A blog for Christian men "going their own way."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Who Wears the Pants?!

A little while back, there was a piece in the Wall Street Journal about the power women wield in their marriage. The upshot of the article was this:
"Across all decision-making realms, it tilts to the woman," noted Rich Morin, the Pew study's lead author. "I was surprised by the percentage of men who made none of the decisions in any of the areas. A significant percentage were just bystanders." Not surprisingly, one reason men say they are willing to acquiesce in their spouses' wishes is that their wives usually have greater knowledge of the day-to-day activities and needs of the home than they do. They trust their wives' choices the way they would any specialist's. But what is rather unexpected is the deeper (and much sweeter) reason men have for giving in to their wives: They want them to be happy, or at least they don't want to be responsible for making them unhappy.

The general consensus of sociologists is that, whereas a woman's marital satisfaction is dependent on a combination of economic, emotional and psychological realities, a man's marital satisfaction is most determined by one factor: how happy his wife is. When she is happy, he is. Working within this framework, most husbands are unwilling to dig in their heels on any issue unless they have a tremendous incentive to do so.
Oddly, this article was mentioned by at least three religious blogs: Alex Chediak's, Tim Challies', and Ligon Duncan's. What was their reaction? Any criticism? Nothing. Is it me, or is there something terribly wrong with this picture?

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

Really Anakin, I bet you could find an issue in a box of chocolates.

The article goes on to say:
"To be fair, many of the scholarly studies' conclusions include a "final say" contingency -- many husbands claim that they have veto power when they feel very strongly about an issue. But consumer research shows that with the exception of what car to buy and when to buy it, men rarely claim strong enough feelings to override their wives."

So like the author says, if it's not an issue for them, it shouldn't be for us, especially since the guys with higher income (than their wives) are more likely to defer (or better, delegate) the financial piece to her -- in other words, those who can afford a specialist will have one. What's more, this is not a current trend, but something that's been consistent since marketers started observing these patterns in the 40's.

Dude, we're gonna have to start calling you "Chicken Little".

many_luxury_vacations said...

The point is legitimate. The combination of the industrial revolution and the Protestant Reformation gave rise to incredible affluence and created the now worldwide model of Western civilization. However, greater affluence and men missing from family life for long periods due to work and travel created a profoundly feminine Christianity and popular culture.

Men have always inherently wanted to please their wives. Men are the romantic sex, the leaders and spiritual heads of families. But if faith and society teach men to submit and women to lead, men's submissiveness and women's independence become tacit doctrines of Christianity and society.

This is what is wrong. This is why vast numbers of women are single and emotionally starved. This is why lots of men are either focused on casual relationships or walking away from faith - and society.

The cited article isn't news; it only describes typical human nature and sex roles. The system itself; the Western Tradition is what is sick and in need of repair.

Amir Larijani said...

In this case, the problem is not on the women, but rather on the men.

They have substituted appeasement for leadership. We have a term--characterized by the initials P.W.--that describes such men.

I get the impression that Anakin is laying a large part of the blame for the prevalence of this dynamic at the feet of the Church. I'd have to think there is some truth to it.

Even in the conservative seminaries, the professoriate tends to press the wussified Victorian "gentle Jesus meek and mild" model. It's an order of magnitude worse at the "moderate" and liberal seminaries. Pastors--no matter how resolute they may be--end up absorbing some of that culture.

Pastors, in turn, present this model from the pulpit because (a) older women--who sit on key committees in the church--dominate the pews and (b) they hear the "headship theology" Kool-Aid from our otherwise well-intentioned (but often misguided) friends on evangelical radio.

Heck, I remember going to Promise Keepers in 1992--long before it became a national phenomenon. Headship theology was extremely prevalent back then. A feminized quasi-patriarchy that blamed men for everything.

Such wrongheaded theology only breeds appeaser-husbands.

Anonymous said...

Pllleeeaaaase! As if this is breaking news!

I could link a picture of the one little thing that gives ladies all THE POWER ... but it'd get deleted. Simply put: If a man is not horny, make him a sandwich.

On the subject of income, I think it’s been statistically shown that men’s incomes go up after they’re married, because they have the support structure at home to take care of the day to day stuff while they advance their careers. Stay at home moms may not “bring in” the income, but they sure enhance it.

But really, I think this article should give everyone an idea of how few true Alpha males there are in marriage versus the whipped wannabes.

Amir Larijani said...

Anonymous: that's my point. All I am contending is that the Church has been breeding the PW culture for decades.

Even "men's ministry" is often little more than "women's ministry for men".

Headship theology types, while misguided, are trying to fix the problem by emphasizing the importance of male leadership. Trouble is, they often make the mistaken assumption that perfect leadership guarantees perfect submission.

When "Christian counselors" intone that all marital breakups are the man's fault, then there is a disconnect from Biblical reality.

What is needed here is a balanced approach with respect to (a) human depravity, which is shared by both sexes; (b) the importance of male leadership; and (c) the importance of wifely submission.

Men tend to punt on their leadership responsibilities, just as women refuse to accept male leadership.

That is not a new phenomenon, BTW, as the fact that Paul had to admonish the Corinthians and Ephesians is evidence that men and women had such struggles even in the Early Church.

Some might contend that women are refusing to submit because their husbands will not lead. That may be true in many cases, just as it is also true that many men punt on leadership--embracing appeasement--because they are tired of fighting with a wife who refuses to submit and, instead, accept appeasement as a lesser evil than divorce.

Anonymous said...

Um, I was responding to the article, not your post, amir.

The Learner said...

Perhaps I missed the point, (not the first time) but I thought it was this part that was more at issue:

The general consensus of sociologists is that, whereas a woman's marital satisfaction is dependent on a combination of economic, emotional and psychological realities, a man's marital satisfaction is most determined by one factor: how happy his wife is. When she is happy, he is.

Elusive Wapiti said...

Thanks for posting this article, Anakin.

I think men and women both bear considerable blame here. I will address the men, though.

As Learner and Amir have noted, the men have based their success in a relationship on the happiness of their wife. One who, if she is not endogenously happy, cannot be made so by anything that her husband does. This is a man's first mistake...by thinking that he has any real influence on his wife's basal happiness level. If she's not content on her own, there's no way that he can make her be. There's no point in even trying.

Moreover, our culture teaches women that happiness comes from outside themselves...thus they expect their men to give them good feelings, and if they don't, it's the man's fault that they are unhappy. And men seemingly accept this.

Furthermore, it was mangina legislators that shifted the balance of power in marriage away from a 'balance' to a heavy imbalance in favor of the wife. It was they who gave incentives to women to destroy families if they were insufficiently happy. So you end up with men in Sisyphean bondage, trying to make an unhappy woman happy, or you have men who must go along with the wife's bull-in-a-china-shop attitude else risk complete and total ruin.

Neither is exactly a position of power. As Amir said...appeasement or divorce. Talk about a morton's fork.

Anonymous said...

"The general consensus of sociologists is that, whereas a woman's marital satisfaction is dependent on a combination of economic, emotional and psychological realities, a man's marital satisfaction is most determined by one factor: how happy his wife is. When she is happy, he is."

