The Boy Crisis in Education and Serial Monogamy

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I’ve been cruising through the feminist blogosphere of late and in the past few weeks there have been three stories on the Crisis in Boy’s Education that have captured their interest, the first from The New Republic, the second in Newsweek, and the last in The Boston Globe. The tone has ranged from outright hostile mocking of the Boston story, which involves a boy suing his school for discriminatory bias against boys, to outright denial that the problem even exists. Tied closely to both poles of this spectrum of criticism are the outright dismissals of the sociological shifts which are likely to follow, such as the often quoted prediction of the shortage of marriageable men. The odd thing about these commentaries is that they are simply dismissals rather than refutations. I haven’t read one blogger tackle the “marriage issue” head-on and argue why it is nonsense, it’s simply laughed off as naifish attempt by social conservatives to put woman back into the kitchen.

Now, because none of the commentary took on the issue in a serious fashion, I have no idea how feminists are framing the issue. I imagine that any thought they’ve actually given to the demographic issues probably centers on an outlandish framing which sees a generation of professional women actively out there scouring their community for suitable mates and this is clearly dismissed as ridiculous. If this is the vision that they’re dismissing, then I’ll join them in their mocking of the supporters of this vision.

These women will have their choices constrained by a few factors. The first, is obviously, the lack of men in their generation who share their educational achievements. The second is whether these women are going to be able to reorient their mate selection preferences towards men who are great at playing videogames but not so great at pursuing a professional career. The third constraint would be their willingness to remain single, and possibly childless. And the last constraint is whether they’re willing to engage in subtle poaching of suitable and desireable men who just happen to be married.

Of the constraints facing them, I think the obstacle of the man being married to another woman will be the easiest to surmount for this surge of educated women will prove to be an incentive for older, successful men to take the opportunity to remarry. Afterall, if the woman is successful in choosing this strategy, she benefits and so does the man. The main loser, in this game of musical chairs, is the older married woman who just had her family torn apart.

32 Comments

  1. Now, because none of the commentary took on the issue in a serious fashion, I have no idea how feminists are framing the issue. 
     
    On the contarary, I think this tells you precisely how feminists are framing the issue.

  2. “a shortage of marriageable men” 
     
    In what alternate universe? It’s rather hard to square that supposed “shortage” with the fact that eharmony.com and lavalife.com have a massive surplus of males on their membership rolls (I’ve heard up to 80% male); with the fact that tens of thousands of men each year are forced to resort to “mail order bride” operations that more often than not are just scams; and finally, and most visibly, with the fact that almost every bar and nightclub that caters to singles has to resort to “ladies’ night” promotions in an attempt to get enough women. 
    There’s a shortage of marriageable *women*, not a shortage of marriageable men. God help any man who’s even a little bit overweight, unathletic, or nerdy.

  3. Links to the feminist blogosphere?

  4. “a shortage of marriageable men” –In what alternate universe?  
     
    I share the incredulity of my namesake. When I was single in the 1990s I didn’t have the impression that there were oodles of single women out there. Even today, I’m struck by the large numbers of educated, psychological stable 30ish men with good jobs … who cannot find wives. The comment I repeatedly hear is that there are very few single women available in their age bracket and that almost all are single mothers. 
     
    The census data I saw ten years ago showed that there was an excess of single men over single women for all age groups up to 40. It was only over 40 that single women predominated. (At the time, the explanation was that older baby-boomer men were remarrying younger women from the smaller “baby-buster” generations). What is the situation today?

  5. After noticing that virtually every selective liberal arts college in the country has more co-eds than males, I must say that I am starting to wonder why this is not a civil rights issue — or even a common sense issue. My daughter doesn’t want to go to a school that is predominantly female. Why can’t admissions offices deliberately balance the sex ratio?

  6. The two most important things women seek in a mate are status and money. A college education, still to this day, raises the status of a person. If not directly, then indirectly with a higher status job that the college education tends to award him or her. College educated men also earn more than non college educated men. This is not to say looks, personality and intelligence are unimportant, but on average not as important as wealth and status. Even college educated women seek men with wealth and status. 
     
