To do a good job in raising their sons, modern fathers have to dig deeper into the nature of fatherhood, deeper than fathers ever had to in all of human history because of the Marxist feminist assault on “patriarchy”,amplified by technological shocks (the pill, internet pornography, etc.). Because the enemy dug deep so as to understand how to deconstruct society and family(see Shulamith Firestone’s seminal influence on 1970’s feminism: The Dialectic of Sex), men today have to dig deeper still. This may well turn out to be a great blessing because here after, men can pass this deeper knowledge on to their sons and in the process become better men themselves while forming their boys to be even better. While the father will make the boy, the boy will also make the father. As Seneca said: “While we teach, we learn.” Understanding fatherhood better, men will live it better.
What ironic justice if “man, fully alive” develops as an unintended consequence of feminism.
During the different stages of his son’s growth into
manhood, the father will touch on fives themes repeatedly, going deeper each
time, as he judges what his son needs to know and what he is ready to absorb:
About the physical and
biological facts of sexuality (male and female) that his son will need to know
during the next phase he is entering. It is best the son get this information
from his father first — not on the playground from other boys nor on the
screen from strangers.
About the differences
between men and women. This is remote preparation for understanding and
accepting the very different modes of seeing and experiencing things that are
the ways of his mother, sisters and future wife.
About how to choose a
good wife. Prudently prepared and
lightly delivered, these nuggets of wisdom will affect his choice of a good
About the inner moral
struggle that all boys and men have to engage in, deep in their own hearts, on
their way to manhood. This is a key point of identity between a father and son:
unique male way of battling to live well. This aspect is the core of a father’s
formation of his son.
Sadly, about the
dangers of abuse and pornography, which will have to be introduced early in a
boy’s formation because of their pervasiveness.
First Phase: Early Childhood
Well begun is half done.
The relational foundation of a boy’s sexuality is his
earliest relationship with his father. If this is warm, affectionate and
enjoyable the journey is off to a great start.
The demand on the father is one of time and possibly of temperament. Giving
his time to his son is his greatest gift, always. The more and the earlier the better. As the child reacts with joy and laughter the
father is naturally encouraged and rewarded.
The embrace and horseplay that father and child engage in develops his
son’s trust and confidence.
The task is friendship, the method is play: Anything and all
that the son enjoys with his father. It can be tiddlywinks or football, drawing
or singing, reading or baseball, fishing or hiking. Whatever brings joy to the
Also, this early stage is the time that deep friendship is
most easily formed. It will yield fruit
in mid-childhood and adolescence when that friendship will be tested by the
strains of that phase.
With such a friendship in place the later phases will be
handled with much great ease.
(With apologies for the length.) As Russell Hittinger wrote earlier this year in First Things, there are three primary societies to which people most naturally belong: Our family, our religious community (church, synagogue, mosque, or temple or meeting house), and our political community (nation or state). He emphasized that all three, for the first time in history, are in deep crisis. In the past when there was a crisis in one, or even in two, the other(s) corrected it.
The simultaneous crisis today in each of the three has the same cause: the sexual gone wild. The fallout within the family is now boringly evident: Most first births out of wedlock, minority of children reaching adulthood without their biological parents married, a norm of multiple sexual partners prior to marriage — even for those who worship God weekly, cohabitation prior to marriage, abortion and divorce.
The crisis in the church is related to sex as well, starting historically, with the Lambeth Conference in 1930, during which the-up-until-then universal teaching among all Christian denominations was ruptured by the acceptance of contraception ingrave circumstances for the protection of the life and health of the mother, which — hardly had the ink dried on the decree — immediately morphed into (without debate) the commonly accepted moral doctrine across Protestant denominations, of the use of contraception to limit family size. By 1950 this was a deeply entrenched pattern. By the 1960’s the crisis on the same erupted in the Catholic Church with a division for many, at almost all levels of the church (but not at the top) between praxis and doctrine.
