Liberated women still need men.

Summary: Women have been liberated from many of the constraints that leashed them for millennia. Here Dalrock discusses one aspect of America’s new women. This is not a matter of right or wrong. Women have the right to be what they want to be. But their changes powerfully shape America in ways we must understand.

Party Girl with cupcake - dreamstime_s_58603049
© Anastasiia Bobko | Dreamstime.

Women’s morphing need for male investment.

By Dalrock, 24 August 2018.
Reposed with his generous permission.

In a previous post I discussed the importance of male investment in women’s intrasexual status competition.  This investment can range from the validation which comes from being selected for a one one time hookup, all the way to the very public declaration of lifetime investment which marriage signals.  This post picks up where the last one left off, so if you haven’t already read the previous post I would encourage you to do so before continuing with this one.

The previous post explained the basic reality of women’s need for male investment in their status competition with other women.  However, this still leaves the question of why women make different choices as they age.

It is important to remember that the desire for male investment isn’t the only force at work here.  In the previous post I described how the desire for investment both complements and competes with the desire for “the tingle”.  Another factor we need to always keep in mind is the realities of the Sexual Marketplace (SMP) and how men’s and women’s Sexual Market Value (SMV) change with age.  Rollo Tomassi has created an excellent graphic to help his readers conceptualize this.  See Rollo’s Final Exam – Navigating the SMP for more information on the chart below. {Click to enlarge.}

Women's sexual market value over time

As with anything like this, individuals are likely to disagree slightly over the fine tuning of the curves.  However, even if you don’t agree on the exact details I think most in this sphere will agree that Rollo has captured the essence of men and women’s changing SMV with age.  Note also that it isn’t just Rollo, or even just the manosphere which understands the basic truth behind the graphic.  OK Cupid has mined their own data and found the same structure.

One way to look at the chart above is not just in terms of attractiveness, but the relative power this gives the respective sexes as they age.  Young women are the rockstars of the dating world.  In one sense Rollo’s chart understates the scale of young women’s SMV power, because very few 38 year old men (the male peak in the graphic) will experience the kind of raw attraction power that the average 23 year old woman experiences.  It is only when you include the female desire for male investment that the relative heights of the two curves come into balance.

Seeing the SMP through the lens of courtship.

In addition to the chart above, the other paradigm all of this needs to be viewed through is the narrative the young women are playing out in their minds, and this is the narrative of courtship.  With very few exceptions, women haven’t embraced the idea of a permanently freewheeling SMP.  Instead, the vast majority of promiscuous women have sought to increasingly enlarge the concept of courtship.  They have done this by both expanding the duration of courtship, as well as by expanding the definition of what level of sexual contact is appropriate during courtship.  Freewheeling promiscuity isn’t seen by young women as an end unto itself, it is seen as a path to marriage.  The sheer absurdity of what they are doing makes this hard to accept, but it is very clearly what they are doing, or more accurately what they intend to do.  Note that even in the recent wave making piece about sex on campus by the New York Times the slutty coeds discuss their Dionysian embrace of casual sex as part of a path to marriage …

“Almost universally, the women said they did not plan to marry until their late 20s or early 30s. In this context, some women, like A., seized the opportunity to have sex without relationships …”

For those who haven’t read the article, it is important to note that A is a young woman who only has drunken sex because she wouldn’t want to be around her f*** buddy sober, and that she makes it a point to always do it in his bed so she won’t have to deal with the wetspot.  This young woman still plans to marry:

“I’ve always heard this phrase, ‘Oh, marriage is great, or relationships are great – you get to go on this journey of change together,’ That sounds terrible. I don’t want to go through those changes with you. I want you to have changed and become enough of your own person so that when you meet me, we can have a stable life and be very happy.”

This is why she would only agree to be interviewed if they didn’t use her name:

“Ten years from now, no one will remember – I will not remember – who I have slept with…”

You can see the same thing in the famous Kate Bolick piece in The Atlantic a few years ago. Bolick interviewed the young women in Susan Walsh’s “focus group”. After explaining that these young women had a great deal of experience with casual sex, she tells us …

“…when I asked if they wanted to get married when they grew up, and if so, at what age, to a one they answered ‘yes’ and ’27 or 28.’”

