One of the common Disney, Societal Programming defenses of marriage looks something like this:
If you put any stock in studies undertaken by university scientists, you will find myriad examples of the benefits of marriage: 60% of single women reach the age of sixty-five, whereas 95% of married women do. Drug and alcohol abuse among 500,000 young test subjects dropped sharply among those who married. The University of Chicago recently conducted a study that showed married people make twice as much money, have twice as much sex and experience half the domestic violence as those who co-habitate, and the numbers are likely even higher when compared to those who don’t live together.
I have discussed marriage and divorce stats many times, particularly here and here, including how the stats can be twisted around into a pretzel to make all kinds of oddball points. Today, I’ll address these various “marriage is good for men” arguments. I’ll break down the above quote into each component, since each tend to be a common defense of traditional, monogamous, legal (non-prenuped) marriage.
60% of single women reach the age of sixty-five, whereas 95% of married women do.
This is talking about women obviously, but the same argument is made for men, in that some stats show that men and women tend to live longer when married. I addressed this point in item number 44 right here, but I’ll describe the problem with it more fully.
When you say something like “married people live longer than unmarried people”, you are comparing the typical married person with the typical unmarried person.
Now picture the typical guy who never gets married. Is he an Alpha Male? Is he a healthy, dynamic, motivated, decent-looking, socially calibrated, confident, happy man?
Actually, he’s usually the exact opposite. As much as I hate to say it, the never-married man is most likely an uber-nerd, extreme social recluse, or angry asshole. You know, an extreme MGTOW type or Japanese herbivore man. He never gets married not because he’s made the rational decision to maximize his long-term consistent happiness like an Alpha 2.0 would. Rather, the typical forever-unmarried guy never marries for reasons such as:
– He’s terrified of women.
– He’s angry at women.
– He has social problems.
– He’s got mental issues (Aspergers, etc.).
– He suffers from chronic depression, clinical or otherwise.
– He’s hugely overweight and thus is destined to live a shorter life with more medical problems.
– He’s an addict of some kind, and again is destined to live a shorter life with more medical problems.
– He’s a normal guy but dies much sooner than the average man for whatever reason, thus dying before he feels the pressure to “not die alone” and marry later in life as more and more men are doing. (These early dying men skew these stats upward just on their own.)
Drug and alcohol abuse among 500,000 young test subjects dropped sharply among those who married.
Of course it does, because drug addicts are less likely to get married. Drug addicts usually have pretty fucked up lives and are not viewed as good marriage material by the opposite sex.
Do you want to marry a heroin addict? Or even an ex-heroin addict? Or would you prefer to marry a woman who’s never done any hard drugs? I rest my case.
When people quote stats like this, they’re getting it backwards. They’re implying that people who do drugs get married and then suddenly stop because marriage is so awesome. (Yes, this can sometimes happen with unusual exceptions to the rule.) Or that large numbers of single people suddenly start doing drugs if they don’t get married by a particular age because being unmarried is so horrible. Both of these implications are obviously untrue.
The University of Chicago recently conducted a study that showed married people make twice as much money
First of all, this is horseshit. I have never seen a study where married men make double what single men make. I also notice that there is no source for this claim. However, to be fair, there are plenty of studies that show that married men tend to have higher incomes than single men.
It’s the same as with this drug thing. Men who make more money are more likely to get married because they are viewed as higher quality potential husbands to women. Do women want to marry the guy who makes $22,000 a year or the guy who makes $63,000 a year? Again, I rest my case.
In addition, the condition of being married drives your expenses upwards because wives and children cost so much damn money. This puts pressure on you to make more money as a married dude that a single guy doesn’t have. I’m not surprised at all that married men tend to make a little more than single guys who have no wife or kids who are constantly vacuuming money out of their wallets.
If marriage defenders want to accurately demonstrate how great marriage is for a man, they need to measure not the difference in gross income compared to a single man, but the amount of disposable income a married man has at the end of a typical month, after all household expenses, to spend as he chooses freely, vs. that of a single guy. This study will never be done of course, because we all know which of these two men has more monthly disposable cash and financial freedom.
have twice as much sex
Again, there is no study I have ever seen that shows married men have double the sex of unmarried men. However, if you search very hard, you will uncover a few studies where “married people have more sex” than unmarried people. Several folks have thrown a few of these studies at me over the years.
Every time you dig into the numbers of these studies, you always find that the only married people having more sex than unmarrieds are young married people, as in people in their early to mid 20s. Married people over 26 or 27 are having less sex than unmarried people.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a long time, you already know the reason for those numbers. Young married people haven’t been married very long, because they’re young. During the first few years of the marriage, you’re in new marriage NRE, and of course the two of you newlyweds are fucking like rabbits, probably every day.
Do married people fuck like rabbits every day throughout the entire marriage? Ha! Of course not, as just about every long-term married person will tell you. At first, newlyweds go crazy with the sex, but soon dreaded three-year mark arrives, and the amount of sex they have starts to drop like a stone, usually because the wife has reached her biological boredom point and she doesn’t want to fuck her husband anymore.
Then, congratulations, you are now having less sex than you did when you were unmarried, even if you weren’t getting laid very much when you were single. The increased sex you were getting during the first year or two of marriage (that these stats are reflecting) isn’t worth the decreased sex you’ll now experience for the next several decades (assuming you stay married that long of course, which, statically speaking, you will not; you’ll get divorced long before you reach “decades”).
I have said many times that the sexual activity of married people can only be measured accurately if you study/poll only people who have been married for longer than three years. Adding newlyweds to these studies artificially skews these numbers upward. If you’ve been married for 20 years, and have been having sex with your wife just three or four times a year for the past 18 years, does it really matter if you fucked like rabbits every day for the first two years? Of course not. The key number is the amount of sex you have throughout the entire marriage, not just the first 1-3 years when everything is new and exciting.
I have yet to see a study or poll on the sexual frequency of only married couples who have passed their three year mark. And I know why. Without the newlyweds artificially propping these numbers up, it would instantly murder this “married people have more sex” fallacy.
and experience half the domestic violence as those who co-habitate,
I have not seen this study, but again, if it’s true, violent people tend to be losers, and are less likely to get legally married because they will not be judged as good marriage material by the opposite sex. Violent men are violent men, period, as a static condition. The perfectly nice man who suddenly becomes a violent, physically abusive asshole right after he legally marries his wife is a common Hollywood trope, but it doesn’t exist in real life in any statistical size.
Any time someone says that marriage is good for a man and throws some of these silly stats at you, show them this article.