Women Are Often 'Trailing Spouses' Because Of The Jobs They ChooseJessica G.6/27/08 1:30pmFiled to: Trailing Spousedomestic disturbancesWorking CouplesNasaopting outDomestic disturbances221EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkNow that families with two working parents are the norm, couples are beginning to bicker over who becomes the "trailing spouse." According to CNN, the "trailing spouse" is the one whose career is subordinate. For instance, if a husband has to relocate for his job and the wife agrees to it, despite her career taking a hit, she's the trailing spouse. Mary Noonan, author of a study about working couples, says that wives are more often than not the trailing spouse because, "men and women are taught to play very different roles within marriage. Women are socialized to play a homemaking role within the family, whereas men are encouraged to focus on their careers and breadwinning." But I think the socialization goes a step further. As we've discussed, women are opting out of many science careers, and few go into other extremely demanding fields like politics. Women are choosing jobs from the get-go that are more malleable.