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New Census Data on American Marriage

Some interesting highlights from the new census data on marriage, just out:

 

If the current age trends continue, the median age for women should be around 30 in twenty years. Tick tock, tick tock.

 

Go west, young women, go west. If I were single I’d go get me a cowboy just like The Pioneer Woman did. At the very least I’d consider Austin, TX. The northeast looks like a cold and lonely place to spend the winter. Or a place to spend time with men who are not the marrying kind.

 

 

Note: This last chart represents couples, not married partners.

Same-sex couples are .77%? I would have guessed it was much higher. 1.8% of respondents identified as bisexual (and well over half were women). 1.7% of respondents identified as lesbian or gay. (link here) The Williams Institute (University of California) believes that 15% of same-sex couples declined to identify, and 25% of the counted same-sex couples are heterosexual couples who checked the wrong box. (Pat Buchanan, anyone?)

2 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • JM

    7.7 per 1000 is 0.77%, not 0.0077%. That sounds reasonable to me.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Whoops, shouldn’t have put that % sign in! It’s still much lower than I expected. Will fix now.

  • Abbot

    f the current age trends continue, the median age for women should be around 30 in twenty years. Tick tock, tick tock
    .
    Given the mainstream discussions on this site and elsewhere, female age is inversely proportional to luck.

  • http://www.yohami.com YOHAMI

    This is going to bring the slut war back… just saying.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      This is going to bring the slut war back… just saying.

      Oh boy, I hope not. I’m really trying to avoid stoking that fire. But I can’t ignore the news! And it’s going to be hard to avoid ridiculous articles by feminists too. Well, I guess there’s bound to be overlap but I’ll moderate comments if I have to.

  • Half Canadian

    Canada does> track gay marriages/partnerships.

    http://www42.statcan.gc.ca/smr08/2008/smr08_118_2008-eng.htm

    They estimate 1% of the 18-59 population is gay (and 0.7% bisexual). This is based off of the Canadian Community Health survey.

    In 2006, there were 45,300 same-sex couples. If we assume 30 million people ages 18-59 at that time (an over-estimate, but easy to work with), that would mean 300,000 gay Canadians. 90,600 couples would translate into a marriage/partnership rate of 30%.

    To compare it to the 0.77% rate, 45,300/30,000,000 would be 0.15%

    Which suggests that Canadian gays are less likely to commit than their American counterparts.

  • SG

    You tic-toc comment reminded me of a quote I read in a recent CNN article on getting married while in college: “The longer you can wait to get married up to approximately age 30, the greater your chances are at having a successful and stable committed relationship stay intact,” Roberts said.
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/08/04/living/married-college-students/index.html
    So, these experts are actually urging people to wait until thirty to get married? Would love to see your comments on this.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @SG

      So, these experts are actually urging people to wait until thirty to get married? Would love to see your comments on this.

      It’s a fine line we’re asking people to walk. Basically, the older you are, the more mature you’re likely to be, which bodes well for marital stability. If women were fertile indefinitely, marrying in one’s 30s would not be problematic. Indeed, it works out just fine for many women. I had my kids at 30 and 32 with no problems whatsoever. But fertility is a real issue for many women, and contrary to what Jess claims, fertility drops beginning at age 27.

      According to the Centers for Disease Control, once a woman celebrates her 42nd birthday, the chances of her having a baby using her own eggs, even with advanced medical help, are less than 10%. At age 40, half of her eggs are chromosomally abnormal; by 42, that figure is 90%.

      Her survey found that nearly 9 out of 10 young women were confident of their ability to get pregnant into their 40s. Last fall the A.I.A. conducted a fertility-awareness survey on the women’s website iVillage.com Out of the 12,524 respondents, only one answered all 15 questions correctly. Asked when fertility begins to decline, only 13% got it right (age 27); 39% thought it began to drop at 40.

      Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1002217,00.html#ixzz1WBqPs5ha

      Women delay marriage for many good reasons, including education and career. My advice to women is to think very carefully about their life goals, and prioritize accordingly. It’s very, very unusual to be CEO and Mom. In my case, I thought I’d be a real dynamo in the business world, but I chucked it when my first child was miserable at age 2. At least I took the leap to have a child. Many women delay pregnancy indefinitely, only to learn it’s too late:

      “Those women who are at the top of their game could have had it all, children and career, if they wanted it,” suggests Pamela Madsen, executive director of the American Infertility Association (A.I.A.). “The problem was, nobody told them the truth about their bodies.” And the truth is that even the very best fertility experts have found that the hands of the clock will not be moved. Baby specialists can do a lot to help a 29-year-old whose tubes are blocked or a 32-year-old whose husband has a low sperm count. But for all the headlines about 45-year-old actresses giving birth, the fact is that “there’s no promising therapy for age-related infertility,” says Dr. Michael Soules, a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine and past president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). “There’s certainly nothing on the horizon.”

      The best thing any woman can do is gather the facts and process them objectively, then make life choices that reflect her priorities. Personally, I’d rather see my daughter marry at 25 than 35. It’s just a very big gamble delaying motherhood that long.

