September 5th, 2017

Men and women and the sex and marriage market

There’s a new book out, entitled “Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy.” But the message that lies therein is actually fairly old news. I’ve written about similar ideas before, for example here, here, and in particular here.

However, it bears repeating:

In generations past, women generally made men wait until marriage to have sex. To get a wife (and, therefore, sex), men had to be clean and presentable and have a good job. This, Regnerus reasons, gave men all the motivation they needed to become respectable members of society…

Regnerus backs this theory up with a quote from social psychologists Roy Baumeister and Kathleen Vohs, who study this phenomenon. “Nowadays young men can skip the wearying detour of getting education and career prospects to qualify for sex,” they write. “Sex has become free and easy. This is today’s version of the opiate of the (male) masses.”

Regnerus argues that while women have maintained their role as sexual gatekeepers, men control the marriage market. And given the ease with which sex can be accessed, Regnerus believes that men’s motivations for marriage have all but disappeared.

I know plenty of young people who are still getting married. But I have little doubt that the statistics that show marriage as declining are correct, and I deeply believe that the phenomenon the book describes (although I haven’t read the book) is one of the reasons it is happening. I called one of my previous posts on the subject “Getting the milk for free.” It’s an old saying, one I heard in my youth. It was told to young women in order to discourage them from having cheap and easy sex; the idea was that men wouldn’t buy the cow if they could get the milk for free. It’s crass, but it makes the point.

Of course, even today’s women can refuse to have sex unless there is commitment. But the big problem with that approach is that, although some young men will value that standard in a woman, unless it’s the practice of a majority of women (or at least a large percentage) then men can—and often will—turn elsewhere. If women want to withhold casual sex, there’s strength in numbers. Society used to back them and even advocate this practice—but no more.

56 Responses to “Men and women and the sex and marriage market”

  1. chuck Says:

    Back in the 60’s, watching how shamelessly women were exploited, I came to the conclusion that women’s sexual liberation was a male plot. Yeah, young women are horny little devils too, but that doesn’t mean free sex is a good idea. But whatever, long live the Patriarchy 😉

  2. chuck Says:

    I’ll add that sex, short of outright prostitution, is a currency that will buy a lot of favors and the market for such is everywhere. That side of it is pretty common.

  3. Oldflyer Says:

    I cannot evaluate Chuck’s assertion that women were exploited in the 60s, since I was the married father of two, and working my butt off to support the family–and happy to do it. Since all of my role models had done the same, it just seemed natural. Nor did I ever have any sense that my wife felt exploited. The women that I knew took great satisfaction in the role of wife and mother. Maybe they were exploited and just didn’t know.

    Maybe I should be a bit bummed that I missed the “Free Love” aka free sex era, but, we go with what society dictates. We were all repressed, but anticipation is a large measure of the pleasure. Or does that just refer to Santa Claus?

    I cannot possibly see how the sexual revolution/evolution since the 60s have benefited women. That is, unless it was a pre-condition to cracking the alleged glass ceiling professionally. Even then, it only benefits a relatively small percentage.

    In the small sample of my close friends, I see a remarkably high percentage of 50 year marriages. And that is among career Naval Aviators, a profession that puts as much stress on marriage as any could. Then among my children’s peer group, a high percentage of failed marriages; and among the grandchildren peer group a high percentage of “hookups”. Does those constitute any commitment? Are they healthy for kids, if there are any? Does they serve to procreate society in a healthy way? It just does not seem like a positive curve for personal or societal health.

  4. parker Says:

    My personal experiences do not qualify me to comment on this topic. Thankfully my children are raising our grandchildren as we raised them. Tomorrow we head north to spend a few days at the lakeside cabin and then close it down for the winter. It is good to have practical things to attend to, including a meet with the county sheriff to make sure the deputies drive by once in a while to make sure everything is alright with our property.

  5. huxley Says:

    The free milk argument is true but hardly the whole story.

    It ignores the obvious men’s movement response that marriage has become weaponized against men and most guys have seen older males lose their kids and substantial amounts of money in one-way divorce court proceedings.

    It also ignores that a big factor in the hookup culture is the 3 girls for every 2 boys ratio at colleges today.

    I remember what a big deal it once was that more males than females attended college. They fixed that and the ratio is way in the other direction. But no one today cares about all those young guys not getting college educations.

    Jan and Dean, “Surf City” — “Two girls for every boy!”

  6. Stubbs Says:

    I don’t think that the opeining of careers to women has figured in this discussion as much as it should. Women are no longer as dependent on men to provide economically for them. The cause of alliance these days seems to be primarily to provide a healthy home for children in which both partners participate.

    My son had his first day of college last week. Some women on campus are very aggressive by past standards, taking for example seats next to the most attractive males in class. His cohort of males refer to it as “whoring,” which isn’t as condemnatory as you might think. The chief female fashion twist that I note on campus is the partially uncovered butt-cheek. It’s everywhere to be seen. I’m talking about San Diego State, by the way.

  7. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Anything that lessens the potential for a relationship’s intimacy is societally harmful. The prevalence of easy, sterile, loveless sex is an indication that a significant proportion of our society is spiritually barren.

