Spinster Math

In a post provocatively titled “Total Douchebag Domination,” Dalrock quotes Susan Walsh and links to her video entitled “Douchebag Math” in which she attempts to explain to tingle-following college women how hooking up with players creates more players. Those darn men are quite pragmatic, you see, and as they observe what works in the SMP, they learn to imitate it.

More and more nice guys are going to figure out that with an attitude and poor treatment of girls they are going to get what it is that they want.

Allow me to respond with a statistical thought experiment of my own.

WOMEN MARRY AT AN ASTOUNDING CLIP

Dalrock has made a blogging career out of compiling and exegizing marital statistics, a career so distinguished he made the brainz.com list of Top 100 blogs of 2010 after only six months online (a list also graced by Walsh, Athol Kay and the incomparable Roissy).

I cannot hope to even summarize Dalrock’s numerical research, but one key fact he’s uncovered is that approximately 90% of women marry by age 40. In other words, there is no perceptible “marriage strike,” at least not yet, on the part of men. What does manifest in the stats is a couple of interesting factors: a continuing trend of delaying marriage to later in life, and a definite drop in the number of divorced women remarrying (a “second marriage” strike.)

THE SHOW CAN’T GO ON

Even if there is no marriage strike in the numbers, it is incomprehensible to me and many others (Walsh is one of them though I can’t find the quote right now) that marriage rates will NOT decline. The cultural phenomena are aligned against it: the radical changes in college sexual practices over the past decade towards even-less-committed “hooking up” than the Greek and jock scenes had already been known for, the increasing gender imbalance in American colleges that threatens the female hypergamy instinct, the further decline of romantic relationships as a feature of even mid-20’s young adult lifestyle, and the normalization of long-term cohabitation as a parallel alternative to a full marriage (which itself is a result of the degradation of marriage caused by no-fault divorce which made marriages themselves “disposable.”)

While I believe the committed MGTOW (men going their own way) lifestyle will be attractive to only a small subset of men, as I said above, men are generally quite pragmatic. Many of those pragmatic men who desire relationships with women will stop short of marriage if it is not in their interests, and still others will not find a woman sufficiently worthy of their marital commitment within the timeframe in which marriage is the biggest net benefit to their life (i.e. the childbearing years and the years in which they are doing the most active, interesting things with their lives).

The point of this post is not to debate the costs and benefits of marriage; however to allude to the pragmatic position, I will quote radio host and four-time divorcee Tom Leykis: “I do not say marriage is bad. I say there’s very little benefit to men, far less than women and children get from it – a man can get almost everything marriage used to provide without getting married today.”

INVOLUNTARY SPINSTERHOOD

Allow me now to play with some numbers.

Let’s use Dalrock’s numbers above and say that today, an adult woman has a 90% chance of being married within her young or early middle-age years.

Let’s say also that of the 10% that’s unmarried, half of those are “voluntary”  (lesbians, WGTOW, non-monogamists, or didn’t like the deal of marriage).

That means the other half of the 10% are “involuntary” – they didn’t cash their chips in when they had enough to exchange for marriage, they backed the wrong horse as a partner and he bailed on her, they exhibited a snotty entitled attitude and are humbled too late, they got really bad advice on spouse-hunting or whatnot. In any case, their lack of proximal committed maleness causes them pain and consternation. Susan Walsh noted to me the emergence of a new writing genre, that of “involuntary spinster literature” (which I shortened to the double-entendre “invol-spin.”)

ON THE MARGIN

Stats involving ratios near 1:1 can be very deceptive to analyze, and so to show what I am about to explain I like to do a statistical illustration involving hockey (eh). One of the stats used to measure goalies is save percentage – the ratio of shots on goal that the goalie prevents from getting in the net. If a goalie had a save percentage of 98%, but he has dropped to 96% lately, it doesn’t sound like a big drop. Those two percentage points are only a 2.1% decline in the value of the metric. But look at it from the reverse perspective – he used to let in 2% of the shots, now he’s letting in 4%. That’s a twofold increase, he’s allowing double the goals!

