Lunks and their bright wives: conservative marriage through the years

A great deal of weirdness in conservative life can be explained by the theory that smarter women were more likely to end up out in the West/frontier and also be able to offset the consequences of marrying a relatively lunkish guy because their domestic labors were monetized.  They also could afford to take the chance of marrying a lunk because he didn’t need to be all that clever to make it in the West.

Over time as the domestic sphere lost its financially remunerative aspects, the general pattern was established, but that just left such women scrambling to compensate in other ways, leaving them prey to scams and schemes because they had income pressure but no easy way to integrate it into their increasingly narrow domestic sphere.

This was, I think, since it’s been sitting in draft so long, a prelude of sorts to my Grand Unified Theory of Spectrum Formation, in which the nuclear family in America converges towards fulfilling an Asperger or autism-spectrum norm because those are a bigger and bigger chunk of the married people still able to afford having kids.  And this is especially obvious with conservatives, who appear to be continuing to have children for reasons not related to religiosity at all and this explains some of those reasons.

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151 thoughts on “Lunks and their bright wives: conservative marriage through the years”

  1. Here are some other thoughts:

    1. Early on on the frontier, just about any youngish (not even young) white woman could get married if she wanted to.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercer_Girls

    2. The frontier/homesteader lifestyle may be particularly attractive to the Aspie woman. My great grandma, who had grown up on a homestead but mostly resided in town, had a small house built out in the country and surrounded herself with critters during her early widowhood. (My parents eventually built a house on the property half a mile away.) Great-grandma was very happy living that way.

    Great grandma had four children. Her obit says that at the time of her death, she had 17 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren. Things have really taken off since then (the great-grandchildren have nearly all had their families), so while I’m not quite sure, I suspect that a quarter century after that obit, great grandma has easily 100+ descendants.

    Of course, great-grandma lived years before “Aspie” was a thing, but that’s a very common type among her descendants.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 3. Conservative religious belief probably encourages women to marry and have family that would (in the current climate) wind up as cat ladies or horse ladies.

    4. Not totally related to your point, but the manosphere encourages asocial young men to make themselves aggressive and unpleasant to women or to avoid women entirely. (And it doesn’t actually matter if they only do it on the internet, as the internet generates a lot of matches between compatibles these days–they may be destroying their chances of meeting a nice young woman by spending too much time ranting about how there aren’t any nice young women.)

    Those guys are basically being counseled out of the gene pool by their manosphere elders. That’s not a terrible outcome for society at large, but it is very sad for them individually. It’s especially sad when they believe (in their early 20s) that they will magically be so much more attractive to women in 10 years and have so many more options. Without making an effort, acquiring more social polish, becoming a better person–nope, not going to happen.

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    1. I suspect your understanding of the manosphere is skewed significantly. For example, I think many of the 20-something men do not expect to have any interest in “more options” with women in ten years. They expect to continue living their lives without women as significant others. It is much the same as women saying “I don’t need a man to have a good and happy life”. The men can reasonably say “I have lived this long without a woman, why would I want one now?”

      I don’t know what will happen, but I suspect that the results of today’s behavior will be clearly evident well before there is any change in behavior by the vast majority.

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      1. OKRickety said:

        “For example, I think many of the 20-something men do not expect to have any interest in “more options” with women in ten years.”

        I’m talking about what I see online–young bitter guys talking about how they’ll have their pickings in 10 years. There’s a lot of whistling in the dark.

        But, as to your point, I have to say that if a guy isn’t actually interested in women, perhaps he won’t make much of a husband for a red-blooded gal?

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        1. I wonder what pool those young guys are planning on picking from? I don’t expect good results, even if they are successful.

          I think it may be common for guys to be truly interested in women but have minimal success. Perhaps they would make good husbands but they may not be willing to consider it in their 30s and later. I am inclined to think that young women (under 30) are the ones rolling the dice regarding marriage. But fewer people are getting married, so it may be that all bets are off.

