Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

How To Marry a Nice Girl

Manosphere blogger "Dalrock" has linked to me under the apparent misapprehension that because I wrote that it is okay for someone (even, some were shocked to hear, a woman) to intentionally remain single so long as he or she remains celibate, MrsDarwin and I are promoting fornication. This seems to be about on par with Dalrock's previously shown abilities to read and understand the arguments of others, and once again I can't help responding, especially because he attempts to make an argument from data while clearly using an incomplete historical trend and generally not knowing what he's talking about.

[Before I get into this, an editorial note: Last time I unleashed a broadside at the manosphere in general and Dalrock in particular, I was spoiling for a fight after watching Dalrock's readers flood into the comboxes of Patheos in response to a post by Elizabeth Duffy and behave pretty badly while doing so. (This ranged from garden variety rudeness to calling the author a c***.) So when I stepped in with a response post, I was in the mood for a fight. When one of Dalrock's readers started propounding the idea that regardless of repentance any woman who had sex before marriage was "a slut" and could never get married, I grew tired of dealing with the situation, banned him, and closed the thread. Since I'm responding to Dalrock again, I'm permanently lifting the ban on that commenter, and will leave the thread open to any manosphere types interested in engaging in conversation. That said, I want to make it clear that the standards around here are different from those in the manosphere, and so just in case anyone is unclear, being generally derogatory towards women (or men) is unacceptable behavior around here. So, in general, is the use of terms like "slut", "ho", "c***", etc.]

Now, to respond to Dalrock's post, the first very odd thing is a conviction Dalrock seems to have about how what he terms "trad cons" view marriage and sexuality. He's his summary:
Most Traditional Conservatives are obsessed with creating and enforcing rules of the road for fornication. There is an unspoken assumption that young women engaging in uncommitted sex have a right to swing from man to man on an ultimate path to marriage. Once the woman tires of the carousel, Christian and secular Traditional Conservatives ride in on a white horse and start demanding that whichever man the woman is having uncommitted sex with now must do the honorable thing and marry her. However, Trad Cons go a step further and also create elaborate rules of the road for fornication in their desperate attempt to make the carousel as pleasurable and rewarding an experience for women as possible.
...
Yet Trad Con moral angst is directed almost exclusively at the men in the fornication market who they feel aren’t playing by the rules. It isn’t that these men are fornicating, it is that they aren’t doing it the way Trad Cons want them to do it. As I wrote above, this comes from a generally unspoken assumption that fornication is the logical path for women to follow to marriage. Therefore their partners in fornication need to live up to a set of high fornication standards. With seemingly no discussion this idea has somehow become sacred, something which must not be challenged.
Now, I'm pretty used to the fact that the circles I move in are a very tiny portion of the US population. The Catholic sub-culture in which we live is radically different even from the more mainstream Catholic culture that tends to show up in surveys (you know, the one in which only 25% of people go to mass and the majority don't follow the Church's teachings on contraception). However, with that proviso: I certainly have never heard traditionalist conservatives (a group in which I number myself) say that sex outside of marriage is fine so long as you follow certain social norms. The message that we keep putting forward is that sex belongs only in marriage. If you are not married do not have sex. It doesn't matter if you are a man or a woman, if you think of yourself as an "alpha" or a "beta", if you think you are deeply in love and committed or if you are just out for a good time, sex does not belong outside of marriage and violating this moral law is not only a sin but (and for those with an understanding of moral law this is an obvious corollary) it will also end up causing short and long term problems for your current and future (if any) relationships. While I'm stating the unpopular, let trot out the point that really gets scorn heaped upon us traditionalist conservatives: Not only should you not have sex outside of marriage, but sex itself is inextricably linked with procreation. So even after you're married, if you don't want to get pregnant at the moment, there are going to be periods of time when you need to abstain from sex even though you're married. In accordance with the Church's teachings and natural law, we traditionalist conservatives use Natural Family Planning and reject artificial birth control and the contraceptive mentality that goes with it. What's the difference between these two? Put briefly, NFP involves not having sex during the fertile part of the wife's cycle, while artificial birth control involves taking fertility out of the woman's cycle so you can have sex whenever you want.

If all this sounds a bit dour, it's worth pointing out that married couples using NFP report higher sexual satisfaction, better communication, and a 5% divorce rate -- staggeringly better than the population in general. As the Skeptics point out, some of these studies on the benefits of NFP are not as rigorous as one might like. This is one of problems when you have small and poorly funded groups. On the other hand, the studies line up pretty well with my personal experiences. Of all the couples our age (mid 30s) we've known living our kind of life in the Catholic sub culture, only one that I knew personally has gotten divorced. That would be highly unusual in most other parts of society.

Having made the claim that we traditional conservatives are all for fornication so long as it's on terms that the manosphere doesn't like, Dalrock then tries to diagnose the real problem:
Why do the Darwin Catholics and Pastor Driscolls of the world look at women engaging in the hookup culture and see marriage material? At the same time, why do men like FFY see these same women as good for a good time and nothing more? I think the answer to both questions can be found in the shift from a dating/courtship/marriage Sexual Marketplace (SMP) to our current hookup/serial monogamy SMP, and this is closely related to the changing age of marriage...
He then does a little bit of pop sociology in which he points do the increasing age of average marriage over the decades from 1950 to the present and engages in some imaginative reconstructions of how these average marriage ages indicates changing attitudes in women towards men and the "sexual market place". Here's a sample:
Fast forward a decade to the 1960s. As you can see, the trend has continued but the fundamental SMP hasn’t changed; the median age of marriage has increased by only a few months. If you are an 18 year old young woman, you still find that your peers just a few years older than you are very likely to already be married. The pressure is on to find a husband. Screwing cads for sport might be enticing, but there is no time to waste, and developing a reputation would harm your near term goal of finding the best husband you can attract.

Since the women are still looking for dads and not cads, as a young man the signal is still strong; work hard and prepare to act as a provider. Young women will spot the young men with the best potential and want to be with them.
Dalrock keeps this up until he reaches the present, with an average age at first marriage of 26.5 for women, and from this concludes:
Skip ahead to the generation that survived Y2k. Women are marrying roughly an additional year later than they did a decade ago, and 7.5 years later than they did in the 1950s. An 18 year old woman’s peers aren’t looking for a husband, and neither are the women 2 and 4 years older than her. The women who are looking for husbands are in a very different life stage than she is, so this removes her sense of urgency. The only thing holding her back from fully embracing the now raging hookup culture would be a strong moral belief that sex shouldn’t occur before marriage. For the rest, why not go after the hottest men they can find? There will be time to paper it over with stories about college boyfriends later. Besides, everyone is doing it.
...
As you can see, the trend of women having “relationships” with men for an extended period of time has continued in the most recent years data is available for. Unfortunately, Trad Cons are so obsessed with the rules for the road of fornication they can’t focus on bringing us back to a truly moral situation.
So, the clear conclusion is that telling people not to have sex until they're married doesn't work (and according to Dalrock, we Trad Cons aren't doing this anyway) and the solution to this is to get back to where the average marriage age for women is 20 so that women will want "dads not cads".

There are a couple basic problems with this analysis which Dalrock may or may not be aware of. One obvious weak point is that there's a limit to how low the average age of marriage can practically go. (Well, unless you wear white robes and carry an AK-47.) 20 is pretty low, especially for those of us who expect to go to college. There are those who advocate getting married in college, but since a man isn't able to support a family while in college, and a woman finds it difficult to finish a degree while having children, I advise against it. MrsDarwin and I chose to date chastely for nearly four years after meeting a couple weeks into our Freshman year and got married seven weeks after getting our degrees. I continue to think that was the right choice even for people who met at 18. It's also why I personally have a low level of sympathy for the argument that it's impossible to remain a virgin a long time for marriage. I personally waited four years, despite knowing very quickly that MrsDarwin was the person I was going to marry. And I know good Catholic guys (and also good Catholic women) who are in their late 20s or early 30s, still looking hard for the right spouse, and still saving themselves for marriage. We are not ruled by averages -- we rule ourselves through moral choices. Moreover, a big part of the problem is that in the sexually permissive society that has sprung up in the wake of the "sexual revolution" the average age of first pre-marital sex has steadily gone down. In the 50s it was 20.4 but now it's 17.6. We can hardly tell people that they should all be married by 17. Rather, the correct message is that they shouldn't be having sex before marriage at all, whenever that age is.

Secondly, by starting in the 50s, Dalrock misses a fact I imagine he's not aware of: the 50s marked a low point in the average marriage age in the US. This table shows median age at first marriage (rather than average), so the numbers are very slightly different from what Dalrock's quoting, but the trend is very clear: the median age at first marriage fell steadily from 22 for women in 1890 to 20.3 for women in 1950. It didn't rise to the 1890 rate again until 1980. Was 1890 a racy period of constant pre-marital sex in which alphas ruled and betas suffered? No. Indeed, from what data we have pre-marital sex was significantly less common in the 1890s than the 1950s (in part, no doubt, because contraception was less available and abortion more dangerous, not to mention that morals had not degraded as far in this area as they had by the '50s) and divorce was far less common then than in the 1950s. Nor was 1890 a fluke.

Here are three papers that deal with the "European Marriage Model", the way in which Western Europeans tended to regulate fertility by marrying later, and by more people never marrying at all.

This one gives average age at first marriage in 1600-1649, 1650-1699, 1700-1749, 1750-1799, and 1800-1849, the results for women are: 26, 26.5, 26.2, 24.9, and 23.4 respectively.

Here's one that gives the average age of first marriage for women in 1790 for several Western European countries (see Table 2 on page 9):

Belgium 24.9
France 25.3
Germany 26.6
England 25.2
Netherlands 26.5
Scandinavia 26.1

And finally, check out Table 5 here and the percentage of women aged 25-29 who had never married in these countries in 1890-1900:

Great Britain: 42%
Switzerland: 45%
Sweden: 52%
Portugal: 41%
Germany: 34%

Again, these were not, in 1900, hotbeds of sexual immorality. People could not afford to get married, or they couldn't find someone to marry, and so they just didn't marry and (in the main) did not have sex.

The US in the 1950s was not some sort of world norm for what age people marry at when they're not being sexually promiscuous prior to marriage, it was the product of a particular time in which affluence was reaching unheard-of heights, birth control was becoming available, and sex before marriage (while increasingly common over the last 50 years) was still socially disapproved of. However, once again, we don't marry averages, we marry people. There is not a perfect age to marry that will guarantee you a faithful spouse. Rather, there is a right person to marry, who shares your beliefs about marriage, who is willing to join you in a happy marriage.

Third and lastly, Dalrock's amateur sociology by decade leaves out an obvious problem: People who divorce in one decade probably got married anywhere from 5-20 years before. Take a look at this chart of US divorce rates since 1860 (with some historically significant events marked as well) and note that far from guaranteeing marital stability divorce rates were already relatively high in the 50s compared to the past (in which people married older) and when they shot up in the 60's and '70s, it was often as not people who had married 10+ years before who were getting divorced.

[source]

In other words, marrying a 20-year-old woman is no guarantee you won't get divorced. Lots of those women who married young in the 50s and 60s proceeded to get divorced in the 70s and 80s.

Does this mean you shouldn't marry young? Obviously, we don't think so, since we married at 22 (well under the average marriage age in 2001.) But it is true that all data these days suggest that those who marry young are more likely to divorce than those who married older. That didn't worry me, because I wasn't marrying "woman aged 22" and I wasn't marrying 100 women and hoping to get the maximum percentages of those marriages to last; I was marrying one woman who shared my beliefs about the nature of marriage (as taught by the Catholic Church) and who had been in a faithful and chaste relationship with me for the last three and a half years.

Alright, so I've spent a lot of time shooting down Dalrock's explanations. Clearly the open question is: If you're a guy who wants to have a happy and lasting marriage in this day and age (when that's certainly not the norm), what should you do?

Have a Reason
I recall a while back listening to one of the EconTalk podcasts where host Russ Roberts (who is a practicing Jew) was observing that while many people talk about how they want to forgo aspects of modern technology and follow a simpler life, one of the few groups of people that do this with any regularity is the Amish, who do it for religious reasons.  He speculated (analogizing Jewish religious practices, particularly Orthodox ones) that when you have a lifestyle which has some attractions but is very, very hard to stick to, in general it's only going to be people who have a religious-strength reason for following that lifestyle who are going to follow through.

In this day and age, not having sex till marriage (which these manosphere types seem expect of women, though I'm less clear whether they expect if of themselves) and remaining married until death after marrying is very, very countercultural.  Why would you go through the work?  For us, it's because we believe that acting otherwise would be a mortal sin -- a sin for which, unless truly repented of, one goes to hell.

If you believe that too, you're a good part of the way there.  Now just find a woman who shares that belief just as deeply as you do.  It is, to my mind, far more important that a potential wife truly shares your deepest beliefs about what marriage is than how old she is or what her sexual history is prior to reaching those beliefs -- if you are dealing with a woman who routinely violates her own stated beliefs, as opposed to having had a history prior to reaching those beliefs, you may well have a problem on your hands and should do some very, very serious thinking.

If, on the other hand, you don't hold these kind of beliefs, if you just think it would be more pleasant not to get divorced and to have a wife without prior history, but you don't think it is wrong for you yourself to have sex before marriage, don't think it's wrong for you to divorce, etc:  In that case, you need to start looking at your expectations and ask yourself why you expect something out of your potential wife that you don't adhere to yourself.

Move Among People Who Share The Beliefs You Want To Live By
You would think this would be a no-brainer, but people violate this principle with surprising frequency and don't understand why it causes them problems. I recall one of my parent's single friends complaining to my mom (many years ago) that the girls he went out with never seemed to want to get married. "You only go to meet women in bars," Mom pointed out. "How about you start going to church again and meet a girl there?"

Now, I know some very nice girls who go to bars at times -- and not just for Theology On Tap, but also just to have a drink once and a while -- but it's true that if you move primarily among people who aren't interested in marriage, or who have a view of marriage as something you might do after cohabiting for a number of years, unless you too want to follow that path, you need to find a new social set. If you never spend time with people who share your beliefs about marriage, no amount of ranting on the internet about your lack of prospects is going to hook you up with someone who does.

