When dating prospects look bleak, women focus on their careers, new U of M study finds
Says a coauthor: "Modern women are increasingly forced to make tough choices such as choosing briefcase over baby."
A new study coauthored by two University of Minnesota scholars finds that straight women devote more time and energy to their careers when they aren't focused on dating.
The career-over-dudes phenomenon manifests itself in two ways, researchers found: For all women, when dating prospects look bleak; and at all times, for women who have low self-esteem and don't view themselves as desirable to men.
It's an interesting finding, if not all that surprising. After all, the other obvious alternative for sexually frustrated ladies is to simply try harder at dating -- and we all know that can lead down some dark, regrettable roads.
Said coauthor Kristina Durante: "Most women don't realize it, but an important factor in a woman's career choice is how easy or difficult it is to find a husband. When a woman's dating prospects look bleak -- as is the case when there are few available men -- she is much more likely to delay starting a family and instead seek a career."
Researchers examined the ratio of single men to single women in each state. They found a correlation between the scarcity of bachelors and the percentage of women in high-paying careers. Women in states with fewer bachelors tend to delay having children and have fewer kids if and when they finally decide to start a family.
In another component of the study, researchers divided female college coeds into two groups. They showed one group a fictitious news article suggesting that there are lots of men on campus. The other group was given a different article suggesting that the student population is dominated by ladies. When women read that there are relatively few men on campus, they became more motivated to pursue ambitious careers.
Said coauthor Vlad Griskevicius:
Yeah, Britney probably should've stayed focused on her career.
A scarcity of men leads women to invest in their careers because they realize it will be difficult to settle down and start a family. In fact, the strongest effects were found for women who are least likely to secure a mate.
Women who judged themselves to be less desirable to men -- those who are not like Angelina Jolie -- were most likely to take the career path when men became scarce.
I got news for you, ladies -- it's a two-way street. After all, I could be perusing OkCupid right now, but instead, disillusioned with my dating prospects, here I am, putting together this blog post. What's that, you think I'm bitter? Call it what you want. For me, it's all about staying focused on my career -- at least until my Angelina Jolie appears on the scene. If and when that happens, I'll happily let my professional ambitions dissipate and become a stay-at-home dad.
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