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  3. 5. Another mostly unrelated thought–maybe banning women from your manly man blog might make it harder to meet women?

    Just a thought?

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    1. Eh, it just means they’re exercising their machoness. They’re setting the bar for what it means to be dominant or something. Then again, why should sane Christian women be interested in men like that?

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  4. In my experience even early marriage and age gaps don’t usually produce that kind of dynamic as much as those things reveal differences in temperament, strengths and weaknesses, and approaches to problem solving that might look like you have one spouse significantly brighter than another.

    For example we know a rural couple where the wife has a masters and the husband has a HS diploma. Married very early, have been married 30 years, seem happy enough if not blissful. On the surface the difference in intellect seems like a wide gulf, but as you get in there and get to know them, you find that his temperament and generous fount of self-control and common sense wisdom (I would suggest say it was God-given) has been the saving grace of their marriage.

    I noticed somewhere else that you said that practice, when done well, can override theory. I think this is true in these cases as well. After all, from Jim Crow to the height of the civil rights movement, it wasn’t at all uncommon for this dynamic (or the appearance of it at least) to be front and center for black couples in the South. The nurse married to the bus driver or the teacher married to the sanitation worker, etc. But people approached marriage differently then so they got different results.

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    1. I think with an age gap, there is the potential that (say) the 28-year-old groom will be maturity-wise more or less on par with the 18-year-old bride, but 10 years later, the wife has shot ahead of the husband in maturity and worldly knowledge, and they are no longer peers. Or, let’s say that the initial dynamic was the young bride admiring her older husband, but she eventually winds up more or less at his level and no longer feels so worshipful. (And this could be particularly disastrous if the family ideology is hard core wifely submission.) Or (and I have one of these in my family), a couple marries in college and years later the husband realizes that his wife is rather dim. But he didn’t notice when they were both young and she was cute…See also Mr. and Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.

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      1. In my family, I’ve recently noticed that the relationship dynamic has really shifted between a woman who married a guy nearly a decade older than herself and her husband.

        She was literally a teen bride (but just about to turn 20) when they got married and was initially very much the little woman. But, she’s in her later 30s now, is more confident and settled, has been the primary person for a number of their businesses for years now (he has a full-time corporate job), and I feel like things have evened out a lot between the two of them. I think they have a much better marriage than earlier, in all honesty.

        Fortunately, her husband is a smart guy. Had this resetting happened without him being a smart guy, it could have gone very badly.

        I feel like anybody who marries young or who marries with an age gap has to be prepared for a lot of stuff to change over the years–in fact the dynamic that initially drove the relationship may vanish as the younger spouse ages into wanting (and perhaps deserving) a more equal partnership.

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        1. For some reason you assume that an age gap inherently includes a father daughter dynamic and I NEVER saw that with my parents in 35 years of marriage. I never saw it with my aunt and uncle within what I witnessed of their 50+ year marriage. My husband’s godmother and her husband (with whom we send a great deal of time doing ministry), also do not have that type of dynamic.

          You ignore that the reasons WHY a man chose a woman 10+ years his junior matter far more than the fact that he is 10+ years her senior. The confidence, intelligence, and adaptability of the man makes a huge difference and I would argue that outside of fringe religious communities most younger women who choose older men -leaving gold diggers outside of this discussion- choose them precisely because of the fact that the man appreciates and acknowledges what they bring to the table.

          I know I always push back on you about the age gap thing Amy, but I wonder why you’re so strident about it when historically it wasn’t a big deal for a man to be 10 years older than his wife. It wasn’t necessarily the overwhelming norm, but neither was it something anyone found strange, perverted, or reason for alarm about the success of the union. Because it wasn’t.

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          1. Age gaps actually weren’t as common unless the couple was wealthier, a spouse was a widow or widower, or there was a divorce. In today’s world, age gaps seem more common in second marriages.