Be The Sort of Man That The Sort Of Woman You Want Would Want To Marry
(And that her father, brothers and brothers-in-law won't veto either.)

This is not just a matter of: "I have a good job, male genitals and am not bad looking." If you want to marry a woman who has saved herself for marriage, and you've spent some time realizing that these sorts of women are not exactly thick on the ground in the United States in 2012, it's worth asking yourself: Are you the sort of man that woman is going to want to marry? You've essentially admitted that such women are rare, and rare commodities are precious. Are you worth it to her?

Have you yourself remained a virgin? Have you avoided porn and masturbation? If you haven't done these, or worse yet have no intention of refraining from fornication, porn, masturbation, etc. from here on out, it's time for a reality check. You may not want to compete with theoretical future wife's past lovers, but why should she want to have to compete with your past lovers, your online porn habit or your wanking?

Have you shown that you're a steady guy who's ready to provide for a wife and family?  Are you able to be someone that a woman actually wants to be around?  (Hint for manosphere types, from a guy who's been happily married for a good while and has a lot of close female friends: Most women do not find locker room behavior attractive, nor do they find guys who go around saying things like "The smartest woman is dumber than the dumbest man," a turn on. Don't delude yourself that because you don't say it to her face, she won't pick up on your attitude.)

Do you share the religious convictions that your future wife has? And, see above, are there many women with your religious convictions, or lack thereof, who are wanting to live as you want her to have lived and have a marriage such as you want to have?

If you're coming down on the wrong side of a lot of these questions, it's time for you to do some serious thinking about your desires versus your actions.

Realize That Good Things Are Worth Waiting For
Too many people, whether it's apparently secular manosphere types like Dalrock's readers or strongly traditionalist Christians talking about how everyone should be doing "Christian Courtship" rather than dating seem to think that finding a spouse is something that can be done rapidly with sufficient force of will, and that anyone who isn't succeeding quickly must be being too picky or not really trying.  Maybe I'm an odd one to disagree with this, since I met my wife when I was 18, but I've always considered that to be quite the piece of luck.  Among my friends and relatives, I know a number of people who also married right out of college.  But I also know people who, though honestly searching and wanting very much to get married, took a long time to find a spouse, or haven't found one yet.  This summer I'll be crisscrossing the country to attend the weddings of three good friends, all good Catholic guys in their early 30s who've been honestly searching hard for the right woman to marry, but didn't succeed until quite recently.

And obviously, each of those weddings has a similar story behind it for the woman: good Catholic girls who've been wanting to get married for years but didn't come across the right guy until recently.  And there are other nice Catholic girls who are still searching.

If you have a highly counter-cultural idea of what marriage is, your pool of potential mates is far, far smaller than the average.  Especially if you're spending a lot of your time moving around mainstream circles, most of the people you're meeting simply aren't marriage material for you.  But even if, like MrsDarwin and I, you spend most of your social time in a sub-culture of like-minded people, who share your beliefs and desire in regards to marriage, finding someone you want to spend the rest of your life with and raise a family with (and who shares the feeling) is often going to take a lot of searching.

If, on the other hand, you're convinced that there are lots of women you could happily marry, but they keep turning you down, your problem might be that instead of a specific woman you're just seeing "a piece of marriage material".  Time to slow down and actually get to know a girl. They like that. Trust me on this.

What About Those Who Haven't Been Living The Life Up Till Now?
Given what our culture is, there are obviously a lot of people (men and women) who have not always lived chastely who now find themselves wanting to marry happily and permanently. From what I can make out from the remarks made by Dalrock and his commenters, their solution to this problem seems to be, "If you're a man, dump the woman you're currently sleeping with and demand a virgin to marry, then everything will be fine. If you're a woman, forget about it; you're damaged goods and aren't worth marrying." Aside from the apparent misogynist double standard involved in this thinking, there's an obvious numerical problem. The number percentage of men and women engaging in premarital sex is pretty equal, and if all the men think they're somehow God's gift to virgin womanhood, there's going to be some competition going on that's not going to work out numerically to everyone's satisfaction.

Dalrock accuses me of being in the "man up and marry those sluts column". I suppose it's one of the contradictions of true Christianity that it scandalizes both those who hate the fact that we believe that the moral law exists in the first place (this would be the people who are always telling us we need to get out of their bedrooms and stop judging) and also scandalizes those who've endorsed a sort of post-Christian (or for the Christians, perhaps neo-Puritan) shame-society -- these folks are shocked that we actually believe in forgiveness.

However, it's important to be clear that when Catholics talk about forgiveness and conversion, we're not talking about the kind of tearful altar call feelings that many Protestants are thinking of. Remember, we Catholics don't accept Martin Luther's "snow on a dung heap" image of how forgiveness works. If you want to really see what kind of hard-asses we are when it comes to expiation of sins, pick up a copy of Dante's Purgatorio and read it through carefully.

It's not enough to just be sorry for past sins. Virtue is a habit towards the good. If your virtue muscles are underdeveloped because you haven't been living according to the Church's moral principles, the only way to get back into shape morally is through rigorous practice. Like any kind of strenuous training for those who aren't fit, it takes a lot of time, effort and pain. And it's not something you can just quit once you've gotten in shape if you want to stay that way.

If a couple has been sleeping together for a while, and they're now wanting to get married according to the Church's understanding of marriage, what I would advise (and to my knowledge what any priest is supposed to insist on unless there are very unusual circumstances) is that they completely cease having sex immediately, go to confession, and then successfully continue their relationship in complete chastity for a good solid while before scheduling a wedding. (The usual big exception to this advice is if they're pregnant, in which case they may well want to get married much more quickly, but again, any good priest is going to be very, very cautious about that kind of situation.)

If you're trying to decide whether to marry a woman who has engaged in sexual sin in the past, but who now says she shares your beliefs about sex, then the obvious question is: How long has she been living according to her new beliefs, and how successfully has she done so? Sexual immorality (like any other kind of immorality) is habit-forming, and breaking habits takes time and hard work. If you've had an alcoholic in the family or among your friends, you know that how much confidence you have in that person not relapsing is entirely a function of their level of commitment to staying out of temptation, and how long they've successfully been on the the wagon.

And of course, if you have a history of sexual sin, expect any woman considering marrying you to be asking exactly the same questions about you.



This post is so long already that I'm hesitant to pour more words into writing a conclusion. But then, no one ever said that living a counter-cultural life style would be easy or involve low word counts.

95 comments:

Charming Disarray said...

GREAT post. Thanks for this; it needed saying badly. Reading anything in the Manosphere gives me a splitting headache.

Chris said...

Agree about 90%. Detailed response is at http://pukeko.net.nz/blog/daybook/nicking-wisdom-from-the-papists/

Anonymous said...

Dalrock intellectually outclasses Darwin by such a huge margin that Darwin cannot even comprehend why he looks like a pseudo-moral phony.

BTW, commenter Twenty already obliterated Darwin :

http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/rules-of-the-road-for-fornication/#comment-34120

Anonymous said...

Charming Disarray,

They reason that the manosphere gives you a headache is because you are not intelligent enough to grasp the concepts.

Roissy and Roosh are much more moral than a slimy, sadistic SoCon like Darwin, who thinks men are merely draft animals who exist to cater to the needs to demanding, useless women.

Dalrock does a good job of exposing why needy, appeasing men like Mr. Darwin are obsessed with groveling to women. That is why he does not like Dalrock - Dalrock holds up a mirror to his face.

Rebekka said...

I think it's a good post. I don't think what I think means anything at all to the manosphere.

From the comments I've seen here and at the Duffy piece it seems like the real problem is that traditional Catholics (in the subculture sense like the Darwins) sincerely believe that men and women are complementary equals. Mainstream culture doesn't really believe in complementarity and the manosphere (from what I've gleaned from the comments) doesn't believe in equality. Anyone who fundamentally believes that women are lesser beings engaged in some kind of manipulative psychosexual death match to preserve their status is not going to grok an argument based on a Catholic understanding of the sexes. Anyone who does believe women are actual ensouled human beings and meaningful participants in society, rather than wombs on legs (virgins) or coochies on legs (not-virgins), is going to be seen as slavering at the feet of some hairy, saggy-boobed Gloria Steinem archetype. I'm not sure the argument will ever be understood by the manosphere because their premise is based on a completely different (and incompatible) worldview.

GeekLady said...

Further commentary is forthcoming, since I have to leave for work, but I find the phrase "the generation that survived Y2K" particularly emblematic of this whole discussion.

bearing said...

I don't give a flying fisk about the manosphere, whatever that means, but I hope that some of the individuals led to read your post were unprejudiced enough to listen to an alternative viewpoint and to appreciate how beginning from different philosophical starting points can lead one to a different conclusion.

This was a beautifully detailed post, Darwin, and I enjoyed reading it. The only thing that I would add to your comment that "Sexual immorality (like any other kind of immorality) is habit-forming, and breaking habits takes time and hard work," is that quite frequently the habit-breaking process is complicated by the weakness of *both* prospective future spouses, who, despite sharing values regarding sexual morality in theory, may be constantly tempted to tempt each other!

bearing said...

P.S. to Anonymous: Statements along the line of "you don't agree because you are not intelligent enough" do not count as "arguments."

They count as narcissistic preening, meant to reassure the preener as he gazes at his own reflection, "So beautiful, so intelligent, so good! 'Tis the ugly, the stupid, the immoral who fail to appreciate thy beauty, thy wit, thy virtues."

In my view, a restatement of the origin of much of this philosophy can be found in the fifth chapter of Ephesians, which, the last time I checked, involves sacrifice on the part of wives as well as on the part of husbands. I must say it's refreshing to deal with people who think it's the husband, rather than the wife, who gets the raw deal.

Darwin said...

Chris,

Thanks for the thoughtful response, I'll leave a longer response to it on your post itself.

On the contraception disagreement: Certainly, I understand that few people who don't already have a religious reason for it are going to be open to rejecting something that puts one so outside the mainstream, and at considerable inconvenience. That said, I would suggest it's worth at least considering from an anthropological point of view that we have never seen a society built around the expectation that sexuality need not have any reproductive consequences until the 20th century. The results of this have not exactly been stellar from a societal point of view. Correlation does not necessarily mean causation, but sometimes it does, and it's at least worth considering whether trying to make sex biologically consequence free has made people treat it as if it were entirely consequence free -- to their obvious detriment.

Darwin said...

Anon & Anon,

Just a hint from a grown up who's been around the internet for a long time: No one feels threatened by anonymous sock puppets announcing that someone intellectually outclasses him or that he's been "obliterated".

Also, you just look stupid when you try to tell people that they're not intelligent enough to understand you, and in the process misspell the word "the" as the very first word of your comment. (Actually, telling people they're too dumb to understand you without providing evidence tends to make you look stupid no matter how you spell.)

Anonymous said...

"No one feels threatened by anonymous sock puppets announcing that someone intellectually outclasses him or that he's been 'obliterated.'"

Well, teen-agers playing World of Warcraft. Sometimes.

Nice post, Darwin. Your life would obviously be easier if you started hating women.

Rob Alspaugh

August said...

Your post did not live up to its title.

The manosphere, with varying degrees of anger, outlines a problem. From what you said about Dalrock in this post it seems he imputes intention where there is incentive and sin where there may not be any- but then we know Dalrock isn't constrained by Christian values.
I hope it need not be said, though, that although we can assume Dalrock is being less than generous in his speculations, this does not wipe out the problem that he sees. The Church is dangerously compromised with this feminist society. I expect Obama was quite surprised to hear the bishops squeal about the contraception thing. Of course, you can hear a squeal from above and consider it a brave fight for freedom, but a man cries out from below, and you have a remarkable amount of trouble actually hearing him.

tweell said...

Darwin, as a fellow Catholic I am pleased by your stance. However, at least in my parish and other local ones, that stance is a minority one.
I am a widower with 5 adult children, and what I see and what they tell me has a greater resemblance to Dalrock's posts than yours. Use of birth control is high, pre-marital (or non-marital) sex is rampant, and the priests say little or nothing about it. The women say a few more Hail Mary's and that's about it.
I have had trouble with keeping my son in the church, as he is disgusted with the behavior he sees. Not being a 'bad boy' and unwilling to pretend to be one, he cannot get a date with Catholic girls his age, even though he's tall and muscular. The women interested in him are older, many with children in tow (but judgement is verboten). My daughters are hooked into the gossip (of course) and so far have kept him free of these modern day harpies, but at a cost of his innocence.
I do not expect to marry again, I am content with my memories and knowledge that I loved and was loved. My children and grandchildren, those I fear for.

slwerner said...

In response to your comment on Dalrocks blog, part 1 of 2:

DarwinCatholic - ” Since I already addressed the question of marrying a woman with bad sexual history…”

Your comment seems reasonable. But, you are skirting a larger issue – the one that Dalrock is actually seeking to address.

It is no secret that a larger part of those identifying themselves as Christian in the Western World have, in fact, taken a very “soft-line” on female promiscuity, and do, as Dalrock has suggested, find ways to rationalize the popular acceptance of female promiscuity, especially that practiced prior to marriage.

Perhaps Dalrock errors in that he (over) conflates self-identified Traditionalist (practicing their faith in accordance to God’s word) with the pseudo-Christians who make up the bulk of those who would self identify as either Social Conservatives (SoCons) or even Traditional Conservatives (TradCons).

But, this seeming error can be well explained as the inability to be able to distinguish between the SoCon/TradCon types and those who are actually much more Traditional.

And, here’s the rub. You, and yours don’t act to make it easy to make that distinction. It’s hard to see where, if anywhere, you specifically denounce the excesses taken by those who can be more accurately denoted as “Churchians” (as opposed to true Christians).

[continuedd below]

slwerner said...

[part 2 of 2]

Harder still when you (and yours) make statement which seem to be in lock-step agreement with the new-fangled Churchian views:

For example,

In response to this (partial) commenton your blog:

”However overall I find the advice incredibly useful. Chief amongst that advice is to not marry women who are have slept with other men. If they are willing to violate their conscience, risk pregnancy and dependency they are just too unstable as a marriage partner.

