Forbes business magazine had an article on p. 58 of their November 2006 issue entitled, "The Smart Women Myth" written by Christine B. Whelan, the author of Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women. Whelan concludes in her book that "smart, successful women marry at the same rates as all other women, and once married, they have children at the same rates as well." She bases her conclusion on a survey that showed "there’s 75% chance that a never-married 30-year-old woman with an advanced degree will be a bride, compared with a 66% chance that a 30-year-old with a college degree or less will marry."
Whelan also discusses statistics that show 35 to 39-year old women living in medium-size cities who earn more than $75,000 a year and have a master's degree will marry at a 92 percent rate. She states this percentage is more than the 87 percent married for less educated, lower-earning women of the same age group and class. From these data, Whelan concludes smart women have bright futures for happy marriages (even though she presents conflicting data in her book that show the number of never-married people in their thirties has quadrupled in the last twenty-five years).
Why do I have a problem with Whelan's conclusions? First of all, the author selects only a five-year age group, 35 to 39-year old women. Second, only women living in medium-size cities are mentioned. Why did she not give statistics for all child-bearing women who earn more than $75,000 a year and have a master's degree--regardless of whether they live in medium-size cities. Third, she really doesn't give statistics on the total number of children of career women. Seems she might be using only the data that fit her hypothesis.
Whelan concedes that the 1980 census showed that educated, successful women were less likely to marry and much less likely to have children. Personally, I have observed in professional environments over the past 25 years that smart, educated, and successful women have fewer children than non-professional women. One woman that I know well now wonders if she should have traded her professional life for a marriage and children.
If smart women have fewer children, then the numbers of children with high intelligence are reduced in comparison with the total population. Both the genetic component and the environmental component of intelligence are decreased when smart women have fewer children. Children of intelligent mothers usually are exposed to an intellectually stimulating environment that has been proven to lead to high achievement.
The standardized SAT score was 'recentered' in 1995 because of declining scores. Some say that it was because more students are taking the exam. It seems more likely the declining SAT scores is a sign of declining average intelligence of students. Smart, high-achieving women have fewer children than other women, so fewer children are being born and nurtured in intelligence in relation to the total population.