Fewer People Are Getting Married – And That’s A Good Thing by J. Wright
If you are new to my blog, I’d like to inform you that I am a conservative, a right winger.
I am not against “the family unit” or against marriage, but, I have noticed that a lot of other conservatives have disparaged singleness and have elevated marriage (as well as parenting and natalism) in to false idols they worship.
So, I’m not against marriage, babies, or the nuclear family, but I am opposed to the over-emphasis upon those things by my fellow conservatives.
(Link): Fewer People Are Getting Married – And That’s A Good Thing by J. Wright
In a week full of terrible things, the Wall Street Journal published an essay entitled (Link): “Cheap Sex and the Decline of Marriage” that pondered, “Why is marriage in retreat among young Americans? Because it is now much easier for men to find sexual satisfaction outside marriage.”
“Women: They’re Destroying Everything with Their Sluttery” is, I suppose, kind of a fun theory for an article if your readers hate women.
But the notion that unmarried young people are having an unprecedented amount of sex is without basis in fact. Studies from the (Link): Archives of Sexual Behavior indicate that extramarital sex is actually on the decline. Baby boomers are estimated to have 11 average sexual partners over their lifetimes, while millennials are expected to have only eight.
It stands to reason that women as well as men are having less cheap and easy sex.
The author of the article, Mark Regnerus [note by Christian Pundit: please see this previous post by me about Regnerus], argues that, “My own research points to a more straightforward and primal explanation for the slowed pace toward marriage: For American men, sex has become rather cheap. As compared to the past, many women today expect little in return for sex, in terms of time, attention, commitment or fidelity.”
To illustrate this, he cites an interview with a 24-year-old named Kevin who is not getting married, “because I am not done being stupid yet. I still want to go out and have sex with a million girls… Girls are easier to mislead than guys just by lying or just not really caring.”
It is true that fewer people are getting married. Perhaps that is because people like Kevin should not get married.
Kevin sounds like a habitual liar who regards his sexual partners as trophies.
Will he outgrow those traits? I don’t know. Maybe! He should not get married until he does.
And the reason marriage is on a decline is because, thank God, Kevin does not have to get married at 24 anymore. He is not going to be told he needs to take a wife if he wants to advance at his company.
More importantly, women don’t have to marry him.
A great many of the social pressures that used to force women into marriages they didn’t want—whether it was being unable to earn a living by themselves in the workforce, or being forced to carry unwanted pregnancies— don’t exist to the same degree they once did. That is a profoundly good thing for everyone.
Regnerus claims, “This [reduction in marriage rates] was driven in part by birth control,” so let’s look to the world at a time when women in America had less access to birth control. The world, say, 50 or 60 years ago.
It’s a bleak place.
The much-married world that the Mark Regnerus seems to view through rosy, nostalgic glasses? The relationships in that world were bad.
These guys who write these articles always seem like they watched three episodes of Leave it To Beaver and thought it was a documentary.
It was not.
Maybe that era was fine-ish for married men. If you want a picture of what that world was like for married women, however, read some books written by women prior to the sexual revolution. I’d recommend The Best of Everything (where a woman is filled with deep shame because she’s had four sexual partners) or The Group (where a man institutionalizes his wife without her consent).
…. The relationships in those books seem absolutely horrifying by today’s standards.
Honestly, even the relationship between Lucy and Ricky on I Love Lucy—in episodes where he seems on the verge of hitting her—seems extremely unnerving (Link): viewed through a modern lens.
It’s hard to imagine a sitcom today where (Link): the premise for an episode would be “neighbors think the main character hit his wife in the face, comedic hijinks ensue.”
But then, while domestic abuse is a problem in any age, the extent to which it was normalized 50 years ago is appalling.
In 1964, Time magazine wrote about how men beating their wives was probably a good thing for those wives. They referred to it as, (Link): “violent, temporary therapy.”
…When wives weren’t getting hit, they were getting cheated on. In 1953, Alfred Kinsey’s study found that (Link): 50 percent of married men cheated. Women were somewhat better, but still cheated at a rate of about 26 percent.
It’s safe to say that the marriages in this era didn’t seem really happy.
To bring this all back to the present day: That is because getting married does not turn people like Kevin into good partners. It turns them into people who are married now, and consequently have bad marriages.
Marriage isn’t magic, no matter what conservatives try to tell you. It will not make a relationship that isn’t already happy into a happy one. It will not make a partner who lies truthful. It will not make someone who is violent gentle. It will not make someone who cheats faithful.
( read the rest here )
(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): Are Single Women – and specifically Never Married Women – More Likely To Be Victims of Abuse? Rebuttals to this view (advanced by W B Wilcox)
(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site