  8. Sean Says:

    Guttentag-Secord Theory, folks.

    The sex with fewer members in the dating market gets to call the shots.

    When there are 9 women for every 10 men, the men have to compete for the women and they do so by giving them what they want: more relationship in exchange for less sex. This is how it happened at college back in the 50s and 60s, when 60% of the student population was male.

    When there are 9 men for every 10 women, the women have to compete for the guys and they do so by giving the guys what they want: more sex in exchange for less relationship. This is how it happens at college today, now that 60% of the student population is female.

    Hate to break it to the ladies, but their relationship woes are inversely related to women’s academic and professional success as a group and men’s simultaneous decline.

  9. Sean Says:

    Guttentag-Secord predicted this state of affairs thirty years ago. It also predicts a number of other interesting things.

    1) When the women call the shots in the dating market, the men get their own back by calling the shots when it comes to marriage laws, i.e. in societies where the men marry women without getting sex first, divorce laws favor the husband and wives are strongly discouraged from working outside the home.

    2) When the men call the shots in the dating market, the women get their own back by re-making the marriage laws in their own interests, i.e. in societies where the men get lots of sex without having to commit via marriage, divorce laws favor the wife and women are encouraged to work outside the home and be financially independent.

    This all goes back to the Pill. The very same technology that made it possible for women to have casual sex without fear of getting pregnant has also made their relationship options a wasteland.

  10. Mr. Frank Says:

    Another variable affecting the marriage rate is the shortage of good working class jobs for men. Women are not interested in marriage to a guy without a steady job.

    For men and women with good jobs, marriage has some very positive economic benefits.

  11. Cornhead Says:

    Huxley, oldflyer and Parker:

    So the mother of a girl I knew in college said, “Why buy a cow when the milk is free?” (Mrs. Marshall from Iowa.) We thought it was funny in 1979. Turns out the mom was right.

    And oldflyer’s comment just makes me sad for the good old days. We are in a cultural, civic and national decline and we can’t turn it back. I blame the children of the 60’s; the cohort now 65-70. Their leaders were the Clintons and, frankly, those two represent nearly everything wrong with America today. Their response, of course, would be that pre-1968 America was racist and sexist. Therefore everything done to “fix” that (plus global warming) is justified. Diversity is the most important thing in America.

  12. Ira Says:

    “I blame the children of the 60’s; the cohort now 65-70.”

    I resemble that remark.

    In my opinion, the real problem was and remains noxious women’s lib which taught (and still teaches) that white men are bad. That is, women stopped wanting to get married.

  13. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    Interesting topic and comments by all, Neo.

    A lot of thinkers hold that the lowering of the standards that women are prepared to accept in partners may also be due in large part to the growth of the government welfare sector.

    Their logic being that in the days before government stepped up to help support their offspring, women knew that they were constrained by necessity from getting involved with any but a man whom they thought could be depended upon to: (a) stick around to support her and the child; and (b) command a sufficient income to do so comfortably if he did.

    I don’t know if you and your commenters and readers are aware of the good work Laura Wood is doing over on her excellent blog: but it’s definitely worth a visit.

    The role/s of the sexes, how they used to, and how they ought to, interact with and treat each-other, is one of the themes that is often discussed there in a highly thoughtful way. Highly recommended.

    Your own blog, Laura’s and Prof VDH’s are the only three I look in on regularly.

  14. Tuvea Says:

    “I blame the children of the 60’s; the cohort now 65-70.”

    As a ‘boomer’ I have to agree.

    Our parents saved and struggled and fought to make OUR world a safer and easier place in which to live. Through the lens of history you can see that we were indeed very lucky.

    What most of us have passed on to our children seems to be abundant material wealth but an appalling spiritual poverty.

  15. Mr. Frank Says:

    Marriage has become a greater factor in inequality. The doctor used to marry the nurse, the lawyer married the secretary and so forth. Increasingly, the doctor marries the doctor and the lawyer marries the lawyer while working class women get no husband. Men actually consider a woman’s earning power when picking a wife.

  16. Philu Says:

    I became single again in my early forties, about forty years ago. My kids were raised and I no longer had a wife to support so I experienced a newfound freedom that coincided with my midlife crisis. This, of course led to the purchase of a motorcycle. I didn’t engage in the bar scene or one-night stands, but had no problem meeting middle aged single women, some of whom liked to go for motorcycle rides. Sex was considered a normal part of an adult relationship. I say relationship because they usually lasted for a while and I dated no one else during the period.

    I’ve long been puzzled why my grandkids generation shy’s away from marriage, or even relationships. My three granddaughters are middle aged and all have remained single. One has a son that’s nearing adulthood she raised as a working mother. Sex will always be a factor, but there’s a cultural difference that carries a lot more weight. Sex just works around the cultural differences.

  17. n.n Says:

    The establishment of the Pro-Choice Church (i.e. selective, unprincipled, and opportunistic) is a first-order forcing of a progressive (e.g. generational) debasement of human life. The tyrannical imposition of “=” or political congruence that established a progressive form of selective exclusion (a la selective-child) is also a factor. However, the female chauvinists (and DNC) setting men and women at each other’s throats (e.g. for tax purposes, Democratic leverage) was the primary first-order forcing of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change.

