Commenter davver made the following point in the discussion on Alpha Women, Beta Men:
Without disregarding feminism, I really doubt any ideological movement could explain the huge change in behavior we’ve seen throughout the developed world in regards to marriage. The truth is things like modern economic automation, technological advancement, globalization, and the pill have all had such radical effects on gender relations that the traditional model probably won’t survive. If I had to guess monogamy as we know it will probably not survive, irregardless of whether everyone all decides to abandon feminism.
While there are undoubtedly powerful disruptive forces at work against traditional marriage, this is only looking at one half of the equation. These powerful forces are lined up against biological reality. Children need fathers; those who embrace the culture of single motherhood will tend to devolve down to the underclass. We are already seeing very strong evidence of this on both ends of the SES spectrum. Upper class more intelligent parents are much more likely to do what it takes to raise their kids in an in tact household. On the bottom end of the SES spectrum we see high rates of out of wedlock births and divorce.
The other biological reality I think we will see is the strong desire of women to have the status and validation which comes from having a man invested in them. Serial monogamy has the allure of offering women this investment without their own commitment, but this isn’t a viable long term plan. As women come to understand this better this will influence their choices more and more. We already see women acting accordingly, even though the pro divorce message is deafening. We can see this in the data demonstrating that divorce rates drop dramatically as women get older. Despite all of the nonsense about how women are done with men after a certain age, etc. women’s likelihood of divorce strongly tracks their perceived ability to remarry or at least achieve something approximating marriage. The original post davver made this comment on is another example, albeit less direct. The ultra competitive career women in the article are extremely unhappy that they didn’t wind up with the traditional arrangement, even though they followed an extremely untraditional path. They still want a worthy man to demonstrate that he is invested in them, even though it is extremely unlikely.
Right now marriage is assumed to be something every woman can have once she is ready. So far the data (at least for white women) has proven this correct. Instead of a full fledged breakdown of the institution of marriage, I expect that eventually we will see husbands (and marriage) becoming something more scarce, and therefore more valued by women. We already see hints of this with the completely out of proportion gnashing of teeth about where have all the good men gone. Imagine the reaction if there actually was a shortage of eligible men willing to marry. In the meantime I expect that we will see even more social upheaval, with children and unsuspecting honest men continuing to be the ones who bear the brunt of the cost.