Bring Your Questions for Hanna Rosin, Author of The End of Men

“In the Great Recession, three-quarters of the 7.5 million jobs lost were lost by men,” writes Hanna Rosin, author of the new book The End of Men (and the Rise of Women). “The worst-hit industries were overwhelmingly male, and deeply identified with macho: construction, manufacturing, high finance.  Some of those jobs have come back, but the dislocation is neither random nor temporary.  The recession merely revealed — and accelerated — a profound economic shift that has been going on for at least thirty years, and in some respects even longer.”

Rosin’s book (here are some reviews), based on her controversial 2010 Atlantic essay, explores the new American marriage divide, the education gap between young men and women around the world, and the new Asian power women.  Here’s Rosin on the evolution of marriage among women without a college degree:

[T]he rise of women is associated with the slow erosion of marriage and even a growing cynicism about love.  As the women in this second group slowly improve their lot, they raise the bar for what they want out of marriage — a Ryan Reynolds look-alike, a white Chevy.  But the men of their class are failing to meet their standards.  The men may cling to traditional ideals about themselves as providers, but they are further than ever from being able to embody these ideals.  This is the class from which we draw our romantic notions of manhood, which inspired generations of country music and political speeches.  But now the rising generation has come to think of lasting love as a fiction that lives on only in those speeches and pop songs.

By contrast, marriage among women with college degrees has evolved in a much different way:

Among the educated class, women’s new economic power has produced a renaissance of marriage.  Couples in possession of college degrees are much more fluid about who plays what role, who earns more money, and, to some extent, who sings the lullabies.  They have gone beyond equliaty and invented whole new models of marriage.  I call these seesaw marriages, where the division of earnings might be forty-sixty or eighty-twenty — and a year or two later may flip, giving each partner a shot at satisfaction.  More wives at the top are becoming the main breadwinners for some period of time, and, as a result of this new freedom, more couples are describing their marriages as “happy” or “very happy.”  But even “happy” can hide complications.

Rosin has agreed to take questions from Freakonomics readers, so fire away in the comments section below.  As always, we’ll post her answers in due course.  Here’s the book’s table of contents to get you started:

Hearts of Steel: Single Girls Master The Hook Up

The Seesaw Marriage: True Love (Just for Elites)

The New American Matriarchy (The Middle Class Gets a Sex Change)

Pharm Girls (How Women Remade the Economy)

Degrees of Difference (The Education Gap)

A More Perfect Poison (The New Wave of Female Violence)

The Top (Nice-Ish Girls Get the Corner Office)

The Gold Misses (Asian Women Take Over the World)

This post is no longer accepting comments. The answers to the Q&A can be found here.

COMMENTS: 29

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  1. Seminymous Coward says:

    How taxing is it to stretch your claims into punchier, more extreme, and less nuanced forms? Specifically, do you find it harder (practically or psychologically) to defend your ideas after putting them through that filter?

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  2. Brenton says:

    Since women have passed men in employment and managerial positions, what effect will this have on congress (majority of men)? Will policies swing towards women anytime soon? How do we get more women running and winning congressional elections? Why is it that women are excelling from men in all other areas but not in politics? Kirsten Gillibrand (Senator – NY) had a great interview on The Daily Show about this exact topic.

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    • Jason says:

      Most policies are already skewed toward women

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    • Jon says:

      They didn’t. Almost all of the stats referenced in book and article are extremely misleading. For example, the category Managerial, Professionals and Related Occupations is a mega-category that captures a lot of types of jobs. But if your break that category down into managerial and professional positions and the “others”, then you see that women make up less than 40% of the manager jobs. They make up 60% of the professional jobs, but that is mainly because they dominate nursing and education fields. Nothing new here.
      This article and the follow up is basically trying to mislead you into thinking the world has changed in some fundamental way. It hasn’t.

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  3. Holly says:

    Who is rooting for this plastic-women-over-unadaptable-men scenario in the long run? Also, how does this theory apply to her own marriage with David? Or if not, why doesn’t it describe their relationship?

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  4. Brenton says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  5. Brenton says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  6. Enter your name... says:

    About “Pharm Girls (How Women Remade the Economy)”: I think your headline confuses cause and effect. The nature of working in community pharmacy changed, and it changed in ways that seem to have appealed to women (shift work, multiple pharmacists per site, being an employee rather than an owner, generous leave policies).

    Do you think that women are less interested in owning their own retail pharmacy than men?

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  7. anonymous says:

    What will happen when the healthcare bubble bursts like a nuclear bomb? Millions of women will be out of work. Should women try to have it all? Or are women taxing themselves too much at the expense of their children’s futures, their marriages, and their sanity? What about the exponentially growing population that needs to be employed, disintegrating fabric of family union, structural unemployment that puts increasing weight on economies? Is it worth it to try to have it all when wisdom says it is impossible to really have it all?

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  8. James says:

    In predicting the end of certain types of men – “construction, manufacturing, high finance” – you seem to ignore the male-dominated field of science & technology, which has been doing much better than those others in the recent past. Care to comment?

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