Market Analysis: A Lack Of Confidence

My Market Analysis series continues. Today I want to examine, to some degree, a point I made in Market Watch:

Young men are much less interested in marriage than they were in the past. Having a few more years under my belt since I started blogging, I have seen this more and more. Younger men are just less interested in marriage. The why of this is worthy of a whole post of its own.

I have been thinking over this point for some time, because I knew something was going on, but wasn’t sure what. I am still not certain I have it nailed down, but I will try and address it all the same. [Perhaps this discussion will help fix that.]

While I was thinking this over, it appears that Seriously Please Drop It was on the same wavelength as me. His recent post, Our Fates Are Bound- And Some Good News covered much of what I intended to discuss. So I will quote a great deal from his post. I will start with his second point, because it ties directly to my original observation:

To put it another way: young men have generally ceased to believe what Concept 1 says it is very important that they believe: that they stand a reasonable chance of marrying well.  In response, they work less hard to be eligible husbands.

The standard conservative response has been: No problem, we’ll just lie to them.  Or yell at them.  And that actually worked for a surprisingly long time, but as Dalrock details, that train is running out of steam.

I believe that young men are much less inclined to marry these days in large part because they cannot marry well. Simple cost-benefit analysis, really. The stock isn’t worth the price, and so they won’t play the market, if you will.

Furthermore, I believe this is most pronounced among young men who are devout Christians. Now, among the general population there isn’t a marriage strike going on. [n fact a secular acquaintance of mine got married to his long time GF recently. So secular guys still are interested in marrying.] All the same, I think a drop off is happening. However, it is happening the most among the most devout men.

The reason for this? Well, I don’t think it is just one reason.  I suspect a couple are at play. Some possibilities:

  • Devout Christian men are much more “picky” when it comes to a mate. They are screening for a variety of personality and character traits that are in short supply. If they are convinced that such options aren’t available, they may just give up and opt out of the market.
  • Devout Christian men are presumably more likely to take marriage and marriage vows more seriously.  Looking around, they can see that few do. With that kind of observation comes a natural disinclination to take part in something they perceive as likely to end poorly.
  • Female behavior has become increasingly more egregious. Devout Christian men are the most likely to notice this, and to use this to come to a general determination that women simply aren’t worth it these days.

I am sure there are others, and I invite my readers to supply their own thoughts.

Taken together, all of these are indicators that young men are not confident with the market. They see volatility and watered stocks everywhere. In such circumstances, it makes sense to not want to play the market at all. Which brings us to the next point:

Concept 1:  Marriage requires pre-marital cooperation, and therefore intersexual societal trust

Good grooms and brides do not simply appear from the ether.  Eligibility requires work and self-denial from both sexes, for many years before marriage.

Much of the motivation for this work and self-denial comes from the carrot of marriage.  But for this to work, young people must believe that somewhere in the world, their opposite number is doing the same thing.

The Market relies on both men and women to act appropriately. If one sex misbehaves, then the whole market will start to fall apart. Cooperation is key. As a lawyer once explained to me: “the most basic underlying assumption of contract law is that everyone is operating under good faith. If you take away good faith, you don’t have a contract.” What we have right now is a system where at least one side is perceived as acting in bad faith (if not actually doing so in large part).

Dropit sort of sums everything up in this:

What we are hitting upon here is the importance of morale.  We could aptly describe current failures in the marriage market as a cyclical “Morale Crisis.”  We should start talking about this!

He uses the word morale, and it works. Morale is certainly low. However, I think the underlying basis for that low morale is a lack of confidence or trust in the market. People are convinced that the players in the market are not acting in good faith. Let’s examine in further detail this tidy little bit of wisdom:

“Why prepare for marriage? Guys will always be available”

leads to

“Why prepare for marriage?  There are no girls available”

leads to

“Why prepare for marriage?  There are no guys available.”

Examining it in detail, you can see where bad faith leads us towards. Point 1 is all about women acting in bad faith. The realization of this leads men to stop bothering becoming marriageable, because it is clear to them that women aren’t to be trusted. In turn this leads those women who don’t engage in Point 1 thinking to be convinced that men aren’t serious about marriage, and they in turn throw their hands in the air. It is a vicious cycle with no end-point but an utter lack of trust in the opposite sex and in the institution of marriage.

My attempt at a brief summation: Young men, especially devout Christian men, are not inclined towards marriage because they have come to believe they cannot trust their female counterparts. In turn many of the remaining decent women are also coming to believe they cannot trust the men, either. We cannot begin to fix the marriage market, especially among devout Christians, until we fix the trust issues that exist between men and women.