THE SORROW AND THE PITY

This is where the real trouble starts. Let’s finally say, for the sake of the argument, that in the coming generation the marriage rate is set to decline to around 80%. It doesn’t sound like a catastrophic decline, but it doubles the number of unmarried women.

But the impact could, and almost certainly will, be even greater than that. It’s likely that most of the additional single women will also be involuntary.

That would leave us, following my semi-cooked numbers, with THREE TIMES the number of involuntarily unmarried women. That’s two more cat ladies to go with every one we have now. So now we have a cohort that comprised 5% of women becoming up to 15%.

There is not going to be a full-on marriage strike anytime soon. But there doesn’t need to be one. The effects of the decline of marriage are going to hit very hard on the margin.

It’s like being the goalie…your save percentage drops a few points and all of a sudden you’re allowing in whole-number multiples of goals.

And considering how much carping we’re already seeing from women not getting what they think is their birthright in the sexual (and marital) marketplace, we best be prepared for a media cacophony.

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37 Comments

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37 responses to “Spinster Math

  1. johnnymilfquest

    Quality post Badger. Lots of food for thought.

    I have some observations on the subject.

    1. The median average age for a first marriage in the UK is now 37 for men and 34 for women.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/feb/12/marriage-wedding-rates-fall?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

    I think that’s about a decade older than the corresponding stats for the USA. Americans still seem culturally invested in The Institution. Even if that means getting married and divorced repeatedly.

    2. Both the WGTOW and the MGTOW are getting more numerous.

    Women are withdrawing themselves from the market as the Great Mancession makes the average man an increasingly less attractive marriage prospect. Even if he has a decent job now, will he still have a job in two years time?

    Men are withdrawing from the market in some cases because of their own non-marketability, in some cases due to divorce 2.0 and in other cases to avoid scenes like this:

    http://www.rooshv.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/ultra-bar.jpg

    3. A decline in marriage does NOT imply an increase in promiscuity.

    It implies that more men are jerking off to porn and more women are taking up embroidery, playing Jenga or whatever the **** they like to do on their own.

    4. A decline in marriage does NOT imply a reduced birth rate.

    Most women in the west will continue to breed. Some will breed more than others. But overall this will be at or above the replacement rate.The proportion of men passing their genes on is not the limiting factor for population.

  2. detinennui32

    Eccellent, Badger.

    A couple of points:

    1. Work and effects in and around the margins seems to be the manosphere meme this week. The margins are where the best and worst effects can be felt and had.

    2. Flip your numbers around: if 2% more women can be persuaded to ditch the SATC/EPL lifestyle and pursue durable marriage in their peak years, the effects would be equally impressive the other way.

    3. “And considering how much carping we’re already seeing from women not getting what they think is their birthright in the sexual (and marital) marketplace, we best be prepared for a media cacophony.”

    There is always wailing and gnashing of teeth by women about their marital lack. But will the Kay Hymowitzes of the world take up the cause for men of marriage age wanting to marry but being unable to find suitable partners? To ask the question is to answer it. The only place you might see that is in the manosphere.

  3. Brilliant analysis Badger. The other thing I would add is the current 5% is an extremely vocal 5%. My guess is they are the same demographic as most of the publishing class. Otherwise, why all of the gnashing of teeth over such a small number. If it triples under the very plausible scenario you propose, the volume of the carping will be deafening.

