Study: Wives increasingly wearing the pants in the family
Photo: 1983's "Mr. Mom," with Teri Garr and Michael Keaton, was ahead of its time.
Sugar mamas are on the rise.
It’s women who increasingly wear the pants in the family nowadays, enjoying greater job security than their husbands, according to a study released today.
Wives are outpacing their spouses in both education and salary growth, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data. Women’s earnings jumped 44 percent between 1970 and 2007, compared to a 6 percent rise for men, the report found.
The trend is apparent in some married celebrity couples, too, with Forbes reporting that singer Beyoncé out-earned her rapper husband Jay-Z $87 million to $35 million last year.
June Cleaver, Carol Brady and other TV stay-at-home moms would be proud, and New Yorkers yesterday were hardly surprised at the role reversal.
“It’s not impossible to imagine, considering admissions to specialty schools are higher among women,” said Christopher Freeman, 24, of Chelsea, who himself expects to face stiff female competition as he applies to law school.
Today’s adults aged 30-44 include more women than men with college degrees, according to the Pew report.
The economic crisis likely played a role, too.
Steve Green, 37, of Battery Park City, said, “The recession hit traditional male occupations – like finance – very hard,” he said.
In such situations, husbands may not bounce back in the same ways as wives, said Deborah Siegel, a New York-based writer who works while her husband takes care of their twins amid occasional freelance work.
“For men, being laid off is such a huge ego blow,” said Siegel, author of “Sisterhood Interrupted.”
Sonia Ossorio, president of the city’s chapter of National Organization for Women, pointed out the Pew findings are bittersweet. “The upward mobility of women … [is] clearly good news but we have a ways to go before we see women in real decision-making positions,” Ossorio said.
The median household income rose 60 percent between 1970 and 2007 for unmarried women, but only 16 percent for unmarried men, according to the report.
The U.S. should have seen it coming, said Astoria resident Ian Jensen, 37.
“Girls have always been smarter, and we should have been treating them that way,” he said.
Jason Fink and the AP contributed to this story.