            Marriages like this aren’t common in the first place, nor should we worry too much. To be fair to Elspeth, the lasting marriages that DO have a wide age gap are usually people who aren’t average in the first place. It’s the people who are average (or below) we should be worried about. I’m more concerned about hearing 18-20 year old women being pressured to marry much older (especially in certain subcultures). I do find it weird to read online from Christian sites about a parent being worried because their 21 year old daughter is dating a 40something year old man because NONE of the young men paid her any attention. It’s those kinds of situations which come to mind for a lot of people, and it’s not the norm.

            As much as I don’t like to admit this, women had their pick for the past 2 generations and the tables are turning. We might see a new generation of wider-age gap marriages because it’s financially difficult for a young man to support a family. A 22 year old man isn’t going to have the financial stability that a 30 year old man has. Or maybe it’s a 33 year old man marrying the 27 year old woman. Reality can be a bitch, but I’d rather see people have lasting and healthy marriages, wide age gap and all, where they can actually have children than emote online because they’re sexually frustrated.

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            1. I wouldn’t freak out about the 27-33 gap, because it’s basically the same stage in life. (Although one does encounter some pretty childish mid-20-something women online.)

              But when a 30-something guy who has sleeping around expects a 20-year-old virgin bride straight from her father’s home–NOPE NOPE NOPE.

              And yeah, the father-daughter dynamic is very explicitly part of that scenario with the age gap, denigrating women’s education, the direct transfer of authority from father to husband thing (pretty much doctrine in some circles), and the expectation of 100% wifely obedient.

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              1. Okay, I get your point but the bigger question is how often does that happen? Not very, and when it does it’s usually within certain subcultures that encourage that kind of thing anyway. The young woman in question isn’t going to really think it’s odd because it’s her cultural norm.

                Now, if you said where the ‘spherians believe they can go pluck a PURF-ect woman aged 21 or so from her culture and expect her to drop everything about her for him, yeah that’s a problem. On so many levels.

                You are correct stages in life matter, but one can easily find themselves “moving back” or “forward” at any age in life. It’s just the way it is. I’m trying to give you and Elspeth the benefit of the doubt here because it’s obvious you’re both coming from competing perspectives, although both are valid. The takeaway is how often does that stuff really happen, and when it does who is it happening to?

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          2. Actually, it happened with me — the father/daughter type of relationship — because of the way I was raised; to be super-submissive. Also, I feared losing his love, so I believed I had to agree with him in everything if I didn’t want to get in trouble (at home we had to agree with everything regardless of personal opinion, or go along with whatever the older people wanted, or we would be punished). I carried that dynamic into marriage. Of course this meant things were great for him because I set out to try to be like his Mom, cook like her, bake like her, etc., and life was all hunky-dory. Then after several kids he discovered I couldn’t keep up and the roof fell in at that point. He had gotten used to the father/daughter type of marriage situation, with the addition of sexual privileges, and things got very bad very quickly. I had to learn to grow up fast and be aware. Now we are at a point where I have established the upper hand and I am not about to relinquish it — things could return to that and I won’t go through the horrible suffering and depression that comes with it. I won’t be put in such a horrible subservient position again, and communication was and is NOT encouraged — blind obedience is along with completely inappropriate altercations. Not happening again.

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        2. One more thought:

          I feel like anybody who marries young or who marries with an age gap has to be prepared for a lot of stuff to change over the years–

          I feel like anyone who marries under whatever circumstances, even the most ideal, needs to be prepared for a lot of stuff to change over the years. That’s the nature of life and marriage in general.

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          1. Elspeth said:

            “I feel like anyone who marries under whatever circumstances, even the most ideal, needs to be prepared for a lot of stuff to change over the years. That’s the nature of life and marriage in general.”

            That sounds like a commonplace, but I’d argue that the idea is entirely foreign to the Christian manosphere.