She then reinforced this point …

“’Take a look at me, I’ve never been married, and I have no idea if I ever will be. There’s a good chance that this will be your reality, too. Does that freak you out?’

“Again they nodded.

“’I don’t think I can bear doing this for that long!’ whispered one, with undisguised alarm.”

This is of course the whole mission of Susan Walsh’s Hooking Up Smart website;  Susan hopes to teach young women to leverage their hookups as a path to “relationships” and ultimately marriage.

Crazy Wild Girl - dreamstime_s_42792874
© Photojogtom | Dreamstime.

Putting the courtship narrative into the context of Rollo’s chart.

When women are young and have the power position in the SMP, promiscuity is intoxicating to them.  Since they have the power, the short term nature of most of their relationships isn’t seen as them being rejected by men, but as them rejecting men.  Young women today don’t feel the need that previous generations did to secure commitment in their late teens and early 20s because:

  1. Only small numbers of other women their age are going after the more public and durable forms of male investment.
  2. Their hopping from man to man is seen as occurring on their own terms.

However, as women progress into their late twenties all of this starts to change.  Their SMP power relative to men starts to decline and at the same time their peers start to marry in much greater numbers.  In other words, their need to secure male investment occurs fairly suddenly, and at the very time their SMP power is starting to dive.  This is surprising to many young women because of our cultural denial of the SMP realities Rollo describes.

The Washington Times: piece “Economy of sex: It’s cheap these days” describes this phenomenon …

“Although plenty of women dabble in sexual-market relationships and then settle down successfully with life partners, he said, many women are ‘not witnessing marriage happening on the timetables they prefer and expected.’ This is because, as economist Timothy Reickert has found, power shifts away from women as they move toward their 30s.”

This is where as we continuously see in the media the panic starts to set in. Yet despite the fact that marriage trends are moving in the wrong direction, the vast majority of women in the US still do manage to marry. Only 20% of current 35-39 year old women in the US (all races) have never married.  If you understand the reality of hypergamy and women’s tendency to focus only on the top tier of men, you can see how powerful the desire to secure male investment is for women.

But why don’t women remain married?

There are several factors which come into play when asking why women value the status signal of marriage so much and yet women are also the ones driving our epidemic of divorce.  Part of the issue is the average man has been fooled into acting in ways his wife is nearly guaranteed to find frustrating and unattractive.  Another critical factor is the constant barrage of articles, books, and movies telling women that divorce will make them happy.  These themes are so common in our culture that very few people even notice them.  Whether it is the local paperFireproofEat Pray LoveHow Stella Got Her Groove Back, or Single In The Suburbs, the message to women is the same …

Domino cascade

There is also of course the issue of cash and prizes.  Our current structure of family law is designed to maximize the cash and noncash incentives to wives to divorce.  Add to this the choice by the churches to look the other way regarding divorce and even lionize single mothers, and the question should become not why do so many wives choose divorce, but why are so many able to resist this temptation?  Certainly some women have the integrity to keep their marriage vows even in an era where neither the church nor the state would discourage them from divorce, but this can’t fully explain why so many women resist the siren call of divorce empowerment.

To understand the answer to this question we need to remember that marriage (or something like it) is critical for women’s intrasexual status competition, at least past a certain age.  Divorce isn’t desired by women as the end of the married phase of their life, but as just another extension of the courtship phase on the path to their real marriage.  It isn’t a desire to simply jettison a husband, it is a desire to trade up to a new husband.

As with young women seeing their promiscuity as a path to marriage, don’t allow the absurdity of the divorce and trade up plan to confuse you.  Yes the plan is nearly guaranteed to end in failure, especially if the woman is past her twenties and/or already has children. The woman would have married when her SMV was higher (often much higher), and when her present husband’s SMV was lower.  To this disadvantage we must add the baggage of divorce and especially children.  But this is still what nearly all divorcing women have in mind.  This is why the divorce empowerment tales all end with the divorcée either accepting or at least fielding offers of lifetime commitment from better men than the one she divorced.

Yes the plan is absurd, but don’t forget that women are constantly being told it will work out if only they have faith and divorce.  Messages to the contrary are angrily shouted down in a feminist attempt to rework reality by simply denying it.  Even here, most women know better, even if they let their greed get the best of them.  But the allure of winning on such a grand scale for many women overcomes their better judgment.  With time running out, they take on incredible risk in hopes of winning big and skyrocketing in status.  This may not translate to other regions, but here in Texas we have a term for this kind of decision.