  • Tom

    If the charts that display the amount of partners were correct (showing not much difference between the 70`s and now), this can not be blamed on sluts. Sluts are a small portion of the population.
    Not sure why people are waiting to get married, just smarter I guess….lol

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Tom

      If the charts that display the amount of partners were correct

      # of partners? What charts are you referring to?

      In any case, I had no motive whatsoever here, no angle. The takeaways are: the median age of first marriage is going up, and the northeast has the lowest marriage rates in the U.S.

  • http://kaneadvice.wordpress.com Kane

    People are delaying all of life’s major milestones.

    I wonder if the marriage rates by state have a positive correlation with men’s rights.

  • http://www.yohami.com YOHAMI

    Susan, Tom already started…

    if the charts that display the amount of partners were correct (showing not much difference between the 70`s and now), this can not be blamed on sluts.

    Now wait for Abbot

  • Abbot

    this can not be blamed on sluts.
    .
    Of course not. Sluts serve a purpose – so men can delay marriage and make the shift later. So no blame at all.
    .
    See, no slut war. Proved ya wrong.

  • http://ozymandias3.blogspot.com ozymandias

    The delay in marriage rates is interesting. I’d argue a lot of it is because of economic recession: people don’t want to get married until their careers are established (or at least until they’re not living with their parents). A certain delay in marriage is a good thing– people who get married under the age of 23 are extremely likely to divorce– but the problem with delaying it to 30 for people who want children is that it reduces the fertility rate very much.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      The delay in marriage rates is interesting. I’d argue a lot of it is because of economic recession: people don’t want to get married until their careers are established (or at least until they’re not living with their parents).

      Yes, I agree, this is a major factor. Although it’s not just the recession, the trend has been steady for a long time. The ability to afford a home has gone out of reach for many Americans in the last two generations. Very few families today can afford a mortgage on one salary, as they did after WWII. That means women must work, regardless of choice, and that also delays marriage as women pursue career goals.

      I wonder if we’re headed toward a model like Western Europe, where people live at home until they marry quite late. In Italy, it’s virtually unheard of for a single woman to have her own apartment if her parents live nearby (according to my Italian SIL). But people are loathe to marry until they can afford to buy a place, which pushes marriage out further and further, and reduces the birthrate dramatically.

  • Johnny Milfquest

    There is a massive difference between the “average age at first marriage” (what an ominous phrase) for men in the UK and men in the USA.

    But the general trend is the same on both sides of the Atlantic. You might expect an old grinch like me to put this down to the shitty deal that men get from marriage 2.0, but I don’t think that’s the main reason.

    There is an economic elephant in the room. How many youngsters can actually afford to get a mortgage these days?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Johnny
      What the hell is happening in the UK? The median age at first marriage for males is 37? And you have the dubious distinction of being the most promiscuous nation in the world. I am shocked, truly. From Victorian prudery to this. Are sociologists in the UK floating theories or research about this?

  • Jess

    Ozy,
    Actually it’s a common misconception that fertility rates plummet at 30.
    .
    Look up nhs info or a fertility site for the experts view.
    J

  • Abbot

    Actually it’s a common misconception that fertility rates plummet at 30
    .
    But good to perpetuate.

  • filrabat

    Reasons for marriage delay:

    Concrete Reasons more or less beyond dispute:

    *Recession (short term reason)
    *Cost of living, particularly real estate or rent (long term)
    *More years of education or training required to find a job paying a family-friendly wage, even for a 2-worker household.
    *Tying into the previous point, costs more to educate children

    Strongly Plausible but not quite Provable reasons

    *Cultural values change (live it up when young, regardless of income)

    *Destigmatization of “old maids” and “committed bachelors” (not that I consider this a bad thing, as marriage or not should be a personal matter and not a community/societal one).

    *Excessively consumerist society (even after correcting for income, education, occupation, cultural background) – we raise the bar so high with “adequate” that it ties back into the perceived need for more money in order to impress women – regardless of how justified the perception is. Perceptions can heavily influence the situation’s reality, after all.

    So in the end, we spend a lot of time and money to get more education/skills in order to earn more money / have more accomplishments, so we can buy more stuff / more status, so we can attract other members of the opposite gender whom deep down we don’t really like but still boil our blood.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      So in the end, we spend a lot of time and money to get more education/skills in order to earn more money / have more accomplishments, so we can buy more stuff / more status, so we can attract other members of the opposite gender whom deep down we don’t really like but still boil our blood.

      That’s the diagnosis. It remains to be seen whether the patient is terminal.

  • ExNewYorker

    What the hell is happening in the UK? The median age at first marriage for males is 37? And you have the dubious distinction of being the most promiscuous nation in the world. I am shocked, truly. From Victorian prudery to this. Are sociologists in the UK floating theories or research about this?

    .
    They all need to become friends with Jess. Then they’ll immediately find spouses, have tons of kids and no divorces, with no cheating and orgasms everytime :-)

  • Mike C

    But fertility is a real issue for many women, and contrary to what Jess claims, fertility drops beginning at age 27.

    I’m guessing it is probably an exponential function not linear. I’m just making up numbers, but maybe you have a .5% drop from 27 to 28 which is nothing to make a life decision but then maybe a 10% drop from 35 to 37 and 40% drop from 37 to 40. So you probably want to be aware of where that exponential cycle really takes off.

  • Matt C

    Asked when fertility begins to decline, only 13% got it right (age 27)

    Ha. I knew this and didn’t have to look up data. I have a tendency to write thoughtful posts then delete them before I post them on this site.

    One of them was about how women’s prime window of opportunity is from 16-27.

    This just proves to me even more that men have a highly evolved level of sensing how great or little a woman’s level of fertility is.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Matt C

      I have a tendency to write thoughtful posts then delete them before I post them on this site.

      Stop doing that!

  • merl

    I’m guessing it is probably an exponential function not linear.

    At age 40, half of her eggs are chromosomally abnormal; by 42, that figure is 90%.

    It’s obviously not linear. But I doubt that there’s a good general strategy for determining where the inflection point is, as this will vary significantly among women. And if you miss the transition, even by a year or so, you’ve got a problem.

    What’s interesting to me is that no one seems to be willing to discuss how it is that women came to believe that their fertility doesn’t decline until forty. Feminists have been promoting this fiction for generations now, yet everyone acts as though it’s just some weird folk wisdom that came about spontaneously.

  • Jess

    We have had this discussion before.
    According to wikapedia and 3 other medical web sites the real meaningful cut off point is 40.
    .
    Bizarrely in most women it really is that stark. There are interesting graphs on it.
    .
    Strictly speaking every day after 18 a female gets less ‘fertile’. But it is very linear. You only get a more sudden drop at 40. But at the same time the infertility rate dramatically rises…. At 40.
    .
    So if you want a family of 3, assuming a low strike rate of trying for 2 years to conceive every baby plus a couple of miscarriages (ie a very unlucky couple- but it does happen I’m afraid) then 32-39 should yield 3 healthy kids.
    .
    If you think your fertility is good and you only want 2 kids then 36-39 should work.
    .
    There are always outliners but it’s rational to look at the figures carefully.
    If someone says that being over 30 increases your chances of a deformity by, say, 10 times, it sounds scary. But not if it means the risk starts at .003% and then goes to .03%. the risk is still tiny.
    .
    honestly, look at the sites. And don’t buy into the 45 yo mother thing. That is millionaires buying donor eggs. Almost all maturer mothers have had interventions.

  • Jess

    According to Henri Leridon, PhD, an epidemiologist with the French Institute of Health and Medical Research, of women trying to get pregnant, without using fertility drugs or in vitro fertilization:
    At age 30
    75% will have a conception ending in a live birth within one year
    91% will have a conception ending in a live birth within four years.
    At age 35
    66% will have a conception ending in a live birth within one year
    84% will have a conception ending in a live birth within four years.
    At age 40
    44% will have a conception ending in a live birth within one year
    64% will have a conception ending in a live birth within four years. [17] [18]
    The use of fertility drugs and/or invitro fertilization can increase the chances of becoming pregnant at a later age. Successful pregnancies facilitated by fertility treatment have been documented in women as old as 67.[19]
    .
    http://www.babycenter.com/i/infertilitygraph.gif
    .
    I’m. Ot sure if the graph link works.
    It is clearer to use the 6 sentences above. Notice there is 9% drop from 30 to 35 but a 22% drop from 35 to 40.

  • http://www.iki.fi/keh/ Kari Hurtta

    In Finland average age for the first marriage is

    * about 33 years for men, and
    * about 30 years for woman

    Ensimmäisen avioliiton solmineiden keski-ikä vuosina 1960-2008

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    A graph of fertility by age, here

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @david foster

      Great link. Here’s another image from the source:

      fertility

  • http://asinusspinasmasticans.wordpress.com MuleChewingBriars

    I wonder if there isn’t a use-it-or-lose-it factor as well. I personally knew 3 sexually inactive young women (devout Christians waiting for marriage) who painfully went through menopause in their mid to late 30s.

    They felt like they were being punished for doing the right thing.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Mule

      I wonder if there isn’t a use-it-or-lose-it factor as well. I personally knew 3 sexually inactive young women (devout Christians waiting for marriage) who painfully went through menopause in their mid to late 30s.

      Wow, I’ve never heard that. I do know one woman who went through menopause at 36, but she was not sexually inactive – she had three kids by then.

      In the source david foster linked to the author made a comment that male fertility also declines with age, though he said the decline is far more gradual than for women. This is something else I’d never heard. It may be that Hugh Hefner’s boys can no longer swim.

  • Wudang

    Susan, you need to read last weeks edition of the Economist. It has a couple of very interesting articles about marriage and birth rates in Aisa. Despite Asias family tradition and lack of feminism people are marrying at an even later rate than the west in several asian countries. It looks like the birth in most asian countries soon will be far lower than in most western countries.

    The cause seems to be that marriage in these countries is such a raw deal for women as in addition to regular work hours they are expected to do all the house work and care for extended family members that as women are gaining educational and financial independence they are posponing and to a large degree avoiding marriage entirely. When they do have children they prefer only one because of the workload. Divorce is still quite low but expected to rise a lot. Japaneese women rate their marriage satisfaction far lower than Japanese men while in the west marriage satisfaction rates for the sexes are almost identical.

