Not Too Late to Meet Prince Charming After All

ByABC News via GMA logo
May 26, 2006, 9:55 AM

May 26, 2006 — -- Women over 40 are "more likely to be killed by a terrorist" than find a husband.

That infamous line from a Newsweek article about the poor marriage prospects of educated women older than 30 incited a firestorm when it hit newsstands in 1986.

Twenty years later, there's encouraging news for single women past the age of 30: It's not too late to meet Prince Charming after all.

Jeffrey Zaslow, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, tracked down 10 of the 14 single women featured in "The Marriage Crunch," and found eight had found husbands and were still married to them. Two remained single by choice.

"If they want to get married, women can get married," Zaslow said.

"The Marriage Crunch" was based on a study by Harvard and Yale researchers that projected college-educated women had a 20 percent chance of getting married if they were still single at 30, a 5 percent chance at age 35, and just a 2.6 percent chance at age 40. The article seemed to reinforce the most old-fashioned ideas of women's place in society, and both infuriated and struck fear into the hearts of women across the country.

"Since I was in eighth grade when the Harvard article came out, I have always lived under the assumption that as the years crept on, I might actually get struck by lightning or nailed by a terrorist," said Leslie Bywater Bishop, who married 13 days ago at the age of 32, in a posting on "Good Morning America's" message board.

"As someone who always dreamed of getting married, those statistics did worry me a bit," she wrote.

Christine Stroebel-Scimeca was a 30-year-old financial and estate planner at Morgan Stanley and living in Chicago when she was featured in the Newsweek article in 1986.

When she read "The Marriage Crunch," she was stung and said that she worried about the projections from time to time. However, she said she never totally believed she was doomed to spinsterhood.

"Everybody wants to be happy and find their soul mate, but I guess I figured it would happen if I wanted it to," she said.