  18. DNW Says:

    ” I’ve long been puzzled why my grandkids generation shy’s away from marriage, or even relationships. My three granddaughters are middle aged and all have remained single. One has a son that’s nearing adulthood she raised as a working mother. Sex will always be a factor, but there’s a cultural difference that carries a lot more weight. Sex just works around the cultural differences.”

    Well, other people are a hassle too if you spend much more time around them than it takes to “get off”. The idea of nobility of character has been replaced by let it all hang out, and if it feels good do it. The hippies, or their teachers, largely triumphed in setting the mores for all segments of our civic culture below the college graduate level, and outside of Christian conservatism.

    There is no particular social benefit to marriage for many, as men will by law be forced to support bastard children regardless of whether they are theirs or not through tax transfers; partners may both have an entitlement attitude personality, making a sacrificial investment in the relationship pointless; pleasure is enthroned as king of all values; life itself is viewed as transient, ultimately meaningless and therefore disposable; the government is arranged in order to ease you through and out of it …

    As long as you are “nice”, what’s the problem? Have some fun, count up your toys and highs, and drink the hemlock. It’s all good.

  19. DNW Says:

    To quote myself:

    “The idea of nobility of character has been replaced by let it all hang out, and if it feels good do it. The hippies, or their teachers, largely triumphed in setting the mores for all segments of our civic culture below the college graduate level, and outside of Christian conservatism.”

    If you doubt any of this, just look around you at the middle aged human wreckage that populates our land. Fat, slovenly, shambling messes, lining up for their self-induced type two diabetes treatment insulin and blood pressure pills. They can barely rouse themselves to drag on a rumpled jogging suit and sandals for the trip to the pharmacy.

    They youth is apparently no better.

    70 percent of military aged males are unfit to serve.

  20. DNW Says:

    People who are committed to raising a family in the face of so much social dysfunction and nihilism, are to be admired. They daily exist in a deliberately spread dysfunction which progressive ideology is dedicated to ensuring affects everyone in the polity: as progressives consciously labor to tear down the boundaries between so-called “society” on the one hand, and the “superstructure” on the other in the name of “justice”.

    It was a political superstructure which once upon a time set at least some formal interpersonal boundaries and limits to what some could call on others to render up with the backing of law.


    “We all have AIDS, now” or some shit like that …

    Nihilism is the reason families are in trouble.

  21. Sharon W Says:

    Reading these comments makes me feel very blessed. (I already knew I was in this regard.) My 3 children (36, 33, 28) are all married and living morally upright (10 commandments), fiscally conservative lives, centered on hard-work and fidelity. My husband and I (together since I was 17 and he 21) saw this modeled by our folks, though both of us lost our fathers age 43, and 46 and our mothers valiantly carried on never having remarried. Our Catholic faith (one son now worships with the evangelicals) accounts for a goodly part of this.

  22. Mr. Frank Says:

    You can make an argument that welfare programs reduced the need for marriage. An unmarried woman with kids will get food stamps, rent subsidy, Medicaid, a phone and all sorts of assistance. Not many working class men can match that.

    Prior to welfare, women needed a man for income and men needed women to meet domestic needs like cooking, cleaning, sewing, and child rearing.

  23. arfldgrs Says:

    read it and it completely ignores feminism..
    ie. the destruction of marraige was and is a major goal of feminism

    to blame it on free sex would assume that is what men are doing and getting.. but they arent… maybe bad boys are, but others arent… in fact, robo prostitutes are winning over the real thing…

    it completely ignores all the mens movements, the fact that recent findings put a nail in the men always want sex thing, and it completely ignores that if you want lots of kids… your better off being poor and having sex on vacation or donating to a sperm bank.. if you have money, the best thing is to get a surrogate rather than a parasite who can walk off.

    this is an old dead trope

    The birth rate does not match the sex rate they assume
    and they know if they put the blame on the group that is all about not having babies, aquiring a desease that makes you infertile, behaviors that make you unattractive, laws that are unfair but not unfair enough, alimony parasitism, and more..

    i would respect them more if they realized its more the “who wants to drink from a dirty glass” concept… not we are having sex so we dont want children…

    that explanaiton has NEVER fit other than in the minds of women.. who always think they are the be all end all and should have it all…

    go for it.

  24. arfldgrs Says:

    However, it bears repeating: To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.

    the young men are NOT having the sex, the young WOMEN are.

    Who wants to drink from a dirty glass?


    We’re a generation of men raised by women. I’m wondering if another woman is really the answer we need.

    [they are very disinterested in sex.. its NOT worth it… not with modern women!!!!!!!!!!! especially western women…]

    its a lot of women haveing sex with a few men..
    its not lots of women having sex with lots of guys
    most of the guys are passed over..

    The Double Standard Explained: A key that opens many locks is a master key. But a lock that is opened by many keys is just a s~~~ty lock.

    ask the guys..
    but really should read what the men are saying – get a clue from the most nasty of them.. they are not nasty cause they are getting lots of sex… you dont say you hate skanks then go out and get some…


    Had one of my enlightened co-worker ask me after saying in a conversation I was going my own way in life in the lunch room.
    He asks me, what do you mean by “going your own way”?
    I simply said: “I participate less and observe more”.


