A US study has shown that a man's mother is his role model when it comes to choosing his wife.
Researchers at the University of Iowa found that nearly 80% of high-achieving men who had mothers with college degrees married women with a similar education.
About 62% of men whose mothers had graduate degrees tied the knot with a graduate degree holder.
According to sociologist Christine Whelan who led the study, "These young men look up to their mothers as role models. They grew up in a family where their mothers were educated women."
"For an increasing number of these men ... when they make their own choices about someone who they think will be a good wife in the future or a good mother, they go back to their role models," she added.
The findings emerge from a data analysis of a Harris Interactive survey done in two phases, of more than 3,700 Americans for Christine Whelan's book 'Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women'.
Whelan and her colleague Christie Boxer studied data gathered from the survey about men and the educational level of the women close to them. The men and women who participated in the study were high achievers aged 25-40 who earned salaries in the top 10% for their age group.
The study found that 62% of high-achieving single men disagreed with the statement, "Women who are stay-at-home parents are better mothers than women who work outside the home".
Nearly three-quarters of the high-achieving men disagreed with the statement, "It is usually better for everyone involved if the man is the achiever outside the home and the woman takes care of the home and family".
The researchers also found that more than 70% of the men surveyed had mothers who worked while they were growing up, and that the same group was twice as likely to marry women who made $50,000 or more a year. A lot of men that Ms Whelan interviewed for her book welcomed the idea of a working spouse.
Says Whelan, "One man I interviewed said 'this Mother's Day, I think we should thank those moms for leading the way toward gender equality for a younger generation'".
Randi Minetor, author of "Breadwinner Wives and the Men They Marry" says, "Fifty-four million (US) women work and an awful lot of those women are mothers. Their sons aren't looking for 'Leave It to Beaver' in their own house."