Becoming a post-marriage America: see the stories!

Summary: Marriage, the foundation of American society, is washing away. A new society arises on the ruins of the old. Scientists study this process, but don’t want to admit its radical nature. No alarms. Let the great social experiment run its course, with us as lab rats!

The secret of establishing a new state is to maintain the forms of the old.
— Tacitus in his Histories.

Bride and groom - dreamstimefree_6147576
ID 6147576 © Kornilovdream | Dreamstime.

Important news about America’s changing family structure

The recent decline in divorce rates receives much applause by journalists who ignore the real – and darker – story. The following article states the facts far more clearly than most such articles. But the article buries the lede, with the big conclusion in the last paragraph – giving a different message than that in the rest of the article.

The Not-So-Great Reason Divorce Rates Are Declining.”

By Joe Pinsker at The Atlantic.
“What’s changed isn’t marriage, but the types of people who are likeliest to get married.”

“In the past 10 years, the percentage of American marriages that end in divorce has fallen, and in a new paper, the University of Maryland sociologist Philip Cohen quantified the drop-off: Between 2008 and 2016, the divorce rate declined by 18% overall.

“After accounting for the rising average age of married Americans and other demographic shifts during that time, Cohen found “a less steep decline – 8% – but the pattern is the same.” That is, the divorce rate in 2016 was still lower than one would have predicted if the demographics of married people were the same then as in 2008.

“When I asked Andrew Cherlin, a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University, how to make sense of this trend, he opened his explanation with something of a koan: “In order to get divorced,” he said, “you have to get married first. …

“So, looking at married couples alone doesn’t capture the true nature of American partnerships today. “If you were to include cohabiting relationships [in addition to marriages], the breakup rates for young adults have probably not been going down,” Cherlin says. In other words: Yes, divorce rates are declining. But that’s more a reflection of who’s getting married than of the stability of any given American couple.”

Prof Cherlin is correct about the rapid decline in marriage rates (see the numbers at America begins its post-marriage experiment). His conclusion is certainly false. Break-up rates among cohabitating couples are much higher than divorce rates. So young people cohabitating instead of marrying will increase break-up rates. But that experts at least see the trend is progress, even if they don’t yet see its obvious effects.

The shift from marriage to cohabitation is one of the biggest events in US history. Breakup rates increase, and child support by the State replaces marriage (i.e., either extracting funds from fathers or payments by taxpayers). See the trend in this graphic from “Marriage and Cohabitation Experiences Among Young Adults” by Esther Lamidi and Wendy D. Manning of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research (2016). Their paper provides a wealth of data about this momentous trend.

2016-Marriage vs cohabitation

What is the difference between marriage and cohabitation?

After moving in together in the next five years roughly 50% marry, 40% split up, and 10% continue to live together without getting married. Cohabitation does not decrease the odds of divorce in a subsequent marriage (age is more important factor).

Cohabiting couples had a separation rate five times that of married couples and a reconciliation rate that was one-third that of married couples. Cohabiting couples are more likely to experience infidelity. Some studies show that cohabiting couples have poorer relationship quality, with more fighting and lower reported happiness.

The effects of all this on the children raised amidst this chaos is easy to imagine and unpleasant to contemplate. I doubt it is good for the men and women involved. As for America, families have been the foundation of our success. We have thrived as a nation that is a community of families. Destroying America’s families is another step on our Highway to Hell.

More detailed examination of these trends

No matter how bad you believe the situation, research shows it is worse. Scientists have begun to focus not just on the rates of marriage and divorce, but also on the more important rates of cohabitation (whether married or not) and break-ups. For example, the first only glancingly sees the bigger picture. The second is a look at the key issue, with others listed below.

The Coming Divorce Decline.”

By Philip N. Cohen (prof of sociology, U of Maryland at College Park).
Submitted for the 2019 Population Association of America meetings.

“This paper analyzes the odds of divorce from 2008 to 2016 …. I find that the falling observed divorce rates over the last decade are apparent in the fully adjusted model as well. Further, age specific divorce rates show that the trend in the last decade has been driven by younger women (despite higher divorce rates among older women than in the past). …Marriage is become more selective, and more stable, even as attitudes toward divorce are becoming more permissive, and cohabitation has grown less stable.

“I …identify trends that portend further declines in divorce rates. …The U.S. is progressing toward a system in which marriage is rarer, and more stable, than it was in the past, representing an increasingly central component of the structure of social inequality.”

Trends in Cohabitation Outcomes:
Compositional Changes and Engagement Among Never-Married Young Adults.

Karen Benjamin Guzzo (assoc prof of sociology at Bowling Green State U, Ohio).
Journal of Marriage and the Family, August 2014.

“…Compared to earlier cohabitations, those formed after 1995 were more likely to dissolve, and those formed after 2000 were less likely to transition to marriage even after accounting for the compositional shifts among individuals in cohabiting unions. Higher instability and decreased chances of marriage occurred among both engaged and non‐engaged individuals, suggesting society‐wide changes in cohabitation over time.”

More research.

From the Fall 2015 issue of The Future of Children (Princeton) – “Marriage and Child Wellbeing Revisited.”

Conclusions

“If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.”
— Don Fabrizio in The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (the top-selling novel in Italian history), and a 1963 film with Burt Lancaster.

These trends are not irresistible. No future is inevitable. But maintaining a functioning society requires that we work at it, not let it drift like a paper boat in a stream. But first we must clearly see what is happening, and then decide what we want America to be.

Dalrock’s insights about marriage

He is a married man living with his wife and two kids in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He wants to know how the post feminist world impacts himself and his family. He explores these issues and produces powerful insights. Dark insights. See some of his posts about marriage.

  1. Time and fantasy: marriage itself has been degraded for many decades.
  2. The one obstacle she can’t remove: divorce is regarded as a woman’s failure.
  3. More bad news for marriage is baked in.
  4. She’s too traditional to marry her baby daddy.

For more information

Ideas! For shopping ideas 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 feminismabout marriage, and especially these …

  1. Do we want to bring back traditional marriage? What is traditional marriage?
  2. Classic films show what marriage was. Facts show its death.
  3. Cheap Sex is the Inconvenient Truth in the end of marriage.
  4. Marriage today – and its dystopian future.
  5. Red Pill knowledge is poison to marriage.
  6. An easy fix to make marriages stronger and work better.
  7. Essential advice from a feminist conservative pastor! — How to become a divorced beta.
  8. The coming crash of marriage: why, and what’s next.
  9. Millennial girls had a golden age. Gen Z’s inherit wreckage.

Books about the post-marriage world

The classic about this subject: Men and Marriage by George Gilder (1986).

A look at men’s response to the feminist reforms of marriage: Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream – and Why It Matters by Dr. Helen Smith (2013).

Men and Marriage
Available at Amazon.
Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream - and Why It Matters
Available at Amazon.

61 thoughts on “Becoming a post-marriage America: see the stories!

  1. A post-marriage society was preceded by a post-industrial society.
    I remember when home economics was an effort by my culture to lend structure, pride in craftsmanship, efficiency, and dignity to women’s work at home.
    I remember when those skills were denigrated, as well as watered down, just as other industrial arts had been.
    Dignity is one of humankind’s most valuable assets.
    Remove the dignity of her work, as was most certainly done in the realm of women’s work,
    and she revolts.
    Remove the dignity of a man, by shuttering up the door of his workplace,
    and he revolts.

    All you’re looking at is the mess at the end of the explosion and not putting the pieces together very well.

  2. I remember watching a series of Yale history lectures on France since the Revolution. There was a brief discussion on the collapse of religious participation during the 19th century, correspondingly there was a decline in marriage and a rise in cohabitation, so by the 1870’s a couple in the French working class were as lightly to be married as not.

    The was also a rise in militant anti clericalism among the working class. Marriage rate remained stable for the middle and upper classes. There were lots of reasons for this, too many to go into here, but its the only historical example I am aware of for what is happening in many western countries today.

    But that’s not to say this has not happened before. I don’t know if marriage rates recovered after that in France. I do know that that Frances low birth rate was a strategic level concern for the French government, especially as the Germans were banging out children at this time.

    1. Gerard,

      You have shown that the point of this post is not clear. Looking at marriage rates is misleading. Look at breakup rates, which are the indicator of social dysfunction.

      The institution of marriage was considered vital for those with property, and less so for the peasants and slaves that were most of the population. But from little I’ve read, breakup rates were low among parents. The current role of marriage is linked to its role in Christian theology, becoming a sacrament in 1184.

      The current low levels of relationship stability are, I suspect, unusual historically. But even that’s a secondary matter, of interest to historians and sociologists. What matters is that we have built our society on long-term pair bonding. The shift away from that, no matter how we dress it up, is causing problems. My guess is that this trend will continue – and grow worse.

    2. Gerard,

      Thank you for your comments. I have tweaked the text to make the core points clearer (or rather, clear).

