Reference: Improving The Sexual Attractiveness Of Christian Men Won’t Cure The Christian Marriage Crisis

[This is a reference post, made to be linked to in the future by myself, or anyone else who finds it helpful and convenient. It may be updated over time to include both past and future conduct.]

It is widely recognized in the ‘sphere that Christian men, as a whole, tend to be unattractive and unappealing to women (Christian and secular alike). Under the PSALM/LAMPS model they fair poorly. They are for the most part raised that way, with everyone from their parents to the Church to society in general contributing to this deficiency.  Many posters and commenters, myself included, have dedicated themselves to helping Christian men overcome this.

At the same time it is recognized that there is a serious crisis in the Church when it comes to marriage. Divorce, while lagging behind the general culture, is still increasingly prevalent. Furthermore, the number of those who do marry every year diminishes. The median age of marriage has continued to climb, even among Christians.

This problem has been tied to the fact that most Christian men aren’t sexually attractive to women. While it is certainly a factor, the unfortunate truth is that even if Christian men were to become sexually attractive for the most part, the crisis wouldn’t end. Here are several reasons for this:

  1. Christian women don’t want to marry, or at least, don’t want to marry young. They are following along with the culture embraced by secular women, and delay or avoid marriage. Christian men becoming more sexually attractive doesn’t mean that the hearts of Christian women will be changed and they will turn towards marriage.
  2. Marriage is an increasingly dangerous legal landmine for men. It offers less than ever in terms of incentives, and the costs are higher than ever before. Even if Christian men became more attractive and knew they could gain a wife, they might view the risk as worthwhile.
  3. Tied to the previous point, even if Christian men are more sexually attractive, that does them little good if the Christian women around them are not marriage material. The quality of Christian women has dropped precipitously in the last century (alongside that of men), and this impacts the marriage market. Even if a man could attract a woman, or more than one, the ones he attracts might not be ones he finds worthy to marry.
  4. Parents and friends, Christian or secular, often discourage their children from marrying young. This has the net effect of discouraging marriage in general, and I would argue, also increases divorce in the aggregate.
  5. Poor teaching about marriage also is a factor in this crisis. When young people are misguided when marriage is concerned, it is only natural that things won’t go well.

This list is not exhaustive, and likely will be added to over time. Those who feel that they have additions to make to it may do so in the comments.

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20 Comments

Filed under Attraction, Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Courtship, LAMPS, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Men, Pair Bonding, Red Pill, Reference, Sexual Market Place, The Church, Women

20 responses to “Reference: Improving The Sexual Attractiveness Of Christian Men Won’t Cure The Christian Marriage Crisis

  1. Parents and friends, Christian and secular, discouraging earlier marriage is also another. The whole ‘go to college + get a job + be successful before you start a family’ shtick.

    I also wouldn’t throw out churchianity being peddled from the pulpits as one either. Basically, wrong and/or subterfuge teaching regarding marriage relationships and the nature of men and women. How difficult is it for men to do the right thing if even their pastors and congregation are against them? (shades of JoJ).

  2. Maea

    Do churches teach marriage as permanent anymore? It doesn’t matter how attractive men get if women don’t understand the permanency of marriage. There is no “do over.”

    Related to #3- the wrong people are in the marriage pool. Not everyone’s meant to be married (we’ve kind of had this discussion before?). There are people better suited for the priesthood or convents. Encourage more discernment of vocations. Of course, there are people who should always be avoided.

    Marriage is becoming economically difficult to achieve, hence the delay in marriage. The age of marriage is always delayed when men find it difficult to obtain stable employment (historical data backs this). Men can become more attractive, but if he’s not able to afford a family it won’t matter. People gotta eat.

  3. @ Deep Strength

    Good points- discouraging marriage and bad theology both are part of the problem.

  4. @ Maea

    Do churches teach marriage as permanent anymore?

    Mine does. But the others? I would wager few, even among RC ones.

