Kay Hymowitz Warns That Increased Female Educational Attainment Will Lead To Spinster Surge

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"Kay Hymowitz Warns That Increased Female Educational Attainment Will Lead To Spinster Surge"

Truly, there’s no stranger beast on the planet than the professional anti-feminist. Different from the man with somewhat misogynistic attitudes, this creature is almost invariably a woman and oftentimes seems to me to be deliberately offering nonsensical arguments in order to stir the pot. For example, Kay Hymowitz in the Daily Caller argues that it’s bad that female educational attainment has risen since it will lead to a plague of college-educated spinsters. You get several hundred words of throat-clearing before she offers her key argument:

Still, the biggest reason we probably won’t see a lot more college-educated women walking down the aisle with their plumber is one we don’t like to say out loud: they want to have smart kids. Educated men and women are drawn to spouses they think will help them produce the children likely to thrive in the contemporary knowledge-based economy. That means high IQ, ambitious, and organized kids who will do their homework and take a lot of AP courses. The preference for alpha kids is the reason there is a luxury market for Ivy League egg and sperm donors. It also explains why, though we don’t have solid research distinguishing between elite and State U mating choices, Ms. Harvard will probably not accept a proposal from Mr. Florida State. The economist Greg Mankiw has quipped that “Harvard is probably the world’s most elite dating agency.” A glance at the New York Times nuptial pages suggests he’s right.

Not only does the conclusion here not fit the premise, the argument points in the opposite direction. Colleges aren’t genetic engineering facilities. Women may well be motivated to enter into relationships with men who have “smart genes” but shifts in the relative share of the population who go to college don’t change the underlying genetic factors. If the median man doesn’t go to college and the median woman does, but Median Man still wants to signal to Median Woman that he’s smarter than Twentieth Percentile Man he’ll just have to find some other way of doing so. Given that Median Woman is unlikely to marry anyone sight unseen irrespective of where he went to college, Median Man ought to have ample opportunity to achieve this by (for example) engaging Median Woman in conversation.

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