Big To Do
About Us

"Saving Love Lives The World Over!" e-mail e-mail to a friend in need

January 19

So maybe men should be the ones gunning for the ring?

Filed under: News — posted by Breakup Girl @ 1:23 pm

More on marriage: You know how some folks get all, “Ooh, ooh, that will UPSET THE BALANCE OF THE UNIVERSE!” when they hear, stop the presses, that she earns more than he does? Well, welcome to planet topsy-turvy, because more and more, that’s becoming the norm.

But that’s not all. From NPR today:

The joke used to be that some women went to college to get their M.R.S. — that is, a husband. In sheer economic terms, marriage was long the best way for a woman to get ahead. But a study by the Pew Research Center finds that there’s been a role reversal when it comes to men, women and the economics of marriage. [Emphasis added by fascinated superhero.]

The study compares marriages in 2007 with those in 1970, when few wives worked — and it’s no wonder why. Until 1964, a woman could legally be fired when she got married. Even a woman with a college degree likely made less than a man with a high-school diploma.

“When you think about it from a guy’s perspective, marriage wasn’t such a great deal,” says Richard Fry of the Pew Research Center. “It raised a household size, but it didn’t bring in a lot more income.”

Four decades later, it’s men who are reaping rewards from a stroll down the aisle. Many more women are now working, and in a greater variety of jobs. Add to that the decline of gender discrimination, and women’s median wages have risen sharply in recent decades* even as men’s have remained stagnant or fallen.

On top of this — for the first time ever among those age 44 and younger —- more women than men have college degrees.

The Pew study also finds that the more educated you are, the more likely you are to be married. It didn’t used to be that way.

It’s all turned the marriage market on its head.

“We found that increasingly, women are more likely to marry husbands who have lower education levels than they do, and lower income levels than they do,” says D’Vera Cohn of the Pew Research Center. From 1970 to 2007, husbands whose wives earned more than they did jumped from 4 percent to 22 percent.

/snip/ “I think [the notion that men “should” earn more]  is really an example of an outdated idea,” says Stephanie Coontz, author of Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage. Coontz says that in a 1967 poll, two-thirds of women said they’d consider marrying a man they did not love if he had good earnings potential.

“Now, women have a completely different point of view,” Coontz says. “They say overwhelmingly — 87 percent — that it’s more important to have a man who can communicate well, who can be intimate and who will share the housework than to have someone who makes more money than you do.”

The numbers might be there, but the man-earn-money culture isn’t yet.

“The tension really surrounds this notion of, ‘I’m the man, so I should be providing,’ ” says Steven Holmes, a freelance photographer in Northern California. He makes far less than his wife, a business adviser for IBM, and often finds himself holding back in discussions about spending money.

“Because I have this guilt that I feel like I am not an equal partner,” Holmes says, “I will let her make the decision, even though I might have had a different opinion.”

While some still wonder how anyone (especially perhaps a feminist) could still, um, buy into such an outmoded patriarchal model in which women are basically property, well, look how — measurably — far we’ve come. But on an individual-couple level, it’s fascinating to me that what seems to persist is this pay-to-play notion that one’s say in the relationship is weighted by income. Tell me, readers: to what degree has this been your experience? And, bonus question, how much does it annoy you that even NPR calls higher-earning women Sugar Mamas?

* Of course, women still make only 77 cents to a man’s dollar and are more likely to take time off from or cut back on work to take care of children.


November 12

Cancer and divorce: who leaves?

Filed under: issues,News — posted by Paula @ 11:05 pm

In a depressing new study—about an already sad topic—oncologists Dr. Marc Chamberlain and Dr. Michael J. Glantz and their colleagues found that women given a dire health diagnosis were more likely to be abandoned by their (male) mates than in the reverse scenario.

If couples are happy before the diagnosis, it appears that men are more likely to abandon wives who become seriously ill. If couples are already troubled before a partner becomes ill, the finding suggests that women in unhappy marriages are less likely to proceed with a divorce if their husbands become ill.

(Same-sex couples were apparently not a part of the study.)

While this plays into many of our society’s worst stereotypes–and women’s worst fears–about non-committal males, perhaps being aware of this research ahead of time will help doctors help couples facing a grim diagnosis and long treatment. Who knows? Maybe men and women who are more conscious of the marriage-challenging stress that lies ahead may be better prepared to deal with it when it happens.


September 30

Do women like their men poached?

Filed under: Psychology — posted by Breakup Girl @ 2:20 pm

A new study seems to say so. It suggests, even, that women are not only more attracted to taken men — call it the “stamp of approval” factor — but also actually willing to pursue them.

“The next question is why,” says researcher Melissa Burkley. In further research, she plans to explore women’s motives even more. One possibility, she speculates: competition; the [alleged, or at least pretty illusory — BG] satisfaction — and self-esteem — derived from mate-stealing.

