Clarifying The Lesson

This post is a follow-up to my earlier post A Warning And A Lesson. There was some confusion about that post, which I’m hoping to clear up.

I am going to begin by addressing this comment from The Unreal Woman:

So a young woman’s family actually bothering to provide vetting in her process of finding a husband is now horribly wrong? Either you want courtship and the interference from the adults who know the young woman well that it will entail or you want to just do what you want without other people interfering.

To make it clear, I do not have a problem with someone’s family vetting a potential spouse. In fact, I am a major supporter of it. The lack of familial involvement in the marriage process in the last few generations has, in my opinion, been one of the major reasons why the marriage market is so messed up right now. I would be a hypocrite to support the Courtship Pledge if I opposed family involvement and interference in the courtship process.

At the same time I’ve received some e-mails from people who suggest that while I may not have a problem with parental input, there is a general consensus among men towards the opposite belief. I think that this view has merit, based on what I’ve seen and heard, especially talking to men around these parts. A lot of men are highly suspicious of parental involvement in the present marriage market, and frankly I have trouble blaming them. Most parents these days act only as a negative force when it comes to courtship. By that I mean that the only thing most of them ever do is exercise a form of veto power. Few if any will actually go to the trouble of helping their children (principally daughters) to find good, marriageable spouses. So its understandable if men are leery at this prospective system- the sum total of their experience with it has likely only been negative. When all you’ve ever heard is No its easy to suspect that you won’t ever hear a Yes.

[As a side note, a much better method exists that what these veto-parents utilize. Right now the general strategy is to wait for a daughter to bring a man to their attention, and then determine if he is suitable or not. Oftentimes this will be met with a rejection, which can be problematic if the woman has already got some feelings for him and/or thinks he would be a good husband. A superior method would be for parents to go out, screen men and then introduce the ones who are suitable to their daughter. That way, his approval is already “baked in.” I think daughters would also approve, as they would be the ones having the “final say” under this system.]

Another thing I want to clear up is the role of the example I provided. I included that story from stringtheory mostly to buttress my argument that encouraging men to marry young is of limited utility in the present age. I don’t know any of the players in that story. In legal terms it must be something like triple hearsay or something. That is to say I don’t know any of the background details. I don’t know if there were some perfectly valid reasons for the parents to reject that young man as a suitor. It might not have been his age at all, but something else, and they only used his age as an excuse. Or perhaps the parents didn’t think their daughter was ready for marriage, or that she would be suitable for him. The point is, I don’t know the full details. None of us do.

I will note that TSK was right in pointing out that the young man did respect the parent’s wishes. He didn’t try and elope with their daughter. Heck, he even respected the wishes of the elders of his church, despite their patently unbiblical perspective (which was apparent in later comments by stringtheory).

Something that surprised me about that post is that no one asked me what the warning was, and what the lesson was. I hope that means it was obvious, but in case it wasn’t: The lesson was about what I think young Christian men should be taught about women, and the warning was that encouraging and preparing men for young marriage wasn’t wise without also preparing them for the high probability that they won’t be able to marry (or at least, marry well).

Another thing I want to discuss is the intersection of maturity, delaying young marriage, and age gaps. I agree in principle that for some young women it would be best for them to wait a few years to marry. They might not have the maturity at, say 18 or 19, to marry, but would in a few years of continued development. But I think that such cases are not common, and instead quite rare. From my own experience and observations, women (very) rarely become more suited for marriage as they age. Either they were raised properly, or they weren’t. Adding more time to the clock won’t change that. Rather, women who are older tend to become less suitable for marriage- they pick up more bad habits, they are more cynical and jaded, they are more used to independent living, they are more influenced by the general culture, and so on. So parents need to be careful about advocating it.

Also, there seems to be a general consensus in traditionalist circles that marriage is good for maturing men and/or encouraging them to settle down- the old “a weighted truck drives more surely” line. Yet the counterpart- that marriage and family life is good for maturing young women and so on and so forth, doesn’t seem to get the same play. To be honest, this makes me suspicious. While I acknowledge that what works for men might not work for women, and vice-versa, I’m not sure this is the case here. Either one view or the other is likely equally applicable.

Lastly, I’ve had some people mention maturity and age gaps together. Frankly, this baffles me. Either someone is ready for marriage, or someone isn’t. I have yet to be convinced that an age-gap really changes the metrics or dynamics (or whatever you want to call it) of marriage by itself. Or at least, so far as personality or maturity issues are concerned. This is purely anecdotal of course, but speaking from personal experience one of the women with whom I have “clicked” best was significantly younger than me. Big age gap, yet we both got along much better than with those our own age (and we both acknowledged as much).

