Fear of commitment? Financial instability? Low wages? Nah. The culprit? Cheap sex. Marriage is on the decline among young people because it’s much easier for men to find sex outside of marriage. That was Mark Regnerus’ conclusion in “Cheap Sex and the Decline of Marriage,” in his article in last week’s Wall Street Journal .
Men aren’t scurrying to the altar because they can get “sex on the cheap,” as in practically free.
Sex may be cheap but delaying or foregoing marriage can be costly.
Regnerus shares the story of “Kevin,” a 24 year old college graduate. Kevin plans to get married someday but wants to have sex with as many women as possible before he ties the knot. Kevin and many like him are delaying marriage to seek sexual gratification without commitment: sex with no rings attached.
What “Kevin” doesn’t realize is the benefits of a stable marital relationship far outweigh the temporary pleasures and risks associated with “cheap sex.”
So, what’s so great about marriage?
First, studies have shown married people actually have better sex. In addition, married people:
- Live longer.
- Have better mental health.
- Are more financially stabile.
- Have a built in foot warmer in the winter.
- Have someone to share sorrows with.
- Have someone to laugh with.
- Have emotional support.
- Experience growth that comes from being in a relationship.
- Have companionship.
- Have more secure kids.
Some young people almost view sex with a mercenary attitude. While mercenaries are motivated by private gain, people who want to have sex but delay marriage are motivated by personal gain as well.
Like mercenaries, young people compromise ethics for satisfaction. The availability of “cheap sex” is pushing the median age for marriage near 30.
Many young people still value traditional marriage but deem sexual satisfaction more important.
By putting off marriage, Kevin and others like him are missing out on the benefits a stable marital relationship provides.
The sex may be cheap, but the cost to personal values and self-worth is high.
Just like with anything, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is. According to Regnerus, a world in which it is possible to satisfy sexual desires much more immediately also carries with it a number of unhappy and unintended consequences.
Get Your Real On,