            There is no room in those parts for the idea that the junior partner in the marriage might learn things and grow as a person.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Always remember the “Christian manosphere,” the manosphere, and the alt-right at large aren’t the ones who set the standards for Christians. Christianity does. Culture doesn’t supersede Christianity.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. And we are forgetting that the Christian manospherians as well as all the other manospherians aren’t really men at all. They are infantile people who never grew up, so I really wouldn’t classify them as men. Personally, I propose that instead of manospherians, Christian manospherians, etc., we simply use the term “emotional infants” or “Christian emotional infants” because that is what they really are. If enough people see them for the tantrum-throwing spoiled brats they truly are, they just may lose credibility and more people will be saved from their insidious stupidity.

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    2. Black women have been warned about marriages with that dynamic since my grandmother was a girl. Those kinds of marriages often included husbands who were especially domineering in response to the wives’ superior education or paycheck and wives who had to be much more submissive than normal to keep the peace. This probably contributed to the higher than average divorce rates for black people even during Jim Crow.

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      1. For what it’s worth, I’m not advocating for younger women to marry older men. I’m not advocating for any particular dynamic.

        I’m simply pointing out that it is false to offer a general condemnation of a particular dynamic based on personal preference and a study that only measured marriages at the 5-year-mark.

        Amy even offered an example of a successful age gap marriage and then ended with, “But it could have turned out really badly!” Well, LOL, yes, of course it could have. Same as if they had been the same age, but it didn’t.

        In essence, I’m saying that a general statement that marriages with age gas are bad sounds just as silly to me as the crazy idea floated around the manosphere that 35-year-old men are like catnip to cute 20-year-old women.

        People are just way more complicated than that, and individual marriages far too unique.

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        1. Elspeth said:

          “Amy even offered an example of a successful age gap marriage and then ended with, “But it could have turned out really badly!” Well, LOL, yes, of course it could have. Same as if they had been the same age, but it didn’t.”

          But the reason it didn’t go badly was that the couple had breathing room for growth and change in their relationship.

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          1. I have to agree with Amy here. I believe now at this stage of life that it is crucial for a woman to establish right from the start that she is a human being of worth and dignity, and will not suffer herself to be treated as anything less. Also, she must insist on correct communication, and that includes a zero tolerance for profanity, and if it does inadvertently get used, she must insist on a prompt and correct apology for it. Otherwise, she ends up in a miserable position. Be alert at all times. Never suffer your dignity as a woman, wife and mother to be trampled, or you will find yourself disrespected and treated horribly by not only your husband, but also by your children, who will have learned from their father that you are less than human and do not deserve their respect, obedience or reverence. You will become the family scullerymaid, nothing more, a person to be kicked in the teeth whether in actuality or figuratively.

            Obviously, our dear friend, AKA tantrum-throwing little brat, Cane Caldo, would disagree completely, because he has shown by his oft-quoted post that he believes all women are to be severely punished and degraded. I will be referring to him and all the so-called “men” as tantrum-throwing spoiled little brats from here on out. That is the only description they merit.

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        2. “In essence, I’m saying that a general statement that marriages with age gas are bad sounds just as silly to me as the crazy idea floated around the manosphere that 35-year-old men are like catnip to cute 20-year-old women.”

          You make a good point here. I think the problem is the manosphere set up this scenario as the expectation for marriage, all while ignoring basic biology and attraction. As you’ve said elsewhere, a young woman is going to find another young man more attractive than Brad Pitt. It’s just how it works in general, and when people try to make specifics into the “new norm” is how we end up with problems.

          I bet you there were people who didn’t think too much about 5-7, or even 10 year age gaps before reading the manosphere. Then they read the 35-year old man being encouraged to catnip (lol) the 18-year old woman (or get her father to agree), and the Lost In Space robot went off.

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      2. And yes, Nonya. I can see the issues with the education gap, particularly during that eriod of time. I was noting that women have always been (in general) more likely to marry “beneath” themselves educationally than men are.

