We Need to Talk About "Assortative Mating"

We Need to Talk About "Assortative Mating"

Assortative Mating: a form of nonrandom mating in which pair bonds are established on the basis of phenotype (observable characteristics). For example, a person may choose a mate according to religious, cultural, or ethnic preferences, professional interests, or physical traits.

Although this mytake is written with women in mind, I have no objection to men practicing this as well. In 2017 (soon to be 2018), it just makes common sense. In order to talk about assortative mating, we have to talk about why it is even necessary. Allow me to build the case for this dating/marriage practice.

What do we know about marriage right now? (sources included)

a) 50% of marriages end in divorce. Most of us will marry at some point but yet, a flip of a coin determines whether we stay together or not. It's a risky business.

b) Marriage, although there are some benefits, usually results in more expenses.Now keep in mind this is really an oversimplification here. Just know that a modern couple gets married with the goal of someday raising children. So they will usually end up, after 3ish years of marriage, moving into a larger home or condo, getting a family car, etc to prepare for such life events. Married couples without this goal tend to fare better in my opinion. And singles, especially financially conscious singles, fare very VERY well financially.

c) There is a decline in traditional marriages BUT what constitutes a family is expanding to include various forms of cohabitation.

d) Certain races marry less often. Yeah this is especially true for black women. If you're a racist, you believe black people are inherently immoral and just can't get their shit together. If you're not, you'd understand that marriage is slowly becoming an economic cost that only certain people can afford. As income inequality grows, we will see this marriage gap widen even further between racial demographics. And considering certain races cannot just marry into the dominant majority because of the perceived negatives of their race, the cycle of poverty continues. But I'll expound upon this further in a bit.

So that's just a few things about marriage in general - certain trends we have come to know to be true. Whether reading it online or watching this play out IRL, we understand less people are marrying and even less people are staying married.

We Need to Talk About "Assortative Mating"

How can we increase our chances of having long lasting marriages?

Change your priorities and what you look for. Gone are the days where you can just get married because he was nice and she seemed like a good mother. Women and men need more from their partners - our expectations have changed.

Both genders want to marry someone like themselves. They want to be with someone with similar taste in music, art, literature and achievement. This may sound petty until you realize we all want someone with a similar background because it implies we have a lot in common. This person understands us - if they grew up in the city like we did, it's likely we may both prefer to raise children there. If we both are college educated, there's a good chance we will strongly emphasize academic achievement in our family. These are very real and distinct differences that determine how successful a union will be.

We Need to Talk About "Assortative Mating"

(The former president is a classic example of assortative mating. Michelle was actually one of the most educated and successful First Ladies we have ever had in the White House. You can read about their story here.)

So why should you practice assortative mating?

If it wasn't already clear, I'll make it QUITE clear:

1. The cool kids are doing it anyway.

That's right folks. People are already pairing up, and not by random chance. Men and women with degrees tend to marry others with degrees like themselves. If you're a die hard romantic, this may be hard to hear. But no one is really marrying for love anymore - if that was the case, women would be marrying plumbers and baristas. But they aren't, are they? If this was true, men wouldn't prefer to date someone that would "fit into their circle." Read between the lines ladies - if you can't hang out socially with the elite, you may not have a fighting chance. He doesn't want someone in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant. Future hubby wants a woman to impress his buddies at work - beauty and brains, not one or the other.

2. It's the best way to concentrate wealth

Yup. Apparently, if men and women were randomly paired romantically, we would see income inequality drop (Gini coefficient) drop a bit. So it's definitely true that marrying someone within your income bracket will contribute to overall income inequality. Oh well.

And think about this logically - 2 incomes are better than one. If a female lawyer and a male engineer pair up, it's a decent living to raise a family with. Those two incomes can provide a decent living for 2 children, more so than a male engineer and a stay-at-home mother. Two incomes = more money = better living environment for children = children are likely to live better lives themselves.

3. It will increase your chances of a successful marriage, even if it's at the expense of the poor.

So here's some info: educated men and women get married later in life. But, they are more likely to stay married. Across the board, all races of men are much more likely to marry with a bachelor's degree or higher. In a very literal sense, uneducated men have very little dating marketability. Women with little education beyond a high school diploma fare okay though. But will you stay married? Not likely.