    3. Gerard,

      “But that’s not to say this has not happened before. I don’t know if marriage rates recovered after that in France. I do know that that Frances low birth rate was a strategic level concern for the French government, especially as the Germans were banging out children at this time.”

      There are several possible major causes for the fall of the birthrate in XIXth century France, but marriage instability is not the most probable, at least not as a leading phenomenon and more as a consequence. France made its demographic transition almost a century earlier than other European countries: most countries in western/central Europe were then at a stage (lower death rate, and going towards lowering birth rate, with an intermediary phase where death is going down and birth rates are still very high) France had gone through towards the end of the XVIIIth century (making it the most populated country in Europe during the Napoleonic wars).

      Another explanation often evoked lies in the major changes imposed by the Revolution, which ended the “first born’s rule” in inheritance law (aka: the eldest child gets all are almost all the family estate) and prescribed a sharing of said inheritance. It impacted the rural world (75% of the population), in particular, heavily, and its demography. So much so that the rural birth rates went really down in that century, so as to preserve viable land parcels (especially in the small peasantry, where property could seldom afford to be divided) and, for some, not handicap familial “marital strategies” of multi-generational property increases. The rural world was a bastion for marriage stability and tradition, but this factor gravely constrained the number of children produced.

    4. Tancrede,

      Thank you for this great info! Historical information about other nations is gold, since so few of us in American know much about continental history — esp social history (and even less about the rest of the world).

  3. What do you think could be done on a policy level to strengthen the institution of marriage?

    My first step would be getting rid of no fault divorce, divorce would have a cooling off period of between 2 and 4 years, my second would be the end of custody battles, parents would have equal access to their children, unless there was a valid reason that one parent would have majority custody. The reduction of alimony payments, which seems to act as a perverse incentive.

    I know that’s how it works in Ireland and to some extent Britain it seems to work, although there is some pressure from the left to move to a no fault divorce system it’s not got a much traction.

    Although married couples do separate, it doesn’t have the legal fallout that divorce has.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/religion-and-beliefs/ireland-s-divorce-rate-remarkably-low-compared-to-wider-world-1.3254828

    1. Gerard,

      Your question is important, but I have no ideas about answers. We’re still in the problem identification stage, as shown by the papers cited here.

    2. We would also have to put an end to the unjust Duluth model of Domestic violence which always convicts the man despite his innocence:

    3. info,

      Why would the Left abandon such a powerful tool as the Duluth Model? And who will stop them? There is no effective resistance to feminism today? As I and others have documented, most of the major institutions are pro-feminist or frightened of them.

    4. Gerard asks: What do you think could be done on a policy level to strengthen the institution of marriage?

      I ask: Who could provide such a policy and get it through the misinformation guided political system that appears to run rampant today?

      I am reminded of the stated that “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” {Said by Irina Dunn.}

    5. John,

      We’re building a post-marriage society. Marriage is functionally being replaced by child support. So a women does not need a man, but a mother needs child-support (enforced by the State on the father, or paid by taxpayers).

      It is amazing that that we’re so far into this process, yet so few see it.

    6. @Gerard

      What do you think could be done on a policy level to strengthen the institution of marriage?

      My first step would be getting rid of no fault divorce, divorce would have a cooling off period of between 2 and 4 years, my second would be the end of custody battles, parents would have equal access to their children, unless there was a valid reason that one parent would have majority custody. The reduction of alimony payments, which seems to act as a perverse incentive.

      No fault divorce is part of the problem, but not where I would start. I would start with the direct replacement of marriage. We didn’t replace marriage with divorce. We replaced marriage with child support. Even just dialing back how aggressively we adopt the child support model would have a huge positive impact. For example, if family court judges were to lose their taste for jailing men who failed to meet their income quota, that would help. Likewise if they stopped being so aggressive when setting income quotas for fathers, or demanded a smaller percentage of the father’s income be sent to the mother.

      Child support is the answer to the feminist question “How can we give women the financial support of a husband without them being trapped in marriage?” We’ve become accustomed to lying about this, pretending that we are merely trying to make sure children are provided for. But the current system relies on the courts separating children from fathers and billing the father for the privilege.

    7. Dalrock,

      Wow. That’s thinking big. Dialing down child-support (extracted from fathers) would be radical, and a change from a century-long trend.

      My guess (guess!) is that nothing so drastic will be done in the next generation (I doubt we can see further than that). And that the next chapter of change will come from men dropping out of the system. Not getting involved with women. Not getting married. Cohabitating or marrying but refusing to have children (the eventual development of a male contraceptive pill will accelerate this).

      I can’t even guess at the response by women to this (possible) behavioral change by men. Good or ill? But it seems likely to push us further down the road to a new future. There is, I suspect, no going back.

    8. @LK

      Wow. That’s thinking big. Dialing down child-support (extracted from fathers) would be radical, and a change from a century-long trend.

      It is indeed big! Child support is the linchpin to the whole system. Even just nibbling on the edges profoundly threatens the status quo. The other day when we were discussing shared custody I came across a paper where an academic complained that this would lessen women’s threatpoint in marriage. I’ll see if I can find it if you are interested. Either way, it shows the social scientists understand what they are doing.

      But I also think this is more doable than I think you allow. No laws would need to change. The family court judges have wide discretion in this area. A generational change in family court judges could have a huge impact all by itself. Moreover, the current system is extremely expensive to the economy as a whole. We aren’t talking about spending more money, just flagging enthusiasm for a system that is cruel to children and strangling the economy (and therefore tax revenues).

    9. Dalrock,

      I agree on all points. Most important – which I had not seen until you pointed it out — child support is the lynchpin.

      “The family court judges have wide discretion in this area. A generational change in family court judges could have a huge impact …”

      True. That’s what I meant by radical. Their conversion to a pro-men perspective would be like the John Birch Society becoming Marxists. That would be a major political revolution!

      But as you and I and others have documented, feminists are winning decisively. Institutions fall into their control like dominoes falling. Now the most conservative ones – the military and churches — are going. I cannot imagine what would reverse that in a generation. Or even two.

      This goes to one of the major themes on the FM website. We spend a lot of time and energy creating visions of the future. But much less on how to make that happen. I’ve written a few posts about this, but they get little traction with readers (which illustrates the problem).

      1. Enough analysis, the first post about real solutions: The end to World War G (gender).
      2. Men find individual solutions.
      3. Modern dating: is the only winning move is not to play?
      4. An easy fix to make marriages stronger and work better.
      5. Men standing together can end the gender wars.
      6. Speculation: A surprise end to the gender wars: men stand together.
    10. I found the paper I was thinking of: “Do joint custody laws improve family well-being?” by Martin Halla at IZA World of Labor — “Joint child custody laws affect not only divorced families but intact families as well.” He is a professor of economics at the Johannes Kepler University Linz.

      Top of the list of cons:

      “The introduction of joint custody reforms reinforces the traditional division of labor within the family and gives men greater bargaining power over the intrahousehold allocation of resources.”

      Abstract

      “Custody laws governing living arrangements for children following their parents’ divorce have changed dramatically since the 1970s. Traditionally, one parent — usually the mother — was assigned sole custody of the child. Today, many divorced parents continue to share parental rights and responsibilities through joint custody arrangements. While joint custody laws have improved the situation of divorced fathers, recent empirical research has documented intended and unintended consequences of joint custody laws for families in such areas as family formation, labor force participation, suicide, domestic violence, and child outcomes.”

    11. Dalrock,

      I am inherently skeptical of sociological papers by economists. Their training is in abstraction, and that makes them unsuited to deal with the complexities of social dynamics. Halla’s analysis is typical, imposing assumptions (buttressed by models) on the data. For example, his model attributed the increase in marriage rates (a small increase in age-adjusted rates) to the increased use of joint custody. Ditto the drop in women’s labor market participation. Color me skeptical. Too many things changed during this period.

      It is fun with numbers, the source of the replication crisis.

    12. @LK

      I agree on all points. Most important – which I had not seen until you pointed it out — child support is the lynchpin.

      “The family court judges have wide discretion in this area. A generational change in family court judges could have a huge impact …”

      True. That’s what I meant by radical. Their conversion to a pro-men perspective would be like the John Birch Society becoming Marxists. That would be a major political revolution!

      But as you and I and others have documented, feminists are winning decisively. Institutions fall into their control like dominoes falling. Now the most conservative ones – the military and churches — are going. I cannot imagine what would reverse that in a generation. Or even two.

      Agreed. But we don’t need to convert them to a pro-men perspective. Less enthusiasm would have a huge impact. Feminism has so far benefited from inertia. At some point that stops, and their biggest risk is entropy, decay. Also, much of the support for the child support system comes not from feminism, but from chivalry. Chivalry is a powerful enabling force for feminism, but the termites are already working on it (game, the mgtow backlash, etc).