There is a strong, even in me, visceral reaction amongst social conservatives to such a response. But bit-T Tradition and Scripture both evidence this view. The Law allowed for virginity tests for women and Tradition, as you point out, is rife with warnings against temptresses.”
- (2/23/2012 1:07 PM)

Your own wife, MrsDarwin said:


Actually, I believe the words of Christ to the woman caught having sex with a man not her husband were "Go, and sin no more" -- words that certainly don't preclude marriage, especially if one consider's Paul's advice that it's better to marry to burn.

Also, I believe that the Old Testament holds men to a fairly strict standard as well: "When a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall pay her marriage price and marry her. If her father refuses to give her to him, he must still pay him the customary marriage price for virgins." (Ex. 22:15-16)

"If a man comes upon a maiden that is not betrothed, takes her and has relations with her, and their deed is discovered, the man who had relations with her shall pay the girl's father fifty silver shekels and take her as his wife, because he has deflowered her. Moreover, he may not divorce her as long as he lives." (Deut. 23: 28)

In case it has escaped you, what your wife is advocating that is that the only admonishment necessary for a cheating wife (or any other slut, for that matter) is that she stop engaging in that sin. And, she seems to extend this to mean that the woman taken in adultery should not be considered as unmarriageable. (am I wrong here? I’m using her own words, in the context they were presented)
But, on the other hand, she finds it reasonable to exact a high price on men who engage in promiscuous behaviors.
So, to recap the thusly stated position of the DarwinCatholic blog, for promiscuous women, the proper course is merely to stop being promiscuous; while for men who are promiscuous, they must marry (or otherwise pay-up) as the due penalty for their having engaged in the same sin.
As I mentioned earlier, your (and your wife, and your blog) seeming acceptance of the (promiscpous) female-friendly Churchian SocCon-sphere is the primary issue that Dalrock has taken exception to.

Darwin said...

Tweell,

Thanks for the comment.

I didn't cover it in this post (in part because Tolstoy called me up and said that if it got any longer even he wouldn't be able to read it all) but yes, I'd share your concerns that most people in the average parish do not live in the fullness of Catholic teaching on these issues the way we try to and each our children to do. It seems like it's better now than it was when I was young in the 90s, when there were literally no like-minded families in our parish, and we were having to drive out to a Catholic homeschooling group 60+ miles away in order to get some like-minded community, but even so I'd guess it's something like 5-10% of the families in a moderately good parish that are deeply focused on building a truly Catholic culture for their families.

It's hard for anyone to live the faith without the aid of community, so it's vitally important to seek out some sort of group of families that shares that commitment. That's one of the main reasons I picked Steubenville to go to college -- I had some second thoughts about the academics, but I knew I could get a pretty good education there and that I needed to know more than one or two other Catholics serious about their faith on my college campus.

Rachel & Robert said...

I believe sir that you will find the primary cause to your contention with Dalrock to be that you consider yourself to be a "tradcon", you are not, at least not as I understand him to be using the term. I would categorize you as more of a "classcon" (classical conservative?). The split hair in this case being that you actually do expect men and women both to remain celibate before marriage, where as the evangelical church (tradcons: Mark Driscoll et al) on the whole only pays very rare lip service to this point. We say we believe it, but we don't talk about it too much, because it would make the majority of our congregants too uncomfortable (and we don't have confession looming, we just take our newest mistress to a different church where everyone is too polite to ask about our past and bypass the need for actual repentance).

Dalrock's contention is consistently that chastity is the ideal, he takes issue with evangelical winking at sexual sin, and with the particular idea that the only thing wrong with a girl who sleeps with her boyfriend is that HE won't marry her (as you noted, they BOTH would have mortal sin to deal with, but we evangelicals tend to paint such girls as innocent victims).

This IS an issue for our churches, as our young people match the general populace in virginity rates, by 18 less than 2 of 10 men or women will be virgins. This has a serious effect on marriage prospects, and while it may seem unfair to direct anger at women over this issue, they are the gatekeepers of morality. Hence, Dalrock's contention that women sleeping with their boyfriends are not ideal marriage material (and he also points out that "alphas" and "players" make poor choices as husbands, although no one writes posts vilifying that position).

The complaint coming from the "manosphere" then (most of which isn't Christian, Dalrock actually being a rarity) is that [many] women (in, at least evangelical, churches just as much as in the world) still chase men they KNOW are bad husband material while they are young and pretty, and have no intention of being married or chaste, but then expect men they have ignored for the last 10 years to pony up and marry them (and their kid and their issues) as soon as they are ready. This is after they INTENTIONALLY gave the best of themselves to someone they never planned to keep. And evangelical leaders say such women are ENTITLED to husbands, and call men names when they recognize a bad deal and just say "no".

Chastity and forgiveness would be great, but there are barriers to each. The barrier to forgiveness is that men recognize that the woman I just described hasn't changed, so marrying her simply courts the high risk she will do the exact same thing again in the future and then take most of the man's money with her. Hence the desire for a virgin spouse is less about biology and more about the desire to be able to believe that your spouse actually loves you and isn't just unable to get what they really want anymore.

The barrier to chastity is that it has to start with chaste women (which was the real point about Dalrock's 50's post exact ages aside, that in the past women's higher level of chastity resulted in more chaste men, and more desire on the part of men for marriage to end celibacy), anyone who expects a sufficient majority of men to remain chaste when women aren't isn't being realistic.

Darwin said...

slwerner,

It is no secret that a larger part of those identifying themselves as Christian in the Western World have, in fact, taken a very “soft-line” on female promiscuity, and do, as Dalrock has suggested, find ways to rationalize the popular acceptance of female promiscuity, especially that practiced prior to marriage.

I think it is no secret that a great many self described Christians do not put much effort into living a moral life when it's actually hard -- which living according to the Church's teachings on sexuality in contravention to the standards and expectations of the modern world definitely is. I'm not sure I see that this laxness is applied any differently to men and women, except perhaps to the extent that in some "churchy" circles there are simply a lot more women than men present and so the social focus and sympathy tends to be on their side of the story.

In my experience, you don't get this kind of gender imbalance so much in circles that take traditional Christianity seriously. But my experience is pretty much restricted to the conservative Catholic sub-culture (which, per my response to Tweell above, is very much a minority within Catholic parishes as a whole.)

And, here’s the rub. You, and yours don’t act to make it easy to make that distinction. It’s hard to see where, if anywhere, you specifically denounce the excesses taken by those who can be more accurately denoted as “Churchians” (as opposed to true Christians).

Well, for starters, we're the ones who say that if you get divorced, you can't get remarried, that using birth control is a mortal sin, that abortion is the killing of an innocent human person (not an understandable "choice"), that fornication and adultery are moral sins, that using porn is not "something boys just do" but a mortal sin, etc.

Maybe part of what's going on here is the clash of completely separate blog cultures which don't understand each other and are predisposed to dislike each other (if our moralism turns manosphere types off, believe me the locker room misogyny of the manosphere turns us off) but trust me: if one spends any time around the conservative Catholic blogosphere one hears a lot about the ways in which most Catholics in the pews (and a lot of Church leadership) are not living up to the full teachings of the Church. It's one of the common concerns that drives us all out to talk together on the internet because there often isn't a critical mass of like minded people in our individual churches.

[continued...]

Darwin said...

slwerner (continued)

In case it has escaped you, what your wife is advocating that is that the only admonishment necessary for a cheating wife (or any other slut, for that matter) is that she stop engaging in that sin. And, she seems to extend this to mean that the woman taken in adultery should not be considered as unmarriageable. (am I wrong here? I’m using her own words, in the context they were presented)

It's usually a bad idea to take someone's word and load a bunch of additional assumptions into them. What MrsDarwin said (responding to a claim that any woman who ever had premarital sex was definitionally "a slut" and could never marry) was that Christ's command to the woman caught in adultery was "go and sin no more". Now, being married is not a sin. So the command "go and sin no more" clearly does not preclude adultery.

We don't know anything more about this story, so it's impossible to say what happens later, but the fact that "go and sin no more" does not preclude marriage and might involve "go and be a faithful wife to your husband from now on" if she was married or "go and be chaste until you marry -- if you ever do" is she was unmarried.

In wider application to people today: We are all commanded to go and sin no more, just as we're all commanded to "be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect".

Obviously, this means that if a woman is having sex outside of marriage she must stop immediately. Having sex outside of marriage is a mortal sin -- which means that it merits damnation.

After that, I don't think there's a single path as to how things play out. A lot of people in our society are "damaged goods" for one reason or another due to their personal histories/experiences. Those people may have a harder time getting married or not be able to get successfully at all. I don't think there's a single rule as to who can and can't get married (assuming that they are free to get married according to the Church's definition: able to physically have sex, not divorced/already married, etc.), just that there's a single rule as to what marriage is and that it is always dangerous to marry someone who either does not share your understanding of marriage or who does not look to you likely to be able to live according to that definition. Some people with bad sexual histories may not be able to live up to marriage. Some may. I'm glad I didn't have to deal with that issue myself, but that doesn't mean that no one with any history of sin can ever get married.

But, on the other hand, she finds it reasonable to exact a high price on men who engage in promiscuous behaviors.
So, to recap the thusly stated position of the DarwinCatholic blog, for promiscuous women, the proper course is merely to stop being promiscuous; while for men who are promiscuous, they must marry (or otherwise pay-up) as the due penalty for their having engaged in the same sin.


I'm not clear what price you think that we think men have to pay for past sin that women don't. For both men and women, they need to stop sinning and not sin again. End of story.

If they've had children, they need to provide for those children.

That's it.

slwerner said...

DarwinCatholic - ”I'm not clear what price you think that we think men have to pay for past sin that women don't.”

That men would be required to make amends for the harms done via their adulterous behaviors, whereas women just needed to stop sinning.

What I was getting at was that your wife selectively (and, of course, quite purposefully) included the proscribed OT remedy of men who were caught acting promiscuously should be required to pay for, and marry the woman involved.

Note, I am not arguing that there wasn’t just reasoning in these proscriptions, but rather that your wife added them for specific emphasis; which seems to be that God held men to higher standards than he held women (such as that woman take in adultery).

Along that same line of reasoning, it seems to me that she is joining in with the more popular main-stream Churchian idea that promiscuity is more excusable in women than in men.

What I don’t see from her is any direct refutation of the “pass” that is routinely issued to women in Churchianity. And, I would add, that as a number of other commentators at Dalrock’s blog have noted, a number of her comments seem to be mirrors of what is commonly heard from the heavily feminist-influenced SoCons.

To me, it is all too easy to understand why Dalrock would have conflated your blog with the SoCon/TradCon ideas being pushed on the West. You make some strong stands against certain aspects of “Modernity”, yet, other aspects seem to be okay with the two of you (well, with your wife, anyway).

Darwin said...

Rachel & Robert,

SoCon, TradCon, Churchian, ClassCon...

Honestly, I think at this point throwing names around is causing more confusion than light. I consider myself a conservative and I am a faithful Catholic who believes and tries hard to live by the full length and breadth of Catholic teaching in regards to sexuality as to the rest of life.

This IS an issue for our churches, as our young people match the general populace in virginity rates, by 18 less than 2 of 10 men or women will be virgins. This has a serious effect on marriage prospects, and while it may seem unfair to direct anger at women over this issue, they are the gatekeepers of morality.

That does sound like a serious problem, and since I don't hear much from the Evangelical side of things one I'm not well set up to speak to the accuracy of or the way to cure. I would tend to differ a little on the "women are the gatekeepers of morality" idea, just in that I think both men and women are responsible for behaving morally. I think it tends to be bad for both men and women when people assume that men will just push for whatever they want and women are in charge of setting the limits. Among other things, it both puts women in sole charge in a way that's not a good idea and sets up a dynamic that's likely to lead to resentment on both sides.

Hence, Dalrock's contention that women sleeping with their boyfriends are not ideal marriage material (and he also points out that "alphas" and "players" make poor choices as husbands, although no one writes posts vilifying that position).

True as far at it goes, but then I would tend to see the boyfriends as not being any better marriage material either. Clearly, both are going to have some problems to get over before they can be successfully married to each other or anyone else.

I don't necessarily accept "players" or "alphas" as existing as categories of person so much as of categories of behavior, but FWIW one of the things that really turns me off about the manosphere is the tacit acceptance of "player" behaviors as a model from which to draw "game" behaviors.

Darwin said...

This is after they INTENTIONALLY gave the best of themselves to someone they never planned to keep. And evangelical leaders say such women are ENTITLED to husbands, and call men names when they recognize a bad deal and just say "no".

I don't think anyone is entitled to get a husband (or entitled to get a wife) so mark me in disagreement there. On the other hand, I'm not sure I've ever really heard anyone claim that anyone is entitled to a spouse, though a few of the manosphere commenters seem to think that they're entitled to wives and that it's only because women are evil that they keep rejecting them.

The barrier to chastity is that it has to start with chaste women (which was the real point about Dalrock's 50's post exact ages aside, that in the past women's higher level of chastity resulted in more chaste men, and more desire on the part of men for marriage to end celibacy), anyone who expects a sufficient majority of men to remain chaste when women aren't isn't being realistic.

I would agree that sexuality is (biologically, not morally) higher stakes for women (in the absence of birth control especially) and thus that a sea change in societies sexual norms is not going to work without women being behind it, indeed pretty much driving it.

That said, if men go around demanding that women stop sleeping around but don't seem to put any store in not sleeping around themselves, I'm going to see that as hypocritical. Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems to me that the manosphere, with it's tacit acceptance of "players" as examples of how to get women, but it's angry denunciation of women for sexual immorality, it falling into that hypocritical camp. The more so when so far as I can tell Christianity (and thus Christian morality) is being painted as some sort of a bad guy, when to my mind it's the only way out of the mess that our society finds itself in.

Darwin said...

slwerner,

That men would be required to make amends for the harms done via their adulterous behaviors, whereas women just needed to stop sinning.

But we didn't say that.