    A prenup is like a kevlar glove on your dick before putting it in the wood chipper. Why not just avoid putting it in the wood chipper? Run. Run far. Run fast.


    I had done a favor for a female friend who said she would repay me with sex. I said “OK, but then you’ll owe me TWO favors”.

    [that dont sound like the idea they are pushing, does it?]


    When men get older they look like Sean Connery. When women get older they look like . . . . Sean Connery.


    I feel like I am some stoic hero hanging onto an ideal that the universe bashes me against all the time.
    [edited for length by n-n]

  25. arfldgrs Says:

    A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.
    Gloria Steinem

    Rich cultures, patriarchal cultures, value thin women, like ours; poor ones value fat women. But all patriarchal cultures value weak women. So for women to become physically strong is very profound.
    Gloria Steinem
    [except in the past when fat women were rich women, now thin women are rich women… petruchio be damned… ]

    The surest way to be alone is to get married.
    Gloria Steinem

    “Being married is like having somebody permanently in your corner. It feels limitless, not limited.”
    Gloria Steinem

    nutters… eh?



    “The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing—and then marry him.” Cher

    I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them. Robin Morgan, Ms. Magazine Editor

    The nuclear family must be destroyed… Whatever its ultimate meaning, the break-up of families now is an objectively revolutionary process. Linda Gordon

    [edited for length by n-n]

  26. Irv Says:

    The ‘greatest’ generation that went through the depression and WWII became used to working hard to survive, so when the war was over they continued working hard and built the great institutions of society. They built up the civic clubs, the giant corporations and the great institutions of religion, education, entertainment, a press that people trusted, and marriage and family. All of these societal forces worked together to produce good citizens, progress and a better life for all. Unfortunately, their children weren’t raised as they were.

    During the war, and for a number of years thereafter while society was rebuilding, the children were raised almost exclusively by women in a largely female society. The men were either away at war or away at work. A good discussion of what problems come from children being raised in an exclusively female society can be found in in Philip Wylie’s then popular book “Generation of Vipers” written in 1942.

    The parents, as do all parents, wanted to protect their children from the hardships they had to endure, so they gave everything to them and protected them from all adversity. Unfortunately there was one major flaw in this way of raising children.

    It was the adversity of their youth that developed in the parents the character necessary to build and maintain the great institutions of society. Their children were raised without that character and it began to show itself during the 1960s. When these children were supposed to go out into society and begin to make their own way, they had no tools, no character, no drive to succeed because they’d never been allowed/encouraged to develop these things in their youth.

    So, when they got to college, or just out of high school, they rebelled against the responsibilities of adulthood. They tore down the institutions of society. They laughed at religion. They refused to participate in classical education. They wanted the fun of relationships such as sex and children without the responsibilities of parenthood and relationships.

    Without a desire to work and to build, the institutions began to disintegrate. Without a desire to learn, education became dumbed down so that feelings and desires replaced knowledge and accomplishments. Without the civilizing effects of religion and philosophy, morals and character were never developed.

    Bring this forward a couple of more generations to today and we have the leftward drift of society. We have political correctness instead of actual analysis and judgment. We have a declining marriage rate and an over 50% divorce rate. We have almost 50% of children born out of wedlock and without 2 parents in the home. We have over 50% of society on government welfare of some type. We have the institutions of government, education, labor, entertainment and news media without any standards of behavior and accomplishment other than what makes people feel good in the moment. And we have a political class that panders to the basest emotions solely for the purpose of gathering and maintaining power.

    This is where we find ourselves today. Some of us are struggling to regain what we’ve lost. These are the real conservatives and this is the battle before us. I wish I had more faith that we might succeed.

  27. Patr Says:

    The issue is really that only the “select” men are getting the “cheap sex”, for all other men, it is very expensive in the form of literally paying another man’s bills.
    It is interesting that artfldgr gets edited for length only on these sorts of topics.

  28. neo-neocon Says:


    That statistic about the divorce rate being 50% is oft-repeated, but it’s incorrect. See this and this as well as this.

  29. neo-neocon Says:



    Aftfldgr gets edited for length all the time on all sorts of topics. Every now and then I don’t cut his comments even though they are long, but that’s usually when I happen to be busy and away from my computer and they pass me by. It doesn’t happen too often, but it does happen, and those times have nothing to do with his content.

    I highly doubt—in fact, I am virtually certain—that you have not tracked when I edit him and when I do not. I do it wholly for length, and I choose the point I cut it off rather arbitrarily, too, although in particular I tend to cut off long lists of quotes or titles or that sort of thing.

    “Editing” is probably not quite the correct word, either, because I don’t read the whole thing for content. I barely skim much of what he writes; I simply don’t have time. I cut it off when it gets too long, period, and I tend to err on the side of letting him have his say. I am free to ban him or anyone else, but in Artfldgr’s case I’ve never come close to banning him because I find his perspective on things interesting. Although I often disagree with him I think he offers some important information at times, and I think his contributions have value. I also happen to think that militant extreme feminism has done a world of harm.

