Why men seek mama’s clones for wives


New York : They might be high-achievers who earn eight-figure salaries and run huge business empires, but when it comes to marrying they want someone like mother.

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According to a new study of men who figure in the top 10 percent corporate salary bracket, a bulk of them tend to marry women whose education levels mirror their mothers’, ScienceDaily reported.

And with good reason, says Christine Whelan of the University of Iowa, who led the research.

“Successful men in their 20s and 30s are the sons of a pioneering generation of career women. They consider their mothers role models for how a woman can be nurturing and successful at the same time,” Whelan noted.

Nearly 80 percent of high-achievers whose mothers had college degrees married women with similar qualifications, and 19 percent of them married women with graduate degrees.

Of men whose moms had graduate degrees, 62 percent tied the knot with graduate degree holders, and 27 percent wed women with college degrees.

The researchers discovered that 72 percent of mothers of high-achieving men worked outside the home after they had children. Among those men, three-quarters agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “Men are more attracted to women who are successful in their careers”.

Men who grew up with working moms were almost twice as likely to marry a woman who makes $50,000 or more per year. Sixty-eight percent of them agreed with the statement, “Smart women make better mothers”.

“One man I interviewed said ‘this Mother’s Day, I think we should thank those moms for leading the way toward gender equality for a younger generation’”, said Whelan.

Whelan is the author of “Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women”, the first book to shatter the myth that success and spinsterhood go hand in hand.

Whelan continues to analyse data from a Harris Interactive survey of more than 3,700 Americans conducted for her book in January and May 2006.

The two surveys included a representative group of over 3,700 high-achieving men and women aged 25-40.

Sixty-two percent of high-achieving single men disagreed with the statement, “Women who are stay-at-home parents are better mothers than women who work outside the home”.

Almost three-quarters of the high-achieving men disagreed with the statement, “It is usually better for everyone involved if the man is the achiever outside the home and the woman takes care of the home and family”.

“Fifty-four million (US) women work and an awful lot of those women are mothers. Their sons aren’t looking for ‘Leave It to Beaver’ in their own house,” said Randi Minetor, author of “Breadwinner Wives and the Men They Marry”.