The Marriage Crunch


Program Description:

Twenty years ago, Newsweek ran a cover story called "The Marriage Crunch," predicting that a white, educated woman who hadn't married by age 40 would have a better chance of being killed by a terrorist than getting hitched. Although the news magazine recently acknowledged that prediction was wrong, Newsweek is still missing the point, says Jean Elson. True, older, educated white women have been marrying in large numbers, but poor women haven't, and their inability to find a job that pays enough to support themselves and their children creates what Elson calls "a very real "marriage crunch." Marriage is both a cause and consequence of economic, cultural, and psychological stratification in American society. Twenty years after the Newsweek warning regarding the hyped "marriage crunch" among educated professional women, a very real "marriage crunch" jeopardizes poor women and their children. That is the story that deserves our attention.


Jean Elson

Jean Elson is a senior lecturer in the sociology department at the University of New Hampshire.

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