Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Stephen Sapp


Recent literature has addressed the extent to which women's desire for marriage has been affected by factors like education, age, economic status, and gender role attitudes. This study undertook a comprehensive examination of college women's marital perception, their desire for marriage, and the extent to which these perceptions and desires are affected by level of formal education, age, expectations about marriage, and gender role perspectives. The conceptual model hypothesized that education would be negatively associated with desire for marriage, while age would have as positive correlation with marriage desire. Moreover, gender role perspectives as well as expectations for marriage were presumed as positively correlated with marriage desire. Survey data from 449 unmarried respondents enrolled at Iowa State University were used to explore educational, attitudes, and expectation differences in the expressed desire to marry. The results indicated that education and age have little influence on college women's desire for marriage. Among overall expectation for marriage, a strong expectation to enter adulthood was the most important factor affecting desire to marry. The study also indicates that those who hold a traditional view of gender role, especially concerning having kids and possessing traditional spouse identity, will have a relatively strong desire to marry.


Copyright Owner

Shuguo Xu



File Format


File Size

76 pages

Included in

Sociology Commons