    Yes, I agree the pool is “off.” Those with vocations aren’t pursuing them (which includes those who should be seeking marriage). I should probably have a post directed towards this topic as well.

    Marriage is becoming economically difficult to achieve, hence the delay in marriage.

    While this might (emphasis on might, because I am less sure of it now) have been a factor in the past, I am not certain it is the case now. The delay in marriage has been a long steady process dating back several decades. It has *not* been affected by overall economic upturns/downturns. So I disagree with you here. For some men it might be a factor, but I really think it is, overall, not as significant as what is really driving this behavior.

  5. A Visitor

    On point 1, my best friends married when they were 20. It was unbelievable to hear a supposed Christian ask why they wanted to get married that young. Deep Strength is dead on on how family won’t encourage marriage at a young age either. To answer his question, going against the pastor and congregation is a path fraught with consequences for some. They’ve been brow beaten by everyone: media, family, church about how they’re evil rapists, etc. I’m not saying it’s right, just explaining the obvious.

    On point 2 and to Maea’s point, how many of us have family members that are divorced or remarried following a divorce? How are Christian men, and women, especially in their childhood can look at that and a) believe marriage is forever and b) not have at least some doubt that it may not happen to them? A Finn I knew was adamant about marriage being lifelong. She struck me as quite mature at the time. A shaming of divorcees would be a helpful way to start, especially within families.

    Going off Maea’s other point, while money isn’t everything, and a certain lack of money helps fortify love, if a couple can’t eat, how are they going to start a family?

    Finally, how many men and women are told they’re fine (physically) as is? They accept it. What about the cliché that they’ll get married when the time is right? Or their parents give them bad advice or assume it’ll just happen?

    I had a real salient point to add but up slipped my mind.

  6. Maea

    Going off Maea’s other point, while money isn’t everything, and a certain lack of money helps fortify love, if a couple can’t eat, how are they going to start a family?

    I think it’s time to start recognizing the fact economic changes influence people’s behavior. The age of marriage has been rising from the 1950’s, when the age of marriage was a significantly lower than the age from 1890 (product of artificial wealth). The reason I mention it is because the age most Christians use as the baseline for “young marriage” was a historical low considering the modern era.

  7. @ Maeve

    It is true the 50s was low, but only by about two years or so. During that time the median age of first marriage was 20 or so for women. For most of the rest of the century, it was 22-23. Now it is 26-27. Even during other economic downturns we never saw the same kind of slow and steady drift we have seen since the 70s.

  8. Novaseeker

    Even during other economic downturns we never saw the same kind of slow and steady drift we have seen since the 70s.

    It also kept rising even during upturns, like the 90s and then again in the noughts prior to 2008.

    Economics is a partial driver of it, but in many ways because people’s desires, economically, are different than they were. They desire to have good career traction, good financial traction, and good living situations all nailed down *before* they marry. People used to marry based on good prospects, but that isn’t happening any more — people want to see established track records AND have their own situation squared away if needed as a quick Plan B. So, yes, it’s economic, but it isn’t as simple as saying “people can’t afford to get married earlier”. They can, but they don’t wish to, because their economic parameters of what is acceptable for marrying have been upped.

  9. ChevalierdeJohnstone

    While I tend to agree with Donal’s points, I think this misses the larger issue. The issue is not early vs late marriage, the issue is chastity. Look at Hajnal’s research on marriage age in Western Europe: it was not uncommon in the past half-millennium for women, especially in urban areas, to wait until their late 20s to marry, and men were even older. The key difference is that in those times people were expected to remain chaste, that is, celibate until married. We ignore the main problem if we say people ought to marry younger so as to avoid the “hook up culture”. People ought to practice the virtue of chastity; this would solve most of our modern problems with how the institution of marriage is practiced. The problem Christian men have is not a lack of marriageable women…unless this is a euphemism for a lack of women who are chaste. And yes, this need for chastity needs to be preached and shouted from the rooftops.