    I think this might also shed some light on why Italy has such a low birth rate compared to many other european countries and the future of islamic birth rates. It seems likely that the more conservative and strict a culture traditionally has been with regards to women the later the changes we have seen in the west such as postponment of marriage, low birth rates divorce and promiscuity set in. However, once women gain enough independece and the cultural climate has softened enough for a life outside of marriage to be a viable option women run from marriage in greater numbers than in cultures that have been less strict. So countries like Japan and Italy had these changes later but was hit harder than for example Norway which is a very feminist country with a high birth rate that always had far more freedom for women than countries such as Japan and Italy. It seems likely to me that Muslims will experience these same things, perhaps stronger than anyone as women are under stricter control in islamic cultures than most other cultures. While the birth rate of muslim women imigrating to scandinavian countries is far higher than that of scandinavian women the birth rate of muslim women born in scandinavian countries is only slightly than that of ethinc scnadinavian women. Considering that second generation muslim immigrant women are still under very strict control by their families and fellow muslim immigrants it seems plausible that as this grip gets loosened in a generation or two and for the first time muslim women here have a realistic option to not get married, the muslim immigrant birth rate will fall lower than the ethnic scnadinavian one.

    A ton of other factors certainly plays into all of this but I think the basic theory holds true. Cultures with stricter views on womens role in marriage experience the modern problems such as low marriage rate, late age of marriage, high divorce rate and low birth rate later than countries that traditionally havent been as strict but once they do experience these things to a larger degree as the incentive for women to stay in marriage becomes to small compared to the incentive to stay outside of it. This would also lend suport to the manosphere theory that men in the west will refuse marriage in larger numbers because the incentives for them to get married is too small compared to the incentives not get married since when women are faced with similar disincentives they also avoid marriage.

    As for infertility there is one very simple way to get your chances of fertility up to about 50% even if you are netirely infertile to begin with. Start to medtiate. This Harvard study showed that women who started meditation had these results:

    Infertile women have a 42% conception rate, a 38% take-home baby rate, and decreased levels of depression, anxiety, and anger.
    Journal of American Medical Women’s Association. Volume 54, pages 196-8, 1999

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Wudang
      Great comment, thanks for sharing that! I hadn’t heard it argued in just that way, but what you say makes a lot of sense.

      As for meditating and fertility, that doesn’t surprise me. I know two women who struggled with IVF for years (4-5) before throwing in the towel and just giving up. Only then did they become pregnant, even though they were five years older. I’m sure it was the decrease in stress. In fact, one of them just had her second child at 42.

  • paulo

    The figures that Susan is presenting represent a long standing trend. So while the economy plays some role, it obviously isn’t the driver of this trend.

    The cultural message to upwardly mobile young people has been to defer marriage. Which isn’t bad advice if they also recognize that there is a penalty to waiting too long. Young women tend to be more aware of this, which is understandable. But there is a penalty for men as well, which goes to the quality of women they will be choosing from, and the nature of the marriages that often result. Realistically most men are not millionaires who will be marrying twenty seven year olds when they are forty. They’re only really eligible to women within a few years of their own age. So at 35 or 40, they’re choosing among women in their mid to late thirties. These tend to be lower quality women, who are often simply marrying to have children – no offense to single women in their 30’s, it’s just a general observation.

  • I thought *I* was Bob

    Charles Murray investigated marriage and out-of-wedlock births, among other things, when he looked into “The State of White America”. As he explains, so much demographic data uses whites as a baseline he wanted to know if that baseline had moved.

    Charles Murray – Bradley Lecture – American Enterprise Institute – 4 April 2011

    It’s an hour and a half including the introduction and Q&A. I think it’s worth it.

    Most of the bad changes have been in the lower and lower-middle classes.

  • I thought *I* was Bob

    I put a ring on my wife’s finger when she was 38 and suddenly she’s Myrtle the Fertile Turtle. What with one thing and another we had been discussing the possible necessity of fertility treatments.

    As Clarke noted, “It will always be cheaper to grow organic brains with unskilled labor.” I think that goes for fertilization services too.

  • tenthring

    @Wudang

    That doesn’t jive with my experiences in Asia or most of the information coming out of there. Men seem very reluctant to get married and women draw them into it. Heck, there was just a big video game release in Japan where the protagonist is a random 30 something Japanese man whose girlfriend it trying to force him into marriage.

    Look, we all know what is happening. When women are young they want to marry less then guys do. Your average provider beta would love to marry a 22 year old. When women are old they want to marry more then guys do. So sometime around or after 30 when they get desperate they settle for a beta (if they do at all) but by then its late to start having kids so they don’t have a lot.

    For proles there really isn’t any reason for marriage to exist. Proles women and alphas can get all the sex they want. Since the state provides at least as well as a prole beta there is basically zero appeal to marry a prole beta. Only higher earning betas can offer an incentive above the state, but they usually need to be in their peak earnings (30s) and usually when the girl is past her sexual peak but still fertile enough to be worth investing in if you don’t have options (late 20s early 30s).

  • Gisela

    A median age of first marriage of 26.5 finally brings the US more in line with other western countries, where the median age at first marriage is just under thirty for women and around thirty for men. In short, the US is finally getting normal.

    If one has to get married at all (and I think marriage is outdated and financially risky for both men and women), one should not do it earlier than one’s late twenties at the very earliest.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      A median age of first marriage of 26.5 finally brings the US more in line with other western countries, where the median age at first marriage is just under thirty for women and around thirty for men. In short, the US is finally getting normal.

