One of the biggest impacts of the sexual revolution and second wave feminism is the trend of women delaying marriage to focus on a combination of sexual promiscuity, education, and career. A quick and dirty way to visualize this is the number of years between when a woman turns 18 and when she marries.
We tend to think of the sexual revolution as something that happened in the past, but as the chart above shows it started in the late 1960s and is still underway.
As Novaseeker explained in his excellent comment (see also here and here), when conservative Christians were faced with the choice of following modern values or following biblical values, they cast aside biblical values and followed the culture:
Prior to the sex rev/60s changes, it was quite possible to follow the standard American middle class life script (or upper middle class one .. the upper middle was tiny then anyway) while not contradicting conventional Christian sexual morality. The two meshed. After the sex rev/60s, that meshing came apart. The middle class and above started to prioritize education for their daughters — again, in part as divorce insurance but in part also because it became a middle class norm for parents, especially fathers, to take pride in their daughters’ achievements educationally and professionally. The sexual revolution, the advent of cheap and reliable contraception and abortion, the changed social mores about women pursuing careers and so on … all of this basically changed the middle class life script. Christians who were in the middle class were theoretically faced with a conflict — which script to follow, the Christian one (which also previously was compatible with the middle class one) or the new middle class one which conflicted with the Christian one because it implied lots of fornication?
Well, we know how *that* turned out, don’t we? What we learned was that most American Christians, of all stripes, were more committed middle class strivers than they were committed Christians. So when the life scripts diverged, they followed the (new) middle class life script en masse … basically kept on following the prevailing middle class life script and left the Christian one by the wayside, observed with the lips but not with the actions. This was almost universally taking place at the time, and it became quickly entrenched. The churches didn’t fight it too much — there was some fighting in the 60s and 70s about it, but at the same time most of the “conservatives” in the churches were also adopting, de facto, the new middle class life script for their own daughters, and so the active opposition to this from the churches became weak relatively quickly, and then in the later 80s and into the 90s became virtually unheard of apart from radical separatist elements.
Key to understanding this process is to understand that conservative Christians don’t admit this is what happened. This massive shift is cloaked in denial. While the rest of society admits why women are delaying marriage, conservative Christians have declared that the trend that started in the late 1960s represents Christian women obeying God’s will. The term of denial is season of singleness, and the premise is that marriage delaying Christian women are responding to God’s call for them to wait for a husband. If you aren’t familiar with this part of Christian culture, do a web search on “season of singleness”, and you will find a cacophony of articles and videos on it.
Popular women’s preacher and former Miss Washington Allyson Rowe explains on Youtube: If God’s calling you into a season of singleness, REJOICE in it!
Rowe is 30 and has never married, but giving advice to women on the proper way to wait for a husband is her specialty. Here she explains that Godly women must not compromise on their long list of demands for a husband, because their desires are given to them by God. Settling, and marrying a real life man who is interested in them would be disobedient (sinful!), and betray a lack of faith in the goodness of God’s plan: