Russell and Duenes

Now More Single American Women Over 30 Than Married Women Over 30: Part II

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marriedAs I said, make of this what you will. I make a few things of it:

1. It means that marriage seems much more of a trifle and bother for both young men and women. This makes sense when one considers how many people now believe that relationships are almost exclusively about gaining mutual emotional and sexual fulfillment. If that’s the case, who needs marriage?

2. It means that more men are prolonging adolescence well into their twenties and thirties. I know a bit about this, having engaged in it myself. I would not re-do the emotionally immature and selfish train wreck that was my romantic life in my twenties for anything. But when scores of young men are voluntarily underemployed, doing lots of “hanging out” and playing video games, and moving from girlfriend to girlfriend without making any commitments, then it is no wonder that many women, who would marry, are unable to do so.

3. It means that contraceptives have done their work. Because birth control is ubiquitous and getting pregnant is much less of a worry, single women are now as “available” for sex as single men. Both can now safely “play the field,” advance their careers, and generally pursue their own interests. Bearing and raising children is an afterthought. If perhaps a woman does get pregnant, she’ll always have abortion as a back-up birth control option. As the Supreme Court has said, because we have contraception, we must have abortion.

4. It means we are all much more existentialist in our thinking. In other words, both men and women have bought into the philosophy of “living for the moment,” and for “authentic experiences.” We are less willing to sacrifice our own aspirations and goals for the disciplines and sacrifices called for by marriage and children. The idea of raising up new, faithful generations seems difficult and distant to us. Further, it is often less emotionally satisfying.

5. It means that more children are being born illegitimately, and that the government is providing ever more benefits to young women. As Ann Coulter aptly said, “Single women look to the government to be their husbands and give them, you know, prenatal care, and preschool care, and kindergarten care, and school lunches. These are not programs designed to appeal to Bruce Willis.”

6. It means that things will be getting harder for women. Women have now been “liberated” to devote themselves entirely to their careers, to have sex without worrying about pregnancy, to be as sexually aggressive as men, to “control their own lives.” But what has all this “autonomy” brought with it? Greater sexual and emotional vulnerability and insecurity. Greater “objectification” of women and treatment of them as sexual playthings to be had and discarded, even while promising less of these things. Ingestion of discomforting and sometimes dangerous hormonal substances, both to prevent fertility and/ or to increase fertility when the woman finally realizes that she wants children after all. The setting of mothers against the lives of their own unborn children, doing untold damage to such mothers’ feminine souls and renting the spiritual fabric of our nation. Fewer marriageable men for those who wish to marry, leading to greater loneliness and anguish. Greater dependence on government, who is a “cold lover” indeed. And likely more women with a vague and uneasy feeling that something central to authentic femininity and womanhood has been lost, and that the prize of “autonomy” and “control” does not deliver on its promise.

Of course, it needs to be said that there are scores of single women (and men) for whom none of the above is true. My observations describe broad trends, but such trends are nonetheless real and significant. To say that I am “generalizing,” is, in one sense, both true and beside the point. Virtually all truisms are generalizations, and counter-examples can always be given. This does not change the overarching reality which describes so many.



Written by Michael Duenes

December 19, 2012 at 7:21 am

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