      I am inherently skeptical of sociological papers by economists. Their training is in abstraction, and that makes them unsuited to deal with the complexities of social dynamics. Halla’s analysis is typical, imposing assumptions (buttressed by models) on the data. For example, his model attributed the increase in marriage rates (a small increase in age-adjusted rates) to the increased use of joint custody. Ditto the drop in women’s labor market participation. Color me skeptical. Too many things changed during this period.

      It is fun with numbers, the source of the replication crisis.

      I share your skepticism. I only referenced it because of how clearly it communicates the attitude, the awareness of social scientists that replacing marriage as well as transforming marriage depends on a vigorous child support system.

    13. Dalrock,

      Thank you for the additional color on your answer! As always, your explanation makes these things more clear.

      Also, you might find these articles of interest (hat tip to Constrained Locus in this thread). I added them to the post.

      From the Fall 2015 issue of The Future of Children (Princeton) – “Marriage and Child Wellbeing Revisited.”

    14. Indeed. Unless feminism is overcome. None of the desired effective changes will take place.

      There is no way to salvage marriage until that problem is solved.

    15. I agree 123% with Mr. Dalrock. Child support is the heart of the matter. Technically, it should be easy to abolish it: joint custody + you share child expenses 50% (yes, with receipts: it may be boring, but you don’t need an house accountant for that). Trying to implement it politically, well… : ) maybe you’ll need some Panzerdivisionen.
      However, it would be a big strategic victory for marriage (and for men, which amounts to the same thing). You absolutely cannot have women marrying while thinking, “If I get stuffed with him, mine will be the children and he will pay for them & for me”. If (when) this happens, the said woman is tempted far, far beyond her might to resist to divorce, which is a) very bad for children b) very bad for husband c) very bad for her, because 1. probably she will not be happier with the next idi..ahem, man she will entrap 2. she’ll probably find herself in a living hell with resentful children 3. when she will be older and she will find herself talking with her cats, they probably will tell her: “You had it coming, fool”.
      And what’s more important, nobody should be tempted far beyond his/her might to resist.

  4. I wonder if the decline of marriage is part the the same phenomenon, where all state institutions seem to have declining approval rates, apart from the military (strangely the most conservative and family orientated).

    I think on the left there is a perception that the family and marriage are somehow right wing. That to support marriage and the family is to be anti progressive. Perhaps that is the gordian knot, depoliticise marriage, and demonstrate its value as a driver of happiness, I hear far to many conservatives in america using the family and marriage as weapons in the culture war, stand tall Roy Moore, not that democrats are immune, here looking at you John Edwards.

    1. Gerard,

      “on the left there is a perception that the family and marriage are somehow right wing”

      Because they are “right-wing.” A defining belief on the Left is that these old forms of society must be destroyed — patriarchy! — and replaced by whatever results from their new social engineering projects. Perhaps these will work out better than did Communism.

      “Perhaps that is the gordian knot, depoliticise marriage, and demonstrate its value as a driver of happiness”

      You are really missing the point of what the Left is saying.

      “I hear far to many conservatives in america using the family and marriage as weapons in the culture war,”

      Wow. That’s really backwards. But it is classic Left today: defending yourself and your beliefs is aggression.

  5. I resolved not to respond to to comments. Then I walked away. But I could not stay away, I had to say something. I’m going to do this in as few words as possible. I want for all of you to consider the fact that every word below this paragraph has been considered at least 10 times (although it has been written in haste because I want to get away from this topic as quickly as possible).

    WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!!

    I’m sorry but I can’t help myself from staring AGHAST at nearly everybody who has commented so far! OH. MY. FREAKING. GOD!!! Thank you for your patience, I feel a little bit better now.

    First, lets look at a few facts:
    – The average life expectancy in 1950 was 68.1 years. That meant that the average retiree was expected to live 3 years before dying. Furthermore, a decently larger percentage (maybe 35%) were expected to die before collecting retirement.

    A woman needed to get married before 25 to ensure that she completed her family by 35 (+16-18 years = 51-53 by the time she’s done raising her child). Because of a lack of time, social attitudes and the ability to move around before marriage (to somebody within 2-3 years of her age at 25), she has at most 100 potential partners to consider from for a potential partner. This was a SERIOUS consideration, in part because of her limited prospects and income if she did not get married unless she went to college (fairly low chance of that ~20% of women were given that opportunity). College-bound girls were considered odd and poor marriage-prospects.

    Last, but not least, the life of a woman who chose to have a child out of wedlock (especially if she was white) was not far from hellish in the first few years of the child’s life. She almost always had to lie in order to cover it up.

    – Fast forward to 1970, THE CULTURE HAD CHANGED ENORMOUSLY. Life expectancy is now 70.8 years. Retirees are now living 5 years but the percentage of people dying on the job (except soldering in Vietnam) has hit an all-time low.

    Due to advances in medicine women can now safely delay having the first child beyond 30 without hurting their physical or social opportunities. The Vietnam war has the economy humming and has reduced the number of young men to the point where businesses MUST hire young women where possible to keep their customers happy. Most businesses are starting to learn that women are better at the job of keeping their customers happy than young men because of physical and social reasons. Which makes the bosses happy. The average young woman, because of vastly more exposure to the world via TV, changing social mores, and travel, can consider perhaps 500 potential men for lifetime partners. This starts changes the social dynamic between men and women. Women can afford to be choosier and men have to work harder to fully impress the woman (they are aided in this by the fact that a lot of men are away for Vietnam and Cold War obligations).

    Women are going to college much more frequently and college graduates are now consider to very good matches for young men.

    Last, but not least, the life of a woman who chose to have a child out of wedlock is considerably better physically (due to Johnson’s welfare state) but is still not that good socially. Note that when I say considerably better, I mean that on 2/3rds of them are living in some form of poverty after the decision unless the parents decide to help out (which is still unlikely).

    – On to 1990! The culture around the woman has changed enormously AGAIN! People now average 75.2 years and death on the job is becoming rare. The country has been at peace of 15 years and is in the middle of an economic boom (again).

    Due to advances in medicine women can now safely delay having the first child beyond 33 without hurting their physical or social opportunities. Employers in customer-facing professions are beginning to prefer women over men, in part because they don’t have to pay them as much and in part due to reasons noted above. All of shich makes the bosses happy. The average young woman, because of rapidly increasing exposure to the world via TV, changing social mores, and travel, can consider over 1,000 potential men for lifetime partners. Education becomes even more important to men and women as a way to improve their financial opportunities. The social dynamic between young men and women is completely unrecognizable to people who were 30 in 1950 and is hard for people who were 30 in 1970 to believe. Women continue to have more time and options when choosing a lifetime partner. A logical side-effect is that women include the potential sexual ability as part of their criteria and prefer to base their decisions on experience rather than speculation. Young men, in general, happy with this change a continue to try to up their game when it comes to impressing the women.

    There is an increasing number of both men and women who drop the idea of a life partner for a lot of reasons. The population is already booming, why add to it? Birth prevention technology is cheap and reliable. Gays are coming out of the closet. Why have a life partner that is of the opposite gender if you’re not attracted to the opposite gender? Sadly, a small percentage of men are responding to the increased pressure in nihilistic ways such as suicide (sometimes using the rest of society to kill themselves), increased crime rates, and substance abuse.

    More women are going to college, sometimes just to pick out a spouse. Women now match men in graduation rates and numbers. But college is getting pricey which increases the pressure on college graduates to get married and stay married.

    The social stigma on women who choose to have a child out of wedlock is much less but still is still a bit ugly. Better jobs mean less welfare checks but better benefits. Life as a single parent still SUCKS. Half of them are living in some form of poverty after the decision unless the parents decide to help out (which is now more likely).

    – Final pit stop on THIS road: 2010! The culture around the woman has changed enormously AGAIN! People now average 78. 5 years and death on the job is even more rare. The country has survived 9/11 (already mostly forgotten) and the 2008 crash, which has most PROFOUNDLY not been forgotten.

    Due to advances in medicine women can now usually safely delay having the first child beyond 38 without hurting their physical or social opportunities. Employers in most professions are beginning to prefer young women over men, in part because they don’t have to pay them as much as men. The average young woman, because of rapidly increasing exposure to the world via TV, changing social mores, and travel, can consider over 3,000 potential men for lifetime partners. Post-secondary education is now considered VITAL for men and women to improve their financial opportunities.

    There is an increasing number of both men and women who drop the idea of a life partner AND children for a lot of very good reasons. The population large and growing, children are EXPENSIVE and money is TIGHT. Birth prevention technology is cheap and reliable. Gays are out of the closet and popular! The percentage of men who are responding to the increased pressure in nihilistic ways such as suicide (sometimes using the rest of society to kill themselves), increased crime rates, and substance abuse is probably slowly rising (which is fairly impressive on the part of the men considering the amount of increased stress they are under) but is much more heavily documented. Women’s right is in full swing and women are being accepted for roles they would never have been considered for earlier (combat pilots, astronauts, etc.) with obviously greater opportunities in the near future.