    By the way, if it sometimes may appear that I cut him off for length only on “these sorts of topics,” it probably is because he writes very often, at great length, and with no small repetitiveness on “these sorts of topics.” A huge number of his comments are on “these sorts of topics”—whatever the topic of my post (this one, of course, is on topic, however). So if you perceive I cut him off often on these topics, it’s because much of what he writes is on these topics.

  30. Irv Says:

    Okay, scratch the divorce rate.

  31. chuck Says:

    I actually think the decline started with the parents of the boomers, who started getting divorced in the late 60’s. There could be many causes for that — war, depression, changing times — but I think it started a cascade of family dysfunction. The children of divorce, or who never experience a nuclear family, are relationship damaged. They have little experience of good marriage, often no family to fall back on, and are unlikely to understand the importance of family and children, and so the disruption spreads down the generations, increasing at each step.

    I have no idea how such an historical cascade may be reversed, things almost need to be remade from scratch.

  32. David Foster Says:

    There is research that often gets quoted…I haven’t gone to the original sources so can’t comment on how accurate it is…indicating that while men find roughly 50% of women (in an appropriate age range) to be sexually attractive, women only find 10-20% of men to meet this criterion.

    IF this is anywhere near true (and given that different people find different attributes to be attractive, but still there is considerable commonality), then it implies that most women will NOT be able to marry a man they find truly sexually attractive. Whereas they probably *can* date and have sex with men they are highly attracted to…but with a feeling, when they finally do get married, that they have given up a lot to do so, with consequent feelings of resentment for their husband.

    Like I said, I don’t know how accurate this view is, but it’s being cited in lots of places and thought it should be mentioned in this discussion.

  33. Tatterdemalian Says:

    Used to be, marriage was a guarantee of free sex… part of those matrimonial obligations. Not any more, though. Why are people so surprised that the market undergoes a correction when the prices change?

  34. neo-neocon Says:

    David Foster:

    I’d love to see the link to that research. I’ve never heard of it before so don’t know anything about it.

    However, if I had to guess—and if the figures are in fact true, which is a question mark—then I would say another difference is that sexual attractiveness may be much lower down on a woman’s list of attributes for a husband than it is on a man’s list of attributes for a wife. In other words, women may think a man is hot, but that’s not how they judge who they want to marry. Men don’t judge women solely on that attribute, either, but it may be more important to them.

    Just a guess.

  35. David Foster Says:

    Neo, I will poke around and see what I can find. May take a while.

    “sexual attractiveness may be much lower down on a woman’s list of attributes for a husband than it is on a man’s attributes for a wife”…possibly so, but that doesn’t mean that lack of desire for her husband isn’t going to have an effect, and not a good one, later on.

  36. neo-neocon Says:

    David Foster:

    I don’t have time to find the links now, but I’ve often read that women don’t so often go for men (as husbands, that is) for physical reasons, but they find their mental and personality characteristics sexually appealing. In other words, they might initially find certain men physically to not be especially of interest, but as they get to know them, qualities such as their humor, ambition, protectiveness, courage, and intelligence take over and cause the woman to feel sexual attraction. It’s not that she’s not sexually attracted to her husband, it’s just that it’s slower in developing and less dependent on the physical, so she doesn’t define it as sexual attractiveness per se.

    I have personally noticed, for example, that it’s much more common to see a good-looking woman with a so-so-looking man than vice versa.

  37. David Foster Says:

    Here’s one study: on-line dating site, attractiveness ratings are based on photographs only.

    …obviously there are a lot of attraction factors not captured in a photo, from tone of voice to subliminally-perceived pheromones to conversation and behavior.

    But it does make sense, from an evolutionary POV, that women would be more selective thanmen.

  38. neo-neocon Says:

    David Foster:

    I actually doubt that women are more selective than men are about marriage, although I don’t know. They may indeed be more selective about physical sexual attraction and hookups, however. I think both sexes are pretty selective these days about choosing a spouse, and a lot of people of both sexes aren’t at all sure they ever want to be married.

    But a study where photos on dating sites are the way it’s measured isn’t very valuable in understanding what’s really going on in the courting behavior of men and women, IMHO.

    I also would guess that women may post photos that are more flattering (hair, makeup, etc.) than the photos men post.

  39. Richard Saunders Says:

    I know many young to middle-aged women who can’t figure out why they can’t get their long-term boyfriends to marry them or even find a man to marry. I haven’t the heart (or the guts!) to tell them, “Well, duh, why should a man marry when he gets sex without even having to pay for dinner, let alone be responsible for a wife and children.”

