Men Boycott Marriage by Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D.

© 2002 Stephen Baskerville

Reproduced with permission of the author


 

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Men are refusing to marry, says a report just released from Rutgers University. Professor David Popenoe attributes his finding to a fear of "commitment" by men and the ease of obtaining sex outside marriage.

Yet the men themselves express a weightier explanation of why they fear marriage: For many men, starting a family is a one-way ticket to jail, and even worse. Glenn Sacks and Dianna Thompson, [in the preceding article], found that many men now realize that any family they start can simply be taken away from them at any time, through forced divorce. Worse, once you have a child you become a likely candidate for false accusations of molestation, impossible child support payments, jail, and suicide.

Virtually every American now knows a father whose life has been taken over and destroyed by a divorce court:

• Like the disabled dentist who was told by a court to stop taking medication for a brain tumor and instead put the money into life insurance.

• Or like the defense worker who lost his job after September 11, who must pay 60% interest monthly on child support arrearages.

• Or the father who has been hauled into court 106 times in 3 years.

All these fathers were deserted by adulterous wives; all live on a few hundred dollars a month; and none can see his children.

Remaining true to your marital vows is no protection. Attorney Jed Abraham says the only way to avoid losing your family is not to start one in the first place.

A few years ago, conservative Maggie Gallagher wrote a book called The Abolition of Marriage, arguing that, legally speaking, no one is married and no one can marry.

Yet many conservatives seem to believe they can restore the institution by preaching at young people to marry. Some in the Bush administration want to use federal money to "educate" young people about its benefits. Yet young men will no longer be fooled.

If we wish to resurrect marriage, we must change the laws — plain and simple. Creating therapeutic programs merely avoids the issue and increases the reach of government.

Portraying marriage as a man's ball-and-chain used to be a joke. Now, it is a political problem.

Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D.

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Last modified 7/21/12