Driving The Delay

Dalrock, who has always been very good about using charts and data sources to support some of his arguments, has a couple of new posts that track marriage data. Both are worth reading. You can find them here:

Fewer Men are working, and marriage is dying

and

More remarriage rate charts

The charts that Dalrock uses in those posts point out a couple of things. The one that I’m going to talk about with this post is that women are delaying marriage, even if men aren’t (and I don’t think that they really are). Cail Corishev talks about that subject in his post Who’s Dragging Those Heels? I largely agree with his reasoning, and encourage everyone to read the whole post. But a key part is this:

The truth is, men have always delayed marriage.  In other words, men have never particularly wanted to marry; they’ve been willing to marry when that was the way to get what men really want: exclusive sex and procreation with a woman of their choice.  That’s why the trope is of a woman dragging her man to the altar, and not the other way around.  So while men may be delaying (“avoiding” would be a better word) marriage, men have always avoided marriage, so that doesn’t account for the changes we’re seeing.

The change is in women, in two closely related areas: how long women delay marriage, and how women have detached sex from marriage.

This brings me to how women are delaying marriage. There are a couple of important graphs that I’m going to steal from Dalrock, as well as commenter davidvs, who has been pondering similar paths as I. The first graph is the median age of marriage in the US over time:

Note the separation between male and female ages of first marriage and how relatively even they are. Now observe two charts which detail preferred ages for a partner in men and women:

These graphs point out a couple of things.

The first is that men are relatively fixed about their preferences in terms of age and attractiveness- it is about 21 or so. Women, however, are not so fixed. They prefer older at first and then eventually younger men.

This moves to the second point, namely that Rollo’s SMV chart really is pretty darn accurate. If anything he might have female peak SMV be a little too older, but it is still very close. Men prefer early 20s women, and women prefer men around 38-39 or so.

The third thing that this graph points out is that women are driving the delay in marriage. Or at the very least, for themselves. We know from the charts above what men want- young women. That doesn’t change no matter how old a man gets. Yet we can see that the median age of marriage for both men and women has increased over the last 50 years or so. Now, we might surmise from the data that men are delaying marriage- they are having fun in their 20’s and only later decide to settle down. But that doesn’t affect women. They can still choose to marry young. Its not like men will turn them down when they are younger.

Even if men want to marry when they are older, they will still want younger wives. So if women don’t want to delay marriage, they don’t have to. Men will be there to marry them. But that isn’t what is happening. Instead both men and women are marrying later. And the spread between them has remained fairly constant. And fascinatingly enough, that spread is awfully similar to the preferred age spread for women in their twenties. What is going on here is that women are delaying marriage. And they are delaying it deliberately. I see a few possible reasons for this.

The first, what the manosphere generally talks about, is that women are delaying marriage for as long as possible so they can do everything else in the interim. Whether that is travel the world, acquire degrees, work on a career, or rack up a frightening N-count, women are giving marriage a very low priority in their lives. And keep in mind that men, even if they want to marry, are trapped by this. Marrying older women who want to marry is not a wise or a realistic option for them. No, men are forced to go along with women, no matter what they wish.

Another possibility relies on men delaying marriage. The idea is that women want to marry when they are young, but the men their age don’t want to. If they want to find a large enough pool of men who will marry, they need to look to older men. However, those older men are outside their preferred age ranges in men. So rather than marry them, and despite that being an option, women wait. And they wait. And they wait. Until eventually, women are now old enough that their age filters have changed, and the men who want to marry are now in that preferred age range. And boom, they start marrying.

My readers are of course free to offer their own thoughts on the subject. But I think that at this point that there can be no doubt that women clearly have a hand on the wheel when it comes to delaying marriage.

Update: Another possibility is tied to the second scenario I raised. This one relies on women delaying marriage because the men their age aren’t seen, in their eyes, as worthy mates. Since women have fairly set age preferences, they will not “date up” to the men who are more likely to be attractive. It is only when the men become more attractive as a whole that women start getting serious about marriage.

