About 18 percent of men ages 40 to 44 with less than four years of college have never married, according to census estimates. That is up from about 6 percent a quarter-century ago. Among similar men ages 35 to 39, the portion jumped to 22 percent from 8 percent in that time....This is a long article, so go read or skim it and come back and talk about it. The article is very much like the kind of article that is often written about women: profiles of wistful, sympathetic individuals who can't quite get what they want in life and make a valiant, poignant effort to say it's not that terrible. Then there is an undercurrent that seems to imply that we need liberal economic policies to boost men so that women will be able to accept them. And there's a big overtone suggesting that for all the loneliness, marriage really isn't all that appealing to people. Now that we don't march lockstep into marriage anymore and now that women don't require men for economic support, the reasons for marrying -- for a lot of people -- are never going to mount up to the point where they justify giving up the status quo of singlehood.
Perhaps most significant, many men without college degrees are not marrying because the pool of women in their social circles — those without college degrees — has shrunk. And the dwindling pool of women in this category often look for a mate with more education and hence better financial prospects.
August 5, 2006
There are lots of explanations -- like that one -- for why men are not marrying so much anymore.