Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Debate Tuesday - Increasing numbers of women marry for money?

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"According to a new study more women are are marrying for money than did in the 1940s.
The author of the report, Dr Catherine Hakim, tells BBC Radio 5 live 'there is this myth that women invariably choose to have a relationship of total equality'.
Speaking to Victoria Derbyshire, Dr Hakim continues: 'More and more women are choosing to marry men who are substantially better educated than them, and therefore have higher earnings capacity.'
BBC News - Are increasing numbers of women marrying men for their money?

Just last weekend, I was asking on my Facebook support page and on Twitter, (you can click on the left side bar to join both), if it is true that men marry downwards socially and financially. A lot of those that responded agreed with me, though @miafarradaily reminded me on twitter that historically, it used to be the reverse, men married upwards in order to better their own opportunities. @eightsnweights said men do still marry for money, only they prefer that it is the girl's parents and not her that has the money so they can keep their ego.

Now, someone has just drawn my attention to this study reported by the BBC that more and more women are marrying men for money. Instead of choosing men with equal education or who is on the same level career-wise, the researcher said many women prefer men who are miles ahead of them, almost to the extent of swimming in money. The researcher thinks it's because of the family values of such women, who want to stay home with the kids and so want a man who can foot the bill for the whole family.

I kind of get the sense of what she's saying. A lot of the choices we make in life are as a result of socialization. Even some of us who think we're enlightened often have to consider the views of loved ones - parents, friends, family - when it comes time to select a partner. Also, women have to consider the ability of the man to take care of their upcoming family, I would not consider such a person a gold-digger.

What are your opinions?

Do men mostly marry downwards? Why?

Do women mostly marry upwards? Why?

How would you marry or have you married? Why?

I would especially like to hear from the men as well. Thank you.


  1. Money definitely plays a major role these days when a woman is about to get married..i mean, we all want stable, comfortable homes right? what i dnt know though, is whether there has been a dramatic increase in the number of women that marry a guy based on his financial status. I think it's been this way for a very long time.

  2. Despite all this talk of Female Equality; women still sacrifice a lot - especially if they choose to have children.

    When a woman takes maternity leave, she is likely to lose some of her income. Even when the kids are growing, she is likely to be restricted regarding how often she can travel or stay away from them.

    If I had a daughter, I would advise that she marry a man who can 'step-up' and take charge when the kids start coming.

    What is the use of having a husband if a woman in labour still has to be worrrying about bills?

    I dont think it's a matter of marrying 'above' or 'below' one. I just think it's a case of one marrying to complement areas of personal deficiencies.

  3. I mainly see women marrying men with more means than the other way around. One of the disadvantages is that in some cases the partner who has the money can get a little superior with the other partner, particularly when they are better educated.

  4. Really? han...i thought women were actually more independent in today's society.

  5. i dont think men marry downwards but for women, success is definitely attractive and success=money.

  6. I'll concur with 9jafoodie. I thought women were more independent these days.
    But still to answer your question based on observations, most men don't really marry downwards nowadays neither do women. Yes we women want our comfort and security, but if they see someone with at least a job and good potential, they go for him. I think guys marry downwards mostly when they really love the lady regardless or if the marriage is arranged, probably after looking for a wife for a long time.

    My personal choice is someone that will step up just like N.I.L said. I am actually lucky to have a man like that :-)

  7. LOL... Men tend marry downwards normally but these days, boys are not smiling as the saying goes. You either want to marry someone of your calibre that can complement you financially and perhaps socially than just someone who would do the house chores and make babies for and with you (as I guess it was back in the day)

    With regards to women marrying for money, it has been like that and will probably remain so. I mean, do we expect the otherwise? Women need security mehn - finally or socially. lol

    One of the things that attracts me to a woman right from time is a measure of intelligence; ambition and drive. That way, I know she would be resourceful. Having that domestic nature has always been a plus for me too... So, I think marrying "at par" is it for me.

    - LDP

  8. The thing is, i feel like this has been going on for ages, as in it's really not a new thing. A woman wants finacial security, and as such is likely to seek for a partner who can meet her personally defined financial comfort level.

    I am not sure this is necessarily a bad thing. We are raised to accept that a man should ideally be the breadwinner of a home, therefore, a woman wants a man she consideres an able bread winner.
    For some, it may be one who can provide just the basics (shelter, good education for the children, etc), for others, it may be a little (or a lot) more. To each their own i suppose.

  9. Let me share with you Myne nuggets from this article which believes that women should marry up. I totally agree:

    Women have a shelf life in terms of fertility and attractiveness; taking time out to raise children reduces women’s workplace value; women have more difficulty bouncing back from divorce. And even after decades of women graduating from professional schools in greater numbers than men, men remain the power players.