        . Very different from the less serious issues with a difference in age, particularly at this period in history.

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        1. The thing is, it is risky and a source of conflict. To use a less polarizing case, the long-known historical and fictional-historical examples of the guy with only a title and no productive interests who marries an heiress. It was risky and people acknowledged it as risky.

          Higher divorce and rougher marriage was and is real when women marry down. And it’s real enough often enough that it’s worth hammering home. Marriage to older guys also was a big deal. Laura Ingalls’ parents were not blase about a ten years older guy courting their daughter at all. They were concerned and were alarmed. And ended up having to financially support the couple for much of the marriage. That it was a happy marriage for the two people in it doesn’t mean it didn’t look like less than a success from the perspective of the parents who agreed to what turned out to be a very long period of supporting an adult daughter and her spouse.

          I know some marriages in the extended family where the guy is 10-15 years older and it’s worked out. But it’s not as likely as when there’s just a few years between the two.

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          1. There is also the issue here of what the man has done with his life as he aged; if it has been entirely focused on financial accumulation and banking (as in parts of Renaissance Italy) it is a very different situation than the one where the man has been wasting his time unproductively. Then it becomes marrying up, rather than marrying down.

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        2. I’m also at that point in life where I believe nobody should marry without a bachelor’s degree. I regret daily that I quit college to get married. I should have finished my degree, I didn’t, and I caution my daughter to not follow me in this regard — finish school. If you don’t you’ll regret it; many work-from-home jobs, flexible jobs, and self-employment opportunities (that are reliable and don’t require backbreaking work) are closed to you.

          Also, if you marry someone way more educated than you, there is danger of the more educated partner becoming contemptuous of you. This is especially a problem if you have only a high school diploma or an A.A. and your husband has a masters/doctorate or equivalent. Too much risk of becoming the “stupid little woman”. Dangerous. Don’t let that happen. If he starts getting more education, then you need to start taking classes in something as well. Plenty of stuff online.

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      3. There’s a parallel in the book the Second Shift, where (at least at the time of the book’s writing), high earning women “apologized” for their success by doing a lot more housework.

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        1. Yes! This might also explain why a lot of families in my neighborhood aren’t using housekeepers. The wives who are typically about as successful as the husbands are actually doing their own cleaning. My neighbors are both doctors, he’s an OBGYN and she’s a dermatologist. I asked her a for a housekeeper or cleaning service recommendation and she told me that she cleans her own house. Her husband doesn’t want to clean (probably doesn’t have time anyway) and doesn’t want strangers in the house.

          I think that men expect to have a higher status than their wives. If this status can’t be achieved through normal masculine means like a better career, better education, higher regard from society overall then they want their wives to bow down. Successful men (success relative to their wives and to other men) don’t need their wives to scrub every toilet, wait on them hand and foot and be super submissive.

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    3. Don’t confuse credential-ism with intelligence. It’s too common an error. While there is an aspect of schooling that is important in factoring IQ, it can lead you astray. A high school graduate may easily be more intelligent that a teacher with a Bachelor’s degree.

      I knew a guy who enlisted in the Navy, worked reactors, and had his pick of jobs, when he departed the Navy.

      I also knew him in high school. Brilliant, and more interested in machining than theoretical/nuclear physics. Although to be honest, he knew more than most Master’s level physicists.

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  5. Am I understanding that your “Grand Unified Theory of Spectrum Formation” includes the concept that people with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) are more likely to be conservative (politically?) than liberal?

    You mentioned “married people still able to afford having kids”. I believe that the percentage of married adults continues to decrease and is now less than 50% of the population. How does your theory handle the fact that more than 40 percent of all 2012 births in the USA were out-of-wedlock? Presumably, this group of mothers is less financially able to afford children than married mothers. What is the involvement of ASD in out-of-wedlock births?