      This is absolutely hilarious. A feminist defines what is “normal” even though “normative” is a dirty word in feminist circles. If late marriage (which correlates to declining marriage) and low childbirth are your aims, then you must realize there is enormous economic impact associated with that, not to mention a thwarting of the human desire to mate and procreate (which leads to frustration and ultimately violence). You may find that marriage is outdated but that makes you abnormal, no?

  • http://lafemmeroar.wordpress.com/ lafemmeroar

    Biggest reason for marriage delay:

    People like to procrastinate impending divorce.
    ***
    These charts are as realistic as the idea of the 2.5 kids statistics. How does “one” have two and a half kids? Then again if it were true, even the “halfsies” would prove to be a handful.

  • Abbot

    the US is finally getting normal.
    .
    Reeks of jingoism. Since when does the West define “normal” anything? That version of normal, if it ever infested 93% aka the rest of the world, where would men go to find good and fertile wives?
    .
    one should not do it earlier than one’s late twenties at the very earliest
    .
    Not wise advice for women. But, as always, they are free to “run” their own lives any way they want to

  • Abbot

    MISOGYNY DEFINED
    .
    [img]http://www.isegoria.net/images/Probability-of-Getting-Pregnant-by-Year.jpg[/img]

  • Isabel

    Abbot, you could have found a scarier graph or something. That one states that more than 50% of 40 year olds and just under 70% of 35 year olds can still conceive naturally within a year. And it stays at just over 0.4 until the late 40s where the ‘huge’ drop finally occurs. That huge drop has a name; MENOPAUSE.

    I don’t see the big deal. Most women know this? *shrug*

  • Abbot

    I don’t see the big deal. Most women know this?
    .
    Be sure to tell that to feminists who FREAK at researchers for scaring women back into male control and non-promiscuous self-discovery and making all sorts of claims of bias when female fertility is mentioned. MISOGYNY! Followed by a scraping together of any reports about how men have this or that limit too. Fun to watch though. But in reality, no mid-thirties woman [American careerist] wants to be in that >30% of “last call” so its always better to roll the dice before 25 no matter what as the chances are near 90%. That assumes of course that a family is desired at all and that a man who wants children is willing to play roulette with an older woman. Its not only up to the woman. Oh those “modern men,” gotta luv em.

  • Isabel

    @ Abbot

    I don’t think so. Everyone learns about fe-/male reproduction in biology lessons for every year of school from age 9 onwards and to date, I’ve never heard of anyone referring to nature as “misogyny”. Who has time for that anyway?Btw, it pains me to say it but having kids at age 25 is near impossible without an extended family and a support network. Graduate at 21, give birth at 25? That gives you four years to get married to a guy you love, land a secure job, save for a deposit, get a mortgage and finally a home. By the time your third anniversary comes around, you’re rushed off your feet buying school uniforms, trying to find nurseries, arranging show’n’tell and whatever else infants do in their spare time. Bloody hell! I feel stressed just writing this. So it seems the sensible thing is to delay motherhood because kids deserve better than that, even if it’s against my own dreams. :(

    Maybe the problem is that people are still trying to apply yesterday’s rules to a very different game? Everything is completely different now. Most young mums in England are typically in their early thirties and they have the huge advantage of building their families on a solid foundation. They’ve already got everything sorted, they literally just have to rock up to the hospital and flop on the bed. Starting a family in your twenties however (unless you’re wealthy) is not cool and the only people who do so are derided by society as being not even working class but underclass. Because it’s a “pikey”, “chavvy”, unambitious thing to do for both parents. 30+ mothers on the other hand are referred to as “yummy mummies” instead because their accrued wealth means they can afford more beauty treatments, designer prams, lavish baby showers etc.

    So yeah, most people are fully aware about the gradual loss of fertility and most women actually think that being an older mum is all kinds of awesome. But who can blame them? If the 70% chance of conceiving fails them, they can always get surrogate mothers, fertility treatments, IVF etc all for free on the NHS.

  • Jess

    Isobel,
    You are right but its also true that at 40 infertility shoots up as do birth defects.
    Plus if you start at 40 and it takes you 3 years to conceive then you are birthing at 43.
    .
    I wouldnt advise anyone to go beyond my estimates mentioned earlier unless they really have no choice. And even my ‘late’ estimates won’t help if one has a menopause at 37.

  • Jess

    Isobel,
    Absolutely. As a general rule, a 30 yo mum is likely a more effective one than a 25yo.
    I have seen that 1st hand in my previous work.

  • I thought *I* was Bob

    Isabel:

    I think you read the graph wrong. I think it says that at age 40 only 4 out of 10 women will be pregnant after one year of trying.

  • Isabel

    @ Jess

    Agreed. It is pretty irresponsible to delay motherhood too much though, at least for the child’s sake.The likelihood of giving birth to a child with Down’s Syndrome is much higher in your 40s and generally speaking, older mums are a risk group. Ideally, it’d be nice if people were more family-oriented and a little less individualistic but those times are over. Might as well adapt and move on!

