The Rise in Working Mothers, the Crippling of the Working Dad


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Men are not the primary bread winners in more and more homes. The effects on them may be devastating emotionally, but the recession turned a centuries-old trend against them.

New Pew Research data on breadwinner moms show:

A record 40% of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The share was just 11% in 1960.

These “breadwinner moms” are made up of two very different groups: 5.1 million (37%) are married mothers who have a higher income than their husbands, and 8.6 million (63%) are single mothers.

These single mothers may not hurt the pride of men as much as when those men live in a household in which their wives make more.

Men, at least those who want to live well, should be glad that their wives have jobs, particularly if these couples have children.

The income gap between the two groups is quite large. The median total family income of married mothers who earn more than their husbands was nearly $80,000 in 2011, well above the national median of $57,100 for all families with children, and nearly four times the $23,000 median for families led by a single mother.

The explanation for the trend, at least in part, is one that has been described frequently. It is driven by the increasing presence of women in college.

Even though a majority of spouses have a similar educational background, the share of couples in which the mother has attained a higher education than her spouse has gone up from 7% in 1960 to 23% in 2011. In two-parent families today, 61% have a mother whose education level is similar to her husband’s, 23% have a mother who is better educated than her husband, and 16% have a father who is better educated than his wife.

More men are dumb, and it has cost them.

Douglas A. McIntyre

Read more: The Rise in Working Mothers, the Crippling of the Working Dad – 24/7 Wall St.

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