The children born to all these contracepting parents saw no logical nor practical reason to contain contraception within marriage and, taking it outside, gave us the sexual revolution of the 1960s. That revolution was not only a sexual revolution, but fostered by the cultural Marxists, was a revolution against “authority.” Many churches complied with the zeitgeist, changing, first praxis and then doctrine on divorce, abortion, and cohabitation. With the logical dominoes falling, homosexual sex had to be, and was, logically accepted. Now with multiple religious-moral options, more and more people moved their religious affiliation to less demanding denominations, ceased worshiping frequently while their children ceased worshiping at all.
The emerging recreational sex, naturally led to an abandonment of the worship of God by young adults, and to a loss of attachment to any religious community. It also resulted in the steady erosion of marriage. Thus, the crisis within the family and within religion, are the same: The sexual.
That there is a crisis in the polis – – – the political community of which we are all members – – – is now obvious in the overt refusal of cooperation by the more revolutionary party in Congress. One might say it is akin to a civil war though confined — for the present — to the realm of words (and legal actions). Civil discourse is almost impossible to find. This breakdown is most evident in the debate over the nomination of judges to the Supreme Court and to the Appellate Courts. But this non-cooperation is evident in other areas that impinge on matters sexual, most evidently so, in the issue of abortion but now even at the highest court levels of legal action in matters related to homosexuality. The most publicly forthright, organized display in Congress of a refusal to seek even minimal political cooperation was the behavior of liberal female congressmen and senators during the incumbent president’s First State of the Union speech shortly after his election. These women set themselves apart and aside by an ostentatious show of uniform dress code — white coats — so as to be visible to the nation on television, as pointedly flaunting their refusal of minimal respect when all strive to maintain some semblance of national unity. The day prior, this refusal was presaged in “The Women’s March” whose iconic headgear vulgarly forced all to contemplate the politics of rebellious sex — again with a dress code — this time, not white coats but, pink “vulva hats”.
Any part of Washington that impinges on the sexual has become a nasty place to work, nowhere more than at the Office of Population Affairs at Health and Human Services. The office that runs the family planning/sexual programs of the government. God help anyone who works there who does not comply in their minds and hearts with the radical sexual agenda. They are under intense constant scrutiny and harassment.
In sum, nothing is more contentious at universities, in corporate boardrooms, in bureaucracies, in courts, and in legislatures than the appearance of any item that impinges on the sexual. Everywhere, pollical division and non-cooperation divides the polis.
Why has there never been a crisis in all three societies ever before in history? Never before have so many in powerful places been so insane on matters of sex, family, love between fathers and mothers, parents and children.
Sex, life, love, marriage, children and God are all so intimately linked or decoupled in the thriving of man or in his debilitation, that all functional civilizations and cultures — all — have put tremendous energy, throughout all their institutions, into bringing as much harmony on the society-dependent, foundational issues. In our day instead, we have many in positions of leadership throughout the major institutions (family, church, school, marketplace and government) devoted to deliberatelyincreasing the discord on these issues. A society so divided on these fundamentals cannot stand, as the elite leaders of this revolt understand very well, and have for decades as they worked to this point.
As always, it is the poor who suffer most, and who will suffer even more. For all family life today is much costlier, less productive and less enjoyable than it should be, but especially so for the poor — even as they are used and show-cased as victims by the same elite leaders of the revolt.
Our national fertility — a big sexual issue — is far removed from that of a well-functioning society. For instance, if were no abortions there would not be a Social Security financial crisis today, nor a looming Medicare crisis. Over the next 10 years these programs will gradually shrivel, if not suddenly implode (economists seem to lean towards implosion, barring some global reform in global currency standards). The contraction has already begun as the elderly on Medicare can tell you. And, they have already been flagged that less will be forthcoming and that they must become accustomed to picking up more of the tab (which they had pre-payed).
More than most nations throughout history, we were blessed with the freedom to choose, but we were never free to choose the consequences. Consequences are built into the nature of the choice made, into the sexual and relational nature of man, as the demographics of America — Mapping America — repeatedly illustrates.
