Garbage in garbage out
Great article Rob, as usual. But Id like to dig deeper into the WHY. As an aside, I grew up in the ghetto as well....Compton, Ca. And too was intermingled with that culture, only to be lucky enough to find myself in college later and graduate with an engineering degree, that, as you can imagine, changed my life. So now I think about these issues deeply. Im knee deep in upper middle class culture, and still keep in contact with my childhood friends.
So why? Well, one data point that really opened my eyes is traveling. As a Spanish speaking brown man, I travel Latin American a lot and also try to immerse myself into the culture, going deeper into cultural territory that no tourist looking person can. I've become something of a sociologist in this, where I find it deeply interesting learning of their culture, dating their women, befriending their natives. What this has shown me is this trend is universal. Often stronger in certain areas than others, but universal. So it cant be Western elites lowering the norms as the root cause (What I take your article to be arguing). It happens in deeply Catholic/Christian countries like Guatemala just as much as more liberal minded countries like Colombia.
So if its more universal, what is the ultimate cause? The more I think about it, the more I think that its a simple cause really: the advent of high quality birth control during the sexual revolution. The fundamental separation of sex and procreation made sex "cheaper", for both sexes, and males, obviously, responded accordingly. This is such a dramatic universal cultural change that it cant be simple norms. In fact, while I believe norms play a role, I still think they will be swamped out by the affects of the birth control pill. Think about this. The argument from the norms perspective is that even small norm changes, or welfare policies, could, with time, cascade into cultural changes we see today. How much more the huge cultural implications of an invention that enabled cheap sex? I feel that norm changes are downstream of this, the elites are honestly more on the defensive of this tidal wave coming through, then the causes of it.
I have more to say, but this is probably my biggest pet peeve with cultural norm changes like this. Sure, cultural norms may matter at margin, but the 800 lb gorilla nobody talks about. Its birth control, and were still feeling the affects of it.
Outstanding explication. I shared it on my (very limited) FB timeline. I was born in 1960 to parents who didn't finish high school (father 8th grade, mother 9th grade) and who grew up very poor. My mother's home life was horrific, to tell the truth. They married each other to escape their poverty stricken existences, to be frank.
My father was 20 and my mother was 18 when I was born, but both were very hard working people who also managed to "bootstrap" up into the middle class through sheer will. Father retired a successful master electrician with a college degree, mother a real estate professional, also with a college degree. I enlisted in the military after graduation from a Catholic high school (paid for both my father and through my own after-school work when I became old enough) and retired 24 years later as a commissioned officer. Neither of my parents ever stopped working and both refused to let me quit anything once I'd started it. I would say that their attitude paid off for me.
As you correctly point out, though, since 1960 we've seen a steady erosion in the two-parent family ideal for various reasons. Some of this erosion can be attributed to sincerely held, though WRONG, beliefs but some of it is also due to nefarious intent likely related to the Gramscian "march through the institutions" and other postmodern claptrap that deliberately seeks the destruction of the family ideal (two parents, married to each other, with children) or the so-called "nuclear family."
Sadly, and as with Louis XV and his "Après moi, le déluge," what comes after the family ideal? Likely a similar and far more lasting deluge.
Hey, Rob. Thanks for the Black Friday pricing; just signed up today. This article is of great interest to me and I want to tell you about something I’m seeing in my own demographic: educated, “privileged” white females. Many of us are pairing up with guys from our own backgrounds (white, raised in middle- or upper-middle households, educated at good universities, etc.) who then simply sit back and let the women pay all the bills. I am not exaggerating, eg. not sneering at the guys who remain Associates while their wives become Partners. Nor am I referring to men who become Stay-at-Home dads after discussing with their wives. I mean that these guys actually stop working entirely or take work that earns them less than $10k/ year while the women pays for Everything. As you can imagine, this has led to a lot of divorces in my social circles. Also, increasing numbers of women in my demographic are becoming Single Mothers By Choice, preferring to use anonymous sperm donors than to be saddled by men who become financial (and, eventually, emotional) burdens. No doubt this represents a small minority of educated white people and my story is anecdotal but it’s a growing trend I see around me: the lack of shame that even higher-class men have about not being providers or even significant financial contributors to their households.
I have a YT channel under a different name, and it deals with video games. Sometimes people see me playing online under my YT channel name, and send me friend requests, and I generally accept them.
I've been absolutely shocked by how many young guys do nothing all day but play video games. It doesn't matter what time of day I get on and play - these guys are around and start sending me messages, asking me to play video games with them.
I'm surprised by this comment "I am well aware of the behavior genetics research, twin studies, and so on indicating little effect of home environment on personality, propensity for crime, addiction, and so on." - the Dunedin Studies which follow 1000 people born in 1972-73, from all levels of wealth, poverty, upbringing and cultures clearly show the effect of home environment vs genetics over the course of 50 years and continuing. In short, genetic markers have a strong predictability of personality type, including anti-social behaviour such as violence, but home environment in upbringing tend to effectively suppress into adulthood anti-social behaviours in children who are predesposed genetically to have anti-social traits. (https://dunedinstudy.otago.ac.nz/publications?category=4) These studies have since be replicated and reproduced in other countries.
Speaking of the broader environment, I think we need to take a hard look at what is on offer for young men in the modern world. I think the sad reality is that many of the social boons that used to exist for most people are being slowly stamped out. Close friendships, good work/home environments, a place to live and build. All of these things are becoming more and more restricted. There are social layers to this which relate to the perennial class structure but there are also clear policy decisions that lead to these results. I don't think most people in the upper class are scheming constantly about how to screw over everyone else, but the end result is the same.
These all lead into the same questions for me. "What do we value?" and "How do we organize to acquire what we value?"
There is also pressure not to study the white male. I remember reading about boss of low box in the UK over a researcher who was studying why white males were doing so poorly. I don’t think I need to explain to thinking behind that!￼￼￼
One further observation: young women -in many classes- having failed to secure emotional fulfillment in a LTR with a man, are choosing (It's my body!) to have children anyway -hostages to their emotional needs. And many do this confident that Uncle Sugar -taxpayers- will pick up the tab. Such children are at higher risk for social and emotional problems.
Very interesting and well written.
I agree with Mr. Truijllo below regarding digging deeper into the WHY. There are a plethora of societal and economic components that began a downturn in the late 1960's to the early 1970's including the values of the white working class (and likely other races also but I am most familiar with Charles Murray's work on the white working class). What is it about this timeframe that set so many key aspects of the American experience on a downward spiral?
Please keep this topic going! The response to the development of the BCP has damaged society, and it didn't have to be this way. Both sexes were held to a standard, and shamed when running afoul of social mores, but for over 5 decades we only talk about the female half of the population. The phrase "shotgun wedding" was based on reality. I read an article back in the 80's describing a research paper by a graduate student. This student studied marriage and birth records from colonial days. The findings showed that most couples would have had premarital sex, even taking into account some early deliveries. In other words, once the couples had sex they were committed. If we want this mess to reverse, we have to talk about more than female contraception or the ridiculous attitude that females are the only ones responsible for saying "No." We have to raise the bar for both males and females, or we continue to fall apart.