This is important for all marriages, but especially so for black men and women. In that same study, we find black marriages are less likely to occur, and more likely to divorce than their counterparts, disproportionately so. It appears that education most certainly matters for this specific race, increasing chances for marriage. But their marriages are more tumultuous, and they are less likely to remarry once divorced.

(Observation: The spurious variable seems to be financial stress. Black couples experience more financial stress which could contribute to overall ability to stay married and possibility of remarriage. Economic status might play a steep role in acquiring enough degrees to outweigh these issues - a BA might not be enough education. Something to consider.)

This issue is pretty nuanced but I can say there's enough evidence to suggest this is a VERY REAL trend and one we should take seriously. No more complaining about men/women not taking you seriously. You better get the degree and the high-earning job to get the mate you want. I wish things were different and everyone had a "fair short" but its not the case.

We Need to Talk About "Assortative Mating"

What are my recommendations?

1. Consider your education as a strong indicator of achievement.

Meaning, where did you go to college? Was it an Ivy League school? What degree did you earn? What is the entry level salary for your major? Consider this heavily because it matters. If you graduate by 22, and most marriages occur by 28-30, you may need to consider your economic status at that age. Will you be prepared to have a family with that income at your target age for marriage? Keep in mind there are always outliers - but you need to understand that you can only marry what you have access to. Education is only one barrier to entry in this regard.

2. If you are a minority, it is doubly important for you to integrate into the dominant society or be VERY picky who you date. Just be selective regardless.

People will hate on you for this, but you must consider it as an option. Black women specifically are more likely to marry below their income level/education level, keeping a cycle of poverty ongoing. You can't accumulate generational wealth when you are the primary breadwinner. I'm sorry, it just doesn't work. You need a partner on your level, especially if you plan on having a family.

3. Never apologize for your standards. Like I mentioned earlier, both men and women can take something from this mytake. You NEED standards. Don't listen to those complaining about what men/women they don't have access to. The reality is, the dating market is competitive and you are more likely to win with the right stats behind you. Your choice in partner matters.

What do you think? Feel free to comment.


2|1
417
JustAnotherGirlie is a GirlsAskGuys Editor
Who are Editors?

Most Helpful Guy

  • The marriage ended up in divorce data does not fit with the current model. Most of those data are from marriages during the 70s and 80s. That means those are your parents data.

    For millennials, the are less likely to marry but their marriages tend to be more stable.

    This tend to be correlated to the raise in women joining the workforce. Women with stable no longer need to be dependent on men so they take their time in looking for a partner.

    On the other hand, women without a stable income tend to have their marriage quicker but also have them fall apart quicker.

    On the other extreme, women who are too focused on success and work would be much less likely to marry.

    4|0
    0|0
    • Still, it boils down to the 3 property that women look for in men but never really admit it:

      Wealth
      Looks
      Intelligence

    • Ahh you’re right! That statistic isn’t specific to milennials (the youngest of which just turned 18 in 2014). So many of us haven’t even married yet. But apparently divorce rates for our generation are projected to be much lower than our parents! Thanks for calling me out on that.
      I think there’s definitely something to be said for women who feel like they have to choose between achievement and love. You can have both, women do it all the time.
      And women do look for those 3 things. But I think some are not as significant as men would make it seem. For instance. I didn’t advocate for hypergamy, I don’t think women should feel entitled to a man that’s above them. So as long as you aren’t with a masters degree pairing with a man with only a HS diploma, you should be fine. Women are slowly achieving more financial independence so there’s a lot less emphasis on wealth. And perhaps intelligence should be amended to *emotional intelligence

Most Helpful Girl

  • This is NOT how you become susccessful in a marriage or getting married. All the things your talking about is not important. What IS important is basically what you had stated in the very beginning: Religion, views, values, faith, belief, principals, morals, etc about love, sex, marriage, children, etc.

    Number 1: Young marriages are more beneficial and not getting money or an education before you marry.

    Number 2: Those who had premarital sex, premarital sex aa teenagers, and did cohabition have an increased risk of getting a divorce sometime in the future.

