The Marriage Strike - Why Men Are Not Rushing to the Altar

Topics: Divorce, Marriage, Family law Pages: 6 (2035 words) Published: August 28, 2011
If one were to read any article by the average woman in the media – and some males for that matter – regarding the declining state of marriage rates today. One could reasonably think that the reason marriages are on the decline is that women are choosing not to get married or some other such tripe that ineffectively attempts to hide the truth of the matter. (Ayanna, G. 2010), (Dewitt.1992), (Rosenbloom, 2006), (Campbell, 2001)

The actual reason for the decline in marriage rates is not because ‘women don't want to get married’ (a bitter anthem recited in retaliation to men's rejection of marriage.) but due to "The Marriage Strike." According to an article in “O” magazine author, Ann Marsh notes, "A 'marriage strike' is the social phenomena of men seeking to avoid marriage. The 'marriage strike' specifically refers to the action of men living within the Western world.” (Marsh, 2003 p. 2)

Advocates of the marriage strike believe that after a considered cost-benefit analysis, the legal contract that is modern marriage no longer represents an attractive option for men. Especially when considering the legal, economic, sociological, cultural and demographic environment of the West in regards to marriage. Advocates hold that through the combination of laws permitting no-fault divorce, and the prevailing conditions in divorce courts that substantially favor the wife over the husband in disputes over child custody, visitation rights, child support, alimony, ownership of the family residence and other shared property (Rosenbloom, 2006). It is possible for a woman to divorce her husband unilaterally while simultaneously depriving him of the right to see his offspring and financially crippling him (Rubin, 1997). They argue that since the divorce rate is high, and since women are more likely than men to seek no-fault divorces are, scenarios like the above are a likely outcome of marriage, and that many men, fearing such an outcome, choose not to marry.

So we see that the pro-female claims – made in large part by women -- to the tune of ‘women don't want to get married’ given as the reason for the decline in marriages is like so many other statements written by feminist, nothing but hot air. (Salholz, 1986), (Campbell, 2001),

A study released by researchers Barbara Dafoe Whitehead and David Popenoe of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, concluded that men are, indeed, more apprehensive about getting married than before. (Whitehead, B. D., & Popenoe, D. 2002) “The median age of first marriage for men has reached 27, the oldest age in our nation’s history,” (Whitehead et al p.2). The study contains several possible explanations for these phenomena, based on interviews with 60 single men, 25 to 33, who live in four parts of the country. While that level of measurement is certainly is not statistically significant enough to reflect any kind of national trend, responses generally revolved around the possibilities of suffering huge losses if the marriage ends in divorce. “An ex-wife will take you for all you’ve got” and “men have more to lose financially than women” (Whitehead et al p. 6) were common refrains within the study.

To humor the study’s result, let us examine whether or not these young men’s concern are justified. If we accept the feminist argument that marriage is slavery for women, then it is undeniable that — given the current state of the nation’s family courts — divorce is slavery for men. Take a hypothetical husband who marries and has two children. There is a 50 % chance that this marriage will end in divorce within eight years, and if it does, the odds are 2-1 the wife initiates the divorce (US Census Bureau. 2002). It may not matter that the man was a decent husband. The reality of the situation is that few divorces are initiated over abuse or because the man has already abandoned the family. Nor is adultery cited as a factor by divorcing women appreciably more than by divorcing men. The new...

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Whitehead, B. D., & Popenoe, D. (2002). Why Men Won 't Commit: Exploring Young Men 's Attitudes About Sex, Dating and Marriage. [Electronic version]. THE NATIONAL MARRIAGE PROJECT, 13, 1-29.
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