The male graduate shortage

In July, I noted the curious absence of men in the study of fertility. I’d become interested in this issue because of the debate over whether HECS was having a negative effect on rates of childbirth among university-educated women. I concluded that the main cause of low birthrates in this group was the absence of husbands. One of my suggestions, due to the fact that female graduates significantly outnumber male graduates, was that:

University educated women being more willing to marry men without degrees would make a difference…

An article in yesterday’s Australian, based on a study I unfortunately haven’t yet been able to obtain, suggests that this was not good advice.

WOMEN with tertiary educations who choose as a partner men who have not finished high school are 10 times more likely to separate or get divorced than women whose education is less than or equal to their partner’s.

Continue reading “The male graduate shortage”

The Will of the people

Will Wilkinson has a good libertarian analysis of the US election result.

Some parts I particularly liked:

I have always thought that the symbolic or cultural value of an Obama victory would be enormous. The dramatic reaction last night confirmed that. I understand why so many people are elated, and part of me is elated, too. I find it hard to see how you could not be. There is no denying that an election can be culturally transformative. It means something profound that a black man was elected to the most visible, high-status position our society offers. …

But, frankly, I hope never to see again streets thronging with people chanting the victorious leader’s name. …

romance in politics is dangerous, misplaced, and beneath intelligent people. Were we more fully civilized, we would tolerate the yearnings projected on our leaders. Our tribal nature is not so easily escaped, after all. But we would try to escape it. We would discourage and condemn as irresponsible a romantic politics that tells us that if we all come together and want it hard enough, we’ll get it. We would spot the dangerous fallacy in condemning as “cynicism” all serious attempts to critically evaluate the content of political hopes.