    Number 3: There is no such thing as race. And so-called race have nothing to do with marriage. But what does play a role is cultural expectations and attitudes towards love, sex and marriage. If a person have a very unhealthy view of either of those, they are twice as likely not to get married. And as long as person care about skin color, instead of if they personally are attracted to them or not, many are less like to get married because they are advised, and are often conditioned to hate a person with a darker toned skin. Social conditioning is what's hurting our society.

    The answer is simple from my personal experience. If you cannot find somebody who wants to marry. Let alone marry YOU, you can forget it. It's easy to have all of those things, but good luck [ don't believe in luck] in finding somebody who shares those simple goals. We don't need to make it anymore complicated than it already is. Yes, you want somebody on your level. But levels have 0 to do with personal education or money. It has to do with mentality.

    My parents had a flip flopped income level with my father making 6 figures and my mom barely making 5k. While they've talked abot divorce since the time of my birth, so have they've been married for 24 years. So that has nothing to do with it. But willingness to work TOGETHER. If your selfish, no matter what you got, it will always FAIL! Rich or poor, with and education or no education, divorce will happen if you don't understand the basics of marriage. It's not rocket science. It's that simple. Respect and love, honor who you chose as a spouse with obligation out of love, or you have no business getting married at all.

    1|0
    0|0
    • Lol race definitely does have a lot to do with eligibility of certain marriage partners. It’s cute that you’re “color blind” but society is not.
      Are you married? I’m curious because it seems you have a gross misunderstanding about what makes a marriage work. As I mentioned, commonality is important. And for many americans, your background financially and education wise will determine how much you have in common.

      Lol marriage isn’t about love. Many loves come in and out of our lives but we don’t marry them now do we? There’s a cost benefit analysis for every woman considering marriage. I actually imply this when I talk about the effect of assortative mating on income inequality. If everyone was only marrying for these cute intangibles (ie character, morals, beliefs, etc) more couples would be able to randomly pair up and be successful. But that’s not the case now is it? Don’t patronize men by implying otherwise - they know the truth

    • Show All
    • @PaulMarrow

      There are those who have a personal relationship and others who don't. God wants to talk to ALL of us. But if you personally don't want that, he won't bother you. End of story.

    • He's not going to waste his time on people who don't want to make the time for him.

Recommended myTakes

Join the discussion

What Guys Said 16

  • "Marriage isn't about love." Are you also one of those people who think that the only reason to have friends is for "networking"?

    I could spend the rest of the day shooting holes in what you've said here but I shouldn't need to, it should just be self-evident that this is no way to live. It's worrying that people actually think this way - the suicide rate is already high enough.

    1|2
    0|0
    • Lol no I don’t only have friends for “networking” purposes although they are your best referrals.

      I don’t get what is so offensive about saying “don’t marry for love.” The current definition of love that is popular is already not in line with what i believe to be true. Love ain’t a feeling, it’s a choice. There’s different types of love but in order to stay married, you have to choose to love them even when you don’t like them. And what happens when that choice is too burdensome or the circumstances aren’t what you agreed to? Divorce.

      No one marries every person they love either. We encounter many lovers but certain ones make it to the altar while others don’t. This romantic view of marriage (an institution) is childish. And I don’t blame men for getting angry about it - it’s a serious financial decision and it affects your mental health. it shouldn’t be taken lightly

  • wow this seems more like a contract than anything else i for one will only ever marry for love if ever whats the point of this crap its just reproduction this way where as if you pair up for love its not just reproduction its an actual relationship.

    1|1
    0|0
    • Marriage is legally and primarily a business partnership. The operating agreement of the partnership is defined by the state.

    • Show All
    • Well that’s what the goal of marriage is right? To build a family? You don’t get married bc you love someone, it’s way too expensive for that. Everyone has different reasons for getting married but the only justified reason is raising a nuclear family.

    • why would anyone want to do that? seems like they want to cause trouble for themselfs

  • So you put Mitchell Obama as a great example of marriage !!!
    That vile woman who shitted on men during the fathers day by saying : be better!!!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4PG-zPHx4E

    The only kind of husbands you women want is a cuck one !!!

