Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Another Article Trying to Get Men to Sacrifice Themselves

The Catholic News Agency recently did an article based on a study released by the Institute for Family Studies, from our friends W. Bradford Wilcox and Nicholas H. Wolfinger. And I say "friends" because even though I often disagree with either man on Twitter, I appreciate what they're trying to do.

CNA headlined the article with "
What's in it for men? The benefits of getting married".

As we'll see, there's nothing in it for men that they can't get otherwise.

“Indeed, the benefits of marriage for men are substantial by every conceivable measure, including money, a better sex life, and significantly better physical and mental health,” noted a recent study released by the Institute for Family Studies.
We've already covered this extensively here.

“There’s no doubt that marriage requires sacrifices… but it turns out that these sacrifices pay for themselves and more.”
Not so.

This article is coming from a Catholic perspective, which means that sex and cohabitation require marriage. Never mind the many self-proclaimed Catholics who do these things without marriage. But they want to encourage Catholic men to marry and make more Catholics.

According to the research, married men earn around 10-40 percent more money than single men do.
That still puts them behind the unmarried, child-free men because: 1) at least 50% of the money is legally the wife's; 2) women make about 80% of the purchasing decisions and he's going to be paying for stuff he never wanted, most of which he won't use; 3) kids are expensive.
Married men are also less likely to be fired and tend to be more successful in business, the study found.
That a married man is less likely to be fired could be bias (even illegal bias) on the part of an employer. It could also be an indication that married men passively accept bad employment conditions whereas a free man is more likely to speak up and resist. As far as being more successful in business, women prefer men who earn more. So his success might not be because he's married, but rather he's married because of (the potential for) success.

What about careers that require traveling, odd/long hours and extra days, and networking in semi-social situations? Does anyone really believe that intentionally unmarried men (as opposed to losers hot women won't consider) are lagging behind married men in those positions?

That's one of the problems with these statistics. They tend to compare all unmarried men, who are a diverse group, to all married men. Men who can attract women who are intentionally unmarried are not the same as "losers".

In addition to career benefits, married men also find that sex is “more emotionally and physically pleasurable than their unmarried peers.”
Not me!!!

Also, a man who doesn't like sex all that much is less likely to bother to marry in the first place.

According to the National Health and Social Life Survey, 51 percent of married men were extremely satisfied with their sex lives, while only 39 percent of cohabiting men, and 36 percent of single men, could say the same.
I'm certain some of that 51 percent are trying to convince themselves, or are experiencing something akin to the Stockholm Syndrome. And notice that 49 percent of married men were not extremely satisfied with their sex lives, and that just counts the ones still married. Some become "unmarried" or "single" because the sex isn't good. As far as cohabitating men, maybe the reason they haven't married is the sex not being better? The "single" men may not have bothered to shack up or marry for the same reason. If the "single" men are sick and poor, they might not be able to have much of a sex life.
Marriage is also good for men’s physical and mental health. For example, men who are married and stay married have a longer life-span, outliving unmarried men by about 10 years.
Again, who is a woman more likely to marry? A healthy man, or an unhealthy one?
“What accounts for these surprising findings? Simply put, the companionship, the support, and even the nagging that men get from their wives in marriage translate into better physical health,” the study said.
See that, guys? Give up 40-50 years of freedom for a lifetime of nagging, criticism, doing things some woman wants you to do so that you can have more years of convalescence. What a deal!

Married men reported less depression and more overall happiness than single men.
The intentionally unmarried men I know tend to be very happy. And again, who is a woman more likely to marry, if he's self-destructive enough to agree?
The General Social Survey found that 43 percent of married men, ages 20-39, were “very happy” with their lives, while only 20 percent of bachelors said the same.
Who is considered a "bachelor"?

All the benefits a man gets come from the voluntary behaviors of a woman, who can provide those behaviors without a man signing a state legal document, even without a ceremony. If your point is that women are more likely to provide those benefits if a man legally signs over half of his earnings to her, then aren't you calling women prostitutes?
“We believe these negative perceptions need to change. The first step is ensuring that the next generation knows the truth about marriage,” the study said.
The truth about marriage is that its exclusive benefits for men have disappeared because either they don't exist anymore or a man can get them without marrying. Getting legally married provides a breadwinning man who has his act together with no guaranteed benefit, but significant obligations and risks. It is primarily a mechanism to transfer wealth from men to women and lawyers.
It is a bad idea to tell men they should get married because it will benefit them. Even if you believe the premise of these articles, there are many men who marry and it makes their live worse. We should not be encouraging men to marry out of selfishness. Marriage requires sacrifice, compromise, accepting significant limitations on most areas of life, and a lot of struggle.

These studies need to, at the very least, distinguish between:

1) Single men who want an ongoing relationship
2) Single men who don't want an ongoing relationship
3) Men in an ongoing, non-cohabitation relationship
4) Men in a cohabitation relationship that wasn't planned
5) Men in a cohabitation relationship that was planned/involves a cohabitation agreement
6) Married men


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