I am going to hold off on further commentary for the moment. In the meantime I hope my readers will chime in and offer their thoughts.

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118 Comments

Filed under Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Civilization, Courtship, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Men, Red Pill

118 responses to “Market Analysis: A Lack Of Confidence

  1. I don’t necessarily think that the small number of people “doing nothing” and striving after sexual morality will increase trust between the sexes. I think that it will only repress young people’s natural sexuality, further obscure what is and isn’t attractive, and keep chaste men and chaste women apart when they should be learning about each other and spending time together.

  2. as I’m thinking through it more, even assuming there’s increased trust between the sexes (which I’m not convinced there will be), then there’s more to it than “do nothing” including stop actively trying to attract the opposite sex.

    Because if anyone’s going to get together, someone’s got to do something. Someone has to do the wanting, desiring, asking and planning. Before that, though, attraction has to be there or it won’t work. So after there’s “do nothing”, there will have to be a “do something” and it can’t be men doing all the “something”.

  3. thedeti:

    –stop fornicating

    Stop all degenerate behavior, including but not limited to contraception, masturbation, and all associated gateway behaviors.

    –stop complaining about one’s plight

    Right, because complaining about first world problems is effeminate and makes you less masculine.

    –stop actively trying to attract the opposite sex.

    A poor summary. Masculinity is always trying to improve itself, but not with a central focus of trying to gain female attention and approval (sexual or otherwise). If the reason you are doing X is to improve yourself as a man, and X is not immoral, have at it. But don’t make currying favor with women a central focus of anything you do.

    You are always griping that nobody ever teaches modern boys how to be a man. I am teaching you something now. The longer the manosphere conversation has gone on the more I’ve become convinced that the problem is less about being able to find the knowledge than it is about being willing to actually accept it.

    Masculinity doesn’t constantly cave in to incontinent cravings; doesn’t have a big cry when first world problems mean that he can’t have everything he wants when he wants it; and it most certainly doesn’t spend astronomical amounts of time designing DND scenarios about what makeup to wear and what script to follow in order to attract the attention of the opposite sex.

  4. PeterW.

    Trust is something you earn…..
    Trust given when it isn’t deserved is just self-delusion….

    Which is why I say that men cannot “do something” to make women more trustworthy, and women cannot “do something” to do the same for men.
    Claiming otherwise is just marching more young people into the barbed wire and machine-guns, hoping that somehow the results will change.

    The people who can change this are parents and church communities. The emphasis for children should not be on being unwise and trusting, but on being wise and trustWORTHY.

  5. Nobody here is saying we should stop trying to be attractive to the opposite sex. Nobody here is claiming that marriage minded people should just stop actively searching for a spouse. You’re shadow boxing. If marriage minded people can SEE people of the other sex being marriage minded, then that will build trust between the sexes.
    What’s being recommended is that people stop worrying too much about their sex appeal, and focus on being good men and women. If that is the focus, the rest will follow.

  6. PeterW.

    It’s not wrong to seek to attract a mate, but that seeking should be about being a good MAN or a good WOMAN.

    It should be axiomatic that an attractive spouse is one who is faithful and reliable. Worth trusting and respected in their community.

    In many ways, focusing on attracting a spouse is putting the cart before the horse. In a community of people that emphasise good character, it should be expected that young people of good character recognise and are attracted to that same good character in others.

    There is a very sound principle that you value what you have worked hard to obtain. If you have had good character held up to you as valuable all your life… if you have worked hard, constantly, to build your own character… you are likely to look for and recognise good character in others.

    Sexual purity is a part of this, even one of the key indicators, but not the whole of it.

  7. PeterW.

    QUOTE- Life is risk, nothing you do can lead to avoiding risk. Even if you do everything perfectly you can have a bad outcome.

    So is that a good reason to keep treating young people as cannon-fodder? Keep marching them into the guns rather than seeking better outcomes?

    The argument that because there is risk, ANY amount of risk is acceptable, is a false one.
    —————-

    I also have to strongly disagree with MKs argument that “the egg is broken”. That argument supposes history has never before seen profligate, immoral cultures and seen them turn around.
    The reality is that Christianity has spent a great deal of history , around the world, as a cultural and religious minority that has had to keep itself seperate from the rest of society. It has been done and we can do it again. We just aren’t accustomed to the idea in a society that has been nominally “Christian” for so long.
    ———–
    As for “do nothing” it’s not a recommendation, but a conclusion that a great many are reaching as individuals assessing their own prospects. Don’t misrepresent to issue.

