Around ’10 or ’11, there was a significant shift in the “relationship marketplace.” We can sum up this shift with two trends that Michael noticed happened in his church circles:
First, many Christian men who were above-average in overall quality (e.g. health, looks, ambition, etc) started struggling to get girlfriends. At first, Michael thought these guys were just being too picky, or had some other major deficiency. There are plenty of losers out there. But as the pattern emerged he realized that this wasn’t the case. These men certainly weren’t perfect, but they were still good quality, and they had very reasonable standards for women.
Second, he noticed that many Christian women who were below-average in overall quality (e.g. beauty, personality, temperament, etc) started developing a fear of committed relationships, and getting extremely picky about men. They would often complain that there weren’t any good men out there. But there were good men. They just thought those men were beneath them. They weren’t. The arrogance and vanity and pride of these women was shocking.
Michael ran these concerns past a boomer pastor. He dismissed it. He thought all the women were just great, and the men needed to step up to win them. The standard “man up” shtick. That really was the moment Michael realized that there was a kind of generational blindness related to what is happening to younger men and women.
That’s why he started tracking trends in sexuality, not just generally, but specifically as they related to dating. And it’s why we continue to keep our ear to the ground on these issues at It’s Good To Be A Man.
Here are a couple of especially concerning trends that flip boomer assumptions about the “relationship marketplace,” and intersexual dynamics, completely on their heads:
Firstly, more and more women today are delaying marriage into their 30s. They are not, however, delaying sex. Very few of these unmarried women are virgins when they turn 30. Stats vary, but it’s below 10%, and perhaps closer to 5%.
And this is not a situation where they are living in monogamous partnerships that eventually get formalized in marriage. These women have had lots of men. It’s difficult to calculate the number, but a survey of the material points toward between 7 and 14 sexual partners prior to getting married right around 30.
The consequences of this are hard to overstate. This sort of sexual promiscuity has intense negative emotional, spiritual, and even physical consequences in the lives of these women. And it means that a large number of them are using hormonal birth control and having abortions, which further exacerbates these consequences.
What motivates such women to keep finding men to sleep with, instead of settling down? It is tied directly to social media, which normalizes deviant behavior and promotes vanity in women. We’re speaking in generalities of course. But this is basically what is going on: women have such an artificially inflated opinion of themselves that they won’t “settle” even for men who are objectively much higher quality than they are.
It’s not just Facebook and Instagram. Those are tame compared to what is going on more broadly. For instance, Alexander Grace calculates that around 3% of women are now on Onlyfans. Similarly, look at how platforms like TikTok, ostensibly about gaming, have been overrun by women gaming in slutty outfits. If you take into account all of these platforms, and narrow the pool down to younger women, who knows what the total percentages look like. Quite possibly, if you were to meet 10 young women in a day, at least one would be a digital whore.
This is just a natural outworking of a culture that is now so immodest, that were a man from another time to visit, he would consider what he saw soft porn whether he were dropped in a supermarket or in a church.
The second major trend is illustrated in the chart below. Whenever we point out how disturbingly widespread female promiscuity is, someone chimes in “Well, sex takes two.”
That’s true, but it doesn’t mean what you think it means…
As you can see, male virginity between ages 18-30 has increased 20% since '89, and appears to be riding a skyrocket now. That’s good, right?
It’s very doubtful that this increase in virginity is directly connected to an increase in morality among men. In fact, that’s an absurd explanation if you have even the slightest familiarity with the world right now.
So what is driving it? A couple of things at least:
- A lot of guys have “failed to launch” due to absent fathers, and the proliferation of digital substitutes for the objects of their desires (e.g. video games instead of vocation, porn instead of actual sex, etc).
- Many men don’t live up to the ridiculous standards of younger modern women. So they enter the relationship marketplace, take a bunch of girls out for a bunch of meals, get nowhere, and turn to sites like Onlyfans instead.
So if a significant portion of men are having no sex, but women are still having heaps, then who are they having sex with? There appears to be a relatively small proportion of men (stats from dating sites would say around 20%) who these women consider “top tier guys.” Such men are getting a lot casual sex with a lot of women.
Again, we’re speaking in generalities. But this is what is basically going on.