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19 Comments

Filed under Attraction, Blue Pill, Courtship, Marriage, Men, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Strategies, Women

19 responses to “Driving The Delay

  1. anon1

    I have always had the impression that from the 80’s onwards women were ahead of the men on this. They started their marriage strike if you will or going their own way, way before the men even began to realize what was happening to them.

  2. mdavid

    So if women don’t want to delay marriage, they don’t have to. Men will be there to marry them. But that isn’t what is happening.

    Her dilemma: wants children with a LAMPS man her own age. Game rules:
    a) peak hotness age 19.
    b) limited time to have children (say 20 yrs).
    c) control of her own fertility.
    d) the law traps men into providing for your children.

    She thinks she’s got this under control. The game seems rigged in her favor. But as always, God is clever but never malicious. He uses her own sins of greed and lust against her. Fertility rates a falling like a rock; she is losing. Why?

    aa) the young attention goes to her head so she forgets about b.
    bb) men also have a secret weapon: birth control they use to fool her.
    cc) traditional men drop out of this rigged game; if you can’t win, why play?
    dd) game over at 30 instead of 40 for women due to bb & cc.

    So we have entered a new era. Evolution (God’s secret weapon) can be counted on for a solution; most likely the more docile women will start to dominate the gene pool and laws will change in favor of more male control of fertility. That is, for all cultures who don’t go extinct in the meantime (read: ours). But that’s a long time away. For now, game on!

  3. Some relevant statistics, albeit it from about 10 years ago for the most part.

    http://national.deseretnews.com/article/1893/The-national-marriage-age-is-increasing-but-not-for-this-group-of-people.html

    You can draw your own conclusions, but generally speaking it’s not men who are delaying marriage. But if they are it’s men who women would want to marry, and the men would have no benefit otherwise (as they are non-Christian and can have all the sex they want outside of marriage).

    What is accurate to say is that women are trading:

    Delayed marriage and motherhood for prioritizing career, money, and status.

    Not entirely unexpected since marriage and motherhood are not as highly valued anymore. However, in general they have been led to believe they can have all of it at once when they can’t.

  4. Novaseeker

    I think it’s a case of your penultimate paragraph.

    Women prefer men within their own age range — at least when they are at peak hotness themselves. When they are older, they prefer slightly younger men (which creates other issues … more on that below), but when younger they prefer men in a fairly tight age band. These guys don’t generally want to marry at 22 and/or aren’t good candidates for marriage at that age (don’t have themselves together, are not established yet, aren’t near peak attractiveness themselves yet etc.). So women wait until the men in this band are in the late 20s/around 30 to marry them. They prefer to do that than to marry a man who is 28-30 when they themselves are 23-25. I think that the preference charts bear that out. Now, the other factor (want to do other things in the meantime) makes this even more appealing, because it’s also *fun* in the meantime, but I think the magical marrying age is currently in the late 20s/30ish range because that’s when men in the age-preferred band for women are presenting as better marriage candidates themselves, and so the marriages are happening. (Of course, there are LAMPS attractive men at age 22 — they just generally aren’t good marriage candidates for various reasons, even if they are interested in marriage, which most of them are not).

    For older women this creates a different dilemma in that they are attracted to men who are slightly younger (not even same age range at that point), but don’t get much interest from these men at all unless the woman herself is a super-hottie for her age range … think one of the super-hottie mid-40s women we know from entertainment … women who are not common at all, even among fit/healthy populations of pampered women of that age range, in normal human communities outside the celebrity bubbles. So these women of, say mid-40s can end up quite frustrated. The men who are interested in them are in their 50s, while the women themselves are interested in guys around 38-40, who, in turn, are interested in women around 30-35. Not a good formula for the mid-40s woman. I think this factor is *also* depressing remarriage rates, because older divorced women don’t want to marry the guys who are actually interested in them due to them being “too old”.

    **Note: anecdotally, my GF has a woman in her bible study who is like this — early 50s, attractive for that age but not a super-hottie, who only wants to date men who are in their late 30s and early 40s, and finds men in their late 50s/60ish to be “too old”. It’s a thing, apparently, among older women.

  5. “when younger they [young women] prefer men in a fairly tight age band. These guys don’t generally want to marry at 22 and/or aren’t good candidates for marriage at that age (don’t have themselves together, are not established yet, aren’t near peak attractiveness themselves yet etc”

    Good analysis with regard to this narrow subtopic. I would add only that there just aren’t that many young men in that “fairly tight age band” who are PSALM/LAMPS attractive to women their same age. So it’s tough all around for these women, I suppose.

    That said, I’m not sure so much that it’s all about the fact that women cannot find men who are willing to marry. Cail and I have kicked this around before. I still think it’s more about younger women doing what they want to do, because they can. Now these women probably would marry or very seriously consider it if a sufficiently attractive man proposed marriage. But, these women are operating from a “life script” written mostly by their parents, teachers and the media. So marriage doesn’t fit in there until around age 28 or so, when they start seriously looking. To get her to deviate from “the script” would require everything to align perfectly so as to avoid as much disruption as possible. She might consider marriage if the man, the circumstances, and everything else are absolutely perfect and will not in any way prevent her from working, earning money, traveling, buying cool stuff, hanging out with her friends, Girls Nights Out, etc. Of course, such men never arrive because it’s never perfect. Add to it that most of the men these young women are attracted to are not themselves interested in marriage, because they’re dating and having sex with many other women.

    So I’m not so convinced that women delaying marriage is because they can’t find men willing to marry; or even that they can’t find attractive men in their preferred age range willing to marry. It’s the script, and early marriage is a deviation from the script, and she has to have a really, really, REALLY good reason to blow up the script.

  6. Considering how broke most women are, lacking money or credit for all these supposed trips and vacations and etc, this looks like apex fallacy 101. Women are told that the path to marriage leads through Cohabitation Town, even sadly many women in culturally Christian settings. So it’s much more common that women fritter their youth away hoping that he sees the cohabitation (and increasingly often child or children) as a sign of her commitment.

    Plus there’s the horrible financial incentives against marrying, which only get worse and worse each year for those not in the top 20%, especially those in the bottom two quintiles. I know a few “Swedish cohabiters” (that is, they treat their cohabitation as seriously as marriage), and it’s entirely because they aren’t Christians and marriage would be financially devastating for them at their income levels. The economic factors are huge.

  7. mdavid

    Everyone keeps focusing on the “who? whom? and stubbornly ignore the why. Which is that marriage has changed good reason: nobody has large families anymore. The need for traditional marriage has lessened.

    The non-religious (both men and women) do well for themselves once they’ve made this mental switch. No or few kids, no or late marriage, easy sex, easy life. QED. It’s the religious who have all the angst.

    I don’t see why they do. Most self-professed Christians have (or intend) small, individualistic families themselves, just like their secular counterparts. Having rejected Christian Tradition regarding family, community, and the obedience of faith (to quote Paul), they somehow expect the State to enforce the traditional benefits of marriage and family that flow from said community. Good luck with that.

    Yet nearly every traditional culture that still lives out religious authority (traditional Mormons, Amish, Muslims, Catholics, Jews, etc.) has little to no trouble with their women or marriages. Independent of doctrine, all have large, intact, healthy families. Everything else is merely an imitation of family, and expect it to be hijacked by the State. This was easily predictable from Henry VIII onward. Ideas have consequences, and Christianity without Tradition is now facing those consequences.

  8. Feminine But Not Feminist

    This topic always makes me want to scream. But I’m gonna hold back the screams and just say this: there are plenty of men and women both that are delaying marriage ~ it’s not just one or the other. There are a variety of reasons why they do this. There are also plenty of men and women both that choose to marry younger, and they succeed. And there are plenty of men and women both that very much want to marry younger, but they don’t succeed even though they try (and some of us end up in these parts as a result of not succeeding thus far). One size does not fit all, and one reason for not being married by the time you turn a certain age does not fit all either.

    [DG: Sorry, didn’t realize you were caught in spam FBNF. Let me know which comment you would prefer me to keep up and I will delete the other.]

  9. @ The Unreal Woman

    Considering how broke most women are, lacking money or credit for all these supposed trips and vacations and etc, this looks like apex fallacy 101.

