I have heard of a case where a girl, earning $60 a month, resigned her position in order to marry a man whose salary was $40 a month, but such instances of devotion are rare, writes Francis M. Abbott in the Century. It is not college women alone, but women throughout the country, who are yearly looking less and less upon marriage as a means of support. I do not say that the majority of marriages in the past have been mercenary, but as women increase in financial independence the time may come when contracts of that sort may be eliminated altogether.
*Gender ratios were skewed after the Civil War, as they were after most major conflicts until the late 1900s when military technology advanced and fewer men died in combat. Women often had to choose between a poor marriage prospect or remaining single. As the industrial revolution advanced and gender ratios recovered at the close of the 19th century, and as the feminist movement grew, women had more options, could support themselves, and could be more selective in courtship and marriage. This contributed to the introduction of the concept of dating and made courtship and marriage more competitive for men--until World War II.