Tag Archives: Feminism

Is cohabitation a better way to prepare for marriage than courting?

Painting: "Courtship", by Edmund Blair Leighton (1888)
Painting: “Courtship”, by Edmund Blair Leighton (1888)

Consider this assessment of cohabitation from the radically-leftist New York Times.

Excerpt:

AT 32, one of my clients (I’ll call her Jennifer) had a lavish wine-country wedding. By then, Jennifer and her boyfriend had lived together for more than four years. The event was attended by the couple’s friends, families and two dogs.

When Jennifer started therapy with me less than a year later, she was looking for a divorce lawyer. “I spent more time planning my wedding than I spent happily married,” she sobbed. Most disheartening to Jennifer was that she’d tried to do everything right. “My parents got married young so, of course, they got divorced. We lived together! How did this happen?”

Cohabitation in the United States has increased by more than 1,500 percent in the past half century. In 1960, about 450,000 unmarried couples lived together. Now the number is more than 7.5 million. The majority of young adults in their 20s will live with a romantic partner at least once, and more than half of all marriages will be preceded by cohabitation. This shift has been attributed to the sexual revolution and the availability of birth control, and in our current economy, sharing the bills makes cohabiting appealing. But when you talk to people in their 20s, you also hear about something else: cohabitation as prophylaxis.

In a nationwide survey conducted in 2001 by the National Marriage Project, then at Rutgers and now at the University of Virginia, nearly half of 20-somethings agreed with the statement, “You would only marry someone if he or she agreed to live together with you first, so that you could find out whether you really get along.” About two-thirds said they believed that moving in together before marriage was a good way to avoid divorce.

That’s a nice idea – wanting protection against divorce. But I think these hopeful attitudes that young people have about cohabitation and the utility / harmlessness of premarital sex, is so much whistling past the graveyard. The fact is that cohabitation does not improve marital stability.

The New York Times author assesses the evidence about cohabitation:

Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the cohabitation effect.

Researchers originally attributed the cohabitation effect to selection, or the idea that cohabitors were less conventional about marriage and thus more open to divorce. As cohabitation has become a norm, however, studies have shown that the effect is not entirely explained by individual characteristics like religion, education or politics. Research suggests that at least some of the risks may lie in cohabitation itself.

As Jennifer and I worked to answer her question, “How did this happen?” we talked about how she and her boyfriend went from dating to cohabiting. Her response was consistent with studies reporting that most couples say it “just happened.”

“We were sleeping over at each other’s places all the time,” she said. “We liked to be together, so it was cheaper and more convenient. It was a quick decision but if it didn’t work out there was a quick exit.”

She was talking about what researchers call “sliding, not deciding.” Moving from dating to sleeping over to sleeping over a lot to cohabitation can be a gradual slope, one not marked by rings or ceremonies or sometimes even a conversation. Couples bypass talking about why they want to live together and what it will mean.

Cohabitation is associated with higher risks of divorce because it works to undermine the need for quality communication during courting and the need for commitment that is based on discipline, instead of pleasure. People slide into something that looks like marriage because the sex pulls them in. But they’ve never taken the time to talk about what the relationship is really about, and whether they are intending to commit to the other person for life, and on what terms, and for what reason. Young people find these conversations difficult and scary for a reason – they are not capable of discussing relationships in terms of self-sacrifice, self-control, and self-denial.

The focus on early sex is caused by a focus on wanting to get to pleasure right away. They want relationships to be like a consumer good, where they get their needs met without having to talk about suitability for roles, and acceptance of responsibilities and obligations. In my experience, young people are terrified of the responsibilities, obligations and expectations of a real commitment. They want relationships to be free,easy and fun – where they just get to do whatever they feel like, moment by moment. And somehow, it’s all supposed to work out, without anyone talking seriously about roles and responsibilities and commitment.

But of course that doesn’t work as well as keeping your distance and getting to know each other first. It’s not just compatibility that is important, though – it’s that both people need to prepare for the roles and responsibilities they will have in a marriage, and demonstrate to each other that each is capable of performing those roles.

What’s the answer?