    When you see, Stubbs, more and more skin of young women, you are seeing Display. Women are displaying more of their bodies to attract one of the fewer and fewer men willing to mate. To men, physical attractiveness is a proxy for health in women, which means the ability to bear children to carry on the man’s genes. For women, they are seeking protection. In cave man days, it was the best hunter, the best fighter. Today, it’s the richest, most successful man. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

  40. AesopFan Says:

    I cut it off when it gets too long, period, and I tend to err on the side of letting him have his say. I am free to ban him or anyone else, but in Artfldgr’s case I’ve never come close to banning him because I find his perspective on things interesting. Although I often disagree with him I think he offers some important information at times, and I think his contributions have value. I also happen to think that militant extreme feminism has done a world of harm. –Neo.
    * *
    I have learned a lot from Artfldgr’s posts on communists and history; I already detested RadFemLibs, so don’t need to see as much in that echo chamber.

  41. AesopFan Says:

    Is arfldgrs=Artfldgr?

  42. AesopFan Says:

    Stephen Ippolito Says:
    September 6th, 2017 at 12:53 am
    Interesting topic and comments by all, Neo.
    * *
    As usual, of course. Anecdotes aren’t data, but they are more interesting to read.

    Your link to the Thinking Housewife turned up an interesting post, on-topic in a kind of “slanted rhyme” way:

    ” I sometimes have a sense of uneasiness when I walk through these new farmers markets. The idea will survive, but will these farms?
    For the people most interested in local food also often happen to be the people least concerned about family breakdown and least interested in the cultural habitat that undergirds the family. To them, chickens must have an “organic” habitat,” but people? Well, not really.

    And so many of these young and ambitious organic farmers seem to have few or no children. Agriculture over the long term depends on strong family ties. There will never be thriving LGBTQ farm communities. Farming entails not just a connection with the land, but a bond between the generations.”

    (has good comments as well)

  43. Mark30339 Says:

    DNW at 10:49am wrote:

    “There is no particular social benefit to marriage for many, as men will by law be forced to support bastard children regardless of whether they are theirs or not through tax transfers.”

    Once upon a time marriage was one man and one woman committing themselves to put their union first, and to creating long term stability for the children they bring into the world. The union was for richer or poorer, in sickness and in heath, in good times and in bad. Regardless of the circumstance, she was to belong to him, and he was to belong to her.

    Our present age can’t make the heroic leap of faith that gets beyond “what’s this going to cost me?”

  44. Lizzy Says:

    Are we getting to a point where young people no longer know how to have a long-term relationship, with or without marriage? Read this when it came out and was disturbed, though I have no idea how prevalent the tinder trend is:

    This, along with the current third wave hatred of all things male, microaggressions, etc. gives the impression that a lot of people may not have the patience and forgiveness it takes to spend decades with one person. If you can’t deal with manspreading how can you expect to weather the legitimately tough times that come with marriage?

  45. neo-neocon Says:

    Mark 30339 and DNW:

    Before the days of DNA testing, a man was required to support any child born of his wife during his marriage (and for a certain number of months afterwards) whether it was his or not. It was presumed his, and there was no way to find out if it was or wasn’t.

  46. AesopFan Says:

    Time to re-read “Lysistrata” —
    and maybe Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen.

    And this is just plain.. wierd..
    It makes for an illogical syllogism.

    Premise A: Lesbians are sexually attracted to women only.

    Premise B: Women cannot impregnate women.

    Conclusion: Lesbians have higher pregnancy rates than non-lesbian women.

    It’s contrary to all reason, but it’s true. Lesbians have significantly higher pregnancy rates than their heterosexual peers. It’s also true for teen gay males. They are substantially more likely to impregnate their sexual partners than are heterosexual males.

  47. SLR Says:

    of course; easy no fault divorce might cause men to shy away from marriage… rather than the availability of sex (which, IMO, predates the marriage decline).

    Work hard, build a family, a fortune, and lose it because your wife is bored. Few of the same stigmas are applied to women who opt for divorce… for frivolous reasons. Even claiming their partner ‘aged prematurely’ doesn’t raise an eyebrow…. when cited by a women…

  48. ken Says:

    Stephen Ippolito. Why would you try and point anyone to a foul conspiracy laden, Holocaust Revisionist Jew hating blog like the Thinking Housewife?

  49. DNW Says:

    “However, if I had to guess—and if the figures are in fact true, which is a question mark—then I would say another difference is that sexual attractiveness may be much lower down on a woman’s list of attributes for a husband than it is on a man’s list of attributes for a wife.”

    Good female looks – symmetry, proportionality, and a tendency toward a Barbie Doll figure, are taken by evolutionary anthropologists to be indicative of reproductive fitness. The visual is almost everything at first for most of us.

    Apparently as far as facial features go, it has something to do with averaging, as the many pictorial collections of “racially averaged typical ethnic looks” from around the world clearly show. Most of the females end up looking attractive.

    On the other hand Olive Oyle may have been a nurturing mother, but whether her children would have been very vigorous is another matter. There are of course no guarantees and I have met some very good looking women who have had tragically – ‘defective’ isn’t the right word but I cannot think of another at the moment – offspring.

    And as any man who has lived long enough can attest, it is more than satisfying enough to have one of the best looking wives or female partners in the room, rather than the most spectacularly sexpotted one. Character matters in women too.

    Here’s another point as well. What counts as good looking ( or at least ‘really hot’ in the vulgar sense) in a woman varies quite a bit among guys. I have known guys who started flapping their hands and howling at a skinny legged over-tanned bleached blond tottering on platform shoes and trying to balance her implants in order to walk upright. Other guys like the cheerleader or wholesome farm girl, or big city sophisticate more.