Hold my beer

It isn’t that it never works, it is that the choice being made is statistically a very bad one.  At times however this choice can pay off spectacularly. Consider the case of Bathsheba in the Bible.  She was married to a man of fairly middling status.  Yet through the power of advertising, some extreme risk taking, and a good deal of luck she was able to not only trade up to wife of the King of Israel, but also have her own son become next in line for the throne.  This is how gambling works though.  The lure of the easy and spectacular payoff blinds us to the risks involved, and for women who call a divorce lawyer and say the equivalent of our Texas phrase above the odds are very much against them.

US marriage rates by sex and age
By Julissa Cruz at the National Center for Family & Marriage Research (2012).

As you can see from Rollo’s chart at the top of the page, the odds are not only against them, but getting worse by the year.  Remarriage stats don’t capture the realities of trading up vs down, but they give us a barometer of what is going on.  Even with the family courts financially crippling men, men still have a much higher rate of remarriage than women, and this advantage increases dramatically with age.

As if it couldn’t get worse, remarriage rates are also declining rapidly.  Again, these statistics don’t tell us about the quality of mate divorcées are able to secure when remarrying, but the realities of the SMV curves tell us that on average these pairings represent a step down, very often a huge step down, for the divorcée.  Added to her pain is the high likelihood that the husband she discarded will wind up with a younger/prettier woman than she is.  The stakes are huge, and while the payoff is spectacular when it works as intended, so is the failure which is much more common.

DA Wolf describes the reality of post divorce dating in her Huffington Post piece “Post-Divorce Dating: Time or Timing?” She explains that immediately after divorce she was focused on coping with the destruction and havoc her divorce had created and recovering mentally. By the time she was ready to start dating again she was reaching middle age.

“Now, now. Let’s be realistic. When it comes to marketing the feminine vehicle, the 40-something or 50-something model with kids in tow is a tough sell. Even if you’re well-built and properly maintained – it’s a niche market. Supply outstrips demand, and competition is tough. You’re up against the younger and rebuilt versions, not to mention those without kids, debts, and other baggage.”

Even for younger women the attempt to reenter courtship is generally a huge shock.  Unless they married extremely young and divorced only a few years later, their SMP power is far lower than it was when they were looking for husband #1.  And this is before factoring in trying to find a man who wants to commit to a single mother, a woman with a track record of not keeping her own commitments.

The other immediate problem divorcing women run into is their status among other women, the very status they sought to increase, takes a nosedive.  While in their late teens and early twenties not having secured public and long term (ideally lifetime) investment from a man was overlooked, now it is seen as a failure.

Divorcées are initially given a bit of status leeway, because initially at least the narrative that they are in the process of trading up to a better husband seems at least somewhat plausible to other women.  They’ve watched Eat Pray Love and Fireproof too, so they don’t immediately assume this will be the 99% failure and not the 1% spectacular success.  But fairly quickly this tends to change.  Women whose divorces are final and aren’t on a verifiable track to remarriage are seen as desperate, and because of this are seen as a risk to other womens’ marriages.  Delaine Moore describes experiencing this in her own piece in the Huffington Post …

“And because I’m not just a woman, but a Divorced Mom, the harsh judgments potentially cast my way scare me to death …the stereotype ‘divorcée.’ That’s right; the insidious ‘D’ word. Better lock up your husbands, ladies. No – decent divorced mothers should only want a serious relationship. And they better get on that quick, because with each year that passes, they’re apt to grow more bitter and undesirable and desperate. They are women with cargo. Women who failed. Women who didn’t deserve any better. Spit.”

Note the huge status drop this involves. She didn’t reenter the intoxicating and empowering dating phase she had experienced in her twenties, and other women now see her inability to secure public investment from a man entirely differently.  Instead of the promised “empowerment” of divorce, since she hadn’t secured a replacement husband she was seen as desperate, as a failure. Another divorcée commented on the same piece describing her own experience:

“I got great support from my married friends during and immediately after my divorce. Six months after it was finalized, I felt ready to start dating again. I mentioned this at a girls’ night out and the temperature dropped 20°. Suddenly, it was though I’d become a threat. Mixed social invitations dried up and I noticed that friends who had been loaning out their husbands to give me a hand with simple home or car repairs began dropping by while he was working at my place. I can only suppose they were chaperoning their men. I hadn’t changed my behavior, only my marital status …I kept chit chat with husbands to a minimum while at parties or after church. But it never improved. Today, my friends are largely other single moms.”