What I was getting at was that your wife selectively (and, of course, quite purposefully) included the proscribed OT remedy of men who were caught acting promiscuously should be required to pay for, and marry the woman involved.

That was in rebuttal of a claim that there was Biblical evidence that a woman who had sinned sexually should simply never marry. Although I don't think those passages have binding force on Christians at this time (just like a lot of the rest of the OT legal code) they clearly are evidence that a woman who had sinned sexually could marry since it was ordering that a guy marry her.

Along that same line of reasoning, it seems to me that she is joining in with the more popular main-stream Churchian idea that promiscuity is more excusable in women than in men.

Well, you're wrong.

Some dude said...

This is all very well and good. But for those of us who are men, honest, and unmarried; we are not very interested in taking a chance in marrying a woman who may decide to use the apparatus of the State to dismember us. This is true if she shows any flakiness in general (focusing on her career instead of focusing solely on the skills necessary to maintain a home and support a husband), and it is definitely true if we see that she has played the "game" in the past.

Like it, or don't like it. That is the simple reality. Shame, yell, ban, condemn and argue all you like to the contrary, but we are looking very closely at what is being done to our fathers and brothers and we are not interested in having any of it.

If you want to deal with this problem, focus on getting women out of the colleges, out of the workforce, out of the bars and straight into the marital home. Make it clear HER PLACE IS IN THE HOME.

Focus on shaming women who divorce, focus on depriving divorced single mothers from State mandated aid, end no fault divorce, remove all specialized domestic violence laws, and focus on depriving single mothers of child support (that's right, I said what you think I did - if you care about the children then send them with the parent who can support them).

Do anything else, and you can kiss your civilization goodbye. Because I am letting you know, this train wreck you are headed on is NOT stopping short of hitting ALL the brakes.

As for me, I already left the country. I can see what's coming, God have mercy on you people.

tweell said...

Darwin: "I'm not clear what price you think that we think men have to pay for past sin that women don't. For both men and women, they need to stop sinning and not sin again. End of story."

"If they've had children, they need to provide for those children."

"That's it."

The problem with that, sir, is that many of the men haven't been fornicating. The bad boy players constitute maybe 20% of the single men and get 80% of the action. These men are sinners, but by and large are not of the Church. The women they toy with are fully as culpable, their souls willingly placed at risk by their actions, and there are many more women than men thus engaged.

This makes for a virtuous woman shortage. Young virtuous women are few and far between. What is available to virtuous men like my son are women who have behaved immorally for years. Now they are born-again virgins, when my son is the real thing. This is what my son is supposed to man up for.

Now, if these women indeed went forth and sinned no more, that would be wonderful. For the majority that I have seen, it has not been so. I am no saint to know whether their reconciliations were heartfelt or faked, but can only see what they do, and generally do without condemnation from the church. Soon enough, the woman has left her husband, usually after having a child or two. If he's lucky, those children may even be his! Either way, they are his to support, whether or not he is able to spend any time with them.

With that scenario, what are virtuous young men to do? They cannot count on the Church to help them, and the chances of being used and discarded are higher than they have ever been.

What can you tell despairing men like my son? That there is someone for him out there? Because simple math says that for many such as he... there won't be.

Anonymous said...

Gonna try my hand at your comments.

The ancient (and long-time) model of marriage was the woman promising her fidelity in exchange for the man's resources to support her to the exclusion of all other women.

A woman's cheating hurts the man because he doesn't know if the subsequent baby is his. A man's cheating hurts the woman because she sees him giving resources to the other woman that she believes are hers.

These are stereotypes to be sure, but this is the essential foundation of marriage that built civilization long before Christ's time.

Just because we live in modern times does not negate the essential nature of men and women that gave rise to the stereotypes in the first place. You decry the use of the saying that "women are the gatekeepers of morality" without dealing with the removal of negative consequences for opening those gates. Once upon a time there was real shame and guilt associated with single motherhood; such shame existed to keep women in line, to help women to keep their sinful nature in check. This in turn, compelled men to marry them in order to gain access to sex and procreation. Now those negative consequences are gone and society is worse off for it.

I have noticed that you impugned Kel in Dalrock's comments. I will suggest this betrays a lack of understanding of how and why male virtue is such a failing strategy among most Christian and Catholic men.

I do get that you see virtue as extremely difficult to attain and live out. That is truth. The rest is limited by your lack of first hand experience as you appear to never have been among good men for whom your ideals fail in finding them good wives.

tweell said...

Marriage now means less legally than a business contract. The Church has by and large given up judging and shaming parishoners that break that sacrament. What is left of the institution of marriage will not hold any but the most devout and faithful. Devout and faithful young women are few, and accordingly are highly valued, able to pick and choose. There simply aren't enough of them.

So, what some folks including Dalrock and Athos have suggested is to learn how to act enough like the 'players' to keep those 'experienced' women as wives. Their answer may not be the best possible, but what do you have to offer?

Anonymous said...

I am all about repentance and forgiveness for women with high partner counts. (Out of respect for your blog I won't use the usual vernacular "reformed s**t" but will use high partner count woman or "HPC woman".)

All due respect to you and the Roman Catholic Church and my own beloved United Methodists, no one in the Christian community is doing what really needs to be done to bring an HPC woman to true repentance.

With all due respect again, there is much, much more to it than "pray the prayer and stop sinning".

(Continued below)

Anonymous said...

(Cont'd from above)

1. The HPC woman must come to faith. Without it she will stay right where she is. Faith is the only thing stronger than the hamster.

2. She must immediately embrace a completely new lifestyle. She must immediately stop all sexual conduct and stay away from all the places she engaged in it. No more drinking, shoppping, drugging, etc. It might also mean she will need new friends. No dating, either. She must sustain this new lifestyle for at least one year.

3. She will sit down with one person she trusts. She gets all her issues out on the table. She confesses EVERYTHING, including all her partners, what she did and who she did it with.

4. She is instructed on the lies of feminism and gets herself immersed in her new lifestyle. She is instructed that the kind of men she dated before are not marriage material and that the kind of men who might marry her are quite different. She is instructed on pair bonding, that in her it has been severely damaged if not completely destroyed; and that she might be unable to form attraction for such men who are willing to marry her. In that case she is told she should not marry.

5. She learns to accept what she can get from a man. And "what she can get" might well be "nobody".

6. She has a head to toe exam by a board certified gynecologist including tests for all known STDs. She will be told the truth that having children will be difficult if not impossible.

Anonymous said...

And finally, with regard to the six steps above, the Church is not doing any of this. It does not teach, or exhort, or rebuke. For HPC women wanting to repent, the church simply pats them on the head, tells they to pray, says she is "reformed" and a "born again virgin", and then demands that the men line up to compete for her affections.

The Church is not "reforming" them. It is simply slapping some Kilz on her and putting her out there for work and a life she is ill-prepared for.

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with talking about repentance and forgiveness of past sexual conduct. We are all fallen people; there's a reason confession is probably the most important Catholic sacrament.

However, it is still extremely difficult at best for a man to discern whether a woman's repentance for her past lifestyle is really truly repentance and not just words to be used to fraud him into marriage. I've seen the latter behavior much more often than the former. That likely goes back to your saying that returning to true sexual virtue is hard, but I have not seen you touch on this discernment in your writings. A man who marries a "reformed" woman does so at very high risk without that discernment.

Anonymous said...

I suggest that here is how a man discerns true repentance:

1. The woman has completely changed her entire life, completely left behind her old life.

2. She is demure, modest, deferential and submissive in and out of church, in demeanor, dress, speech and conduct.

3. She does not dress provocatively.

4. She does not talk about sex except with a serious boyfriend.

5. She accepts with grace and humility that most men will probably find her unacceptable marriage material. She acknowledges that though she is forgiven, she must still bear the temporal consequences of her conduct.

6. She confesses to a serious boyfriend her true partner count. She is forthright and honest about her past to those who need to know.

Darwin said...

tweell,

The problem with that, sir, is that many of the men haven't been fornicating. The bad boy players constitute maybe 20% of the single men and get 80% of the action. These men are sinners, but by and large are not of the Church. The women they toy with are fully as culpable, their souls willingly placed at risk by their actions, and there are many more women than men thus engaged.

I could certainly believe that the hookup culture involves 20% of the single people having 80% of the sex, but outside of the minds of manosphere writers I'm really not clear that this is because some small number of "players" is having sex with huge numbers of mainstream women. High partner count men are probably mostly passing around the same high partner count women. This is backed up data that shows roughly equal percentages of men and woman who have had large numbers of sexual partners.

Evolutionarily, this is kind of odd. What you'd expect, given human biology, is to see men more focused on partner count and women more focused on fidelity, since women (being child bearers) have more to lose through losing a partner.

However, part of the problem here is that since the advent of contraception human culture has detached from human biology.

What can you tell despairing men like my son? That there is someone for him out there? Because simple math says that for many such as he... there won't be.

I agree that we live in a sick culture, in regards to which the only hope may be that it's pushing itself towards extinction through lack of reproduction.

As for advice to men in the situation of your son, my best advice would be to do what worked for me (most people can't advise better than that) which is: If you have different beliefs about marriage and sexual morality from most people around you, go find a social group that agrees with you. Go where the odds are good.

You guys are Catholic so I'd suggest: go to a very conservative Catholic college, find the nearest Theology on Tap group, attend Theology of the Body talks, consider whether a group like Opus Dei or Communion and Liberation attracts you, etc. People aren't meant to live alone, and if they don't spend time with people who share their beliefs they not only have trouble finding mates, they have trouble even keeping those beliefs in the first place.

Darwin said...

Anon,

A woman's cheating hurts the man because he doesn't know if the subsequent baby is his. A man's cheating hurts the woman because she sees him giving resources to the other woman that she believes are hers.

Evolutionarily, we're not just talking diversion of resources, but the danger of full scale abandonment. There really are pretty high dangers either way from an evolutionary point of view. The male may not be putting his work into raising children that share his genes, but then, if the male leaves the female and her offspring, she may not be able to provide for them or find another mate, and she may lose all the offspring that share her genes.

Anonymous said...

Evolutionarily, we're not just talking diversion of resources, but the danger of full scale abandonment. There really are pretty high dangers either way from an evolutionary point of view. The male may not be putting his work into raising children that share his genes, but then, if the male leaves the female and her offspring, she may not be able to provide for them or find another mate, and she may lose all the offspring that share her genes.

Which is why women used to be motivated to keep the marriage if at all possible. Remove that motivation and look what we have today... When women can extract resources on divorce, where is her motivation to stay married? It must come from within herself. But you have already acknowledged that such virtue is hard.

Anonymous said...

Darwin said:

"I'm really not clear that this is because some small number of "players" is having sex with huge numbers of mainstream women. High partner count men are probably mostly passing around the same high partner count women."

Not really. I don't think 20% of the men are sexing 80% of the women; but it's not 20% either.

I suspect it's more like 20% of the men are sexing around 50% of the women.

Cane Caldo said...

If you want to understand the position (anger) of the Manosphere, it will be useful to you to not equate sins of men and sins of women. Just as the RCC delineates mortal sins from the venial, so too some sins by women cause a separation in marriage.

A man who fornicates with a woman while on a cruise has committed a venial sin (in the sense of how much that sin will cause separation in his future marriage). A woman who does this same thing causes a mortal sin in her future marriage. The statistics bear this out: 47% of marriages to women with one or more pre-marital sexual partners end in divorce within 10 years.

Google: "The Harmful Effects of Early Sexual Activity and Multiple Sexual Partners Among Women: A Book of Charts" by The Heritage Foundation

When man commits adultery he sins against himself. When a woman does so, she sins against her husband, as well.

This is the epidemic that people like Dalrock are addressing. Unless things change, there is no marriage future out there. As you stated several times just in this post and comments--you are a subset of a subset that has some success. In the 1950s this was not the case.

The argument that because in the 1890s the relevant age was 22, therefore the sexual market place, habits, and taboos of the 1950s are not to be desired is ridiculous. 20-22 is a minor-to-moderate fluctuation--we're staring down the barrel of 30yo women getting married for the first time.

Darwin said...

Anons with Six Points,

(I'm not clear if you're the same people or different people.)

Look, I'm a conservative. I don't think we're good at setting up a one-size fits all program where all churches everywhere will know exactly how to achieve full repentance in women who have sinned. Heck, I'm just grateful when a parish actually has enough confession time scheduled that I can make it in for five minutes every month or two.

Some of what you outline is probably very much the kind of stuff that a man trying to decide whether to marry a woman with a bad sexual history would consider or look for, but expecting churches to proactive do this as some kind of a six step program to screen women and put them into the "marriageable" pool doesn't just strike me as unrealistic as a bit creepy.

jfeg said...

First of all, Darwin, I have to say that I appreciate your perspective. It is pleasant to see someone demanding the same standard of behavior from both sexes.

That said, however, I think that you are unduly hard on game in general. Game (with the exception of neghits, which are blatant manipulation disguised as playful teasing), stripped of the philosophical, quasi-scientific manosphere cultural trappings, is nothing more than a set of behaviors that have been observed to be attractive to women. It is no more morally loaded than a woman making herself up and dressing well to impress men. The reason that so many people react against it is the way it is used, not the thing in itself.

Simply put, if a man has a happy marriage (and his wife would agree that it is happy), he uses game. He learns to read his wife's moods and adjust his behaviors in response. He teases when appropriate, compliments when appropriate, shuts up and lets her talk when appropriate. He does not let her consume his mind, he does not forgo his friends or interests. Disregarding a systematic approach to learning these behaviors because some people (admittedly a huge majority) abuse the techniques is throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Darwin said...

Cane Caldo,

Well, I disagree with your assessment here. I don't think that either men or women (if they understand their interests at all) are going to appreciate being cheated on. I don't think that a man having sex outside of marriage is going to be less destructive to his relationship than a woman having sex outside of marriage.

Anonymous said...

darwin:

I'm the "Anons with 6 Points". First, it's not a "program" but a series of suggested steps to get an HPC woman out of that lifestyle, if she wants out.

