Saturday, October 07, 2017

Are Pixels to Blame For a Decline in Marriage Rates?

That favorite villain of so many, "porn", is implied in recent news reporting to be a culprit in the marriage rate decline. [This post has been bumped up from earlier publication.] See the headline of Paul Bedard's article at The Washington Examiner for one example: Shock study: Marriage rate declines with porn use, threatening economy, society

Yes, yes, out of everything that has happened,  let's blame pixels.
Pornography is replacing the desire among young men for marriage, according to a new study that finds males are chasing “low-cost sexual gratification” on the web over a wife and family.
Once again we see that people think men are supposed to pay a lot of money to have orgasms.

There's so much to be said, and so little time. 

1) Are there some men who say, "Hey, who needs marriage when I can watch porn?" There probably are a few - a very few. Let's think about those men for a moment. If a man who would and could otherwise marry is looking at porn as a replacement for marriage, that means the only thing he thinks women bring to marriage is visual/auditory sexual stimulation, or he thinks the other things women bring to marriage do not outweigh his costs for getting and being married. Do you think it would be a good idea for such a man to get married?

2) However, there are other men who use porn because they haven't married (yet). They want the stimulation, they're not getting it from a wife, so they view porn.

3) There are unmarried men who do not view porn, or at least only incidentally view it. Some of these men never want to marry (again).

4) There are married men who view porn. Some of those men are satisfied with their sex life with their wife, some of the wives are happy with their sex life, and in other cases, he's viewing porn because his wife is sexually rejecting.

5) There are men who marry, and marry at the same age they would have with or without porn, who viewed porn all along.

6) Men can get sexual gratification without viewing porn and without being married. Whether it is masturbation or a girlfriend, or a shack-up, or a booty call, or a friend-with-benefits, it is very easy for an unmarried man to get sexual gratification these days without viewing porn and with little time, money, emotion, or effort spent.

“Traditionally, one of the reasons to enter into a marriage was sexual gratification. But as options for sexual gratification outside of marriage have grown, the need for a marriage to serve this function is diminishing,” said the report.
Let's not forget that getting married is no guarantee of sexual gratification. But yes, a man used to marry for sexual gratification, to have a mother for his children, and to have access to his children. Now, getting married is no guarantee of sexual gratification, sexual gratification can be had without marriage, getting married does not necessarily mean your wife will actually be a mother (she might call herself one, but have others do the mothering), and a man can get access to his children without being married (and the children can get access to him and his finances without being born into or raised inside a marriage).
The report published by Germany’s Institute for the Study of Labor and co-authored by a West Chester University of Pennsylvania professor suggested that the government crack down on porn access, especially as more and easier tools to tap into the Internet, such as smartphones, expand. 
Yeah, that's going to work.
Saving marriage, said the report, will help the economy and society.
Oh no no no no... if there's anything the courts and legislators have taught us in recent years is that marriage is solely about the feelings of the adults, especially women and homosexual men.
The study is being highlighted by the group Morality in Media, which sent it to Secrets Tuesday. “Pornography is a marriage killer and thus it has monumental negative ramifications for society’s future,” said Patrick A. Trueman, president of the group. “Research has shown for some time that porn use in marriage destroys the marital bond, but now we can see that porn use destroys even the desire to get married,” he added.
I have a sneaking suspicion that there are far more marriages destroyed by porn because a wife is upset that her husband views porn rather than her husband behaving differently towards her because he views porn. A wife catches a husband and scolds him, punishes him, etc., and very rarely does she have a coherent, rational explanation for her disapproval that is consistent with her own behavior. For example, "My husband should only have eyes for me," as she reads romance novels or watches television shows about opulence her husband could never provide. Or she'll say "This degrades women", and yet she watches The Bachelor. No, often a woman objects because she's jealous of pixels or because she thinks she's supposed to

As far as the desire to marry, I think a stronger killer of that can be found by looking at the high rates of mental/personality disorders in Western women, obesity, the sense of entitlement, unrealistic expectations that a husband will "make" her happy, community property laws, alimony, child support, adultery by wives and paternity fraud, domestic violence issues, on and on it goes.
The researchers were interested in how declining marriage rates impact society and the economy. They said that “stable marriages create substantial welfare improvements for society, especially to the degree that marital stability produces high-quality children.”
There's definitely an argument there. I mean, Presidents BHO and WJC did not grow up in stable homes with their mother and father married to each other. But seriously, what these people want is men picking one woman to pay her way through life, instead of those women using taxpayer assistance, funded more by men than women.
They cited statistics showing that men 25-34 are six times less likely to be married than the same age group was in 1970.
That's a very, very shaky connection. Many other things have happened since 1970 in addition to the ubiquitous availability of porn. More people are waiting to complete their education and get established in their careers before marrying, and that takes longer for most people than it did in 1970.
They also found that divorce rates are twice what they were in 1950.

Yes, well, since women file the vast majority of divorces, maybe the way to cut the divorce rate is to, oh, I don't know, have women STOP FILING?

I wonder if the study even bothered to ask men why they aren't married?

I'm sure that some will argue that viewing porn degrades a man's view of women, thus making it less likely that he'll want to marry. I doubt that is true for many men, and I suspect the people who argue that way would still be against men reading, for their personal enjoyment, pornographic stories written by women that have admirable female characters.

If we are to believe statistics, then it is a fact that most marriages are not both lasting until death and happy for a significant majority of the time. A majority of marriages will either end in divorce or go through at least a significant amount of time where both or one spouse is very unhappy with the situation. That's the world we've created. If porn is in any way a cause, it is such a small percentage of a factor that it isn't worth the effort to try to suppress it. The vast majority of people will get married, but if someone wants even more people to get married or wants them to get married younger, and especially if they want married people to have more children, then a whole lot about our laws, public policies, and culture is going to have to be changed. One thing that will help tremendously is to stop punishing men for marrying and becoming fathers, and especially if incentives for them to do so can somehow be restored. I'm not sure that is possible to do in a good way. For example, I would not be supportive of throwing taxpayer money at men as a bonus for marrying.

At this point, reports like this one look to me like someone standing on the deck of the sinking Titanic and fretting that their watch isn't waterproof, and that maybe if it was, they could used it as a flotation device.

See: Stop Using Stupid Arguments Against Adult Media


  1. I didn't read your whole post to be honest,
    But I agree.
    More people are hung up on the idea of men viewing porn, then the actual evidence of any man acting different from watching porn.
    If a man watches porn, and then disgraces a woman because of what he saw, it's not even the porns fault, it's this man's mentality.
    I personally see nothing wrong with porn. Sure if you're watching it all day then maybe you have a problem, but that goes with any addiction.

    Dr Laura brought up on Mondays show, (that woman whose husband bought an escort to fulfill his needs as a sexual human, because she couldn't give him that gratification,) she goes, "would you rather him get a girlfriend? Or rather him watch porn?"
    Porn is not equivilant to an affair! It is not cheating. It is not an abomination. It is entertainment. Watching porn won't make you a bad sexual person, just as watching crime movies won't make you a criminal!

    (Also women watch significant porn too! Not just men!)

  2. Francesca, thanks for all of your comments. As I've written elsewhere, when people say watching porn is JUST AS BAD as having a physical affair, it is an absurd statement. The porn stars will never show up at your home or workplace to fight with you or cause a scene, or transmit an STD, or have a child who will make a claim to the family income.


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