What women REALLY want: To marry a rich man and stay at home with the children
By Liz Hull
Last updated at 7:49 AM on 10th January 2011
Return of the housewife? A new survey suggests most women would prefer to be at home with the children
Most women still prefer to marry a man who earns more money than they do and would stay at home with their children if they could afford it, according to a survey published yesterday.
Despite years of equality campaigning and advances for women in the workplace, 64 per cent said they aspire to find a husband who brings home a larger pay packet than they do. None wanted to marry a man who earned less. And 69 per cent said they would prefer to stay at home to look after their children if money were not an issue.
Only 19 per cent wanted their other half to be better educated than they are. Instead 62 per cent said they wanted a man to have the same level of intellect. Thirty-one per cent thought they were better educated than their other halves, while 19 per cent thought their husbands were better educated.
The survey follows controversial research published last week by Dr Catherine Hakim of the London School of Economics, which claimed more women are choosing to ‘marry up’ by picking wealthy men for their spouse than in the 1940s. In her report, published by the Centre for Policy Studies think-tank, she said men dominate the top positions because women do not want careers in business.
She also criticised David Cameron for backing the idea of quotas to ensure that leading companies appointed more women to their boards. The research, which drew on existing data from Britain and Spain, showed that 20 per cent of British women married husbands with a significantly better education than their own in 1949.
By the 1990s, the percentage of women deciding to ‘marry up’ had climbed to 38 per cent – with a similar pattern repeated in the rest of Europe, the U.S. and Australia.
The report concluded that equal roles in the family, where husband and wife shared employment, childcare and housework, was ‘not the ideal sought by most couples’. Now a YouGov survey of 922 women, aged between 18 and 65, which was conducted for the Sunday Times last week, has backed Dr Hakim’s claims.