  8. PeterW.

    I’m also thinking that the argument about basic physical attractiveness is over-rated.
    Firstly, because I see far too many unattractive (to my taste) happily married. I also recall my own tendency to – on the odd occasions that I fell for a lass – to up-rate her beauty. In some circles it is called “wife-goggles” to explain the tendency of husbands to think their wives more attractive than others do.

    It’s been said here many times, but genuine unattractiveness is the kind of slovenliness or poor tastes that indicate a lack of care for self or consideration for those around you.

    In part, the problem with recommendations to do certain things to “attract” are part of the problem. What happens to the marriage if these things are only there as bait to catch a spouse, not genuinely parts of good character and love?

    It’s easy to look around and conclude that being single is a better option than being married to a slob or spending the rest of your life as a peon in your own home….. becau the alternative us to be divorce-raped.

    These are the issues, not holding out for a swimsuit model.

  9. thedeti

    Zippy and halt misread what I meant by ” stop actively trying to attract the opposite sex. What I meant was what zippy said in his comment.

    Well this was fun.

  10. thedeti

    Halt
    That’s not what I said. I didn’t say stop trying to be attractive. I said stop actively trying to attract. It’s a distinction Zippy captured more precisely than I did.

  11. PeterW.

    Deti….. is fine.

    We need to be clear about why people are doing what they do, or any solutions will be ineffective.

    First rule entering g any bad situation…. make sure you kniw what is going on .

  12. PeterW.

    …… and I return to the point that “trying to attract” can be very like trying to bait a trap.

    The right kind of attractants for this situation aren’t the ones that get dropped as soon as the ring is on the finger.

  13. @ PeterW

    In many ways, focusing on attracting a spouse is putting the cart before the horse. In a community of people that emphasise good character, it should be expected that young people of good character recognise and are attracted to that same good character in others.

    Character itself is not intrinsically attractive. It’s definitely desirable, but not attractive. This is part of the confusion that always comes up.

    Both men and women are lied to inadvertently or advertently about what is attractive to each other, and so they ignore one important component of what may help them attract the opposite sex for marriage.

    I’m also thinking that the argument about basic physical attractiveness is over-rated.

    Firstly, because I see far too many unattractive (to my taste) happily married. I also recall my own tendency to – on the odd occasions that I fell for a lass – to up-rate her beauty. In some circles it is called “wife-goggles” to explain the tendency of husbands to think their wives more attractive than others do.

    Yes and no. These are all what Zippy was talking about in “first world problems.”

    There’s a lot of things affecting the general situation which are all first world problems. No fault divorce is a first world problem. Woman custody is a first world problem. Lack of sexual attractiveness is a first world problem.

    Generally speaking, in third and second world countries men are relied on heavily to provide and protect for their family and/or relatives. Women do not have the benefit of the doubt of not relying on men. Lone women in these countries like the women of the Bible face destitute and lonely lives, potentially subject to various abuse such as prostitution and/or rape.

    In first world countries, safety is institutionalized with police and/or military force. Communities are relatively safer. Provision becomes less of an issue as women can find their own jobs. The rise of “equality” becomes more of an issue and leads to things like suffrage, no fault divorce, and so on.

    In general, as the prosperity of a country increases, the propensity for degeneracy increases. All of the 7 deadly sins increases bountifully. We’ve seen this numerous times throughout history including the Greek and Roman Empires. In fact, it was worse in the time of Jesus than it was now. Prostitution was legal, crucifixions happened all over the place, orgies were common in bathhouses, sexual immorality at temples happened all over the place. We’re getting there, but we’re not there yet. This is a pattern of human civilization as it trusts in riches more than God.

    Rounding back to sexual attractiveness, it’s definitely an important factor, and yes it can be overblown, but it is certainly a factor that many men want in a wife.

    The best case scenario, if we say we want Christian marriages, is to push Christian roles and responsibilities, sound moral character, and the fruits and gifts of the Spirit primarily. Also, we need to tell Christian men and women truthfully the nature of sexual attractiveness between the sexes and how it works and to cultivate good habits (masculinity, femininity, training, nutrition, etc.) if they want to up their chances of being married.

  14. MK

    Zip: A poor summary. Masculinity is always trying to improve itself, but not with a central focus of trying to gain female attention and approval (sexual or otherwise).

    Yes. Fully agree.

    Peter: I also have to strongly disagree with MKs argument that “the egg is broken”. That argument supposes history has never before seen profligate, immoral cultures and seen them turn around.