    More women are going to college than men. Women now slightly exceed men in graduation rates and numbers. But college is very expensive and getting worse fast which increases the pressure on college graduates to get married and stay married.

    The social stigma on women who choose to have a child out of wedlock is more or less gone (in part due to the relatively new doting grandparent phenomenon). Life as a single parent has seriously backslid economically if the parents don’t help out. 75% of them are living in some form of poverty after the decision unless the parents decide to help out (which is now pretty likely due to longer lives and fewer grandkids).

    On to the next post!

    1. @ Plutto99:

      (1) For starters, you did not do a good job on your promise to keep it brief. You failed in that respect.
      (2) What was your overall point – please help us understand. After thinking about all those words 10 times, this is what you come up with? What specifically do you have against most of what the other commentators have written….what bothers you so much?? From my vantage point, what most of what they wrote is true.

    2. Pluto,

      Thank you for your comment. I can’t make heads or tails out of it. How is it relevant to this post? You comment gives no evidence that you read the post.

      (1) “The average life expectancy in 1950 was 68.1 years”

      The rise in divorce rates occured between 1960 and 2000, with the steep ramp between ~1972 – ~1998 (graphs here). The life expectancy of a 30 year woman in 1998 was 5 years longer than her 1972 equivalent (tables here). Why would that increase the divorce rate among young women? Divorce rates drop substantially once women “hit the wall” in the early 30s (and have drastically lower odds of remarriage).

      (2) “A woman needed to get married before 25 to ensure that she completed her family by 35 (+16-18 years = 51-53 by the time she’s done raising her child). Because of a lack of time”

      The odds of her not living to 53 did not change significantly during the period in which divorce rates skyrocketed.

      (3) “There is an increasing number of both men and women who drop the idea of a life partner for a lot of reasons”

      This post looks at behavior and effects. That is, what’s happening. Until that is understood, any further discussion is moot. Esp guessing about reasons (which requires deep research to be useful). In my experience after reading 55 thousand comments here, long comments that never quote or even reference the post are usually irrelevant to it. My guess (guess) is that most are by people who don’t wish to see the phenomenon being discussed — it’s too hot.

      (4) “People now average 78. 5 years and death on the job is even more rare.”

      You must be kidding us. You don’t seriously believe that increases of life span — people living longer into their 70s — has any substantial effect on people in their 20s and 30s (whose decisions about marriage, cohabitating, and divorce drive these numbers). Esp people in the lower socio-economic classes, who are most affected by the trends in this post.

      (5) “There is an increasing number of both men and women who drop the idea of a life partner AND children for a lot of very good reasons.”

      First, that’s (rise of never married with no children) is irrelevant to the subject of this post. Second, see above about guessing about reasons.

    3. @Pluto99
      I didn’t make it very far into your wall of text, but regarding:

      The average life expectancy in 1950 was 68.1 years. That meant that the average retiree was expected to live 3 years before dying.

      That isn’t how it works. Average life expectancy averages in all deaths, including young ones. Statistically, the older you are, the older you are likely to live.

      Moreover, divorce is a young woman’s game. Divorce rates are highest when women are in their 20s and decline dramatically thereafter. Very few women divorce late in life because the incentives have changed by then. The AARP did a study on late life divorce around 10 years back. They were looking for “grey divorce”, but nearly all of the senior citizen divorced women they interviewed had divorced in their 40s or very early 50s.

    4. First, thanks for the responses, including all the negative ones. I was in the Emergency Room until 4:15 AM this morning and I may not have explained things as well as I wanted.

      DR Smith – Yes, you’re right. I wish I could have been shorter but it wasn’t possible if I wanted to get my point across. I need to admit that I am shocked that you guys had troubles reading my “wall of text”. It briefly summarizes changes in health, society, and technology that affect women’s options in 4 very different periods. I tried to keep each section under 500 words while being halfway comprehensive.

      You guys are talking about the death of marriage. I’m explaining why it died. This isn’t really a moral issue in spite of what you seem to think. It is a logical result of economic and demographic data.

      Yes, the women rights warriors are getting pushy, but as you’ve already noted, that is going to destroy them. Enough said.

      FM: Once again I’m going to keep this as absolutely short as possible but I can’t promise it won’t be overlong. This is a complicated topic.

      1) I believe you are wrong in your assertion that anticipated life expectancy and social norms should not have an impact on why a young woman would choose to get a divorce. There was very little for young women in 1950 to do besides raise children and help the husband (which I tried to show in the rest of the post about 1950). The rest of the post is about how that dramatically changed over the intervening 60 years.

      2) You are right, FM about the odds of people living past 53 across the entire 60 year period. But the physical effects of aging need to be considered as well. A physically young person can handle children up to 8, a middle-aged person can handle kids up to 21. An elderly mother is not really able to handle all the challenges chidlren can give their parents every single day of the year. In 1950, 55 was considered old to very old, now it is considered middle-aged. In 60 years, it might be considered the beginning of middle aged.

      3) Why would you look at behavior of what I consider to be a sad, doomed group that is still a relative minority? I suppose because you need to understand why it is spreading. That is the only legitimate reason I can think of. Given the economic and demographic issues that the human race is encountering in the USA, I consider this sort of behavior to be extremely reasonable.

      Consider a variation of the following experiment with rats that has been performed many times by somewhat cruel behavior scientists.
      1. Set up a colony of rats with plenty of food, water, and room. They pretty much behave like 1950’s America.
      2. Don’t expand the space for the colony but start feeding them less nutritious but tastier food laced with a mild aphrodisiac (that last is my own invention to simulate the effects of television). The quantity of rats continues to grow, but more slowly. Playing on the exercise wheel is replaced by more violent encounters between male rats in part to replace the fact that they can’t use the exercise wheel enough anymore.
      3. Continue to decrease the nutritional value of the food, enhance the effectiveness of the aphrodisiac, and reduce the physical space of the colony. Result: the rats behavior deviates further from stage 1 in all sorts of ways that are unpleasant but logical.
      4. Start introducing rats from another colony that is further along in the experiment in large numbers. That’s where we are today.

      4) Yes, FM, I do believe what you think is silly/stupid. And here is why. In 1950, women at age 18 were considered to be ready for child-bearing. Time to stop being a child and accept adult responsibilities. By 2010 women consider 30 to be the minimum age where they are no longer children. There is this weird 20-somthing period that society has not yet figured out how to handle yet and the young men and women are experimenting in all sorts of ways similar to teenagers of the 1950’s. The fact that the law considers them to be legal mature adults does not agree with how society views them and is causing an internal conflict that will eventually be resolved. Probably about 10 minutes before it destroys the world if humanity sticks to its usual patterns. I consider the fact that any children are born into that environment to be a tragic mistake.

      Don’t get me wrong, by the way. I know a LOT of extremely responsible, capable 20-somethings who have gotten married and had children and are doing well. It is the people who we’re as capable or responsible in their 20’s who are better off not serving as parents while they are behaving like teenagers with a bit too much money.

      5) Once again, I must disagree with your point of view, FM. People who get to have a really good time, lots of sex-partners, enough money, lots of parties, inspire other people to try their (stupid) lifestyle. Lots of them fail and become parents, including some of the people who outwardly look successful. There’s a sucker born every second…

      Dalrock – I addressed your issue in my first point with FM. Please look there and let me know if you have any further issues with my argument.

    5. Pluto,

      I believe if you quoted to what you were replying, your replies would be different.

      (1) “I’m explaining why it died.”

      First, everybody got that. Second, you are giving opinions on a mind-bendingly complex issue, with no factual basis. Third, “why” is a separate subject, quite unrelated to the subject of this post. As I said in my reply to your first comment: “{This post discusses} what’s happening. Until that is understood, any further discussion is moot.”

      (2) This isn’t really a moral issue in spite of what you seem to think

      To what are you referring? There is nothing remotely like that in this post, or in most of the comments.

      (3) “I believe you are wrong in your assertion that anticipated life expectancy and social norms should not have an impact on why a young woman would choose to get a divorce.”

      You’re just making stuff up, using your imagination, by asserting that an increase in average life expectancy from 70 to 75 would change the behavior of a young woman’s marriage.

      The rest of your assertions are also just making stuff up. You can believe whatever you want, and there is no basis to debate your imagination. This post cites research describing people’s behavior. That’s how we will learn what’s happening, and chart a course for a better future.

      That you seriously think Calhoun’s rat experiments have any relevance to modern America is too bizarre to discuss.

    6. FM: “Did you read the post? It is about the increasing instability in families. You appear unwilling to see that. Which I understand. It’s scary.”

      I very definitely DID read what you guys wrote. It’s just that I come at this from a very different viewpoint and I find the large body of people at the FM site who do not seem to understand what I am saying to be very scary also. My complete point is that we’re dealing in very large numbers of people here. Hundreds of millions across the US. I’m extremely uncomfortable with anybody who discusses “the increasing instability in families.” Especially when we’re including teenagers in the discussion, who are, in my experience, designed to be unstable. I’ll say it again, when you throw in TV, video games, and cheap drugs on financially and demographically stressed families there’s a lot of bad things that can happen and most of them fall under the divorce umbrella.

      If you want my suggestion, I’d recommend finding some variation on Universal Basic Income (on a per person basis, not a per adult basis). That would probably do more for the divorce rate than anything else you guys have suggested. Your comments that “divorce is a woman’s game” just don’t sound right to me. The differences between a single parent and a double parent household from the perspective of the parent is horrific. The woman’s got to be pretty desperate to throw out the guy.

      FM: ” believe if you quoted to what you were replying, your replies would be different.”

      I accept your challenge, FM. In the earlier message I was trying to be sensitive to people who felt my posts were too long.

      1) FM: ” “The average life expectancy in 1950 was 68.1 years”

      The rise in divorce rates occurred between 1960 and 2000, with the steep ramp between ~1972 – ~1998 (graphs here). The life expectancy of a 30 year woman in 1998 was 5 years longer than her 1972 equivalent (tables here). Why would that increase the divorce rate among young women? Divorce rates drop substantially once women “hit the wall” in the early 30s (and have drastically lower odds of remarriage).”

      I believe you are wrong in your assertion that anticipated life expectancy and particularly social norms affected by the life expectancy should not have an impact on why a young woman would choose to get a divorce. There was very little for young women in 1950 to do besides raise children and help the husband (which I tried to show in the rest of the post about 1950). The rest of the post is about how that dramatically changed over the intervening 60 years.

      2) FM: ” “A woman needed to get married before 25 to ensure that she completed her family by 35 (+16-18 years = 51-53 by the time she’s done raising her child). Because of a lack of time”

      The odds of her not living to 53 did not change significantly during the period in which divorce rates skyrocketed.”

      You are right, FM about the odds of people living past 53 across the entire 60 year period. But the physical effects of aging need to be considered as well. A physically young person can handle children up to 8, a middle-aged person can handle kids up to 21. An elderly mother is not really able to handle all the challenges children can give their parents every single day of the year. In 1950, 55 was considered old to very old, now it is considered middle-aged. In 60 years, it might be considered the beginning of middle aged.

      3) FM: ” “There is an increasing number of both men and women who drop the idea of a life partner for a lot of reasons”

      This post looks at behavior and effects. That is, what’s happening. Until that is understood, any further discussion is moot. Esp guessing about reasons (which requires deep research to be useful). In my experience after reading 55 thousand comments here, long comments that never quote or even reference the post are usually irrelevant to it. My guess (guess) is that most are by people who don’t wish to see the phenomenon being discussed — it’s too hot.”

      Why would you look at behavior of what I consider to be a sad, doomed group that is still a relative minority? I suppose because you need to understand why it is spreading. That is the only legitimate reason I can think of. Given the economic and demographic issues that the human race is encountering in the USA, I consider this sort of behavior to be extremely reasonable.

      Consider a variation of the following experiment with rats that has been performed many times by somewhat cruel behavior scientists.
      1. Set up a colony of rats with plenty of food, water, and room. They pretty much behave like 1950’s America.
      2. Don’t expand the space for the colony but start feeding them less nutritious but tastier food laced with a mild aphrodisiac (that last is my own invention to simulate the effects of television). The quantity of rats continues to grow, but more slowly. Playing on the exercise wheel is replaced by more violent encounters between male rats in part to replace the fact that they can’t use the exercise wheel enough anymore.
      3. Continue to decrease the nutritional value of the food, enhance the effectiveness of the aphrodisiac, and reduce the physical space of the colony. Result: the rats behavior deviates further from stage 1 in all sorts of ways that are unpleasant but logical.
      4. Start introducing rats from another colony that is further along in the experiment in large numbers. That’s where we are today.

      FM: “That you seriously think Calhoun’s rat experiments have any relevance to modern America is too bizarre to discuss.”

      Once again I must disagree with you, FM. It’s a well-known sociological principle that the larger the quantity of social mammals (I would add especially humans), the fewer the options the leaders have and the greater the difficulty in coordinating them. That’s part of why my response to Dalrock was so skeptical. The US and Western Europe have a horrible time coordinating 3-400 million people. China has solved that in a way that reduces the intellectual capital of their 1.3 trillion people to maybe 100,000. They’ve got a very powerful engine but a very small pool of brains to run it and accidents are frequent under such circumstances.

      4) FM: “People now average 78. 5 years and death on the job is even more rare.”

      You must be kidding us. You don’t seriously believe that increases of life span — people living longer into their 70s — has any substantial effect on people in their 20s and 30s (whose decisions about marriage, cohabitating, and divorce drive these numbers). Esp people in the lower socio-economic classes, who are most affected by the trends in this post.”

      Yes, FM, I do believe what you think is silly/stupid. And here is why. In 1950, women at age 18 were considered to be ready for child-bearing. Time to stop being a child and accept adult responsibilities. By 2010 women consider 30 to be the minimum age where they are no longer children. There is this weird 20-somthing period that society has not yet figured out how to handle yet and the young men and women are experimenting in all sorts of ways similar to teenagers of the 1950’s. The fact that the law considers them to be legal mature adults does not agree with how society views them and is causing an internal conflict that will eventually be resolved. Probably about 10 minutes before it destroys the world if humanity sticks to its usual patterns. I consider the fact that any children are born into that environment to be a tragic mistake.

      Don’t get me wrong, by the way. I know a LOT of extremely responsible, capable 20-somethings who have gotten married and had children and are doing well. It is the people who we’re as capable or responsible in their 20’s who are better off not serving as parents while they are behaving like teenagers with a bit too much money.

      5) FM:” “There is an increasing number of both men and women who drop the idea of a life partner AND children for a lot of very good reasons.”

      First, that’s (rise of never married with no children) is irrelevant to the subject of this post. Second, see above about guessing about reasons.”

      Once again, I must disagree with your point of view, FM. People who get to have a really good time, lots of sex-partners, enough money, lots of parties, inspire other people to try their (stupid) lifestyle. Lots of them fail and become parents, including some of the people who outwardly look successful. There’s a sucker born every second…

      I’ll admit that just because they drop the idea of a life partner and children doesn’t mean that they won’t end up with children anyway.

      I changed my responses in #2 and #5 to clarify my points, FM.

      FM: “First, everybody got that.”

      Did you ACTUALLY READ the other comments in response to my “wall of text?” The message I got was that there was a significant number of people who didn’t get it.

      FM: “Second, you are giving opinions on a mind-bendingly complex issue, with no factual basis.”

      Yes, I am giving opinions. But they are based on US government census information and peer-reviewed academic studies (I thought about quoting the articles but my posts on this topic are already too long) plus 40+ years of experience dealing with inner city problems and my discussions with other people who are dealing with other parts of the problems. I’d say that I’m not exactly uninitiated to the problems. And DON’T get me started about the American Indian problems. I hate to start crying.

      FM: “Third, “why” is a separate subject, quite unrelated to the subject of this post As I said in my reply to your first comment: “{This post discusses} what’s happening. Until that is understood, any further discussion is moot.”.”

      I can see why you feel that way, FM, but once again, I must sadly disagree with you based on my studies of human history. With human beings, “What” frequently depends on “Why” and ignoring the “Why” leads the “What” people in endless circles. To illustrate my point, shall we discuss global warming and its effects? (Please don’t say “Yes!”)

      FM: “(2) This isn’t really a moral issue in spite of what you seem to think

      To what are you referring? There is nothing remotely like that in this post, or in most of the comments.”

      Yes, I agree with you. Sadly, the election got into a lot of STUPID arguments when the topic of marriage came up and I accidentally transferred that angst to your much more sane location. I’m apologize for that and will endeavor to keep it from happening again.

      FM: “(3) “I believe you are wrong in your assertion that anticipated life expectancy and social norms should not have an impact on why a young woman would choose to get a divorce.”

      You’re just making stuff up, using your imagination, by asserting that an increase in average life expectancy from 70 to 75 would change the behavior of a young woman’s marriage.

      The rest of your assertions are also just making stuff up. You can believe whatever you want, and there is no basis to debate your imagination. This post cites research describing people’s behavior. That’s how we will learn what’s happening, and chart a course for a better future.”

      You keep focusing on the age of the young person, not the social environment around the young person. Perhaps I should have started with 1930 instead of 1950? The life expectancy was 59.6 and it affected the lives of the people who were decision makers in 1950.

  6. @ Dalrock:

    “The other day when we were discussing shared custody I came across a paper where an academic complained that this would lessen women’s threatpoint in marriage.”

    Which is exactly the point. Getting the kids and an income stream in the form of child support incentivizes divorce. If 50/50 residential custody is implemented then that reduces the child support, reduces the incentive to divorce, and increases the man’s power and leverage in the marriage.

    The entire reason for onerous child support laws based on the percentage of income of the payer is to enable the woman/mother/exwife to live off the payer’s income. It’s really alimony in disguise.