    0|3
    4|0
  • All relationships need love, care and nourishment, including marriage. One can marry someone for a myriad reasons, but if love isn't one of those, then that relationship is bound to fail over time.
    Once the honeymoon period of 3-4 years calms down, you need a reason stronger than money, looks, security, family kids etc to keep the marriage together. And believe me or not, love is the only thread that keeps things together, when everything else is falling apart in your marriage.

    1|1
    0|0
  • I find her family background to be more important. Does she have a solid foundation of the concept of family. Because if she doesn't, can I really count on her to raise and nurture my family? Did she have positive male and female role models? Did she have a male role model at all? Education is becoming more and more of a joke these days, with every story about how colleges are bowing to violent leftists and banning conservatives on the threat of leftist violence. I couldn't give a damn about her going to a college run by cowed and cucked liberal administrations.

    1|1
    2|0
    • Uh you should care if she can pass college. Like I mentioned before 2 incomes are better than one. Unless she’s a female Marc Zuckerberg I’m pretty sure she’ll need some sort of education to make a decent living.
      On another note, family background is a so-so predictor. You have a very valid point here but plenty of individuals can overcome adversity or trauma from early childhood. I think the key is to know what you’re getting into long before marriage is in the works and to take active steps to get therapy beforehand. I’m all about preventative care and not damage control. It’s much easier to hash out your issues before you get married than have shtf when you have 2 kids and a 3rd on the way.

    • Show All
    • @PaulMarrow Noted. But my point stands. Family values > college.

    • Absolutely, college should be teaching about the world around us not teaching us how we should live in it. Colleges need to loose their power over students and become more like libraries. Professors should be forbidden from injecting their personal views into course material.

  • I don't really have anything against interracial dating, I just think people are more successful finding commonality with other people who share their background and culture. The cultural differences between black women and men of other races are usually too great to overcome. Just too many misunderstandings and a lack of mutual appreciation.

    And education is important, but honestly, most of the really highly educated women I've met have had miserable social skills. It's like they've put so much into their educational/career development that they've neglected the social realm.

    0|1
    1|0
    • Hmmm this is interesting. I mean as a black woman I find that culturally, I get along perfectly fine with Caucasian men. Some of them don’t think we would have anything in common and make the assumption that their lifestyle is different from mine. This is a valid view but as black people are not a monolith you’d be surprised the commonalities. There are American blacks, African blacks, Afro-Cubans, etc all with different cultural values. I say take it on a case by case basis, bc you never know.
      Women are funny in that they think you can’t have a good career and find a husband at the same time. I would say that also it depends on personality. Some women never learned how to date or are shy. So their career may be thriving but perhaps they never learned how to date - that’s actually more common in women than you would think.

    • Show All
    • I mean in defense, I was almost all the way through college (about to graduate) before realizing white men were actually interested in me? I just assumed they weren’t.

      And the white men I’ve met since kind of said similar things about not being “cool” enough or not having the appeal black women seem to want. But I think you should listen to black women when we say WE ARE TOLD WE DONT HAVE OPTIONS. We only see black men-white women pairings on television and in real life. And if no white men explicitly say “____ black woman is attractive) we just assume the interest isn’t there. A lot of this is media conditioning. And it goes really deep.

      Long story short. I think a lot more black women, if given the opportunity, might date you. I for one, didn’t even think it was an option until I sat with this white guy, and he was bold enough to hop on the opportunity. He’s an introverted nerd though, so I’d say it was a rare type of bravery. Even for him.

    • For me and a lot of other guys, though, I need to see that interest coming back at me from a girl. I hate feeling like a beggar, like I have to sell myself to a girl. I have things to offer, too. I have plenty of options, too. And with black girls, there's just no interest. I do understand that they think we're not interested, either, so it's an impasse. But in my experience, I think white guys will look hard at hot black girls. Black girls, though... I just don't think they think white guys are anything, even if we're athletes and have social skills or whatever. But I digress. I just think it's a barrier that's hard to overcome.

  • Well, we indians have been doing this for centuries 😂😂😂..
    It is true that we have some of the lowest divorce rates in the world.
    "Love marriages" are a pretty new generation phenomenon.

    0|0
    0|0
  • I dunno, I can't say I've ever really cared about education or background or social class. I just care about how she looks and her personality.