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    1. Single mothers increasingly have a single child. That’s why I used the plural. There are three main groups of women giving birth in America. One group has (usually) one child out of wedlock. A second group has one child out of wedlock and one or more children in wedlock. The last group has children entirely in wedlock. The last group is the one with the highest amount of ASD parenting and their habits and tendencies drive parenting norms for the other two groups. An ASD tail wagging the childrearing dog.

      The trend line on OOW birth is reversing, btw. Married women are having more children and unmarried women are having 0 or 1 more often. It’s especially noticeable in black births because they have the highest OOW rate, and their reversal is almost entirely a raw numeric increase in married births. There’s more complex interactions going on with the other groups, but across the board, married childbearing is on a slight but steady increase.

      However with good news comes bad, and that is a broader decline in marriage and family size. We’re very slowly reverting back to the old pattern of single mothers having one shame-baby, but the married women are having 3-4 instead of 3-7. And there are some ASD heavy subcultures having more than 4, but their characteristics mean their numbers haven’t risen as predicted by many conservatives who promote large family sizes.

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      1. What is the reason you have postulated your Grand Unified Theory of Spectrum Formation? If there is movement toward “an Asperger or autism-spectrum norm”, do you think this is good, bad, or indifferent?

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        1. Oh, it’s historical and has a high degree of explanatory power for a lot of weirdness about American, conservative and American conservative beliefs and practices. Also, going further back, how certain kinds of Europeans washed up in America in the first place.

          I mean, it explains why there’s a small hardcore having five or more children. ASD folks are more likely to have kids that are content with playing with objects for long periods of time as infants and toddlers. They may be less desirous of social contact with other children unless it’s very formal/structured. These things add up to it being easier in many respects to keep having kids. Or more simply, there’s less “filter” and an ASD mother may simply not understand the social consequences of yelling and hitting to get children to act that way. There is a fascinating momblogger I wish to write about one of these days who is a bit along those lines. She just puts a lot of unwitting honesty out there and has very little idea how more neurotypical women view her lifestyle and mothering.

          The flipside of this is that two ASDs meeting and marrying can lead to a high needs kid or kids and with no support system, the family size remains small.

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          1. “I mean, it explains why there’s a small hardcore having five or more children.”

            Having never heard this theory elsewhere and not seeing much support for it, I am doubtful it is true. Do you know of others who think it is true? You seem quite resolute to expound on it. Why is that?

            In my experience, large families seem to be correlated with religious beliefs (for example, no birth control and Quiverfull) or being from a large family themselves. But that is primarily anecdotal.

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              1. Of course, people can be ASD and religious. But which of these, if any, are correlated to family size, and to what degree? I am not a statistics expert, but, ideally, studies attempt to determine the correlation of each variable to the outcome.

                “You haven’t heard this theory elsewhere because why would fish have a theory of water?”

                You’ve lost me there. Nonetheless, I do not see that you have attempted to answer my questions that I will repeat below.

                Do you know of others who think it is true? You seem quite resolute to expound on it. Why is that?

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                  1. “Why do you find the possibility this theory has explanatory power distressing?”

                    I think you intend to ask “Why? Do you find the possibility this theory has explanatory power distressing?”

                    Either way, I do not find the theory distressing but, in fact, interesting. As I said, I don’t think I’ve heard the idea presented before. However, I will remain skeptical until there is more explanation of the theory itself, and sufficient evidence to reasonably support it.

                    I notice that most of the comments on this post seem to be greatly interested in the age gap of married spouses, which is only vaguely, if at all, related to your post.

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                    1. My post was just a jumping off point, which is why it sat in draft 4eva. The age gap issues are related because not least older fathers= higher propensity for ASD offspring.

                      *puts on hippie hat*
                      it’s all connected maaaannnnn
                      *takes off hippie hat*

                      You’ve provided a great deal of useful data with your commentary, so thanks for commenting!