  4. And thanks for all of the linkage!

  5. Oh, I am excited, and getting my popcorn ready… Because technically speaking involuntary spinsterhood means to me, that a woman did everything in her power to become a married woman with children, but external forces prevented that…

    That is not the case here… We know that women GET IN their own way when it comes to romantic relationships

    The thing people have to realize here is that, this marriage crisis is not linear, no social movement is… (Let me see if I can explain this from my limited knowledge)

    —————————————————————-

    I remember this guy named Michael Ruppert (Collapse movie) , a conspiracy theorist talking about the 100th monkey theory

    Or Malcolm Gladwell’s book “The Tipping Point”

    The marriage crisis has not “tipped over” so to speak, but we are on our 97th monkey of marriage strikers before the thing blows over…

    And voices like yours Badger are screaming from every metaphorical mountaintop…

    Super Saiyan To The End

  6. Dalrock,

    It is indeed a vocal minority, with a lot of access to money and media to get their voices heard. Educated upper class women are most vulnerable to hypergamy gone wrong, as there are only so many top men to go around. Highly-educated but otherwise unremarkable (in body or spirit) women like Alyssa Bereznak are at highest risk for unfulfillable expectations.

    Whiskey posted recently on Hollywood playing to its female-heavy audience by normalizing highly promiscuous female leads, the latest example being a film with the charming plot of a young woman who apparently can’t quite recall all of her sexual partners.

    http://whiskeys-place.blogspot.com/2011/09/anna-faris-and-whats-your-number.html

    Sounds like the kind of cultural product that’s really going to make men want to put a ring on it.

  7. Will

    In the UK the number of FIRST Marriages has more than HALVED between 1970 and the year 2000. So there is a marriage strike occuring in the UK.

    http://www.2-in-2-1.co.uk/ukstats.html

  8. Pingback: Advanced spinster mathematics | Dalrock

  9. Anacaona

    Great post Badger!
    I wanted to add that social trends are not stable. The number of unmarried people can be increased over time in a blink of an eye. There is the accumulative effect and in modern times social trends to be continues and then suddenly grow.

    You remember when facebook started and only a few people were in it and in more or less five years more than 50% of the population had it and in 10 years pretty much everyone had a facebook? It works the same way. My guess is that the marriage strike is going to hit fast and hard in less time than predicted, YMMV.

  10. Smooth T

    One of (many) reasons this whole trend bothers me is that good women get caught in the crossfire and end up spinsters due to no fault of their own. Much like the blue-pill men, they were told to be good girls, don’t sleep around, develop skills that will make you a good wife and mother, etc., just to see the carousel riders get all the male attention.

    I have several female friends who are now in their late 30s/early 40s, and attractive for their age. At least two are virgins, the rest are pretty inexperienced. They’re not career-minded warpigs either – mostly elementary school teachers who would be great mothers, and desperately want to be moms.

    But much like the “nice guys”, they tried to follow the rules and do things the “right” way, and got burned for it. Especially those that live in more liberal/secular areas – when the other women are giving it away to anyone and everyone with no strings attached, the “good girls” simply get overlooked.

    Once the men start looking to settle down as they approach middle age, they’re looking for a woman who still has a lot of childbearing years left, and not a woman pushing 40 herself.

    Perhaps some of these involuntary spinsters will have their own red-pill moment and start fighting back against feminism, which has done countless damage to both sexes.

  11. anonymous x

    Gonna add to this the student loan bubble. When enough students are carrying mortgage-size loans on graduation, that is very likely to hold back family formation. How can young people get married and establish themselves in this economy when one or both parties have huge loans to pay back? I’m wondering if student loans will continue to inhibit buying starter homes which is generally taken to be the lynchpin of the entire residential real estate market.

  12. Ceer

    One of the reasons this whole trend bothers me is that women spout off like they know what they’re talking about. After over a decade of approaching women in person, chatting with them online, and the occasional girlfriend. I have very little sympathy for any woman approaching 40 with no husband on the horizon. If you wanted someone who tingles your vagina, makes more money than you AND is a great husband/father, why did you hide what tingles your vagina from men, claw for that extra promotion at work, and give all your attention to bad boys?

    If you are a marriage minded woman in this culture, why do you NOT go into full out bag a husband mode in your early 20’s during the peak of your SMV? It’s like a man refusing to learn game.

  13. zed

    I have several female friends who are now in their late 30s/early 40s, and attractive for their age. At least two are virgins, the rest are pretty inexperienced. They’re not career-minded warpigs either – mostly elementary school teachers who would be great mothers, and desperately want to be moms.

