Woman still want to 'marry up and naturally choose husbands who earn more than themselves, a report suggests.
The idea of most women wanting to be financially independent is a myth, according to Catherine Hakim of the London School of Economics.
Despite years of equality campaigning, more women are choosing to marry wealthy men than in the 1940s, the expert claims.
In her report, published by the Centre for Policy Studies think tank, she suggests men dominate the top positions because women simply do not want careers in business.
She criticised David Cameron for backing the idea of quotas to ensure that leading companies appointed more women to their boards.
'Womens aspiration to marry up, if they can, to a man who is better-educated and higher-earning persists in most European countries, she said.
'Women thereby continue to use marriage as an alternative or supplement to their employment careers.
The research, which drew on existing data drawn from Britain and Spain, showed that 20 per cent of British women married husbands with a significantly better education than their own in 1949.
By the 1990s, the percentage of women deciding to 'marry up had climbed to 38 per cent with a similar pattern repeated in the rest of Europe, the US and Australia.
The report concluded that equal roles in the family, where husband and wife shared employment, childcare and housework, was 'not the ideal sought by most couples.
Dr Hakim added: 'It is thus not surprising that wives generally earn less than their husbands, and that most couples rationally decide that it makes sense for her to take on the larger share of child care, and to use most or all the parental leave allowance.
Her report also suggests that many women do not want to admit they want to be a housewife even to their partners.
'It has become impossible to say, I wouldnt mind being a housewife, she said.
'It is so politically incorrect that a lot of women dont want to admit it.
Daily Mail

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 05-Jan-2011 here.