The Sad Future of Marriage

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by PoliticalChic, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Wondering where all the 'good' men have gone?

    Kate Bolick has written this provocative and thoughtful piece, "All the Single Ladies" for The Atlantic.

    I'd like to provide part, here:

    1. Recent years have seen an explosion of male joblessness and a steep decline in men’s life prospects that have disrupted the “romantic market” in ways that narrow a marriage-minded woman’s options: increasingly, her choice is between deadbeats (whose numbers are rising) and playboys (whose power is growing). …as women have climbed ever higher, men have been falling behind. We’ve arrived at the top of the staircase, finally ready to start our lives, only to discover a cavernous room at the tail end of a party, most of the men gone already, some having never shown up—and those who remain are leering by the cheese table, or are, you know, the ones you don’t want to go out with.

    2. For starters, we keep putting marriage off. In 1960, the median age of first marriage in the U.S. was 23 for men and 20 for women; today it is 28 and 26. Today, a smaller proportion of American women in their early 30s are married than at any other point since the 1950s, if not earlier. We’re also marrying less—with a significant degree of change taking place in just the past decade and a half. In 1997, 29 percent of my Gen X cohort was married; among today’s Millennials that figure has dropped to 22 percent. (Compare that with 1960, when more than half of those ages 18 to 29 had already tied the knot.) These numbers reflect major attitudinal shifts. According to the Pew Research Center, a full 44 percent of Millennials and 43 percent of Gen Xers think that marriage is becoming obsolete. …we no longer need husbands to have children, nor do we have to have children if we don’t want to. Even as single motherhood is no longer a disgrace, motherhood itself is no longer compulsory.

    3. Foremost among the reasons for all these changes in family structure are the gains of the women’s movement. Over the past half century, women have steadily gained on—and are in some ways surpassing—men in education and employment. From 1970 (seven years after the Equal Pay Act was passed) to 2007, women’s earnings grew by 44 percent, compared with 6 percent for men. In 2008, women still earned just 77 cents to the male dollar—but that figure doesn’t account for the difference in hours worked, or the fact that women tend to choose lower-paying fields like nursing or education. A 2010 study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30 found that the women actually earned 8 percent more than the men. Women are also more likely than men to go to college: in 2010, 55 percent of all college graduates ages 25 to 29 were female.


    4. But while the rise of women has been good for everyone, the decline of males has obviously been bad news for men—and bad news for marriage. For all the changes the institution has undergone, American women as a whole have never been confronted with such a radically shrinking pool of what are traditionally considered to be “marriageable” men—those who are better educated and earn more than they do. So women are now contending with what we might call the new scarcity. Even as women have seen their range of options broaden in recent years—for instance, expanding the kind of men it’s culturally acceptable to be with, and making it okay not to marry at all—the new scarcity disrupts what economists call the “marriage market” in a way that in fact narrows the available choices, making a good man harder to find than ever. At the rate things are going, the next generation’s pool of good men will be significantly smaller. What does this portend for the future of the American family?

    5. In societies where men heavily outnumber women—in what’s known as a “high-sex-ratio society”—women are valued and treated with deference and respect and use their high dyadic power to create loving, committed bonds with their partners and raise families. Rates of illegitimacy and divorce are low. Women’s traditional roles as mothers and homemakers are held in high esteem. In such situations, however, men also use the power of their greater numbers to limit women’s economic and political strength, and female literacy and labor-force participation drop. But, when confronted with a surplus of women, men become promiscuous and unwilling to commit to a monogamous relationship….fewer people marry, and those who do marry do so later in life. Because men take advantage of the variety of potential partners available to them, women’s traditional roles are not valued, and because these women can’t rely on their partners to stick around, more turn to extrafamilial ambitions like education and career….If dating and mating is in fact a marketplace—and of course it is—today we’re contending with a new “dating gap,” where marriage-minded women are increasingly confronted with either deadbeats or players.
    All the Single Ladies - Magazine - The Atlantic


    And, our children....?
     
  2. Samson
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    Samson Póg Mo Thóin Supporting Member

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    No.

    I'm wondering if there are any women that can make a decent cup of coffee.

    :confused:

    Yes I've lowered my standards.
     
  3. naomibee
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    naomibee VIP Member

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    What i been watching and reading is most men all age groups have been moving back with thier parents for all kinds of reasons.one being the unemployment.
     
  4. C_Clayton_Jones
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    C_Clayton_Jones Diamond Member

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    Our patriarchal society is in the midst of transformation, a snapshot taken today provides neither an accurate assessment of the current situation nor an accurate extrapolation of the future.

    Such outdated and irrelevant notions as ‘marriageable men’ and ‘valued women’ are concepts no longer a legitimate criterion for judging the health of a society.