Nowhere is there any recorded consensus among sociologists that "a man's marital satisfaction is most determined by one factor: how happy his wife is". Both sexes have their sacrifices and their indulgences.

So get off the cross EW. Someone could use the wood.

The Learner said...

Anonymous,

That quote comes directly from the Wall Street Journal piece, not EW.

Perhaps if you really are interested in a discussion, you could try engaging in a thoughtful dialog instead of repeatedly dropping veiled insults.

Christina said...

Perhaps if you really are interested in a discussion, you could try engaging in a thoughtful dialog instead of repeatedly dropping veiled insults.

That was veiled?

Egghead said...

It would be helpful, Anakin, if you would give a name to what you believe to be wrong with that picture.

The Learner said...

That was veiled?

I try to say things like that gently, but you are right Christina. It wasn't really veiled at all.

Anonymous said...

It always amazes me how quick you ladies are to fight the men's battles for them.

Is this your idea of "biblical womanhood"?

Elusive Wapiti said...

"Nowhere is there any recorded consensus among sociologists that "a man's marital satisfaction is most determined by one factor: how happy his wife is"."

Really? And you know this how?

Careful anon, you'd have to prove a negative for this buffoonish statement to be true.

Tho I suspect you're just here to troll for a fight.

Anakin Niceguy said...

It would be helpful, Anakin, if you would give a name to what you believe to be wrong with that picture.

Indeed, Egghead, there is already one for it. Estrogelicalism. For all the talk of "male headship" out there, the high-profile religious bloggers like Alex Chediak, Tim Challies, and Ligon Duncan apparently saw nothing too disturbing about a marriage where a man's happiness is based on the woman's happiness (but not so much vice versa). Nor the fact that women were largely dominating in the decisions regarding the household. What? Not even a little parity? Are men just wage slaves and women "dictators in the social realm" (as Elizabeth Cady Stanton apparently hoped they would be)? Where is the outcry? Crickets chirping.

The Learner said...

Anonymous,

Funny, because it never fails to amaze me how quick you are to be insulting. Is that your idea of "biblical womanhood"?

Amir Larijani said...

Learner asks Anonymous:
Funny, because it never fails to amaze me how quick you are to be insulting. Is that your idea of "biblical womanhood"?

Here is my observation:

Anonymous seems to have decided that it is the fault of other men that she is single and over 40. This has led to some bitterness on her part.

In fact, people endure extended singleness for any number of reasons.

There are cases where men (women) remain single and they have no one to blame but themselves, because there were Godly women (men) who were otherwise interested, that they stiff-armed.

There are also cases where men (women) remain single due to reasons that fall out of the ordinary, that make them difficult to marry off. Examples could include personality disorders, physical or mental handicaps, or even physical appearance.

(And yes, all of these factors work against the men, just as they work against the women. We all--men and women alike--have preferences. I'm not saying that's right or wrong, it just is what it is. That is no comfort if you, like me, fall into one of the disadvantaged groups, but don't blame me: I'm just telling it like it is.)

There are also cases where men (women) remain single because they happen to have fallen through the proverbial cracks. They may otherwise be good Christian folks, intelligent, have the right moral bearings, the whole 9 yards. But (a) their attempts to find a mate have not landed success, and/or (b) the relationships they had that seemed promising, but simply did not work out.

Making matters worse, we are all fallen. That means, as we get older, we will accumulate baggage. We get more cynical. That makes marriageability more difficult.

Making matters worse, if one lets it get to him or her, depression can become part of that baggage, and that can cause a spiral of events that are not at all pleasant, and detract from a man (or woman's) appeal to the opposite sex. Depression could lead to overeating, and that can lead to a whole host of health-related issues that adversely impact one's desirability.

So yes, protracted singleness can be a major-league bitch (or bastard, depending on one's gender preference for vernacular.)

Some, such as Debbie Maken, have taken a "blame the men" approach for this dynamic. While there are men who probably deserve the criticism she directs at men, she sure does paint with a very large brush, as she minimizes the shortcomings of women on a similar scale. (And yes, the scales are similar.)

Anakin and myself--and EW and even Triton--are just providing some balance to this. Whether or not you wish to admit it, Anonymous, men are getting screwed, too.

My point: if you minimize the struggles of the men, how do you expect men to take you seriously?

To make an analogy, you have come into Anakin's house, pissed on his carpet, shat on his floor, insulted him and his friends--even the female ones, like Learner and Christina, who occasionally feud with him--imputing your pain on them, and you wish for respect?

Whether you wish to admit it or not, we're all in this fight together. It is not my fault that you are single. Nor is it Anakin's fault that you are single.

I don't know you, and you don't know me. I cannot answer for why you are single.

Some of us end up in battles for which we did not ask. Unfortunately, we still have to fight those battles.

On the other hand, being dismissive toward people who raise legitimate issues, will not advance your case very far on these pages or mine.

Triton said...

Depression could lead to overeating

Even if it doesn't lead to that, depression can doom a relationship all on its own. Most folks would prefer not to engage in psychiatric dating.

Anakin and myself--and EW and even Triton--are just providing some balance to this.

I love the inference that I'm the "fringe" member of the group.

Like Rodney Dangerfield, I can't get no respect...

Amir Larijani said...

LOL Triton...that was tongue-in-cheek.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous seems to have decided that it is the fault of other men that she is single and over 40."

Where have I ever blamed men for anything? You can go over every one of my posts and you won't find a thing. My issue is with cry babies of both genders who put disportionate blame on women. Grasping for straws over non-issues.

Amir Larijani said...

Anonymous says:
My issue is with cry babies of both genders who put disportionate blame on women.

Oh, so Anakin is a crybaby? Triton is a crybaby?

You're sounding just like what you despise.

And who is putting disproportionate blame on women? We're just adding balance.

When the mainstream evangelical leaders--even with the best of intentions--lay the disproportionate blame for societal problems on men (even suggesting that all failed marriages are the exclusive fault of the man), then it requires a snap back to reality.

As I pointed out, even the latest Christian movie--Fireproof--is guilty of portraying marital depravity disproportionately as a husband issue. (But for that one huge flaw, I thought the movie was otherwise very good.)

Ditto for "marriage mandaters" who lay exclusive blame on men for the singleness of women.

Is Anakin too hard on Boundless at times? Probably.

On the other hand, I can absolutely see where a lot of men would be offended at a "How to Avoid a Bozo" ad, just as women might be offended at a "How to Avoid a Fattie" ad, or "How to Avoid a Slut" ad, or "How to Avoid a Gold-Digger" ad.

Again, it's about balance.

Anonymous said...

You think you're providing balance, but you're not. All you're doing is allowing yourselves the same licence to be oversensitive about picayune issues, in the same way as the old school feminists you knock. And to do this while calling for a return to traditional, biblical male leadership is just lame, lame, lame.

If you guys really want to help the guys who are genuinely suffering with unfair divorce, child support and access arrangement, you would do them well not to agonize about high income men who don't give a shit what kind of paper towels their wife buys.

Amir Larijani said...

Anonymous: you're the only one here who is lame, lame, lame.

