Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Smart young women are freezing their eggs over a ‘lack of educated men’: study

pregnant.jpg

Jane Austen said a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

But fast forward to the 21st Century, and it seems a single woman in possession of a degree is in want of an intellectual match.

More and more smart young women are choosing to freeze their eggs due to  a “dearth of educated men to marry”, a new study claims.

Researchers from Yale University said a “terrifying” shift of demographic in a modern era had left a “deficit” of graduate men and an “oversupply” of graduate women. 

And the problem is exacerbated in countries where more women go to university – such as the UK.


Read more: Meet the women who decided to have children alone


The team of anthropologists interviewed 150 women who had frozen eggs, of whom 90% said they could not find a suitable partner. These professional women - who vastly outweigh male graduates in certain countries - are buying time because they cannot find an eligible candidate to settle down with.

They are “desperate” to preserve their fertility as they struggle to meet someone who feels like an equal match, researchers said.

Women are 35% more likely to go to university in the UK

Women are 35% more likely to go to university in the UK

The new study casts an interesting light on the “selfish career women” myth, the Yale academics claimed.

Contrary to common perception, women are not putting off starting a family in order to prioritise their jobs.

“Extensive media coverage suggests that educational and career ambitions are the main determinants of professional women's fertility postponement, especially as they ‘lean in’ to their careers,” the study’s author, Professor Marcia Inhorn, said.

“Rather, they were desperately preserving their fertility beyond the natural end of their reproductive lives, because they were single without partners to marry.”


Read more: A single woman explains why she’s much happier on her own


Women are losing in the game of “musical chairs” because there aren’t enough eligible men to go around, Prof Inhorn added.

The gender balance at British universities has shifted dramatically in the past 50 years.

Women in the UK are now 35% more likely than men to go to university and the gap is widening every year. If the current gender divide continues, a baby girl born in 2016 will be 75% more likely to go to university than a boy.

We're freezing our eggs because of a "dearth" of educated men

We're freezing our eggs because of a "dearth" of educated men

The research was presented at the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Geneva this week.

The interviews were conducted with “highly educated, very successful women” in the US and Israel but are also relevant to the UK, given our significant gender division at universities here. 

“There is a major gap - they are literally missing men,” Prof Inhorn said. “There are not enough college graduates for them. In simple terms, this is about an oversupply of educated women.


Read more: Women who became single in their 30s and 40s reveal what they discovered about themselves


“In China they call them ‘left over women’. It sounds cold and callous but in demographic terms this is about missing men and left over women.

“It may be about rethinking the way we approach this,” she added.

“Maybe women need to be prepared to be more open to the idea of a relationship with someone not as educated. But also may be we need to be doing something about our boys and young men, to get them off to a better start.”

Images: iStock

Related

rexfeatures_8434880ma.jpg

Chrissy Teigen really wants you to stop sending her baby photos, OK?

gogglesprogs.JPG

Gogglesprogs kids expose huge sexism problem in TV and film

kelly clarkson (2).jpg

Kelly Clarkson teaches us how to handle body-shamers like a queen

More

20 soothing, beautiful songs guaranteed to help you fall asleep

An expert picks the ultimate classical music playlist

by Sarah Biddlecombe
20 Oct 2017

Puppy dog eyes are a thing and your dog makes them just for you

A study says dogs change their facial expressions when humans are looking

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2017

Here’s how to buy a house or a flat for the princely sum of £1

It's time to enter the real-estate raffle

by Megan Murray
20 Oct 2017

Oxford University under fire for shocking lack of racial diversity

One MP called the revelations an example of “social apartheid”

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2017

This prosecco festival is the best way to start feeling Christmassy

Bubbles, bubbles everywhere

by Susan Devaney
20 Oct 2017

Missing your 16-25 railcard? We have good news for you

Rail bosses have taken pity on cash-strapped millennials

20 Oct 2017

This man’s response to his friend’s period while hiking is everything

“I had NOTHING on me and I was wearing shorts”

by Susan Devaney
20 Oct 2017

Why anxiety makes it harder to follow your intuition

It can have a paralysing effect on decision-making

by Anna Brech
19 Oct 2017

“Why all men must work to stamp out sexual harassment and abuse”

In wake of the Weinstein allegations, one writer argues why men need to be counted

19 Oct 2017

Rage, lust, power and warmth: how it feels to experience ‘red emotions

“I grew up being told my body was terrifying and my voice was unimportant”

by The Stylist web team
19 Oct 2017