To thrive man needs two great loves: The love of his closest neighbor (spouse, and children— sexual love in its fullest expression) and the love of God (minimally expressed in weekly worship).
Is a crisis correction possible?
Of the three societies that we all occupy, the one with the capacity for quickest reform is the religious. Despite all its bad press, some of it, and more to come, no doubt, well deserved — but by no means all, particularly the latest — a close observer will notice the pace of reform within the Catholic Church in this country. It has been gathering steam, not in a way that makes front-page headlines, but more hidden in its deeper reaches. Hopefully the same currents, driven by the same issues (dysfunctional sexuality and its fallouts), are bringing about similar reform within other denominations and faiths.
Addressing the issue of church reform, John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America, in a recent letter to the university community, quoted St Catherine of Sienna, who was the major stimulus for a reform at another time of deep crisis: “Eliminate the stink of the ministers of the Holy Church. Pull out the stinking flowers and plant scented plants, virtuous men that fear God.”
The road ahead: First the reform of the religious institutions leading in turn to the reform of marriage and the family (all freely undertaken by free adults), which reformed over time, will alter our political behaviors and lead to a reform of the body politic.
The sooner the better for every child yet to be born, every one of whom will thrive or wilt depending on how much a diet of the two great loves he is fed.
Men need to do something because radical Feminism has triumphed: Where in today’s culture do we see promoted the cultural ideal of the good male patriarch, the husband of the natural family and the ideal for all of human history of young men who aspire to be good. The radical feminists have massively changed the thought patterns, the mores, the education, the entertainment and the legal system and left us with more and more failing men, or men “stuck” in life. We have more and more “Peter Pans” – not by their wish or self-design but as a result of their malnourished formation.
Just as plants thrive in the right conditions so too do boys thrive if born into a good ‘patriarchal’ family in which the father leads by loving and educating his children (just as his wife does in her way). Young men today are victims of an environment constructed over fifty years of sustained, intense, focused and savvy work by the feminist movement.
Feminism has altered every major institution in the nation: the churches and seminaries, the academy and doctoral programs, the courts and the law schools, the media and journalism schools, medicine and medical schools, government bureaucracies at all levels, teachers unions and education schools, national and state curricula for grade schools, high schools and colleges; the major educational publishers, librarian unions and public library books for children down to pre-K levels.
In all these areas one theme dominates: all women are victims everywhere and all men are the victimizers, fathers of families in particular. (Next time you are at the library go to the children’s room and review the books to see how the father in the family is treated—made to look like an incapable fool and dispensable to a family).
Feminists care not a whit that boys have fallen behind on virtually every educational measure of importance. If Title IX had any meaning every penny would now be spent on helping boys and young men catch up on girls and young women.
Current sexual mores have deprived most children of the benefits of the intact married family life with their parents (by age 17 only 46% of American children are living in such a family). The sexual discrimination against boys is massive: they are deprived of their biological adult male father in their home. Imagine how feminists would be howling if the reverse were true—if girls were deprived of their biological mothers in similar numbers. The effects are logical and very visible: relatively more and more weak men.
Sexual abuse of children is “through the roof” and pandemic among welfare families in the inner city, which renders them incapable of intact family life in their adulthood – the desired outcome for radical feminism.
Feminism is aided and abetted by modernity’s intellectual habit of denial and dismissal of reality and realities:
In education, the data are convincingly repetitive: the intact married family that worships God weekly yields the best results. However, most social science professors are in full denial of this and refuse to entertain even the discussion of it even though religious attendance may be the single most powerful variable in increasing educational performance. Virtually no one knows this. Least of all parents and teachers.
Likewise science is increasingly ideological (i.e. at the service of the dominant power interests be they corporate, feminists or political ideology). Academic freedom is a thing of the past.
In economics and government: the denial of debt accumulated and the continued living on national IOU’s by federal, state and city legislatures has huge effects on young men whose burdens of too-heavy education debts stops many from thinking of marriage because they cannot be a provider.