    0|0
    0|0
    • You also aren’t planning on getting married any time soon right?

    • Eh... hopefully within the next decade.

    • You have plenty of time to build the life that you want in the meantime. For me, I won’t marry until 30 so I’m attempting to make my 20s very productive. Hopefully I can be solidified in my career before I find a husband - not sure I’d want to get married before that.

      Anyway, thanks for commenting!

  • Yeah but I work in a tech field and so meet almost no women anyway.

    0|0
    0|1
  • Can you provide evidence of black women marrying below their income and education level?

    0|0
    0|0
    • There are links throughout, and if you look at that section, there is a link to a study by Brookings Institute. They’ve done several on this topic and there are several articles as well noting this phenomenon.

    • Show All
    • Yes I hear this a lot. To me it’s a cop out because these educated males don’t attempt to mate with their female counterparts. If you’re awkward and nerdy, find a woman your speed. It’s doable and black female nerds or women with fringe interests do exist. But that may not be the type of women they’re after... that’s another mytake. i agree with your point there.

      This stereotype about black women wanting men with “swag” is not true, unless you’re talking about the uneducated in the hood. And that’s a strong stereotype itself. I’ve never heard an educated black woman say she wanted a “hood” or “gangster” guy. They’re regular women - they just want confident men, and I understand the appeal

    • May I just point out that the whole reason a lot of men acquire higher education and more money is for better looking/sexually appealing women. If a man could fuck Cardi B with no money and a High School education then he'd never go to college.

  • I think that Assortative Mating is just another word for eugenics (not that eugenics is bad). Ability to acquire and preserve wealth is an indicator of a high IQ, so if people that are good at acquiring wealth marry other people who are good at it means that you have a higher chance of getting higher IQ children. I dont think wealth inequality is bad, and I think that everyone in this age - especially with the social security policies in place can acquire and preserve wealth in a decent manner. Consider that before the industrial revolution wealth inequality was so bad that the plebians could hardly eat enough nutrients to get proper facial symmetry in their children while the aristocratic class could acquire food in superabundance. The equality of wealth in the western world today is thus an actual golden age compared to 10.000 years of past human history.

    0|0
    0|0
    • I agree in the sense that accumulating and preserving wealth is indicative of a higher IQ - I can see that train of thought. However I don’t think that it’s necessarily easy to do in this current generation.
      Milennials catch a bad reputation and I’m not sure why. We are less likely to achieve what our parents did, in terms of buying homes and raising families, with jobs we can maintain for life. It’s not that we can’t do these things - it’s just much more difficult and happens later.
      I have a lot to say on the subject. But I’ll keep it very short: I think we need to overhaul the current education system and give students a better chance to succeed. Education is relevant but it’s stratified by class more and more. I hope the govt cares enough to offset these problems sometime soon

  • Plumbers are typically loaded though..

    1|0
    0|0
    • This is true. People with trade degrees can fare well economically. But this is why assortative mating is important - income alone may give you more access to women of certain brackets but it doesn’t ensure any commonalities.

      Education is more important in that sense. 2 twenty one year olds who go to Division 1 colleges have more in common than someone who went to trade school in their hometown. Education = exposure and for some, it means eclectic taste in music/art, certain hobbies, traveling, etc. It sounds very elitist but it is. The more affluent or elite the education, the greater the disparity you will experience. It’ll be hard to connect with a Princeton grad if you don’t frequent those circles. They tend to marry within themselves

  • Everybody should do it.

    0|1
    0|1
  • And that's why I'm very happy I'm single.

    0|0
    0|0
  • "women would be marrying plumbers and baristas"
    Well, that only means women aren't marrying for love. It only takes one of two to be adamant that their partner haev degrees. If women with degrees demand partners with degrees you'll only see couples that both have degrees and it will have had little to nothing to do with men's choices. Like you said "men are much more likely to marry with a bachelor's degree or higher"

    "Future hubby wants a woman to impress his buddies at work"
    I got stuck on this for a bit and the only thing I can think in reponse is that this is absolute bananas and not congruent with reality. No guy picks partners with *other* people in mind -- though it sounds typical of tends we see among women.

