After this most recent recession, there was a dynamic that slightly changed balanced. That's the percentage of men and women who make up the work force. Men still occupy more jobs than women overall, today women make up a larger portion of the workforce than they did before the economic downturn. At the start of the recession men held 3.2 million more jobs than women, but that gap has narrowed with men holding 1.6 million more jobs than women.
A large part of that is the increasing number of women receiving a higher education and advancing and keeping jobs longer. Some say that the rise of the more educated woman would ruin the "traditional marriage" roles, but a new study published in this month's issue of the American Sociological Review says quite the opposite. It looks at marriages formed between 1950 and 2004 and finds that marriages between educational equals have remained most common, but that when there is a difference, women are increasingly likely to have the educational edge.
It looks like the old roles are eroding as time goes on, such as the man must "earn more than the woman, know more than the woman, be stronger, older, taller and wiser than the woman," says Stephanie Coontz, a professor of history and family studies at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.
"We are seeing on a great many fronts a greater comfort among men with women who are their equals or perhaps even know more than they do."
A more educated wife: Not a recipe for divorce (USA Today)