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剩女究竟是谁的错?

发布时间:2016-01-07 14:33:44

如今几乎60%的学士学位、超过一半的硕士和博士学位是由女性获得的。很多人相信尽管这也许能帮助女性多赚取些收入,但对他们的婚姻前景却不妙。
 



如今剩女越来越多,剩女也随着年龄的增长越来越难找到伴侣,那这就是是谁的错呢?剩女是怎么为之为剩女的呢?

TODAY women earn almost 60 percent of all bachelor's degrees and more than half of master's and Ph.D.'s. Many people believe that, while this may be good for women as income earners, it bodes ill for their marital prospects.

如今几乎60%的学士学位、超过一半的硕士和博士学位是由女性获得的。很多人相信尽管这也许能帮助女性多赚取些收入,但对他们的婚姻前景却不妙。
 


As Kate Bolick wrote in a much-discussed article in The Atlantic last fall, American women face "a radically shrinking pool of what are traditionally considered to be 'marriageable' men — those who are better educated and earn more than they do." Educated women worry that they are scaring away potential partners, and pundits claim that those who do marry will end up with unsatisfactory matches. They point to outdated studies suggesting that women with higher earnings than their husbands do more housework to compensate for the threat to their mates' egos, and men who earn less than their wives are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction.

正如凯特·鲍力克去年秋季发表在《大西洋月刊》上一篇广为讨论的文章中写道的那样,美国女性“正面临着传统上适婚男性急剧减少的状况。这些男性受到的教育良好,而且赚得也多。受过良好教育的女性担心他们会让潜在的伴侣望而却步,专家声称最终那些结婚的人婚姻都不尽人意。他们暗示过去的研究显示 收入比丈夫高的女性做的家务多,这样可以弥补对男性伴侣自尊的威胁,而且收入比妻子地低的男性更有可能患勃起功能障碍。


Is this really the fate facing educated heterosexual women: either no marriage at all or a marriage with more housework and less sex? Nonsense. That may have been the case in the past, but no longer. For a woman seeking a satisfying relationship as well as a secure economic future, there has never been a better time to be or become highly educated.

要么不碰婚姻,要么就是婚后家务不断、且鲜有性生活,女异性恋者的命运就该如此吗?胡扯。过去也许是这样,现在变了。女性想要有个满意的伴侣和稳定的经济未来,没有比提高教育水平更好了。

For more than a century, women often were forced to choose between an education and a husband. Of women who graduated from college before 1900, more than three-quarters remained single. As late as 1950, one-third of white female college graduates ages 55 to 59 had never married, compared with only 7 percent of their counterparts without college degrees.

一个多世纪以来,女性通常不得不在教育和丈夫之间做出选择。1900年前,女大学生中超过3/4 的人单身。1950年时,年龄在55至59之间的有1/3拥有大学学历的白人女性从未嫁人,相比没有大学学历的对照组,这一比例仅占7%。

Some of these women chose to stay single, of course, and that choice has always been easier and more rewarding for educated women. But the low marriage rates of educated women in the past were also because of the romantic and sexual prejudices of men. One physician explained the problem in Popular Science Monthly in 1905: An educated woman developed a "self-assertive, independent character" that made it "impossible to love, honor and obey" as a real wife should. He warned that as more middle-class women attended college, middle-class men would look to the lower classes to find uneducated wives.

其中有些女性选择单身,当然,这个选择对受过良好教育的女性是容易做的、也是值得的。但是过去受过良好教育的女性结婚率低也是由于男性的浪漫和性别偏见。一位内科医生在1905年的《大众科学期刊》上这样解释这个问题:受过良好教育的女性形成了“自信、独立的品质”,这样她们就没有了现实生活中妻子应有的热爱、尊重和服从的性格。他警告到:越来越多的中产阶级女性去念大学后,中产阶级男性将向更低的阶级去寻找那些没受过教育的人做老婆。

That is exactly what happened in the mid-20th century. From 1940 to the mid-1970s, the tendency for men to marry down educationally became more pronounced and the cultural ideal of hypergamy — that women must marry up — became more insistent.