On a comment to a separate Huffington Post article another divorcée describes how even her doctors viewed her in this light:

“I had a medical problem a few years after I was divorced, and several doctors tried to write it off to ‘post-divorce depression.’ Instead of pursuing a medical cause for the symptoms, they just handed me anti-depressants; when those didn’t work, they handed me a different type of anti-depressants because ‘not every person has the same reaction to this variety’, and made it clear that I was going to try all 300 brands of anti-depressant before they would look for another reason for the problems.

“Without even asking if I was in a new relationship, one of them told me that I just had to deal with it that I was middle-aged and chubby, no one was ever going to want to date me, pull myself together and stop being depressed over being alone.”

Grrl Power

Enter the hamster.

Once the reality of their incredibly foolish decision becomes obvious, divorcées then set about creating a plausible story explaining that they didn’t really fail.  These break down into three basic rationalizations:

  1. They have a new man and he is even better than the ex husband.  Never mind the fact that he hasn’t worked in years, is painfully beta, and/or has serious psychological problems or addictions.
  2. They have a new high status man, or perhaps even a whole stable of such men competing for their approval, but unfortunately these men are too busy to accompany her to social engagements.
  3. Now that she’s older she no longer feels the need to have lifetime investment from a man.

Women on the verge of their own “hold my beer and watch this” moment are especially tempted to accept rationalizations 1&2 at face value, while keeping rationalization #3 as a disaster recovery plan.  Other married women however generally see right through these rationalizations.

It should be obvious how to test rationalizations 1&2 in your own social circle.  For rationalization #1, compare the whole man to the woman’s ex husband.  Chances are there is a reason this man was not only single and interested in marriage, but why he settled for a divorcée instead of a younger never married woman.  For rationalization #2, insist on meeting these mystery men, and watch to see if he actually appears or the story somehow always seems to change.  If he does appear, test him like you would for rationalization #1.

UK divorce by age per 1000 married women
From spreadsheet at the UK Office of National Statistics. See more data here.

Rationalization #3 is the backstop rationalization, when all else has failed.  At an individual level of course we can’t prove that it isn’t true.  There must be some women who coincidentally lose the desire to have a man at the same time their options have dried up.  However, statistically we know this isn’t the case.  While divorced women don’t have good options regarding remarriage, we know that women who are married lose their interest in divorce as they get older.  The pattern is quite striking.

We also know from the AARP study on late life divorce that divorcees who don’t remarry tend to end up incredibly alone. Divorced men are not only more likely to date and remarry than divorced women, they are also far more likely to have sex or any kind of sexual contact without remarriage.  Again if you consider Rollo’s SMP chart, the reasons for this should be obvious. The AARP study also found that remarriage was a strong factor in divorced women’s (and men’s) sense of well being.  72% of the divorcées who had remarried responded that they were at the top of the “ladder of life”, while only 51% of those women who hadn’t remarried answered the same.

The reality is the vast majority of women would very much want to be married to a worthy man later in life if they could, but through a combination of media cheer-leading and profound miscalculation very large numbers of women are finding themselves on the wrong side of the divorce and remarriage calculation.  That the decisions of many women turn out after the fact to be catastrophic doesn’t change the fact that they intended for things to turn out very differently.  The evidence for this is all around us, so long as we are willing to see it.  More importantly, once you understand this it becomes much easier to help aspiring frivorcees in your social circle avoid making the same mistake.

The SMP graphic is from The Rational Male, website of Rollo Tomassi. Dominos image licensed as creative commons by aussiegall.


Editor’s note

There is another aspect to this: increasing numbers of women are dropping out of the game. Go to any college campus and you will see large numbers of young women who have dropped out in one of two ways. See the large numbers of overweight and obese women. Second, those whose drews shows their disinterest in attracting men’s interest: drab clothes, drab hair, no make-up. Whether good or bad for them and society, these are the decisions being made by women today.