Research has shown that pre-marital chastity produces more stable and higher quality marriages. And that’s because chastity helps people to focus on conversations and obligations instead of the recreational sex which clouds the judgment and glosses over the seriousness of marriage. Premarital sex rushes the relationship to the point where it is harder to break it off because of the sunk costs of sex and the pain of the break-up. Courtship is the time to discuss the things that break up marriages, like finances and division of labor. It is the time to demonstrate self-control and fidelity. Courting doesn’t allow either person to get control of the relationship through sex, so that they can get their needs met without having to care about the other person. When sex is ruled off the table, the only way to have the relationship go on is by serving the other person and showing them that you have what it takes to do the marriage role you’re assigned. That’s hard work, but young people need to accept that and get on with preparing for and practicing their marriage responsibilities.

Why not go back to courting?

If you asked me, I would tell you that courting is protection against a painful break-up as well as protection against a bad marriage. And the aim of courting is to interview the other person so that you can see whether they understand the demands of the marriage and whether they can perform their duties to their spouse and children. In particular, men should investigate whether the woman has prepared (or is willing to prepare now) to perform her roles as wife and mother, and women should investigate whether the man has prepared to perform his roles as protector, provider and moral/spiritual leader (or is willing to prepare now). Courting is not designed to be fun, although it can be fun. It is not meant to make people feel happy, it is mean to prepare them for marriage. And this is because you cannot translate fun and happy into marriage, because marriage is about well-defined roles, self-sacrifice and commitment. Marriage is about following through for the other person, whether you get what you want or not. You’d be surprised how often people give up on courting and show that their real goal for a relationship is not lifelong self-sacrificial love at all, but just using other people for their own happiness while they keep their distance from the responsibilities, obligations and expectations of the marriage covenant.

And that’s why I encourage men to very gently and subtly guide the relationship in a way that will allow both the woman and the man to practice their expected marital duties, see how they feel about their duties and get better at being able to perform them. Men have the most to lose from the divorce courts, if things go south. That’s why it is the man’s the responsibility to detect and reject women who are only interested in fun and thrills.

Woman freezes her eggs after wasting 8 years in relationship with NBA player

Fertility in women by age
Fertility in women by age

First, I want to recap this story about a woman who had an 8-year relationship with a former NBA basketball player. He proposed marriage around year 7. In year 8, the NBA player announced that he was gay and broke off their engagement.

The UK Daily Mail reported on it in 2013:

The former fiancee of NBA star Jason Collins, who in April came out as the first openly gay athlete in a major American team sport, has spoken for the first time about the heartache of losing the man she loved.

Carolyn Moos had been with Mr Collins for eight years before he called off their wedding without explanation in July 2009.

‘I had no idea why,’ the 35-year-old reveals in the latest issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. ‘We had planned to have children, build a family. Nearly four years later, I got my answer. My former fiancé, Jason Collins. . . announced last spring in Sports Illustrated that he is gay.’

[…][S]he found out her ex-fiance was gay the same day the magazine hit newsstands.

[…]In the revealing essay, Ms Moos re-lives the day that Mr Collins, a pro basketball player with the Washington Wizards, called off their wedding without giving a reason.

‘It was July of 2009, and he had just returned home from a road trip with his twin brother, Jarron. I had been living with Jason in Los Angeles for the previous year, ever since our engagement. 

8 years with no proposal? Living together before marriage? I’m pretty sure that they were having sex before marriage during this 8 years. Is this what a man who is interested in commitment and children does with a woman?

More:

‘Another time, he told me that I was his soul mate and I was meant for him.’

During the next few years, the couple began to build a life together in Los Angeles, and Mr Collins proposed on a trip to Mexico in 2008.

‘Some seven years after we had begun our relationship, he finally said the words I had waited so long to hear,’ Ms Moos recalled.

‘I remember feeling overwhelmed with joy and also thinking: finally. I was almost 30. In the air on the way home, I saw my future unfolding before me. I pictured our family: intelligent, athletic, tall, dynamic.’

She pictured her future family, and she did not picture moral character or spiritual leadership. Her fiance was not chosen for moral character or spiritual leadership. Yes, he was famous. Yes, he was rich (from throwing a ball into a hoop). Yes, he was handsome. But real men do not wait 8 years to commit to a woman, if they really love her. Real men are serious with a wife candidate right up front, and the courtship is intense and has a clear goal of finding out whether there should be a marriage, or not. It’s not about having fun, e.g. – taking trips together to Mexico together. It’s about finding out whether each person has demonstrated a capability for self-sacrificial love. Working out in a gym does not build character. Throwing a ball into a hoop does not build character. She would have been better off with an ordinary, non-famous man who was serious about marriage and children. Ordinary, non-famous people know what commitment requires, and what marriage is about.