    A better recommendation is to actually judge people based on the things you like about about them and think are good instead of making a checklist to refer to as to what is good. The checklist gets you into relationships that are *supposed* to be good (and based on largely pragmatic aspects at that), not relationships that are *actually* good, healthy and stable.

    Also, is it really an issue with marriage specifically or long-term relationships, families and stable households in general? Bit of both in my opinion. There's definitely some institutional problems surrounding marriage at the moment and this perception of it will also spill out into how people see settling down and long-term commitments.

    1|1
    0|0
  • So basically if relationships are going to shit in society don’t bother to change attitudes, habits and trends; just go with it and maybe that’ll work.

    Turns out that this trend and way of thinking which has been around for a while is contributing to dysfunctional relationships.

    Yup. More choice = pickier, less likely to learn how to get through tough times and adapt to be stronger together.

    “1. Consider your education as a strong indicator of achievement.”

    Except that it isn’t. What most people define as achievement is a hollow effort in the big picture.
    My job exposes me to many people who are considered successful. Most of them are miserable privately. Turns out that that degree taught them shit all about the realities of life. But they stick together because they are exactly the type of people who stay together for social benefit. Life is SUPPOSED to be this or that.
    The most well rounded individuals I’ve met were always on the ‘low end’ of the scale.
    You also don’t consider that not all people get the same oppertunities. It could be that that guy who’s a hardworking janitor is a great companion, lover and friend. Maybe his struggles and life experience has enabled him to grow into a strong survivor who knows more about life than calculus and can offer things more valuable than materialism.

    Are you unaware studies show that despite our overall rise in ease of life, materialism and wealth, that people are generally less content and happy compared to before? Depression on the rise, socially we are becoming more isolated (despite hollow social media), relationships are less fulfilling and a plethora of other negative issues on the rise.

    You need to watch this.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rBpaUICxEhk

    1|1
    0|0
    • But to attribute the dysfunction in relationships to having more choices is a bit of a stretch. You have more options but people are not choosing suitable partners for the problems that matter.
      Finances matter. Lifestyle matters. Possibility of children matter. If you can’t troubleshoot for the basic problems that cause relationships to break up, then you shouldn’t be in one.
      There’s a difference between using achievement to fill a void versus understanding the economic benefits of being well adjusted. Money doesn’t fix every problem and it doesn’t automatically make a relationship better. It does give you an edge over financial distress which causes a lot of problems. This is about probability not certainty.
      This is about looking at data and finding best practices for vetting potential partners. Understanding what the trends are is a great way to do that. It’s not foolproof and it’s more nuanced than what’s presented here

    • You missed much of what I said.

      Have fun with your “probability” and “data”.

    • Awesome video, I'm bookmarking that.

What Girls Said 3

  • Not all educated men want a power couple. Some high ranking men are just as fine marrying a woman with an associate's as long as she is very attractive to him, domesticated, and sweet. Charm and good manners will be more likely to make you likeable on his arm at work parties rather than degrees. Not that personal success isn't important for a woman, but it's not necessary to be happily married. Some men want to come home and have peace, not necessarily someone who's been stressed out after 8 hours at the office.

    1|1
    1|0
    • Well that’s true, not all meant want a successful woman. Some men have traditional values, and it that’s what they prefer them traditional women should definitely seek those types of men out.
      Unfortunately a traditonally minded man has plenty of options in 2017 so why have a traditional wife with only limited education when you can have a woman with the same values and convictions with a Masters? And considering that conversations at work functions or business conferences tend to be kind of elitist, how can you keep up with the subjects at hand? If you aren’t educated on fine art, charm can only get you so far. It’ll be clear who is and who is not a part of the ingroup very quickly in those types of conversations.
      Just some thoughts

  • So.. basically capitalism is not conducive to successful lifetime partnerships.

    0|1
    0|0
  • I mean, some of that is true but there are exceptions. Actors marrying waitresses... or really rich ghys marrying mail order brides...

    0|0
    0|0
    • Exceptions aren’t the rule unfortunately. I really advocate for women to meet men at their level and not below for that reason. If you’re not lazy and you work hard in life, there’s little need to marry men below you in education or income. It will hurt you in the long run.

      Thanks for commenting!

Recommended Questions

Loading...