Rather than engage the substance of what Anakin, Triton, Wapiti, Christina, Learner, or myself put out, you resort to insults, name-calling (crybabies), and dismissal.

I put out prominent examples to formulate the basis for what Anakin and myself--and the others--are saying.

Anakin actually has a book available for download or purchase, and it is a critical review of Maken.

Given that you have suggested that you are academically inclined, you might engage him on it. Surely, your ability to engage in critical thinking is better than your ad-hoc dismissals suggest.

Quite frankly, you don't have the first foggy clue about myself, Anakin, Triton, Wapiti, or MLV.

Here are some pointers:

(1) We are anything but a mutual admiration society. I've jousted with Anakin, Triton, and MLV. I've jousted with Christina and Learner. Christina and Learner have jousted with Anakin, Triton, and MLV.

Ergo, when you say:

It always amazes me how quick you ladies are to fight the men's battles for them.

Is this your idea of "biblical womanhood"?


you are utterly ignorant of any substantive dynamics on this blog or mine.

(2) Rather than accept that Anakin is often--not always--correct (usually, he is merely pointing out double standards), you dismiss him as a "crybaby".

That you receive derision in return should not surprise you.

As for Christina, she has seen both sides: she has seen a fair share of men who--for lack of better words--haven't the balls to take the initiative with women. She has seen the passive-aggressive men who are often acting out the Christian life as they've been taught by pastors who are complete wussies.

She's also seen enough of human depravity to know that Anakin, myself, SXM, Triton, and Wapiti bring a perspective to the table that has substantial merit.

For three years of my life, I worked evenings at a crisis pregnancy center. It was in a town whose main industry was (a) a General Motors division and (b) a Christian university.

The vast majority of my abortion-minded clients were "ministry" students at that Christian university.

A fellow volunteer--who was also a student at that university--told me, "Trust me, Amir: this is the tip of the iceberg. The people you see raising their hands to lead worship in our churches, will tell you, without batting an eye, how they glorify God for having had an abortion."

Who were the men involved in those pregnancies? Half of them weren't even believers.

I was also a board member for the local maternity home. I got to know the clients, many of whom came from very broken homes. Some were teens whose parents had tossed them out.

One of our workers, on the other hand, was a "ministry" student at the university. Two weeks before graduation, she happily told us that she was pregnant.

Trouble is, (a) she was single, and (b) the guy she was dating wasn't even Christian.

Before those experiences, my outlook on this was very similar to that of Motte Brown: I would have been a Headship Theology Kool-Aid drinker. I believed that if men were just good enough, then women would not be choosing abortion, would not be promiscuous, would not be depraved.

But here's the rub: I learned that TOTAL DEPRAVITY is exactly that: TOTAL!

That means the guys don't have any spiritual one-ups on the gals.

That means the gals--even the ones who are oh-so-faithful in church and go to college to major in ministry--have no one-ups on the guys.

Now what part of that constitutes "whining"?

Anonymous said...

"Rather than engage the substance of what Anakin, Triton, Wapiti, Christina, Learner, or myself put out, you resort to insults, name-calling (crybabies), and dismissal...I put out prominent examples to formulate the basis for what Anakin and myself--and the others--are saying...Anakin actually has a book available for download or purchase, and it is a critical review of Maken...Given that you have suggested that you are academically inclined"

First of all, as far as "academically inclined" anonymous from the other thread, that's not me. Secondly, who's championing Maken?? Point out how Anakin is grasping for straws is somehow "pro-Maken? Or anti-male?? Or boasting "spiritual one-up-(wo)manship? And BTW, how are your examples "prominent"? They sound like the same old worst case scenarios to me. And I'd suspect that you went into those unwed mother projects looking to confirm your already ingrained opinions.

Triton said...

Christina and Learner have jousted with Anakin, Triton, and MLV.

I've jousted with Learner? *drawing a blank*

Learner's about as calm and rational a person as you'll find on the internet. There's really no need for anyone to "joust" with her.

First of all, as far as "academically inclined" anonymous from the other thread, that's not me.

I don't know about the rest of y'all, but I find it difficult to keep track of more than one anonymous at a time. I would beseech y'all to choose a handle, even if it's just something like "anonymous 1" or "other anonymous".

I'm sure everyone here would greatly appreciate it.

Amir Larijani said...

Anonymous says:

Point out how Anakin is grasping for straws is somehow "pro-Maken?

You haven't pointed out HOW Anakin is "grasping for straws"; you are merely asserting that he is--gratuitously.

Or anti-male??

You sure have come off that way, as you (a) have been dismissive of almost every legitimate point that Anakin or the rest of us have made, and (b) have resorted to mocking almost any time anyone comes up with a legitimate point.

Hell, when Learner--as Triton says, is as calm and rational as you'll find--raises legitimate issues, you attack her for "fighting our battles for us".

Or boasting "spiritual one-up-(wo)manship? And BTW, how are your examples "prominent"? They sound like the same old worst case scenarios to me.

When we are referring to the mainstream evangelical leaders who get all the press, how are they "worst case scenarios"?

Debbie Maken, in and of herself, would be a worst-case scenario. On the other hand, there is one hell of a pile-on effect. Do you call Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler a "worst case scenario"? Do you call Motte Brown a "worst case scenario"? Do you call Steve Farrar a "worst case scenario"? Do you call the producers of Fireproof a "worst case scenario"? Do you call Promise Keepers a "worst case scenario"?

We're talking the highest profile voices in mainstream evangelicalism.

You dismiss them as "worst case scenarios", but how many times do we have to point out legitimate double-standards before you accept that there are enough inequities that allow one to say that evangelical leaders have dropped the ball?

And I'd suspect that you went into those unwed mother projects looking to confirm your already ingrained opinions.

Actually, I was recruited into the crisis pregnancy center by a gal I knew who had had an abortion.

She had come to my church, and--at a Bible study--we delved into a discussion on the matter. Because I was sort-of knowledgeable about post-abortion syndrome, I was able to help her a little and point her in the right direction. She later went to the CPC, liked what she got there, and recommended that I volunteer there.

I volunteered there for the same reasons the women who volunteered there did so: to help make a difference.

"confirm your already ingrained opinions"? Just who the bloody hell are you?

As for the maternity home, my pastor recruited me for that board. I was a regular donor to that organization, and the pastor was leaving the board due to term limits.

I accepted that invitation--a volunteer one--for the same reason the others on that board did: to help make a difference.

"confirm your already ingrained opinions"? Just who the bloody hell are you?

Christina said...

Triton...

Concerning Christina and Learner have jousted

Maybe no one jousted back with Learner...I know she's occassionally given gentle rebuke... but you guys usually immediately agree with her =p

The Learner said...

Triton,

Thanks, I think I disagreed with you about some conclusions you drew regarding your infamous "pain tolerance" post (though I may have just thought about it and not written the comment!)but I don't know if that counts as "jousting".

All this talk of "jousting" reminds me of a renaissance fair I went to once....

Anonymous,

I don't know about the rest of y'all, but I find it difficult to keep track of more than one anonymous at a time. I would beseech y'all to choose a handle, even if it's just something like "anonymous 1" or "other anonymous".

