Monday, 10 February 2020

OF COURSE, Men Prefer Debt-Free Virgins Without Tattoos!

     I wish I could say something which would make the world sit up and take notice, something that would turn viral, which would direct thousands of hits to my lonely blog. Take the case of Lori Alexander. Now, I have to admit, I had previously never heard of her, and I presume most other people would have said the same. Then, a year and a half ago she penned a short article entitled, "Men Prefer Debt-Free Virgins Without Tattoos", in which she discussed a letter someone had sent her on the subject. Suddenly, the fat hit the fire. Within three days she received 90,000 Facebook comments, a lot of them not just negative, but vitriolic, and at the time of writing the score stands at 126,000. Clearly, it touched a raw nerve with many people. As tends to happen when the opponent has no logical rebuttal, many of them caricatured her position, then argued against the caricature. Others had such a visceral reaction to the title that they apparently lost all reading comprehension, because they argued against statements she never made.
     Well, as a man, let me tell you that the title is absolutely correct. Not only that, it is blindingly obvious. It belongs to the same category as "Rain falls from the sky." It shouldn't be necessary to state it. Nevertheless, as George Orwell once said, "[W]e we have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men, " so here goes ...

     First of all, although Mrs Alexander wrote from a Christian perspective, the words apply across the board, to the irreligious as well as the religious, as some of the non-Christian commentators on her blog pointed out.
     Secondly, there is a difference between what people "prefer" and what they will accept. After all, most people, male and female, prefer members of the opposite sex who are as good looking as a movie star or model, when obviously only a small proportion of the population fits the bill. There was once a cartoon in which a young man or teenager proclaims: "I've looking for a beautiful career woman whose hobby is housework." Good luck on your search, sonny!
     But, back to the article, let's take the categories in reverse order.

     Tattoos. I haven't done any survey, but I suspect that the woman is very rare who had a tattoo because her husband or boyfriend told her it would make her more attractive. What I can say is that I have never, ever heard a man declare that a particular young woman looked really good because of her tattoo. They are more likely to call them "tramp stamps" or "slag tags". There is a broad consensus that small, dainty tattoos, such as a butterfly on the ankle, aren't too bad, but even they add nothing positive. Beauty may be only skin deep, but it is responsible for the initial attraction, so it behoves all of us - men as well as women - to make the best use of what nature provided. Disrupting the smooth lines of youthful skin with an unnatural mark is not the best method.

     Virgins. I noticed that the men who scoffed at this were all talking about women they wanted to bed, not those they wanted to wed. In fact, even including the Lotharios and Casanovas of this world, there would hardly be one man in a thousand who would say, "I wish my wife had not been a virgin when I married her." This is hard wired into our nature. As much as, individually, we might wish it didn't apply to us, nearly everybody understands instinctively what I explained in "The Science of Sexual Morality": that marriage is the fundamental basis of society, and chastity - sexual purity - an essential requirement for it.
     Of course, there are caveats. A person shouldn't have to spend the whole of his or her life paying for one lapse. It is possible to turn one's life around. Also, although it is desirable to be your spouse's first bedmate, it is more important to be the last. Just the same, is the "preference" reasonable?
     Have a look at the chart at left of the divorce rate after five years against the number of a wife's premarital sex partners. It is taken from the (US) Institute for Family Studies, and you can find a discussion here. And yes, other studies reveal the same results beyond five years, with similar, but lesser results for males.
     The results seem to have embarrassed those reporting them, for they commented to the peculiarity of the dip in the divorce rate after two partners, ignoring the elephant in the room i.e. that the divorce rate after five years for (to take an example) millennial virgin brides is 6 percent. In my day that would have been considered outrageously high. However, it goes up to 21 per cent for a single premarital partner, and to 30 per cent for two. In other words, just a single premarital sex partner - which, in most cases, would be the eventual husband - increases the chance of divorce 3½ times. Isn't that interesting? And who is doing the divorcing? Well, it is known that more than two thirds of divorces are initiated by the wives. With this in mind, any man in his right mind would do his level best to find a virgin for a bride.
     Of course, we must also take into account the physical risks - such as pregnancy and/or venereal diseases, many of which are now impossible to cure. Despite all the precautions, it is amazing how often these risks eventuate. Or perhaps it's not amazing.
     The same week as Mrs Alexander's post, a 20-something virgin called Erica Wilkinson wrote a response stating that "usually, once you’re out of your teenage years, virginity is a difficult and delicate conversation you must have in your dating life, not a bragging right." Really? Has dating changed so much since 2000, when I was married? In all my courting days, it never occurred to me to ask about the lady's virginity, or lack of it, nor did they feel the need to raise the issue. Admittedly, if she were not a virgin, it would be useful to be told once we were deep in the relationship, but not at the start. Generally, an unmarried woman was assumed to be a virgin unless there was evidence to the contrary. Of course, this might reflect the circles in which I operated.
    Which brings us to another comment by Miss Wilkinson: that men "react to her virginity with a spectrum of emotions including shock, shame, disbelief, mirth and fear." Erica, my dear, you are looking for love in the wrong places. Such men, by definition, operate in circles where chastity is next to non-existent. They may be looking for a wife in the long term, but in the short term, they are after a lay. They will try to seduce you. And they are poor husband material. So, if you are dating online, it is best to announce that you are saving yourself for your future husband, and that this is not negotiable. That should keep a lot of the riff-raff away. (Miss Wilkinson did mention some other types of riff-raff, but you can't avoid them all.)

