Let me say that the article I'm going to cite is secular, brazen, and often vulgar. It also happens to be entirely true. Granted it's missing the pious rhetoric in which such topics are usually couched for our Catholic ears, but brace yourself and read it anyway.
In today’s lousy economy, men can take comfort in knowing that there is one sought-after good that is becoming steadily more affordable: sex.
Women are jumping into the sack faster and with fewer expectations about long-term commitments than ever, effectively discounting the “price” of sex to a record low, according to social psychologists.
“The price of sex is about how much one party has to do in order to entice the other into being sexual,” said Kathleen Vohs, of the University of Minnesota, who has authored several papers on “sexual economics.” “It might mean buying her a drink or an engagement ring. These behaviors vary in how costly they are to the man, and that is how we quantify the price of sex.”
Sex is so cheap that researchers found a full 30% of young men’s sexual relationships involve no romance at all -- no wooing, dating, goofy text messaging. Nothing. Just sex.
Men want sex more than women do. It’s a fact that sounds sexist and outdated. But it is a fact all the same -- one that women used for centuries to keep the price of sex high (if you liked it back in the day, you really had to put a ring on it). With gender equality, the Pill and the advent of Internet porn, women’s control of the meet market has been butchered.
How is that for a recap of Humanae Vitae? There is the requisite apology for sounding old-fashioned, and then a recap of every snippet of advice given by mothers to their daughters for centuries. (It was even provided in a creepy way by the OB/Gyn to the new secretary, Peggy Olson, on Mad Men, Season 1, Episode 1, remember?)
Interestingly, the economic model provides this backdrop, which explains part of the challenge for women:
The issue is partly one of supply and demand, and it begins at US colleges, where 57% of students are women. With such an imbalanced sex ratio, women are using hookups to compete with other women for men’s affections. Once they get out of school, the pool of successful, educated men also is imbalanced, and the bed-hopping continues.
But of course, the challenge wouldn't exist without a broad collapse in societal standards and women's inordinate need to "fit in" with their wider peer group. The surest way for women to navigate this depraved world is to have a strong set of self and a firm understanding of virtue. These require having a mother and a father (in an ideal world) and a remarkable amount of grace (available even if those components are missing).
Sadly, it has had to sink to this level in order to get the attention of the most secular among us. And what is the net result?
It’s little wonder that the percentage of 25- to 34-year-olds who are married has shrunk by an average of 1% each year this past decade -- down to 46% now. Single women have been catching on, but those who don’t discount sex say they can’t seem to get anyone to “pay” their higher price.
So this is the bottom line that will ultimately affect all of society. While many are fighting over the definition of marriage (which is very important) the definition is only part of the deeper crisis that has been brewing. The larger problem is that fewer young people are entering into marriages, fewer of those who do see their unions as binding for life, and most young people don’t consider marriage as a requisite for starting families.
It's hard to stand firm for Christian values in this atmosphere, but be assured that statistics are now proving the Church right. Speaking forthrightly for chastity might be like whispering in a maelstrom, but even the softest words are true. They are also the words of authentic love -- carry on.