Sunday, April 24, 2011

Decline of marriage in graphical form

I have stated before that marriage itself is in a decline but most of the time, people kind of yawn, and don't pay it much attention. I suspect part of this is because we have so many problems in society as it is that one more inspires a collective yawn, especially when it seems so distant.

The blue line is the divorce rate in the United States per 1000 married women, corrected for the ordinary things such as population. We can see the divorce rate is roughly holding steady and perhaps even improving a bit. This is a red herring because as we can see, the marriage rate is in rapid and serious decline. If it continues the same decline it has been in for the last several decades, marriage as we know it will cease. Now, I don't expect it to entirely end - it will still continue to some degree among the very wealthy and the very religious. I hope to be among the latter group, if not the former!

I made an extrapolation for the year 2045. I am not worried greatly if that year is not exact, because the downward trend is what most significant. It may, and probably will be years off, and I have no idea what the next 35 or so years will hold. But this decline is going to put some incredible strains on our society and us individually.

And yet, the irony is, our society is arguably having less sex than in the '60s, even while we become more obsessed. A few guys will get a lot more, while most guys will get little if any. Girls will be pumped and dumped with greater and greater frequency and chutzpah. It does not make for a more enjoyable society except for the few alpha men and the pretty girls in their 20's and in the end, for no one at all.

In the words of Elder Neil A Maxwell, "From here on out, it is high adventure.".

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The current Marriage Climate

Someone in conference might have mentioned something about young men getting married. And I totally support this, though I suspect Elder Packer's comment to the women as well deserves some emphasis, but not in this post.

But what I wanted to do here, is point out how the law and courtroom climate we have, disincentivizes that. It does not help that so many of us have seen friends and parents divorce, what was taken for granted as something we could do, now fills all of us with wariness.

One of the consequences of feminism was greater support for divorce and divorcees. Perhaps it made sense at one point, but now, most women can pretty well divorce at any point and get financially set for a long period of time - all the benefits of marriage without the hassles.

"This is how absurd it is: I have paid her $16 million, I am left with about $8.5 million, out of which I have to pay her another $5 million.
"So she'll get something like $21 million, and I am left with $3.5 million, and we never had children.
"People say "why didn't you have a pre-nup?" The answer is I did have a prenup but it had no legal force in the UK and to my astonishment, I found that it didn't have legal force in the United States either.
"It...only had 'advisory' influence."

In the world at large, many men are growing wary of marriage as an institution, because it offers them nothing, while leaving all the power in the hands of the women - not the equality or egalitarian that was advertised.

The law and the practice of law needs to be honestly equal, or it will continue to dissuade many from marriage at all.