    However, normally marriageable men (those with wealth and status) aren?t as interested in wealth and status as women are. They?re more interested in beauty. So for a woman, going to college for 4 or 7 years does less for her marketability than going to the gym 5 times a week. A substantial amount of high status males will date and marry non college educated women. This means the imbalance for college educated women will be even greater since many college educated men have decided to marry non college educated women, while they are less likely to do so.

  7. TangoMan says: 
     
     
    Of the constraints facing them, I think the obstacle of the man being married to another woman will be the easiest to surmount for this surge of educated women will prove to be an incentive for older, successful men to take the opportunity to remarry. 
     
     
    Well, you know, there has got to be a payoff for all that hard work :-)

  8. “a shortage of marriageable men” 
     
    You know–a shortage of idiots who spit frequently, dropped out of high school and are night managers at EZ Lube…the kind of chaps that women actually are looking for, despite reports to the contrary.

  9. “and are night managers at EZ Lube” 
     
    Whats wrong with EZ Lube? Do you prefer Jiffy Lube?

  10. with the fact that almost every bar and nightclub that caters to singles has to resort to “ladies’ night” promotions in an attempt to get enough women 
     
    i don’t think the guys at these bars are looking to get married…

  11. I am not sure if the shortage of man to marry is a serious problem for women in feminists’ view. Although they occasionally complain about it (such as Mawreen Dowd comlainig that women are punished for having good career), I don’t think that there are very strong support for the institution of marriage itself by feminists; Remember, these are people who declared the familiy as the root of patriarchy and all socuial evils.

  12. When I was single in the 1990s I didn’t have the impression that there were oodles of single women out there. Even today, I’m struck by the large numbers of educated, psychological stable 30ish men with good jobs … who cannot find wives. The comment I repeatedly hear is that there are very few single women available in their age bracket and that almost all are single mothers.

    My observations in the 90s echoes yours, except that that imbalance abruptly reversed (and reverses) around age 35. Prior to that, the women single-by-choice were mostly too restrictive in their choice of mate material (e.g. the subset of Jewish investment bankers over 6’2″ being necessarily small), with the ones not making the cut getting the usual cliches, such as “let’s be friends” or “I like you, just not like that”.

    These men eventually do find mates, but the previously-choosy women hit 35, and find that the tables have suddenly (and drastically) reversed. I cannot tell you how many professional women of my acquaintance who ten years or so ago spent enormous amounts of energy managing their social engagements and dates can now be found commiserating over chardonnays about the lack of good men.

  13. CMA - 
    I can think of only one appropriate response: serves them right!

  14. Peter & Peter Frost – keep in mind that this is a fairly new phenomenon. Men who were 30ish in the 1990′s would have graduated college in the early 1980′s, at which time the male/female split was still about 50/50. But it’s now about 40/60 and continuing to worsen. So 20ish women who are looking for men of their own age who are at least as well educated as they are may already be facing a shortage. Given that women tend to go for men older than themselves, the real “crisis” is still in the future. 
     
    I’d like to second tc’s request for links to the feminist blogosphere – especially if there are any sites where TangoMan has been posting comments. Now *that* would be interesting!

  15. TC & Steve, 
     
    Here you go. Be on the look-out for my personal stalker who goes completely mental and watch how I play with her, eg correcting her usage of E.P. with Behavioral Genetics. She’s pretty incoherent but not even close to the stalker I have at Washington Monthly, who is completely around the bend.

  16. The reality, though, is that a lot of females who are going to college in Western countries are getting ‘fluff’ degrees, and, I would wager, many are there for am MRS degree …

  17. TangoMan - 
     
    Oh. My. God. 
     
    A glimpse into the lower circles. 
     
    Well, I asked for it.

  18. “Remember, these are people who declared the familiy as the root of patriarchy and all socuial evils.” 
     
    Yes Godfather. I kiss your ring. 
    Feminism is an ism. Isms always sting themselves to death with their own rhetoric. Over the ages, men have said just as absurd things on the subject of gender, but called it “philosophy” or “proverbs.” 
    A very active, humanitarian lady of 70, whom I know, said she was stunned by the opportunities available to women today–in her day it was secretary, nurse, or teacher. Marriage? Nice if you were happy, but what if you got divorced at 50 with no skills? 
    And ewww–the creepy delight some commentators take in women over 35 having less chance of attracting men. That always has been common. Feminism didn’t cause it. But most people male and female, prefer other young people. Call me quirky, but I’d far rather be happy in a well-paying career, than be a divorced, no-skills housewife of 40. It is not rare to prefer to sleep alone in one’s own bed. However, I do know of quite a few ladies who married (or the equivalent) after 40.  
     