I'm sure everyone here would greatly appreciate it.


Yes, this please.

The Learner said...

Anonymous,

At the risk of being accused of fighting the guys battles for them again, this:

I'd suspect that you went into those unwed mother projects looking to confirm your already ingrained opinions.

actually does more to point out assumptions on your part than any "ingrained opinions" on Amir's part. How would any presupposition on his part influence who the clients at the CPC actually were?

Christina,

That is hardly true, but you made me laugh! Thanks, I needed that :)

Anonymous said...

"You haven't pointed out HOW Anakin is "grasping for straws"; you are merely asserting that he is--gratuitously...Or anti-male?? You sure have come off that way, as you (a) have been dismissive of almost every legitimate point that Anakin or the rest of us have made, and (b) have resorted to mocking almost any time anyone comes up with a legitimate point.................When we are referring to the mainstream evangelical leaders who get all the press, how are they "worst case scenarios"?

Anakin has been grasping for straws a lot lately. I've already gone over why the WSJ article on men trusting their wives with most of the shopping is a non-issue. As well as "godly men" who have been rejected by women who have "sought false security in the arms of ungodly men"*, not to mention the Palin post, among others.

And I think you know what I mean by "worst case scenarios", another pattern noticed by other posters on this blog. I'm not minimizing the stupidity of popular evangelists (God knows, I've aired my beefs about them, from time to time). I'm talking about all the outrage over worst case scenario women, like the ones mentioned in this and the last post, women who chase after "bad boys", women who spend all their husband's money against his will. You guys are no different than feminists who disproportionately spend their time carrying on about abusive men, even in the company of non-abusive ones.

*Despite the fact that there are at least as many available godly women(if not more), who have not -- nevertheless, you deny (despite the claims from churchformen.com, a site quoted regularly on this blog) the fact that there's a shortage of marriageable churchgoing men for their female counterparts at all age groups. To even mention it is to be "anti-male", as if it's boasting of female spiritual superiority. And that, btw, is why I mock you.

Amir Larijani said...

Anonymous says:
*Despite the fact that there are at least as many available godly women(if not more), who have not -- nevertheless, you deny (despite the claims from churchformen.com, a site quoted regularly on this blog) the fact that there's a shortage of marriageable churchgoing men for their female counterparts at all age groups. To even mention it is to be "anti-male", as if it's boasting of female spiritual superiority. And that, btw, is why I mock you.

Keep being a mocker. I'm assuming you know what the Bible says about mockers. After all, you claim to be a godly woman...

Actually, the only substantive statistical body of data regarding Christian singles--NEVER MARRIED--broken down BY AGE BRACKET, has the men outnumbering the women in almost every one of the younger age brackets.

You tried to argue that the study doesn't break it down by church attendance; on the other hand, there is plenty of reasonable basis--which I have already provided--for why those numbers are probably in the ballpark.

Fact is, there is STATISTICAL--not anecdotal--evidence that is inconvenient to you.

Remember: this is not merely about singles. It is about singles who are NEVER MARRIED, and broken down by AGE BRACKET.

Whenever you wish to make a definitive argument, please provide the data. And yes, I mean DATA. Not OPINION.

When you want to discuss DATA--not other people's opinions--then please bring it.

Learner--who knows a hell of a lot more about statistics than you do--doesn't even play the angle you are trying to play.

But hey...you keep mocking. All you are doing is providing entertainment, at your expense.

Anonymous said...

"Actually, the only substantive statistical body of data regarding Christian singles--NEVER MARRIED--broken down BY AGE BRACKET, has the men outnumbering the women in almost every one of the younger age brackets.

You tried to argue that the study doesn't break it down by church attendance..."

That's right. Nuff said.

"...there is plenty of reasonable basis--which I have already provided--for why those numbers are probably in the ballpark."
Reasonable? HA. You provided only an opinion.

"Whenever you wish to make a definitive argument, please provide the data. And yes, I mean DATA. Not OPINION."

So I supply the data, and you supply the opinion? Oh sure, that's reasonable! lol

Where are the people here supporting your argument that in each age bracket there are as many never married men in church as never married women?

If you're going to rely on your own "experience" on this one, you'll be pretty much on your own.

Amir Larijani said...

So I supply the data, and you supply the opinion? Oh sure, that's reasonable! lol

I'm demanding statistics. I gave you the expectations. The 60/40 mantra is illegitimate, as it does not break things down by age group, nor does it segregate never-marrieds from divorcees. (a delineation which, I hope we both agree, is theologically necessary.)

Where are the people here supporting your argument that in each age bracket there are as many never married men in church as never married women?

I gave you the data; you provided no reasonable basis to show that the Christian women are lighting up the world for Jesus while the Christian men are out there whoring around.

In fact, the way Barna delineates what constitutes a Christian tends to cast aspersion on your ad-hoc dismissal. Against that backdrop, it is on you to provide a statistical basis

Anyone who wishes to provide statistical--and analytical--basis for your assertions is more than welcome.

Learner--our resident statitician--is not busting the door to defend you on this.

(She is not necessarily buying into everything I say, but she knows there is at least a substantial prima facia case that I'm right.)

When you start conceding that the dreary 60/40 mantra might be overblown for the reasons I have pointed out, then perhaps you might get taken a little seriously.

If you're going to rely on your own "experience" on this one, you'll be pretty much on your own

You're the only one who is on your own here.

As I said, even Learner--a far-better statistician than you--won't even contest what I am saying.

But you go ahead and keep mocking. I'll enjoy the entertainment.

Anonymous said...

You want statistics?

Here's some from W. Bradford Wilcox, Department of Sociology, University of Virginia:

"In a national survey conducted by the University of Chicago, 32 percent of men and 39 percent of women who were married with children attended church on a weekly basis; while 15 percent of men and 23 percent of women who are single without children attended.

"34 percent of unmarried mothers, 26 percent of unmarried fathers, 48 percent of married mothers, and 43 percent of married fathers attend church regularly (defined as several times a month or more)."

"Currently, men are 57 percent less likely to attend church regularly if they are not married with children, compared to men who are married with children. Women are 41 percent less likely to attend church regularly if they are single and childless."


In summary, he says:

“Singles are less likely to attend church than are married Americans and that’s particularly true for men as compared to women,” he said. “Men really associate churchgoing with their status as a family man, a married man with kids. If they are not married to the mother of their children, they are much less likely to see themselves in a paternal role conducive toward churchgoing.”


So Amir, you have consistently denied this gender gap and how it affects your single marriage-minded female peers and youngers. As long as you do that, you cannot be a help to them.

The Learner said...

Anonymous,

In my own personal, anecdotal experience it has often seemed that there are more single women than single men in church, and Amir and I have discussed this before. However, the study that Amir pointed out to me (was a link on Boundless) makes a good case for his point that never married men outnumber never married women in most age groups in church.

A few points about the stats:
1. I believe the 60/40 split discussed by Dave Morrow in his book and on the Church for Men site is for all men and women, without regard for marital status.