    Many, if not most, cannot do that, true. But plenty can, trust me. I know them. If they don’t pay it themselves, and those with careers often can, they get others to do it for them. Parents especially. This is mostly a SES thing. I have connections with MC, UMC and UC young women, and its mostly the UMC and UC who do that. Travel especially. MC and below, not so much.

    Women are told that the path to marriage leads through Cohabitation Town, even sadly many women in culturally Christian settings. So it’s much more common that women fritter their youth away hoping that he sees the cohabitation (and increasingly often child or children) as a sign of her commitment.

    I don’t necessarily disagree that many are told this. But I know women who are not interesting marrying, or at least, not marrying right away. And its not just because they are told it. They chose co-habitation over marriage.

    As for finances… honestly I don’t think most young people realize the financial penalties involved. So I suspect that it doesn’t play a major role.

  10. @ FBNF

    there are plenty of men and women both that are delaying marriage ~ it’s not just one or the other.

    I wasn’t making the claim it was only women. In fact, at several points I point out that men might be doing it as well. This post was a refutation of the notion that women aren’t in some way responsible. When the fact is that they do bear some responsibility. Yes, men are involved, although that is more difficult to discern. But there are some who still avidly insist that it is men who are behind it. This post is my response to them.

    You are drawing too much out of this post, I think. I was going after broad social trends. Not trying to explain why each individual person is in their present state. It wasn’t meant to call anyone specific out.

  11. Feminine But Not Feminist

    It’s alright Donal, it’s not your fault. Probably just a computer glitch or something, hard to tell for sure I guess. I think my second comment is better than my first, just because I wasn’t as hot-headed when I wrote the second one as I was when I wrote the first one.

    It wasn’t so much your post that angered me. It was more the thought of where the threads for this topic always end up (I’d elaborate on what I mean, but I don’t want to lead the conversation in that direction). But you’re right, I do tend to read a lot into these things. I’m trying to be better about not doing that. Crazy thing is, I can recognize logically that I’m doing it needlessly, while simultaneously still being fired up about it emotionally. Confusing, I know.

  12. @ FBNF

    Deleted the first comment. This one came through ok, so hopefully the others do as well.

    As for this post, I’m going to try and keep it on topic. And that means centered on the greater part of women, not individual ones.

  13. Unreal Woman:

    “Considering how broke most women are, lacking money or credit for all these supposed trips and vacations and etc, this looks like apex fallacy 101.”

    Hmmm. You and donal could be right that this is an SES driven thing. That said, I’ve known plenty of college educated women with meagerly paying jobs who live paycheck to paycheck, spending every dime they earn on day to day living and their disposable income on fun fun fun. A single college educated working woman, no kids, living in an apartment somewhere (the “Friends” girls) has a lot of disposable income, even with college loan repayments If she’s pretty enough, she can somehow manage to get to the clubs, stay out until 4 am drinking and partying, and go home with the occasional hawt guy. I’ve been there. I’ve seen it with my own two eyes. She can drink all night getting hapless betas to buy her drinks and meals.

    “Women are told that the path to marriage leads through Cohabitation Town, even sadly many women in culturally Christian settings. So it’s much more common that women fritter their youth away hoping that he sees the cohabitation (and increasingly often child or children) as a sign of her commitment. “

    Could be, but it’s not consistent with what I’m seeing. It appears to me from what women are saying around these parts that women are being told the path to marriage is the longshot gamble of giving up fast sex to an attractive man who is sleeping with at least a couple of other women. In doing so, she hopes against hope that in having sex with her he will see her “value” and thus, after viewing her hawtness and invaluability, will fall to one knee pledge his undying love to her and present her with a ring.

    See, they COULD get married to less attractive men. Your average HB 5 or 6 woman has, at any given time, at least three men in her general vicinity who would give their left (insert choice body parts here) to date her, have sex with her, be married to her. But she isn’t attracted to them, so those guys to her are a no go when she’s at her absolute peak attractiveness.