    Hey ho. :/

  • Isabel

    @ Bob

    Oops, you’re right! Oh dear. I hope I didn’t give some female lurkers any funny ideas. :)

  • Abbot

    having kids at age 25 is near impossible without an extended family and a support network
    .
    US taxpayers would probably favor subsidizing women that age and younger only and only if they are married. That would provide the best return for the money spent for all stake holders.
    .
    they can always get surrogate mothers, fertility treatments, IVF etc all for free on the NHS
    .
    That is subsidizing social and biological engineering and not one that others should be paying for when it could have been done years earlier more acceptably and naturally

  • Abbot

    it’d be nice if people were more family-oriented and a little less individualistic but those times are over.
    .
    Everywhere? all over Earth? Really? Are men that doomed? Are they that stuck? Are there no positive options for good chaps?

  • Isabel

    Well, I had Western society in mind but a lot of women on the other side of the tracks can’t afford a high school education never mind university or a Phd. No social care, no caesarans, no contraception and relentless stigma from all directions ensures they have children early. What else is there to do? :|

    Once they can, yes it probably is over. It’ll be the norm to have kids at age 30, just as we outgrew the concept of girls getting married and becoming mothers at 15 a hundred years ago. I still haven’t made up my mind as to whether that’s good or bad though. It’s kinda confusing.

  • Abbot

    I had Western society in mind
    .
    Despite all the gobalization thats been the trend going on 25 years?
    .
    a lot of women on the other side of the tracks can’t afford a high school education never mind university or a Phd.
    .
    Thats most women on the planet “on the other side of the tracks” and its the same situation for the men there.
    .
    No social care, no caesarans, no contraception and relentless stigma from all directions ensures they have children early. What else is there to do?
    .
    Well, as we all know, there are financially stable men in their thirties and older in the West who are quite disconnected in many way from Western women. In fact, they would like to start families with young, fertile, sweet, non jaded women. Few men would turn away from such a plan if offered to them. Shouldn’t the government then be promoting these nice unions? Its a win win for the men and women involved. No?

    .

  • 108spirits

    Fertility issue is just one out of many reasons women should try having babies earlier than later. Health – both physical and mental – of the babies is the most seriously impacted. Only selfish women do not worry about this, as it’s all about them and their career and cock hopping and travelling (i.e foreign cock hopping) first. Additionally, their bodies will recover far better as young mothers than 30+ ones. 40+ – forget it, seen those turn into a disaster overnight. Older mothers rapidly age and look like their babies’ grandmothers. My mum has made that social faux pas the most often when she makes small talks with those old mums pushing prams around in the park. “Your grand daughter is so cute!” :D

    On that note, I feel sorry for the next generations of boys. They can no longer joke (i.e fantasize) about their friends’ mums anymore as the MILF will become extinct.

  • Isabel

    @ Abbot

    Nope. The government has no right to regulate, incentivise or even know what happens between two people in the bedroom. The thought scares me a little. And I don’t think it’s a win-win in the long-term. What about the men whose potential wives you are taking? Should they just stagnate alone?

    If people want to get married young, that’s awesome. If people want to delay it, that’s also awesome. But only for as long as either couple shoulder the financial or fertility burdens themselves and do not expect society to pick up the tab.

  • Abbot

    Only selfish women do not worry about this, as it’s all about them and their career and cock hopping
    .
    You should not blame women. Its not their fault that men have low access to other more appropriate women.
    .
    It has REPEATEDLY been stated on this blog that women can do whatever they want and nobody cares. There is no reason to care. If they want advice, then Susan will give them the best or they can read feminist blogs and then god bless em. Thats how they like it and thats what they got, freedom and peace. No dependancy on men, then no blaming men if whatever they do results in either happiness or unhappiness. They know the right path and the wrong path and can choose either and are both responsible and accountable.
    .
    Conversely, if a man wants a healthy sound woman for marriage and family he can choose an older enlightened one as a favor and hope it all still works right or go for one ready to burst a fertility gasket. This is not about womens choices. Its about mens choices. If a man gets into a shit show of a fertility situation it is entirely his fault. He knew better. Its also his fault that there are barriers between him and the super abundance of loverly mothering women and tremendous happiness will ensue as those barriers are deconstructed.

  • Abbot

    What about the men whose potential wives you are taking? Should they just stagnate alone?
    .
    That would be the case if they actually married them. Single mothers are rampant. In swoop the knights to save the day. Plus its a good way to redistribute wealth, a concept blindly championed by feminists.
    .
    The government has no right to regulate, incentivise
    .
    Im not going to go into how much such a statement would infuriate feminists. Now its mens turn. The government takes it orders from the people and about half, the men, can direct where their tax money is spent and if that means reducing barriers to highly fertile good women then that is what will be done.
    .

  • Isabel

    Erm, I don’t think that is how a representative democracy works. Forget 50. 100% of the voting public could vote to pass a bill on the banning of say, homosexuality and ponytails after 9pm but the EHCR and Brussels would not permit it if they feel it compromises personal freedoms. I hate to drag in that Godwin fellow too but the last government that drafted such intrusive family laws met a pretty nasty end.