For one result of this, see “Why Are Young People Having So Little Sex?” by Kate Julian in The Atlantic, December 2018. For another, see the decreasing number of married young women.

More by Dalrock about the West unleashing women

About Dalrock

He is a married man living with his wife and two kids in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He is very interested in how the post feminist world impacts himself and his family, and uses his blog to explore these issues. See his website.

For More Information

Some useful studies, in addition to the ones in the articles cited above.

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. Misadventures of a young woman in modern America.
    2. The disastrous results of trying to “have it all”.
    3. “Celebs Go Dating” shows young women in action.
    4. Modern women say “follow the rules while we break them.”
    5. We tighten the leashes on men and unleash women.
    6. Women’s self-esteem: boosted to their self-destruction.
    7. Women unleash their rage! Beta males revolt!
    8. Girls on the football field, breaking free of tradition (WGTOW).

Books rich with insights about modern women

The Privileged Sex by Martin van Creveld. He has a history of successful prediction, perhaps the best record of anyone publishing today. His research and predictions about the relations between men and women are disturbing (as were his predictions about modern war, which we have proven correct in Afghanistan and Iraq).

Why Women Should Rule the World by Dee Dee Myers (2008).

The Privileged Sex
Available at Amazon
Why Women Should Rule the World
Available at Amazon.

22 thoughts on “Liberated women still need men.”

    1. I am a 54 year old woman who has never wanted marriage or children and am hardly alone amongst my peers. One tidbit in this article stood out to me; that women are prone to “intrasexual competition.” I have never witnessed this among my friends or relations. It seems to me to be a case of projection by the writer of this post. I have witnessed (and enjoyed participating in) intersexual competition vis’a’vis getting a good job and wages, but never for marital status. This may be, perhaps, a phenomenon among UMC women in large cities, where “status” and “clout” may matter, and if so, you’re making the classic mistake of looking through the wrong end of a telescope. Growing up, having fun was our prime directive and being a wife and mother was seen as an unpaid, unappreciated sacrifice that could easily land you in poverty.

  1. I am not familiar with the literature or posts. Looking at the SMV chart and the last chart “Divorce Rate….”, it appears that the learning curve for women to understand their true SMV is too long. It also indicates that the effect of the described policies of the religious institutions you discuss are the opposite of what is needed. It may help fill the pews, but it is at the expense of those women the institutions could actually be helping.

  2. The female “need” for men and male investment really does seem to be conditional upon her age.
    I think men cannot view women as one block or herd.
    Whether you might be a future prospect for her, or you are simply invisible to her, a woman’s attitude depends on her stage of life.

    Age 8-15 – Platonic male friendships, female friendships, love toward her parents.

    Age 16-24 – Sex, and lots of it. Unlimited male attention, from boys her age to young and older men. Ego inflation. Invincibility. Party years commence full throttle.

    Age 25-28 – Partying continues, but slowing down now, higher levels of female competition from the younger floor models, not so easy to pull in the guys, greater level of time investment in degrees and career, rising student and consumer debt, low savings, periodic experiments in co-hab and serial monogamy. Am I circling the drain? Fear and uncertainty accumulating.

    Age 29-31 Okay. Time to get serious. So tired of “all of the losers”. Concerted shift from “assholes 6 packs and tats” to “reliable nice guys and nerds”. “WTF? All of my friends and relatives are married already!”, “And where the hell are all of the men at?” Online dating sure does suck. Resentment sets in because “never gonna settle!” becomes “I just hate that I have to settle!”

    Age 32-45 From desperation to despondency. Anger becomes reluctant acceptance. May start to “quitting the world”. Cut the hair short. Gain weight. No more make up. Sweatpants. Misandry and feminism making more sense. Women’s marches. If married, then divorce for the cash, prizes and attention.

    In parallel, I do think that men also have considerable shifts in attitude about sex, relationships, family and women, but such shifts today are probably more gradual less urgent and desperate, less choppy and far less time-sensitive.