There’s more that can be said, but I think I’ll leave it for another post in the future if I believe it needs to be addressed.

[Update: Allamagoosa has written a post in response to this one, you can find it here.]

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36 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Marriage, Red Pill, Sexual Market Place

36 responses to “Clarifying The Lesson

  1. femininebutnotfeminist

    Interesting post. (I might be mistaken, but isn’t this a post to clarify the “warning”, rather than the “lesson”?)

    I’m glad you decided to talk about age gaps because there are a few things I’ve been wanting to point out about them lately but had no related post to do so on. Before I do that though, I want to mention 2 things…

    First, I’m not at all against age gaps, during times like these especially. I mean, with suitable marriage candidates (of any age, women especially) being SO hard to find these days, we kinda have to consider people of a wider age range even if we prefer a specific age, or risk remaining single permanently due to being overly picky about it. This goes for both men and women.

    Second, I want to bring up something that Alte mentioned in the comments of the last post ~ that of the affect that large age gaps have on womens’ mortality rates. It intrigued me because my Dad was 9 years older than my Mom, and she lived 13 years less than he did, despite the fact that his health was far worse than hers was for years. A quick google search found this article ( http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100512062631.htm ) about a study of nearly 2 million Danish married couples, their age gaps, and their mortality rates. (Please stop and read the article, paying particular attention to the graph near the top, before reading the rest of my comment). Men typically live longer when they marry younger wives, so good for them (except that they are more likely to be widowed for years). Women tend to live longer when they marry men their exact age, but their mortality rates are higher with larger age gaps regardless of who is older or younger, and the bigger the age gap, the higher her mortality rate… so bad for them. And if you notice on the graph, the exact point at which men and women’s mortality rates converge is when they are the exact same age (-1 to 1 year difference). I don’t think this is a coincidence. Proverbs 5:18 tells men to rejoice in the wife of their youth… not just her youth, but HIS youth. Meaning that men are supposed to be marrying as young as possible too, not just women. I realize that isn’t news, but people around here are always talking about how a woman’s prime is when she is in her late teens – early 20’s (I’m not denying this, I agree with it), but that a man’s prime isn’t until his late 20’s – early 30’s or so, which is what I’m disputing. A man’s prime should be his early 20’s as well, since he is supposed to be marrying young as well, and I think what I’ve mentioned above supports this. (I don’t think parents should discourage their daughters from marrying a much older man if he is a good candidate and she is willing. At the same time, I think there’s nothing wrong with them prefering that she marry a young man very close to her age if a suitable one can be found, and I daresay it’s natural to want that.)

    Actually, I will hold off a bit on the rest that I want to say until more comments are made.

  2. femininebutnotfeminist

    If you replace “mortality rates” with “life expectancy” in my comment it would actually make better sense….

  3. @ FBNF

    To continue your line of reasoning regarding men marrying young, there is some research out there which shows that male life expectancy is tied to how frequently a man has had sex in his life. The more sex he has had, and the more regular his sex life, the longer he lives. The difference between no sex and frequent sex (on average one act a day) is measured in years of life expectancy. All of which means that for those men without St. Paul’s charism, celibacy kills.

  4. FBNF, his prime has nothing to do with the age at which he marries. A man peaks later in life than a woman but they should still marry young, if possible. The argument for marrying young is that the wife will offer herself to her husband while he is young, giving him the motivation to build himself up. Then when her looks begin to fade, he is there to look after her and the children, and he will remember her as the wife of his youth, while she can look up to him as her successful husband. They trade her support during her best years for his support during his best years, and they both avoid sin.

    The problem is that the current plan is for her to waste her best years on other men and jobs, then when he is reaching his prime, she marries him, having stolen his best years from him. It is the same thing as the husband leaving the wife for his secretary as she gets older, thus stealing her best years from her. Neither of these are honest trades.

    A fair trade is either a young man and a young woman, or an older man and young woman. Both offer the best they have to the other. The unpleasant truth is that older women do not have as much to trade, and they are going to lose out, hence the need to marry off women while they are still young. By young, I mean that by the time that a girl has gone through puberty and has her secondary sexual characteristics, her parents should have introduced her to some suitable men.

    Donal, look at Margery. An excellent example, she is still in her twenties, but she is quite mature because she married young and had several children. Stimulus drives adaptation. That stimulus can be the struggles of a young couple making their way in the world, or it can be a woman sleeping with exciting men and a man lying in bed alone, wishing for a woman beside him.