I find it fascinating that you breezily dismiss workable solutions, while simultaneously telling men to "Man up!" Getting an HPC woman out of that lifestyle will take more than sitting in a confessional. She'll have to do hard work, and she'll need someone to help her.

What do you suggest? Prayer alone and saying "sorry, won't do it again" ain't going to cut it.

"Anons with 6 points"

Cane Caldo said...

"I don't think that a man having sex outside of marriage is going to be less destructive to his relationship than a woman having sex outside of marriage."

So? Do you have any reason for thinking the destruction is equal, or just habit?

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

It has just occured to me that it will be much easier for an "HPC woman" to renounce her former lifestyle completely and to build a committed marriage than it will be for Darwin to convince anyone whom this post directly addresses that it is possible for men to find an (Ahem!) "LPC woman" to marry if the men embrace an entirely new lifestyle as well.

Darwin said...

I find it fascinating that you breezily dismiss workable solutions, while simultaneously telling men to "Man up!" Getting an HPC woman out of that lifestyle will take more than sitting in a confessional. She'll have to do hard work, and she'll need someone to help her.

To my knowledge, the only sense in which I have told men to "man up" is in regards to not getting so incredibly bitter about the fact that they (like a lot of "nice girl" women who are likewise saving themselves for marriage) haven't found a spouse yet.

I agree that it takes a lot of work, not just a minute in the confessional and a prayer or two, for someone with a long history of sin to turn her (or his) life around. Like I said, virtue is a habit towards the good. Vice is the opposite. Turning away from vice and towards virtue is going to be hard.

My objection is not to practical advice and the understanding it will be hard, it is just to what feels to me like the vibe that some people want to wallow in thoughts of "all those bad women" being brought to heal.

Darwin said...

Cane Caldo,

So? Do you have any reason for thinking the destruction is equal, or just habit?

Well, as I pointed out above in the exchange about evolutionary incentives, both the male and the female have reason to fear that infidelity will lead to abandonment.

And indeed by the manosphere's own understanding of "sexual market place value" men continue to retain the ability to attract new mates far longer than women do, so arguably in an established marriage the woman's fear of abandonment would be greater than the man's.

Further, you haven't actually cited any data suggesting that male sexual sin is less destructive to marriage than female sexual sin. You just cited data on female sexual sin and then asserted that it's somehow more destructive. So since you haven't provided anything to support your claim it doesn't really impinge on me to refute it.

Anonymous said...

I am anon@3:19pm. I said:
However, it is still extremely difficult at best for a man to discern whether a woman's repentance for her past lifestyle is really truly repentance and not just words to be used to fraud him into marriage. . . . I have not seen you touch on this discernment in your writings. A man who marries a "reformed" woman does so at very high risk without that discernment.
Any response?

I realize your post is aimed at helping to find a woman with a low partner count. But given the dynamics of society, such women are much rarer than the men looking for her, hence men often give up looking and decide to marry a "reformed" woman. How is he to discern whether her repentance is genuine?

Anonymous said...

Darwin:

My proposed solution isn't about "bringing bad women to heel". It's about correction, rebuke, reproof, repentance and forgiveness. It's about forcing some women to take a good long hard look at themselves and their lives, and what they can do to improve them if they are to have any chance at marriage. Call it "tough love", if you will. Churches used to do this kind of work.

This suggestion is for women, since women are the ones who damage themselves far more extensively with premarital sex than men do. I'm not talking about sin and the spiritual ramifications. I'm talking about the medical, economic, social, psychological and sexual.

--HPC women by and large can't pair bond. They need to have this healed, and if it can't be healed, they need to know this.
--HPC women are far more likely to have STDs. They need to know this too.
--HPC women are more likely to have fertility problems.

These problems seem to be unique to HPC women and don't afflict HPC men nearly as much.

This is not about hating women. It is about facing up to the fact that the sexual revolution hurt women in different ways than it hurt women.

Darwin said...

Anon @ 3:19,

However, it is still extremely difficult at best for a man to discern whether a woman's repentance for her past lifestyle is really truly repentance and not just words to be used to fraud him into marriage. . . . I have not seen you touch on this discernment in your writings. A man who marries a "reformed" woman does so at very high risk without that discernment.
Any response?

I realize your post is aimed at helping to find a woman with a low partner count. But given the dynamics of society, such women are much rarer than the men looking for her, hence men often give up looking and decide to marry a "reformed" woman. How is he to discern whether her repentance is genuine?


Okay, first off, I'm not entirely clear that women with low partner counts are more rare than men with low partner counts. Here's a block of stats from the Kinsey Institute:
Number of Partners

Males 30-44 report an average of 6-8 female sexual partners in their lifetime (Mosher, Chandra, & Jones, 2005).
Females 30-44 report an average of 4 male sexual partners in their lifetime (Mosher, Chandra, & Jones, 2005).
3% of men have had zero sexual partners since the age of 18, 20% have had 1 partner, 21% have had 2-4 partners, 23% have had 5-10 partners, 16% have had 11-20 partners, and 17% have had 21 or more partners (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).
3% of women have had zero sexual partners since the age of 18, 31% have had 1 partner, 36% have had 2-4 partners, 20% have had 5-10 partners, 6% have had 11-20 partners, and 3% have had 21 or more partners (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).
20% of American men and 31% of American women have had one sex partner in their lifetime (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).
56% of American men and 30% of American women have had 5 or more sex partners in their lifetime (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).

source

That said, I can believe that it's a problem a lot of guys find themselves trying to think through. I don't know if I'm the best person to turn to in this regard, as it's not a problem I had to deal with, but what I would advise looking at is pretty much what I laid out in my last section:
- How long has stuck to her new convictions?
- How much does she seem to have changed her life since then, does she seem to still be attached to it or to have truly formed new moral habits?
- How strongly does she seem to share your moral beliefs and how committed is she to those beliefs in that and other aspects of her life?

It that still doesn't sound easy, I'd say that's probably because it's not easy. Sin is tough to beat, and yet that's what we're here to try to do.

On the other hand, what should help is: A guy doesn't have to deal with "women", he has to deal with one particular woman. If he's thinking of marrying her, hopefully he knows her really, really well. (Otherwise, he shouldn't be thinking of marrying her.) So if there's anyone who can answer the question, hopefully it's him.

Anonymous said...

Enbreth:

Those LPC women by and large don't want men who want them. I tried for years to date girls from my church youth group. They didn't want me. They said hi to me as they walked off with the football team captain or the Harley rider or the leather jacketed long hairs.

slwerner said...

DarwinCatholic - "And indeed by the manosphere's own understanding of "sexual market place value" men continue to retain the ability to attract new mates far longer than women do, so arguably in an established marriage the woman's fear of abandonment would be greater than the man's."

And yet, the reality (well, the reality outside of your cloistered existence anyway) is that woman initiate the majority of all divorces, and over-whelming for (stated) reasons other than infidelity (their own or their husbands).

What you seem to be missing is that women are no longer operating on long-term logic-based models for their best possible relationship/lifestyle outcomes, but rather, with the encouragement of the culture and the support of the church, thinking mostly/only about their more immediate "happiness" and quick solutions to their supposed unhappiness (the frivolous divorce that Dalrock frequently addresses).

Anonymous said...

Anon at 5:27 pm:

here is what I would suggest to determine whether a woman has truly repented:

1. The woman has completely left behind her old life.

2. She is demure, modest, deferential and submissive in and out of church, in demeanor, dress, speech and conduct.

3. She does not dress provocatively.

4. She does not talk about sex except with a serious boyfriend.

5. She accepts with grace and humility that most men will probably find her unacceptable marriage material. She acknowledges that though she is forgiven, she must still bear the temporal consequences of her conduct.

6. She confesses to a serious boyfriend her true partner count. She is forthright and honest about her past to those who need to know.

slwerner said...

DarwininCatholic - "Here's a block of stats from the Kinsey Institute"

Seriously!?!?

A devout Catholic using nearly two decade-old stats from the Kinsey Institute (of all debauched place)!

How "progressive" of you.

I mistook you for a more conservative type. I didn't kn ow you had a bit of the left-wing liberal Kinsey-quoting sexual-libertine in you. I am suprised.

Clare said...

Darwin, you are a beacon of common sense.

I suspect the real anger directed at you stems from the fact that you are happily married and know how to relate to women.

I will never bother engaging in the manosphere; there doesn't seem to be much there besides "haw haw, dumb wimmen" and "shame on you, slutty mcsluts." Expressed much with much more bitterness, of course.

Also, News flash. Sexual immorality damagages men every bit as much as women. If the damage is more obvious with women, that is possibly because women tend to engage with real partners rather than the plastic and pixelated.

Clare said...

Sorry for the typos. There was a small child crawling up my arm as I wrote that--despite the stench of feminism I surely reek of.

rhinemouse said...

My advice to these persecuted men who can't get dates:

(1) Ditch the virgin/whore complex. Most of us women want to be loved for our entire selves, not just because we're fertile, submissive virgins. (Do you want a wife who considers you simply a sperm-donor who will give her a house to live in? No? Then don't act like that yourself.)

(2) Ditch the entitlement complex. Rejection hurts. Being ignored hurts. (I am 28 years old and single despite wishing very much to be married, so believe me, I know whereof I speak.) But the bitter, honest truth is that you are not owed a spouse. Nobody in the world has an obligation to date you, much less marry you.

(3) Ditch the bitterness and self-pity. As I said--I know about being single when you don't want to be. So I know all about the temptation to wallow in bitterness and self-pity. But wallowing doesn't just make you more unhappy, it makes you unpleasant to be around. It's deeply unattractive. I don't want to marry a man who's spent years seething with resentment over all the selfish harridans who turned him down. I want a man who decided to face the pain of singleness with courage and good cheer, and who's made the best he can of his life despite whatever difficulties came his way. That's one reason that I try very hard to avoid bitterness myself--because I want to be the kind of woman that would attract the kind of man I want to marry.

Darwin said...

slwerner,

Seriously!?!?

A devout Catholic using nearly two decade-old stats from the Kinsey Institute (of all debauched place)!

How "progressive" of you.

I mistook you for a more conservative type. I didn't kn ow you had a bit of the left-wing liberal Kinsey-quoting sexual-libertine in you. I am suprised.


Data is data. I often link to data collected by the Guttmacher Institute, despite the fact that they're the research arm of Murder, Inc. (Planned Parenthood). Certainly, one would have to look very closely at what conclusion they derive from that data, but well collected data is just information.

And what, anyway, is your contention? That the Kinsey Institute falsified their data to make it look like people are actually less promiscuous than they are? Really? If anything I would think it would be the opposite. If their goal is to normalize promiscuity they would make it look like it was more common, not less common. But what we see here is that promiscuity is not necessarily as prevalent as the manosphere imagines, and that women do not tend to sleep around more than men. This certainly doesn't make them angels. The data there unquestionably shows a collapse of sexual morality on the part of both women and men. But it doesn't seem to fit the story that a lot of people imagine to be the case.

Cane Caldo said...

http://socialpathology.blogspot.com/2010/09/2002-male-and-female-statistical-data.html

Data, as asked. Not that you should need it. Living in a subset of a subset aside: surely you work and read of the regular world now and then. When a woman moves on, she moves on, and will usually move on again until she is too old to reliably do so.

sciencegirl said...

Sounds like there at least two problems here faced by two different kinds of men.

Problem 1: the LPC man who wants an LPC woman but has trouble finding one to marry.

Problem 2: The HPC man who wants an LPC woman because he is (rationally) scared of disease and divorce, but keeps sleeping with HPC women because they are easy to bed.

I have a lot more sympathy for men who face Problem 1. I recommend trying to find women who are like you, not just in morals, but in interests. The only "manosphere" blog I've ever read is Athol Kay's, and I think he gives good advice to young men on how to be a fun date or fun husband. Try not to take things too personally if you get turned down; you don't know if the woman had other reasons for not wanting to date you than "EW!!! RUN!!!" I've been hit on sometimes at church events by men I was attracted to, but I didn't want to go out with them because I was only in that town/state/country for 1 month.

As for men facing Problem 2, I have to say...um...yikes.

I'll also throw in there that a man with an STD can sterilize or kill his virginal wife.

Cane Caldo said...

Not sure if I'm one of the angry men o' the Manosphere or not, but I'm not worried about me. I'm worried about that small child crawling on Clare's arm.

I think, for Catholics, you have severely underestimated your foe. The enclave will not hold.

Brandon said...

Not sure if I'm one of the angry men o' the Manosphere or not, but I'm not worried about me. I'm worried about that small child crawling on Clare's arm.

I think, for Catholics, you have severely underestimated your foe. The enclave will not hold.


I was wondering when someone was going to start claiming to do it for the children.

As for the underestimating of foes, that would be our business, of course; but part of the point is that we aren't selecting one foe out of many and pretending that it and it alone is capable of being the Great Nemesis. There are many foes, and the easiest and most fatal way to underestimate them is to become so fixated on one that you start behaving as if the others didn't matter much. And, in any case, as you yourself noted in a previous comment, there's a lot of anger in the Manosphere, and people acting out of anger cannot trust their own judgement when it comes to estimating their enemies, particularly, as always comes through in these kinds of thread, when it leads men to place an intensive emotional and mental investment in a very simple picture as being the only possible one. You think we underestimate your foe; one of the things we think at least large parts of the Manosphere are doing is encouraging men to live without magnanimity and to lash out without justice and, frankly, to whimper in corners about how badly treated they are, as if they alone of all men have never faced challenges, and as if they alone of all men have been expected by others to rise above them, and as if the hardship of this present age is so egregious a burden that it can be used as an excuse for anything. What is the good of people claiming to stand for men if they leave them not men but characters in a melodrama? Better to be overwhelmed by foes than to be such wet noodles.

slwerner said...

DarwinCatholic - ”And what, anyway, is your contention? That the Kinsey Institute falsified their data to make it look like people are actually lesspromiscuous than they are?"

I did not claim any such thing, nor did I intend to. My quick response was about my surprise at seeing you cite the Kinsey Institute – period. As I recall, those in Christian circles have been discrediting Kinsey’s methodologies for decades now. Thus, you use of data from the Kinsey Institute was, to say the least, quite curious.