    It appears to be a combination of both some objective biological markers and what you are used to, or what your taste was reinforced by early on.

  50. DNW Says:

    neo-neocon Says:
    September 6th, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    Mark 30339 and DNW:

    Before the days of DNA testing, a man was required to support any child born of his wife during his marriage (and for a certain number of months afterwards) whether it was his or not. It was presumed his, and there was no way to find out if it was or wasn’t.”

    No DNA test is needed now either. You are obligated to pay because the government says that “we are all family now”, and “that is how we take care of each other” … or some similar piece of duplicitous rhetoric intended to manipulate you into underwriting interests antithetical to your own..

  51. AesopFan Says:

    Neo, you should link this as a companion piece to today’s post:

  52. Gringo Says:

    I actually think the decline started with the parents of the boomers, who started getting divorced in the late 60’s.

    What follows is not data, but anecdote. I graduated from high school in the late ’60s, which makes me a boomer. I was-and am- amazed at the number of couples of my parents’ generation who had marital problems in the late ’60s, several decades into their marriages. Call it the Season of the Witch. Until the late 1960s, I didn’t know of any divorces in the families of my peers.

    One year in high school a father attended a track meet. The father had walked out on his family earlier that year. Next year the father of a friend also attended a track meet, with his college graduate nephew. The next year, my friend’s parents divorced. I concluded that fathers attend high school track meets only when their marriage is in trouble.

  53. Stephen Ippolito Says:


    I mentioned The Thinking Housewife because it is a very thoughtful, traditionalist blog that treats thoughtfully and sensitively with the myriad cultural, moral and political issues of the day and is written and curated by a learned, deeply read and very wise lady.

    Laura is very much in the Neo mold, that way, and so I believe Neo’s readers might find some of Laura’s articles useful.

    This isn’t the place to be debating at length the merits of another blog that you don’t happen to like so I will be blunt – just as you were.

    There is nothing at all of what you falsely allege to be found in Laura’s post to which you link, or even in her blog generally when taken as a whole.

    If there was any truth in what you say you wouldn’t need to go back two years to find an article to lie about in a blog that has posted several complex pieces a day, just about every day, for many years.

    The article you link to appears to be an attempt on the author’s part to address the tendency of many to conflate any criticism of the nation state of Israel with anti-semitism, per se. They are not the same thing.

    Laura’s chief point seems to me to be summarised in her penultimate paragraph:

    “The source of all evil is in every human heart”.

    The word “every” here is the key. I suspect you know that, deep down. Hence the vitriol

    Anti-semitism is a loathsome thing but it is not comprised in merely critiquing particular policies of the state of Israel or in differing from the view held by any Jewish person on any issue at any time.

    I suspect your untruthful attack springs from Laura’s reputation as a staunch defender of traditional christian values generally – and of Catholicism in particular.

    It seems to me that it is anti catholicism, not anti-semitism, that is the last socially acceptable form of bigotry in the western world.

  54. GRA Says:

    @ ken: Those reasons – 9/11 conspiracy, Asian cheaters, and almost anti-Semitic remarks – by the Thinking Housewife made me visit her site less frequently than before. Putting those things aside I do believe she’s on point when commenting on modernism and post-modernism.

  55. neo-neocon Says:

    To Stephen Ippolito, Ken, GRA, as well as anyone else still reading this thread and following this discussion about the blog “Thinking Housewife”:

    Stephen, I hadn’t read anything at the Thinking Housewife blog before you mentioned it here, and on your recommendation I went to the blog and read a couple of posts. The posts I initially read there (from blogger Laura Woods) were on the subject of famous couples such as the Churchills and the Tolstoys, and the posts were mostly written around 2009 (the fact that they are older posts turns out to be important, as you will see if you read on). Based on those posts, I considered Woods an excellent writer, and some of the topics she’s interested in (such as, for example, the Tolstoys) are similar to the sort of things I like to write about. So I had a favorable impression, and thought I’d read some more of her stuff later and was looking forward to it.

    Then I saw the argument between Ken and you (Stephen I.) on this thread. I hadn’t yet read anything at Woods’ blog about Jews (I had only read a few posts), and so I clicked on the link Ken provided and read that post you were both discussing. Based on my previous impression, I was disposed to think kindly of her. But I have to say I strongly agree with Ken. Reluctantly and sorrowfully, but I agree with him and I wonder whether you actually have read what she actually wrote.

    It’s a long post of hers, and if I were to go through it sentence by sentence and fisk it I’d set myself up for hours of work. So I’m not going to do that. I’ll just highlight a few things she wrote fairly early in the post, such as, “Supporting Israel amounts to supporting terrorism and brutal mistreatment of Palestinians.” One can certainly disapprove of Israel in various ways without being an anti-Semite, but “supporting Israel amounts to supporting terrorism?” That is quite an extreme statement, and is either profoundly leftist (which Woods is not), delusional, or anti-Semitic, or some or all of the above.