    A lot of men are highly suspicious of parental involvement in the present marriage market, and frankly I have trouble blaming them.

    So its understandable if men are leery at this prospective system- the sum total of their experience with it has likely only been negative. When all you’ve ever heard is No its easy to suspect that you won’t ever hear a Yes.

    This was one of the points I tried to make. How many men in that church are going to look at courtship with a favorable eye? How many of them saw that, and said, to themselves, “No, not worth the effort?” Men are the ones that set social norms for their children. Men that go to church have children that go to church. Men that do not go to church have children that do not go to church. If the system is abused and used against young men, they are not going to pass it on.

    Not to mention that if women in the church see that only older women or women who have ruined themselves are allowed to marry, and she wants to marry, well just go and ruin yourself real quick then come back for repentance and a husband. They drive men and women to sin.

    Also, if anyone wants an example from the source, go talk to Chad at Leap of a Beta. He showed interest in a young woman and her father put a stop to it because he wanted her to get an education. Free Northerner also had a recent post on young marriage and some fool commented that he would prevent his daughter from marrying until he had sent her off to college and she had earned her degree. This is not something the men around here are making up. Women are being prevented from marrying young by their parents and the church. Men are not offered the chance to marry young, then getting told they are too old.

    If you tell a man that he cannot have sex out side of marriage and he cannot marry, which do you think he is more likely to violate? If marriage is not that important, then obviously, sex outside of marriage cannot be that important either.

    The Shadowed Knight

  5. Celibacy kills, and that is a mercy. A relief from the pain, at long last. A sign that God understands our pain and will offer men release.

    The Shadowed Knight

  6. femininebutnotfeminist

    Actually, scratch what I said about replacing “mortality rates” with “life expectancy”, as it makes better sense part of the time, but has the wrong meaning the other part of the time when doing so.

    Donal, that’s interesting, I had never heard that before but it makes perfect sense. Do you think, based on those studies, that a man that has sex several times every day would live longer than one that has it only once every day? Just curious if any of the studies you’ve read accounted for higher numbers and compared them.

    TSK, when I mentioned a man’s prime I meant the prime age at which to marry, not his general prime. I’ve read a lot of comments in various places about how a man should finish college and a long list of things before he starts to look for someone to marry, which I disagree with. I didn’t make that clear the first time I realize now, my fault.

    Also, I disagree that just because a woman is a little older (say, late 20’s) that she has nothing to offer a man. It depends on the way she has lived until then, on the choices she has made. One that has spent that time slutting around, ruining her building up debt, becoming mean and bitter, growing in feminist ideology, etc has nothing to offer. One that has spent that time keeping her virginity, not building up debt (or paying off any that is aquired asap), stepping aside so Christ can change her and make her more kind and less jaded, increasing her domestic abilities, is submissive in nature, would never ever leave her husband or deny him sex, looks younger than her age and is typically mistaken for early 20’s age, etc still has plenty to offer. Not as much as one in her late teens / early 20’s with the same values, but certainly more than a late teens / early 20’s feminist-minded slut, and especially more than the prospect of permanent singleness.

  7. femininebutnotfeminist

    Ack, “ruining her” should be in front of “slutting around” and should read “ruining herself by slutting around”.

  8. @ FBNF

    Do you think, based on those studies, that a man that has sex several times every day would live longer than one that has it only once every day? Just curious if any of the studies you’ve read accounted for higher numbers and compared them.

    Actually, the study I saw did sort of address that. I don’t think it tracked number of times per day so much as number of times per year, but that has to correlate somewhat. And the study showed that the more times per year, on average, a man had sex (not encounters but orgasms I believe), the longer he would tend to live. I seem to recall that a man who averaged a 1000 a year lived 19 years longer on average than a man who “got it” below a certain threshold.

    As for MMV, a 28 year old woman who is a virgin, devout, has a good personality and host of positive traits is in general a much, much better choice for a man her age than an 18 year old woman who slept her way through high school, has an awful personality and a host of negative traits. Really, the 18 year old has only two things going for her: looks and fertility. Her lifestyle and general aging will reduce the value of her looks in the long run. So that leaves only fertility. For a man who doesn’t want a large family the 28 year old is a far superior choice.

    A lot depends on what a man is looking for, and what his age is along with his general station in life. A 30 year old man would have a different set of priorities than, say, a 38 year old man. The 38 year old man would probably snap up that 28 year old woman, while the 30 year old man might keep looking.