    1. I thought that a number of states have implemented a default of 50/50 custody in child custody disputes. It turns out that the feminists cannot claim that men are women are equal without that mattering to the larger culture (i.e. people believe that both mothers and fathers should be involved in a child’s life and the law should reflect that in determining custody).

    2. Burgos,

      It is more complex than it seems. Many States and nations have encouraged joint custody (subject to the specific conditions). But “joint” does not mean “50-50.”

      Also, “joint” usually refers to physical custody. There is the separate issue of legal custody, a second decision by the judge.

      Lots of room for bias by judges.

  7. This one is going to be a LOT shorter!

    Look at the pretty chart and tell me what you see.

    Year Marriages Population Marriage Rate per Year
    2016 2,245,404 323,127,513 6.9
    2012 2,131,000 313,914,040 6.8
    2008 2,157,000 304,093,966 7.1
    2004 2,279,000 292,085,298 7.8
    2000 2,315,000 281,421,906 8.2

    What do I see in the above number? People still seeking life-partners at a slightly slowing rate, the population is BOOMING because of immigration and longer life expediencies. Resources are finite.

    Result: number of babies as a percentage of the population is going down. The amount of care per baby is going up. The average maturity of the parents (at least physical) is also going up. The US is basically in equilibrium.

    I highly recommend reading this:
    https://www.bgsu.edu/content/dam/BGSU/college-of-arts-and-sciences/NCFMR/documents/FP/FP-13-13.pdf

    Summarizing the article, college-educated people have only a slight dip in their lifetime marriages and the number of children they have. People with less than a high school education have a huge jump in divorce rates. Given my previous note, can you blame them? The world is a far harsher place than it was almost 70 years ago for the average individual with limited education, intelligence, and creativity. Also drugs and TV are vastly more available at vastly cheaper prices.

    Why do I continually focus on the kids even though you guys don’t mention them much? Because the child will usually reflect their parents behaviors in some way and that is the easiest way to predict what will happen in 30 years.

    In short, the world is a crazy place but the kids are mostly all right. We have a decent chance of making our way back to sanity if we don’t get blown up or do something stupid.

    1. @ Pluto99;

      Thanks for the much shorter follow-up. However, it does point out you really don’t understand the point of this post or the majority comments about it. In short, the kids are not all right:

      (1) The much touted lower divorce rate for Millennial, is a red herring because they are not getting married as much on average. The are living together, which as pointed out by Dalrock and others is destroying the West as we knew it
      (2) Many people feel we are already too far gone to make it back to sanity as you say. The recent study about Millennial men, on average dropping out of the workforce at a much higher rate is alarming for several reasons,…and it points out the true, real decay in our society . Whom is going to lead us in the future? Whom is going to make out stuff?? It is a real problem, unless of course you don’t care and are willing to learn Chinese once they come marching through our nearly empty shell of a country.

      Do you get it now?

    2. Pluto,

      Did you read the post? It is about the increasing instability in families. You appear unwilling to see that. Which I understand. It’s scary.

    3. DR Smith, I’m going to repeat the latter my response to FM above because I believe they state my position most clearly. You can response as you see fit.

      “3) Why would you look at behavior of what I consider to be a sad, doomed group that is still a relative minority? I suppose because you need to understand why it is spreading. That is the only legitimate reason I can think of. Given the economic and demographic issues that the human race is encountering in the USA, I consider this sort of behavior to be extremely reasonable.

      Consider a variation of the following experiment with rats that has been performed many times by somewhat cruel behavior scientists.
      1. Set up a colony of rats with plenty of food, water, and room. They pretty much behave like 1950’s America.
      2. Don’t expand the space for the colony but start feeding them less nutritious but tastier food laced with a mild aphrodisiac (that last is my own invention to simulate the effects of television). The quantity of rats continues to grow, but more slowly. Playing on the exercise wheel is replaced by more violent encounters between male rats in part to replace the fact that they can’t use the exercise wheel enough anymore.
      3. Continue to decrease the nutritional value of the food, enhance the effectiveness of the aphrodisiac, and reduce the physical space of the colony. Result: the rats behavior deviates further from stage 1 in all sorts of ways that are unpleasant but logical.
      4. Start introducing rats from another colony that is further along in the experiment in large numbers. That’s where we are today.

      4) Yes, FM, I do believe what you think is silly/stupid. And here is why. In 1950, women at age 18 were considered to be ready for child-bearing. Time to stop being a child and accept adult responsibilities. By 2010 women consider 30 to be the minimum age where they are no longer children. There is this weird 20-somthing period that society has not yet figured out how to handle yet and the young men and women are experimenting in all sorts of ways similar to teenagers of the 1950’s. The fact that the law considers them to be legal mature adults does not agree with how society views them and is causing an internal conflict that will eventually be resolved. Probably about 10 minutes before it destroys the world if humanity sticks to its usual patterns. I consider the fact that any children are born into that environment to be a tragic mistake.

      Don’t get me wrong, by the way. I know a LOT of extremely responsible, capable 20-somethings who have gotten married and had children and are doing well. It is the people who we’re as capable or responsible in their 20’s who are better off not serving as parents while they are behaving like teenagers with a bit too much money.

      5) Once again, I must disagree with your point of view, FM. People who get to have a really good time, lots of sex-partners, enough money, lots of parties, inspire other people to try their (stupid) lifestyle. Lots of them fail and become parents, including some of the people who outwardly look successful. There’s a sucker born every second…”

      To clarify my position (speaking as an economist and a demographer):
      There is NO problem here.

      Yes, the Millennial’s are getting married older. SO WHAT??!! They will roughly the same number of children and the children will benefit from their parents greater patience and experience.

      Does the West REALLY require Millennial’s to have children before 30? If so, the West is already doomed because that just isn’t going to happen anymore. Kind of like when Cave Painting went out of vogue about 20,000 years ago because people could build nicer places to live.

      In response to your second point:
      The last number I saw was 500k out of a population of 50,000k Millennial men. That’s about 1% and the men who drop out are either doing okay sponging off of their parents (back to a sucker born every second…) or they aren’t. As I said, young men today are under enormous economic and demographic stress and are handling it surprisingly well by only having 1% drop out. I’d be more concerned if 5k per year started walking into nightclubs with shotguns but society would do something effective about that (although it might not be constructive…). I would be willing to bet good money that if you look back to 1950 you’d find more or less the same people living in dead-end low-paying jobs and hating their lives silently. Just the way the Millennial men are behaving right now. The difference is that our modern society can find these people and it is likely that a few Millennial men are dumb enough to say what they kind of, sort of think on the Internet.

      You didn’t see leadership from these men in 1950 and you aren’t now.

      Really, the Chinese? They’ve got a LOT of potential but more than their fair share of problems right now and they are doing their best to keep their heads above water and moving in the right direction. Your comment feels to me like what the Chinese probably feel when somebody urges them to be afraid of the Indians marching across the Himalayas.

      FM: What drove me to distraction is that you guys are worrying about the Sociology of an Economic and Demographic issue. Looking in the wrong Science will not give you useful answers for the future. I still firmly believe that the US has enough people going in the right direction to be able to ignore the idiotic distractions of people who behave badly but don’t know better.

      Okay, that would include the Donald and I consider him to be a major problem so I could be wrong.

    4. Pluto99, you posited these two:

      1: “3) Why would you look at behavior of what I consider to be a sad, doomed group that is still a relative minority? I suppose because you need to understand why it is spreading. That is the only legitimate reason I can think of. Given the economic and demographic issues that the human race is encountering in the USA, I consider this sort of behavior to be extremely reasonable.

      2: Why do I continually focus on the kids even though you guys don’t mention them much? Because the child will usually reflect their parents behaviors in some way and that is the easiest way to predict what will happen in 30 years.

      Pluto99, The main reason I am having problems with what you are saying is that your posit appears to have internal contradiction(s) as these two statements indicate.

    5. JohnFPittman:
      “1: “3) Why would you look at behavior of what I consider to be a sad, doomed group that is still a relative minority? I suppose because you need to understand why it is spreading. That is the only legitimate reason I can think of. Given the economic and demographic issues that the human race is encountering in the USA, I consider this sort of behavior to be extremely reasonable.

      2: Why do I continually focus on the kids even though you guys don’t mention them much? Because the child will usually reflect their parents behaviors in some way and that is the easiest way to predict what will happen in 30 years.”

      Thanks for attempting to bring potential contradictions to my attention. I’m not sure I understand what you’re exactly saying but I’ll attempt to address what I believe you are saying and you can tell me if I am hitting the target.

      As far as I know, there is no contradiction between the two statements. One is actually a question to the rest of the group about why they are having this discussion plus my best guess as to their motives. The other is a statement about the future.

      Any group that chooses not to have children is pretty much voting themselves out of the future unless they produce something that is deeply admired by the parents of the current children and I do not see anything in their behavior or production that is generally admired by the current parents.