    As for the war on boys, I passed so many abusive groups of them in my own school years, I do believe they must have been taking pre-emptive action. 
    Thank god that “war on women” is well over.

  19. Women were college professors, doctors, and lawyers fifty years ago, as well as riveters, welders, domestics, cooks, clotheswashers and a host of other jobs. You think it was just us guys teaching at the Seven Sisters? You ever read Dickens? 
     
    I wouldn’t trust the judgment or recollections of “humanitarian ladies”. Historically they have always spent their time marrying well and spending Daddy’s or Hubby’s money (or riding their coattails as Hillary has done).  
     
    Women have always worked, and worked at trashy uninspiring and gut-busting jobs, just as the vast majority of men have always done.  
     
    It is the overeducated white women of the last forty years who see discrimination in “only” being a nurse or secretary, ignoring the fact that the vast number of women have always worked at much nastier jobs than that, right alongside their men. 
     
    And what is so bad with secretarial work? Over seventy years ago my grandfather was a secretary making crappy wages and was damn glad to get the job, so he didn’t have to do the soul- and body-destroying work that most other men had to do. 
     
    Ask a Mexican illegal woman if she would rather be a secretary or keep doing stoop labor picking vegetables. And listen really, really hard to her answer. I think we both know what she would say. 
     
    Why is it that middle class white women are so worried about the glass ceiling, when most other women are worried about the dirt floor.

  20. Feminism made women of my generation to believe that they´ll never need bras and men are out to exploit them. 
     
    Now they know better but it is too late for them. Feminism ruined their lifes.  
     
    “Serves them well” is too cruel a comment. Enough they suffer.

  21. No “serves them well” is perfectly apt. 
     
    So many unbearably conceited and self-important young women fail to realise that aging is inimical to feminine beauty, and that their physical charms will decline with precipitious haste past the age of thirty.  
     
    “Feminism ruined their lifes. “ 
     
    It has also completely corrupted their personalities and attitudes. Women raised in the Anglosphere – regardless of ethnic derivation – must be the most charmless and obnoxious women in the world. The most horrible thing about Feminism is that it taught women in the West that to be charismatic or charming is a liability.

  22. “So 20ish women who are looking for men of their own age who are at least as well educated as they are may already be facing a shortage.” 
     
    Many educated women are not looking for educated men who can presumably earn a good salary and support a family. My last girlfriend dumped me for a biker (who later dumped her and fled the country to escape arrest). I suspect she was guided more by hormonal impulses than by the sort of careful assessment you ascribe to most women nowadays. 
     
    From a Darwinian persepective, males are not normally a limited resource. Females are. Males become a limited resource only under special circumstances: a) male paternal investment is high, thus making polygyny too expensive for most males and limiting female mate-search to males with sufficient resources; b) male death rates are much higher than female death rates. Insofar as these two factors have changed, they have been doing so in the direction of increasingly the supply of available men: 
     
    1) The rising standard of living has made women more self-reliant. Paternal investment is thus less critical than it was 50 years ago. Women today are willing to consider men whom earlier generations of women would have rejected as “bums” or “Lotharios.” 
     
    2. Male death rates have fallen considerably, particularly in reproductive age brackets. Today, most men can expect to live well past their reproductive prime. This wasn’t the case even fifty years ago.

  23. I concur with Peter. 
     
    Women inevitably draw their attention to the top tier of mates available. Roughly 90% of women sleep with 10% of the men (those with alpha – high social rank – qualities). How many parties have you seen where 10 girls where each girl ends up being interested in 10 different guys where there’s 10 guys in the same party? Usually the women will all be attracted to one or two of the guys. Same phenomenon if there are 20 guys – one or two will get the lion’s share of the women’s attention. 
     
    I think what we’re seeing now is a broadening of the characteristics that women weigh as alpha qualities: beyond wealth and professional success to social aggressiveness, brute physicality, and an untamed temperament.