Everybody celebrate

According to Wikipedia (not linked), many people on the political left cheered her fiance on when he announced his surprise for her:

Following his announcement, Collins has received high praise and support for deciding to publicly reveal that he is gay. Fellow NBA star Kobe Bryant praised his decision, as did others from around the league, including NBA commissioner David Stern. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, former president Bill Clinton, and Collins’ corporate sponsor Nike were also among those offering their praise and support for Collins.The Guardian called it significant for LGBT acceptance “as professional sports had long been seen as the final frontier.”

Yes, yes. Everyone jump up and down and cheer for this man who wasted 8 years of a woman’s life – the best years of her beauty and youth. Letters poured in. There were media appearances. Then-President Obama even phoned him and congratulated him. Phoned him and congratulated him for being gay, and ending an 8 year relationship with a girl he had pumped and dumped. During one interview he explained that he always knew he was gay. I wish he had told Carolyn that, instead of telling her she was his “soul-mate”. Newsflash: MEN LIE FOR SEX, which is why women used to make them wait until marriage.

Freezing her eggs

She spent her fertile 20s and early 30s, from 23-31, with this NBA player. Fertility starts dropping off at age 27. It takes another nosedive at age 35. So she decided to freeze her eggs, which a lot of feminists who delay marriage are doing these days.

Here is a video of Carolyn Moos explaining her decision to freeze her eggs.

According to the radically-leftist New York Times, egg-freezing has about a 30% success rate for producing a live baby, and it’s very expensive. IVF, you’ll recall, typically results in many embryos being “discarded”, which is why pro-lifers are careful with it.

Obviously, I think that Carolyn bears the responsibility for choosing THIS man out of all the OTHER men she could have chosen. She has to reap what she’s sown. We can certainly learn from her mistake – wasting her young and fertile years with an overgrown child who made a living throwing balls into hoops. However, I am writing this post because of the people who praise those who walk away from commitments. There seems to be a lot of praise being given to people who end commitments to “be true to themselves”. I think it’s important to think about the victims of the Sexual Revolution – which was essentially a revolution putting selfishness above self-sacrificial love, and the needs of children. When people are true to their selfishness, people get used. Marriages crumble to pieces.

These days, we seem to have given up on giving young women advice about what kind of men they should be in relationships with. We just let them decide for themselves based on their feelings and their peer’s opinions and the teachings of the popular culture around them. Maybe men need to have a little more courage about disagreeing with young women who are “following their hearts”.

Study: early sexual activity has negative impact on relationship quality and stability

 Do young women understand how to get to a stable marriage?
Do young women understand how to execute a plan to reach a stable marriage?

I’ve posted before about how premarital sex affects the stability of marriages by making divorce more likely. But there has been more research published since. Let’s take a look.

Here a good study on relationship tempo and relationship quality.

Abstract:

Rapid sexual involvement may have adverse long-term implications for relationship quality. This study examined the tempo of sexual intimacy and subsequent relationship quality in a sample of married and cohabiting men and women. Data come from the Marital and Relationship Survey, which provides information on nearly 600 low- to moderate-income couples living with minor children. Over one third of respondents became sexually involved within the first month of the relationship. Bivariate results suggested that delaying sexual involvement was associated with higher relationship quality across several dimensions. The multivariate results indicated that the speed of entry into sexual relationships was negatively associated with marital quality, but only among women. The association between relationship tempo and relationship quality was largely driven by cohabitation. Cohabiting may result in poorer quality relationship because rapid sexual involvement early in the romantic relationship is associated with entrance into shared living.

The authors are from Cornell University and University of Wisconsin – Madison. Prestigious schools, and very far to the left.

Here’s another recent study that shows that if a woman has more partners than just her husband as a premarital sex partner, the risk of divorce increases.

Conclusion:

Using nationally representative data from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth, I estimate the association between intimate premarital relationships (premarital sex and premarital cohabitation) and subsequent marital dissolution. I extend previous research by considering relationship histories pertaining to both premarital sex and premarital cohabitation. I find that premarital sex or premarital cohabitation that is limited to a woman’s husband is not associated with an elevated risk of marital disruption. However, women who have more than one intimate premarital relationship have an increased risk of marital dissolution.

Here’s another study that makes it even more clear.

