When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands.
A new study is making the rounds that found a mismatch between the imaginary men unmarried women are planning on marrying, and the real life unmarried men available to these women. This mismatch between fantasy and reality is predictably generating outrage that weak men are screwing feminism up. From the NY Post: Broke men are hurting American women’s marriage prospects
…researchers created profiles of potential husbands, based on real husbands as logged in American Community Survey data. They then compared these hypothetical spouses with actual unmarried men.
They found that a woman’s made-up hubby makes 58 percent more money than the current lineup of eligible bachelors.
“This study reveals large deficits in the supply of potential male spouses,” the study concludes.
“Many young men today have little to bring to the marriage bargain, especially as young women’s educational levels on average now exceed their male suitors’,” Lichter says.
This shouldn’t be surprising. The women who picked first chose the best options. The ones who waited to pick last are left with the rest.
But there is another aspect to this, because women’s past decisions to delay marriage also played a role in shrinking the pool of men who prepared to take on the role of provider. The first generations of women who decided to push out the age of marriage for the most part found that the same number of men still prepared to be husbands. But over time as the length of the delay increased, this weakened the signal women collectively sent to young men that respectable men will be sexually successful. It isn’t just that young women are now astonishingly open about their intent to have sex with badboys in their prime and settle for a beta provider at the last minute, although that has to have an impact. It also isn’t just that as a society we see married fathers as beneath contempt, although surely that’s having an impact as well. Today an 18 year old man doesn’t see the same incentive to knock himself out on education and career that men of previous generations saw. Today an 18 year old man sees that for the next decade or so his most effective sexual strategy is to focus on being the sexy badboy young women dedicate their sexual prime to, not patiently preparing to be the boring loyal dude who will pick up the tab*.
What should surprise us is not that men are slowly responding to the radical changes brought about by our still ongoing sexual revolution. What should surprise us is how many young men still focus their youth preparing for a role our society despises. Either way, young men are slowly starting to respond to the messages we are collectively shouting at them, and we should expect this trend to increase over time.
It is also worth remembering the outrage the “Princeton Mom” Susan Patton received back in 2013 for her advice to Princeton women to stop sexing up bad boys and snap up the best prospective husbands before other women beat them to the punch. From her original letter to the women attending Princeton:
Smart women can’t (shouldn’t) marry men who aren’t at least their intellectual equal. As Princeton women, we have almost priced ourselves out of the market. Simply put, there is a very limited population of men who are as smart or smarter than we are. And I say again—you will never again be surrounded by this concentration of men who are worthy of you.
From her interview with CNN after she published a book expounding on the same subject:
Kelly: I cracked up when I read what you wrote: “Be aware of marrying a dumb guy for good sex. The sex won’t improve, and he’ll never get smarter.”
Patton: There are two barnyard analogies that I cite regularly. The first is men will not buy the cow if the milk is free, and that’s the truth. If you give men sex without commitment, you have eliminated the incentive for them to commit. …
An equally important barnyard analogy has to do with just what you’re talking about: the bad guys, the crazy boys, just the men you know you shouldn’t spend time with. I’m telling women avoid wasting time with the pigs for the sake of a little sausage.
H/T Anno, Nick M.
*Details on the chart here.