    Then there’s this, in the same post: “I obviously also no longer share [Lawrence Auster’s] view of 9/11. I think if he had looked into it more, he would have come to the same conclusion I have: that the official account is a tissue of lies. The chances of Israeli complicity are very high.”

    So she thinks the Jews were complicit in 9/11. That’s clearly both delusional and profoundly anti-Semitic.

    That thought is immediately followed in her post by this one:

    Mr. Auster also was not up on the latest research on another very important issue: the Holocaust. That six million Jews were killed in gas chambers by the Nazis is a historical thesis now widely discredited. There is no credible evidence of gas chambers in Germany and no order from Hitler to exterminate the Jews. Jews sustained horrible suffering under the Third Reich. But the popular Holocaust script is fable — an immense criminal fraud and extortion racket.

    It’s hard to even know where to begin with that one. It manages to combine delusion, anti-Semitism of a most vicious and sickening kind, and (if she truly believes what she writes) astonishing historical ignorance. If Woods knows anything about the Holocaust, she would know that the Germans purposely did not place their death camps (as opposed to some concentration camps that were not death camps) in Germany but rather in other countries; for example there were many in Poland. So “no credible evidence of gas chambers in Germany” is a strawman. Plus, no one knowledgeable claims that all six million Jews were killed by the Nazis in gas chambers anywhere. But they were killed nonetheless. Well over a million of the Jews who were killed in the Holocaust were killed by being shot (often at the edge of pits they were forced to dig) by the Einsatzgruppen. This was an earlier “solution” to the Jewish problem, before the gas chambers were later employed.

    These are among the most well-documented facts in human history. And Woods doesn’t just create strawmen and deny them in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary—that would be bad enough—but she adds that the “popular Holocaust script” is an “immense criminal fraud and extortion racket.”

    I could go on quoting her anti-Semitism in that post, because there’s much more. That post is profoundly anti-Semitic, and works many variations on her anti-Semitic theme, and it is also replete with error after error after error. I have no idea whether you actually read that post, but I did—and before reading it I had absolutely no preconceptions about its author except that, prior to reading that post, I had admired the few things I’d read that she had written and was basically inclined to assume that what Ken had written was some sort of mischaracterization of what she wrote about Jews.

    But on the contrary, what Ken wrote about her post was actually too mild. Her post was shocking. The only thing I would correct about what Ken wrote when he said the blog was “a foul conspiracy laden, Holocaust Revisionist Jew hating blog,” is that the entire blog doesn’t meet that description. Some of the posts she writes about other topics (like the Churchills or the Tolstoys) are thoughtful and show a fair amount of literary skill. I’m pretty sure that a person could read post after post after post at her blog and never guess that there was another side of the author. And yet in that particular post—the one to which Ken linked—the bile and the delusion and the historical ignorance all come flowing out. And if you read most of the comments to that post, her readers are in the same mold as she. Just to take one example, from the comments to that post, to show you the readership she attracts:

    Israel is a fake country and American Jews are fake Israelites – none of these are real Israelites. Real Israelites accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ (Great Britain, U.S.A, Canada, etc.) and are now facing opposition from the fake Jews. They are fake not only culturally and spiritually but genetically and biologically! Modern Israel and modern Jews are a fake bloodline trying to establish and legitimize themselves through a fake process.

    ‪Most of the people who died in the concentration camps WERE NOT EVEN TRUE JEWS so this whole Holocaust issue is a fake Semitic concept.

    Not only that, but when I Googled “Thinkinghousewife and Jews” I found links to many many more posts that seemed to be in the same vein as the one Ken had linked. I also found this thread from 2015 on another blog (“freethought”) that shed a bit of light on what may have happened to Woods. The blogger writing the freethought post I just linked was never a fan of Woods, to be sure. But he also describes a change in her posts around 2015 that left him “stunned” with the change. Here’s how he describes it:

    I have to admit to not just a double take but being left reeling. It was like going to your grandmother’s house for a chat and finding her swearing like a drunken sailor. The language was so different from the norm that I wondered for a moment if it was some elaborate prank or that her site had been hacked. But it is real.

    In the comments thread to the post at freethought, many of the commenters seem to be familiar with the Thinking Housewife blog and the change in her, especially on the topic of the Jews but on conspiracies in general. They describe it as though she was almost becoming unhinged, taken over by very extreme conspiracy theories, some of them involving the Jews. According to their report, she has taken to claiming that terrorist attacks in this country are nearly all fake or hoaxes or US government conspiracies or Jewish/Zionist conspiracies. I did a Google search for that sort of thing at her blog and I came up with this, where she quotes (seemingly approvingly) an article of tremendous anti-Semitic conspiracy rage.

    Put quite simply, her blog has become a cesspool of anti-Semitic paranoia. I don’t think it originally was that, but that’s what it has become in the last two years or so. No doubt she still opines on other subjects, but on this subject she is extremely anti-Semitic. And, like many anti-Semites, she reframes her anti-Semitism as nothing of the sort, and says she is friendly with some individual Jewish people. It doesn’t change a thing.

    See also this comment for an interesting exchange.

  56. ken Says:

    Thanks Neo. Great analysis.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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