    6. Pluto99, one should be careful going from the general to the specific, that includes me, as well. We have been discussing persons having children. In particular the effects of divorce and cohabitation on these children.

      So I may have misunderstood your point, but then it makes it hard for me to understand this comment of yours: “2: Why do I continually focus on the kids even though you guys don’t mention them much? Because the child will usually reflect their parents behaviors in some way and that is the easiest way to predict what will happen in 30 years.”

      This was stated as the concluding paragraph of the first part of this post: “The effects of all this on the children raised amidst this chaos is easy to imagine and unpleasant to contemplate. I doubt it is good for the men and women involved. As for America, families have been the foundation of our success. We have thrived as a nation that is a community of families. Destroying America’s families is another step on our Highway to Hell.”

      Perhaps you could enlighten me, I still see those two statements as contradictory, or one as just wrong, since the post does discuss children. I see the discussion of marriage in the comments reflecting what the post included, but concentrating on correcting what they see as a cause of concern for the children which was failing marriage.

      LK, others besides just Pluto99, if I have misrepresented your positions please correct me. Thanks.

    7. JP: “Pluto99, one should be careful going from the general to the specific, that includes me, as well. We have been discussing persons having children. In particular the effects of divorce and cohabitation on these children.”

      Strongly agreed, JP, which may be my begetting sin when I got involved in this thread. FM has repeatedly cautioned me on this topic and I am beginning to see why.

      I agree that the effects of some of our societies most heavily documented recent social patterns have a negative effect on children. There’s no way to reach any other conclusion. My problem with that statement is that it ignores the 87% or so (we’ve only got rough estimates on what percentage of children grow up in this environment) that are living in two-parent household. I would strongly agree that if the percentage continues to grow over the next 20-30 years the US has a very problem. But I lean towards believing that it will shrink instead. In which case there’s not much to talk about other than trying to help out the kids who are unfortunate enough to land in this situation.

      JP: “So I may have misunderstood your point, but then it makes it hard for me to understand this comment of yours: “2: Why do I continually focus on the kids even though you guys don’t mention them much? Because the child will usually reflect their parents behaviors in some way and that is the easiest way to predict what will happen in 30 years.

      This was stated as the concluding paragraph of the first part of this post: “The effects of all this on the children raised amidst this chaos is easy to imagine and unpleasant to contemplate. I doubt it is good for the men and women involved. As for America, families have been the foundation of our success. We have thrived as a nation that is a community of families. Destroying America’s families is another step on our Highway to Hell.”

      Perhaps you could enlighten me, I still see those two statements as contradictory, or one as just wrong, since the post does discuss children. I see the discussion of marriage in the comments reflecting what the post included, but concentrating on correcting what they see as a cause of concern for the children which was failing marriage.”

      As noted in my first set of comments above, I’m a big picture kind of guy. I looked at the comments you guys have written and said, “Do I foresee this to be a major problem in 20-30 years? If not, why? If so, why?” As I’ve said above, I don’t foresee that it will be a problem in 20-30 years primarily because the children raised in this environment are less likely to have children and are less likely to seek out such unstable self-centered relationships then their parents because they will be more aware of how painful such behavior is to themselves and those around them. I will warn you RIGHT NOW that I HAVE BEEN WRONG BEFORE AND WILL BE WRONG IN THE FUTURE AS WELL. So I could be all wet but nothing I’ve seen so far disagrees with my theories for the future sufficiently to change my mind.

    8. Pluto99, some of the statistics we have been discussing is the increase in 1) the number of single parent families, 2) the increase in cohabitation with its much more frequent partner changes, and 3) the generational effect.

      Where I disagree is based on the generational effect. If you want to increase the population of a species, the way to do it is to decrease the generational time (birth to giving birth) rather than increase the number of progeny in a generation. The statistics for USA are that the stable couples are having fewer children at a longer generational time (double whammy), while cohabitating population is tending to more children in a shorter generational time (triple whammy). Since generational time is the stronger power function for population, it is more likely that cohabitators will win the population increase race at about 6:1 using this coarse estimation method. Also, the last time I estimated it, it will take 3 generations for it to become measurable.

      The above is why I think you are wrong. There is a lot of play with just how many cohabitator children are being produced, exactly when etc, but the trend appears to be in favor of those who have a 6:1 likelihood of success, about 2:1 just based on what stable couples are doing if cohabitators have the same number of children.

      Generational time is a well studied phenomena in Biology. All my estimates are rough, especially since generational time and number of children is highly complex for humans.

  8. Thank you for this post. Very informative!

    Since cohabitation arrangements are growing rapidly in lieu of marriage arrangements, my immediate interest and concern goes to the children raised under such circumstances? What SPECIFICALLY are the significant deltas in outcome when raised under cohab verus raised under marriage?

    The difference in childhood experience, according to this study by Wendy Manning, which covers physical health, psycho-social and cognitive health for children 0 to 12 and 13-17 years of age, appears to be both stark and depressing. There is a proverbial trainload of negative consequences from cohabitation arrangements that extend across decades of time adversely affecting young lives well into adulthood:

    Cohabitation and Child Wellbeing” by Wendy D. Manning in The Future of Children (Princeton), Fall 2015.

    How do children fare in cohabitating families?

    – children in cohabiting parent families may not receive the same social and institutional supports that children in married parent families receive.

    – cohabiting parent families don’t have the same legal protections that married parent families have. Further, cohabiting stepparent families must navigate the challenges presented both by life as a stepfamily and by the lack of a formally recognized relationship.

    – A fundamental distinction between cohabiting and marital unions is the duration or stability of the relationship. Overall, cohabiting unions last an average of 18 months.

    – more children born to cohabiting parents see their parents break up by age five, compared to children born to married parents.

    – Only one out of three children born to cohabiting parents remains in a stable family through age 12, in contrast to nearly three out of four children born to married parents.

    – Further, children born to cohabiting parents experience nearly three times as many family transitions (entering into or dissolving a marital or cohabiting union) as those born to married parents (1.4 versus 0.5).

    – the number of family transitions experienced by children in cohabiting unions has changed relatively little over the past 20 years.

    – Children raised in cohabiting parent families have fewer economic resources than do children in married parent families.

    – The median income of cohabiting parent households is about 50 percent lower than that of married parent households, and cohabiting mothers of young children have lower incomes than do married mothers.

    – Cohabiting parents are also slightly less likely to be employed than married parents.

    – Children in cohabiting parent families are slightly more likely to be uninsured, and they rely more heavily on public health insurance (56 percent) than do children living in married parent families (19 percent).

    – Forty-one percent of children in married biological parent families have a mother with a college degree, compared to 23 percent of children in married stepparent families, 9 percent of children in cohabiting biological parent families, and 13 percent in cohabiting stepparent families.

    – A key distinction in child care and engagement appears to be among stepfathers: cohabiting stepfathers spend less time actively engaged with young children then do married stepfathers.

    – At birth, children born into cohabiting parent families are more likely to have low birth weight than are their counterparts born to married parents.34 This health disadvantage extends to age five; children born to cohabiting parents more often experience asthma, obesity, and poor health than do children born to married parents.

    1. constrainedlocus,

      Thank you for the cite of that interesting and useful article. I’ll add it to this post!

      I suspect most people know that cohabitation in the US produces poorer outcomes for children than marriage. But probably few know how large is the difference.

      The next stage of research will be (I hope) looking at outcomes in terms of break-up of parents (instability of family structure). My guess is that instability is the primary factor, not whether the parents were married or cohabitating. Of course, break-ups are more likely for the later group.

    2. I agree that such additional prying research would be immensely beneficial, and likely pretty damning as well. Just understanding the above excerpts – the short duration of most cohabitations, and the shear number of “transitions” the young children under 12 years of age must process and experience, will no doubt be received with the customary “well, children are very resilient!” response. But psychologically and socially, there is a big difference in results and their success.

      So I think we’ve probably moved past the point now where we can continue hemming and hawing about what kinds of family arrangements and parenting methodologies enhance the well-being of children, because it’s not a debate anymore. We already know the answers and the outcomes.

      But societal attitudes are now very permissive, and very accommodating.
      Young men continued to be told “do the right right thing!”
      Young women are told “do the right thing for you!”
      This is wrong.

      Research like this demonstrates how that kind of permissiveness, shamelessness, indifference and self-centeredness has dire, serious negative consequences on future generations of people.

    3. C.L.

      “So I think we’ve probably moved past the point now where we can continue hemming and hawing about what kinds of family arrangements and parenting methodologies enhance the well-being of children”

      That’s the best summary to this debate that I can imagine. Now onto the next — bigger and more difficult — question: what to do next? See my posts about solutions for the gender wars. They are just sketches, starters for a discussion that is long overdue.

      As always, posts about solutions get the fewest pageviews. I think I know why (guessing), and find my answers depressing. When that changes, we will have taken the first steps to a new and hopefully better path.

