Quick post tonight, likely not another major post until next Wednesday.
I’m sure you know that one recurring them on tradcon blogs is that young, chaste tradcon women find it difficult to find potential husbands willing to court them, especially if these women are plain-looking. Common sense tells us that these women should be looking for potential husbands among the sons of tradcons, that such families are as likely to have sons as daughters. In other words, the sex ratio isn’t lopsided, and young tradcons should be able to pair off.
So…what gives? What about the tradcon married couples who have sons? We don’t see them around the internet that much, do we? Are they raising their sons right? Why aren’t such men courting these supposedly desperate women?
Before I could respond mdavid offered his thoughts on the matter. Without accepting or rejecting his ideas, here are a few of my own (some of which are quite similar to mdavid’s):
1) Localized Sex Ratio Disparities-
While it is true that in a large enough sample size there should be a relatively similar number of men and women, this might not be the case for individual churches and communities. The smaller a group of families, the more statistically likely it will be for there to be an abundance of men or women at a certain age bracket. This would explain how you can have some commenters show up at my blog or others and talk about all the single women they know at church who can’t find a man, and then the other commenters who talk about all the single men they know at church who can’t find a woman. Both sets might be speaking the truth about their particular church/community. For myself, I know that the parishes (churches) I’ve attended over the years have all had gender disparities where there are more single men than women (and not by a small number either).
2) Sons Expected to Fend for Themselves-
One reason why we may not hear from more parents or family/friends of tradcon men having trouble finding potential wives is that many tradcons expect that young men will do the heavy lifting of finding a wife themselves. Since men are supposed to be active and looking for a wife, then if they haven’t found one yet it is their own fault. Whereas if a woman hasn’t “found” a potential husband yet, it is because the men aren’t looking or there aren’t any out there.
3) Women Make it Hard on Suitors
Another potential problem is that young women are making it difficult for young men to court them. Perhaps they aren’t putting themselves in a position where young men can meet them and get to know them. If I only ever see you at Church, it makes it awfully hard for me to contact you and establish some sort of relationship. (speaking from experience here). Not lingering at Church makes this even harder.
Maybe they present an attitude that chases away men or convinces them, for one reason or another, not to pursue. It is one thing to be modest, but another entirely to be an Ice Queen or a Princess.
4) Male Attrition
There is another major reason that could be at play here. And that is the fact that in traditional communities more men than women “fall away” from the faith. In one of my earlier posts (I cannot remember which at this point), I argued that women, as herd creatures, are more likely to assume whatever the dominant moral code of a community is. A traditional, conservative community is more likely to have traditional, conservative women. Men, on the other hand, are more willing to buck the trend and go off on their own. In a traditional community this means leaving the faith and conforming to the world. Hence if you have 100 men and 100 women in the 18-30 bracket in a traditional community, you might lose only 10 of the women to worldliness, but you could lose 30-40 of the men. This naturally leaves a disparity between the number of eligible young men and women in such a community.
Working with this is the fact that young men are expected to support families in a way that young women are not (in some cases to absurd degrees). This means that men naturally have to be exposed more to the world, and to the outside culture, than women, in order to support a family. Their greater exposure makes them more vulnerable and more are lured away as a result.
That wraps up my immediate ideas on the matter. I invite my readers to offer their own thoughts on the subject.
Update: In case it wasn’t clear, I wasn’t actually endorsing the notion that there is a dearth of traditional young men willing to court traditional young women. I was trying to explain why it seems like more people come to these parts from TradCon circles and complain about the lack of marriageable men, as compared to marriageable women.