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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Emily S. MacLachlan, July 16, 1974. Interview G-0038. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Impact of education on women's chances to marry

MacLachlan briefly describes the argument of one of her professors at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that educated women had more trouble marrying. MacLachlan indicates that she believed this to be true when she was faced with pursuing a higher education or focusing on her family; however, she ends the excerpt by describing the accomplishments of her two daughter-in-laws and her contention that for women of the mid-1970s, when the interview was conducted, things had changed.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Emily S. MacLachlan, July 16, 1974. Interview G-0038. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JACQUELYN HALL:
Groves? Ernest Groves?
EMILY S. MACHLACHLAN:
Groves, yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
He was here?
EMILY S. MACHLACHLAN:
Yes. I took his seminar, his course on the family. I wrote my term paper on the Chinese family. Yes, Groves was here.
HUGH BRINTON:
He was the one who said that the higher education a girl got, the less chance she had of marrying. He said that …
EMILY S. MACHLACHLAN:
Oh, yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
He said what?
EMILY S. MACHLACHLAN:
Well, the girls who had careers, you know, generally turned out to be spinsters, you know. It was true. Girls were not expected to have careers once they married. They should have children. And I suppose that that was so dinned into us, that you had to make your choice. Of course, girls today who want to, don't have to make the choice. I have two daughters-in-law who are career girls. And Gretchen works for the Southern Regional Council, they give her a good salary. She's just finished a big study of poverty in the South based on the latest statistics. My daughter-in-law, Mary Belcher Maclachlan, in Columbia, South Carolina, is married to my professor son, professor of anthropology at the University of South Carolina, associate professor now, and she is getting her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Texas where …
JACQUELYN HALL:
What is Gretchen's last name?
EMILY S. MACHLACHLAN:
Well, Gretchen Ehrmann grew up in Gainesville. Dr. Ehrmann was a member of the sociology department, so the marriage between Bruce and Gretchen, Bruce Maclachlan and Gretchen Ehrmann, was a marriage of perfect homogeny, as we say in sociology. Their fathers were sociologists in the same department. Their mothers were very much alike, liberal women. Peggy Ehrmann was very active in local politics, she was state Democratic committeewoman from our county. She was the national committeewoman from Florida from '57 or '58 to 1960 and attended the National Democratic Convention in Los Angeles. She ran for national committeewoman and lost to a conservative in 1960. Dick Ehrmann was the first chairman of the NAACP chapter there at Gainesville and on the Executive Committee of the Florida Human Relations Council. He was very much criticized for his views on the race issue, so, Mrs. Ehrmann was politically active, Dr. Ehrmann not only was a human-relations-civil rights man, but he taught a course in marriage and the family, and he made one of the first studies of dating and sex behavior of students. He made an early study of University of Florida students' habits of dating and sex life. And it was published. It was a classic study.