Findings:

Data from the 1988 US National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) were utilized to assess the impact of premarital sexual activity on subsequent marital stability. Among white NSFG subjects first married in 1965-85, virgin brides were significantly less to have become separated or divorced (25%) than women who had not been virgins at marriage (35%).

[…]The lower risk of divorce on the part of white women with no premarital sexual experience persisted even after numerous intervening and background variables were controlled.

And I am going to save the best study for last. This marvelous PDF is from August 2014, and is put out by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia. It is comprehensive, and links to many papers from decades ago to the state of the art today. It seems like people are really rushing into sex these days, without much thought. They want to have fun, feel accepted, be like their friends, conform to the culture. But sometimes, it’s better to be practical than to be governed by the desire for fun and thrills. If you want to do something, look at the research and find out what the consequences are before you do it. That’s what a sensible person does.

When it comes to discussing the Bible’s rules on sex, evidence is very important. Evidence is what convinces even non-Christian people to take the Bible seriously when it comes to putting sex in its proper place. That’s why we need to know what the Bible says, and we need to augment that with real-world evidence so that it is applied to our own decision-making, and so that we can be persuasive when discussing it with others.

Women who delay marriage for casual sex surprised to be single in their mid-30s

Divorce risk and number of pre-marital sex partners

Dr. Mark Regnerus is a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin. He has published books on the changing nature of relationships with Oxford University Press. His newest book argues that the Sexual Revolution has caused men to lose interest in marriage because women are now giving them sex for free, without them having to prove their husband credentials first. This causes men to be disinterested in the traditional ways of impressing a woman, namely, getting a job, moving out, being willing to commit, and being able to provide for children who may appear.

The Daily Signal provides a case study taken from Regnerus’ latest book “Cheap Sex”, which illustrates the problem.

Excerpt:

Sarah is 32 years old and recently moved to Texas from New York, looking for a new start—in more ways than one.

Brooklyn had grown too expensive for her hipster pocketbook. A relationship she had hoped would blossom and mature there had instead withered. So to Austin she came, hoping she could improve upon her modest $22,000 annual earnings the previous year.

Her most recent sexual partner—Daniel—was not actually a relationship per se. He was not the reason she moved. Rather, he was a 23-year-old American she had met in China four years before during a three-week language immersion program.

[…]When they first met, and slept together, Sarah was in a relationship with David, the man for which she had moved to, and then away from, New York. She ended up “cheating on him,” that is, David, several times.

[…]If you’re having trouble keeping times, dates, and boyfriends straight, it’s understandable. Sarah herself laughs at the drama of it all.

[…]Getting serious was never much of an option. He was 23, and she was 32: “We both knew … he was graduating from college and, you know, like we both, at least I knew it was never gonna work out. I think he kind of felt the same way.”

[…]When asked how rapidly her relationships tend to become sexual, Sarah replied, “the first or second date.” That account did not stand out from those of many other interviewees.

The numbers are on her side, too. In the 2014 Relationships in America survey, sex before the relationship begins was the modal—meaning the most common—point at which Americans report having first had sex in their current relationships.

Is her timing of sex intentional? No. “It just happens,” she reasoned.

[…]This, she claims, is the standard approach to dating among her peers, if not necessarily the most optimal: “I don’t think it’s unusual, but I think that for a lasting relationship, it’s not the best approach.”

[…]Three years later, now 35, Sarah continues to live in Austin and continues to find commitment elusive. She does not dislike her life, but it is not the one she envisioned a decade earlier.

Daniel is a musician, which doesn’t surprise me at all. A musician, student or other unemployed penniless bad boy will not make any demands on the woman, because he almost certainly has no plan for the future.  This is what women today want: someone for right now who doesn’t want her to do anything  to prepare for marriage, e.g. – get a real job, stop the thrill-seeking, stop traveling the world. No matter what a woman says about marriage,  if her actions now show an interest in fun and thrills, then she doesn’t want marriage.

The typical woman’s plan for marriage is simply to imagine marriage happening later somehow, without her having to do anything that she doesn’t feel like doing right now. It would be like “planning” for your retirement by taking trips all over the world right now, while imagining living off the interest from a million dollars in savings at age 55. And Christian women do this too. I know THREE Christian women in their 30s who chased after younger men who were still in college. One of them did it twice in a row!