    Speaking with a neighbor of mine last weekend who is divorced for 10 years, and 49 years of age, handsome, fit and healthy. He still wants sex, but it isn’t at top of mind for him anymore. And this has allowed him to focus his attention and investment on other, more fruitful and enjoyable endeavors that do not tax him legally, financially and emotionally. For a woman, she would likely invest effort to attract him, but he is not going to reciprocate sufficiently to satisfy most women aged 29+. You listen to a guy like that as a single person is one thing. But it’s interesting to see the look on the faces of still-married guys listening to the same words from him.

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor

      Constrained Locus,

      I agree on all points! That’s a good addition to this post, as usual for you. Thanks for posting!

      Note, of course, that this post was 4200 words — 4x the max good length of a post (readership drops off fast after that). And with the complexity of this subject, 4 thousands words just scratches the surface.

      This is an intro to the next few posts about the changing nature of marriage. This might be a revolution whose effects are as large as feminism. We will know more as generation Z moves thru its marriage cycle.

    2. Methinks you project too much. Many of these women are simply living their lives as they see fit and do not regret their pasts at all. While you claim that most women were out partying and sleeping around during their late teens and 20’s, most were working hard at mastering skills and getting degrees so that they didn’t need to rely on marriage in order to survive in the first place. This begs the question as to why this topic is so important to you?

  3. Great article but one huge factor that wasn’t addressed (except in the doctor’s quote) was being overweight. A woman who is fifty pounds overweight or more will likely cling to her marriage while a woman who actually exercises is soooo much more likely to go out for round two (or 3, or 4). I’ve seen it in my own circle of friends. When women start exercising, it’s basically over. A fit, long-haired woman and the typical butterball really cannot be grouped together in terms of behavioral tendencies. Combining their behaviors into a unified statistic is just way too loose. Obesity is a huge part of all of this.

    More bad news for women is that they are coming to the very end of male chivalry. There are still good trad-cons who would never think of filing on their obese whiner. It’s just not what men do and the financial disaster zone of divorce locks them in anyway. But that gentlemanly breed of male is dying out. Millenials and Zyklon males will only grow more solipsistic themselves. They’ve been forced to. What will happen to the institution of marriage once 20-something males view chivalry as something as anachronistic as dueling or jousting? There is going to be no more spirit of ‘taking one for the team’ coming from males after growing up as the subordinate gender. As recently as 20 years ago with my friends, nearly all had a ‘take one for the team’ resignation in terms of getting married. “Fun’s over, time to be a man” kind of thing. Chivalry in it’s 1990’s rendition. They should have paid attention to how they felt. None displayed any trace of excitement or joy. None of them were were tittering over the oncoming sex because that was already well underway for ALL of them. It was duty, like joining the service. All of them. There was a sense of manly acceptance of loss and sacrifice. Boy was there ever, looking back. All of them seem to have a proud “I’m a man now because I’m not going to be as happy” stance. It was an amusing new role just before it really started. Lamenting things, almost for fun, just like they’d seen men who came before them do. Kind of like people in their early forties who are just starting to play, half-jokingly, with the concept of being old and decrepit. It’s an amusing new role.

    I don’t see Zyklons having a shred of that sort of chivalrous sentiment towards females after a lifetime of losing to them in every facet of culture and schooling, especially since the skewed playing field will be obvious to them.

    Women gave it all away. Feminism took away their men, their health (‘fat is beautiful’), their children (they don’t have any), their free time, probably their longevity and certainly their femininity, ironically. All they have in return is a very empty, immediately waning cry of triumph over males, as they realize their victory required cancelling out the trophy. If you believe, as I do, that the very ultimate end of ambition is maximizing your mating privileges. They are in the strangest place of making a play for dominance in society in which their routed, devalued enemies are the same guys who now have to stand in as the plunder. At least that seems to be how it should go. It actually won’t work out that way, mostly because men aren’t attracted to status at all. What a sad conundrum for them and a testament to how unnatural feminism is.

    What they do get is exhaustion, depression, ill-health, outrage, chronic dissatisfaction, plus huge tax burdens (go grrrll!!) while loathsome males run and play and live out in the world while the better halves pay for it all.

    1. The obesity epidemic is fascinating to watch, as we now live under an almost completely service-based economy, with high levels of automation.
      Information transfer IS the new “work” being done.
      Almost every facet of human life now HAS TO HAVE some semblance of convenience and automation at the root of it, or it is regarded as antiquated and of less value. A nuisance.
      Time has become far more valuable than money.