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                    2. I was about to post something on TPC’s actual post earlier but lost it. I’ll try to reconstruct my thoughts.

                      Here are some ASD features that may overlap with ideologically-driven parents of large families and/or Christian manosphere guys:

                      –love of rules
                      –rigidity
                      –love of mastering elaborate systems (example: geeking out over Red Pill arcana or geeking out over theology)
                      –black and white thinking (example: virgin or slut, alpha versus beta, wives being either 100% obedient or “rebellious,” homeschool or hell, etc.)
                      –being willing (indeed eager) to do things differently than normal people
                      –a lower-than-average need for social interaction
                      –lack of empathy
                      –obsessiveness and persistence–there’s nobody like an autistic person for keeping on keeping on

                      Some of those may not seem to fit, but you’d be surprised. I’ve noticed, for example, that lack of empathy seems to come up again and again as a characteristic of providentialist Catholic parents. (TPC, am I right?)

                      There’s potentially a big problem when an ASD guy embraces either quiverfull/providentialism or the Red Pill. Because of his lack of empathy, his rigidity, his belief that any resistance is “rebellion,” and obsessive persistence in adhering to “the rules,” it’s going to be very difficult (perhaps even impossible) to get him to notice that his wife and children aren’t doing well and that it’s time to try a new tack.

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                    3. TPC,

                      “You’ve provided a great deal of useful data with your commentary, so thanks for commenting!”

                      Yeah, right. I doubt you’ve actually gained anything useful, but perhaps I am wrong.

                      I’ll provide some more “useful data” with this joke:

                      “In English,” the teacher said, “A double negative forms a positive. However, a double positive can never form a negative.”

                      A voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.”

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                    4. AmyP,

                      Certainly, some traits commonly found in ASD may also be found in other segments of the population. Undoubtedly, some of the resulting behaviors may lead to problems in relationships in marriage and family. I wonder if those with ASD who marry have better or worse marriages than those without.

                      What is your level of experience or interaction, personally and professionally, with people clinically diagnosed with ASD?

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                    5. OKRickety said:

                      “What is your level of experience or interaction, personally and professionally, with people clinically diagnosed with ASD?”

                      One kid with an official diagnosis so far (but keeping an eye on the youngest as well), in-real-life good friends with the mom of a PDD-NOS kid (lamest diagnosis name ever, by the way), some other interaction with families with spectrummy kids mainly via therapy (horse therapy and social skills group), lots of chats with the kid’s psychologist, hanging out online with other parents of autism spectrum kids, and a LOT of reading over the years.

                      I only discovered the manosphere a few years ago, and it’s been very interesting to start connecting the dots. I feel like the manosphere is what happens when parents don’t manage (or don’t try) to socialize their boys.

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                    6. I notice that most of the comments on this post seem to be greatly interested in the age gap of married spouses, which is only vaguely, if at all, related to your post.

                      The comments tend to take leaps and bounds.

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                    7. AmyP,

                      I have a 20-year-old son diagnosed with Aspergers four years ago (before latest DSM-5 changes). I suspect that dealing with ASD diagnosed late is different from earlier diagnosis.

                      While I am thinking about it, I just found aspertypical dot com written by an adult woman with ASD. If any of the ASD people you know are girls, it might be of great interest to you or them.

                      “I only discovered the manosphere a few years ago, and it’s been very interesting to start connecting the dots. I feel like the manosphere is what happens when parents don’t manage (or don’t try) to socialize their boys.”

                      I suspect you won’t appreciate this, but I ask you to carefully consider what I have to say. Just like I will never fully appreciate the impact on a woman of her hormones and physical constitution, you will never fully appreciate the impact on a man of his hormones and physical constitution. Men and women are different physically and, I believe, are consequently different mentally and emotionally as well. One result is that each sex has a different perspective on socialization. But what works well for one sex may not work well for the other. For example, socialization in the traditional school setting.