    And for what it’s worth, we have such support already in the UK thanks to our free healthcare — at point of access, anyway — and very generous welfare scheme. Guess what? People absolutely despise it, men and women alike. It costs us needless billions of pounds each year and it has not improved our society one jot. Iirc, it was 13bn alone per annum and one of the reasons our austerity measures are such an epic fail. Because now we’ve created some knuckle-dragging society where merely opening your legs entitles you to a council flat, an income and heavily subsidised everything. Don’t get me wrong. Welfare is good. Welfare abuse however is not! Like I said earlier, people who depend too much on the government to help raise their children are called chavs and I defy you to find one person who openly says they like chavs. There’s a reason we voted in the Conservatives and ended Labour’s 13 years streak. :)

    The US would never accept it either. They already think we’re flaming Commies for having the NHS! And the Tea Party would spontaneously combust at the thought of seeing republican ideals being brought about via socialist laws. Not that that is a bad thing. Teabaggers on fire, huh……beats having to pay for fireworks.

  • Abbot

    people who depend too much on the government to help raise their children
    .
    are people who depend on men via taxation rather than men as husbands within a family unit. Now, how did that get started, say roundabout 1971?

  • Johnny Milfquest

    Susan wrote:

    What the hell is happening in the UK? The median age at first marriage for males is 37?

    Britain is much more secular than the USA, so the religious pressure to get married doesn’t really exist here. Unless you’re a Muslim.

    The influence of the welfare state is much more pronounced over here. Government is the Daddy. Real dads are superfluous.

    And you have the dubious distinction of being the most promiscuous nation in the world.

    I attribute this to cultural factors such as the reliance on binge-drinking to facilitate sex and the absence of American-style dating.

    I am shocked, truly. From Victorian prudery to this.

    From Sexuality & Modernity:

    The Lancet medical journal in 1887 estimated that there were approximately 80,000 prostitutes in London. This is out of a total population of 2,360,000 or 3%.

    Are sociologists in the UK floating theories or research about this?

    Sociologists in the UK typically style themselves as Marxists. So the destruction of the nuclear family and its replacement with the state is seen as more of an objective than something to worry about.

  • Isabel

    @ Abbot

    I was born in 1993. I haven’t got the foggiest clue on what happened in 1971 with regards to tax I’m afraid. Significance please?

    Almost as many women work as men by the way so both are taxed equally. I don’t know how you glossed over half the workforce’s contribution!

  • OTC

    My wife had our firstborn at 27, yet completed her college degree, and was married to mefor a few years by then. We are neither wealthy nor poor. Stop saying it is impossible, because we did it, and the reason why isn’t popular..

  • Mike C

    Comment on economics….

    A number of commenters have mentioned economics as a reason to delay marriage. This doesn’t really make sense unless you are specifically talking about having the wife drop out of the workforce and children entering the picture.

    If it just the two of you being married can be a net economic positive. You are now spreading two incomes over one household instead of two. One rent payment instead of 2. One utility payment instead of 2. One cable bill instead of 2. It is possible to find many other cost savings once you are operating as one unit with two incomes.

    Moreover, you have the security of being sort of “insurance” for the other person. I live with my GF so we are not married yet, but when we are married and even now there is an implicit agreement that if for whatever reason one person loses there job, the other person will step up to help pay that person’s expenses until you find another job.

    In my view, in these difficult economic times filled with uncertainty having an official financial partner/teammate is actually a positive, not a negative. Of course, none of this is true if you got a SAHM raising kids and just one source of income being the guy.

  • I thought *I* was Bob

    @Abbot assumes USA the way you assume GB, only more so.

    In 1971 President Nixon got wage & price controls and revenue sharing passed in the US Congress, greatly expanding the role of the federal government. The money comes with strings.

  • Jonny

    Very few families today can afford a mortgage on one salary, as they did after WWII.

    I will argue many people fail to understand how to plan their finances. If more people did, they WILL be able to live on one income. In fact, it is better to rely on one income and not overpay for a mortgage based on 2 incomes. With the housing downturn, there are many more affordable areas, but where I live (California), it is still very expensive to buy a house. I bought in 2002. Prices since then has sky rocketed. Since 2008, prices went down, but merely 20%. I can easily bank $200K if I wanted to, but I need to live here.

    My feeling about female fertility is women must stop living in fantasyland. If they desire children and they should make it a goal. Somehow their goals has turned upsidedown compared with men. Women are not making husbands and children a priority.

  • Abbot

    it is better to rely on one income and not overpay for a mortgage based on 2 incomes.
    .
    Too many people in the workforce drove up prices to fit the “new norm” of two to pay.
    .
    My feeling about female fertility is women must stop living in fantasyland. If they desire children and they should make it a goal. Somehow their goals has turned upsidedown compared with men. Women are not making husbands and children a priority.
    .
    For the 12th time, the majority of American women and men live in two distinct sexual/mating cultures. Men have more in common in that regard to women living in developing countries. That is, the men have an option if so desired. The women might have an optional path to happiness; maybe they can share with us what that is.

  • imnobody

    @Wudang

    Susan, you need to read last weeks edition of the Economist. It has a couple of very interesting articles about marriage and birth rates in Aisa. Despite Asias family tradition and lack of feminism people are marrying at an even later rate than the west in several asian countries. It looks like the birth in most asian countries soon will be far lower than in most western countries.

    I read the article. As always, it is only a try to export decline and decadence to Asia. The same than in Eastern Europe or the Muslim world.