    If you read my comment further, you can see how I say the egg is broken for this generation. It won’t be fixed for young people in the West anytime soon. So Deti’s idea of fixing things in the macro today just ain’t gonna happen. Yes, Trads will eventually recover the culture through breeding alone over time (feminism is going in implode so fast merely based upon Darwinian truths). But for us and our kids, it’s every man for themselves. In fact, the West itself will likely be replaced. Just like very other culture has been in human history.

  15. Dalrock is fond of pointing out (my paraphrase) that modern people get marriage and romance backwards and and inside out. Romance isn’t something that culminates in marriage, an independent good with marriage as its temporary provisional apotheosis. On the contrary, marriage is the proper context for all properly ordered romance. Romance is a sometime benefit of marriage, not a driver of it. Romance divorced from the context of marriage is disordered.

    Something similar can be said of sexual attraction. Marriage is the proper context for its development, not vice versa. Either man’s higher virtues and powers qua man rule his animal nature, or he becomes just another base animal.

    Choose what kind of creature you will be.

    If that kind of creature is a man, certain things follow. If you choose to be just another feral human being then that is an option too.

    But in the long run it is better to be a man than a beast.

  16. PeterW.

    MK….

    Possibly where you and I disagree, then, is that you appear to be arguing that the case is currently hopeless.

    I believe that if we are going to see improvement then we need to start now. People can change both their thinking and their ideas if taught right. Jesus and the Apostles did not wait for the world to change in their favour. They set about changing the way people thought, despite the then-current culture and despite persecution for doing so.

    So we don’t pin our hopes on praying for nation-wide revival. We start with small groups of people willing to go against the current culture. The what and how of doing THAT is the basis of profitable discussion.

  17. thedeti

    It is patently absurd to say that marriage is the proper context for the development of sexual attraction. First, you have to have sexual attraction, and then you can have marriage.

    Marriage is a sexual relationship. The prime feature of marriage is that it is the only one in which the participants can properly have sex with each other. The entire point of marriage is that the man gets to have sex, the woman gets to have sex, and they can have children. Children don’t happen unless sex happens. And sex doesn’t happen unless both participants want sex. And the participants will not want sex unless there is sexual attraction there. You cannot bargain for it and you cannot negotiate for it. It’s either there or it isn’t.

    Men do not and will not marry women they are not sexually attracted to. That is just something that will not happen, ever. You are never going to get men to marry women they are not sexually attracted to. Men will refuse marriage. Men will not spend one thin dime on women they dont want to have sex with.

    If you are saying that men and women can marry each other when there is a small amount of sexual attraction, and then that sexual attraction grows during the marriage, that is possible, but it is nowhere near optimal. Women marrying men they are not sexually attracted to, or are only a little bit sexually attracted to, is a disaster of epic proportions in this country. One of the main problems we have in this country is women settling for and marrying men they are either not attracted to her at all, or are much less attracted to than the men they used to have sex with as younger women. It is sheer hell for both parties.

    Getting married and then hoping to hell that she becomes sexually attracted to you is a disaster waiting to happen. That man will end up in a dead bedroom and divorced.

  18. thedeti

    Even to the extent that we could say marriage is the only proper place for sexual attraction to develop, that is a woman problem, not a man problem.

    First, as I already said, men do not marry women they are not sexually attracted to. They simply will not do it.

    The prime problem with lack of sexual attraction in intersexual and marital relationships lies with women, not man. So if you are going to suggest that sexual attraction should exist not at all before, and should develop solely within marriage, that is something you will need to address to the women, not men.

    Second, your claim that marriage is the only place where sexual attraction should develop flies directly in the face of your position that men should not be concerned with what women are sexually attracted to. A married man who marries a woman who is in sexually attracted to women is going to be extremely concerned about her becoming attracted to him. It will make him bargain and negotiate for sexual attraction, which cannot be done. It will ruin his life and hers .

    This is the most ridiculous position I have ever seen you take, Zippy, and that is really saying something

  19. thedeti

    Should be:

    A married man who marries a woman who is not sexually attracted to him ….

  20. PeterW.

    Deti…..

    How, then, do you explain arranged marriages?
    How do you explain marriages that continue, despite sex having ceased for one reason or another.
    How do you explain marriage in cultures in which the consent of the wife is not required

    You are taking marriage as we do it, and assuming that it is universal law.

    In one sense, the plumbing fits. Sexual attraction between males and females is not an optional extra, but a standard feature. It is more appropriate to say that it is hard-wired into healthy young in the absence of antagonistic circumstances.