But, my earlier reply was one made in haste, as I had other things to attend to. So, by all means, lets do take a look at that data you chose, starting with the more recent, and thus more likely to be reflective of the current situation.

”Males 30-44 report an average of 6-8 female sexual partners in their lifetime (Mosher, Chandra, & Jones, 2005).
Females 30-44 report an average of 4 male sexual partners in their lifetime (Mosher, Chandra, & Jones, 2005).”


Studies which (seem) to indicate that women have fewer sexual partners than do men are somewhat common. But, anyone with an understanding of math can easily know that they must be inaccurate, since the claimed large discrepancy in partner counts by gender are a virtual (mathematical) impossibility. Every time a man has a new female partner, so does a woman (this is simple logic); thus, when aggregated, partner counts by gender would average out to the same value.

Now, of course, the study you chose to use does limit it age range, but it would be very difficult to explain how that alone could account for the nearly double the difference (how does a reliable study come up with a 6-8 value anyway? Wouldn’t they just say 7?). The real explanation is that people lie about partner counts on such surveys. Men tend to inflate – a bit, and women tend to cut their stated number to typically half of their actual number. So, the fact that a study comes up with suchg disparate partner counts by gender would seem to render that data as unreliable.

And really, an average of 7 for men (and likely the same for women) doesn’t strike you as promiscuous?

And, what are we to make of the data published in 1994?

Even that data appears to indicate that back then, people were at least somewhat promiscuous. Are you suggesting that young people today have become less promiscuous?

I guess I’d have to answer your snarky question with one of my own: “And what, anyway, is your contention? That an average of 7 sexual partners is what God intends?

Clare said...

His contention, as he has said several times, is that promiscuity is not simply a female problem.

“And what, anyway, is your contention? That an average of 7 sexual partners is what God intends?"

Seriously? He's said five or six times now that the answer is not having sex--any sex--outside of marriage.


After virtue, we get numbers games and acronyms, apparently.

slwerner said...

Clare - "After virtue, we get numbers games and acronyms, apparently."

Um, DC posted the data, citing the Kinsey Institute - which I found a rather odd thing for him to have done.

Then, he suggests that I was challenging the data as being falsified to indicate lower rates of sexual partnering than what actually exist. He was of course, being snarky.

But, a closer look at the data he chose also indicated quite a bit of the promiscuity he seemed to be claiming that it refuted. So, I was just snarking back that his data actually indicated relatively promiscuous behaviors, on average; contrary to his seeming claims otherwise.

Do you seriously not see the irony of a devout man who advises no sex outside of marriage and (more or less absolute) monogamy suggesting that a partner count of somewhere around 7 didn't strike him as indicating promiscuity?

And, for the record, I certainly am not suggesting that male promiscuity isn't a problem. There is way too much of that too, IMHO.

Cane Caldo said...

Brandon, despite your cynicism there are things worth doing for the future and its occupants.

The rest of your comment was a gross misrepresentation of the serious writers in the manosphere*. Do blogs like Dlarock's attract misogynists commentators like a Roman Catholic seminary does homosexuals? Sure, but there's still some godly work from those places, too.

*A term I dislike, but it's more useful to keep to the terms everyone understands.

Darwin said...

Cane Caldo,

Data, as asked. Not that you should need it. Living in a subset of a subset aside: surely you work and read of the regular world now and then. When a woman moves on, she moves on, and will usually move on again until she is too old to reliably do so.

Yes, I work entirely in the secular work, and I read secular newspapers and journals all the time as well, but these too do not tend to bear out for me the patterns that the manosphere describes. They make it sound much more like men and women have similar patterns of promiscuity and serial monogamy -- not that women are getting all the action with a small number of "alphas" while large numbers of men are left totally out in the cold.

I looked through Social Pathologists post you linked to, but I don't think it really proves anything either way on whether male infidelity is less damaging to relationships than female infidelity. As he admits, he doesn't have data on whether these marriages last or how long they last. It's also not controlled for age.

It's possible that men with bad sexual histories (of some definition) are less likely to get divorced by some percentage than women with bad sexual histories, but this data doesn't show it. And even if it did, that wouldn't show that adultery is less wrong for men or that a man who commits adultery is only sinning against himself not his wife.

Darwin said...

slwerner,

I did not claim any such thing, nor did I intend to. My quick response was about my surprise at seeing you cite the Kinsey Institute – period. As I recall, those in Christian circles have been discrediting Kinsey’s methodologies for decades now. Thus, you use of data from the Kinsey Institute was, to say the least, quite curious.

To be clear, the Kinsey Institute these days is just an academic research institute dedicated to studying sexuality. What I'm citing is not based on Kinsey's research. (He's been dead for some time.) I'm sure that I disagree strongly on morality with everyone who works there, but academic standards for research surveys are fairly rigorous, and of the various studies I found on the number of partners that people have by gender, that was one of the more complete data dumps.

Studies which (seem) to indicate that women have fewer sexual partners than do men are somewhat common. But, anyone with an understanding of math can easily know that they must be inaccurate, since the claimed large discrepancy in partner counts by gender are a virtual (mathematical) impossibility. Every time a man has a new female partner, so does a woman (this is simple logic); thus, when aggregated, partner counts by gender would average out to the same value.

First off, it wouldn't surprise me if you're writing off the age effect too quickly. Men in the 35-44 range are generally going to find it easier to keep circulating than women in that age range, given what the mainstream culture finds attractive in each sex.

Also, studies tend to trim outliers.

You're right, of course, that such studies are only as accurate as the answers people give. I don't know if we can necessarily know that the patterns you suggest apply, though.

And really, an average of 7 for men (and likely the same for women) doesn’t strike you as promiscuous?

Fairly promiscuous, yes.

And, what are we to make of the data published in 1994?

Even that data appears to indicate that back then, people were at least somewhat promiscuous. Are you suggesting that young people today have become less promiscuous?


But here's the thing, you argued, as I recall, that most men have low partner counts while most women have high partner counts, because those women are all getting handed around by a small number of "alpha" males with insanely high parter counts. The 1994 data does not seem to suggest that sort of thing. I suppose one could theorize that the hookup culture was only sprung up since that time, but having been in high school in 1994 that is not my recollection of how things appeared, though I can certainly believe that things have got worse since then.

However, the strong trend suggested by that data (until we find something more recent that contradicts it) is that there are fewer woman with extremely high partner counts than men -- or even accounting for lying, not more.

Cane Caldo said...

However, the strong trend suggested by that data (until we find something more recent that contradicts it) is that there are fewer woman with extremely high partner counts than men -- or even accounting for lying, not more.

There's got to be some confusion here, because your quote above makes the case that that the 20% are getting the 80%. How can you not see that? This is the crux of the hypergamy/serial monogamy case! It's high-count men passing around the lion's share of the women; and these women are fine with this as long as they perceive that they are in a "stable relationship".

So, what that would look like is 80% of women with 5-10 partners (all "alphas"; with 5-10 being low compared to their 20+).

Meanwhile, the other men 80% of men are completely shut out of the sexual market until, after encounter 7, the woman decides she wants to settle down.

This isn't hard to understand--and you can make the case that Brandon did that this suffering is but one of many--but it seems to me that this one is the marital Black Plague of our times.

slwerner said...

DarwinCatholic - "But here's the thing, you argued, as I recall, that most men have low partner counts while most women have high partner counts"

Where did I ever state that?

Now, if one limits the demographic to younger ages, say 25 and under, then one is likely to find more male virgins than female, and more males with low partner counts than female - as this is the time when the 20% or so that are Natural alpha males will have more "opportunity" with a wider variety of woman (guestimates have ranged from around 50% of women to 80%).

What you likely have, that is not discernable from the aggregated stats, is that a number of women will have one or two of a few select men as common sex partners. Some men are far more promiscuous than most other men, but their promiscuity is simply likely to be spread over a larger number of women (many with relatively low counts), rather than just limited to the more promiscuous women. In a round-about way, what I’m suggesting here is that multiple young women are likely to the same guy as one of their “mistakes” (or what ever they call falling for and getting pumped-n-dumped by an alpha cad). I would imagine that quite a few people will have observed this sort of phenomena in their own experience.

It’s also likely true that multiple young men will have common sexual experience with girls who are, shall we say, the “town bike”.

I would guess that there are more young men with rather high partner counts than there are young women. But, I would not hazard a guess to actual prevalence promiscuous women to promiscuous men, as what constitutes promiscuity is up to individual interpretations.

All of which has basically zero to do with the real problem of the main-line churches abdication of their responsibility to properly train up young women as they seek to do with young men (like Glenn Stanton suggests that young women do not need to be trained).

Brandon said...

The rest of your comment was a gross misrepresentation of the serious writers in the manosphere

I find the careful ambiguity here interesting, and the attempt to shift it from "at least large parts of the Manosphere," which is what I said, to "the serious writers in the manosphere" somewhat amusing. If your point is merely that there are writers in the bunch who restrain themselves from making wild generalizations on little information, don't descend into bombastic nonsense, actually give good advice to others without trying to coat it with snake-oil jargon, and don't actively promote the mutilation of conscience, I actually agree that they exist. If you mean people like Dalrock, whose distinction is simply to be less drama-queen-ish than the more drama-queen-ish portions, then the only thing I can say is that I am as cynical about the quality of your judgment as I am about people who claim that the sort of armchair sociologizing and melodramatic hyperbole and distortion bandied about by people like Dalrock are matters of Real Consequence to Civilization.

As to the seminary example, it would be a sign of stupidity to expect godly work to come out of corrupt seminaries except as extraordinary providence, which it is wrong to presume upon; and for the same reason it would be a sign of stupidity to expect "godly work" or anything analogous to come out of swarms of nonsense and misogyny. If one wants the good result, one works to clean up the corruption, not whitewash it or hide it; it's only where the corruption is clearly rooted out that good can be expected to come. What you are advocating is the sort of irrational quietism that has done nothing but harm Catholics; I genuinely fail to see an argument that the same irrational quietism will produce good for men in general, or, in short, be anything but an absolute disaster for everyone if not checked.

I'm as much a believer in working for the future as anyone; but such work starts with improving one's character by greater restraint and better company, not worsening it. If you're attempting that, you're defending the wrong crowd. And if there are any who claim to be working for the future and the children of tomorrow while they do not work to improve their moral character and honor, and those of the people around them, today, I have no qualms about calling them liars to their faces.

Darwin said...

slwerne & Cane Caldo,

Okay, I apologize if I've been mixing up who has been making which argument, as I've been arguing with a lot of people I haven't run into before. However, now that all three of us are arguing the same set stats, let's step through this and see if it fits the narrative you guys seem to both agree with (the idea that 50-80% of women have a been passed around by a small number of alphas while most men are left on the sidelines to a considerable extent):

Again, the data I quoted was:

3% of men have had zero sexual partners since the age of 18, 20% have had 1 partner, 21% have had 2-4 partners, 23% have had 5-10 partners, 16% have had 11-20 partners, and 17% have had 21 or more partners (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).
3% of women have had zero sexual partners since the age of 18, 31% have had 1 partner, 36% have had 2-4 partners, 20% have had 5-10 partners, 6% have had 11-20 partners, and 3% have had 21 or more partners (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).


So, 17% of men have had 21 or more partners, but only 3% of women have. That could fit your narrative.

Next we have the 11-20 partner bucket. 6% of women fall in here and 16% of men do. This seems not to fit quite so well, because we now have 33% of men reporting having had 11 or more partners but only 9% of women doing so.

Now the 5-10 partner bucket. This includes 23% of men and 20% of women. I would consider 5-10 to be fairly promiscuous, and in the 5+ total we now have 29% of women covered and 56% of men.

Now we get to 2-4 partners, which includes 21% of men and 36% of women. People claiming 2+ parters includes 65% of women and 77% of men, so clearly a solid majority of women have slept around at least a bit. At the same time, what I'm not seeing is some huge number of guys who have been left on the sidelines while women are all sleeping with 2-3 alphas and then "settling" for a beta. On the contrary, the best explanation I can see for this data is that a lot of guys manage to get in one or two "extra" flings with the very small number of incredibly promiscuous women, while a lot of women seem to fall into the category of just having had a couple of mid to long term boyfriends.

Finally, the number of women who only report ever having slept with one guy is 50% larger than the number of men who report having only ever slept with one woman. We could theorize that a lot of the 31% of women claiming only one partner slept with a promiscuous jerk (alternatively, some portion of them could be married women who only ever slept with their husbands), but on the other hand it could well be that 20% of men reporting only one partner landed some highly traveled party girl.

At the very least, the data doesn't seem to conclusively support a view that there are a bunch of fairly innocent guys out there trying to figure out what to do when the only women they can find have very high partner counts. In general, it would appear that men with high partner counts outnumber women with high partner counts pretty solidly.

Cane Caldo said...

And yet we find that extraordinary providence is all around us--the entire world being one corrupt seminary.

Took a look at your blog. It's interesting to note that you can find at least some understanding and some learning from someone like Casanova (how 'bout them eleven year olds!) but Dalrock is just useless. Shall I qualify myself to you? If we were to meet face-to-face, would you know whether or not I worked to improve my moral character and honor, and thereby validate my views? Boy you'd be in a pickle, then! You'd have to change your worldview...or just crawdad out; mumbling a load of multisyllabic gobbledygook.

Because that's all your bloviations amount to: that you know the score on who is moral enough to comment on the goings-ons of the dating/marriage pool. My suspicion is that you don't have a clue what's going on out there; that you have no concern for a lot of these men and women and the hell they are putting themselves through. Yes, they are turning to porn. Yes, they are choosing bad relationships. You're like the man who says "Of course they're poor, they live in the slums. If they had any sense they'd move." You've got something there, and it's not charity.

And none of what you wrote is an argument against the idea that way too many folks who call themselves traditional, or conservative, or Christian are actually feeding the flames of Hell by not calling women to the carpet because of the idea that serial monogamy is somehow less sinful (or less sins, at any rate) than living the life of a cad*. Why wouldn't the opposite be true? Players, even the good ones, generally spend more nights alone than the serial monogamist.