      That Disney film WALL-E with the fat patrons and passengers gliding along electronic pathways in retractable chairs watching screens instead of interacting, conversing and experiencing life around them, is remarkably similar to what you and I can personally witness on every commercial airline flight now.
      Just stand up in the middle of the row and face the rear of the plane. Every single passenger, young and old, is on their personal electronic device. And they are eating carbs, sugary drinks and alcohol.

      Aside from sedentary lifestyles and high carb/high sugar diets, the other factor affecting both sexes (but affecting women 2x more adversely than men) is the frequency and extent of anti-depressant medicine prescriptions. It has become, in a word, obscene:

      While taking SSRIs and other anti-depressant medications, common side effects of these medications include excessive fatigue, diminished concentration, emotional flatness, significant weight gain, loss of libido and sexual dysfunction. Most SSRIs are prescribed to women compared to men.

      Not difficult to imagine how nutrition, technology, sedentary lifestyle and unnatural chemicals from drugs all combine to impact human health, sexual reproduction and overall life quality. I do think there is enough evidence that these factors are affecting women far worse than men. And this has serious consequences for other areas of concern – human relationships, families, well-being of children.

      1. Larry Kummer, Editor

        Constrained Locus,

        The SSRI’s are probably not a major factor. These trends are true in east Asia (eg, S. Korea, Japan), which have far lower levels of SSRI usage.

        Note that they also have far lower levels of obesity.

        These things are complex. I doubt that we understand what’s happening. We have spun too many of the dials on the control panel simultaneously to know which (or what combo) is responsible for what effect.

    2. I don’t know about obesity’s causes other than a collage of obvious ones, I guess. But I think it significantly factors in to who stays married and who doesn’t. Men have basically been legally rooked out of being able to file for divorce. Fat women actually seem to be the most likely to stay married as their SMV tanks (by the pound and by the year) while their husband’s career grows. It would be interesting to see a cross-hatching of divorce rates in the fattest counties vs. the leanest counties. I just see thin, attractive women as live grenades of filing papers.

  4. Marrying a slut, very bad idea. Once all men knew it. Then they forgot. I think that they’ll remember, soon.

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      Look at this as a social science experiment. Men are marrying women with extraordinarily high numbers (in terms of western civ). In another generation or two, we will no longer need rely on folk wisdom to tell us if that’s a good idea.

      This is the era of great experiments, using ourselves and our children as lab rats. The results of the experiment with communism were enlightening. The experiments with gender roles might prove even more so, for good or ill. Science!

    2. Well a slut will make for a bad marriage. But at least a slut has some sexual clout that provides some semblance of what men want. That beats 85% of women who are simply fat. But, yeah, don’t marry them. I can see why “Man up and marry that slut” will still have appeal over “Man up and marry that 5’4″ 195 pounder”

      It’s just bad, all around.

      I know a 6’5″ MMA fighter, corporate professional, looks like a lean, handsome version of Dana White with an incredible, constant sense of humor. His wife is a beachball of lard. It’s so hopeless.

      1. Larry Kummer, Editor


        That all seems logical. But the delay in marriage and falling rate of marriage is also seen in East Asia (eg, Korea, Japan) – which (I’ve heard) less of a problem with increased obesity.

        I don’t know about cross-country divorce rates. That would be interesting to see.

    3. Why is it that men lust after “sluts” but prefer to marry a “virgin”, then complain that the virgin doesn’t give out sex the way they want? Madonna-Whore Syndrome anyone?

      1. Melissa,

        It’s called sociobiology, wired into us.

        Males can father many children. If they invest heavy in a child, they want assurance that it is theirs.

        The opposite is true for women.

        Mother Nature is both harsh and politically incorrect.

  5. Dear Mr. Kummer,
    I agree, that’s an experiment. In Goethe’s “Faust II” there’s even the creation of the “homunculus”, in vitro. He got almost everything prophetically spot on, except the last words: “Das Ewig-Weibliche Zieht uns hinan”, “The Eternal Feminine Draws us on high”.

  6. I live in a very traditional area of Australia, which is perhaps behind the times.

    With the couples we know, the average is about 3-9 partners before marriage, maybe the last two serial monogamy, then the couples tend to marry.