  9. mdavid

    DG, The difference between no sex and frequent sex (on average one act a day) is measured in years of life expectancy.

    I think there is cause and effect here. It’s more likely that frequent sex correlates with love, affection, stability, good genetics, and support…which then correlates with lifespan. For example, a wife’s cooking, cleaning, washing, and tailoring/mending is a boon for any man, which is usually followed by societal approval/personal happiness (the happiest people today are 40yo married men with children and good jobs…they are happier than their wives who suffer from low fertility and weak families…and much happier than unmarried women or men who have lost their extended families and thus their raison d’être). Also factor in the value women provide taking care of sick or injured men, and that healthy masculine men get laid more often than sickly men.

    But most important: without companionship anyone (male or female) is more vulnerable (women more than men). All these decrease life expectancy one-by-one; combined they are an avalanche. Note in the past this wasn’t a big deal because single men and women had real value for extended families and society at large. For example, single men used to be responsible for burying the dead and single women to care for the elderly/sick. They were important to everyone and missed when they passed. But today, extended families are few and society is splintered, leaving singles feeling superfluous. Why not die young?

    A good way to check this would be to look at the life expectancy of Catholic priests or nuns. They typically have a lot of affection and support from their tribe, and their life expectancy would be of interest.

  10. I’ve read a lot of comments in various places about how a man should finish college and a long list of things before he starts to look for someone to marry, which I disagree with.

    You get that advice for two reasons. One is that young women are not being encouraged to marry young men, so as a man, you might as well start planning out your future. You will have to wait to get married, so make the best of your single time preparing for a family and building yourself into the kind of man a woman will want to marry. It is making the best of a bad situation after recognizing same situation for what it is. Second, you are probably hearing that from the secular side of the Androsphere. They have no qualms about spending years fornicating while they wait for the time they can raise a family. It will give them valuable experience with women, which they can bring to a marriage to guard from divorce. They are not worried about eternal consequences.

    Also, I did not say older women have nothing to offer a man, only less. You can still get married if you keep trying, but you will have to settle for less than if you were still eighteen.

    The Shadowed Knight

  11. @FBNF: That study you linked to is very interesting and I took note of the fact that at present they still aren’t sure why women suffer as a result of the age gap. That reminded me of a study I ran across awhile back, one that was being done on generational gaps in a particular species of fish. I don’t remember the title of the study or species of fish, so I can’t find and link to it, but what they found was that the male fish suffered no ill effects from mating with females whose generation differed from their own, while females suffered from sharply curtailed life expectancy as a result of mating with males of a different generation. The fish were all the same age, but where of different generations. I think the conclusion was that the sperm evolved with each generation and put stress on females not from the same generation, therefore lowering their health and killing them.

    Of course, this study was in fish, not people. It may explain the discrepancy between life expectancies of men and women who marry outside their age group/generation though.

    If that turns out to be true in humans that would be no end of comfort to me, since while NSR and I boast a doozy of an age gap, we’re of the same (or very similar) genetic generation. Our parents are only 5-6 years apart in age.

  12. deti

    “I did not say older women have nothing to offer a man, only less. You can still get married if you keep trying, but you will have to settle for less than if you were still eighteen.”

    Right. The woman FBNF described (late 20s, virgin, looks younger than her age, has domestic skills, submissive and wants marraige) just has less to offer. The main thing is that she has lost some of her fertility and youth.

    The other problem — and this is a big problem for women like FBNF describes — is that the pool of men who will be interested in her, and that she will be interested in, is small and getting smaller with each passing year.

  13. David, without the study in front of me I can’t be sure. But I suspect and have every reason to believe they would have run a regression and controlled for those factors. Mind you, that doesn’t discount that what you are talking about is also true. I don’t think these exist in a vacuum, everything is connected. However, given the effects on the body created by sex, I think it is pretty clear that there is some kind of link between sex and positive health.

    @ TSK

    You are right that a lot of folks in these parts are ok with age gaps and marrying later because they aren’t going without in the interim. They are simply trying to pull their own version of what modern women do- have their cake and eat it too. Only the male version is what was more common in the past, as compared to now.

    @ Alla

    That would be an interesting study to look at. However, fish and mammals are different enough that I would hesitate to associate the same cause. Although you never know, it might be a common trait across vertebrates.

    @ Deti

    The other problem — and this is a big problem for women like FBNF describes — is that the pool of men who will be interested in her, and that she will be interested in, is small and getting smaller with each passing year.