    But much like the “nice guys”, they tried to follow the rules and do things the “right” way, and got burned for it.

    Once the men start looking to settle down as they approach middle age, they’re looking for a woman who still has a lot of childbearing years left, and not a woman pushing 40 herself.

    Perhaps some of these involuntary spinsters will have their own red-pill moment and start fighting back against feminism, which has done countless damage to both sexes.

    We can only hope.

    This points to a very subtle sub-text in the gender war and is a phenomenon which fuels a lot of the generalized animosity of some men toward the entire female sex. Even as circumstances were shaping up which were damaging to these women, they remained silent about all the damage being done. If they said anything at all it was “NAWALT” and laid all the responsibility back on men for – 1) continuing to believe that they existed, and 2) seeking them out. And, if a man made the mistake of believing that a feminist-in-traditionalist clothing could be trusted it and she burned him for that, it was his fault for “choosing the wrong woman.”

    It is a bit analogous to living in an area where an earthquake has hit and men who were walking around looking for survivors in the rubble were running into feminists everywhere who were saying “Nope, there are no women in here who need to be rescued from their situation” and the men believed them and moved on. If women wanted to be rescued, why did they keep their mouths shut and let feminists speak for them?

    I hit the dating years just about the time that “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” caught on with the women in my age group. I believed them. Now, more than 40 years later, when I hear a woman say that “women over 55 are done with men”, I believe them too.

    If these things aren’t true for all women, and they would like to be treated as though they aren’t, I would suggest that they start to speak up about it.

    Until they do, I am very short on sympathy for their circumstances.

  14. The parallels between this and economics are particularly noticeable in that economics (particularly supply and demand for which you are talking about) are always determined “at the margins.” A perfect example of a small percentage difference between supply and demand are items like Tickle Me Elmo’s or if you remember Sony’s PS2. Was there a shortage?

    Yes.

    Was the shortage 1/2? or 75%?

    Heck no. The vast majority of people who wanted Ps2’s and Tickle Me Elmo’s got them. Around 95%. But that 5% that didn’t is enough of a shortage to drive their prices sky high.

    You can expect the “price of marriage” to go up for women. You can also expect men, if they’re smart, to start acting like a cartel or a monopoly and control supply, thereby setting prices.

  15. Anon

    Re The Myth of the Virgin Elementary School Teachers:

    Thems the breaks girl. If these girls weren’t such shut in LOSERS their genes wouldn’t have been mercilessly exterminated from the gene pool.

  16. Re: Anon – losers in the current reproductive environment are not necessarily losers in the normative sense. Remember, Darwinian evolution is not normative. Survival of the fittest only means survival of the fittest to survive in their particular environment, and not survival of the best.

  17. In general, the question is whether women can be happy with alternative relationships, such as long term unmarried cohabitation. My guess is that in the long run, they can’t. Too many women want children, which nonmarried relationships don’t accommodate very well. There’s also no incentive for men to stick around once the women ages, an newly single middle aged women hardly ever seem to end up happy.

    Still, most women stuck in this situation will probably declare (when they’re not complaining about men) that they’re thrilled with their FABULOUS lives, how they’re empowered by singleness, etc. Enlightenment will come to the media class last.

  18. excellent post Brother.

    this is especialyy interesting to me since i’m pushing 40 and these same women (early 30’s) are in my dating pool. yeah, i still land 20yo’s, but they aren’t really relationship material at this point for me.

    the pic i sent you. she’s 36. YOWSAH!!!!!

  19. greyghost

    Outstanding Badger. I’m a big believer in the concept you have described. I have been for a while thinking of a way to make involuntary childless spinsterhood a cultural norm as a choice men make for women. nothing works like self interest on the behavior of women.
    BTW you might like this I know I did http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGJdNPiWZzQ

  20. Bob

    In Sweden long term unmarried cohabitation is called sambo (pronounced sahmboo. it’s accumulating legal entanglements much like common-law marriage in the USA.