2. The study Amir is referring to does break down by never marrieds which is what he is referring to.

3. The stats you provided can't make your case because they say what % of men and women in each of the mentioned life conditions attend church. Actual ratio of single men:single women cannot be demonstrated by the frequencies you provided. By this I mean that you cannot say for sure that the number of men represented by "15% of men" is less than or greater to the number of women represented by "23% of women" because it is not given in the context of the total number in each population.

Amir Larijani said...

Thanks, I think I disagreed with you about some conclusions you drew regarding your infamous "pain tolerance" post (though I may have just thought about it and not written the comment!)but I don't know if that counts as "jousting".

All this talk of "jousting" reminds me of a renaissance fair I went to once....


And that is the context in which I used the word. Kind of like professional wrestling, only without the tights.

Amir Larijani said...

Learner: That's correct about Murrow. I also have read his book Why Men Hate Going to Church.

He is not a statistician, nor does he make much of an effort to deal with the issue of singles--and their demographic breakdown--in the Church. In fact, the points he makes about singles in that book are predicated on the 60/40 mantra, and he uses those to underscore the larger point in his book.

(One could say that he is not being intellectually honest about the matter, but then again, his book is not about singles; it is about the larger issue of men--single, married, divorced, widowed--as an entire demographic group.)

He is not a statistician, and the premise of his book is that men avoid church because the church is designed to appeal to women.

Also, keep in mind that, as an Elder in the Presbyterian Church USA, he is coming at this from a mainstream denominational perspective, not an evangelical one.

He makes no effort to discuss the breakdowns of singles--never-marrieds in particular--and how they may play out along denominational lines, another key area that needs to be considered when assessing this matter.

After all, the breakdown in the PCUSA (or ECUSA)--which is itself in serious decline--would be worth examining, as well as the rate of decline of singles with respect to the rate of decline within the denomination as a whole, and even then the breakdown--and rates of decrease/increase within gender groups.

The numerical breakdowns--and rates of increase/decrease--could vary substantially between mainstream denominations versus evangelical denominations, and even regions within those categories.

Making matters even worse, given that young adults are the ones bailing out of the church as soon as they reach adulthood, it is very difficult to evaluate singles in the younger age brackets.

Ergo, the 60/40 mantra is the mother of all non sequiturs, and parroting it does not contribute to the advancement of knowledge of this topic.

Anonymous said...

Learner said:

"the study that Amir pointed out to me (was a link on Boundless) makes a good case for his point that never married men outnumber never married women in most age groups in church."

Nope. The Boundless article was contending that among those who call themselves Christian (but don't necessarily go to church) there are more single men than single women. The Boundless authors fully admit that church attendance is an entirely different thing -- that there are many more single women who attend church than men. Church attendance is everything, because singles are so often taught not to be "unequally yoked", which in modern evangelical terms would also include believers who have "fallen away" from church or are "luke warm" in their commitment to it.

"A few points about the stats:
1. I believe the 60/40 split discussed by Dave Morrow in his book and on the Church for Men site is for all men and women, without regard for marital status."

As far as the breakdown is concerned, whether it's right or wrong, I haven't been touting that 60/40 split. I'm only interested in whether or not the number imbalance is significant and impactful.

"2. The study Amir is referring to does break down by never marrieds which is what he is referring to." The studies I have provided are more relevant because they eliminate those irksome single baby mamas the guys on this blog so often complain about. What's more, the overwhelming majority of people who have never had children have never been married either (or if they were, likely come with less "baggage" than those who have children, married or not).

"3. The stats you provided can't make your case because they say what % of men and women in each of the mentioned life conditions attend church. Actual ratio of single men:single women cannot be demonstrated by the frequencies you provided."

In that case, you must apply the same standard to Amir's stats, which I have demonstrated are less relevant. Speaking of non sequiturs!

Amir Larijani said...

Anonymous:

The study I provided was from the Barna Group, not Boundless. Boundless merely cited it.

Moreover, the Barna Group study provides a more thorough breakdown than the one you are citing, a breakdown that is more relevant to the single Christian.

The 60/40 mantra is absolutely meaningless to the discussion of singles. Why? It tells me nothing that is relevant to a single.

If I'm single, I want someone who is in my age bracket who is marriageable.

That means, if I'm a man in my 20s, it does me no good if the age breakdown of women is slanted toward the over-50 age brackets. It also does me no good if the vast majority of "single" women in the church are more likely to be divorced.

(That's why a breakdown of "never-marrieds"--by age group--presents a better picture of the landscape facing singles.)

Similarly, if you are a female in your 20s, you might not be particularly interested in a man in his 40s or 50s. (Some may be, but most would prefer a man closer to their age.)

Ergo, age breakdowns--and within marital stati within those age brackets--are more meaningful than a lump of overall men versus women.

Given that the Barna Group has specific criteria by which they delineate what constitutes a Christian versus a non-Christian, the case is substantial that the actual picture is not far-removed from what they present in that study, even though they do not specifically cite church attendance.

The Barna study has its issues, but (a) it has fewer issues than the ones you cite, and (b) it has one particular strength that nothing you cite comes close to providing: the Barna study comes closer to providing an assessment of singles that is actually meaningful to singles.

That's not an easy burden for you to overcome in a rebuttal.

The Learner said...

Amir,

The term "jousting" amuses me to no end for some reason :)

Anonymous,

The Boundless authors fully admit that church attendance is an entirely different thing -- that there are many more single women who attend church than men.

Thats not what the author who wrote the article at Boundless that Amir was referring to (the one that cited the info from the Barna study) said at all. In fact she challenged the claim that "there are many more single women who attend church than men".
(address: http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0001325.cfm) >sorry I tried to insert a link but it wouldn't accept my attempt at html code!

In that case, you must apply the same standard to Amir's stats, which I have demonstrated are less relevant. Speaking of non sequiturs!

Um, I did apply the same standard to the stats Amir referred to. The stats he referred to in the article above reveal actual totals of never married men to never married women. Again, the stats you cited from U of V are not useful because they are based on percentages, not on the actual number of unmarried persons of each sex.

The problem with that is actually illustrated very well in Part II of the Boundless article above: 48 percent of never married men are believers and 52 percent of never married women are. Applying those estimates to the Census numbers,2 you end up with 14,189,280 never married Christian men and 12,300,600 never married Christian women.

See? A higher percentage of women does not necessarily translate into a higher ratio of women to men. In fact in this case it translates into more men than women.

You need to cite statistics that refer to actual numbers of singles (never married or otherwise) to prove your point.

Anonymous said...

Amir,

All you have done is repeat yourself here. You can quote Barna's quick ESTIMATE (at Boundless' behest) of never married "believers" from his gender survey, all you want, but the fact remains -- you have not dealt with the CHURCH ATTENDANCE piece on which this whole thing hangs.

Yes, it would be nice if there were more hard data breaking it down on age and marital status, but I don't think that would help you, because anyone who has researched this issue knows that the problem of non-church attendance is at its worst among young single men. As Marc Driscoll put it: "The least likely person to go to church in virtually every nation, including my own, is a single man between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four". You can't exactly join in Murrow's urgency about the dwindling percentage of men in every area of the church, and then take the absurd position that never married young men are somehow the golden exception.