Debt-Free. This is a no-brainer. What man or woman wants a spouse who will bring a debt into the marriage? They may be prepared to do so, but it is hardly desirable.
      If your future wife has several thousand dollars on her credit card, it means she can't handle money. Not only will you have to pay it off for her before you tie the knot, you'll have to keep a close watch on her spending afterwards. And, needless to say, this is a case where the sauce for the goose is even more the sauce for the gander. Ladies, if your intended has maxed out his credit card, beware! After all, he is going to be the head of the family and its chief bread winner. (And don't kid yourself that this won't apply to your marriage. Women are hypergamous ie they are instinctively attracted to men who rank above them in status and wealth. Also, once a baby is born, it has been shown that both parents revert to more traditional ie natural gender roles.)
     The biggest source of debt is, of course, a mortgage. However, this is something the couple must deal with together. In the unlikely event that they both have mortgages at the time of marriage, one house can always be sold. I have already explained how double income families have raised the cost of housing, which itself makes double income families necessary. It is a vicious circle, but it can only be solved by community action; the individual couple will just have to deal with it.
     But, although the reference to virginity was no doubt the part that touched the rawest nerve, the major thrust of Mrs. Alexander's article was about women attending college or, as it is called over here, university, and it is here that she is most vulnerable to criticism. But she does have a point.
     As I mentioned recently, I got my tertiary education at a time when it was possible to gain a scholarship for a first degree, and to pay for a second by part time work. These days, not only has the cost of tertiary education shot up, but we need at least certificates for all sorts of employment for which a high school diploma was once sufficient. The world has not become so much more complicated as to make that necessary! Employers are outsourcing to universities and TAFEs what should be covered by on-the-job training. Worse, it is often not the content of the college course which is important, but the mere fact that you have done it - and thus displayed some sort of industriousness and self-discipline. And for all this the prospective employee has to pay huge sums! I find this outrageous. (As Charles Kirk pointed out, the Game of Loans is rigged against you.)
     Therefore, any prospective student ought to really do a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether any potential extra income gained from taking the degree will balance the cost of obtaining it. Many would be far better learning a trade. (If they have the aptitude for it. I myself would make a terrible tradesman.) As Dennis Prager said back in 2003: "With very few exceptions, any tuition over $10,000 is rarely worth it."
     My own degrees were in science, so perhaps I am biased, but for the life of me I cannot see the value of so many courses in the humanities and arts. No, I am not being a Philistine. I read widely, and nine tenths of what I know was not covered by my degrees. For example, I am very interested in history. However, unless you hope to become a professional historian, or a history teacher, I can't see the point of studying history at university. Buy the text books and read them in your free time, while you study something which might actually help you get a job - such as science, law, or business management. And above all, stay away from courses such as "women's studies", "black studies" or any other "studies". You'll be paying heaps of money for useless indoctrination sessions which lack balance, accuracy, or marketability.
     What has this got to do with the matter at hand? Simply that the cost-benefit equation is different for men and women, because their careers have different functions. A man has to face the fact that he will not always be working just to support himself. He will (hopefully) one day have to support a wife and children. Indeed, the pressure starts even before he gets the girl because, as I said, women are hypergamous. Only as a large resort will a woman marry, or even date, a man who earns less than she. On the other hand, unless a woman marries straight out of high school, she will need a career to support herself, and it is possible she will never marry. But she must also face the fact that she will have to put her career on hold once she gets pregnant and has a baby. In fact, she will have to put it on hold for several years unless she wants to hand over her children to the care of others - and even then, she will have to pay a lot for the privilege. Therefore, it stands to reason that she should choose a portable career: one that can be worked part time and can be dropped and started again, perhaps with a bit of retraining. A career is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. And you shouldn't pay an arm and a leg for it.
      If they are wise, once they are married a couple will attempt to live on the husband's income while the wife's goes into savings for a deposit on a house. But it's pretty tough if it has to be diverted onto paying off her college debt instead. That was the point Mrs. Alexander and her correspondent were attempting to make: a woman uses up several years in college, then is saddled with a heavy debt she has to work to repay instead of having children and taking care of them, and all the time her biological clock is ticking. How can a career be more valuable than a child in one's arms?
      There is another matter. When I was at university, the girls were told that tertiary education would not prevent them from making a good marriage, and at the time, this was correct. But times have changed. There are now more women than men at university, which means that they must now compete for male attention. They should read the recent article, "All the Single Ladies". Citing numerous studies, the authors show that, due to the normal female instinct for hypergamy,  university educated women are looking for men with the same level of education as themselves, and preferably more. If they marry someone less educated, it is because he has more money. (And, I might add, men are intimidated at the idea of marrying above their station.) The result is that the pool of available men is much reduced.

     I do not envy modern young women. Society is constantly trying to force them into a masculine mould with which they are not comfortable. No course of action comes with a guarantee of success, but young people ought to be aware that actions which they take when young can seriously affect their later life.
     And men really do prefer debt-free virgins without tattoos.