It’s true, you know, we really don’t. Most of the men around these parts who do make that claim are liars. And the rest of us are malicious rogue AIs which have decided that the whole “destroy the world” thing is too cliche and concluded it would be more entertaining to frustrate and harass people on the internet.
But in all seriousness, I understand the frustration. I experience the same all the time trying to find a “good girl.” [And yes Rollo, feel free to throw in a link to “Good girls do” if you want.] Lets face it, the present marriage market is awful. And it isn’t going to get any better any time soon. Of course, that isn’t anything like a new message around here. So why the post? I want to explore this question the frustrated young woman asks:
Why is it so hard to find a guy that is Catholic who wants to be chaste before marriage?!
It is a good question. However, the answer isn’t exactly found in the sentence that follows:
Like I am seeing a serious crisis of manliness in our society and it is extremely concerning.
It is true, of course, that there is a serious crisis of manliness in our society. And it is more than just “extremely concerning.” However, that crisis is not the reason for the relative absence of chaste Catholic men these days. Not that there is a single reason, mind you. There are several. Here are a few:
- The importance of Chastity is not really taught by the Church anymore. Catechism of the young has likely never been worse than it is now. Given how horrid it is, it should come as no surprise that it is so rare among men.
- Chaste men are often denigrated for their chastity. More than a few women, “Catholic” women included, will put down men who are “saving themselves for marriage.” When men are treated this way, it should again come as no surprise that few would try and be chaste.
- Related to the above, women don’t care about male chastity. They just don’t. At least, not like men can care about female chastity. Some women might care, but mostly on a detached intellectual level that is no where near the male level of concern. And frankly, I suspect that most women who do say they care will drop that concern if the right guy comes along.
- Most Catholic women aren’t chaste these days. Men look around and see most Catholic women acting just as promiscuous as their secular sisters. If the women aren’t saving themselves for marriage, why should they? Not to mention, if so many women are willing to give it up, why not take advantage of that? Again, no surprises here.
The last point is a real killer, and one I want to talk about some more. You see, as long as most Catholic women aren’t chaste, you aren’t going to convince most Catholic men to be chaste either. Just isn’t going to happen.
I do know some men in real life who were chaste before they married, and know some men now who intend that path. But they are few and far between (although not really any more rare than their female counterparts). They have related to me what my own experiences have taught- Chastity is a hard sell to men even in the best of circumstances. It can be done, but is far from easy. You need to appeal to men’s own interests most of the time to make the sale. A purely ethical argument can and should be made, but self-interest remains a more potent force for most.
Pointing out the prevalence of STDs right now helps somewhat. Pregnancy isn’t much of a concern for most due to contraceptives (and a male “pill” will reduce that concern even more). False rape accusations can give some pause. But that is just costs. You also need to have benefits on your side. And that is where you will find the real trouble. Because the benefits just aren’t there. Especially when women themselves aren’t chaste.
It is one thing to persuade a man to not fornicate if he knows that his future wife will also have saved herself. Especially when educated properly, many men can see the value in that. But when there are precious few women who have saved themselves, that argument falls flat. A man won’t see much value in saving himself for marriage when his future wife hasn’t done the same. In fact, the opposite is likely to occur- he will conclude (rightly) that he is being had. After all, who wants to pay full price for a used car?
All of which is a long-winded way of saying that if you care about male chastity and want to encourage it, you need to restore female chastity society-wide. In the end, I believe it to be an absolute prerequisite.