You can argue if it's 60/40, 55/45, 53/47, whatever. Either there's a gender gap or not. Either it affects women (and men) or not. Either you care or you don't. And if there gender gap is reversed in your church, then I guess you don't, since if it's not a problem in your church it's not a problem anywhere, right? It's just too bad that you'd rather wax chivalrous about snuff film killers and tut-tut the bad girl minority (ie. "jilted bride") than take an honest look at one of the biggest challenges confronting the regular churchgoing single gal today.

Anonymous said...

Learner,

I checked your link and it's at the bottom where she admits it (kinda like fine print):

"Barna's study did find that more single women than single men are in church. So we're left wondering how to find them. If all these Christian men aren't in church on Sunday morning, what are single Christian women who want to marry supposed to do?"

Candice talks elsewhere about the shortage of single men in church, but I'm not going to comb through everything she's written to find it.

"Um, I did apply the same standard to the stats Amir referred to. The stats he referred to in the article above reveal actual totals of never married men to never married women." Again, the stats you cited from U of V are not useful because they are based on percentages, not on the actual number of unmarried persons of each sex."

All Barna did was take percentages (48%) and apply them to gross census figures, 29,561,000 men thus equalling a total of 14,189,280. And thusly with women, subtracting the difference. This kind of basic math can only give you a rough estimate when you're dealing with masses of people.

Besides, it's a moot point unless you're talking about those who are actually attending church, not because attenders are better people than those who simply believe, but because churches are so strident in telling singles that they must be equally yoked, and certainly, church attendance is a minimal requisite for that.

The U of V stats may not give a complete picture, but they do deal with church attendance and are yet another example of where women are coming out on top (and I don't say that boastfully). If there is a surplus of single men in the church, why don't we see similar numbers in their favor?

Ideally, we would have statistics for every church, breaking down gender into age group and marital status, yielding more accurate population numbers than you could obtain by estimating from percentages imposed onto gross census data. But just because the research isn't thorough, doesn't mean the problem doesn't exist. On this one, I think "consensus" has more weight than "census".

HoneyBee said...

Anonymous,

If what you took from the Boundless article was support for the position you are trying to assert here, I think you need to read it more objectively. The article backs up Amir's position much more than yours.

It has been my perception that there have been more single women than men in most churches I have attended (though not the case in my current church), but my perception is not fact. Neither is yours or Amir's or Mark Driscoll's or anyone else with whom you want to achieve concensus. You have provided no proof other than your perception and the perceptions of others to back up your position.

I'm going to try and explain the deal with the stats you provided one more time. It's not just that the U of V percentages are not thorough or are inclomplete. The U of V percentages give ZERO information about the actual number of single men or single women who attend church. They give no information because they are out of context of the population. They would only be relevant if you multiplied the percentages by the populations of single men and women. It wouldn't matter if it said that 75% of single women attend church and only 25% of single men attend church or 25% of women and 75% of men. Neither tells you the actual number of people attending church because that is dependent on the population.

Let's say that the population of men is 400, so 25% of 300 is 100. And the population of women is 100, so 75% of 100 is 75. Even though 75% seems like a much larger amount of people than 25% does, it actually ends up being a lower number of women (75) than men (100). Percentages mean nothing outside of the context of the population. Does that make sense?

The Learner said...

Oops, Honeybee is me, Learner. (It's my quilting blog name and I was logged into that account).

Amir Larijani said...

Learner/Honeybee says:
It's not just that the U of V percentages are not thorough or are inclomplete. The U of V percentages give ZERO information about the actual number of single men or single women who attend church. They give no information because they are out of context of the population. They would only be relevant if you multiplied the percentages by the populations of single men and women. It wouldn't matter if it said that 75% of single women attend church and only 25% of single men attend church or 25% of women and 75% of men. Neither tells you the actual number of people attending church because that is dependent on the population.

That is correct. And, like I said, if you want something that is meaningful to singles, the larger issue is how it breaks down among the marriageable singles in each age bracket.

Moreover, we haven't even brought up the issue of breakdowns among races. That level of granularity might be significant, as the male-female ratio could be completely different within the same age bracket among particular racial/ethnic groups.

For example, the breakdown in the [X-Y] age bracket could be skewed in favor of white men versus white women, but heavily in favor of black women versus black men. Given that interracial dating--while perfectly okay in my book--is still the exception and not the rule, and given that the races tend to be segregated in particular congregations, this may also reflect an integral part of the overall picture, that must be accounted for in any honest assessment of the issue in America.

Amir Larijani said...

And I meant to add to the last post, with respect to their overall contributions to the population.

Anonymous said...

"If what you took from the Boundless article was support for the position you are trying to assert here, I think you need to read it more objectively. The article backs up Amir's position much more than yours."

All I was saying about the Boundless article is that, like Amir, after all its projected surplus of single never married male believers, it finally, at the bottom of the page, admits, oh-by-the-way "more single women than single men are in church". And that's disingenous for reasons I've already gone into.

Bottom line -- Even if Barna's measures were reliable they are not valid, because they look at belief, rather than church attendance.

"I'm going to try and explain the deal with the stats you provided one more time. It's not just that the U of V percentages are not thorough or are inclomplete..."

No need to get pedantic, I did not say that the "U of V percentages are incomplete", I said "the U of V stats may not give a complete picture" (ie. without the population context and relevant breakdowns).

"It has been my perception that there have been more single women than men in most churches I have attended (though not the case in my current church), but my perception is not fact. Neither is yours or Amir's or Mark Driscoll's or anyone else with whom you want to achieve concensus."

So only replicated, scientific peer-reviewed statistics can reveal fact? That's a bit snobby. Fact is fact. Copernicus' (and no, I'm not comparing myself or Dricoll or anyone else to Copernicus!)contention that the earth travels around the sun rather than the other way around was fact, despite the insistence of those at the time who did not share the same "perception". All you can really say is that the evidence provided is not sufficient proof for you.

"if you want something that is meaningful to singles, the larger issue is how it breaks down among the marriageable singles in each age bracket."

Of course, it would be ideal to survey every Church in the country to find out who's attending in terms of gender, age bracket, and marital status. But there seems to be enough leaders now who can see the obvious, so I don't think such an expensive study would even be though of as necessary.

If breatdown for "marriageable" is what you're trying to capture, Amir, you'd also have to factor in criminality and employment variables.

Amir Larijani said...

Anonymous: Having been involved in a church that was in an inner-city area, criminality was definitely something to be considered.

It was not uncommon to have convicted felons in the mix. We had men--and women--who struggled with drug use, and even had history of run-ins with the law over the matter.

Are past-involvements in those things necessarily dealbreakers? I dunno. But prudence is definitely in order, in terms of trying to ensure that they are stable.

Current drug use, on the other hand, is a dealbreaker for me.

Where I live, methamphetamine and OxyContin abuse are serious problems. And yep--this is on both sexes. Especially methamphetamine.

Anon II said...

I believe a more impromptu study should consider the political leanings and issues of these churches. If anything, there's a shortage of conservative women in the pews. And if voting habits are any determination, 70% of the unmarried women have already chosen their new husband.