In constitutional law all the major reinterpretations are the fruits of radical feminism. Our families have suffered immensely in the new legal regime.
Good men have to take the initiative in their own hands and begin to assess their predicament: how boys and girls – their children, are affected.
The solution will have to be a masculine one (it cannot but be so). Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Men and women do best together when they complement each other. Men have to find their way back to Mars. Though it will be different from John Wayne’s America, manly men of all cultures recognize the strength (or weakness) of other men no matter their culture. Masculine strength is manifest in their willingness to suffer in order to provide for their families and to protect their communities. On matters of family men are very different from women.
It is time for a new revolution – founded on the justice due a good man and founded on the need to rebuild the culture that each child needs, a culture that honors good men and especially good married fathers. The way out of this mess will be very different from the way into it. It is time for men to begin to assess the present and explore future options.
I heard that you are spending $45,000to research women’s sexuality within your borders.Apparently, this information is quite valuable to you.I know you are offering gift cards if women will complete surveys on this topic.Good news, I think I can provide you with some answers to your search – no gift card necessary.
Abundant research has shown that disruption within a family structure increases the likelihood of sexual debut for children. “Women whose parents separated during childhood are more likely to have an out-of-wedlock teenage pregnancy, and men with divorced or separated parents are more likely to father a child with a teenage mother.”As expected, women from intact-married families have the lowest risk of teenage sexual debut, and fewer partners.Marriage positively affects not only the children, but also the man and woman in the union.Since your survey touches on a woman’s emotional well-being in relation to sex, you really should know that “married couples find their sexual relationship more satisfying than cohabiters do.”
Based on your survey’s questions, I see you are curious about religious affiliation.You were wise to ask.According to MARRI’s publication “The Benefits of Religious Worship,” females who attend religious worship weekly are less likely than their peers to sexually debut as a teen, have a premarital pregnancy, or abort their first pregnancy. The Christian abstinence program “True Love Waits” produces similar effects for its participants.The American Journal of Sociology’s article “Promising the Future: Virginity Pledges and First Intercourse” reports that, on average, pledging decreases the risk of sexual debut even for those in a dating relationship.
Combining regular worship attendance with an always-intact family bolsters these effects.As seen in diagrams here, hereand here, MARRI research verifies that teens attending weekly worship with an always-intact family are least likely to sexually debut as a teen or have a premarital pregnancy.
Florida, you mentioned your hope “to design the state’s service offerings, including pamphlets and counseling,” based on the survey’s findings. How about offering marriage counseling to strengthen families?What if your pamphlets included the benefits of an abstinence pledge?
Well, I hope this letter has helped.In case you find the survey a bit superfluous now, it is almost Christmas, and gift cards make great gifts.
I would like to address the rhetoric that we hear reported through our news media regarding the “war on women” which conservatives are supposedly instigating.Conservatives are generally labeled with this accusation because of the pro-life stance with which the Republican Party aligns.But the pro-life position actually protects women’s health against the negative effects of abortion.
A pamphlet titled The Top Ten Myths About Abortion, compiled by FRC’s William L. Saunders, Cathy Cleaver Ruse, and Lucia Papayova, contains research findings about the effects of abortion on women.This research has debunked the myth that abortion is a “good” medical procedure for women.According to the pamphlet, physical complications from an abortion “include cervical lacerations and injury, uterine perforations, bleeding, hemorrhage, serious infection, pain, and incomplete abortion.Risks of complications increase with gestational age.”Physical complications can also arise with the abortifacient RU-486.Risks include hemorrhage, infection, and missed ectopic pregnancy.
This pamphlet also notes some of the key psychological effects associated with abortion.A New Zealand research team compiled data from a 25-year period and “found conclusively that abortion in young women is associated with increased risks of major depression, anxiety disorder, suicidal behaviors, and substance dependence.”This is the most exhaustive research ever conducted regarding abortion.Other studies suggest a substantial evidence of connection between induced abortion and both substance abuse and suicide.Women may also experience anxiety, anger, flashbacks, guilt, grief, denial, and relationship problems.These symptoms are generally identified as Post-Abortion Syndrome, a subset of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.Adolescents who have had abortions, compared to those who have given birth, report more sleeping problems, frequent marijuana use, and increased need for psychological counseling.
