Category Archives: Marriage Market

Should Girls Go to College?

Most parents today are encouraging their daughters to go to college. In 2012, 71.3% of young women went straight from H.S. To college.

This is probably a major mistake for many reasons. I’ll list a few.

Should Anyone?

First of all, the “going to college is a good investment” paradigm is pretty much over. I’ve noticed on a number of websites (written by women) that the BA degree is being referred to as a “Barista of Arts.” A high percentage of new college graduates are only being offered jobs for which they are “over-qualified.” That’s when they can find jobs. The real question for most young people today is, “should anyone go to college?”

If you have political ambitions then, by all means, go to college and law school. You’ll need that credential to be one of the ruling elite. College might also be for you if you have a talent for engineering, accounting, nursing, etc. Practical stuff. For everyone else, both boys and girls, college is probably not the best choice.

But coeds have problems all their own, ones they don’t share with the guys.

Money and Debt

If a girl wants to get married and start a family while she’s still young then college may be a complete waste of resources. For many women the arrival of children marks the end of her professional career. By the time she reenters the job market her degree and skills may be out of date.

That same girl will have a problem if she accumulates a large debt. First of all, it makes her less attractive for marriage. Honestly, what young man wouldn’t prefer a bride who doesn’t bring $30,000 (or more) of debt to the wedding? After the wedding, that same debt will force the young couple to delay having children – probably for a lot longer than they would like.

Career Women With Children

A career woman, just like a man, must work long hours and be dedicated to her profession. Pay raises and promotions depend on it. The average career woman with children, however, will decide to dedicate less time to her job and more to her family. She will fall behind her male peers – which will not make her happy.

Studies also indicate that a career woman is often extremely unhappy at having to leave her children every day. Her children may grow up thinking of their primary caregiver as “mom.” It’s kind of like putting the kids in foster care – and we’ve all heard stories about how well that turns out.

But Wait, There’s More!

So much for the minor objections. Now for the major problem concerning young ladies attending college away from home. It would still exist even if college were free and money grew on trees. This problem is an over-inflation of self-esteem. Yes, there is such a thing as too much self-esteem. It tends to cause young women to overestimate their value as marriage partners.

Boys and Girls and Intercourse

What happens when you toss a bunch of hormone driven boys and girls into an unsupervised environment? That really depends on social expectations. Historians have noted that back in colonial days the majority of first babies were born less than nine months after the wedding. The “problem” was ignored because there was a wedding. Both boys and girls back then understood that a pregnancy equaled a wedding. And they didn’t have birth-control.

Today we don’t have these restraints on behavior. Children are also raised with no real understanding of the differences between men and women. Boys and girls are propagandized from a very young age to believe that there is no difference between the male and the female. “Gender is a social construct.”

By the time youngsters reach high school they are in an Orwellian state of being able to believe two completely contradictory things at the same time. They know (they have eyes) that boys and girls are different. But they also believe the propaganda that boys and girls are the same. The second thought isn’t so much intellectual as emotional – they feel it should be true.

The facts, however, point to a major difference between the sexes – one that modern society ignores or denies. Warning! At this point feminists should put their fingers in their ears and start chanting, “I can’t hear you!”

The Sexes Choose Differently

Simply put, men tend to be polygamous and women tend to be hypergamous. Boys generally go for quantity and variety in sexual partners. Girls, on the other hand, tend to go for the “highest quality” men they can find.

Many guys will engage in hookups with any girl that meets their minimal standard for good looks (if they’ve been drinking, their standards get lower). They don’t care about social status, wealth, intelligence, or even personality. If she puts out, he’s in. They think of it all as just natural good fun. Because of their lifetime of indoctrination they expect that the girls see things the same way.

A girl who participates in the hookup culture sees things quite differently. She will only say “yes” to certain boys – those who project the appearance of being worthy of marriage. She thinks, consciously or not, that the one night stand is an indication that the boy sees her as marriage material. She’s been taught to believe that “boys and girls are the same.” The captain of the football team must have chosen her on the same basis that she chose him.

It’s been demonstrated that the hookup culture is psychologically damaging to both girls and boys. But it’s worse for girls. Not only do they suffer heartache and disappointment, but they are left with an over-inflated idea of the type of man they should be able to marry. Intercourse, especially in a long-term relationship, may also lead to serious future bonding issues. For both men and women, but especially women.

“But,” you might say, “I am [My daughter is] a good Christian girl. I [She] would never engage in the hookup culture.”

That may well be – I don’t know you or your daughter. I’m sure that Katy Perry’s parents had no qualms about tossing their good little Christian girl in among the bad boy wolves. Just saying.

Indoctrination and Social Pressure

There are a couple of factors working against the new coed on every college campus. Including the so-called Christian ones.