    I actually considered creating a diagram for this post which tried to simulate the decrease in marriageable men and women over time, but decided against it. It would really take several graphics to try and make it work, and I don’t have time for it now.

  14. In my estimation, it’s almost always a good idea to meet the parents more rapidly before you get invested in a woman. That way you can chat with them and figure out if they’re on board with certain age differences or not.

    Of course, this means you actually have to interact with more than just women which is what you should be doing as a Christian anyway — interacting with COMMUNITY.

  15. feeriker

    If you tell a man that he cannot have sex out side of marriage and he cannot marry, which do you think he is more likely to violate?

    Were I a hardcore cynic (who, moi?), I could be induced into believing that this form of cruelty is church and society’s ultimate show of contempt for single Christian men.

  16. @Donal: At least I think it was fish. I understood it to be an aquatic, egg laying species of some sort, but I didn’t recognize the species name. That’s why I said “might explain”, it may have nothing to do with anything in humans.

    Of course this reminds of the study I desperately wish I could find again, about how omega wolves are an artificial phenomena caused by keeping wolves in captivity. That would create some interesting discussion around here.

    To get back on topic a bit, I might write a post on age gaps in relationships and what influence it has on them.

  17. Donal,

    You are right that a lot of folks in these parts are ok with age gaps and marrying later because they aren’t going without in the interim. They are simply trying to pull their own version of what modern women do- have their cake and eat it too. Only the male version is what was more common in the past, as compared to now.

    I would say that the ones who support age gaps do so out of necessity. The men that want to settle down after they have their fun will need a younger wife so that they can have children. The men that were willing to wait, and wait.., and wait.., they wanted a family, too, and so they have to look for younger women. Most everybody else is either indifferent or opposed to age differences.

    The difference between the way men have their fun then settle down and the way that women do is that when a man does it, he still has plenty to offer. He can still give his best, because it is not so dependent on time. She, on the other hand, she has given her best away, never to get it back. Put frankly, men do not do as much harm. I understand the desire to balance out criticism, but it is unwarranted here, not to mention that as soon as the women are back under control, the men are going to follow along shortly. When men are running things, far fewer cads get away with their behavior, because men can defend their women from them.

    The Shadowed Knight

  18. @ Alla

    I look forward to the post. I’ve been thinking on it myself and have some ideas, but I would definitely like to hear your perspective.

    @ TSK

    I was speaking on a moral, not a practical level. Your analysis is spot-on when it comes to pragmatic concerns.

  19. Pingback: EG: Talking About Age Gaps | Morning Sprinkles and Evening Gunfire

  20. Frequent and regular sex reduces the risk of prostate cancer.

  21. Most of the women I know who have married recently (here in Europe), married their first or second sex partner, after living with him for a decade or longer. They’re delaying tge marriage, while sharing their youth, and that’s considered ideal.

    People like us, who meet up, vet, and wed, are a mere curiosity here.

  22. (I left this at Alla’s, but her comments are acting wonky, so I’m reposting this here:)

    I’m glad you wrote this post, even if I think you strongly downplayed the negative aspects of marrying an older man. You touched on a few topics I probably have to deal with to a lesser extent than you do (we’re “only” seven years apart).The things that affect me the most:

    — People think the age gap is much wider than it is because he’s over 40 and I look about 22. So, he gets teased a lot because they assume he picked me out from a foreign bride catalog, or something, especially when they find out we’ve been together for over a decade. And he tends to treat me like I’m very young because of my appearance. I look like a little kid to him.

    — I live surrounded by older people, so I feel older. Not more mature, just old. I think of myself as middle aged and feel like most of my life (and all of my youth) flew by while I wasn’t paying attention. I never had any carefree moments and I suspect I really will die younger than is the norm for someone my age because of the psychological effect on my metabolism.This does make me sad sometimes, especially when my husband starts talking with his college friends about “the good ole days”. I just listen and imagine, and try not to feel envious. I also never had the chance to develop female friendships (younger women hadn’t yet married and older women didn’t want me around) so I’ve been very lonely.

    — I didn’t go to college or formally learn a trade. I was too restless for it after high school. I started to go back later, but I got married instead, and now I’m the “bizarrely uneducated chick” (in addition to being the “bizarrely young chick”) everywhere we go. People openly wonder why he married such an obvious idiot, and then the jokes about my age start up again. He obviously didn’t marry me for my brain! This will also make it harder for my children to marry because people think ignorance is genetic.