  10. @ Chevalier

    If you knew your history better, you would know that chastity was far from common back then. Far from it. Prostitution flourished back then, and most men were expected to partake of it before marriage.

  11. @ Novaseeker

    Yes, standard of living does factor in here. But again, it is not the only factor at play.

  12. Durandel Almiras

    What about the status theory, that women don’t marry because it is low status to do so?

  13. Durandel Almiras

    What about the status theory, that women don’t pursue marriage and family because it is considered low status in Western culture?

  14. @ Durandel

    Actually, marrying isn’t low status in the west. At least, not in the right circumstances. For most social groups it *is* higher status, but only if done right. Marry too son? Low status. Marry too late and can’t have kids? Low status. It is Goldilocks all around.

  15. It’s definitely not low status to be married as a woman, though the circumstances surrounding getting married might make a difference in the eyes of other women, like Donal said. Though it doesn’t seem to be a low status symbol if you marry younger or older than the “norm” so much as what you do after getting married. Want to be a stay at home wife and homeschooling mom of a bunch of kids? Definitely considered low status among the career women out there who think they are having their cake and eating it too. Or in the case of the man’s attractiveness – the hotter the man, the higher the status of the woman that marries him among other women.

  16. Though it doesn’t seem to be a low status symbol if you marry younger or older than the “norm” so much as what you do after getting married.

    Didn’t word that well. What I’m trying to say is that it seems to matter more what your circumstances are during married life than it does the circumstances surrounding you initially getting married, in terms of the status involved. Not that those initial circumstances don’t make a difference.

  17. “Going off Maea’s other point, while money isn’t everything, and a certain lack of money helps fortify love, if a couple can’t eat, how are they going to start a family?”

    Hey Visitor. If two people can feed themselves without being married, they should be able to feed themselves after they get married. Starvation is not a problem here in the first world. And neither are the other necessities of life (shelter, clothing. An argument could even be made that medical care is easily achievable, though expensive) So I don’t think that is a factor.

  18. Michael Kozaki

    Donal & Jeremy, Durandel & Maea are unfortunately right. Here’s why:

    1) The US has been hollowed out in it’s manufacturing base. If you are not upper-middle class, it’s tough to support a large family without going on some sort of welfare. Women are sensitive to this social status, for better or worse.

    2) Some half of women are in the workforce. The remaining are either welfare moms…or snag a well-off guy. Why? First we exported our working class to Japan, then Korea, then SE Asia, then South America, and now China. Then illegal immigrants took the rest of the jobs. This has destroyed labor in the US; wage inflation is non-existent. Those nations manipulated their currency to make jobs for THEIR working class. The US just screwed our working class and shattered families over the last 30 years to enrich our upper class. it’s been a great place to be rich. Enter Trump and Sanders. The working class has had enough. But it’s too late to save marriage for this generation.

    3) We are in a hidden depression for the working class and even middle class. And these are where the families historically came from in the US. Add in feminism and obesity, and you’ve got a marriage crisis for women. Do you know what percent of men are making minimum wage, in prison, or have given up on life? Women are social followers, and the message they get is that the men in their pool of mates is not up to marriage. Women don’t marry to survive, they marry to thrive. It’s in their DNA.

  19. Novaseeker

    It’s true that for people of middle class and below the economic issues are daunting when it comes to marrying. I don’t see marriage making a rebound there — I see it slowly continuing to die out. Women won’t marry if there is no “there” there, and very few of them want to financially support an adult male dependent husband. So I don’t see it working there long term really.

    If the issue is age at first marriage, however, most of the upper middle is not marrying young — they marry, but between 27-31, and they also generally don’t have large families due to this and other factors. For this group, I don’t think the delay in marriage ages has to do with economic inability prior to the later 20s, but rather the desire to economically maximize opportunities for both prior to marrying. So it’s economics, but not exactly hardship, that is driving the later ages among these people. Among the lower and lower middle, I think marriage is dying off, and economic hardship does have a lot to do with that story.

  20. Pingback: Reference Posts | Donal Graeme

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