A look at America’s future after marriage becomes rare

Summary: Future historians might see the revolution in gender roles as the significant event of our time (i.e., “other stuff also happened”). But we make little effort to see how this might play out. Here are some of my guesses, very different from the pretty stories in the news media.

Love Revolution
Wikimedia Commons.

Women are delaying marriage to accumulate more education, establish their careers, and enjoy their newfound sexual freedom. What will happen when this generation of young women approach “the wall” — when they see their ability to attract men begin to fade and their fertility begin to decline — and they want to marry?

“When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands. When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated and ambitious. Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home.”

— Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) in her best-seller Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (2013). This is called “settling”: party hard then marry a nice beta male. See the articles about this in The Atlantic: “The Case for Mr. Not-Quite-Right“, “The case for settling for Mr. Good Enough“, and “Reader, Marry Him!“.

This non-patriarchal version of marriage — enforced by feminist-friendly family courts — works well for women. Men are increasingly sharing the housework. A women can have a man support her through their children’s difficult first years, then easily divorce him — getting both independence and child-support payments.

Result: In 2005/06 less than 60% of US adolescents (11, 13, and 15 years old) lived with both birth parents, per the OCED Family Database (source). That was the lowest level among OECD nations. That number is probably lower today — probably much lower.

None of this makes marriage look attractive to young men, especially with sex so easily available. Especially as marriage no longer has an economic foundation. It is a cost for many or even most men, often with few benefits.

There is another dimension to this. Women have long said that they “dress to please themselves.” Now many young women are doing so, living free from the “male gaze.” Walk through any college campus or business district. Each year you will see less makeup, more unisex clothing, and more unisex behavior. Doing so is a woman’s right, but it has consequences. It might further depress men’s interest in marriage.

The family is the core institution in America. It might not be so for the next generation, as marriage rates pass a tipping point. Our future might be as a nation of isolated, even alienated, individuals. What might that look like?

Peter Pan syndrome

Women’s reactions to these changes

Feminism has opened new vistas for women’s live. But many women believe that marriage and family remain the sign of men’s maturity. These women see themselves as prizes. Refusal of men to marry them must mean that the men are defective — or that men worthy of them in short supply. Journalists and scientists work to supply supporting stories. Such as “Peter Pan Syndrome: A Man’s Fear of Commitment” at the Self-Love-Beauty website — “This is when a man is afraid to grow up. They usually put themselves first and do not want to commit to anything. They are unable to face adult feelings and responsibilities.”

Also common is advice for women, such “Learn how to make him commit: The Secret Lives of Men” by Joel D. Amos. And we see rationalizations. Lots of rationalizations.

Where have all the good men gone?” by Alana Kirk in the Daily Mail.

“Five single women share why they’ve struggled to find men worth dating. These sassy, sophisticated, solvent women say they are struggling to find other halves that can measure up.”

Where have all the good men gone?

No low self-esteem for these women! Reverse the gender in those headlines. Not so sassy when said by men. Also, “sassy” has become a popular self-description among women. But how many men want a “sassy” wife? Moving on – bien pensant feminist scientists do earnest studies that come to the same conclusions.

Gender and educational disparities underlying elective egg freezing

The authors boldly state their observations.

“Women tell us frequently that they are freezing their eggs because the men they meet feel threatened by their success and so unwilling to commit to starting a family together.”
— Professor Geeta Nargund, Medical Director of U.K. clinic Create Fertility (bio here). From The Telegraph.

“These are highly educated, very successful women and one after another they were saying they couldn’t find a partner. How could it be that all these amazing, attractive intelligent women were lamenting about their ability to find a partner?”
— Professor Marcia Inhorn, Professor of Anthropology at Yale University and former President of the Society for Medical Anthropology (her website). From The Telegraph.

They interviewed only the women to learn why men did not marry them. It is feminist science: always believe the woman. No need to ask the men. See the details about the study here.

Even the tabloids have joined the game, featuring women complaining that men are at fault for not buying what they’re offering. As in the Daily Mail: “Are reluctant men to blame for so many women being childless?” The answer is, of course, yes. Women are eternal victims, without responsibility for their woes.

“Sadly, it seems that the majority of these childless women desperately wanted a family. Jody Day, founder of Gateway Women, a support network for childless women, says that her research shows 10% of such women are childless due to infertility and 10% have chosen to be child-free. But that leaves some 80% of women without children who have simply ended up in this situation.

