Executive Summary: There’s a tight link between female fertility and divorce.
Do women initiate the majority of divorces because men are innately “badder” than wives? Or, is it more likely something else which motivates wives — something intrinsic to the demands of their female desires — to push for marital dissolution at greater rates than husbands push for it?
CH has tackled the subject of female-initiated frivorce. It’s good to revisit the topic for clarification, because there are a lot of people who still labor under delusions about the malign effects on society of the divorce industrial complex, and what exactly incentivizes wives to file for the majority of divorces.
Feminists like to point to statistics that supposedly show that divorced women experience a fall in their standard of living as proof that wives are reluctantly initiating divorces to get out of marriages to ill-behaving husbands. There are two problems with this highly misleading statistic (assuming the stat is true in the sense it is being used):
1. The presumption that women are thinking through the long-term and less tangible financial consequences of divorce when the short-term and more tangible incentives are all in the woman’s favor.
A woman who knows she will get half, the house, and custody with child support thinks she will hit the jackpot in the event of divorce, because those rewards are immediate and tangible. She won’t be as likely to think through the prospect of diminished career potential or sexual market value. Incentives matter in human behavior, and front-loaded incentives matter more than downstream disincentives.
2. The drop in a divorced woman’s standard of living, if true, is likely based on a faulty comparison with her standard of living while she was married. The better and more relevant comparison is between the standard of living of a divorced woman and her life as a single woman before she got married. Do divorced women live better than they did as single women BEFORE they got married? That is the useful metric which will shed light on whether divorce really is a bad economic decision for women.
Regarding the supposed post-divorce drop in women’s standard of living, WPrice added:
I tend to reject the statistic, because it usually refers to a feminist study from the 1980s (when academic feminism had carte blanche to make things up). However, it’s true that a woman’s income often looks low on paper following divorce. This is because child support, child tax credits, EIC, property transferred to woman from ex-husband and other benefits are not counted as income. In the meanwhile, it looks like a man’s expenses have gone down, because he no longer gets to claim these expenses on his tax returns. The truth, however, is that she gets all of the supposed increase in his living standard and then some directly in her pocket. The statistic is so deliberately dishonest that it ought to be called what it is: a lie.
Divorce is deliberately set up to ensure that women lose as little as possible when leaving their marriage for whatever reason. Men, of course, are punished no matter what the reason.
The reason our laws, and in particular divorce laws, are biased in favor of women, has to do with the human psychological underpinnings that emerge from the Fundamental Premise.
The divorce rate skyrocketed right after no-fault divorce was passed in CA in 1969, followed by most other states. It has since declined from its mid-1970s high and leveled off (but still nowhere its historical lows in the US pre-1969), so whatever shock to the marital system no-fault divorce instigated seemed to have worked itself out by the 1980s.
CH is fond of the Diversity + Proximity = War equation, but there’s another one we love just as much for its pithy descriptive power:
Options = Instability.
A young woman in her nubile prime has more romantic options than a same-age young man. This makes commitment at that age inherently unstable (especially for naive beta males). The formula reverses for men, who experience a rise in romantic options as they get older and gain social and financial status, (and given that men of all ages are attracted to female youth and beauty, there would be incentives for an older husband to trade his status for a younger second wife).
Theoretically, then, we should find that female-initiated divorce is mostly by YOUNG wives, and male-initiated divorce by OLDER husbands. And that is pretty much the case… but for the former only.
As I’ve shared previously the data shows divorce rates are highest when the wife is young and has the incentive to commit divorce theft, and lowest when the wife is older and the husband has the incentive to commit divorce theft. Divorce is actually least likely when conventional wisdom suggests it occurs most, when the wife is older and the husband has the opportunity to dump her for a younger woman.
On the surface, this result is strange. But thinking about it, I can tell you why the divorce rate doesn’t follow a symmetrical “U-curve” that reflects older husbands “trading up” for younger second wives: men, unlike women, are simply more comfortable keeping two lovers simultaneously. Husbands don’t have a problem screwing a mistress and coming home to a doting wife. Wives DO have a problem screwing around and maintaining a happy facade with their cucked beta hubbies.
In short, men have a harem mentality. Women don’t.
One glaring correlation that emerges when examining divorce trends is that the divorce rate mirrors women’s likelihood of getting pregnant (aka how fertile she is, aka how hot she is).
The divorce rate and the female fertility rate, if superimposed, are practically IDENTICAL. Divorce is, to a great degree, a function of a woman’s sexual desirability and her options in the sexual market. The more romantic attention from desirable men a young wife can command, the more unstable her marriage.
If stable marriages are a noble societal goal, then encouraging later marriages would work to lower the divorce rate. But, this strategy also works to lower the marital fertility rate, as older mothers have fewer children than younger mothers. Plus, beta males with rising SMV (sexual market value) don’t much like marrying road worn and put away hard women in their 30s, and they won’t if they don’t have to.
A better social strategy would be to instruct young men in the ways of seducing women — both premaritally and maritally — so that they can better tame and redirect their young wives’ hypergamous compulsions to themselves and away from alpha male interlopers. Still another possibility is pairing off younger wives with older husbands, for a balanced SMV match. Or, removing the disincentives to stay married that have become part of divorce and family laws.
(FYI, women will always receive the bulk of child support, and child custody, because women are naturally disposed to the task of child-rearing in a way that men aren’t. Most men don’t much like the drudgery of child-raising, but for that minority of ex-husbands and fathers who crave the joys of being a full-time dad, the family court system should be reformed to better sympathize with their needs.)
Bottom line: If divorce laws are grossly unfair to either sex, they need to be changed. Lamely indulging in “life is unfair” white knightism posturing is no excuse for accepting the continuance of bad laws. (Perspective: “racial quotas are wrong.” “life is unfair.” See how that doesn’t work?)