The Divorce Surge Is Over, but the Myth Lives On – article from the New York Times
(The link to the article is much farther below. I wanted to open this post by commenting on the article first)
Notice that the article below says one reasons the divorce rate has gone down is that people are marrying later in life.
This fact should put a dent in the nauseating push by evangelicals, Reformed, fundamentalists, and Baptists to encourage young kids to marry before they turn 25.
Notice also that this article is saying that due to conservative gender role expectations – where people expect the man to be the “bread winner” and the woman to be submissive to the husband, and to be a stay at home mother, these people who buy into these views are delaying marriage because a lot of young men are having a hard time getting steady, well paying jobs.
These young men feel they need a good paying job to be the traditional husband and dad that their culture teaches them to be.
However, your hyper masculine, buffoon, sexist, swine preachers, such as Mark Driscoll, who defend the un-biblical view of “Christian gender complementarianism” continually wrongly assume that the reason most young men are delaying marriage is that they are immature and trying to shirk responsibility.
But they, are, ironically, delaying marriage, not out of laziness, but because they cannot do what some in the gender complementarian movement tell them they should do to be a “biblical husband,” or what secular conservative culture tells them constitutes being “a real man,” which is holding a job that pays a big enough income that can support a wife and kids.
Here you have Christian conservatives, some of whom champion traditional gender roles, under the banner of “gender complementarianism,” whose very teachings are what is causing singles to stay single longer.
These conservatives keep blaming secular feminism solely for these issues, but some of their own values and views are feeding into the delayed marriage situation.
If these Christian chuckle heads would stop making American 1950s “June Cleaver” gender roles the basis of what they believe are ‘biblical’ roles for men and women, and stop holding a grudge or disdain against women having careers (this gets back to the unbiblical view they perpetuate that a woman’s only godly role in life is to be a wife and mother), they’d likely find more young people marrying younger, if this article is right on the money.
Though in my humble opinion, there are several factors contributing to prolonged singleness, not just economic or career ones, and the fault or blame does not fall squarely on any one group, such as secular feminists, who are the favorite boogeyman of conservatives.
(No, I don’t agree with secular feminists much of the time, but they are not the big threat conservatives make them out to be, and on occasion, some of their views actually have some merit.)
This is similar to another point I have raised on this blog many times before: it is Christian teachings about dating, sex, and gender roles that keep even marriage-desiring singles singles, not just the “man as breadwinner” stereotype, but ridiculous teachings such as,
- “If you are single, do not meet alone with another adult single because the date will inevitably end in sex.
- Further we all know that men are horn dogs incapable of sexual self control, and adult single women are harlots who are constantly seeking to get a man in the sack.
- So do avoid dating members of the opposite sex, because if you do, it will lead to fornication!”
I was brought up a Christian and still have pretty traditional values, but those sorts of teachings and assumption about the genders, sex, and dating often show up in Christian blogs, books and sermons about dating.
I am not exaggerating for comedic effect or erecting a strawman argument when I say Christians basically encourage adult singles (and teens) to refrain from meeting one on one with other singles their age, even to warn them from getting a cup of coffee at a Starbuck’s together.
Christians are very paranoid about fornication and act like it is the gravest of all sins, they put so much emphasis on it.
I find it funny, since once they marry, Christians commit adultery left and right (see (Link): this post for examples).
What good is it to stay a virgin until marriage, as Christians teach (at least they used to teach that concept; these days, even conservative Christians are arguing un-biblical things such as, “fornicators are virgins now,” see this post), if you turn right around after marriage and pork other people?
Isn’t adultery also considered a sin by the God of the Bible? I think so.
Christians, however, seem to teach that hetero pre-marital sex (and with some, possibly homosexual sex) are the only unforgivable sexual sins, but hey, adultery is not so bad! Stay a virgin once you marry, but after you marry, go ahead and sleep around on your partner.
So, borne in part out of a fear of singles committing fornication, Christians teach that any time an unmarried man meets with an unmarried women, it will invariably lead to sex.
Even if the couple so much as meets for an innocent date of watching a movie together followed by a Coke at a diner, it will lead to sex, sex, sex, and more sex.
Therefore, Christians are pretty much coached to never meet or talk to or emotionally bond with another adult single.
I’ve read in books and in blogs that some Christian singles, who are in their 20s, skirt around the Christian sexual teaching they used to hear (about staying a virgin until marriage), to engage in oral sex or anal sex, since the penis- in- the- vagina act is regarded as being off-limits, until one marries.
So some Christian singles do everything sexually with their boyfriend except for the standard marital sex act (i.e., penis in the vagina). This is another odd ball consequence of moronic Christian teaching about sex and dating (at least when Christians used to bother to teach about sexual sin at all to condemn it).
At any rate, the emphasis in most Christian teaching is to tell men never to date women, don’t meet with women alone.
Yes, I’ve seen excerpts from Christian singles books advising adult, single Christian men not to chat too much with single Christian women – because that is dangerous, they say! The woman might grow to fall in love with you, want to marry you, and have sex later. Can’t have that. No, no.