  24. In my opinion the relation is 20 and 80%.  
     
    Males are a limited resource – husband material males. There is competition for them. In humans, basically it is the female that competes for the male, it is the female that is worried about how she looks, how to catche his attention, etc.  
     
    I dont mean that there is no competition among males, there is, of course. But the problem of getting a good mate is much more vital and difficult for the female.  
     
    Regarding anglosaxon girls being conceited etc. you should see our Jewish Princesses should one of the species condescend to date you, no one but NO ONE is good enough for them (so they think).

  25. If we’re discussing “blue America,” fewer marriageable males is true. Steve wrote a good sum of the eroding of the middle class here. This forces even the non-Gloria Steinems who want to raise a family here to think, “Shit, I’d better find a doctor fast!” Of course rad-fem overlap w/ blue America just exacerbates this. 
     
    Guys, don’t worry, there are places in this world fairly unsullied by rad-fem and where a modest social democratic polity keeps the cost-of-living from skyrocketing: large parts of non-Anglo western Europe. Personality-wise, I think I’d get along best w/ Finnish girls, but at 5’8 (173cm) I don’t stand much of a chance. Lots of lovely petite girls in the Mediterranean — of course the stunning looks, though unnecessary, are just icing on the cake.

  26. MC Jouster, 
    Please be calm. I come myself from a working class background, and took years to get a BA, and more years of working full time which earning a masters. Currently, I don’t make much and I find some of the types you are fulminating over, just as tiresome and selfish as you do. 
    I know men have been doing drudgy jobs–my father was one of them, for example, and I recall the contempt with which he mentioned “pencil pushers.” Yes, there were a few women in non-traditional jobs, but you need to listen to older peoples’ stories, but not many and I do listen when older people tell stories. The lady to whom I refer was not rich. She is still a school teacher who works with poor kids. 
    You seem to be drawing a lot assumptions, but I take responsibility for not being clear about my message.  
    I do not want anyone to be discriminated against on the basis of gender or race, etc. Everyone should be treated according to merit. It is just that people have to be aware of the context of this discussion.

  27. “but not many and I do listen when older people tell stories” 
    I meant to say, not many people do listen to the stories of older individuals.

  28. “I come myself from a working class background, and took years to get a BA, and more years of working full time which earning a masters. Currently, I don’t make much and I find some of the types you are fulminating over, just as tiresome and selfish as you do.” 
    oh dear, and you can see why it took years. I won’t try and untangle the above sentence. Actually, I mean that I had to work full-time while earning my degrees. I never made, and do not make, very much money. I just have a horror of dependency.

  29. I think I’d get along best w/ Finnish girls, but at 5’8 (173cm) I don’t stand much of a chance. Lots of lovely petite girls in the Mediterranean 
     
    rare male advantage. height matters, all variables controlled.

  30. rare male advantage
    Ha, I’d be more exotic in the Mediterranean. Of the few females who ever liked me, almost all were ancestrally from the Mediterranean – Middle East stretch. 
     
    For true rare male advantage, I’d move to Brazil: high pathogen load. Plus they’re the hottest girls on Earth (probably selected so, due to pathogen load again) — but all the crime & inequality, I dunno…

  31. I remember John Boorman’s book about making a film called “The Emerald Forest” — he’s an English director, and he made the movie in Brazil. (Eco-drama about something or other, I forget what.) Anyway, one of his stories was that many, many of the marriages of his Anglo crewguys broke up during the making the film. The reason: the Anglo guys kept discovering how, er, sexually generous and enthusiastic Brazilian women are. Made the Englishguys realize how parched for sexual kindness and companionship they’d been … I suppose the Brazilian girls might have been hungry for prosperous hubbies too, and that might have played a role in their enthusiasm. Still, I know a couple of Brazilian women in NYC, and they’re sweet and funny, they laugh a lot, they love to dance, their eyes flash, they move beautifully, and they kinda like having the reputation of being the world’s sexpots. 
     
    Perhaps we could set up re-education camps for Seven Sisters feminism-casualities somewhere near Rio?

  32. Feminists see a “backlash” under every bed, and in every shadow. Sadly the feminists who have attained some authority in institutions are behaving so abysmally that there will inevitably be a backlash. But against them, not against women. Women have got it made in the western world. Only muslims can change that.

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