    — Sex is different with an older man. Not necessarily worse, just different. And there’s sometimes not enough of it (even if he “can”, he won’t, because he has himself under tight control and would rather be fishing), which is humiliating and depressing for a young woman. He’ll be completely underwhelmed by your beauty and he’s dumped all of his romantic notions and become jaded about women by the time you showed up, so don’t expect much.

    — You’ll be pregnant right away (so, no newlywed phase), but he probably won’t want many children and will cut you off reproductively while you’re in prime childbearing age. This is the single most common complaint from younger wives.

    — He’ll never really take you seriously, will probably talk down to you (even in public), and the older women around him will become more attractive to him as he ages because they “really understand him”.

    Generally, when you see a man develop the habit of talking to his wife like she’s an idiot, she’s probably much younger than he is. She was “young and dumb” when he married her, then she grew up, and he doesn’t notice because she’s still younger and dumber.

    These all don’t affect all women married to an older man, but all of those I know are affected by at least some, and most are affected by most.

    In short, I hope my own daughter marries someone closer to her own age. I wouldn’t freak out if she brought home someone older, but it would sadden me. Her life will probably shorter and more miserable than that of her peers, so it’s hardly ideal.

    On the other hand, I don’t regret marrying an older man because I never really got along with men my age because of my intellect. Older men aren’t smarter, but they are wiser and more experienced, which made them more interesting to talk to. It’s only recently that younger men have taken any interest in me, actually, so it’s not like I had a choice anyway.

  23. And that’s the warning I would give men:

    She probably won’t “mind the gap” at first, but after a decade or two, she’ll start to find the younger men she once scorned (or was ignored by) more attractive, the barrenness will depress her, she’ll have spotted your clay feet, and she’ll stop approaching for sex to end her constant humiliation.

    And then you hit crisis.

  24. The selection effect also doesn’t help. Older men (because of increasing testosterone levels) are most attracted to the “late bloomers” (nerdy-cute, mousy, chipmunky, baby-faced) that younger guys don’t pay any attention to.

    So, even if the age gap is relatively small, it will seem wider than it is. And her physical peak is delayed until her 30s, which means her MMV actually goes up steadily during the first decade of marriage, bucking the normal trend and later creating havoc in the marriage.

  25. mdavid

    Alte, the barrenness will depress her

    This is a key point rarely discussed (or even understood) by men.

    Many modern relationship “fails” stem from the use of chemical birth control post 1960. In prior eras, frequent sex and children generally correlated regardless of the details. Not today. For women, a lack of fertility is like a biological calling card crying “look elsewhere”…even if they are the ones taking the pill. Fertility is hardwired to follow sex and that link now is broken; most sex produces no fruit. For men, no big deal: their biological imperative is merely to have more and more varied sex. For women who have very limited fertility the answer is to move on (and fast, before they get old).

    It seems contradictory, that women are taking BC yet have relationship angst when barren. But it makes sense. Look at how the use of birth control has not slowed down abortion…it actually makes abortion more likely. Basically, women are in a constant negotiation with men today for children, and unlike the past are losing said negotiation. Relationship angst is often merely the reflection of this failed fertility negotiation women are have with their men and the broader society, but very few have the insight or wit to see it.

    In prior eras, the male sex drive + hot women = children, regardless of anyone’s desire. Men would make sure of that! Hence, women evolved ill-prepared to deal with their rapid decline of in fertility as they age…in the past they merely responded to barrenness by spending more time with their hair and when that failed moving on to other men. It worked then. Not today.

    Another way to look at this: we live in an time of great extinction where higher IQ men and women who “plan” families have fallen sharply below replacement levels (TRF << 2.1) and are going extinct. Meanwhile those who just don't think ahead are winning the Darwinian race. But women, being the half who raise the children, suffer this pain of extinction far more acutely than men, and this takes a heavy toll on their relationships. An interesting song that unwittingly explores this is Dégénération (see 1:30 in the video).

  26. femininebutnotfeminist

    Very well said mdavid!