20世纪中叶的情况就是如此。从1940年至20世纪70年代,男性娶的女性受教育的水平没自己高的现象比较普遍,高攀(女性嫁给比自己好的男性)的文化理想也是一贯坚持的。

Postwar dating manuals advised women to "play dumb" to catch a man — and 40 percent of college women in one survey said they actually did so. As one guidebook put it: "Warning! ... Be careful not to seem smarter than your man." If you hide your intelligence, another promised, "you'll soon become the little woman to be pooh-poohed, patronized and wed."

二战后的约会指南建议女性,要抓住男人的心,女人得“装傻充愣”,在一份调查中,40%的大学女性称他们就是这样做的。一本手册如此建议:“当心!...... 别让自己看上去比你的男人聪明。” 如果能隐藏你的智慧,“很快你就会变成小女人,被男人怜爱和保护,并步入婚姻。”

Insulting as it may have been, such advice was largely sound. Studying national surveys on mate preferences, David M. Buss, a psychologist at the University of Texas, and his colleagues found that in 1956, education and intelligence were together ranked 11th among the things men sought in a mate. Much more important to them was finding a good cook and housekeeper who was refined, neat and had a pleasing disposition. By 1967, education and intelligence had moved up only one place, to No. 10, on men's wish lists.

尽管听起来不太顺耳,这些建议大体上还是正确的。研究全国的择偶喜好调查之后,得克萨斯大学的心理学家戴维·布斯和他的同事发现,1956年时,在男性寻求伴侣的品质中,教育和智力并列排名第11位。他们更想找的是找个好厨师和家庭主妇,她得待人礼貌、举止高雅、心情开朗。 1967年时,男士的意向榜单上,教育和智力支上升了1位,排到第10位。

Men in the postwar period were threatened by the thought of a woman with more or even as much education as they had. One man who taught at a women's college in the 1950s told me his colleagues used to joke that once they knew a woman had earned a Ph.D., they didn't even need to ask what she had specialized in: clearly, it was in "Putting Hubby Down."

二战后,一想到有个女人的受到的教育比自己多,甚至一样多,男人就会觉得受到威胁了。20世纪50年代曾经在女子学院任教的一位男士告诉我说,知道一个女性有了博士学位之后,他们甚至不会问她从事什么专业研究,就开玩笑地说专业是“把相公比下去。”

But over the past 30 years, these prejudices have largely disappeared. By 1996, intelligence and education had moved up to No. 5 on men's ranking of desirable qualities in a mate. The desire for a good cook and housekeeper had dropped to 14th place, near the bottom of the 18-point scale. The sociologist Christine B. Whelan reports that by 2008, men's interest in a woman's education and intelligence had risen to No. 4, just after mutual attraction, dependable character and emotional stability.

30多年过去了,这些偏见大部分已经不复存在了。1996年时,智力和教育状况已经上升到男人寻求伴侣理想的品质排名的第5 位。找一位厨师和家庭主妇已经降到第14位,接近一共18个排名的底部了。社会学家克里斯汀·威尔兰(Christine B. Whelan)称,2008年时男性对女性的教育和智力状况的兴趣已经上升到第4位了,仅次于彼此的吸引、可靠的品质和稳定的情感。

The result has been a historic reversal of what the economist Elaina Rose calls the "success" penalty for educated women. By 2008, the percentage of college-educated white women ages 55 to 59 who had never been married was down to 9 percent, just 3 points higher than their counterparts without college degrees. And among women 35 to 39, there was no longer any difference in the percentage who were married.

这个结果是对经济学家埃莱纳·罗斯称为受过良好教育女性的“成功”惩罚的历史性颠覆。截止到2008年,55岁至59岁的始终未婚的受过大学教育的白人女性比率已经下降到9%,只比没有大学学位的白人女性高3个点。而且,对于35岁至39岁的女性来说,有没有受过大学教育不再有区别。


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