Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Marriage and intercourse frequency: It looks like I'm going to have to go over the statistics to counter this idea that marriage and fatherhood are simply not worth it. I don't have a lot of time right now, so I'll just do this a piece at a time. I know from previous study that married people have sex more frequently than singles.

The first study I found right now in a Google search was of 10,000 Norwegians. Mean number of times per month was 4.3 for single people and 7.0 for married. The study does not appear to adjust for age: older people are more likely to be married, and their sexual activity is lower.

It would also be nice if single were divided into those with a boyfriend/girlfriend and those without. If the rate for the former were double the latter, someone without a regular partner would have sex an average of 2.9 times a month. I'm speculating now, but what you probably have here is a lot of celibate or near-celebate guys balanced out with a handful of players with high numbers.


  1. In other news, men who visit a prostitute every day getting more than men who don't. Prostitutes clearly worthwhile.

    There's a term I'm grasping for here, "something-benefit analysis". Can't quite remember what it is.

  2. Jason: Many guys think your sex life is better if you're single. You may think this is obviously false, but not everyone is as smart as you. And as I said, I was going to take this issue one cost-benefit at a time.

  3. Anonymous10:58 AM


    We are seeing the first generation of men whom grew up in broken homes be out there as young adults now.

    These guys watched their moms chew out their dads on the phone, and their dads still had to cough up alimony, child support, put the kids on his insurance, give up his house.............all so mom could leave dad for another man. Dad just had to sit there helplessly and take it. This leaves a big psychological effect on Junior, I assure you. He says to himself, "no woman is ever going to be able to do that to me".

    Is it any wonder Ron, why so many of these men dont want to marry to put themselves in the same situation?

    We are seeing the first generation of girls who grew up in these broken homes who watched mom have all the power (because the police would come over and break dad's entire life if he beat the living hell out of mom like he would have as recently as 1950) in the house, and openly plan to cheat on their husbands "if they feel unfufilled, unchallenged, he doesn't appreciate me, I'm going through an adventurous phase, I have the right to make myself happy, I'm bored, we are broke, my friends do it, ET CETERA". These women have a huge sense of entitlement, and our educational establishment has given them all the encouragement in the world to behave this way. Cosmetics advertisements have them convinced they are going to age like Demi Moore also, and be relatively hot (and fertile) in their mid-forties.

    Mating for the secular is done in bars and the internet, but primarily the former. Decent-looking women (ever do the bars in your twenties Ron?) are the queens in these places. Drinks bought for them, endlessly complimented, men go over to them and begin to qualify themselves so to have a few minutes of their time, and so on. Instead of being a schmuck who gets married to one of these at 23, many guys opt to wait until their late 20's and 30's now to start looking for a wife, figuring she has by then screwed around a great deal and is ready to have a family and give up chasing "exciting men" (who are usually losers with tatoos). Many young secular (non-chuch going) men who got married to their high school sweetheart are already divorced by 23-25, financially wrecked, while their ex goes out and gets laid by oodles of different men weekend after weekend. The guy pays for it through child support, alimony, his insurance, his house, et cetera. MANY of my friends and associates went through this.

    My advice to a guy who wants to get married (Even if he doesn't believe a word of it), is to go to a church or synagogue and "fake" belief to get a religious girl who thinks she will burn in hell if she commits adultrey and that she is supposed to stay married to you for life (unless you cheat on her or beat her) because that bolt-wielding God above her head commands it so.

    Marrying a secular woman is a big financial risk with our laws. Nobody wants to be put into the position of a child-support/alimony-paying chump who is financially handicapped and "emasculated" in the eyes of other women.

    What we are seeing is the result of our insane divorce laws. If we awarded joint custody and no child support in the majority of cases, this would end, but that probably isn't going to happen. My prediction? The religious will continue to replicate themselves at the replacement rate, and the secular will continue to dwindle in numbers, being replaced by non-white immigrants for the most part. m

  4. Sgt. Joe Friday11:12 AM

    Well, when I was a young guy back in the 80s I probably got laid less often than I do now as married (for the 2nd time) guy in his early 50s. The tradeoff was less frequency, but greater variety and I was actually pretty happy with that arrangement.

  5. Whoo-hoo! I'm getting married soon myself.

    Stats show that married men are happier than non-married men, too.

    But so what? Statistical arguments aren't really that useful when it comes down to individual decisions. We have enough information about ourselves as individuals that treating ourselves as statistical averages would not be an improvement.

