We've seen this discussed before here:  the idea that too many males today grow up too slowly, move out too slowly, commit too slowly, etc.  (Can't think of good keywords or I'd link to the previous discussion.)

Princeton alumna Sue Patton cause a storm recently when she advised Princeton coeds:  get your M.R.S. while you're here -- it's important who you marry, and where else will you find so many men that are your intellectual equals?

What interests me about another's take ( http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/04/04/whom-to-marry-is-most-imp... ) -- is her cause for disagreeing about the college venue:  that college men used to be men, but now aren't mature enough to be good prospects.  I do know that my college students refer to "the kids in class," but never "that man in class" unless it's a nontraditional student.

What do you think?  Are the odds (for a woman) good in college, but the goods too odd?  Anything else about the article strike you?  What should a young woman -- or a young man -- do?  When you were in college, was it like that?

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There were boys there in my undergrad days, and there were men. Even in the Corps of Cadets there were boys in uniform and there were young men trying to become better men.

I personally think that it is a fantasy that makes it seem like all the students are just kids in some bad Judd Apatow movie. They are younger sure, but there are plenty there that are focused just as there are plenty that are slugs.


A good woman can still get herself a very qualified M.R.S. degree, she just has to work at it as hard as someone getting a regular degree. Make sure it is a qualified one with a future and not a shiney one that makes her giggle.

You (they, these ladies) can focus on your studies and the self improvement that college is supposedly there to provide rather than your social life/who to have sex with/getting hitched. 

 But that's just crazy me talking. If the Women of our society has their romantic lives as a predominant concern during their time at university, that pretty well plays into some pretty misogynist ideas that are vehemently decried as horrible when articulated outwardly. 

 Plus, it is absolutely ridiculous to expect a 20 year old to have even a remote, distant idea of what she/he/it needs for a life partner. Almost as silly as expecting them to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives in terms of a career path. 

Why can't you have it all?

I have been told that getting into to college used to be the exception, not the norm.  Today it seems nearly as expected as the high school diploma (I really should invest the time into looking up the numbers but sadly that is time I don't have. If anyone cam bail me out here I'd appreciate it.)

I suspect that if the above is true, then exceptional men did do the exceptional thing of attending college. Flip that coin over and today there is nothing more special about the college boy than there is about any other high school grad.

What troubles me here is the notion that maturity and/or success is synonymous with college therefor non-college people are somehow deficient. Honestly I thing that is a big mistake and is causing trouble for our country (speaking from the USA here) let alone individuals.

What troubles me here is the notion that maturity and/or success is synonymous with college therefor non-college people are somehow deficient. Honestly I thing that is a big mistake and is causing trouble for our country (speaking from the USA here) let alone individuals.

I'm a high school dropout with a G.E.D. 

 My secretary has a degree in English. 

I have been told that getting into to college used to be the exception, not the norm.  Today it seems nearly as expected as the high school diploma (I really should invest the time into looking up the numbers but sadly that is time I don't have. If anyone cam bail me out here I'd appreciate it.)

That is correct. In the USA, France, and a number of other "western" countries, something like 60% of high school graduates go to college, versus the longer-term norm, still true in a few countries, of 25%.

Because admissions policies are based on personal profile, not test scores, and grade inflation has made average GPAs high, entrance to colleges, even and especially the "most selective", not particularly competitive. You get into certain schools through connections, not necessarily brains.

But this is true of the females as well. They too get in for factors other than merit--including their own gender.

On the Fox piece: IME, Young adults are ready for marriage when they're raised to be ready, and resolve to be ready; it's all a matter of conditioning. Though my parents married more or less straight out of college, I didn't feel that was the expected timeline for me growing up. Indeed, family history has it even my mother got "I thought you were going to medical school" when my parents got engaged; a professional career (or professional school) was seen as incompatible with marriage right after college. I'd say the Fox author is directing her piece to the wrong demographic. Rather than encourage young adults to mature faster, she should encourage parents to parent faster, so to speak. Having gone off to college with one professional+romantic timeline in mind, there wasn't much I could do once at college to speed it up. It takes good parenting and/or life experience to mature.