This is what women today want:

  • hot appearance
  • confident words about the future
  • empty resume
  • empty bank account
  • several years younger than they are
  • no firm convictions about morality
  • no firm convictions about theology
  • progressive political views, especially on abortion

Men who have no jobs and no money don’t lead women, and are much easier for women to manipulate. The problem with these men is – as any married woman knows – is that those men do not commit. Why not? Because they cannot afford to commit. Marriage, put simply, costs money. Starter houses cost a quarter million. Children cost a quarter million each, not counting college. Retirement costs a quarter million per spouse. And so on. But there is no one in this society telling women that they need to care about choosing men who are serious about the objective duties of the husband role.

Women love to believe that they can choose a hot, irresponsible bad boy who gives them feelings, and then magically mold him into a husband: able to work hard, save money, be self-controlled, faithful and good with children. Feelings determine the choice of man, and feelings tell them that the man can be magically transformed into a husband somehow. Perhaps by giving him premarital sex! That will make him responsible. After all, you can put out a fire with gasoline, right? This is the most common approach women today take to relationships: get drunk, have sex with hot bad boy, shack up with him, wait for him to propose marriage.

I frequently tell my female friends about women I know like the one in the article – many raised by two married parents in Christian homes. They have arts degrees, empty resumes, empty bank accounts, and histories of alcoholism, bulimia, promiscuity and/or divorce. My female friends give me the same advice: “YOU NEED TO LOWER YOUR STANDARDS OR YOU’LL NEVER GET MARRIED”. If that’s the best that they can do, then it’s no wonder that men are not interested in marriage.

If you want men to be interested in marriage, fix the root cause. The root cause of the marriage rate declining is not men. The root cause is feminism – and young women’s blind acceptance of it.

New study: single-sex schools more successful than mixed-sex schools

Do female-dominated schools discriminate against boys?
Do female-dominated schools discriminate against boys?

Here is the very latest study on this important topic from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). They found that boys and girls both do better in single-sex schools, when compared to boys and girls in mixed-sex schools.

Excerpt:

We find robust evidence that pupils in single-sex schools outperform their counterparts in co-ed schools, by 5–10% of a standard deviation for boys and 4–7% for girls, with similar estimates across subjects (which include Korean, English, and maths). This is consistent with the findings reported in Park et al. (2013).

And this study was done in South Korea, where things are a lot more focused on academics than in North America!

In most schools, women comprise on average about 80% of the classroom instructors. This is not even to mention the administrators and the curriculum designers. It is not a friendly environment for boys. In fact, studies have shown that the typical curriculum is biased against boys. Teacher bias may also be a factor, since boys outperform their classroom grades on standardized tests (where there is no bias against them from the teachers).

Regarding the feminist curriculum, consider this report on a study from the UK Telegraph:

A lack of male role models at home and school is turning boys off reading at a young age as they increasingly reject books as “feminine”, it is claimed.

[…]Gavin Barwell, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Literacy, said reading was not seen as a “masculine thing” by boys – leaving them lagging behind girls from the age of four onwards.

[…]According to Government figures, boys are less likely to read basic words or recite the alphabet by the age of five and the gap widens throughout compulsory education.

By the age of 16, fewer than 59 per cent of boys gained a good GCSE in English last year compared with 72.5 per cent of girls.

According to a brand new report from the American Enterprise Institute, this discrimination against boys is having a long-term negative effect on their participation in graduate school:

For the eighth year in a row, women earned a majority of doctoral degrees awarded at US universities in 2016. Of the 78,744 doctoral degrees awarded in 2016 (Table B.25), women earned 40,407 of those degrees and 52.1% of the total, compared to 37,145 degrees awarded to men who earned 47.9% of the total…

[…]Women represent 57.5% of all graduate students in the US, meaning that there are now 135 women enrolled in graduate school for every 100 men.

Here is one of the AEI charts:

Graduate school enrollment, male vs female, 2016
Graduate school enrollment, male vs female, 2016

You can read about a couple more studies here that also argue that the male-underformance problem is a lack of male teachers in the classroom. It’s important to understand this, because it shows why ignorant cries of “man up” are not going to get men to perform better in school and at work. And men only marry if they feel comfortable taking on the roles of husband and father – which costs money. Men have to be able to earn money in order to engage in marriage and family, and the schools we have right now are set up against them doing that. If you want your daughters to have husbands (instead of marrying government social programs), then you’d better pay attention to these studies and vote accordingly. If you can pull your boys put of mixed-sex schools, it’s a good idea to do that. Homeschooling or single-sex private schools work better for boys.