  6. Anonymous2:02 PM

    You'll still find plenty of religious women whose actual practices with respect to divorce and fidelity are not much better than those of their more secular sisters. However, I can give you a few additional qualifiers that you can use to improve your odds.
    1) Does she have excellent credit? How she treats her money and honors the obligations that she incurs is a major window into her character.
    2) Does she take giving to her church seriously? As the Bible notes, where your treasure is, your heart is there also. A woman who tithes or otherwise gives more to charity than the @2.5% average in the US is more likely to have internalized the church's moral teachings. Yes, this means you will be on the hook to tithe too once you marry her, but in my experience, such women are also very fiscally responsible and used to the notion of maintaining a budget. She won't work you into an early grave by spending obscene amounts of money on stuff.
    3) Are her parents still married? Does her mom treat her dad the way you'd want to be treated when you're his age? Look for a woman who has a mom that treats her dad with respect and never runs him down in public. That's her most relevant role model for how male-female relationships are supposed to work.

  7. Anonymous4:31 PM

    Joe Friday said,

    "Well, when I was a young guy back in the 80s I probably got laid less often than I do now as married (for the 2nd time) guy in his early 50s. The tradeoff was less frequency, but greater variety and I was actually pretty happy with that arrangement."

    I pity your wife, sir. If *you* are feeling the dirth of variety, imagine how the heck she feels.

    If you have any game at all, look to yourself to provide the variety or creativity. Even a pretty good batter hits a slump now and then but he learns that if returning to basics doesn't do it, he has to change up his stance, fiddle with his position at the plate or SOMETHING!

  8. IRTrust6:46 PM

    I agree with Anonymous on everything except the "secular" designation. I've seen the same thing happening in churches to the same degree. Except it is more hidden and private because of the peer pressure.

  9. IRTrust6:58 PM

    Sorry - hit the tab and enter key and posted to quick.

    As a former pastor, I am sure you would be amazed at the things I saw. I began a special counseling group for the divorced men, they commonly bore the brunt of the social damnation as well as the monetary burden. And got little out of it. Barely any time to see the kids, exiled from their life mentally and emotionally - mom's influence made her opinion the rule. Dad's commonly couldn't break the spell.

    And in a church, it was commonly the man who had to leave the congregation. They became outcasts, lost their friends and support structure.

    And the divorced wife? She became a martyr. Idealized by the folks around her. People would "lift her up" as an example of godliness. And the whole time I had to keep my mouth shut. I knew the true story.

    She cheated. She demanded the impossible. She wanted more money coming in. She felt his 1 night a month watching football with his friends was "dismissing her needs".

    Another accused her husband of having an affair during the time he was with me and other men at a week night bible study.

    Now I'm back in the business world. I hear "water cooler" stories about how bad these men around me get raked over the coals.

    Why marry? My best friend since high school refuses to. And the girl he is with, he has laid down rules for a pre-nup. Explicitly stating the "conditions" for splitting up and money. He already had one girl leave him for this reason, and I have to say I was proud to see him suffer through it, and stick to his guns.

    One last thing, I've never commented before, but I really enjoy the blog. Thanks for you time and energy.

  10. Sgt. Joe Friday8:27 PM

    Anonymous - Did you actually read my post? It said when I WAS a young guy, sex WAS less frequent but the variety WAS greater, and I WAS happy with the arrangement...back then.

    Men, especially young ones, are hard-wired to seek variety. A guy in his 20s who is reasonably good looking and has adequate game will have lots of opportunities, and I didn't turn many of them down. But that was a long time ago, and I'm happily married to a terrific gal NOW. I don't feel the need for variety (I still appreciate the sight of a good looking gal though), and even if I did, I'd keep it zipped up.

  11. Anonymous9:26 PM

    Glad you clarified, Joe Friday. Guess I jumped to the conclusion because I thought you seemed mighty wistful. Sorry about that.

    I was fooling around with you, but there is a larger point I should have made clearer. This isn't said with you in mind, just a point I'd like to make.

    I read a little evolutionary biology now and then, and I've a great deal of respect for the notion that selection has created two very different specimens in men and women. In no way am I one of those who believes, "But men and women are really biologically alike. It's culture that makes us so different." I left that silly idea behind in my late twenties.
    I appreciate the differences between the male and female brains.

    Nevertheless, I do think that too many people, at least as the pop literature of the day suggests, don't concede just how much women like variety too. The notion that guys like variety while women like security may be a handy saying, but reducing something complex into a pithy aphorism sacrifices truth. The problem is that young boys and young girls hear it so much at such an early age that they start believing it.

    Women who actually had the nerve to seek variety had to pay a high price for it so most never sought it at all.

    Women learn very early in their lives that nothing makes a man feel smaller (in more ways than one) than to think the woman he is with is bored with him or with his performance. We learn that anything that remotely suggests that is nothing to joke about.

    We know we have to tread very carefully in what we say and what we do. When it comes to the most innocent of things, like just looking at a good- looking man, we learn to be more discreet than our boyfriends or husbands might be when they cast an admiring glance at another.