“Melanie Whitehouse is certainly one of these women. And she is clear about the cause of her childlessness: men. Or rather, the lack of men who were willing to settle down and start a family with her. The heartbreaking realisation that she was never going to have a baby struck late – in her 50s, while at a reunion lunch with her first boyfriend, whom she had dumped on a whim.”  {Hat tip on this story to Dalrock.}

Speculation about implications of this revolution

So far the most common response to these developments has been to pretend that our society will roll on, despite radical changes to its most fundamental machinery. We close our eyes while running forward. Instead let’s try to look ahead, aware that we can only guess at the results of the gender revolution (only a few aspects of which were mentioned above). Here are a few of my guesses. Post yours in the comments.

(a)  Marriage rates drop.

Women reach the age at which they want to marry — but find fewer men interested in what they offer.

Fertility drops, especially after development of a male contraceptive pill (fewer “accidental” births).  More frustrated women. More cats in America (many domestic species of birds are hunted to extinction). Slower economic growth. More demand by businesses for immigrants (otherwise wages would rise).  Per de Tocqueville, fewer US citizens will have strong attachment to our political regime (after me the deluge is a logical policy for the childless).

(b) Less motivated men in the work force.

Hard-working beta fathers are a core power sources of America. In the ancient regime, men worked to gain the affection of pretty, good women. With that option gone, many of America’s future young men will work only enough to survive and buy their rewards of beer, video games, sports, and drugs (porn is almost free). They will consider big cars, marriage, and kids as bizarre forms of conspicuous consumption — not worth the effort.

(c)  Alienated young men are the bricks to build mass movements.

Past societies with large numbers of unmarried men had them integrated into families, clans or other intermediary social structures. America has them as alienated individuals, ripe for recruitment in movements that give their lives more meaning and hope. Young men form packs easily and quickly. The process is, to coin a phrase, beyond good and evil.

Hitler explains how to do this in his autobiography Hitler in Hell (by historian Martin van Creveld). This did not end well for Germany. It won’t for America, either.

What might such a movement look like? Religious, like Islam or Mormonism? Secular, like Fascism or Marxism? Robert Heinlein describes such a revolution ending with a Darwinian free intellectual society, with an enlightened but still macho masculinity (Beyond This Horizon).

(d) These trends will affect each social class very differently.

Details about that I will save for another day.

Crystal Ball

Conclusions

American society is changing fast, driven by ideologues who just know what’s best for us. They see no experimentation or incremental trial and error. We have the equivalent of monkeys in the control room  of a complex plants — an automobile factor or nuclear power station — spinning the dials and flipping switches. Our youth are guinea pigs in the vast social policy experiment with radical feminism, just as the people of Russia and China were for communism.

We can only guess at the outcomes. But extreme outcomes, extremely bad outcomes, seem likely.

We are volunteers, or perhaps easily herded sheep. But we can still take control of these processes, one family at a time. One organization at a time. One community at a time.

For More Information

Here is the invaluable Dalrock’s much briefer version of the same message.

Ideas! For ideas about using Holiday cash, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about society and gender issuesabout feminism, about marriage, and especially these…

  1. Do we want to bring back traditional marriage? What is traditional marriage?
  2. Men are “going Galt”. Marriage is dying. Will society survive?
  3. Men are abandoning the rat race, & changing American society — see the data.
  4. Why men are avoiding work and marriage.
  5. Will young men break America’s family structure?
  6. Will today’s young men marry? America’s future depends which of these answers is right.
  7. Our society will be shaped by technology as porn and sexbots destroy 21st century marriage.
  8. For Father’s Day: revolutionary words that will forever change the American family.
  9. Classic films show what marriage was. Facts show its death.
  10. Cheap Sex is the Inconvenient Truth in the end of marriage.

Some great books that can help us understand our situation

Sex in History by Reay Tannahill.

Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty by Nancy Etcoff.

Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy by Mark Negenrus.

Men and Marriage by George Gilder. A great classic describing the America-that-once-was.

Men and Marriage
Available at Amazon.
Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy
Available at Amazon.