  21. jlw

    Folks, I think it’s a lot more simple than this and that the first poster’s number 2 point was correct. People connect through assortive mating based in SMV. In the past, 8s paired with 8s and 3s with 3s, just like now. At no time, of course, would one 3 prefer the other 3 if he/she could get an 8, but they generally couldn’t, and, in the past, they needed a spouse. The difference now is that, for a variety of reasons, 3s are more likely to want to stay alone then be with another 3. The economic, cultural and procreative incentives are diminished. Years ago, I noticed that the women in my league were simply not attractive me. In earlier times, I might have lowered my standards. Not today. There’s too much else to do and the wolf is no longer at the door. I’m certainly not alone in this view.

  22. Lavazza

    What I really abhor is the turkey baster women. They want the tax payer, society and the kids to suffer the consequences of their choice not to use their highest SMV to get a man to commit and have babies with them, and accepting that what they had and have to offer is not enough.

    An aquaintance “found” herself in that situation, but made a much more responsible choice to have a baby with a gay friend and raise the child like a divorced couple with 50/50 custody. That is acceptable, since the child and society has to suffer little or nothing from that solution.

  23. …still others will not find a woman sufficiently worthy of their marital commitment…

    Bingo. I’m surprised such a large fraction of women are actually able to find husbands. I’d bet that less than 20% of American women are marriage material.

  24. johnnymilfquest

    @Will: Good find. I’ve bookmarked those statistics.

    Readers in the USA should note that despite the collapse of marriage in the UK, the population of this overcrowded little island remains steady.

    Single mothers on benefits are still having children. Polish immigrant couples are still having kids. Women in Londonistan are still having kids too.

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3791303/John-Cleese-London-is-no-longer-English-city.html

  25. detinennui32

    @ Kane:

    “…still others will not find a woman sufficiently worthy of their marital commitment…

    Bingo. I’m surprised such a large fraction of women are actually able to find husbands. I’d bet that less than 20% of American women are marriage material.”

    Agree that most women aren’t marriage material. But think there are a lot of things going on.

    The numbers bear out that the marriage age for both genders is increasing, but they eventually marry.

    The involuntary spinsters and the “women-divorced-once-and-want-to-remarry-but-can’t” contingents are small, but extremely vocal. Their unrelenting media attention makes them appear much larger than they really are.

    The vast majority of men are still blue pillers. Many of them are still getting married to get the sex because eventually the woman ultimatums him: “we’re either getting married or I’m moving on.” Men don’t have the perspective to hold out for the ideal wife mostly because they don’t understand that their SMVs are increasing while the women of comparable age are declining.

  26. Det-

    Spot on. I was talking to yohami about this earlier.

    As men age, our dating pool grows. For women it’s the opposite. Single mom’s, cat ladies….they attract beta’s

    And most men don’t possess the qualities women truly desire until we reach our 30’s.

    Why am I going to settle for a 30 something year old woman when I can pull a 24yo college girl? At my age, women 3-4 years of my age range are rarely appealing. I’m not hauling her baggage, let solve other schlub do that.

    Not I said Dan.

  27. Thanks for the nice link Badger.

    Among Black and Hispanic women, the trend has been from fairly low levels of illegitimacy (24% in the early 1960’s among Black women, about 17% for Hispanic women in 1980) to get far worse over time. It is now about 70% nationwide and over 90% in the urban core for Black women, over 50% for Hispanic women. Particularly for Hispanics, fertility does not decline with marriage, rather illegitimacy does and fertility seems to actually CLIMB for third/fourth generation Hispanics according to Steve Sailer’s compilation of Census Data.

    If you believe Charles Murray’s AEI talk, White working class women are having kids at 40% illegitimacy rate, middle class women at 20%, and only upper class (upper 20% income) at around 4%. These women may or may not get married but if so are not staying married save the upper class when they have kids.

