Study: When Men and Women Differ on Marriage

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Monica Gabriel Marshall
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Art Credit: Taylor McCutchan

What happens when men are less interested than women in pursuing marriage? The Austin Institute considers this increasingly asked question in their latest video, "The Economics of Sex." The answer: Men today have the upper hand in romantic relationships, and it’s resulting in fewer marriages.

While the Austin Institute pins the declining male interest in marriage largely on the invention of the birth-control pill, which revolutionized how our culture approaches sex and marriage, we could just as well add to the mix a shift in career prioritization, higher and higher education, and perspectives on marriage from one's family of origin, to name a few.

But do women really want marriage more than men? According to the Pew Research Center, greater numbers of both men and women say that “having a successful marriage” and “being a good parent” are very important, more so than having a successful career. Yet the value young women place on marriage has increased by 32 percent since 1997, while the value men place on marriage has dropped by 17 percent.

At the very least, those ladies who want to get married have our work cut out for us. It's our job to make sure we express our views on marriage with our significant others, just like we should all our needs and wants. On a human level, communication is key to bridging the divide.

Plus, not all men are commitment-averse. If they were, would we be seeing man-gagement rings?