21 thoughts on “A look at America’s future after marriage becomes rare

  1. Interesting.
    Polygamy is predictable response to a society bereft of sufficient men; in Kyrgistan and Kazakhstan, reversion to those traditional forms are becoming acceptable again. Likewise, the pairing middle-aged women with lower-caste men is a predictable response to a society who has decided that its elite men trade in for a new, younger model without social penalty.
    What, exactly, were you expecting?

    1. SunVillage,

      “to a society bereft of sufficient men”

      America has no lack of men.

      “the pairing middle-aged women with lower-caste men”

      One result of economic independence of women is an unleashing of their drive to hypergamy (see Wikipedia). They want alphas. If they have to settle, their standards are still high — wanting good beta providers.

      Perhaps we will see widespread marrying down in terms of social class (not just women earning more than their husbands, which is already happening). Perhaps not. Time will tell.

      “that its elite men trade in for a new, younger model without social penalty”

      Women initiate roughly 70% of divorces. That does not vary much by social class. The “trade-in” story gets a lot of attention, and does happen – but is not as common as the media tells us.

    2. PAT,

      That is interesting. But is it relevant to us?

      The West has had a system of serial monogamy for several generations (except for the rich, who in the West have been promiscuous forever). Why would this change?

  2. “What might such a movement look like? Religious, like Islam or Mormonism?”

    Perhaps. We do not have to guess, as we have case studies. Consider the oldest and most productive industrial city in the US, established by Wm. Penn before Philadelphia was envisioned.

    Fifty years ago – 10 Jan 1968 (Ainsworth, Delaware County Times) – a closed meeting with PA Republican leaders gathered at Scott Paper Co.’s headquarters in Tinicum, attended by Sun Oil Co. board chairman J. Howard Pew; Philadelphia Councilman W. Thatcher Longstreth; Reeves Buntng; William A. Meehan; Arlin Adams, chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association; Lt. Gen. Milton G. Baker. It was held with former VP Richard M. Nixon, minutes after he disclosed his plans to seek the Republican presidential nomination.

    Historians will note that it was not a mass movement of disenfranchised young men that these worthies were frightened of. Rather, it was the horde of hard-working beta fathers, who worked to gain the affection of pretty, good women. Who bought the cars built in the local Ford plant, and fueled them with gasoline from the Sunoco plant. They married in church; sent their children to Pennsylvania Military College, St. Anthony’s, or the magnificent castle-like public school in the city’s center. To pay for such bizarre forms of conspicuous consumption, a living wage was rendered them, rather than to stockholders.

    Just a few months later, Chester High School burned to the ground; so did the houses on “Doctors’ Row” surrounding the Third Presbyterian Church. It was decided that St. Anthony’s was to be closed, as Cardinal O’Hara needed its students.

    Ford left. Scott Paper left. Sunoco left. Sun Ship left. Every small business, shop, and factory burned. Broken levees were never rebuilt. Apparently hurricanes were not to ever occur after 1968. Firemen were broken by the Wade fire, and their families never recovered.

    P.S. The mass movement of disenfranchised young men are commonly called “gangs”.

    P.S.S. The Remnant is alive and well, but not exactly who you assume. Last night, the Historical Preservation Committee decided to work with them, to preserve Old Third Presbyterian, by releasing the building for use as a mosque. What, exactly, were you expecting?

    1. Sun Village,

      (1) I don’t understand what you are saying. Can you provide a link to something describing this event.

      (2) “The mass movement of disenfranchised young men are commonly called “gangs”.”

      Gangs are a small scale phenomena. Mass movements are large, with broad participation. Gangs don’t radically change or even overthrow societies. Mass movements sometimes do.

      (3) “The Remnant is alive and well, but not exactly who you assume. Last night, the Historical Preservation Committee decided to work with them, to preserve Old Third Presbyterian, by releasing the building for use as a mosque.”

      What does that mean? If you have something to say, say it. Don’t be so cryptic. You can do better.

  3. “…many of America’s future young men will work only enough to survive and buy their rewards of beer, video games, sports, and drugs (porn is almost free). They will consider big cars, marriage, and kids as bizarre forms of conspicuous consumption — not worth the effort.”

    Greetings! I am already a citizen of the future world you describe.

    1. Cato,

      After 15 years as a Boy Scout leader, I know a lot of young men now in their 20s. Some are like that, drop-outs from the “rat race.” Many of their friends are. My guess is that dropping out will be a big thing in the next generation.