    The issue of birth control (which I would estimate that roughly 90% of women of childbearing age take (I’m not including teenagers, though many of them do take it, sadly) based on my experience of working in 2 pharmacies… that’s not an “official” number, just my experience) should be considered when looking at a woman’s fertility. Most of them likely think that they can stop taking BC whenever they decide they want to have a baby and that they will just get pregnant with no problems. But most will get a rude awakening when the BC brought on EARLY infertility at an unnatural time. I don’t think people are considering this when they only look at a woman’s age and judge her fertility level based on that alone. Late-20’s women that have never taken BC have far better fertility than early-20’s women that have taken it for a little while. Also, why would a woman continue to ovulate well into her 40’s if she weren’t still capable of having babies? Don’t you think that if a woman’s fertility NATURALLY (as in, not influenced by previous BC use) declined so rapidly that a late-20’s woman were almost infertile, that God would’ve brought on Menopause that much sooner? I doubt He’s cruelly plagueing us with monthly periods for almost 20 years of not being able to have healthy babies! I realize it gets harder to do when you get up there in age, but it’s not that bad in your late 20’s when you haven’t ruined your fertility with BC. I’ve been strongly considering going to a doctor to get some sort of fertility test to test this out, and see how my numbers compare to others my age (late 20’s, never taken BC). Look at that family of Duggers (not sure of the spelling) ~ they have like 22 kids I think, so she has to be about 40 at least when having the last one. And I have 2 cousins (one late 30’s, the other early 40’s) that have each had a healthy baby within the past year. Ok, end of “BC is the cause of *early* infertility” rant. I’ll be back tonight to finish my age gap comment.

  27. I didn’t mean that she’d be barren for biological reasons on her part, but that it’s not unlikely that an older husband can’t or won’t give her any children. Even if he gives you one or two, he’ll probably rush out and have a vasectomy after that. If she’s his second wife, and he has kids from his first marriage, she might not get a single pregnancy out if him.

    Older men often have a vague desire for “family”, but they usually find actual babies annoying as heck and quickly lose interest in having any more.

    And that’s not even taking into account declining male fertility and increasing genetic defects and impotence.

  28. there’s sometimes not enough of it (even if he “can”, he won’t, because he has himself under tight control and would rather be fishing), which is humiliating and depressing for a young woman. He’ll be completely underwhelmed by your beauty and he’s dumped all of his romantic notions and become jaded about women by the time you showed up, so don’t expect much.

    Without agreeing or disagreeing with the rest of what you wrote, I wanted to address this part.

    The part about dumping all of his romantic notions rings true. Especially for a man who wanted to marry younger but couldn’t (for one reason or another). I would imagine it would still apply to a man who didn’t want to marry young, albeit not as much. There are few things so likely as to crush a man’s spirit, and his thirst for romance, as constant rejection and a long bout of loneliness. And if he hasn’t been rejected or lonely, and has had plenty of female attention, he’s probably burned out any love of romance he might have started with.

    The jaded part is also true- time will do that to you. Although a proper education would likely have had the same effect- its just experience teaching the things which a father and other male relatives should have taught but didn’t.

    there’s sometimes not enough of it… which is humiliating and depressing for a young woman.

    I would say that this is humiliating and depressing for men of all ages, not simply young ones.

    As for underwhelmed by your beauty… well, that might depend on if/when he had better. Or could have had better, but chose not to for some reason.

  29. Nah, a man over 30 isn’t going to get all excited about a pretty woman anymore. Or, at least, he’ll be more adept at hiding his enthusiasm, which is the same from her point of view.

  30. Also, if anyone wants an example from the source, go talk to Chad at Leap of a Beta. He showed interest in a young woman and her father put a stop to it because he wanted her to get an education. Free Northerner also had a recent post on young marriage and some fool commented that he would prevent his daughter from marrying until he had sent her off to college and she had earned her degree. This is not something the men around here are making up. Women are being prevented from marrying young by their parents and the church.

    This is a perfect example of men sabotaging each other as well as their daughters.

  31. @ Sigyn

    Sabotage seems like too gentle a word for that kind of madness. I could understand wanting to sabotage other men, wrong though it may be, but I could never understand wanting to sabotage one’s own daughter. It just doesn’t compute.

  32. How is a girl graduating college at 21 sabotaging her chances at marriage and children? Unless the father wanted the daughter to have multiple degrees or something, but one BA isn’t exactly consigning the girl to so much education that it knocks her potential TFR into 1 or less land.

  33. @ TUW

    How is a girl graduating college at 21 sabotaging her chances at marriage and children?

    It doesn’t necessarily sabotage her chances. I can see a number of situations where it might even be wise.

    But preventing her from marrying until after she has a degree? That is another matter entirely. Setting a blanket shield to keep away suitors (and during her prime years at that!) is folly, plain and simple.

  34. How is a girl graduating college at 21 sabotaging her chances at marriage and children?

    The average woman (not girl!) graduates with her bachelor’s degree at 23 nowadays, and will more likely than not owe above $10,000. She will also be subject to the Sunk Cost Fallacy and feel compelled to enter the workforce so as to apply her hard-earned degree at least for a little while, and as such be averse to risking pregnancy (which is why she avoided marriage during school, after all).