    Marriage is a covenant. Not merely a way of rendering sex legitimate.

  21. PeterW.

    Zippy is actually dealing quite accurately with the age-old problem that desires are not to rule the rational, moral human being.

    This is WHY marriage is the only legitimate place for sex. Not just for the utility of providing for children, but because sex has moral implications.

    To say that sexual desire should not develop outside marriage is simply repeating the biblical moral teaching about lust. You do not merely not fornicate with your neighbour’s wife , you don’t lust after her. You don’t permit – as far as is humanly possible – your desires to flourish and grow. Nor do you do that with your neighbour’s daughter.

    Once you are married, it is then appropriate to permit yourself to desire her in a way that you should not desire any woman to whom you are not married.

    Every healthy man knows that there is a natural reaction to a healthy femal form…… but to imply – as your argument does – that this reaction is an irresistible force to which marriage is merely a concession for utilitarian purposes, is contrary to the scriptural understanding of sexuality.

  22. It is not bad, evil, immoral or animalistic for a man to be sexually attracted to certain women and not to others. It is not bad, evil, immoral or animalistic for a man to not want to marry women he’s not sexually attracted to, and to want to marry a woman he IS sexually attracted to.

    It is not bad, evil, immoral or perverted for a man to want to have sex with his wife. It is not bad, evil, immoral or perverted for a man to be sexually attracted to her BEFORE they get married, and for him to expect her to be sexually attracted to him before they get married.

    A man’s sexual attraction to a woman, and hers to him, does not mean they are being ruled by animal desires. Their ACTING on that desire BEFORE marriage might mean that; but their desire for each other, standing alone, does not. That mutual sexual desire is a good thing, not a feral one.

    His acting on his sexual attraction might be feral; but his sexual attraction, standing alone, is not. It’s there for good reasons. It is good because God put it there.

    This is such a ridiculous premise I can’t even believe it’s a discussion that needs to be had.

  23. PeterW.

    Deti….

    How do you respond to the observation that the “epic disaster” is not caused by women marrying men to whom they are not attracted, but women marrying men because they are “attracted” – they are having great sex as singles – and then losing desire instead of developing it?

    The excitement of new sex is gone. The need to trap a husband is gone. There only remains same-old, same-old with the further sex-depressing factor of children and mortgages.

    Marriages that include long-term sexual satisfaction tend to be those that work on building and maintaining desire, rather than just letting it happen – or not.

  24. PeterW.

    Deti…..

    You’ve just written an entire post refuting an argument that was not made to any significant degree.

    The issue is not whether sexual attraction is a natural phenomenon between people who are not married, but whether it is appropriate to DEVELOP it. Do you not understand what lust is?

  25. “How, then, do you explain arranged marriages?”

    Most such marriages involve women who had no prior sexual experience and who basically had never seen any other men besides fathers or brothers. And the fact that the marriages stayed together doesn’t mean sexual attraction developed. The fact that two people are married to each other does not mean they are sexually attracted to each other, that they have sex, or that they have any degree of satisfaction or contentment in the marriage.

    “How do you explain marriages that continue, despite sex having ceased for one reason or another.”

    Easy. They were sexually attracted to each other as younger people and had lots of sex as younger people. That sex and sexual desire bonded them such that when the bad times came and their bodies started falling apart or other reasons for sex cessation, they remained together. They started out rutting like rabbits and loving every minute of it, and got to do it for a long time at the start of the relationship (which by the way is the intent. Ever read Song of Songs?) Then when it had to stop, their bonds were so strong they were truly joined as one flesh.

    “How do you explain marriage in cultures in which the consent of the wife is not required”

    Well, that makes it a woman problem, I guess. Since she has to have sex with him and can’t refuse and can’t divorce him, well, she’ll just have to lie back and think of England, won’t she? The fact that she stays with him and even lets him have sex with her doesn’t mean sexual attraction is going to develop.

    “Marriage is a covenant. Not merely a way of rendering sex legitimate.”

    yes, marriage is a covenant. One of which sex is an integral part. Lack of sexual attraction means the man won’t get to have sex, in today’s society. No sex, no marriage.

  26. “To say that sexual desire should not develop outside marriage is simply repeating the biblical moral teaching about lust. You do not merely not fornicate with your neighbour’s wife , you don’t lust after her. You don’t permit – as far as is humanly possible – your desires to flourish and grow. Nor do you do that with your neighbour’s daughter.”

    Sexual attraction is not lust. It can become lust, but it, by itself, is not lust.

