag Rag Survey Revisited

Had to add this item. Another sister asked, in comment, in what Time issue the survey had appeared. Well, I couldn't remember and went digging. I couldn't find anything on Time's web page and even if I had, I would have had to pay for the privilege of using it. So I went digging else where. I found the origin of the survey in Susan Faludi's Backlash. Here is a synopsis of what I found out.

If you have the book it is on page 9, chapter 2, under the caption, 'The Man Shortage: A tale of two Marriage Studies.' But briefly, a reporter, Lisa Marie Petersen, wanted an angle for an article she was doing on romance. She called the Yale sociology department and got hold of Neil Bennet, an unmarried sociologist who'd just done his own unpublished, unfinished study on women's marriage patterns. His unsupported findings linked careers and education with what he called the bottom falling out of the marriage market for women. His statistics:

30 yr old college educated women has a 20% of getting wed
35 yr olds, a 5% chance
40 yr olds only a 1.3% chance of ever getting married

Peterson never questioned his figures and published the article. The associated press picked up the article and it went like wildfire across the country and the world. The statistics received front page billing in nearly all major newspapers and news programs plus popular magazines and was mentioned in the dialogue of TV sitcoms and motion pictures.
Ms Faludi's chapter goes on to say that other well documented studies dispel the survey and the statistics it arrived at, but the damage had already been done. When I called this thing the Infamous Time Mag Rag Survey, it was because I had a memory (true or not I don't know now) of this survey making the front page of a Time Magazine edition.

So there it is, 16 years ago telling us, as we have been told for ages, that educations and careers will keep us from getting the one thing that we are supposed to be craving for a fulfilled life, a HUSBAND! Are guys that worried that we don't need them?

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