by Conor Friedersdorf
Ben Domenech laments that Americans are delaying marriage and reproducing less prolifically than they once did:
For the most narcissistic among us, the problem is even reaching a point in life where marriage and reproduction are viewed in positive terms. As Kay Hymowitz has pointed out in a recent series of articles in The Manhattan Institute’s City Journal, “in 1970, 69 percent of 25-year-old and 85 percent of 30-year-old white men were married; in 2000, only 33 percent and 58 percent were, respectively.” This demographic shift has now pushed the median age of marriage for white males to nearly 28 if they get married at all further delaying fatherhood and motherhood.
Hymowitz offers several complex reasons why this is the case. But I say the simplest answer is true: American men today delay the act of reproduction and union because they devalue it. Because technology and culture (today, technology is culture) unite to encourage them to devalue it to favor distraction over maturity, personal growth over familial growth, and self over society.
Is the simplest explanation really that people today want fundamentally different things out of life? I think not.
Mr. Domenech goes on to argue that "Within the next few years, the American male will hit the highest median age for marriage in the history of the country. Perhaps this is a product of the new economy. Or perhaps it is the result of a media-altered vision of womanhood young men who have an airbrushed vision of the opposite sex in mind can become reluctant to settle for normalcy and the face to face of the real world."