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The Good And Bad News For Women

This week Time Magazine’s cover story is called “What Women Want Now”. They profile both statistical differences and changes in women’s attitudes since they last did a study in the early 1970’s. The statistical changes over the last 30 years are quite interesting:

• In 1972 36.2% of the workforce was comprised of women. Today it is 49.8%
• In 1972 women made 58 cents for every dollar a man made. Today they make 77 cents.
• In 1972 the median age a woman married was 21. Today it is 26.
• In 1972 12% of births were to unmarried mothers. Today it is 39%. (Must have been that Murphy Brown episode!)
• In 1972 43% of college students were women, as opposed to 57% today.
• In 1972 there were 900,000 couples in the US in which the woman was the sole earner. Today there are 3.3 million.
• In 1970 3% of lawyers were women, as compared to 32% today.
• In 1970 8% of doctors were women, as compared to 28% today.
• In 1971 there were no women FBI agents. Today there are 2396.
• There were also no women governors. Today there are 6.
• There were no women cabinet members. Today there are 7.
• A fact that surprised me. Since 1972 the rate of divorce has declined from 4.1 per 1000 population, to 3.5.
• A woman’s average lifespan has increased more than five years in the last 29 years.
• 70% of women say they are less financially dependent on their spouse than their mother was.

I was equally surprised to see how much men and women agree on many major issues. An identical percentage, 66%, describe their marriage as “very happy”, and at the opposite end of the spectrum 1% both describe their marriages as “not happy at all”.

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