BG is perhaps naively surprised by these findings. After all, poaching is, of course, verboten. But now I’m curious. Have you [ladies] ever poached? If so, why? Any aftermath?


June 11

Stay together for the kids? Or not.

Filed under: News,Psychology — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:07 am

Via Mary Elizabeth Williams at Broadsheet:

Marital breakups are rarely easy, but for couples with children, they often come with the added nagging fear that you’re forever ruining your kids’ lives. But a new study (PDF) affirms what anyone whose own childhood resembled a Richard Yates novel suspects — that sticking together for the sake of the kids can backfire.

The study, provocatively titled “Are Both Parents Always Better Than One? Parental Conflict and Young Adult Well-Being” (from the California Center for Population Research at the University of California-Los Angeles), charts the progress of 1,963 households from teens to early 30s. While citing that “children tend to do better living with two biological married parents,” the study is a reassuring academic loogie in the face of self-sacrifice, an acknowledgement of the role of “poor quality marriage” in drinking and dropout rates.

Speaking about the study to Science Daily, the paper’s co-author, Cornell associate professor Kelly Musick, said, “the advantages of living with two continuously married parents are not shared equally by all children … Children from high-conflict families are more likely to drop out of school, have poor grades, smoke, binge drink, use marijuana, have early sex, be young and unmarried when they have a child and then experience the breakup of that relationship.”

An intact marriage isn’t automatically a successful one — for anybody. (The study also helpfully cites previous findings that “although marriage confers benefits to adults on average, those in poor quality marriages are no better off than the single and, indeed, may fare worse on some measures.”) Despite our continued cultural insistence upon equating divorce with failure, for parents whose relationships have become unbearable, the best way to save the family may be to dissolve it.


May 12

These nice guys get the girl

Filed under: News — posted by Breakup Girl @ 2:51 pm

Perhaps, fellas, it’s time to take up rainforest manioc horticulture?


November 11

Keys, yes — ring, maybe

Filed under: Psychology — posted by Mia @ 6:50 am

Amazingly, these researchers aren’t quoting Breakup Girl when they say, “serial cohabiters are less likely than single-instance cohabiting unions to result in marriage.”


October 29

Cheating 2.0

Filed under: News,Psychology — posted by Rose @ 1:28 pm

“In my day, if we wanted to commit adultery, we trudged 14 miles in the snow to the next farmhouse over, and we made love on a scratchy bale of hay. You’d get your rocks off, but you’d also get a low-grade infection from all the minor cuts and scrapes. And we liked it! We loved it!”

— My attempt at aping Dana Carvey’s Grumpy Old Man routine

Time to dust off all your antiquated notions of who’s cheating, why and how. A story published this week in the New York Times says that marital infidelity is markedly up among the young and the old — never mind such well-worn scenarios as the Seven Year Itch or the forty- or fiftysomething midlife crisis:

“The lifetime rate of infidelity for men over 60 increased to 28 percent in 2006, up from 20 percent in 1991. For women over 60, the increase is more striking: to 15 percent, up from 5 percent in 1991. The researchers also see big changes in relatively new marriages. About 20 percent of men and 15 percent of women under 35 say they have ever been unfaithful, up from about 15 and 12 percent respectively.”

And what are considered the culprits of all this out-of-wedlock canoodling? The more societal scourges change, the more they stay the same… drugs and porn! Researchers quoted in the article say that newfangled voodoo fixes like Viagra and hormone replacement therapies have allowed seniors to “express their sexuality into old age,” while the proliferation of Internet porn may be “affecting sexual attitudes and perceptions of ‘normal’ behavior” among the impressionable young.

Other modern trappings — such as cell phones, IMs, and that Holiday Inn Express you stayed in last night — may also be to blame for the significant rise in adultery among women: “…married women are more likely to spend late hours at the office and travel on business. And even for women who stay home, cellphones, e-mail and instant messaging appear to be allowing them to form more intimate relationships.”

If I were a sociology undergrad, I’d try to impress the bejeesus out of my prof by tying all this in to other examples of how modern society, with all its lifesaving/moneymaking innovations, seems geared towards isolation: Bowling Alone, dinner alone, etc. And that then, when an individual, even a married one, gets to a point where he/she feels isolated even from his/her own spouse, a more despearte lurch towards intimacy, such as an extramarital affair, is more likely to take plac.e

Then again, I never actually took any sociology courses, so you tell me what you think in the Comments section below.


Gentlemen ALSO prefer red

Filed under: News — posted by Jackie @ 11:30 am

Okay, it’s all a blur. Earlier this month, I reported that men — definitively! (at least according to SCIENCE) — were most drawn to brunettes. Then BG found even more current research that confirmed the old chestnut about blondes. And now there’s more breaking news on the hue front.  According to ScienceDaily, a new study reveals that “the color red makes men feel more amorous toward women.” That’s red as in plumage — like Jessica Rabbit’s dress — not her hair. In other words, if you thought the world lacked enough pop songs, famously lipsticked kissers, other iconic red dresses and more pop songs to prove it, now we’ve got the scientific stats to back it up. Kinda the same way we figured out the sky is blue.