    She will have spent large amounts of time under the influence of authority figures and peers with significantly liberal and feminist attitudes. This will negatively affect her attitudes toward men, relationships, and herself.

    Furthermore, she will have been under constant internal and external pressure to compromise her sexual morals. Even if she doesn’t contract an STD, it will affect her future relationships negatively.

    Unless the father wanted the daughter to have multiple degrees or something, but one BA isn’t exactly consigning the girl to so much education that it knocks her potential TFR into 1 or less land.

    One BA is seldom enough now, due to everyone having them, their relative uselessness, and the tendency for young women to seek degrees in subjects that don’t prepare them for the job market.

    And since every not-mentally-handicapped girl is assumed to be suited to the doctor-lawyer-injun-chief line of work nowadays, the only way for them to “fulfill their destiny” is to go the ten-year plan–well, except for heading up a tribe of Natives, but nobody will check your credentials on that if you want to claim it anyway.

    TL;DR version: It comes with its own problems.

  35. femininebutnotfeminist

    I meant to finish my comment here last night but didn’t get that far. So here is the rest I wanted to say about age gaps.

    What baffles me the most is why a man my age would overlook a woman my age claiming that he can’t have a large enough family unless he marries someone a decade younger than him. A woman my age can still have a handful of kids, so long as she didn’t take birth control and has no other abnormal fertility issues. If my family is any indication, I should have no trouble with it. Anytime any woman in my family wants to get pregnant (and even when they don’t want to and use “protection” sometimes) they do it, even like I said earlier at 40ish years old. Besides, even with infertile couples, there is still a way to have a family that’s as big as you want ~ adopting orphans. (I’m not talking about wifing up a single mom and adopting her, what people around here call “thugspawn”, which is a horrible thing to call a child btw, just wanted to get that off my chest). I understand that men have this innate desire to pass on their seed, and I’m not downplaying that at all. By all means, have as many biological children as you can/want. But considering how much Scripture has to say about caring for orphans, this is something that no christian can turn their nose up at. There are millions upon millions of orphans around the world, and there were only about 7,000 adopted in the US last year (or the year before, I forget which)!!! This is unacceptable. So, if a man wants a younger woman for other reasonable reasons, that’s fine. No big deal. But to claim it’s only because she can’t give him a good enough family, that makes zero sense from a christian perspective, when there are millions of children without a home or a family to love them. If we won’t love them, who will? Gay couples?! (Before anyone claims I’m saying all this because of my age, I’m not. I’ve wanted to adopt since long before I was old enough to legally marry, for personal/family reasons. And what I said above also applies to couples who marry young and can have a whole bunch of children biologically).

    I think I said something in an earlier comment about how we all would have to choose between remaining single permanently, or considering those outside of our ideal age group when looking for someone to marry. This has nothing to do with our own MMV, but rather due to the lack of people around that have a combination of 1) a desire to get married, 2) a good enough MMV themselves, and 3) the desire to marry us in particular over another person. Meaning that if those of us still looking to marry actually want to be able to get married, we can’t always limit ourselves to a specific age. If we meet someone that is otherwise what we are looking for who wants us in particular, we should ask ourselves ~ which would be worse? Being married to this person? Or being single for the rest of my life? Considering how few and far between marriagable people are these days (especially women, from what I hear around here), we can’t afford to be so picky on some things if we are to marry at all. This goes for all of us, myself included, and even including those with the highest MMV. If we get exactly what we want, then wonderful. We need to be realistic too though.

  36. especially women, from what I hear around here

    A lot of the men aren’t marriagable, either, frankly. Especially those in the urban areas most young women are looking in. This isn’t exactly the place to go to get “fair and balanced” news coverage.

    The older-man/younger-woman combination isn’t becoming such a hot topic because it’s superior to same-age marriage, but because the marriage market is so bad for both sexes that everyone is making compromises. You can’t exactly wait around a few decades, to see if things improve.

    If he wants a reliable source if sex-and-babies and she wants a reliable source of provision-and-domination, then the attraction is easily explained by the fact that those sources are rare in the same-age groups they’re usually searching in.

    Like I said, I was pretty much destined to marry someone older. I’m also happy to report that marrying an older man reduces divorce risk. But the idea that people who want to protect their daughters from older men are irrational meanies is a train I’m not interested in riding.

    And, as a UMC wife without a college degree, the idea of pushing her to get a degree before marriage doesn’t sound so crazy. It’s become standard and a lot of men won’t have anything to do with you, if you don’t have one.

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