It is clear that abortion is a dangerous choice for women. A woman’s likelihood of having an abortion increases when she or her child’s father grew up in a non-intact family and is not religious. It decreases, however, when the woman or her child’s father grew up in an intact married home and makes religious attendance a regular part of life (see MARRI research here, here, and here). Conservatives, who tend to be pro-marriage and pro-religion as well as pro-life, are not waging a war on women. On the contrary, they may be women’s best allies in this fight.
Men in American society seem to fluctuate between two extremes….It seems barbarians [à la Han Solo of Star Wars, or Tom Doniphon in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance] are the kind of men women fall for from a distance, and then despise when they get close – the “bad boy” image. Wimps [like tenderfoot Ranse Stoddard, opposing Doniphon’s gun-slinging version of justice] seem to be the kind of men women despise from a distance and then get to know and start to care for as good provider, “beta males.”
But neither barbarians nor wimps are fully men.
What barbarian and wimp alike are lacking, the writer argues, is balance: an Aristotelian “golden mean” between tough and tender. Where one man excels in physique, business savvy, or rugged individualism, another may have aesthetic sense, intelligence, or a reputation for being “good with kids.” By implication, the man who balances these traits not only will achieve manliness in the eyes of other men, but will increase his attractiveness to women.
Can a “golden mean” between barbarian and wimp give women what they want? Yes – with this addition. Manhood is more than a middle way that combines ruggedness and gentleness for the sake of balance; it is a third way that employs a man’s abilities in the pursuit of a goal outside himself. Masculine strength is best defined in one word: commitment, the decision to give one’s word to another and stand by for the long haul. Men who embody commitment to a wife, family, job, and community are the ones who can reverse the current trend of fatherless families, broken marriages, and child poverty.
Unfortunately, the sexual revolution has taught women they don’t need this kind of man. In the words of feminist writer Hanna Rosin (author of The End of Men), “Women no longer need men for financial security and social influence. They can achieve those things by themselves.” (Nor do they need a man for help in raising children, since full-time daycare is only a phone call away. With the advent of Artificial Reproductive Technology, they no longer even need a man – other than a sperm donor – to conceive children.)
According to Ms. Rosin, the sexual revolution gave us “the ability to have temporary, intimate relationships that don’t derail a career.” Because career is (in her estimation) most important to women in their 20s and 30s, she continues,
No one is in a hurry to get married, and sex is, by the terms of sexual economics, very cheap. When sex is cheap, more men turn into what the sociologist Mark Regnerus calls “free agents.” They sleep with as many women as possible basically, [sic] because they can.
Men don’t need to strive for a “golden mean” when women pursue them for short-term pleasure without asking for commitment. Women perpetuate the hookup culture by allowing men to expect to take any woman to bed, no strings attached, as long they take her out for “a nice time” first (as Maria Reig Teetor reported last week). Women may suffer emotional pangs, but men are taking the real hit: since the 1960s, a “persistent ‘gap’” in employment has existed between married and unmarried men. Employment rates for single, divorced, and cohabiting men consistently plummet faster than rates for married men – in or out of a recession. A culture of marriage, on the other hand, by demanding commitment, actually makes men more employable.
When sex is cheap, commitment has no value whatsoever. When women live as if they don’t need men, real men disappear. And the economy and the family suffer equally.
In the end, women’s expectations set the bar for manhood. The question is still before us: Women, what kind of man do you want? The men are waiting for your answer.
