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Lifestyle trends

Posted: December 29, 2011 11:08 a.m.
Updated: December 30, 2011 5:00 a.m.

One of the most significant sociological trends of the past couple decades has been the increasing percentage of women who make up college student bodies. At many institutions of higher learning, 60 percent or more of the students are females, reversing the percentages of a generation ago. That, of course, is leading to better opportunities for women here in Kershaw County and across the country. In fact, women make up roughly half of all medical, law and accounting students, three professions that lead to high-paying and influential careers.

Now, during a struggling economy, there's another trend that heads in the same direction: more women are leaving low-paying jobs -- or ceasing looking for jobs at all -- so they can return to school and earn degrees that will make them more attractive to employers. Meanwhile, men are more willing to take whatever job is available. According to news reports, economists say the longer-term consequences are that the next generation of women may have a significant advantage over their male counterparts, whose career options are already becoming constrained.

Coupled with other trends -- married people represent only 48 percent of American households, down radically from 78 percent a half-century ago -- this is clear evidence of just how much society is changing. That, of course, comes as no surprise to most people, but it does indicate yet once again that the world never stands still.


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