Now, exactly how Christians with such a mindset expect you marry if you don’t do the usual things that lead to marriage (i.e., dating) is never fully explained.
About the only notion these Christian idiots offer to help you get married (when they are not shaming you for wanting to get married, which they often do), is to suggest the following strategies:
1. arranged marriage,
- where a father chooses a young man that he wants to “court” his daughter.
But seriously, how backwards is this? Not many Christians are going to do this, and it’s not practical or normal for anyone over the age of 15.
2. they tell you to be passive:
- Suggestions under point two may include one or more or all of the following:
- trust in the Lord’s timing, pray for a spouse, have faith God will provide you a spouse, volunteer at your local church, homeless shelter, or local soup kitchen, in hopes that is where you will rub elbows with your Mr. or Ms. Right, try eHarmony dating site
At any rate, none of those approaches result in mates for 99% of Christians who try option two, and I don’t know of any normal, sane people who will want to opt for point 1, especially if they are over the age of 18.
Notice how several of the points in this article show that Christian methods of dating do not work, and some Christians assumptions and teachings about men, women, feminism, gender roles, dating, etc, are not true:
- Dec 2, 2014 by Claire Cain Miller
….But here is the thing: It is no longer true that the divorce rate is rising, or that half of all marriages end in divorce. It has not been for some time. Even though social scientists have tried to debunk those myths, somehow the conventional wisdom has held.
- Despite hand-wringing about the institution of marriage, marriages in this country are stronger today than they have been in a long time. The divorce rate peaked in the 1970s and early 1980s and has been declining for the three decades since.
About 70 percent of marriages that began in the 1990s reached their 15th anniversary (excluding those in which a spouse died), up from about 65 percent of those that began in the 1970s and 1980s.
Those who married in the 2000s are so far divorcing at even lower rates. If current trends continue, nearly two-thirds of marriages will never involve a divorce, according to data from Justin Wolfers, a University of Michigan economist (who also contributes to The Upshot).
There are many reasons for the drop in divorce, including later marriages, birth control and the rise of so-called love marriages.
These same forces have helped reduce the divorce rate in parts of Europe, too. Much of the trend has to do with changing gender roles — whom the feminist revolution helped and whom it left behind.
“Two-thirds of divorces are initiated by women,” said William Doherty, a marriage therapist and professor of family social science at University of Minnesota, “so when you’re talking about changes in divorce rates, in many ways you’re talking about changes in women’s expectations.”
The marriage trends aren’t entirely happy ones.
They also happen to be a force behind rising economic and social inequality, because the decline in divorce is concentrated among people with college degrees. For the less educated, divorce rates are closer to those of the peak divorce years.
Of college-educated people who married in the early 2000s, only about 11 percent divorced by their seventh anniversary, the last year for which data is available. Among people without college degrees, 17 percent were divorced, according to Mr. Wolfers.
Working-class families often have more traditional notions about male breadwinners than do the college-educated — yet economic changes have left many of the men in these families struggling to find work.
As a result, many wait to achieve a level of stability that never comes and thus never marry, while others split up during tough economic times.
Some of the decline in divorce clearly stems from the fact that fewer people are getting married — and some of the biggest declines in marriage have come among groups at risk of divorce. But it also seems to be the case that marriages have gotten more stable, as people are marrying later.
Ultimately, a long view is likely to show that the rapid rise in divorce during the 1970s and early 1980s was an anomaly. It occurred at the same time as a new feminist movement, which caused social and economic upheaval. Today, society has adapted, and the divorce rate has declined again.
- … The people who married soon before the feminist movement were caught in the upheaval.
- They had married someone who was a good match for the postwar culture but the wrong partner after times changed. Modern marriage is more stable because people are again marrying people suitable to the world in which we live.
“It’s just love now,” Mr. Wolfers said. “We marry to find our soul mate, rather than a good homemaker or a good earner.”
- …The delay in marriage is part of the story, allowing people more time to understand what they want in a partner and to find one. The median age for marriage in 1890 was 26 for men and 22 for women.
- By the 1950s, it had dropped to 23 for men and 20 for women. In 2004, it climbed to 27 for men and 26 for women.
Perhaps surprisingly, more permissive attitudes may also play a role.
The fact that most people live together before marrying means that more ill-fated relationships end in breakups instead of divorce.
And the growing acceptance of single-parent families has reduced the number of shotgun marriages, which were never the most stable of unions, notes Stephanie Coontz, a professor at Evergreen State College and author of “Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage.”
Related posts, this blog:
(Link): The Creepy Push by Evangelicals for Early Marriage
(Link): How the Sexual Revolution Ruined Friendship – Also: If Christians Truly Believed in Celibacy and Virginity, they would stop adhering to certain sexual and gender stereotypes that work against both
(Link): Male Christian Researcher Mark Regnerus Believes Single Christian Women Should Marry Male Christian Porn Addicts – another Christian betrayal of sexual ethics and more evidence of Christians who do make an idol out of marriage
(Link): Oil Town Where Single Male Population Vastly Outnumbers Females and they practically rape the women – Reflections on the Christian argument that men will treat women better if women in short supply