The entire campus culture – especially as promulgated by the professors and instructors – tells her that morality is for chumps. Everything is relative. Christianity is nothing but a religion made up by old white men to suppress women. It’s okay for women to “use” men in the same way that men “use” women. Of course, it won’t be presented this blatantly. It’s subtle, very subtle. “Did God really say…”

In addition, women tend to need a female social network and want to achieve status within it. A teenager away from home and friends for the first time is especially vulnerable. The quickest way to gain high female status is to attract a high-quality boyfriend. Unfortunately, at most college campuses the girls greatly outnumber the boys. To put it bluntly, the only way for a girl to have a chance of landing a good boyfriend is to say “yes.” That’s just the way it is.

The Curse of High Expectations

So the poor young woman graduates from college and bounces from relationship to relationship (practice marriages – practice divorces) for five or ten years. She never seems to find the “perfect” man. She labors under the delusion that her marriage value is equal to that of the highest status male she’s ever slept with. Even though his suitability is probably mostly in her imagination.

Suddenly she realizes that her biological clock is ticking. Time to find a husband. Marriage-minded men, however, place a high value on youth. The not-so-young woman suddenly realizes that her pool of available suitors has shrunk considerably.

Finally, she “settles” for whatever man will have her – and regrets it for the rest of her life. Or until she divorces him. Because, really, “he’s not good enough for her.”

Even worse off are the women who leave it too late. Their feminist mentors convinced them that they could have it all. They become career women who don’t marry until their late 30s or early 40s. And discover that they can no longer have children.

Note to ladies: feminist women aren’t trying to help you – their goal is to screw up your life as badly as they’ve screwed up their own.

In Conclusion – Get That Degree!

Hah! Didn’t see that one coming, did you? To be honest – I didn’t see it either when I started this post.

The beginnings of a revolution in University education are just starting to be seen. A lot of very bright and very practical people foresee an entirely new paradigm. And it’s coming soon. Internet universities will allow people to get accredited degrees from top quality schools from home. At a very reasonable price. MIT has already put all of its lecture classes online. For free.

If you’re a young lady who wants to make marriage and family the foundation of your future (rather than an afterthought), this is very good news. You don’t have to go to college and rack up debt. Find a hard-working young man with lots of potential and marry him. Help him settle into his career and get started towards his lifetime goals. Be sure to live as frugally as possible so you don’t put a strain on your relationship. Then, start your family while you’re still young, full of energy, and in peak health. You want to enjoy your youngsters! Side note: you also want your parents to enjoy their grandchildren while they’re still young enough to do so.

By the time the oldest is ready for school (and I do mean homeschool), Internet U will be up and running. You can work on your degree at whatever pace is comfortable for you and your family. By the time you’re ready to reenter the workforce – full or part-time – you can have an up-to-date degree in any subject you want.

And think how much it will inspire your children. “Look Billy, mommy is going to school, too! It must be important to study.”

Too Many Options: Some Thoughts

This post continues where the last one left off – still looking at the idea of having too many options, of “overchoice.” At the end of the last post I made a few tongue-in-cheek comparisons between the marriage market and the Columbia/Stanford psych study.

As a side note: society in the USA is so wealthy that even poor people have an enormous number of options. Intellectuals and do-gooders have written many books and essays against the evils of “the consumer-driven lifestyle.” Isn’t it interesting, though, that these authors never target the college hookup market? Hmm…

Today I’d like to look at two of the ideas that were posited by the study’s authors (and Toffler): paralysis caused by overchoice and the advantages of having a large choice set when the consumer already has an idea what he wants.

That study examined choices that were of a minor, discretionary nature. The choice of buying jam, eating chocolates, or getting a little extra credit in class aren’t exactly critical. That’s part of what makes the social “sciences” less than scientific. To attempt a similar experiment regarding something of real significance – like choosing a mate – would be unethical. Can you imagine the uproar if researchers took hundreds of young men and women and forced them to marry, or even hook up with, choices from random sample groups? Shades of The Harrad Experiment.

Our desire to remain ethical forces us to use anecdotal evidence. Remember the young woman I mentioned at the beginning of this month? She had lots of options – “several” of her boyfriends proposed to her. But she dithered – she simply couldn’t bring herself to make a choice. Finally, at age 30, she latched onto the only boy who still seemed interested in her.

I’ve seen this same effect in my own life when making choices. When something is a “want,” I tend to spend months researching my options. On the other hand, I can make my selection very quickly once I’ve identified a need.

Choosing a new car is good illustration of this. We (guys) often dream about the perfect car for us – usually something way out of our price range. We’re such romantics! But, when a new (or new to us) car is needed, our practical side kicks in. First, we determine how much we can afford to spend (in time and money). With that price in mind we make a short list of suitable cars. Then we go out, do a couple of test drives, and make our purchase. The whole process generally takes less than a week – it’s often completed over a weekend.