    It is not sin to be sexually attracted to a woman you’re not married to. It IS sin to ACT on that sexual attraction and go ahead and have sex with her.

    Being sexually attracted to a woman and continuing that sexual attraction, allowing that attraction to exist and take up space, is called “dating” and “pursuit”. it’s not sin. It’s not lust. How in the hell do you think men and women meet, get acquainted, like each other, and then fall in love? It’s because he likes her as a woman; and she likes him as a man.

    Where in the holy hell are you going with this? What are you even talking about?

  27. PeterW.

    Can someone explain to me, in the context of this discussion, how on earth Isaac and Rebecca managed to marry? They were contracted to marry before they ever met, so how do we explain that in the context of a need for a specific, pre-existing sexual desire for each other?

  28. “The issue is not whether sexual attraction is a natural phenomenon between people who are not married, but whether it is appropriate to DEVELOP it. Do you not understand what lust is?”

    It is ENTIRELY appropriate for sexual attraction to develop between people who are not married. That’s how people find each other and get married.

    Sexual attraction is NOT lust. The development, germination, growth, blossoming and flowering of sexual attraction is not lust. When it gets to that stage of blossoming and flowering, you get married, or you break up.

    If it were sin to let sexual attraction develop outside marriage while you’re dating and getting to know someone, it would ALWAYS be sinful for someone to be sexually attracted to someone else.

  29. PeterW.

    Deti….

    You jumped on Zippy for stating that within marriage was the place for developing sexual desire, and ever since you have been defending that.

    “Dating” is a way of getting to know someone in order to determine whether you can live life together in a way that is profitable for both. It is NOT about getting so blind with desire that you are unable to make a rational decision on whether you are a good fit.

    You are also ignoring the fact that “dating” as done in our modern culture is effectively absent in all biblical cultures and many modern cultures as well. It’s a recent artefact, yet you seem to be taking it as written in stone.

  30. Isaac loved Rebekah, but it doesn’t say anywhere as I recall that Rebekah loved Isaac. It also doesn’t say that Isaac and Rebekah had never met before. All Genesis 25 says about it is that Isaac was 40 when he got married to Rebekah, and then it recites her genealogy. You’re making quite a few assumptions here.

    Surely, Isaac was sexually attracted to Rebekah. It’s pretty hard for a woman to not be sexually attractive to someone. we don’t know whether she was sexually attracted to him. And marriage was different then – she had nothing to say about it, and couldn’t divorce him even if she wanted to. For all we know, Rebekah hated Isaac’s guts. It sure looks like she didn’t think too much of Isaac, because she helped her younger son lie to him about something pretty damn important back then).

  31. PeterW.

    Deti….
    Drop the straw-man.

    We know very well the difference between the normal sexual attraction that most healthy people experience for MANY members of the opposite sex.

    The argument is – and I know repetition is boring – that permitting that to DEVELOP into something more toward someone to whom you are not married, is wrong.

    That is what lust is.

  32. Peter:

    The existence of sexual attraction isn’t the problem, and it isn’t sin. The sin is acting on the sexual attraction outside marriage. It’s not a sin to remain celibate with sexual attraction existing (Dalrock’s “Celibate Boyfriend” problem), but its very problematic for everyone. (If they are sexually attracted to each other, and there are no legal or family impediments, and she can submit to him and he can lead her, then they should marry as soon as possible. If none of those conditions exist, then they should break up.)

  33. PeterW.

    C’mon….

    Explain to us why arranged marriages – where the decision to marry is made by parents with no sexual stake in the contract – are statistically less likely to end in divorce than marriage the way we do it in modern, western culture.

    Epic disaster, you called it, then continue to defend the methodology that produces it.

  34. PeterW.

    Deti….

    If you continue to pretend that I am claiming basic male-femal attraction to be a sin, I am going to publicly question your honesty.

    I’m not.

    Accept that,

  35. “The argument is – and I know repetition is boring – that permitting that to DEVELOP into something more toward someone to whom you are not married, is wrong.”

    No it is not wrong. it is not wrong for sexual attraction to exist and then for that attraction to germinate and grow into full fledged sexual desire before marriage. What IS wrong is ACTING on that sexual attraction/desire.

    “That is what lust is.”

    No, it is not. It is not lust or sinful to have intense sexual desire for a woman you’re not married to. What is sinful is acting on that lust, allowing it to take up space in your head, without going ahead and either getting married or breaking up. When someone feels that level of sexual desire, it’s time to either get married or break up.

    I’m done with this line of argument, because we’re getting far afield from the OP, and because we’re both entrenched and we’re not going to change each other’s minds. But at least I understand the points of disagreement.

