Marriage increasingly between intellectual equals

A US author has claimed that students should look for the person who will become their eventual husband or wife whilst at university to avoid income inequality further down the line, bbc.co.uk reports.      

‘Marry Smart’, which has generated a great deal of interest since publication, has raised the idea of so-called “graduate weddings”, where couples end up tying the knot shortly after collecting their mortarboards, gowns and certificates. In it, author Susan Patton argues that couples should get together when still at uni then marry shortly afterward for the best chance of success. 

Patton’s perspective aligns with that of “assortive mating”, which has been a growing trend since the 1960s. Back then, people were much more likely to marry across intellectual borders, so a graduate would have happily tied the knot with someone who dropped out of school at the earliest opportunity.

In the years to 2005, meanwhile, assortive mating was on the rise, which saw individuals seek out couples on the basis of one key trait. Often this was intellect, meaning that people were less likely to marry across educational divides, brooklynpaper.com notes.

With this in mind, Patton argued that assortive mating should continue in order for couples to be equal not only in mental stimulus but also earning potential. If her words are heeded, they could see many more weddings shared between couples of near-identical levels of intellect.

Patton isn’t without her critics, however. In fact, many of those have taken to newspapers and magazines across the US, with some even going so far as to call her “the most hated author in America”.

Whilst it’s not yet possible to see whether Patton is, in fact, right or wrong. Figures collected over the coming decades – with the benefit of hindsight – should give an ample indication.