[Paleopsych] marriage pool shrinking?

G. Reinhart-Waller waluk at earthlink.net
Tue Jun 14 20:24:46 UTC 2005

Michael, Here an alarming statistic:  since 1970, the marriage rate is 
down by 35%.  During this period we've viewed the impact of "feminism" 
on both the workplace and the classroom.  We've also watched 
co-habitation for young people replacing traditional marriage vows and 
advances in birth control measures preventing the arrival of 
unplanned/unwanted offspring.  Many women delay marriage until they 
finish their education and those entering a PhD program place their 
studies far ahead of birthing children.  Medical advances allow even 
post-menopausal women to give birth, something clearly unheard of for 
past generations.  Psychologically a 50% divorce rate  has to have an 
enormous impact on young marriage especially since many divorced women 
with children fall into poverty.  Your evaluation has sparked a 
discussion but in some circles could be seen as fairly naive.  
Nevertheless, it offers food for thought.


Michael Christopher wrote:

>Gerry says:
>>>I know way too many females post 30 who cannot find
>any likely prospects.  Then again, there are many post
>30 males who don't wish to enter the marriage 
>scene.  I think the problem is greater than "no one
>available".  Maybe an examination of the "why" might
>enlighten the question.<<
>--Possibly because everyone has "issues" that
>contaminate relationships. Fundamentalists and very
>sensitive/shy people try to solve that problem by
>being very selective and not getting heavily involved
>until they are certain they've found the person they
>want. Others have sexual relationships that don't
>involve enough emotion to risk rejection or loss of
>face. Others get married early, discover that marriage
>isn't what they expected it to be, and leave when they
>can no longer handle the obligations and routines. In
>poor areas, many women find they have better earning
>potential than the men, and reject marriage because
>they can afford to. The perception that "all men are
>dogs" or that "all women are whores who want your
>money" can make a mess of things as well, with many
>people exhibiting "borderline" traits in relationships
>(swinging from "you are my god/goddess" to "you ruined
>my life", grandiosity and dashed expectations, etc).
>After a few rounds of that, a lot of people decide
>it's just safer and less draining to have less complex
>There are two ways to address that: either improve
>communication between the sexes and give them tools
>for preventing catastrophic rifts in relationships, or
>create a sense of being a tribe, with romantic
>relationships on a lower priority level. If a single
>relationship means everything, it's easier to get
>disillusioned when minor obstacles accumulate, and
>it's easier to explode in rage if you feel betrayed.
>Romantic triangles dramatically affect people's sense
>of status and belonging, and creating a sense of a
>tribal safety net might even things out and make
>relationships less volatile. 
>I'm not sure how fear of nuclear war and terrorism
>will affect marriage patterns... will people marry as
>soon as they feel safe (maybe feeling restless later
>when less afraid) or will they avoid marriage in order
>to avoid the pain of loss?
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