  36. “Epic disaster, you called it, then continue to defend the methodology that produces it.”

    I didn’t “defend” any methodology. I said that women marrying men they’re not sexually attracted to is an epic disaster. Because it is. it’s an enormous problem in this country.

    The problem of lack of sexual attraction/sexual desire is a woman problem, not a man problem.

  37. “If you continue to pretend that I am claiming basic male-femal attraction to be a sin, I am going to publicly question your honesty.’

    I don’t care what you question.

    The claim here is that sexual attraction must develop only in marriage. That means you take two people who aren’t sexually attracted to each other, or where one isn’t sexually attracted but the other one is, and you throw them together, and you just hope that sexual attraction develops between them.

    we can’t assume preexisting sexual attraction because that’s not what’s been presented. The assertion is that sexual attraction must not be permitted to develop outside marriage. That presupposes a lack of sexual attraction.

  38. Saying that sexual desire is good in itself is like saying that hunger is good in itself.

    That is, it isn’t even really true at all.

    Hunger is good only inasmuch as it proposes to man the genuine goods of eating to be pursued in our fallen condition: preservation of life, growth, nutrition, and the social goods of breaking bread together or of men hunting or plowing as brothers, in honor. As a sense of depravation or craving, hunger is often aimed at disordered ends and is a prison for the incontinent. Thus we have the vice of gluttony.

    Sexual desire likewise is only good inasmuch as it proposes to man the real goods of marriage: of mutual love between spouses and the creation of new life from the physical expression of that love. As a sense of deprivation or craving, sexual desire is often aimed at disordered ends and is a prison for the incontinent. Thus we have the vice of lust.

    The main difference between hunger and sexual desire is that a man can’t live without eating. Sexual desire though is not going to kill you.

    The heroes and architects and analysts of the secular ‘morally neutral’ manosphere see the desolation wrought by modernity, and propose a great feast on stones and dust. What shall we eat, if not the stones and dust that surround us? What shall we drink if not the plentiful seawater and gasoline?

  39. MK

    Peter: MK Possibly where you and I disagree, then, is that you appear to be arguing that the case is currently hopeless.

    For this generation, yes. Sin has consequences. Hell, we are just starting our penance. The boomers have left us one hot mess. Look for it to get far worse before it gets better.

    Peter: to see improvement we need to start now.

    Where have you been the last 20 years? Where do you get this “now”? We started over 20 years ago! And the culture has indeed gotten worse during that time. And it will continue to do so for some time.

    Peter: So we don’t pin our hopes on praying for nation-wide revival. We start with small groups of people willing to go against the current culture. The what and how of doing THAT is the basis of profitable discussion.

    I agree. But forget small groups; most people are soft and can’t hack it. The boat hasn’t taken on enough water yet, so people aren’t yet desperate enough to do what it takes. Yet. Life is too easy. Give it another 10-20 years; small groups will start to get more common as people get more desperate. Until that time, we stick to immediate family and close friends. But if you are serious about real action and not just talk, search “Tuesday Tips”. These suggestions work but few have the balls for real countercultural change. The West is soft.

  40. DJ

    Peter W
    Your ability to misunderstand and take things personally is exceptional.

  41. Pingback: A feast of dust and stones | Zippy Catholic

  42. A few things:

    1) this subthread on the proposition that sexual attraction should be developed only in marriage started out talking about sexual attraction. You’ve now shifted the goalposts and are now talking about lust (unbridled sexual desire). Which would you like to talk about?

    Yes, lust is a vice, caused not by sexual attraction or desire; but by an individual’s failure to control his/her own conduct. Gluttony is a sin, caused not by hunger, but by an individual’s failure to control his/her own conduct. The physical/mental/emotional state isn’t the problem; the sinful conduct is.

    2) Something not yet addressed is that to the extent sexual attraction isn’t developed in marriage, that’s a woman problem, not a man problem.

    The problem with sexual attraction in marriage isn’t that husbands lack it for their wives, or that wives are not capable of sexual attraction in general. It’s that women lack sexual attraction for their husbands, for the men they choose to marry. That’s not men’s problem. That’s a problem caused by women – who have full agency and are fully personally responsible for their own conduct and their own sins.

    The failure to develop sexual attraction in marriage is a woman problem, not a man problem. This isn’t even necessarily because of failures on women’s parts. It’s because of how sexual attraction works. Men are attracted to a wider swath of women; women are attracted to a narrow swath of men (usually the same ones all the other women are attracted to).

    Men don’t marry women they’re not sexually attracted to. Men don’t have sex with, talk to, deal with, or in any way interact with, women who they aren’t sexually attracted to. (Outliers like medieval royalty marrying to preserve and consolidate wealth and political power, and FDR, don’t count.) Men ignore women they’re not sexually attracted to.

    Men aren’t the ones who tend to have problems ratcheting up desire for their wives. Women tend to have a lot of problems ratcheting up desire for their husbands (especially after a few premarital sex partners with more attractive men, and then being unable to get commitment from one of them, and having to settle for the lesser man). With all due respect, go lecture the girls on this issue. They’re the ones who need to hear it.

    3) The most charitable reading of your position is that a man and woman marry with a small spark, a little bit, of sexual attraction for each other, and (hopefully) it germinates, grows, and blossoms into a healthy amount of desire for sex with the other (even from her to him). Yes, that can happen, and in less modern times probably did happen, sometimes. Today, though, that’s a risky proposition, and one where the risks far outweigh the benefits and don’t justify the work involved. A man marrying a woman who isn’t all that sexually attracted to him is in for a world of hurt, as is she.

    I get it. Throughout history, most husbands and wives didn’t have lots and lots of sexual attraction for each other. It wasn’t awesome sex all the time, and most of the time both probably would rather have had someone else. But they were basically good and decent to each other and she did her duty and he did his and they were content and minimally satisfied, if not happy.

    We don’t live in that world anymore, where a man can marry a woman and expect certain things from her and have society back him up fully to make her do/be those certain things. What you propose now doesnt’ work. Say a man marries a woman; she has sex for a while then cuts him off after six months. If we go at it the usual Catholic route, he can’t divorce her. He can’t ignore her or kick her out. He cant’ refuse to support her. He can’t return her to her father. He certainly can’t kill her. But, he also can’t get the one benefit marriage is supposed to give him. What is he supposed to do? She’s got him by the short and curlies. The priest tells her to do her duty; she scoffs. Her father tells her the same, she laughs. You would have her exploit her hapless husband who is now imprisoned in a marriage which is 100% burden and 0% benefit.

    4) Inexplicably, you’ve been emphatic in this thread that men should not care about what women want or think. Men should be sexually attractive, but not care about whether women are sexually attracted to them. Now, in this subthread, you’re proposing that men marry women who aren’t attracted to them or are kind of “meh” about them. You’re proposing that those men then spend the rest of their miserable marriages trying to get these women who aren’t attracted to them, to be attracted to them. (“Sexual attraction should be developed only in marriage”.) This requires him to negotiate with her for her sexual attraction, gives her all the power in the marriage, and makes them both miserable.

    5) Most men are just not all that sexually attractive. They’re just not. You can’t make a woman who’s not sexually attracted to you, attracted to you. You can’t take an apple and make it into an orange.

    You can’t negotiate for sexual desire. She either “feels it” (as the kids say nowadays), or she doesn’t.

  43. You can’t throw two people together where he wants her and she doesn’t want him (because that’s how it usually starts out), and then hope to hell she starts feeling something for him. It just doesn’t work. To the extent it doesn’t work, that’s her fault, not his.

  44. thedeti:

    To the extent it doesn’t work, that’s her fault, not his.

    That seems to be an ever-present central theme of yours.

  45. One last time:

    Go lecture the girls about this. Lack of sexual attraction is a woman problem, not a man problem.

  46. The selection of unattractive marriage partners is a woman problem, not a man problem.

  47. The selection of marriage partners that women aren’t attracted to, or are only a little attracted to, is a woman problem, not a man problem.

  48. Men should take full responsibility for their conduct, poor decisions, and sins. Men should take no responsibility for the conduct, poor decisions, and sins of women. And men should not take responsibility for women’s rash decisions to marry men they’re not sexually attracted to and all the sins and treachery that preceded that decision.

  49. In Jewish culture:

    1. Parents/matchmakers would set up a potential man and woman.
    2. The man and woman had veto power after meeting for a few times if they would or would not accept the person for marriage.

    Sure, there are arranged marriages in other cultures where the husband and wife have no say. But that is/was not the case in Jewish culture at least. You had to make a fully conscious decision to marry that person.

    The Scriptures are pretty clear about covenants. Both sides have to accept it of their own free will.

  50. thedeti:

    Now, in this subthread, you’re proposing …

    There you go, shadow boxing again.

    If you understood Dalrock’s point about romance, you’d grasp the parallel point I made here. But for whatever reason, you prefer chasing scarecrows.

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