Amir Larijani said...

Anon II: Hehehehehe!

If that's the case, the conservative/libertarian guys like myself and Anakin will just have to count on a miracle.

Then again, if the situation is that bad, the Second Coming is probably not far off.

Even an anti-Dispensationalist like me can appreciate that possibility. LOL

Anonymous said...

"Current drug use, on the other hand, is a dealbreaker for me.

Where I live, methamphetamine and OxyContin abuse are serious problems. And yep--this is on both sexes. Especially methamphetamine."

I don't blame you. Come to think of it, addiction would be another "marriagability" variable you'd have to consider. And btw -- men with addictions outnumber women with addictions on almost every substance (twice over, with alcohol), rx drugs being the exception with the sexes being pretty much at par with each other.

Sexuality would be another variable, with there being at least twice as many gay men as gay women.

Amir Larijani said...

Sexuality would be another variable, with there being at least twice as many gay men as gay women.

Statistically that might not be significant in the Christian ranks. Are there men and women in the Church who are confessing Christians while having same-sex attraction (or are even practicing homosexuals)?

I have no doubt they are out there. I'd also suggest that it is a heck of a lot less common than pop culture and media would have you believe.

Maybe more in the metropolitan areas than the rural areas, but even then I'd wager it's pretty rare in the evangelical ranks.

Of course, when pursuing a woman, I can't say I've ever asked her if she swung from the other side of the plate, but I digress...LOL

Amir Larijani said...

Anonymous:
I don't blame you. Come to think of it, addiction would be another "marriagability" variable you'd have to consider. And btw -- men with addictions outnumber women with addictions on almost every substance (twice over, with alcohol), rx drugs being the exception with the sexes being pretty much at par with each other.

And don't forget eating disorders, where the women overwhelmingly outnumber the men. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are each very serious and prevalent among the females.

(And yes, even the Christian ones.)

That would certainly count in the addictions category.

My point in all this discussion is not to suggest that the men are lighting up the world for Jesus and the women are just high-maintenance, food-addicted feminist whores.

We all know that would be quite far from the truth, just as it would be far from the truth to suggest that the women are all a bunch of faithful, suffering Christians who plead and long for a husband while the men are out whoring around--with both sexes--and getting drunk.

On the other hand, any discussion of a "gender gap" begs a lot more than pat answers and mantras, and is far more complex than you are wishing to make it, especially given that the most granular study on the matter presents a portrait that is not congruent with those common mantras.

On my blog, I cover both sides, as Christina and Learner would attest. If there's anything I don't put up with, it's one-sided bitching about the opposite sex.

(One of my most common Amir-isms is "We are all grownups here.")

Over here, Anakin is definitely to my right--and Triton even farther--but they still are quite moderate compared to what is out there.

(Most of the MGTOW folks make Anakin and Triton look like rainbow liberals with pink-striped panties.)

And if you think I'm hard on feminists, Christina makes me look like Hillary.

And yet they bring perspectives to the table that are not convenient--to any of us--but nevertheless are worthy of reasonable discussion.

Anonymous said...

"Statistically that might not be significant in the Christian ranks. Are there men and women in the Church who are confessing Christians while having same-sex attraction (or are even practicing homosexuals)?"

"In the church"?? Wait a minute -- your "surplus of Christian men" is not based on who's "in church", but who confesses as "born again" by Barna's description and general census figures.

"And don't forget eating disorders, where the women overwhelmingly outnumber the men. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are each very serious and prevalent among the females."

If you are going to include serious mental illnesses, then you also have to consider those that befall men more than women, such as anti-social personality disorder, paraphilias, and intellectual impairments (don't pile on: on the other extreme intellectual genius is also more common among men). Btw, eating disorders like bulimia range from "very serious" to mild impairment where you'd never know the person has a problem (particularly as it may even enhance their appearance).

"any discussion of a "gender gap" begs a lot more than pat answers and mantras, and is far more complex than you are wishing to make it"

Your "tit" for "tat", it's all equal presents a far more simplistic view than any I have ever presented here. There may be assets, liabilities, interests, etc., more prevalent in one gender than the other, and certainly those variables can and do influence church attendance within the context of culture. Of course, to even suggest that is to be "bitching about the opposite sex".

And that's the hypocrisy of what you're doing here. It's okay for you guys to quote churchformen.com and complain that less men are attending church because of a climate that repellent to men --and justly complain about the consequences for men -- BUT, to talk about the impact of the shortage of men in the church on women is to be met with a denial that such a shortage even exists.

Ridiculous.

The Learner said...

Anon,

"In the church"?? Wait a minute -- your "surplus of Christian men" is not based on who's "in church", but who confesses as "born again" by Barna's description and general census figures.

The church is the body of Christ, not a building. People who are "born again" are in the "church".

The Learner said...

Anon,

I did not say that the "U of V percentages are incomplete", I said "the U of V stats may not give a complete picture"

If you think a meaningful response to what I said about the U of V stats you produced as proof of your position is to argue the difference between "incomplete" and "may not give a complete picture" and to say I am snobby for seeking objective measures over perceptions when objective measures are available, I don't believe I have anything further to say on the subject.

Amir Larijani said...

Anon says: And that's the hypocrisy of what you're doing here. It's okay for you guys to quote churchformen.com and complain that less men are attending church because of a climate that repellent to men --and justly complain about the consequences for men -- BUT, to talk about the impact of the shortage of men in the church on women is to be met with a denial that such a shortage even exists.

It is not my problem that you are being intellectually dishonest with the facts.

(1) When you speak of drug usage and other addictions, you speak in general terms while providing no statistical case that this is a problem of Christian men as opposed to Christian women.

Anakin would rightfully call that for the misandry that it is.

That I provide clarification, and point out that there are other addictions--that you conveniently left out--that are overwhelmingly on the women, pointing out that I have observed those personally among Christian women, is merely a case of myself adding balance.

What's hypocritical about that?

(2) I've never been to churchformen.com and have never quoted from them. I agree with many of Murrow's points that he makes in his book, but he does not provide a meaningful assessment of Christian singles.

Rather than discuss the merits of what I am saying, you have decided to conflate other matters. If this is how you treat men in relationships, then why should one want anything to do with you?

So far, on these pages, you have assumed the worst in the men here, while minimizing and dismissing every legitimate point we--and the women who occasionally side with us--make.

When I speak of my experiences in the crisis pregnancy center--and the maternity home--you made a gratuitous assertion about my own motives and even derided those ministries ("unwed mother projects").

When Learner and Christina agree with us, you accuse them of "fighting our battles for us".

(3) You keep speaking in terms of the men/women ratio in the Church, and yet when I point out the most granular study--that presents matters in a way that is meaningful to singles and was done by a group that has a good reputation for their statistical work--you dismiss it and then cite studies that don't provide statistical meaningfulness.

Rather than just say, "Ya know what, you've got a good point, but there are still plenty of areas that need study", you resort to personal attacks ("hypocritical" comes to mind).

But you keep mocking. All you are doing is providing entertainment at your expense.

And with that, I'll let you have the last word.

Christina said...