This is the argument Dalrock has made: that one is just as foolish and just as destructive as the other. The only difference is that within society and the Church there is the idea that girls merely get caught up in living in sin and making bad decisions. We're saying they're the same.

*Incidentally, proof of this exists in the prohibition against the word "slut", but not in the the word "cad".

slwerner said...

DarwinCatholic - ”In general, it would appear that men with high partner counts outnumber women with high partner counts pretty solidly.”

Perhaps. Or perhaps not.

Women tend to lie quite a bit more about their partner counts than do men (often halving their “number”); but men also tend to inflate their number.

Their was some research done (I used to have the citation, but will have to look it up again) wherein both men and women were asked to reveal their number, then they were asked again, with an indication that they would be hooked up to a polygraph. I don’t remember the exact results, but the average male number dropped about 10%, but the average female number increased by over 50%.

Both of these, um, inconsistencies are likely skewing the results.

Other research seems to indicate that women tend to discount more sexual activity while men tend to include basically everything. This also is likely acting to skew the numbers.

But this is, literally, simply academic.

When I stated earlier that all of this had nothing to do with what is occurring in main-line churches amongst young people, well, I was wrong.

The fact is that churches do spend significant effort in training up young men – specifically training them to repress their sexual desires, and how they believe women wish for young men to behave.

Surely you must have learned something from a number of the men you argued with at Dalrock’s?

Their experience, across denominations, Catholic and Protestant alike, was mirrored by my own (in a Pentecostal churches youth group). We guys were berated about out sexuality, and taught to suppress our oh-so-threatening-to-the-young-lady’s masculinity.

But, the girls were assumed to be free of sexuality, and therefore received no such instruction.

It was assumed that ALL sexual activity came solely as a matter of young men pressuring young women.

But, as with all those other guys, the reality I observed was that us “nice guys” could never get beyond being “friends” with the girls. But the girls, especially the more attractive ones, simply went outside the youth group, and brought in a collection of alpha-type boyfriends (with whom it was plainly obvious that they were sexually involved).

And, in my case, this was the late 70’s. It most certainly has not gotten any better.

The point is that while in the over-all population promiscuity may be skewed towards males, in the subset of church youth groups, it is quite the opposite. A large number of the girls having sex (typically with non-Christians) and far more male virgins than female ones.

But, I think you already know this to be true. You just don’t like to face that uncomfortable reality. Much like the Churchians, you are simply more comfortable with the old meme of man=bad, woman=good, and thus would prefer to believe that young men in churches are just, as if not more, promiscuous than the young women.

Thus, it suit you well to try to obfuscate by bringing population wide stats.


It’s highly misleading, but more comfortable than admitting the abject failure of churches to properly train up young women as they seek to do young men. Like that Glenn Stanton clown, it’s just assumed that young women will be naturally chaste (needing only to be protected from the predatory young men of the church). And the denial of young women as aggressively sexual agents continues unabated throughout churchianity.

And, now it seems the Traditionalists are also loath to call out the hypocrisy, and establish themselves as separate and distinct.

Cane Caldo said...

DC, yes, I agree. Thanks for stepping through that, seriously.

There's a few things to keep in mind.

1) Women tend to suppress the numbers of their sexual history.

2) Men tend to exaggerate them, but not as much as

3) Men who one time hooked up with a woman who was feeling particularly vulnerable one night and used him for validation* should not be removed from the group I'm arguing are effectively locked out of the sexual market place. It will happen that the losers "get lucky,"** and still remain losers.

4) Geography seems to play a role in this, too. In Texas everyone is Christian; so it's hard to separate un-Christian behavior from Christian. I gather that in California and New England being an outspoken Christian is more conspicuous; which in some ways makes it easier to remain different because they already are. That's not an argument for giving us Southerners a pass--it's more to our shame. Nonetheless, the message is very conflicting to our teenagers. Everyone is Christian, yet the overall behavior is the same. The harvest of such a field is desperation.

*Yes, he's taking advantage for sex. This is wrong.

**No, it's not really lucky.

Cane Caldo said...

Now we get to 2-4 partners, which includes 21% of men and 36% of women. People claiming 2+ parters includes 65% of women and 77% of men, so clearly a solid majority of women have slept around at least a bit. At the same time, what I'm not seeing is some huge number of guys who have been left on the sidelines while women are all sleeping with 2-3 alphas and then "settling" for a beta.

Even if we accept that there is relative parity, were beyond the point of the magic 1 non-marital partner for the woman that increases the chance of divorce to 46%.

What that leads me to believe is that if every single man visited a house of ill-repute 5 times before marriage, but every woman was a virgin, the divorce rate would drop 30-40%.

As slwerner said: the experience of men who come from relatively decent families (compared to most the world, not extraordinary subsets of subsets) is that men are told--rightfully--to suppress their sexual appetite until marriage. Women are told not to give in to predatory men. This is a setup for massive failure.

1) The serpent came to Eve because Eve is really bad at guessing who is predatory! This serpent (society, media, etc.) says "Oh sure, you're good...but you could be better if you were sexier...more experienced...more loved.

2) Even the "good" boys are left defenseless when the girl is the one in pursuit. "Well, she's good, and she says it's okay..." Classic Adam move.

Bill E. said...

Rock on, Darwin. I completely agree.

Anthony said...

Cane Caldo, and Darwin - what I've seen, looking mostly at college-educated secular circles, is that most men and women have a series of longish-term sexual relationships, starting some time in college, until eventually, they end up married. (And sometimes then, the series doesn't stop - they divorce, then get into another long-term relationship, which may end up as a marriage, etc. But among the college-educated, that's much less common now than it was 20 years ago.)

In between long-term relationships, some people have flings. (Some people don't - if something works out enough that they end up in bed, that starts another long-term relationship.) It's my strong suspicion that if you ask a woman about her partner count, and she doesn't have a strong enough connection to you to be completely honest, she will only count the long-term relationships, while a man similarly-situated will count all the flings, and possibly some where the sex was less than Clintonian.

I also think, that for the average (non-player) unattached person, if a date or series of dates ends up with sex, there's an inertia which makes it quite likely that the result will be a long-term relationship, unless one of the partners is *visibly* a bad choice for a long-term relationship.

Here's where things get unequal: a player-type man is more likely to end up having a fling with a non-promiscuous woman than is a promiscuous woman to have a fling with a non-player man. The player is less likely to consciously avoid a woman who would really prefer a long-term relationship with a suitable partner, while the promiscuous woman looking for a fling is likely to prefer the player to a man who wants a long-term relationship.

Random Female Atheist said...

Oh delicious schadenfreude, what a pleasure that was to read, you completely demolished Dalrock's argument. Now if only you had the time to pown all of his other ridiculous and self-serving theories; perhaps could you do it as a public service?

Pechorin said...

Your post is on the whole reasonable, but your entire exchange with Dalrock was, coming from a man of evident intelligence, less enlightening than might be hoped. Dalrock probably jumped the gun in attacking a position that was not unreasonable in itself, but merely failed to emphasize something he regards as important. You responded, naturally, by looking for weaknesses in his position to attack. It is unsurprising that you found some, but it would have been better if you had spent the time to see where he is ultimately coming from, so as to learn important truths, rather than to refute insignificant errors. Beginning an engagement in a polemical mode generally excludes learning, although Dalrock may be at fault in this instance

Concerning age at marriage and divorce, the two of you are talking past each other. Of course divorce is the result of many factors, and age at marriage is completely unable to singlehandedly explain the divorce rate. However, in the context of an even slightly sexually permissive society, an increased age of marriage means more years of dating and fornicating, which contributes to a harmful shift in social norms. By refuting the strawman "late marriage causes divorce and that's the whole story" thesis, you missed a chance to learn from the more interesting "late marriage is part of a multifaceted, entangled, and mutually reinforcing complex of societal shifts that has formed the practises and norms concerning sex and marriage in our contemporary society" thesis. Dalrock was emphasizing, at perhaps excessive length, the "mutually reinforcing" bit.

You point out that the average age at marriage has been high in the past. While true, this in no way refutes the dynamics of the process Dalrock identified. Dalrock suggested that a transition (in sexual behavior) occurred in a certain way (along with and reinforced by a transition in average age of marriage) IN ONE SPECIFIC CASE. He did not claim that late marriage leads to divorce in all places at all times. While generalizing your opponent's thesis beyond what he claimed in order to refute it is a fine debating trick, it does not lead to understanding or to truth, but merely to polemic.

Kathy Farrelly said...

You have the courage of your convictions, Darwin.

Dalrock has, I am afraid let blogging go to his head.

Is he a Christian? I am not so sure. More a crowd pleaser.

He has let pass some vile comments from men on his blog, unchallenged.

Unfortunately he is a hypocrite who likes to take a comment and twist it out of context to stir trouble and encourage blog traffic.

I really have no idea what he stands for because he just lets the rabid male commenters say what they will without taking them to task. Don't know how many times Greyghost has said that women cannot love..( a serious accusation) Not a peep from Dalrock.

If only he would be honest about his bias.

He wants to have it both ways.

Have no respect for fence sitters

Darwin said...

Cane Caldo,

And none of what you wrote is an argument against the idea that way too many folks who call themselves traditional, or conservative, or Christian are actually feeding the flames of Hell by not calling women to the carpet because of the idea that serial monogamy is somehow less sinful (or less sins, at any rate) than living the life of a cad*. Why wouldn't the opposite be true?

It's very hard to argue with this oft repeated contention that Christians are fine with women sleeping around in semi-stable relationships, but come down hard on men who are promiscuous, because it's a contention which can't really be proved one way or another to anyone's satisfaction. You folks say that Christians do this all the time. I saw that I have never seen a Christian argue that fornication lived as "serial monogamy" is okay. Since we're both talking about our impressions, there's ability to counter each other. The most I can do is point to my Church's actual doctrine. and point out that it clearly states that fornication and adultery (of which divorce and remarriage is a subset) are wrong always, absolutely and for both men and women.

Darwin said...

slwerner,

Women tend to lie quite a bit more about their partner counts than do men (often halving their “number”); but men also tend to inflate their number.

That seems quite possible, but if we use it to start adjusting the data one way or another it allows someone to just make up whatever data he wants, and at that point, why have data at all? If we take that as a major factor, we have to just throw up our hands and say, "We don't know."

Surely you must have learned something from a number of the men you argued with at Dalrock’s?

Their experience, across denominations, Catholic and Protestant alike, was mirrored by my own (in a Pentecostal churches youth group). We guys were berated about out sexuality, and taught to suppress our oh-so-threatening-to-the-young-lady’s masculinity.

But, the girls were assumed to be free of sexuality, and therefore received no such instruction.

It was assumed that ALL sexual activity came solely as a matter of young men pressuring young women.

But, as with all those other guys, the reality I observed was that us “nice guys” could never get beyond being “friends” with the girls. But the girls, especially the more attractive ones, simply went outside the youth group, and brought in a collection of alpha-type boyfriends (with whom it was plainly obvious that they were sexually involved).


I heard a lot of this claimed, but this is simply not my experience among serious Catholics (whether traditional, charismatic, or just plain faithful Catholic.)

Yes, I'm used to the fact that in a large congregation, there are a lot of people who aren't living their faith seriously. That's human nature for you, and a good church will be working hard to bring those people to real seriousness one person at a time. But the battle against the world is never won permanently this side of the eschaton.

What does really bother me about all the anger against Christianity and church's over at Dalrock's place is that, to my mind, this is a case of the sick patient deciding he hates hospitals. There is, quite simply, no cure for the problems you guys say you're worried about other than both women and men following sound Christian moral teaching on sex and marriage. And yet, there seems to be nothing but hostility towards Christianity and Christian moral doctrine. From what you guys are saying, maybe my initial read was wrong, but my impression reading the posts and comments was that I was dealing with a bunch of bitter ex-Christians who rejected Christian teaching as false and unhelpful. I may well have been wrong on that. But it is at a minimum worrying that it's so easy to get that impression.

Darwin said...

The point is that while in the over-all population promiscuity may be skewed towards males, in the subset of church youth groups, it is quite the opposite. A large number of the girls having sex (typically with non-Christians) and far more male virgins than female ones.

Well, we don't really have any data on this. You say it fits your experience. I say that it is totally contrary to my experience. Dalrock's crowd says this is common. If I put the question out there on one of the big conservative Catholic blogs, I would get the vast majority of men and women saying it's not common.

Given that arguing over these impressions is impossible, the best advice I can give is what I gave in my post: Go where people really do share your beliefs about marriage and sexuality. Seek out a like minded community, and look for a spouse there. Don't keep looking in the wrong places and then railing against all women as horrible and unprincipled. Getting bitter won't help.

During high school I didn't know any girls in my parish's youth group who fully shared my beliefs and who were also actually interesting to talk to. As a result, I didn't date. That's also why I intentionally sought out a college where I know most people would be congenial, which is where I met my wife. If I hadn't met the right woman to marry at college, I would be doing what my single guy friends do now: making sure that I spend a lot of time in circles of people who share my deepest beliefs. Really share them. If the initial set of people you run into in your church don't share them, then find a new set.

Darwin said...

Cane Caldo,

What that leads me to believe is that if every single man visited a house of ill-repute 5 times before marriage, but every woman was a virgin, the divorce rate would drop 30-40%.

I don't think we have any clear evidence on what our current society would look like if that sort of change could somehow be magically made overnight. That is, certainly, what a lot of more traditional "patriarchal" societies are like. However, I think it would still be a very, very defective situation. One of the books I'm reading at the moment is Anna Karenina, and your description as regards relative male and female chastity before marriage applied very much to Tolstoy's Russia in the upper classes. (And as the book details, this didn't necessarily lead to female fidelity after marriage, although social norms didn't permit divorce.) It doesn't come off sounding like any kind of paradise to me. Not that the modern world is either, but I don't think that replacing one evil with another evil is a positive good.

Anonymous said...