On the original Princeton Mom piece: Most striking to me is the idea of marrying an intellectual equal or better, I guess particularly the "or better" part. So obviously old-fashioned. I don't know if it's wrong. I'm not even sure what it means. I think it's also rather pessimistic regarding the networking skills of Princeton alumnae. They won't work in interesting industries with intelligent, non-Princeton men? Won't find intelligent friends? It strikes me as both elitist and inferior at the same time. "Only a Princeton man will do for a Princeton woman," but "A Princeton woman won't be able to 'score' a Harvard Law grad."

On both, what's being done to make college grads financially ready to marry? There's maturity issues, yes, but there's plain making-rent-on-a-studio-apartment issues, too.

Are the odds (for a woman) good in college

As feminist Sonia Johnson said after splitting with her domestic partner: "Coupling up is a man's idea".

One of the few things feminism ever got right is that women crave autonomy just like men do, but even they understated it: women crave it far more than men do. Some women fear abandonment, but most seem to fear losing their personal freedom. In the Matriarchy Belt of Africa, women live with their dependent children and no one else. Polls in feminist magazines like Ms. seem to indicate that most lesbians live alone and maintain separate residences even when they have a long-term relationship.

In highly patriarchal agrarian civilizations, people live in extended families.

I would guess that Sonia Johnson is correct about whose idea marriage and "couplehood" is. I would also therefor wager than any young woman looking for a husband in college will have her pick of offers, even though college women outnumber college men. There's no competition because most of the women aren't looking and are not interested.

, but the goods too odd?

Perhaps, but it goes both ways. It's generational more than gender. Young women find it easier to find jobs, but that's largely due to the pink-collar nature of the post-industrial economy. But top earners are overwhelmingly male. The politically-correct party line is that executive women have more familial responsibilities. That is nonsense: at executive level they have nannies. For that matter, Lee Iacocca somehow managed to raise his kids as a widower.

My perspective on this is somewhat different, because I graduated from a small Christian college where most of the students were raised to eschew partying and sleeping around and to put high value on pursuing responsibility, career success, and marriage at a comparatively early age. So this may not hold true at, say, your average state university.

With that being said, my experience is actually the opposite of what you've described. What I observed is that the most responsible, mature men I knew on campus have actually been some of the LAST ones to find a lady friend and tie the knot. I think of one young man in particular who is probably just about the best "catch" for a woman I have ever met in my life - caring and compassionate, responsible, very well off (thanks to his engineering degree), good looking, a great conversationalist, a sincere believer who is active in his church... the list goes on. I've watched dozens of less responsible, less socially adept, and even less good looking men have no trouble finding a girlfriend and eventually settling down. This guy, despite wanting to be married and making efforts in that direction, doesn't seem to generate a whole lot of interest on the dating front. He's just one example, but he's part of a larger trend - the men I looked up to most in my college years have proved to be the last ones to get married.

Anybody notice anything similar? Or is there perhaps an explanation here I'm missing? I'd love to hear perspectives.

I've had a similar life experience.  I'm that guy that every married woman recognized as a great catch and couldn't understand why my only experience with women has been rejection.  At age 30, I have yet to meet my first.  Oh well.  Nobody ever said life was fair.

When I was in college I was nowhere near mature enough to know what the hell I wanted or who, and every guy I knew was the same.  I'm nearly 27 now and I still feel like that, so yeah I'd say that a woman looking for her husband in college is a bit naive.


That being said, a Princeton graduate is usually set for life from what I hear so I guess those gals could do worse...

I was a non-traditional student with 14 years Navy experience behind me.  Most of the male students I went to class with were fairly serious about their studies and had at least some idea of what they wanted to do; as a matter of fact all of my friends were quite serious about school.  However, having said that they also knew that until they graduated and held a job for a while they were not going to get or even think about marriage.  The one friend who did get married was a non-traditional student.  There were, however, many young men who really had no idea of what they wanted to do and were pretty much there to party all the time.  These were the students in less rigourous majors.

I think both men and women in college should look around, get to know a wide variety of people so they can learn what type of person they like to be around, not necessarily to shop for a spouse but should that happen then so be it.


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