In the past few months many people have been discussing the “War on Women.” In the news there has been a focus both on women’s “reproductive rights” and sex-selective abortions. These topics are very controversial because anyone who dares to think contraception or abortion is bad is contradicting feminist ideals, which include freedom, choice, and tolerance. Interestingly, recent research shows that equality between men and women, which feminists have been fighting for since the early 1900s, is no longer a problem. Two topics often discussed in the feminist movement are salary differences between men and women, as well as the persistent lack of women as top executives in the professional world. For feminists this is proof that we still live in a male dominated culture and that women are still oppressed.
In 2008 Susan Pinker published a book called The Sexual Paradox which explores the paradox that “after decades of women’s educational coups and rising through the ranks, men still outnumber women in business, physical science, law, engineering and politics.” The author explains the paradox, basing her argument in human nature. Men and women are different. In the past 50 years women have had the same opportunities as men in world of education, and gradually girls have had greater academic successes than boys. The ratio of girls to boys among valedictorians or honors students in schools throughout the country is proof of the change. Girls, on average, get better grades than boys in school, and in the past few years more women than men have been graduating from college and graduate programs. If there is a war involving women in the education world, the women are winning it.
But Susan Pinker’s paradox has not been answered: if women are more successful than men at a younger age, why do they still get paid less than men? This is when an understanding of human nature can provide answers. Women have innate maternal instincts, and even if they do not become biological mothers, many (though of course not all) women would rather work with and help people (e.g., social work and nursing are female-dominated professions) rather than doing the design work of engineers, or the lab work of scientists. Certainly some women enjoy these jobs, but many gravitate toward careers where they feel they are making a tangible difference in people’s lives. The careers that pay the most, such as engineering, computer science, architecture, and medicine, often are unattractive to women because of the type of work or the demanding hours. Many women want to be become mothers and it is nearly impossible for a doctor doing her residency to also have a newborn baby. A woman who wants to have children often chooses to be a nurse or a teacher, who will not earn as much as a doctor, but will have flexibility to be available for her children. The Marriage and Religion Research Institute showed that people are more likely to report being proud of the work they do if they are married. It seems that marriage and family life can bring about greater happiness in the working world, contrary to the feminists’ ideas.
Human nature explains the pay difference, as well as the lack of women as top executives. The path to become a senior staff member in a company generally involves decades of long hours, late nights, and little vacation time. Women are capable of this, but often do not want it. Many mothers gladly give up their dreams of a big house and fancy car for a few more hours at home each day, and to greet their children as they come off the bus from school. The feminist movement continues to cry for equality between men and women, but there are different types of equality. Equality of opportunity has been achieved, but equality of outcomes is impossible because men and women are naturally different.
Carolyn Moynihan, of Mercatornet, discusses the sexual revolution and its multiple negative effects upon women. One contemporary writer she highlights is Hanna Rosin, who recently wrote an article for the WSJ, which is based on her upcoming book The End of Men. Rosin explains, “Women no longer need men for financial security and social influence. They can achieve those things by themselves. No one is in a hurry to get married, and sex is, by the terms of sexual economics, very cheap.”
Is sex really “cheap”? Perhaps birth control does not have much monetary cost. Rosin goes on to say, “Thanks to the sexual revolution, they can have relationships—and maybe some drama—through their 20s and early 30s and not get tied down with a husband and babies. If the price is a little more heartache, so be it.” But how do you quantify a “little heartache” and is it really possible to measure the internal and emotional effects that come from broken relationships? Moreover, is that all these young ladies take away from broken relationships? There are numerous social, physical, and emotional consequences of promiscuity. Incurable STD’s is just one of them. The “price” of “cheap” sex is anything but cheap. Often, it has a lifetime price tag.
Moynihan concludes that while there had been problems with “marriage and the status of women in America […], cutting sex adrift from babies and marriage was patently not the solution.” Our culture is constantly pushing women to lower their standards and dreams regarding sex and relationships. Men are encouraged to act irresponsibility and often persuade women to do the same.
There is a reason God designed sex to be within the bounds of marriage. It was not because He did not want us to have fun. On the contrary, He created it to be the healthiest, happiest, and most fulfilling within commitment, and social science research backs this up!