    This is a proof of the fact that I am always saying. All these changes are not due to feminism. I have told it once and again. Feminism is only a rationalization to come to terms with changes produced by economic forces.

    The housewife job was made much easier because of technological and societal changes (contraception, compulsory schooling, water and electricity in every home, appliances). The old deal (breadwinner for homemaker) stopped being valid because the homemaker role was devalued. So women have to enter the workplace to make up for this lower economic value of housekeeping. Since the economy changed from manufacture to services, the kind of jobs where women feel comfortable was created.

    So this produces that women don’t need men to survive (like yesteryear). Men don’t need women to survive (like yesteryear). Family stops being a unit of production. The individual becomes a unit of production. People don’t have to marry so they wait to have a good deal. Sometimes they wait too much…

    In cultures where divorce and single motherhood are taboo (Asia), this means people marrying later and more people becoming confirmed bachelors and old maids, without reproduction. In short, more lifelong singlehood.

    In cultures where divorce and single motherhood are not taboo (America), this means people marrying later, women marrying betas to divorce them later or women having kids without marrying. In short, more single motherhood.

    The only thing that feminism produced was a weakening of taboos. The other things are only economical changes.

  • Abbot

    The only thing that feminism produced was a weakening of taboos.
    .
    Taboos=shaming. But thankfully not universally, even in the West. Its fragmented. Total influence has never and will never be achieved and in fact is declining. The existence of this website is just on proof of that. Amanda Marcotte’s spitting mad psychotic rants are another as she demonstrates a reckoning with failure.

  • Jonny

    Too many people in the workforce drove up prices to fit the “new norm” of two to pay.

    Not necesarily true with more singles buying homes. Thus there needs to be better planning with more people buying homes with the assumption that the mortgage can be paid with one income. For example, if both people work, one person should contribute a larger downpayment to enable the wife to quit when they decide to have a child.

    For the 12th time, the majority of American women and men live in two distinct sexual/mating cultures.

    I’ve read this the first time. I know there are two different expectations. You hardly enlightened me with this.

  • thisisnotanexit

    Plan B: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGbt00ms7dQ

    The woman on the right made millions by 23…by *baking*. Dream come true for any guy in the manosphere. A shift currently happening now. Many young people focus on entrepreneurship during college or even high school. The ones who planted their seed when they were in their late teens are seeing their businesses grow whereas the ones who diligently went to grad school are still doing internships at 24

    American colleges are also an enigma. So necessary to gain employment but so unnecessarily expensive. If I could go back, I would’ve applied to a university in Canada.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    Since people brought up marriage in Asia, I think this Asian Times article is relevant.

    Ah, if only American courts were so reasonable.

  • Jess

    Judge judy thing,
    .
    For those who had doubts, in the missing comments, about the authenticity of judge judy I am delighted to report that she is genuine.
    .
    Having consulted, it’s own website, CBS website and wilkipedia, it transpires that whilst the parties plus audience are paid, the defendant is being sued and the judg,events are binding.
    .
    Nothing is scripted or staged. She is a former family judge.
    .
    From a much relieved fangirl

  • Jess

    By sheer coincidence this is the 2nd week where there is a HUS linked article in the suns sister magazine ‘ fabulous”. ( I can almost see some of you wincing)
    .
    It’s by well known sex columnist and author Catherine Townsend and is called ‘your number’. There is no shaming involved but there are no prizes as to guessing her position. She is currently in an LTR.
    .
    ps for the record she’s um….experienced…

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  • Abbot

    ps for the record she’s um….experienced…
    .
    ps, for the record and for the 34th time, um, any WOE can find a husband. Why is do you keep insisting they can’t or others believe they can’t? Makes no sense. WOEs represent a SMALL global minority and there are enough chumps willing to be in the catcher position.

  • Abbot

    .
    .
    BANNED! by Feminists
    [img]http://kirstygreenwood.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b33b69970b015432f5c16e970c-pi[/img]
    .
    Thats right. Banned. No cupcakes for you!
    .
    No denying that mind control is a HUGE feminist agenda.
    .
    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23984495-new-feminism-topples-sexist-book-displays.do
    .
    New feminism topples sexist book displays
    .
    A teacher who persuaded WHSmith to stop displaying books “for women” said today she is part of a new wave of feminism in the capital.
    .
    Julia Gillick, 29, wrote to the retailer after seeing a fluffy display of light, romantic books – many written by men – with pastel-coloured covers and titles such as Meet Me At the Cupcake CafĂ©.
    .
    Her letter said she was “deeply offended by this unnecessary and condescending practice”. She now plans to write to Tesco, which also has a “women’s fiction” section.
    .
    Ms Gillick, of Shepherd’s Bush, today urged women not to put up with sexist slights. She said: “The words that we use matter There is a sense in some circles that we have let things slide a bit after the work we thought had been done in the Seventies and Eighties.”
    .
    The English teacher at an all girls’ private school has also set up a feminist bookgroup. Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman was the first text they studied.

    .
    Yep folks, asshole Gillick, like a good feminist, wants to ram her personal agenda down your little girl’s throat. Your child! Wait till that little angel comes running home with this dishrag:
    .
    [img]http://c3884.r84.cf2.rackcdn.com/21636866.jpeg[/img]
    .

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