Thursday, March 04, 2010

U.S. Culture Keeps Young Men Immature

Or is the headline: 20something Men Choose Immaruity over Responsibility?

George Will tells us:

"In 1956, the median age of men marrying was 22.5. But between 1980 and 2004, the percentage of men reaching age 40 without marrying increased from 6 to 16.5. A recent study found that 55 percent of men 18 to 24 are living in their parents' homes, as are 13 percent of men 25 to 34, compared to 8 percent of women."

Forgive me for sounding harsh, but it seems no different in the ranks of Pentecost: 20something males who want the cachet of a college degree but still want to act like high schoolers. Instead of using their abundance of time and energy in a ministry that matters, it's lost on all manners of frivolity. (Not sin, frivolity.) Yes, that's a generalization, but it's grounded in a few too many examples to be inaccurate.


John said...

The article is a good one but the oping statistics raises a red flag for what is omitted (% women 18-24 living at home, the % of women reaching 40 and not marrying, confidence intervals and other data ). I suspect reading the un cited recent study may put a different spin on the data.

Why is living with your parents a sine of immaturity? One is able to save money on rent and utilities and the rent that is payed goes to that persons parents who probably could use the money.

Delaying / abstaining from marriage is first a response to seeing all the failed marriages (ones that end in divorces or leave the members envying the flatted squirrels on the road side). Additionally the young man needs to find a lady that wishes to marry him, this may not be doable. aka There are not that many fish in the sea and the ones in it are not that interested.

It would seem that there is a new stage of life forming but to say it is immature is rather unfair.

Lastly it would seem that men of all ages are less involved in church (note the lack of them in any given service (I think the Unguide to Dating cited 2:1 women to men in church)) and the pew warmers are a healthy population in all demographic groups.

Anonymous said...

It's considered "immaturity" because for a long time in western culture young males strove for independence. Being "on your own" was a sign of manhood, and a source of pride.

While I agree with the article's premise, it fails to take into account the high cost of setting up a separate home in these times...something that keeps some young men at home who would rather leave.

However, John makes a point that I must disagree with...and it concerns the reason for delaying/abstaining from marriage. One simply cannot ignore the fact that young people find fulfillment of their sexual needs long before marriage...the lack of which was a factor in marriages happening at younger ages. Marriage is often viewed now as little more than simply finding the "right" partner after having had many such partners.

As well, the materialistic worldview of our culture creates an expectation of the trappings of prosperity...something that usually cannot be fulfilled by young people before they have completed their educations and spent some years in the workforce.

Sadly, trends like delaying marriage (if marriage comes at all), less stability in marriage, high economic pressure, and fewer children from those marriages do not bode well for the future of our civilization.

Long term, we're in trouble.