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Women college graduates marry later (1922)

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Women college graduates marry later than any other class

If higher education of women keeps the best the the best and most intellectual women unmarried, then it would be disastrous to the race, says Dr C A Ellwood in book on modern social problems.

When girls first began to go to college, a large percent of them never married, but this is attributed to the fact that it was the unusual girl, not the ordinary one, who went to college. The college girl in those days was usually particularly talented or gifted, and she was interested in one particular branch of training, and would probably not have married anyhow.

Now the girl who goes to college usually goes not to become proficient in some particular field, but just to get a general education.

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Statistics from a small eastern school for girls show that thirteen out of twenty three graduates from 1870 to 1879 were married; thirty three out of forty three from 1880 to 1889; eighty out of a hundred and thirty-two from 1890 to 1899; a hundred and three out of two hundred from 1900 to 1910; and ten out of fifteen from 1910 to 1912.

It has been said that if Harvard University had to depend on the children of its graduates for its students, its attendance would be greatly decreased.

It is not true, however, Dr Ellwood says, that college graduates have a lower birth rate than the economic classes with whom they associate. In fact, the wealthy uneducated classes have fewer children than the educated who associate with them. What lowers the birth rate among the educated is not education, but their standards of living and the luxury in which they live.

According to information from the office of the alumni recorder of the University of Missouri, a large percent of the women graduates of the University marry, but the age at which they marry is much higher than that of women who are not college graduates.

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Statistics compiled ten years ago indicate that 36 percent of women college graduates of the United State marry. Later statistics show that the percentage is growing higher all the time. Doctor Ellwood suggests that perhaps it is the fact that neither men nor women are yet accustomed to higher education of women that keeps college women single, and when it becomes more common it will not prevent them from marrying.

Although there are no statistics available in regard to divorce among graduates of the University of Missouri, it is known that they are few. As a rule, divorces are fewer among educated than uneducated classes. Figures compiled in several states show that actors, barbers and hairdressers get more divorces than do people in other professions or trades.

 

Top photo: Five women at American University Graduation, Washington DC (1924), courtesy LOC

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