International Women’s Day on March 8 began as women stood up for their freedom against various oppressions. Yet, while many women stand up against oppression, certain aspirations in our culture are increasingly suppressed, including the longing for lasting commitment. Jim Anderson, in his book “Unmasked: Exposing the Cultural Sexual Assault,” goes into painful explanation of how so many women have, in search for commitment, given up what is most precious to them. Anderson says that women have subconsciously accepted that their worth is found in what they can offer a man, namely their sexuality. Many will sacrifice their body again and again thinking perhaps tonight, this man will be different. But with each hookup and breakup, the faint hope in their hearts for commitment fades.
Western culture has trained women to set their standards and expectations so low to accommodate an increasing population of men who have few to no standards at all. A recent article in the NY Times interviewed a 21-year-old single mom, Ms. Kidd, who had experienced her father abandoning her family at age 13 for her mom’s friend. Even though she expressed love for her child’s father, she could “not imagine marrying” him because she said, “I don’t want to wind up like my mom.” Acts like that of Ms. Kidd’s father are also teaching the current generation that commitment and marriage is not only a thing of the past, but instills belief and a fear to even think of entering it.
The question must be asked: How do we shift this culture around to value women and commitment? Research shows the value of marriage and commitment. Our society must pay attention to the empirical truths about marriage. A recent paper by the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, “162 Reasons to Marry,“ finds that “women raised in stable married families are more likely to marry,” and goes on to list 162 benefits to marriage, for both the couple and the children. Our culture lacks commitment, but an alternative exists. Paying attention to the research shows the strength of the family, and can help women see that a desire for commitment is not dead.
Planning for marriage and motherhood is not a societal norm for twenty-something ladies, nor is fatherhood in the immediate plans of most men. But this generation of young women needs to hear that it is more than okay to think about not only career, but their family. Our culture today attacks traditional femininity, but research supports support the benefits of marriage and motherhood, so why not consider that option while you are career planning? According to studies published here at the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, there are many reasons to be married. Married couples find their sexual relationship more satisfying than cohabiters do. Married women are healthier than never-married, divorced, and separated women. Children in intact married families enjoy more emotional and behavioral well-being than children in cohabiting or single-mother families. Staying married results in men and women looking younger. Those raised in an intact family are likely to consider themselves “very” happy” than those raised in non-intact families. The positive outcomes from choosing marriage and motherhood are astounding.
Hopefully, most young adults are thinking about their future. In order to have a stable and secure home, one must build a solid foundation. Tenacious and driven women may have thought of graduate school, law school, medical school, and/or possibly owning a business. As you start to lay the foundation you may start to think, “By the time I am done with law school I will be twenty-six.” Then a second thought may possibly pop up: “It will take a good couple of years of late nights toiling at a law firm as an entry-level associate in order to become a mid-level or higher associate. Making partner can take up to nine years. I’ll be roughly thirty-five before I can even consider a spouse or child.”
Another consideration a woman must make is the staggering amount of debt she will possess. A law degree or a medical degree costs as much a house. In essence, it is a mortgage before having an actual mortgage. According to the National Student Loan Surveys, “fields of study with the highest levels of borrowing include law students, who are 4% of the NASLS population, but 17% of the borrowers with debt greater than $30,000; medical students are 15% of the survey, but 26% percent of those with debt over $30,000. A total of 74% of borrowers with debt above $30,000 went to graduate/professional school.” Those with professional education feel most burdened, and women perceived their debt to be a bigger problem than men do. More than 80% of bankruptcy attorneys surveyed by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys reported a “major” jump in student loan borrowers seeking help. These are the issues that can cause women to put off marriage. Education is by no means a bad thing, but it’s important to note its cost, both in dollars and in time.
In The Flipside of Feminism, Phyllis Schlafly and Suzanne Venker share their stories, telling young women today that “it’s ok” to factor family into future plans — you should! Schlafly and Venker shed some light onto the fact that it is hard to juggle it all, but we have one life to live, so how do you want to live it?