A good man is hard to find, but finding one with a decent education to start a family with is proving even harder.
You’ve got it all: a brilliant career, radiant health, and a grounded outlook on life. The only thing missing, it would seem, is a great man.
But before you throw us into the guilty feminist camp – we know the above statement is fairly loaded – hear us out.
According to research from Yale University, more and more young women are now opting to have their eggs frozen because of a lack of suitable men to marry – and by suitable we mean men with at least a comparable level of education to ours.
Not too much to ask given we’ve slogged away for years developing our intellect so we can shine as much as our male counterparts. But in what would appear a cruel twist of patriarchal fate, the number of brainy- and available – men are dropping.
To make matters worse, the study found the “man deficit” was worse in countries where more women went to university.
Egg storage for in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
The research was carried on 150 women, mainly in their 30s and 40s, who had chosen to have their eggs frozen.
Nearly all who were interviewed at IVF clinics in Israel and the US were university educated. Of those taking part, 90 per cent said they had struggled to find an educated man to start a family with.
Author Professor Marcia Inhorn said the research challenged perceptions women were putting off having a baby, in order to develop in their careers.
“Extensive media coverage suggests that educational and career ambitions are the main determinants of professional women’s fertility postponement, especially as they ‘lean in’ to their careers,” she said.
“Rather, they were desperately preserving their fertility beyond the natural end of their reproductive lives, because they were single without partners to marry.”
On top of that, Professor Inhorn added, it’s a losing game for women who have their hearts set on procreating with well-educated men, as there were “not enough graduates for them”.
“There is a major gap – they are literally missing men. There are not enough college graduates for them. In simple terms, this is about an oversupply of educated women.”
It’s data that may well apply in New Zealand too.
Figures from our last national census revealed more women than men had a postgraduate degree, and that overall the percentage of women with qualifications was higher.
Although the findings point to certain challenges, Professor Inhorn suggests considering a compromise.
“Maybe women need to be prepared to be more open to the idea of a relationship with someone not as educated. But also may be we need to be doing something about our boys and young men to get them off to a better start.”