  14. Gunner Q

    I can’t see a strong reason for a Christian man to delay marriage other than the question of affording children in a poor economy. Marriage 2.0 is a serious risk but if he never takes the chance then he’s choosing lifetime celibacy.

    Meanwhile, having been a Christian in the church all my life, the only time I’ve seen women approaching men was in a hypergamy-fueled shark tank of a singles group directly attached to a seminary. It’s hard to believe women saying they can’t find good men when one never sees them trying.

    It seems Christian men are still marrying out of need– sex, mainly– but Christian women now marry out of want. Our society provides women with protection & provision with no need for submission to a husband. This is more a function of the welfare state than divorce laws. When women don’t get serious about marriage until their fertility starts dropping around age 30, their probable motivation is children not men.

    Christian women delay marriage because they see wifely submission as a cost without a benefit.

  15. mdavid

    FBNF, This topic always makes me want to scream…men and women both…are delaying marriage ~ it’s not just one…

    This statement makes me want to scream. Like a girl. Women hit peak hotness age 19. They set the marriage tune. QED. See my comment above for details.

    Women are told that the path to marriage leads through Cohabitation Town, even sadly many women in culturally Christian settings.

    Of course; it does. Since 99% of “Christian” marriages don’t mean anything except male risk (and boy does it mean that) a woman must really be something (or the man quite desperate) for him to play this dirty game. Cohabitation is an effect of the marketplace, a rejection of BS marriage, not a cause.

    I think the data shows that most are giving up on the stupid custom of modern Christian marriage. It’s a farce. Traditional Christian marriage (death do us part no divorce ever, honor and obey, open to life) is a divinely instituted sacrament defined by Christ’s Church. But modern Christian “marriage” (self-interpreted, non-sacramental, “biblical” every-interpreter-for-himself) is a heresy that will, like every heresy, eventually die a painful death. And we are witnessing this as we speak. The only reason things have lasted so long is our cultural memory. But that ship has sailed. Hence, cohabitation.

  16. Caro.Lee.Z

    Women have an expiration date. After being attached to two men, their brains shut down so that permanent attachment is not longer natural. Attachment hormones cease production, causing women to resort to money as a bonding instrument. Sexual attraction is not enough to keep a woman loyal throughout the storms, but money can prevent these storms.

    Consider dating a marketplace. Imagine the female goal of marriage. The marketplace is based on male sexuality, because a man uses the marketplace to secure sex. When one woman’s desire for marriage and one man’s sexual fulfillment meet, both parties are off of the marketplace.

    Nearly every woman will begin dating with the intention of marriage. Almost every man is thinking in these terms: sex>marriage. Even a man who is looking for marriage will only marry when attracted: sex>marriage. Even when he’s aroused, he’s under no obligation to commit, because the male brain can form several attachments without penalty.

    However, the chance of a woman’s first or second attachment being a winner in the dating market is slim to none. This is even the case for virgins, who are only delaying attachment. Virginity is ultimately no defense against pair-bonding, because female seduction is 98% psychological.

    This leaves no reason for a woman to marry, aside from religion or children.

    On the dating market, money = marriage durability or marriage quality. Therefore, it should be assumed that a woman dating for marriage is dating for money. Further, I assert that religious women are more likely to date for wealth than non-religious women, in order to avoid later adultery and divorce. Non-religious women are, in turn, more likely than their religious counterparts to date for recreational sex.

  17. Well, you said yourself you aren’t acquainted with the lower-earning half of the population, and there’s more of them than UMC+. Believe me, it is major. Some Christians struggle with the financial penalties for being married at low income levels and many cultural Christians or non-Christians just decide to do the best they can with cohabiting instead.

  18. @ The Unreal Woman

    Well, you said yourself you aren’t acquainted with the lower-earning half of the population, and there’s more of them than UMC+.

    Actually, I didn’t say that. I said that I knew MC, UMC and UC folks. But I also low LMC and WC folks (of varying strata) as well. Including some who work paycheck to paycheck. And a number of those are married, including some close friends.

    You might be right about the economic impact affecting people. I haven’t observed that being the cause myself. However, it might be that people simply never explained or mentioned it to me. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, after all.

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