The evidence seems to indicate that indecision – overchoice paralysis – can be overcome in two steps. First, decide that you have a need. Second, limit your choices ahead of time by deciding what will fulfill that need (in your price range).

Here is where a problem arises among young women picking a marriage mate.

No Need

Girls today are encouraged to think of marriage as something they might do someday. College is a need. Career is a need. Marriage is something you do after the needs are fulfilled.

Failure to Make a Short List

Young “ladies” are rarely taught to get realistic about what to look for in a marriage partner. Their lists of requirements for a future partner are parallel with a young man’s fantasy car: the speed of a Bugatti Veyron, the off-road capabilities of a Jeep Wrangler, and the practicality of a Toyota Corolla. Even a teenage boy recognizes that this car is a fantasy!

Unfortunately, girls in college get to “test drive” many different men. Because of the shallowness of their bedroom relationships they might even get the idea that the wealthy man, the wild rock star, the jock, the sensitive guy, and the intense revolutionary could all, somehow, be combined in one person.

This experience builds unrealistic and inherently contradictory expectations.

“Settling” for Reality

Then, sometime around 30, they notice that their biological clock is ticking. Marriage suddenly becomes a need. They take a quick glance around at the available young men and make a choice from the handful of available options. Pray God they still have enough looks and personality to have some options!

At this point in their life they finally achieved the two prerequisites to overcome indecision. They have a need. Their options are limited. That makes deciding much easier.

But what about the problem of girls in this age group being forced to “settle” for someone who is “beneath” them in marriage market value? This problem exists only in their minds; it’s based on their unrealistic expectations.

If these women had made an honest accounting of what was required to satisfy their marriage needs, these men would’ve been on the short list. These are men very much like those they friend-listed at age nineteen. Of course, the ones still unmarried by this time are not the ones from the top of the list!

I find it hard to blame the girls for this problem. I know the sort of families and society they grew up in. Their parents and churches failed them. Their schools and the various media deliberately misled them. Sunshine Mary just wrote a sympathetically post about their plight.

Courtship 2: Contemporary

Things have changed considerably from the old courtship days. Now, of course, parents, schools, and churches are not teaching reasonable expectations for marriage. The emphasis is on romantic love and finding the “perfect” mate. Not that I’m knocking romantic love—it sure beats booze for getting high! I just realize that it is an extreme example of eros.

Today young (and not-so-young) people are expected to date – which includes church socials, drunken parties, and making out in automobiles. Sometimes on the same day. Not all of these venues seem like especially good opportunities to spend quality one-on-one time with a young person of the opposite sex.

This modern version of courtship includes dating many, many people in a frantic search for “the one.” The kids are told that, when you find the right person, you’ll “just know.” But, honestly, the number of people that we get to know well through dating is probably no larger than in an old-fashioned courtship. Mostly, we date a new person once or twice and then move on without ever really getting to know them.

And we have no idea what they are really like back home in Cedar Rapids.

How well has this worked? Dalrock has several interesting posts on modern courtship: according to this one, almost 48% of women have never married before they turn 30!

I’ve also been reading Sunshine Mary’s blog regarding her take on a proper Christian marriage. This intrigues me; I have two sons in their early twenties and I would very much like for them to have healthy marriages.

My curiosity was piqued; how do young women today decide when (and who) to marry?

A Google search using the term, “who to marry christian,” led me to an article on the Christian Broadcasting Network website. It was the first article listed—after the ads.

The whole article is well worth reading (in a nausea-inducing way). The writer is Ms. Belinda Elliott. I’ve reproduced about half of the column here, the important bits:

I had dated several guys who wanted to become more serious, but when they would start talking about marriage I would start backing away – quickly. Marriage was a huge commitment, and I wasn’t about to take it lightly. In all of my relationships I had never felt like I knew for sure that the guy was the one.

So how do you know for sure? I would like to offer some ideas. These are things that helped me when I was facing the same decision.

In my case, I already knew Matt quite well. We had attended college together and had become good friends. We even went on a couple dates, but I was never interested in anything more than friendship. But eight years later that friendship had turned into something more, and we began dating. However, I still wasn’t sure I wanted to marry him.

What did it take to convince me? A lot of talking. I don’t mean that he spent hours trying to talk me into it. I mean that we had to discuss a lot of things. I wanted to know all about him, his hopes, his dreams, his fears, his expectations for marriage, and anything else I could think of. I wanted to talk about every possible situation that could arise in a marriage and find out how he would handle it.

The questions covered everything from how many kids we each wanted and where we would like to live to who would do the dishes and take out the trash. You can find many of the questions we used in the book, 1000 Questions for Couples by Michael Webb.

