There's a bit of a brouhaha on the Internet over an article published on Forbes' website. The article was originally published on August 22. The following day, Forbes took the article down. A few hours later, the article was back up on the site, but this time right alongside an article with an opposing viewpoint.
What was all the fuss about? Well, the article in question, written by Forbes news editor Michael Noer, is titled "Don't Marry Career Women". That should explain it all. Right? But wait, there's more. The title is merely the tip of the iceberg. The article itself — in which rocky marriages, husbands' ill-health, dirty houses, dysfunctional kids, divorces, extra-marital affairs and lower rates of childbirth are all blamed on working women — is priceless.
In support of his assertion that men should not marry working women, Noer quotes many "studies." However, in many instances, the author's paraphrasing of the studies, or the quotes he uses, talk about "individuals," "spouse," "people," and not about women specifically. Here are a few examples that Noer ropes in to argue that career women are more likely to cheat and run away with someone:
- When your spouse works outside the home, chances increase they'll meet someone they like more than you.
- According to a wide-ranging review of the published literature, highly educated people are more likely to have had extra-marital sex (those with graduate degrees are 1.75 more likely to have cheated than those with high school diplomas). Additionally, individuals who earn more than $30,000 a year are more likely to cheat.
- "I also find that the incidence in divorce is far higher in couples where both spouses are working than in couples where only one spouse is employed," Johnson [who "examined data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation"] says.
It is baffling that the author relies on these statements to conclude that only working women cheat, run off, have extra-marital sex and are responsible for the rise in divorce rates. In a similar vein, Noer makes an argument about "labor specialization" - if both spouses work, the household suffers. Again, the argument should not and does not translate to mean that women should stay home.