This is terrible for society. The key driver to building and protecting a free society is having a familial stake in it. A society in which large proportions of young men and young women are completely untethered from reality—albeit in different ways—is a society that is likely to get ground up and spat out by that reality, since we have to actually live in it.
Sin, when fully grown, brings forth death. Right now we are like drunkards who have leapt out of an airplane with no parachutes and are giddily enjoying the wind in our hair.
Are these trends equally present in Christian circles? No. But they are bleeding over at a disturbing rate. So what is a Christian parent to do?
Here are a few things to consider…
Keep your children off social media as long as possible, especially your daughters.
Delay getting your children cellphones as long as possible. Michael uses Gabb Wireless’ app-less smartphone for his eldest.
Get your children involved in real-world skill-building activities (e.g. sports, 4H, job, etc) as soon as possible. This goes double for your sons. Keep them busy and it will naturally decrease both the time available for gaming, and their desire for it.
Network with other solid Christian families and communities. 58% of people meet their spouse through the network of friends.
Build a love for family and legacy into your kids through words and action.
We mentioned the “man up” shtick above. You’ll hear this from so many older pastors it’s not funny—and sometimes from younger ones who have been trained by them.
Here’s why it is the opposite of helpful:
Telling a man to “man up” assumes that he knows how to be a man, and that his problem is mostly tied to the lack of some inner motivation.
It’s the idea that what men primarily need is a good kick in the butt.
Men do need to be bluntly challenged to step up, especially today where it’s so easy to just not. When Michael was a wrestler, for instance, his coach didn’t get the best out of him by whispering sweet words softly. He’d say things like, “Foster, you sissy. Is that all you’ve got? If you want to wrestle for me, you’ll need to do better!”
But that wrestling coach also taught him how to wrestle, told him what to do in between periods, praised him when he did well, and encouraged him when he failed.
Broadly speaking, the biggest things missing from most ministries to men is practical instruction and consistent encouragement.
A lot of guys really don’t know how to be men. So telling them to “man up” is pointless. Worse than pointless, because it only rubs their noses in their inability to comply, and sinks them deeper into despair at their own failure.
The only type of men who will stay under that sort of ministry are ones desperate for male validation of any kind. They also tend to be given to self-loathing.
Ministry to men should have a corrective “man up” aspect to it. But it can only be an aspect of a multi-dimensional approach to discipleship. In 2 Timothy 4:2, Paul says, “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.”
Most pastors today simply aren’t patient. Their “man up” approach springs from laziness, or maybe disconnectedness from the world of men, if there is really a difference between those things. Most don’t listen. Since they don’t listen, they don’t properly diagnose the problem. And since they have the problem wrong, they get the solution wrong as well.
New content this week: #
- Difficult Questions - It’s Good To Be A Man. In this episode of our podcast, we tackle some of the questions that had been sitting in our inbox for a while because they were hard: how to find men or women for your children to marry; arranged marriages; exercising masculine dominion with chronic illness and disability.
- Interview: Bnonn Tennant from IGTBAM • Eric Conn. Bnonn appears on the Hard Men Podcast, talking about the book we’re writing, White Knights, Nice Guys, and the problem with giving ground to false teachers and false narratives.
- EWTC Presents: WOKE SBC Compilation - YouTube. A lengthy montage of clips from Enemies Within The Church exposing how deep and far the false gospel of CRT, driven by the false hermeneutic of intersectionality, has spread within the SBC. Bobby Lopez’ testimony/tirade at the end (33:20 onward) is especially fantastic.
- Will We Learn the Lesson South Africa is Teaching Us? - YouTube. Jon Harris breaks down some disturbing parallels between South Africa, where tens of thousands of whites have been murdered due to racial hatred, and the trajectory of the United States.
- So You Want To Be A Supervillain - YouTube. Just Some Guy breaks down how SJWs keep rooting for villains in stories. Insightful, interesting, and not safe for work.
- Fewer Young Men Are in the Labor Force. More Are Living at Home - Bloomberg. Basically more American men aged 25-34 are sitting on their butts and/or living in their parents’ basements than ever before.
Talk again next week,
Bnonn & Michael