So how do you know for sure? I think my friends were partially right. In a sense, you do ”just know,” but it isn’t because of some magical feeling that all is right with the world. Just knowing comes from time spent contemplating your similarities, your differences, and how well you fit together. It comes from asking God in prayer if this is His will for you.

Let me interpret.

Ms. Elliott attended University where she was “friends” with Matt. That means he wasn’t “high-quality” enough to sleep with – she reserved that privilege for the jocks and jerks (with Beemers).

After college she got involved in her career – and riding the cock carousel. She “dated” several guys who proposed marriage to her but, because of her fear of not getting “Mr. Right,” she dumped them. She was in a number of relationships (practice marriages) so she’s had lots of experience at breaking up (practice divorces). Suddenly, at about 30, she came down with a bad case of “baby rabies.”

Frantically, she started running down the list of all the guys to whom she had ever said, “let’s just be friends.” She was smart enough not to marry a jerk; she knew that her LJBF list contained all of the steady, reliable men she had ever known. She discovered, to her horror, that all of them were married – except Matt, a guy she hadn’t seen much since college. But (thank God!) he was still available and still remembered her as a cute college girl. He hardly even noticed the wrinkles around her eyes.

So, after a couple of months of long-distance interrogation communication to ensure that he will allow her to run the marriage, she settles for him knows that “he’s the one!”

You might have noticed that she talks about praying, asking God if it was His will. I guess she didn’t do any praying about the situation in the twelve preceding years. Was she afraid God would say, “Yes?” She would have to give up partying!

She thoughtfully references an interrogation manual for prospective husbands. In it “[y]ou can find many of the questions we used…” Many of? 1000 weren’t enough?

My favorite quote is, “I wanted to talk about every possible situation that could arise in a marriage and find out how he would handle it.” She’s definitely going to be the captain of this boat.

This sad scenario is what CBN holds up as the standard for a Christian woman choosing a husband. I want better for my sons.

Courtship 1: Traditional

In days of old young men and women would meet in various day-to-day situations (especially church). He might ask if he were permitted to call on her. If he didn’t ask, she might hint that he wouldn’t be turned away if he chose to do so. A traditional courtship began when he knocked on her parent’s door.

Information regarding suitable matches (according to age, social standing, and religious affiliation) was widely disseminated. Many people in the community were willing to take an interest and point out appropriate prospects. Not least among these people, of course, were the parents of the youngsters involved.

This system of “courting” was formalized among the middle and upper classes – the girls would wait at home for the boys to call. The two of them would spend time together in her parent’s home, chaperoned from a distance (an occasional peek through the open doorway). The two would talk about whatever interested them and the girl would evince more or less interest in each lad.

Among the lower classes the process was often less formal. A shopgirl might have a number of boys dropping in and hanging around during her working day. They would engage her in conversation whenever she had a spare moment. The results were similar.

Of course, each young man might be calling on several girls.

The girls and boys knew quite a bit about each other before they first sat down together. Through extended networks the girls would be sure to find out any flaws the boys had exhibited in their lifetime. A boy generally had to depend on his female relatives; they would hear things that “team woman” wouldn’t tell the men. Families protected the youngsters from spending time with inappropriate matches. The conversations (in the parlor, over the shop counter, or on daylight walks) primarily allowed the young people to find out if their personalities clicked, if they enjoyed spending time together.

After a period of time a young lady could expect to have a group of young men calling on her consistently. The young men in whom she showed little interest, and those not interested in her, would simply stop calling. The boys still calling thought she was a good potential wife.

Now it would be time to get serious. A girl would choose one or two boys that she preferred and intensify her indications of interest. She might even begin to speak a little more boldly – bringing up “hypothetical” questions about marriage, children, etc.

Eventually an agreement was reached with one of the boys that she would be amenable to a proposal of marriage. Before he actually asked her, of course, he had to talk to her dad. Presumably dad and mom had been vetting the boys all along, so permission would be granted.

This system worked, and worked much better than the current system of “dating.” Some girls might have been raised to think of themselves as princesses and be overly fussy about finding “Mr. Right.” Some fathers might even indulge their daughters by introducing them to visiting suitors. This could backfire since, without a solid local knowledge of the man’s reputation, he might not be what he seemed.

Some of the boys might have been under the impression that no local girl was good enough for them. They had the option of moving to the big city to seek their fame and fortune (and wife). Even in the big city they had to go through the same courting process. They rarely found anyone better than the girls back home.

Most young men and women married locally – though the pool of eligible mates might have seemed very shallow according to our modern standards. And those who did were generally as happy as anyone in their marriages.

The truth is that most young men and women who didn’t differ too greatly in their looks, upbringing, and religious preferences could marry successfully. That’s why arranged marriages worked so well for so many centuries.

Young people in those days were taught to have reasonable expectations about what it meant to be a good husband/wife. That was the most critical factor in “making a good match.”