    I think the nuclear family for all but the upper class is dead. Not enough high-status and sexy/dominant men, not enough pain on the single mother front, a radical and permanent shift: family is a woman and a kid, maybe more by different fathers who don’t live with or do much with the kid. The Black underclass norm. Basically a wealth destroyer and “total Douchebag Domination.” Single mother boys grow up to be … the Situation.

  28. Lavazza

    whiskey: Yeah, that really seems to be the trend. But what will be the trend changer? And when? There are a lot of peaks happening and they all have the potential of being game changers on a global level. I hesitate between peak oli and peak credit.

  29. johnnymilfquest

    “I think the nuclear family for all but the upper class is dead. Not enough high-status and sexy/dominant men, not enough pain on the single mother front, a radical and permanent shift: family is a woman and a kid, maybe more by different fathers who don’t live with or do much with the kid. The Black underclass norm. Basically a wealth destroyer and “total Douchebag Domination.” Single mother boys grow up to be … the Situation.”

    Spot on. The growth of the state allows this to happen.

    I can’t think of anything that will reverse the trend apart from the collapse of the global sovereign debt ponzi scheme.

    Which might be just around the corner…

  30. @Whiskey Agreed

    Men that come from single mothers tend to be two kinds of men…

    Macho thugs (men who have figured out women prefer dominant men) or simps (men who are taught to deify women)… & also homosexual men are more likely to come from a fatherless situation…

    See: Absent Fathers, Lost Sons: The Search for Masculine Identity

    Rarely does a well adjusted masculine man come from Single Motherhood

  31. Pingback: Massachusetts Finally Gives Marriage a Break |

  32. (I do not know is HTML-tags allowed on that comment box)

    johnnymilfquest: “The median average age for a first marriage in the UK is now 37 for men and 34 for women.”

    In Finland average age for a first marriage was (on 2008 and 2009) 32,5 for men and 30,2 for women: http://www.stat.fi/til/ssaaty/2010/ssaaty_2010_2011-05-06_tie_001_fi.html

    Usually domestic partnership/common-law marriage is before marriage.

    On 2002 when first child was born 46% of parents were married. When second child was born 64% of parents were married. When third child was born 73% of parents were married: http://www.stat.fi/artikkelit/2007/art_2007-11-07_003.html

    That means that marriage happens often/usually after one or more children was born.

    On 2010 there were 4 065 168 families:
    • 513 889 marriages (no children)
    • 446 433 marriages (have children)
    • 195 967 domestic partnership/common-law marriages (no children)
    • 117 254 domestic partnership/common-law marriages (have children)
    • 149 651 (single) mothers with children
    • 30 278 (single) fathers with children
    (then there is families which are civil partnerships)
    4 065 168 from population (5 375 276) lived in families on 2010: http://www.stat.fi/til/perh/2010/perh_2010_2011-05-27_tie_001_fi.html

    [Welcome Kari, thanks for commenting. It is interesting how many Europeans I meet look quizically at the American obsession with marriage.]

  33. Pechorin: “In general, the question is whether women can be happy with alternative relationships, such as long term unmarried cohabitation. My guess is that in the long run, they can’t. Too many women want children, which nonmarried relationships don’t accommodate very well.”

    Well, In Finland there is quite many nonmarried relationships (domestic partnerships). As I noted on my previous comment, 117 254 of nonmarried relationships have children.

    Yes, often there is marriage after child is born.

  34. Pechorin: “There’s also no incentive for men to stick around once the women ages, an newly single middle aged women hardly ever seem to end up happy.”

    Well, there (in Finland) is some protection (since 2011) if domestic partnerships is at least five year long or there have common children.

    Act on the Dissolution of the Household of Cohabiting Partners entered into force on 1 April
    http://www.om.fi/en/Etusivu/Ajankohtaista/Uutiset/1290610691738

  35. That

    “On 2010 there were 4 065 168 families:”

    should be ”

    On 2010 there were 1 455 073 families:”

  36. Pingback: Massachusetts Finally Gives Marriage a Break | Hooking Up Smart

  37. Pingback: Happy Birthday to the Badger Hut, Part 2: Best Posts | The Badger Hut

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