For the love of income Inequality: When the ONE you love makes more than you

June 16, 2016

It’s an age old story, boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy marries girl, girl makes significantly more money than boy….wait….that’s not how the story goes. There is a significant misogynistic / patriarchal dynamic in western culture where males are responsible for caring for females. This generally entails being the head of household and being the primary bread winner for a family. However, that dynamic is quickly shifting. The number of women out earning their male spouses is rising. This shift is due to shift in education levels of women. According to a study conducted in 2014, 24% of married working women earned more than their husbands, which is a stark increase from the 7% of women in the 70’s. In 1987 the numbers increased to 18%, where women were the primary breadwinners in a house hold where both spouses worked.

While this income inequality among spouses is not a new concept, as men typically make more than their female spouses. As the tides turn, additional issues are arising with it. This new income inequality is causing tension in marriages as some individuals feel that the one who brings home the most money is the one with all of the power, and the other spouses feelings and needs are not being met. A study conducted on 4,000 married couples in 2013, found that there was a direct correlation with women’s earnings and divorce rates. The same study also found a correlation with a gap in housework. Suggesting that when the woman is the primary bread winner the husband is not pitching in to pick up the slack at home.

The question becomes, why are men so afraid of women earning more?

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