I am a woman who was married at age 27. My husband (who was 28 when we married) and I are each other's only partners, and are very happily married. I realize that Dalrock is writing on behalf of men, but trust me, women also face the HPC reality. And also the reality of being dumped by men or cheated on by men because we won't sleep with them. These same men say they want a chaste woman, but do not hold themselves to the same standard. So I am unclear why there seems to be such bitterness and enmity in Dalrock's tone about women -- clearly, people who want a solid marriage with another chaste person are on the same "team." So why all the woman-bashing, when it seems that it should really be "promiscuous people" bashing? Incidentally, my husband and I are not Catholic, but we are definitely in a similar subculture as the Darwins: people who actually believe the words of Christ and attempt to follow them to the best of our (admittedly fallen) ability in all parts of life.
Nancy

Svar said...

"4) Geography seems to play a role in this, too. In Texas everyone is Christian; so it's hard to separate un-Christian behavior from Christian. I gather that in California and New England being an outspoken Christian is more conspicuous; which in some ways makes it easier to remain different because they already are. That's not an argument for giving us Southerners a pass--it's more to our shame. Nonetheless, the message is very conflicting to our teenagers. Everyone is Christian, yet the overall behavior is the same. The harvest of such a field is desperation"

Cane and I live not only in the same state but within in the same region of Texas. What he is saying is definitely true. The young Christian girls are definitely more pleasant and feminine, but they are probably only slightly less promiscuous than their secular counterparts. You may not be able to get them for a one-night stand but you can have them after a few weeks.

Anonymous said...

Nancy:

Good for you and your husband.

I happen to agree that promiscuity is bad. While it's convenient to talk about promiscuity and point fingers at men and say "They do it too!", it's not helpful. I submit you are in denial about how dating and male-female attraction really works.

1. Most men are not HPC. Most men cannot get anything -- not even a date, much less sex.

2. You, as a woman, see only the most attractive, most desirable men. You see only the top 20% or so of men. These are the ones most likely to be sexually active.

This is known as "apex fallacy", and essentially means that you presume all men are like this merely because the ones in your field of vision are like this. It isn't so.

3. Women hold all the power in relationships. Women hold all the legal power in marriage. That power is absolute, and is unrestrained by anything other than her own internal controls.

4. HPC women are far more damaging to marriage than HPC men. Sure an HPC man is more likely to cheat than a LPC man. But HPC women:
--cannot pair bond to one man
--have higher risks of STDs and fertility problems
--are likelier to instigate divorce

5. Women instigate between 67% and 75% of all divorces.

Anonymous said...

Nancy:

In the tone at Dalrock's, what you're seeing is not bitterness or enmity. It's realism. His blog takes a cold, hard look at what is really going on in today's society and the farce and punishment that marriage is becoming.

I had no idea about any of this until I stumbled onto a different blog a year ago. It's a well-kept secret because the MSM simply doesn't talk about it.

Darwin said...

Anon,

See, the problem with your whole description of dating dynamics which you've just laid out, indeed the problem with all these manosphere theories about "how the world works" is that it's a worldview which assumes that any facts or experiences which don't fit the model are the result of deception or ignorance. It's like the Marxist idea of "false consciousness".

Arguing with this kind of thinking is like arguing with someone who insists that the entire world is an illusion produced by his own fevered imagination.

All those of us who are outside in reality can do for you folks is just keep saying: "It's not the way you think. Finding a good mate is hard for both men and women in our messed up, modern world. If you want to have any hope in getting a decent relationship, abandon the bitterness, make sure you're spending time with people who actually share your beliefs, and understand that when you're part of a small minority (people who believe in marriage as a permanent institution) you're going to have a hard time because most people don't share your beliefs."

Foxfier said...

Biggest problem I notice in the Single And Looking folks is the inability to see there are more options than "total raving ass" and "so wishy-washy it's insulting." (The second one is especially bad because it's what you tend to get when an ass is trying to pretend to be decent. Especially if you're not good at it, it's going to subconsciously alert the other person that you're misleading them.)

Use Darwin's rules to find a girl, and try being polite, honest, and genuine-- be yourself with the sharp edges sanded down. (No, the sanding isn't easy.)

Looking at what gets girls into the sack for a quick one is a horrible way to figure out how to find one to marry-- they're looking for different things. (Of course. If you're shopping for a pickup, why would you go to a bike shop?)

****
I noticed when I was in the Navy that there were a few women who were really active. My husband worked with two who did a "hoe-down" on cruise, trying to out do each other on how many guys they could sleep with in a few months, quickly hitting double digits before they got pissed that he wouldn't join the count (it's judgmental to say "no, I do not want to have sex with you"); my first shop we had to deal with the interaction between another shop's manager and my supervisor, who had previously had to carry the message that she was banned from a mass berthing because they were too tired to work the next day. Awkward doesn't even come close.
Also a couple of girls who were just horribly, hideously lonely and would sleep with guys just for company. Again, high numbers, different guy every week.
All examples have personally identifying information removed and are based on peoples' personal accounts, not assumptions.

******

Looked around for the polygraph story mentioned-- didn't find it, so I suspect it was one of the "college study" type ones (can you imagine polygraphing a statistically significant sample?!)-- I found this paper that suggests the under-representation of hookers probably warps the stats. It was linked via this blog post that points out the need to pay close attention to how the numbers are being played with.

****

A big difference I notice that might explain the bitterness of some of the manosphere is the tendency of guys to assume "stuff" is happening when it's not. We had a chief who was every bad sailor stereotype rolled into an attractive-unless-you-knew-him package that was positive I was sleeping with the 10 or so guys in the geek group. Likewise, the rest of the group assumed I was sleeping with the guy I'd eventually marry before we were even dating. Assuming that any female spending time with (a) male(s) is screwing them will greatly inflate the amount of sex you think you're missing out on.

Cane Caldo said...

DC, great responses. Where to start?

"You folks say that Christians do this all the time. I saw that I have never seen a Christian argue that fornication lived as "serial monogamy" is okay."

1) Again, geography may be a key factor here in our different experiences. I don't know Dalrock, but I know we live in the same metropolitan area. The "MTV/Oprah culture" here is indistinguishable from the Christian one because everyone is nominally Christian.

2) Your phrasing demonstrates the problem we're talking about. We're not saying Christians go around saying serial monogamy is okay; we're saying that it's tacitly accepted. From their mouths they say fornication is bad, but they have them over for dinner; give them communion; alltheabove. I do think he gives players too much of a pass, but I understand why. More on this later.

What does really bother me about all the anger against Christianity and church's over at Dalrock's place is that, to my mind, this is a case of the sick patient deciding he hates hospitals.

Is it unjustified? There are sick people; there are sicks doctors; and then there are white-washed tombs.

I get the notion that you are politically conservative as well, so let me try to draw an analogy to political opinions.

It's as if you're a natural (unstudied) conservative who loves America, and one day you pick up a copy of National Review. Within, they are trashing 75% of the past presidents since 1900; large swaths of American culture; long-cherished social safety-net programs--and when you finish flipping through the magazine, you wonder, "Why do these people hate America so much?"

We don't.

And if I might needle you a bit on the sick people in hospitals point: Your initial comments were very dismissive of these sick people and their problems. You saw their misogyny and pain not as symptoms of disease, but as opportunities to be ridiculed. You threw it back in one commenter's face. I saw your apology. I'm just noting that your natural inclination seems to be judgmental about these things because they don't meet your standards; yet you retreat to the notion of a would-be nurse to the Healer of all.

Most of those misogynists have contracted their vitriol because they have been very poorly dealt with--usually by other men, but at the behest of an entitled woman. Please take care to note what I am NOT saying. I did not say that only women treat men bad, or that most women treat most men bad. I'm saying this is their experience--the experience of the lepers of the feminist West; whose courts, and police, and customs assume that giving the woman what she wants is the best thing to do.

It doesn't come off sounding like any kind of paradise to me. Not that the modern world is either, but I don't think that replacing one evil with another evil is a positive good.

That was definitely not a prescription! The opposite: my point was that--as it relates to the divorce rate--even such an unholy situation would be less desperate than the current one.

Cane Caldo said...

Nancy,
"So I am unclear why there seems to be such bitterness and enmity in Dalrock's tone about women"

He's not talking about you, or his wife, or many other women. He's talking about the stereotypical Oprah-fied women of the west and the men who enable them.

I said above that he gives players too much of a pass. That's because he's focused like a laser on equipping men with the knowledge of how to discern a suitable wife. I take it that a lot of Christian ire against him is roused by his linking to pick-up-artists and players; offering them as good material to learn from. To go back to the sickness analogy, I don't see how this differs from a doctor visiting the slums to see why people keep getting sick there.

Further, I think much of what is uncomfortable about such exposition is that those players don't seem to be suffering very much. Nobody complains when you link to a site where a player talks about how his promiscuity earned AIDS. That's a cautionary tale of woe we can all learn from. We'd feel better about it if it looked more like the slums.

-----

And that's all I'll say about this, unless a comment is specifically directed to me. I'm sure you've heard more than you wanted already.

Elspeth @ Breathing Grace said...

I am probably nuts for wading into this, but here goes, LOL:

I think Darwin (and Mrs.) that a basic problem is that you fail to recognize or care about the impact the culture of promiscuity and no-fault divorce has on us all, primarily because you are disconnected from the larger culture and found community with like-minded people. I think that's a pretty smart move on your part. Disconnection from a coarsening culture is not a bad idea.

However, your insulation has blinded you a bit to the realities on the ground for the average man, woman, and child. Promiscuity, no-fault divorce, misandry laden family courts etc. are a real problem that needs to be addressed by people of faith. Not every one affected did something to deserve their plight.

That said, you are right about the theology of the thing. The answer is abstinence outside of marriage for men and women alike. And whenever Christians start discounting the power of Christ through the Holy Spirit to renew a person and make them better than they ever could have been or behaved without him, I almost automatically turn off. Only a person who hasn't truly experienced redemption in Christ could spout such heresy.

I'm not saying that there aren't people in the pews that are living lives anything but holy, or that every one who claims to be a Christian is trustworthy. Just that it's wrong to declare with such conviction that women cannot be redeemed because they are especially fallen in a way that men aren't. This is not orthodox Christianity.

In other words, I agree with you for the most part. I just think you miss a part of the picture.

This is an excellent post, by the way. I found it through Chris at Dark Brightness.

Anonymous said...

Well, Anonymous, I'm not sure I'll convince you of anything, but I did want to address a few things, if only to reassure you that there are good women out there (if men are willing to also look beyond only the outward appearance of prospective girlfriends/wives).

2.) I emphatically did *not* look for men in the "top 20%". Most kids know by middle school that outward appearances are no indicator of good dating/husband material, or even whether someone is a kind person. My husband was not an "alpha" male, but a 5' 7" high school music teacher when we began dating. I do know there's a kernal of truth in your assumptions for some women, though, because he was a "nice" guy who some girls never included in the "boyfriend" category. Their loss, my gain! Conversely, it reminds me of the adage, "Men will often choose a pretty girl and pass up a beautiful woman."

4.) I'd sincerely like to know where you're getting the idea that HCP women somehow damage marriages more than HCP men do. Both are incapable of bonding with just one person. (Google studies about bonding brain chemicals such as oxytocin, and how they diminish as partner counts go up -- it's an equal-opportunity loss). And spend some time talking to women whose husbands are regular p*rn users -- they are also incapable, over time, of connecting with or being aroused by their real-life wives. Not to mention those men who are actually p*rn or s*x addicts, the male counterpart to female relationship/s*x addicts.

Thanks for the dialogue.
Nancy

Anthony said...

Nancy - there is *a* study that gets linked a lot (including, I think, in this comment thread) which shows that the rate of successful marriage drops more quickly for women than for men as partner count increases.

I haven't read the study, and so I have no comment on whether it's methodologically sound, or if there are other (sound) studies which contradict it.

Darwin - I think you and Dalrock are significantly closer to each others' positions than you think. Dalrock does tolerate commenters who are flat-out misogynists, and some who might not be, but express themselves badly, but I don't believe he is one himself. He does attack some pretty prominent Protestant leaders in not always temperate terms, but he does so for what he sees as betrayal of the ideals of the faith. I suspect you would have a similar reaction to priests who said things like "here's what the official position of the Church is, but here's what is reasonable to expect of you" when there was a particularly large gap between those two things, though you're more likely to tone down your language before you post than is Dalrock.

Anthony said...

Darwin - also: when you're part of a small minority (people who believe in marriage as a permanent institution)

I know of one woman who went into her (third) marriage with the attitude "if it doesn't work out, that's what divorce is for". Even among the very secular circles I'm in, that attitude, consciously expressed, is rare. I think most people generally enter into a marriage intending that it be permanent. The real issue is that when the going gets rough, our current societal default is to push the couple to divorce, rather than to try to work things out.

Protestants accept divorce (though some say it's only biblically acceptable in the event of adultery), and even the Catholic Church accepts that some couples should separate (and even obtain a civil divorce "to preserve their rights"), though the Church and most Protestant denominations say that separations/divorces should only take place where grievous harms exist. Saying that is not enough. In a culture which accepted that standard, there wasn't much divorce, and it usually was for pretty bad cases. However, when the culture accepts (and even celebrates) divorce, it is a lot harder to try to convince people to not take the easy way out. The seed of that attitude is planted subconsciously, and when remaining married becomes difficult, the attitude can blossom.

Something Dalrock has done is to challenge churches to measure whether they're actually doing any good in this department. He brings the idea that if an organization cares about something, it will try to measure that thing. If a church truly cares about keeping its congregants' marriages alive, it will try to measure that. One can object that it's hard to measure whether the church actually has an effect, or how exactly to measure it, but almost nobody has reported to him that any church they know of is even making the attempt. (Does your parish priest know about how many divorces there are among the active members of his flock, or among the couples whose marriages he's celebrated, even if he's not using a spreadsheet to track it?)

Another thing Dalrock used to do more of, and that some other "married manosphere" bloggers do is to give advice to men on becoming (or reverting) the man their wife really wants them to be. Most women really do want a man who is the head of the household, but not an abusive jerk. (One concept I read, though I don't remember where, is that the ideal is the man as the Captain, and the woman as the First Mate - using Picard and Riker as the example.)