  9. Here again I see people trying to identify the problem and supply solutions. This appears everywhere on the right and in the ‘sphere.
    But we already know the whys as Dalrock stated: “The current family model is the child support model.”

    But this is a consequence of an overabundance of reproductive aged males to females, the abundant men who provide the support for Society’s infrastructure. This includes energy and water, taxing and redistribution, enforcement of the laws that facilitate the child support model. Women have agency and ability to act out all the impulses driven by hypergamy. Men facilitate these impulses due to competition and in order to gain access to the relatively few available fertile women.

    There is no top-down, legislated “solution” to this problem. And there are no behavioral cartels that will correct it either (If men only did X, Y, Z….). There will always be some men who will break the cartel as a strategy to again access. There is only Nature’s solution which is to return tribes to a more normal ratio of males/females. When this happens women will lose their agency and incentive to blow up marriages. Hypergamy will always be there, but will manifest itself in a totally different way, and will be limited by the fact fewer men can facilitate the destructive aspects of it.Come to think of it, the destructive aspects actually are designed to bring about a return to normal ratios by precipitating mortal competition.

    The bad news is that to return to more normal ratios means the deaths of tens of millions of men. Our challenge is to prepare to survive Nature’s culling.

    1. Burner,

      “But this is a consequence of an overabundance of reproductive aged males to females”

      What “overabundance”? There is not a substantial imbalance in the sex ratio in America from 25 to 39 (where most reproduction occurs). See graph here.

      The American frontier had a fantastic superabundence of males, yet had a traditional family structure. See this famous map of gender ratios by region in 1870.

    2. I think it is likely less to do about population of available males vs. available fertile females, and more a function of:

      a.) increased education and employment opportunities for women since 1981. This has led to lower birth rates, great female financial independence, more time dedicated to careers, and the western female delaying marriage out about 10 years on average than her sisters did previously. Today girls aged 18-27 have pretty much ruled out marriage entirely in favor of degrees, careers. sowing their royal ova with rosters of different men. It’s really not until age 28+ that women are even considering marriage. This has implications for marriage rates, birth rates and the growth of cohabitation (which I think could be argued as a discounted substituted for marriage for women).

      b.) More women hold educational, career and financial accomplishments than ever before. This has had the effect of only inflating what was already an exaggerated hypergamous entitlement viewpoint toward available male prospects.

      It’s safe to say that the majority of western women are underwhelmed with their options bordering on open contempt and belligerence. Women have always been hypergamous. But definitely not to the degree that we are observing today, as it not covert at all, but completely and shamelessly out in the open and well documented. Women today still want to marry, but now under very demanding conditions and terms. Lacking those terms, they seem to be open to the next best or closest thing – playing house.

      c.) the education, economic and employment opportunities for young men seem to be moving along at a steady pace, but there is no compelling societal forces encouraging/threatening men to become lifelong service chattel as his brothers previously did.
      Access to sex partners is easier and cheaper than ever. And access to free porn is now pervasive and accepted.

      I don’t doubt that the massive growth of the welfare state since 1970, the overt cheerleading and praise of single motherhood, and the systematic removal of male authority in family law and reproduction, have converged to rip away much of the incentives for marriage as well on all sides.

    3. The ratios are reproductive aged males (16-50 approx) vs reproductive aged females (16-35 approx). The provided stats show a massive overabundance of reproductive aged males to females, almost 2:1, 76M/42M. A 40 yr old man wanting to have kids does not marry a 35-45 yr old woman; he does not aim for his cohort. He would shoot for 30 or below. Modern day results on how people reproduce in practice is confounded by many factors including contraception, not available in pioneer times. Modern day single-year reproduction cohorts don’t apply. There is no evidence that frontier areas had “traditional family structure”. In fact the opposite is true. Divorce was rampant and mostly due to abandonment:
      http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1736&context=greatplainsquarterly
      And here for early 20th century:
      Bill Fenelon Journal of Marriage and Family Vol. 33, No. 2, Decade Review. Part 3 (May, 1971), pp. 321-327
      You should not take Little House on the Prairie as typical.
      This Time article (take it for what it’s worth -http://time.com/3662361/women-american-west/) says that frontier areas actually *liberalized* divorce and voting laws for women in an attempt to attract them out west. This totally makes sense and is a result of an overabundance of men seeking access to a small number of women, promising them more agency and acquiescing to their hypergamous requests or demands. This was not needed in the east and south where your map shows a shortage of men.

    4. Burner,

      “The ratios are reproductive aged males (16-50 approx) vs reproductive aged females (16-35 approx). The provided stats show a massive overabundance of reproductive aged males to females, almost 2:1, ”

      Your definition of “overabundence” is nuts. The only time there would be equal numbers of men and women in such different age ranges is after a war or other catastrophe.

      “There is no evidence that frontier areas had “traditional family structure”. In fact the opposite is true. Divorce was rampant and mostly due to abandonment:”

      The article you cite shows nothing like that. It says that the frontier had a nuclear family structure. There was divorce, as there is now, but at low levels. The courts enforced a traditional family structure.

      I’m moderating your future comments. Anything sensible will be posted.

  10. My guess would be for the next twenty years that marriage rates will continue to fall generally, disproportionally more wealthy will be married and home owners, disproportionally more uneducated, but employable will be cohabiting and renting in a life of serial monogamy. The less educated and less employable will make up a large proportion of the single never marriage rarley partnered mothers and the uneducated males will make up an increasing number of the never married rarely partnered single renters.

    Religious, military and other more traditional thinkers in pre-dominantly rural areas will buck this trend, but follow it in general terms ie more Officers married than enlisted men, more NCOs in serial monogamy than Officers and career privates generally less likely to be in longer term relationships, but paying for children they fathered outside any serious relationship.

    It would be interesting to see if marriage was universal before say 1850 or 1900 and whether we are really following an older trend. I did once see a birth record at a local church from the 1680’s when a student, the thing that struck be was over 50% were recorded as bastards. Indeed my parents called William the Conqueror (1066 UK), William the Bastard as they were taught at school, which he was called in history books until the 1940 or 50’s, as he was born out of wedlock.

    I think 50% + out of wedlock is not unlikely in the future, the classic married wealthy couple with servants that are unmarried, as they can’t afford to be in Fairy Tale and classic stories has not changed that much. Now they don’t work in domestic service directly in the house, they work outside in fast food, dry cleaning, gardening, driving and so on, but effectively doing the same work as a servants did. The rich now own the rental houses and the poor rent the houses, provide the services and live like their great grandparent in service did.

  11. I think 50% + out of wedlock is not unlikely in the future, the classic married wealthy couple with servants that are unmarried, as they can’t afford to be in Fairy Tale and classic stories has not changed that much. Now they don’t work in domestic service directly in the house, they work outside in fast food, dry cleaning, gardening, driving and so on, but effectively doing the same work as a servants did. The rich now own the rental houses and the poor rent the houses, provide the services and live like their great grandparent in service did.

    Statistics showed 39% bastardy rate 10-15 years ago. Today I checked the CDC’s website and it’s still 39%. The Left finds a way to stop tracking statistics unfavorable to its schemes. I don’t see how the rate can be the same as it was 10 years ago.

    I’m reading a book called Gangster Warlords and it’s amazing how much these drug gangs rely on polygamy and bastardy to staff their militias. Los Angeles County has about 200,000 gang members. I assume most of them come from broken families since gangs are a surrogate family.

    1. PRCD,

      “I don’t see how the rate can be the same as it was 10 years ago.”

      Teen births, which were largely out of wedlock, are way down. The rate in 2015 was a record low (does not say how far back the records go, but probably decades). It continues to drop, for unclear reasons.

  12. Hi, Larry! You might like the new term used to wrapp women being deceiveing dinner whores now. But remember, it’s the men who are disingenuous when they’re PUAS…

    Why I Have No Regrets About ‘Sneating’ On Tinder” as told to Carolyn Tate at Sneating at WHIMN — “Sarah’s Tinder profile looks like any other – but she’s got a secret.” WHIMN is an Australian website written “with Her in mind.” Reposted at the NY Post as “‘Sneating’ is the online dating trend that feeds on chivalrous men.”

    “I could get used to hanging out with strangers for a decent meal. I’m hardly the first person to think of this — it even has its own dating term, “sneating,” which means sneakily chatting someone up solely for the purposes of a free meal — but I’m committed.”

    1. Nick,

      This is, of course, a practice that arouse the day after modern dating began. But history is not the rise of new things, but changes in mixes and magnitudes. “Sneeting” is the logical result of women dating for fun not for a few years before marriage – but for a decade or more. More broadly, it is the result of the population of weak men multiplying. Much as an increase in the number of deer produces an increase in the number of wolves.

      I have no sympathy for men exploited like this. Either they will wise up and radicalize. Or they will remain prey. It’s the Great Circle of Life, as taught us by Disney.

      Thanks for posting this! Your comment deserves attention, so I explanded your comment — adding a more complete citation and an excerpt.

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