    Not to belabor the point, but the thing is...we look a lot more than men think we do, we fantasize a lot more some think we do, and all in all, we do it so as not to create problems.

  12. Not to belabor the point, but the thing is...we look a lot more than men think we do, we fantasize a lot more some think we do, and all in all, we do it so as not to create problems.Both men and women have impulses toward short term (high quantity, low investment) and long term (low quantity, high investment) reproductive strategies. Women get pregnant. Men don’t. The unequal burden of pregnancy is such that the balance of rival impulses tends to favor the long term strategy among girls, the short term strategy among guys. The disparity tends to converge as men and women grow older toward both favoring a long term reproductive strategy. Older people have a role in encouraging greater sexual propriety among the young.

    Additionally, as women grow older, libido tends to grow as estrogen production drops and the ratio of testosterone to estrogen rises. Thus the impulse toward the short term reproductive strategy gains ground, and people have an interest in discouraging adultery.

    In brief, traditional morality has deep roots in the biological differences between males and females, the young and the old.

  13. Statistical arguments aren't really that useful when it comes down to individual decisions. We have enough information about ourselves as individuals that treating ourselves as statistical averages would not be an improvement.I actually find this doubtful. Daniel Gilbert shows that human beings are notoriously bad at figuring out what makes them happy.

    I wouldn't be surprised at all if conformity to a limited number of lifestyle choices would predict more life-satisfaction even if it contradicted personal instincts and preferences: life-long industriousness (e.g. part-time jobs in high school and late retirement), education, church, friends, ethnocentrism, marriage (no sex until), exercise, and no cigarettes or alcohol.

    RE: the previous post, the benefits of children still appear to be contradicted by the data.

    But given that children appear to hold together marriages, and that the tiny number of people who do not have children are highly unrepresentative, I think there is still sufficient room for doubt here.

  14. I am displeased how Blogger comments have started eating paragraph spacing when you use italics.

  15. Anonymous2:15 AM

    Jason Malloy said...
    I am displeased how Blogger comments have started eating paragraph spacing when you use italics.

    Yeah, it happens when you use any HTML tag. Using the end-tag before the full-stop seems to fix the problem.

  16. Yeah, it happens when you use any HTML tag. Using the end-tag before the full-stop seems to fix the problem.

    Weird. Testing. Testing.

  17. The GSS should provide some insight itself, with SEXFREQ, MARITAL, and AGE for control. But there is still the problem of separating those who are single without a girlfriend and those with one.

  18. Using the end-tag before the full-stop seems to fix the problem.

    THANK YOU! That was driving me nuts.

  19. I don't know. Charles Murray notes that illegitimacy is now around 20% among middle class women, and around 40% for working class White women. See here for details (scroll to bottom).

    I've been blogging on this for a long time. I think that we are seeing a massive cultural shift, worldwide (the CDC reports most births worldwide are illegitimate, and 40% of all US births, while about 75% for Scandi Nation births).

    Women don't want or need husbands any more. Why would they? Women can now have the best of both worlds, Welfare support direct or indirect (by female dominated Government spending -- the only men employed by Governments are in defense which is always cut by female-oriented politicos) and all the exciting bad boys they can handle.

    Most average guys get shut out in their twenties after College (where more women than men outside the Ivies causes women to temporarily adjust standards downwards). A woman in her twenties gets tons of male attention, a man in his twenties has to be a celebrity, an athlete, an edgy musician, or what not.

    When a man finally gets income and power and status GREATER than his female peers, they are not very attractive. By that time their sexual partners can easily number in the fifties (assume 3 in HS, 8 in College hothouse environment, and 4 per year average ages 22-32 which is not unusual for professional white Urban women). The ability of a woman to bond with more than a few sexual partners is questionable at best, fertility is limited in any case, so most men in their thirties pursue young women in their twenties. Of whom there are fewer each generation (birth dearth). This leads to ever declining birth rates as women opt for one kid in their thirties as single mothers (or low income women opt for many in their twenties).

    As Murray points out, Illegitimacy is 20% among middle class women. It's accepted. The Nuclear Family is dead.

    I suggest that you seek out women's entertainment and view the attitudes towards marriage. In such shows as Grey's Anatomy, Gilmore Girls, Desperate Housewives, and Private Practice, female adultery in marriage or engagement is perceived as "hot" and "empowering" and marriage is depicted as an "at will employment contract" between employer, the woman, and the desperate employee, the man.

    I agree overall on the benefits of marriage, but that's from a bygone day that no longer exists. The Nuclear Family is dead. Women don't need or want it, except as an "employment at will" contract with some guy who's role is right checks and provide financial/emotional support without getting any in return. And who is always replaceable at the drop of a hat.

    There is nothing wrong with at-will contracts. But they don't engender loyalty, much less create marriages.

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