    Marriage will continue to survive and flourish as an important institution of society – the only question is: will its transformation along with the rest of society be uneventful or difficult, as the answer is solely a political one, having nothing to do with delaying marriage, a ‘shrinking pool’ of men, women’s earnings or education, or how promiscuous and unwilling to commit men may be.*





    *The ‘promiscuous and unwilling to commit’ male is as ancient as the human race itself, having noting to do with the factors noted in the article; regardless economic situations and social conditions, men will forever be ‘promiscuous and unwilling to commit.’
     
  5. Luissa
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    Luissa Annoying Customer Supporting Member

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    I can say there is a lot of dead beats and a lot of players out there.
    As a single woman you get sick of it and just start playing their game.
     
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  6. Mad Scientist
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    Mad Scientist Deplorable Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Todays Wimmen want a mamby pamby metrosexual male who is in touch with his "feelings" or "feminine side". Yet those same wimmen get mad and complain that there are no more "real men" or "alpha males" willing to "make the commitment of marriage".

    You wimmen brought it upon yerselves. You wimmen helped at least 50% to make this society what it is today. Got a problem with men? Look in the mirror. Have you ever thought that maybe guys today don't wanna' marry wimmen like you either? Think about it: Are you the kind of woman he wants to "bring home to meet the parents?"

    I got an idea. Get in touch with your "inner woman" and become feminine again, learn to be a woman, not a man hating feminist. Stop berating men for being men and watch them flock to you. I guarantee you it works .

    A woman who knows how to be a real feminine woman can bring a man to his knees, and she knows it.
     
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  7. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Bill Bennett wrote, "THE BOOK OF MAN: READINGS ON THE PATH TO MANHOOD," about exactly that.

    I haven't read this book yet, but in an interview, he discussed a young lady who was living with her boyfriend, and they shared a house with two of his friends. All three had well-paying jobs.

    At one point, she moved out beause the three of them played X-box for hours on end....she could no longer stand the sound.

    "If you don't believe the numbers, just ask young women about men today. You will find them talking about prolonged adolescence and men who refuse to grow up. I've heard too many young women asking, "Where are the decent single men?" There is a maturity deficit among men out there, and men are falling behind."
    Why men are in trouble - CNN.com
     
  8. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    The pool of marriageable men is a matter of concern...

    1. "Every so often, society experiences a “crisis in gender” (as some academics have called it) that radically transforms the social landscape.

    Take the years after the Civil War, when America reeled from the loss of close to 620,000 men, the majority of them from the South. An article published last year in The Journal of Southern History reported that in 1860, there were 104 marriageable white men for every 100 white women; in 1870, that number dropped to 87.5. A generation of Southern women found themselves facing a “marriage squeeze.” They could no longer assume that they would become wives and mothers—a terrifying prospect in an era when women relied on marriage for social acceptability and financial resources.
    Instead, they were forced to ask themselves: Will I marry a man who has poor prospects (“marrying down,” in sociological parlance)? Will I marry a man much older, or much younger? Will I remain alone, a spinster?

    Their fears were not unfounded—the mean age at first marriage did rise—but in time, approximately 92 percent of these Southern-born white women found someone to partner with. The anxious climate, however, as well as the extremely high levels of widowhood—nearly one-third of Southern white women over the age of 40 were widows in 1880—persisted.


    2. 1940s Russia, which lost some 20 million men and 7 million women to World War II. In order to replenish the population, the state instituted an aggressive pro-natalist policy to support single mothers. Mie Nakachi, a historian at Hokkaido University, in Japan, has outlined its components: mothers were given generous subsidies and often put up in special sanatoria during pregnancy and childbirth; the state day-care system expanded to cover most children from infancy; and penalties were brandished for anyone who perpetuated the stigma against conceiving out of wedlock. In 1944, a new Family Law was passed, which essentially freed men from responsibility for illegitimate children; in effect, the state took on the role of “husband.” As a result of this policy—and of the general dearth of males—men moved at will from house to house, where they were expected to do nothing and were treated like kings; a generation of children were raised without reliable fathers, and women became the “responsible” gender. This family pattern was felt for decades after the war.

    3. America as a whole currently enjoys a healthy population ratio of 50.8 percent females and 49.2 percent males. But our shrinking pool of traditionally “marriageable” men is dramatically changing our social landscape, and producing startling dynamics in the marriage market, in ways that aren’t immediately apparent."
    Op. cit.


    "...‘marriageable men’ and ‘valued women’ are concepts no longer a legitimate criterion for judging the health of a society."

    You see shortsighted in your view, as the health and happiness of individuals is an intrinsic element in an understanding of the 'health of society.'
     
  9. Samson
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    Samson Póg Mo Thóin Supporting Member

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    Thanks for giving it up.

    :clap2:
     
  10. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Sad but true.

    My heart breaks for close friends of mine who have the same...what to call it...difficulties.
     

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