But speaking of woodland creatures: “Although this aphrodisiacal effect of red may be a product of societal conditioning alone, the authors argue that men’s response to red more likely stems from deeper biological roots. Research has shown that nonhuman male primates are particularly attracted to females displaying red. Female baboons and chimpanzees, for example, redden conspicuously when nearing ovulation, sending a clear sexual signal designed to attract males…findings confirm what many women have long suspected and claimed — that men act like animals in the sexual realm. As much as men might like to think that they respond to women in a thoughtful, sophisticated manner, it appears that at least to some degree, their preferences and predilections are, in a word, primitive.”

[OK, but you know what? Humans are animals. Just ONCE, I’d like to see a study like this that didn’t “conclude,” with great sciencey fanfare, “See? Men ARE animals!” — BG, seeing red.]

Here’s my logic problem. A guy has to choose between a brunette in a red sweater and a blonde in an ivory sweater. Uh oh! Now who’s the belle of the ball? Something tells me this isn’t so black and white. Jessicas and Rogers: what’s your take?

Rose Martelli and Maria Burnham also contributed to this post.


October 23

You’re cute, but my MacBook’s cuter

Filed under: Psychology — posted by Mia @ 6:35 am

It’s election time and we’re ALL poll-crazy. But do we really believe that a pregnant woman’s weight directly affects her child’s political leanings? Or that American women “prefer computers to men?” Well, maybe this fella. But that’s not my point!

The Telegraph reports that Yankee ladies “prefer” to spend most of their waking hours with their computer, not with their suitor (or their family, or their Exercycle).

Oh. Oh?

1. “Women.” Women? So there’s no difference between your grandma and your boss? Kay.

2. Men. We’re not going to address men’s computer usage: time at work, time at Warcraft, and stuff like that? Oh.

3. “Prefer.” Do I prefer to write, read, communicate, be employed? If women were not at work on the computer machine, does that mean that men would also quit their jobs so they could cuddle and take walks all day? Give me a billion dollars and we can all go start a commune (with wifi, or I ain’t stayin’)!

Sounds like the researchers may not understand what computers actually do, or how relationships actually work, for that matter. What if I’m talking to friends and family on the computer, and what if I do that in intervals all day long? What if I’m wooing a man? What if I’m on the laptop while on the couch with my mate? What if I’m buying us movie tickets? What if I’m shopping online? What if by shopping you distinguish shoe shopping in person from buying foot spray and diaper wipes for the menfolk and babies online because I’d rather spend my meager free hours not running errands?

This study doesn’t address the millions of social science studies showing that, despite working as many hours or longer than men, women still do most of the household chores, cooking, child-raising, man-pleasing, key-finding, vacation-planning than their male counterparts.

If women did NOT spend more time on the PC than on exercising, they’d have to work out more than 9 hours every day. Does that sound right to you? But the study makes it sound like it’s unfortunate that we don’t. I think they also just called us fat.


October 17

Dow down, hip-to-waist ratio up

Filed under: News,Psychology,Treats — posted by Breakup Girl @ 3:00 pm

Someone’s been reading academic journals for the articles! Marginal Revolution draws our attention to an article in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin entitled, no kidding, “Playboy Playmate Curves: Changes in Facial and Body Feature Preferences Across Social and Economic Conditions,” which posits that in lean times, men go for, well, lean women. In other words:”The Environmental Security Hypothesis says that in tough times men will prefer women who are good at production, generally older, taller, heavier, less curvaceous women with less body fat.  In good times, they will prefer women who are good at reproduction, generally younger, shorter, lighter, more curvaceous women.  Pettijohn and and Jungeberg look at the characteristics of playboy playmates from 1960 to 2000 and find:

Consistent with Environmental Security Hypothesis predictions, when social and economic conditions were difficult, older, heavier, taller Playboy Playmates of the Year with larger waists, smaller eyes, larger waist-to-hip ratios, smaller bust-to-waist ratios, and smaller body mass index values were selected. These results suggest that environmental security may influence perceptions and preferences for women with certain body and facial features. 

It’s not a new study, but it does invite speculation about what type of Playmate of the Year a 2009 economy will bring us. If things keep going the way they are now, my money’s on Rosie the Riveter.

« Previous PageNext Page »

blog | advice | comics | animation | goodies | to do | archive | about us

Breakup Girl created by Lynn Harris & Chris Kalb
© 2019 Just Friends Productions, Inc.
| privacy policy
Cool Aid!

Important Breakup Girl Maxim:
Breakup Girl Sez


Powered by WordPress

Start Searching Now