    Instead of bitching about these inequities, women are counselled to bring about change strategically "Anything you exchange your independence for, you need to negotiate a price on"!!
    Females have bought into a fairy tale, in which “having it all” has translated into “doing it all.” But the reality is Marriage is an economic trade-off, so women should exploit the currency of youth. “A man is not a financial plan, but he can be part of one.” :)

  10. On your qs 'do men marry downwards or do women marry downwards?
    I think it depends on the societies' marriage culture. I would think that in societies where women bring a dowry (Asian cultures), the men could be said to be marrying up cos his wealth isn't in question; all that is required is that he be healthy and wholesome.
    On the other hand, in societies like Igbo societies where the men pays a goodly bride price, its the opposite. Her wealth or family health isn't of as much importance.

  11. Having spent the last 2 yrs being in a shit relationship with a man who earned well but was too stingy to part with any even for things that are naturally the domain of the man, I have come to a realisation that money does matter and hugely so. So yeah, if love doesn't blind me, I'll will be gunning for a man with with kishi simply because having to pay for the things around the home and still doing my traditional wife duties suck. It's almost as if the man is having the best of both worlds.

    As for men, marrying upwardly, oh yeah but like one of your respondents said, they'd prefer the money to be her parents.

  12. @9jaFOODie...Women are independent. I have an MBA and I work FT. I can pay my own way but I still expect certain things from a man. So are countless other women out there. Doesn't mean they're less independent.

  13. Hhhhmm some tricky questions there...
    I think generally modern men tend to marry equals or downwards ...
    When I marry it will be for love and certainly to a man who can look after me, our future kids and our home.
    He doesn't have to be a millionaire rolling in the Benjamins but it would not be a bad thing either if he did ... :)

  14. i think the percentage of people marrying for money is unimportant
    whether we agree or not the financial status or our would be partners whether at time of analysis or as a future prospect is one of the biggest metrics when deciding if marriage will occur
    to a certain degree we all marry for money
    nobody wants to suffer oh
    Love is not blind
    its has two shinny headlamps as eyes

  15. hmm.. ther is nothing wrong with being with a man who has a lil' more than u.. many of us want a responsible man ..

    but staying with someone because he has money will fail!! what happens when Money says NO?!

    I think the key is finding someone who is responsible enough/ has the resources (raw or developed) to take care of u and ur (future) kids and someone who has his piorities right. it also means the woman needs to be responsible too...

  16. I also thought many women are more independent than dependant, but I have also heard girls talking about no "poor men abeg!"

    I think it goes both ways

  17. I think whether a girl is dependent or independent, most will want to marry for money- i've heard lots of girls (with both career views and domestic views) want guys who earn more than them.

    I will probably marry for love though. The richer the guy the older he will likely be, and i don't want a grandpapa lol

    Muse Origins (Creative Nigerian Features)
    Muse Origins

  18. From my own little analysis,i'd say women marry upwards,at least here in Nigeria.Their parent influence it,they themselves influence it and the society's respect for money influences it.

  19. let me put it this way: i wouldn't want to live a life less than the one i've always known and trust me, the one i know is not the highest there is to live. i'll definitely want to see what's up there. ain't nothing wrong with marrying up.
    i'm sure a lot of people feel the same way.

  20. @Funkola, I feel you, lol..

  21. I think women [mostly] have always married up. We are the ones that need the security that a man can 'head' his home. Then again 'up' is relative...are we talking born in money? Makes more than we do? Has potential to match us?

    Like Funkola, i'd def wouldn't want to end up in a situation less than what i do on my own.

    Men these days esp naija men in naija are all about not wanting a liability. So while naija babes are looking for sugar daddies. The men are also looking for babes that can hold their own financially.

  22. Someone once said, marry a man that can atleast take care of you, himself and a new baby right before the "I Do's"

    I think most women marry for money to be secure but it doesnt make sense if she herself isnt made or atleast able to contribute because the man might disrespect her along the way..

    Back home, they say suffer with the man and enjoy the money together, in today's society, I would say seek an already made man but make sure youself is already made or atleast almost there..

    Honestly, I dont want wahala in marriage, if money will be a factor, please my husband has to have enough cos right now I am working hard to get enough too...This isnt any golddigger stuff, I call it being smart so far you apply my points from above..

  23. I'm not surprised with the result of the survey afterall the original plan of marriage, at least in Biblical terms was for the man to be the bread winner and the woman to look after the children. However, times have changed with women becoming more economically active and perhaps coupled with a growing feminist community has meant for role reversals.

    But nonetheless, men still earn more than women and it is fair to say women look forward to some sort of financial security in marriage. You do wonder though why this is the case despite decades of pushing for gender equality if at all anything such thing exists.

  24. I was talking to a friend this week about this. Her thoughts; "With many men embracing being lying, cheating jerks as part of their DNAs and with some even offering scientific evidence to prove this; if I'm going to be made a fool of, I'd rather it be done by a rich lying, cheating jerk"


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