    I know the Maths geek, who married the pretty divorcee and the serial bad guy who at 38 slowed up and married the peaches and cream junior school teacher of 25, neither is too worried the other had a “few” more partners than them (but not that many). Both have 20 + years of marriage and children.

    I am married a second time, at 27 I met a 21 year old and we married and divorced over 6 years, in our case a partnership would have been easier to dissolve and with less pain.

    Then at 36 I met a 25 year old, and we have been together 20 years and have two children. Sometime we have had to work at the marriage, things happen in life. Miscarriages, redundancy and force sale of a house the usual stuff..

    For me I think the biggest issue is that men have a longer shelf life and can marry across or down without any social stigma, women want to marry up, but can’t so easily marry down or too much younger.

    The pool for men is larger, but a marriage to an equal career wise, for example a Teacher and Nurse of the same age (roughly), is different to a marriage of a Teacher and a Receptionist, where the teacher is an establish manager of 36 and the receptionist is a 25.

    The first coupling is shared household duties, two full time wages and career pressures, the second is male full time, female part time and home maker. I started in the first and ended in the second, I prefer the second, I am happy to do a second job and take on extra teaching, but wife works part time, does most of the household jobs and running around for our children. Needless also to say when you marry established 36 to 25 she is likely to be pretty or least above average.

    It is very hard for my first wife to find a man who works part time and wants to be a househusband and if she did; it would be a step down and not that socially accepted.

    I am amazed how it is in the US, the experiment worries me and I thanks you for the information, but I expect it is just the same in my home city of London., now.

  7. She won’t remember all the men she slept with, but all the microbes in her body certainly will! Down at the microbial level it’s a wild world of crazy sex and promiscuity. The consequences range from infertility to cancer to chronic pelvic pain to a number of vague complaints that will never be sorted.

    Human evolution did not prepare women for the promiscuous world of modern hookup Millie, but the microbes are certainly game!

  8. “Another factor we need to always keep in mind is the realities of the Sexual Marketplace (SMP) and how men’s and women’s Sexual Market Value (SMV) change with age.”
    We ladies do.

    It’s one of the reasons that personal data on our resumes (grad dates etc) is an open invitation to having our resume thrown in the shredder. Age discrimination is a huge problem for women over forty. If corporate management has determined a reduction of 50% of white collars is necessary “to compete with the Chinese” (Koopersmith, 2016), both men and women in the 60-ish crowd are vulnerable. But blatant age-based layoffs are a no-no, so the 50-ish are also vulnerable.

    A lady who has spent 25 years in the corporate world has already incorporated exercise, coursework to keep up with the technology, and stays pleasant and well-groomed. They would have been out long ago if they did not. Yet in a zero-sum world, those same 50-something ladies look like wrinkly moms to the up-and-coming generation.

    There is, however, a market for everything. A 2015 BMW X5 xDrive 50i with 50k has a nice navigation system, and if it has been properly serviced up to that point, there’s a great engine under the hood.

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      Do you have evidence for this discrimination of over-forty women, based on dates in their resume? That’s seems quite unlikely, an urban legend. I was an exec in the financial services biz for 30 years, for two years running recruiting and training for the Western US for a major investment bank. We were desperate to hire women and minorities, under severe pressure from HQ. Initial screening was by algos and tests. Interview results were tracked and monitored by gender and race.

      it is possible for such bias to appear in interviews. But feminists claim that young women are discriminated against and older women are discriminated against, that pretty women are discriminated against and plain women are discriminated against – yet during the past two decades the wage gap has closed (for identical jobs and people with similar backgrounds).

  9. Melissa,

    “While you claim that most women were out partying and sleeping around during their late teens and 20’s, most were working hard at mastering skills and getting degrees so that they didn’t need to rely on marriage in order to survive in the first place.”

    First, your reply doesn’t make much sense. Those two behaviors are not opposites. They’re more likely complementary.

    Second, it does not address the point of this post. Rates of marriage are falling, the media overflows with articles by women complaining that men won’t marry them, and surveys show that women are becoming increasingly unhappy.

    There are little equivalents of the latter 2 trends for men.

    Facts. Deal with them.

    The future might be far more difficult for women than the past if we get a “cliff event” – with many more young men deciding that the risks and rewards of marriage no longer make sense.

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