And if you think I'm hard on feminists, Christina makes me look like Hillary.

Amir - you rock.

Christina said...

Are there men and women in the Church who are confessing Christians while having same-sex attraction (or are even practicing homosexuals)

Ugh, Amir.

I have a beef with this statement =p

I believe FULLY that there can be GENUINE professing christians with same-sex attraction.

However, i strongly believe that if they are a professing christian, they should not be involved in a homosexual relationship (or practicing, whatever)...much the same way we shouldn't be involved in adulterous relationships.

Amir Larijani said...

Christina says:

I have a beef with this statement =p

I believe FULLY that there can be GENUINE professing christians with same-sex attraction.

However, i strongly believe that if they are a professing christian, they should not be involved in a homosexual relationship (or practicing, whatever)...much the same way we shouldn't be involved in adulterous relationships.


No disagreement.

I was not making a comprehensive statement on the issue; in fact, I was merely trying to address the matter that Anonymous raised.

Anonymous said...

"It is not my problem that you are being intellectually dishonest with the facts."

Amir, intellectual dishonesty is a pretty severe charge, that you're basing on some pretty dubious criteria, that if I were apply it to you, you'd come out much worse. Again, you think that what you are doing is "adding balance", but it's not.

"When you speak of drug usage and other addictions, you speak in general terms while providing no statistical case that this is a problem of Christian men as opposed to Christian women...That I provide clarification, and point out that there are other addictions--that you conveniently left out--that are overwhelmingly on the women, pointing out that I have observed those personally among Christian women, is merely a case of myself adding balance."

First of all, Amir, YOU are the one who brought up the "marriagability" issue, not me. And then you brought up addictions, as simply something that affects both sexes, rather than acknowledging prevalence -- a no-brainer to find statistics for, just google. And if you do, you'll find that alcohol is the most widely abused drug, affecting twice as many men as women. But somehow, that fact offends you. Even if "believers" (as opposed to churchgoers) are less prone to addiction, gender differences in prevalence would still apply.

"Rather than discuss the merits of what I am saying, you have decided to conflate other matters. If this is how you treat men in relationships, then why should one want anything to do with you?...So far, on these pages, you have assumed the worst in the men here, while minimizing and dismissing every legitimate point we--and the women who occasionally side with us--make."

Actually, it's YOU who conflates matters in your selection of gender differences where it suits you. Again, you'd rather point to lower prevalence or lower impact problems in women and then get offended when higher prevalence, higher impact problems in men that you have omitted are pointed out in response. It's "bitching about the opposite sex", as far as you're concerned. As you congratulate yourself for being "balanced", you are blind to your obvious bias.

"Rather than just say, "Ya know what, you've got a good point, but there are still plenty of areas that need study", you resort to personal attacks ("hypocritical" comes to mind)."

As far as personal attacks are concerned, it's plain to see, Amir, that it doesn't take much for you to make a few of your own. Nevertheless, I think we can both agree that the kind of study that would give the best statistical proof about the ratio of never married men and women attending church either doesn't exist or is not made widely available. But just because "the best" data isn't available, doesn't mean the problem doesn't exist. You've made a lot of claims yourself on a variety of issues on these blogs without "the best" statistics. But if you can't see where others who have observed this phenomenon of have made good points (ie. Driscoll, Murrow, Mohler, etc.), then why should anyone take yours seriously, outside your fellow kvetching bachelors and yesgirls?

Anonymous said...

"The church is the body of Christ, not a building. People who are "born again" are in the "church"."

I would agree with you there, but I repeat (for the third time): it's a moot point unless you're talking about those who are actually attending church, not because attenders are better people than those who simply believe, but because churches are so strident in telling singles that they must be equally yoked, and certainly, church attendance is a minimal requisite for that.

"If you think a meaningful response to what I said about the U of V stats you produced as proof of your position is to argue the difference between "incomplete" and "may not give a complete picture" and to say I am snobby for seeking objective measures over perceptions when objective measures are available, I don't believe I have anything further to say on the subject."

First of all, it's misleading to say that I've called you snobby for "seeking objective measures over perceptions when objective measures are available" because, in this case, objective measures that are VALID are not available. Even Amir admits that we need more study on this issue.

The U of V stats may not give a complete population picture, but there are not without meaning. They are yet another indicator that singleness, childlessness correlates negatively with church attendance in men more strongly than women. So what can be done about that? Or would you rather the church just stay on course with gender imbalanced overly feminized climate until someone does the "right" kind of research?

You don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

Anonymous said...

Since you gave me the last d*mn word here Amir, pay attention!!! As much as we were due for a break-down of Barna's 11-13 million man shortfall stat in terms of never married, married, divorced, widowed BELIEVERS (not nec. "AT CHURCH"), you can't just splice together two sets of data, willy-nilly, this set from Barna, that set from census, etc. Statistics just don't work that way. Besides, after Barna's 2000 man shortage stats, anything he has come up with since then that suggest the reverse is true should be HIGHLY suspect.

The anecdotal evidence allows us to quite confidently estimate that in most young (mostly never married) Christian singles populations, there are about 1.5 to 2 women to every man, and that's a conservative estimate. This is not just a bunch of North American women sitting around "bemoaning"-- it's a GLOBAL phenomenon, as written about by Camerin Courtney in O Brother Where Art Thou, after conferencing with women in Eastern Europe.

So, if there's a surplus of single never married men aged 20-44 ANYWHERE (not there's been ANY report of such a phenomena other than this recent Boundless article), it does NOT amount to more young, never married men outnumbering women AT CHURCH.

So stop protesting like a Nancy boy and get a grip. You have a misunderstanding of singleness that's insensitive, uninformed. The attitude in this society of inept omega men and social outcast yesgirls are discouraging for some people who aren't sure if it's OK with God if they take action to seek marriage. With our current low birthrates, that's the last thing we need!

Just because you can open and read an article doesn't mean you know what you're talking about. This is a serious issue, and the dialogue has no place for two-bit hacks. Let grown men and real women discuss this while you go back and do your homework, junior. When we can hit on the same page, then I'll anoint you as balanced. So far, I haven't been wrong yet!

Btw, although I have been posting here under anonymous, it's me: gortexgrrl, just so there's no confusion.

Anonymous said...

You again, Darla Jean?

Anakin Niceguy said...

Btw, although I have been posting here under anonymous, it's me: gortexgrrl, just so there's no confusion.

Ah, yes, Gortexgrrl. I suspected it was you. I have sensed your presence for a long time.

Now that you have confirmed that you are indeed the notorious Gortexgrrl, let us dispense with the niceties and use the Name/URL handle function, shall we? Don't worry, even in your opposition to me you have a role to play here, lol.

Anonymous said...

Gortexgrrl??? Seriously?

I would've thought, maybe, um ... Kotexgrrl. lol

Triton said...

Ah, yes, Gortexgrrl. I suspected it was you. I have sensed your presence for a long time.

Must have been a disturbance in the Force...

catwoman said...

"Don't worry, even in your opposition to me you have a role to play here, lol."

I'm not totally opposed to you, Anakin. But if I may oblige...

MEOOOOOOWWWWWW!!

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