      It’s already visible in the employment stats. See all the articles wondering “where did all the missing men go?”

      The consensus is that this is no problem, as they’ll be replaced by women – who are better in all ways. Much like Rey in the new Star Trek films (fiction mirrors our beliefs). Time will tell if that is correct.

  4. The discussion suggests that in the US, neither the women nor the men are particularly focused on the task of reproduction, as opposed to careers or personal entertainment. Given those priorities, marriage certainly becomes less likely.

    However, as fertility rates are in general decline throughout the world, held up only in the most impoverished or troubled areas such as Africa, the US clearly is not an exception, but rather just another data point confirming a trend away from childbearing/raising throughout modern society. Efforts by governments in Europe to offset these trends by encouraging immigration don’t seem to be producing positive results. Japan’s approach of shrinking gracefully appears to be better tolerated socially, but does not really address the problem.

    Evidently our civilization is hostile to children, to the long term disadvantage of all its participants, male and female.

    1. etudiant,

      (1) “neither the women nor the men are particularly focused on the task of reproduction”

      True, for many or most. But worse is the growing disinterest in raising children. That’s delegated to TV, videos, and minimum wage day care workers. Then school and youth programs. Split custody after divorce.

      (2) “as fertility rates are in general decline throughout the world”

      Good. The lower the mid-21st century population peak, the better for the world. As it is, the stress on the world ecology will be immense.

      (3) “to the long term disadvantage of all its participants, male and female.”

      Not true to the slightest degree. See:

  5. The canary in the coal mine of cultural change due to a declining birthrate is Europe. A flood of immigrants who have different values is irrevocably altering the social landscape since many (most?) have not bought into the basic tenets of Western Civilization. Nor do they seem willing to leave the problems [that drove them out] back in their country of origin. So the traditional marriages that many pine for will come from an increasingly immigrant population with much different values from the host society.
    For a very prescient read see Christopher Caldwell’s 2009 book “Reflections on the Revolution in Europe”. It has held up pretty well 8 years later.
    And the above would seem to be frightening to many, but maybe especially feminists.

    1. BZ,

      (1) I agree that western Europe is irrevocably and fecklessly altering their destiny by opening their borders to people from very different cultures. I doubt that is linked to their low fertility. Historians will have fun guessing at why. Perhaps it is another attempt at cultural suicide, since WWI failed.

      Perhaps it is their business leaders attempt to hammer down its workers’ hard-won wages and job security. Immigration was used for that in the US, until voters forced the borders closed in steps from 1890 to 1932.

      Thanks for the pointer to Reflections on the Revolution in Europe (see Wikipedia)!

      (2) “And the above would seem to be frightening to many, but maybe especially feminists.”

      I don’t see any evidence that feminists are “frightened” by immigration of culturally anti-feminist men into Europe. They are, like almost all on the Left, enthusiastic. And want more. Much more.

  6. See our elites show us the new world!

    Samuel Adams Octoberfest 2017 commercial shows a contest. Which of these contestants can hold up the heavy stein the longest? In your heart you already know the answer.

     

    Samuel Adams Octoberfest 2017 contest

     

    See the video of the commercial and learn who won.

  7. Where are all the guys?

    One common complaint heard from women, esp in their 30s, is “where have all the men gone?” A post at Capital Capitalism gives an answer: “Yes, Men Do Leave the Market.

    That is 10 years old. Now we can add another reason to the list: women less often dress to attract men (as is their right). So men are less often attracted from other pursuits that offer them a righter risk-adjusted rate of return.

  8. Great article. There is no benefit to men in marriage. Women steal our kids, lie on us, steal our savings and any future earning, sleep with others(adultery) and strive to killb our drive men insane.

    Its clear women will soon be begging for men. There are at least 7 women to each man so POLYGYNY IS THE FUTURE OR NO FAMILY AT ALL. Men will keep distancing themself from demon feminist women called the western woman. While she continues her degrees In useless majors until shes no longer fertile men will struggle through gyno man hating society and build their own destiny. Metoo has made sure of this by lying on men bc they didnt give the thot money or a move part so men from the “rich” men to the “poor” have woken up.

    1. Valante,

      “Its clear women will soon be begging for men.”

      Perhaps so. But there are no signs of that yet. It’s equally likely that men and women will be like diverging lines. I’ll be writing about that soon.

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