What about men?

by phil on Friday Mar 20, 2009 1:19 PM

Note to fans of Philosophistry: this is one of the best drunk logs.

It'll be interesting to see how the males of my generation respond to changing gender roles. These points have struck me the most:

First, I read somewhere that divorces are overwhelmingly (like 2-to-1) initiated by women.

Second, I read that men have historically rated "love" as a higher priority in determining who to marry, while as women have rated "security." This seems counter-intuitive since women seem to love Valentine's Day more than men. Or maybe it makes sense, because if your man loves you, then that really means he's here to stay.

Thirdly, I read recently that 40% of births last year were out-of-wedlock.

Anecdotally, I realized that I've never heard anybody talk about marriage as way to make a strong commitment, and by doing so, create a solid foundation to start a family. I see marriage nowadays reduced to just another event in the long-line of give-and-take in any relationship. Someone just really wants it, and then someone finally caves in. Or as someone sarcastically put it, marriage is "the piece of paper that shows I care."

This points to men having a more tentative role, like simply providing the seed, maybe the alimony. A lot of the guys my age, who are peacocking with their hipster fashion, on some level just strike me as gigolos. Or maybe it points to a bigger emphasis on alpha males. We kind of already have a scientifically-moderated system for alpha males in the form of sperm donation. How does that fit into evolutionary psychology? I could go to a sperm bank today and duplicate my "going-to-the-sperm-bank" gene a thousand times over.

This isn't any one gender's fault really. After all, I imagine that deadbeat dads aren't a new phenomena, and there's a reason that 4 out of 5 times, the judge awards the children to the mother.

I'm of the philosophy that all patterns of gender conflict can boil down to women being able to produce a maximum of maybe 50 children, while as men can theoretically produce 3-9 children for every day of their life after puberty. Marriage, courtship, infidelity, and the notion of "fidelity" to begin with, all boil down to that.

But I still believe in love. Even if necessity is the mother of it.

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