Coffee Reads of the Week – today’s women on marriage, family and economy


Some of the articles I enjoyed reading over the net are worth sharing, too. Check out my weekly posts via the Coffee Reads series. I’ve got my google reader to back me up so do also check out my shared reads. Enjoy!

Three special topics focusing on women featured in NYTimes.com’s segment, “Room for Debate: A Running Commentary on the News.” Here are some interesting tidbits.

Oh, and to all my fellow females, Happy Women’s Day! As what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon remarks, “For this International Women’s Day, let us pledge our renewed determination for a future of equal rights, equal opportunities and progress for all.

For Women, Redefining Marriage Material
“In this new model, which I have called “hedonic marriage,” couples who have similar preferences and desires for balancing work, fun, and family are well-suited. This new model of marriage thrives when households have the resources to enjoy their lives.” – Betsey Stevenson

“The best predictors of a man’s marital satisfaction are how much sex he gets and how little criticism he gets. And numerous studies show that women feel more intimacy and more sexual attraction toward — and are less critical of — husbands who participate in childcare and housework.” – Stephanie Coontz

Miranda and Steve from Sex and the City

Alpha Wives: The Trend and the Truth
“More educated women are healthier, live longer, have healthier children, more stable marriages and higher incomes. Wives with more education and employment opportunities have greater bargaining power in the home (yes, men are doing a lot more at home). In the first half of the previous century women were more educated than were men but they did not have equality in the marketplace. Now they have both (or nearly so). Hurrah.” – Claudia Goldin

“Initially, we will see some husbands with bruised egos, some wives who are anxious about their new status, and some marriages that cannot survive the reversal of roles. But the adjustment is likely to be easier and quicker than you might think.

The result will be marriages in which wives and husbands share decision-making power rather than ones in which wives dominate. To be sure, our marriage culture needs to catch up to this change, but most men will eventually adapt to families in which father and mother jointly know best.” – Andrew J. Cherlin

“Our now dominant model of marriage makes a priority of friendship, intimacy and a more equal exchange of domestic labor and, crucially, respect. Research indicates that equality in a number of areas is associated with today’s successful relationships: background, social class and educational level among them. Respect for each other easily flows when these things roughly match.

As the powerful woman becomes more common, she may be alluring to some men, but to other men this is a problem if it leads to an inequality of respect. Indeed, the decline in the number of marriages in some countries, the still high number of divorces, and the acceptability of serial cohabitations and singlehood (to a lesser extent, as both sexes still wish for committed relationships) have arisen in part because these can seem better choices for some women than picking men for whom respect will erode.” – Janet Reibstein

A New Trend in Motherhood
“A tremendous change is occurring. It used to be that the family created one or more children; today it is the child who creates the family. It’s by the arrival of a child that adults find themselves in familial roles. Furthermore, the product of a couple has become more important than the couple itself, which is weakened by contrast.” – Corinne Maier

“Western societies’ lengthy economic prosperity has brought about a scenario in which men and women alike are losing the motivation to marry. To many it just doesn’t make sense anymore. Only cultural motivations seem to resonate, and those only modestly.” – Mark Regnerus

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