                      I do not believe that poor socialization of boys is the primary reason for the manosphere. For one thing, the manosphere is so broad that it has a wide variety of causes. I am not an expert, but I do think one significant factor is the experience of many men with divorce situations. Another involves interaction between the sexes and the changes that have occurred in the past 50 years or so.

                      Because you are a woman (I presume), I have great doubt that you can understand well the motivations and thinking of those in the manosphere. It would not surprise me if you think I am mistaken and you know the real truth of the manosphere whereas I am an ignorant man incapable of seeing the reality. Regardless, thank you for reading this.

                      Like

                    8. I think the poor socialization issue is a proximate cause; the trend that led up to this was those previous 50 years of change, and earlier issues baked into this. Even by the 30’s American Individualism was well known in social science.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    9. Because you are a woman (I presume), I have great doubt that you can understand well the motivations and thinking of those in the manosphere.

                      Have you actually read the manosphere? Have you seen what motivates them and what they talk about, over and over?

                      The short answer is what motivates the manosphere is they’re mostly angry at women and want women to conform to the behaviors they see fit.

                      Like

                    10. Maea,

                      I have seen and read enough of the manosphere to know that your answer is only partially correct. Your answer supports my contention that women do have difficulty understanding the reasons for the manosphere. You see it through your own filter which skews your perception. In your case, I suspect that anything that shows anger toward women or can even be possibly construed to be anger toward women is highlighted and duly noted.

                      Looking at an aggregator of manosphere material (vivalamanosphere), I see categories for Mens’ Rights; Travel; Diet/Exercise; Lifestyle and Self-Improvement; Society, Politics, and Economics; Game; and Feminism Exposed. I have read enough of the manosphere to know that these topics do reflect areas of significant interest in the manosphere. This list certainly does not read like a list of items based primarily on anger at women.

                      I found this statement about men and why there’s a manosphere:

                      “He doesn’t hate his corporation; he hates the system. He doesn’t hate God; he hates what the church does in God’s name. He doesn’t hate women; he hates the unforgiving female support machine. He doesn’t hate feminists or White Knights; he hates navigating the environment they create.”

                      If you think that statement is completely bogus, then I think you have a lot to learn about the manosphere.

                      Like

                    11. The only thing that aggregator has revealed is the manosphere’s supposed strength is its greatest weakness. What comes to mind is herding a bunch of very angry and frustrated cats. They’re a small portion of the alt-right, yet when looking at the larger picture the same problems exist. The manosphere is to men what feminism is to women. Feminist, meet masculinist.

                      If you think that statement is completely bogus, then I think you have a lot to learn about the manosphere.

                      I’ve learned more than I ever wanted to. All that statement did was affirm what I’ve thought about anger being the impetus behind the manosphere. Maybe they should think about what it means to hate.

                      Like

                    12. I said:

                      “I only discovered the manosphere a few years ago, and it’s been very interesting to start connecting the dots. I feel like the manosphere is what happens when parents don’t manage (or don’t try) to socialize their boys.”

                      OKRickety said:

                      I suspect you won’t appreciate this, but I ask you to carefully consider what I have to say. Just like I will never fully appreciate the impact on a woman of her hormones and physical constitution, you will never fully appreciate the impact on a man of his hormones and physical constitution. Men and women are different physically and, I believe, are consequently different mentally and emotionally as well.

                      I reply:

                      Yes and no. I would say that (all things being equal) autistic males and females psychologically resemble each other more than they resemble their respective sex.

                      Aside from actual sex stuff, there is actually a very large commonality between the male and female experience for people with autism. (Although it is true that in some cases, female hormones can take a bit of the edge off and produce more empathy and self-awareness and social awareness. And it’s also true that autistic individuals are unique, so no two are going to be exactly alike.)

                      In fact, there’s the potential for very happy marriages between high-functioning autistic people (aside from the eugenic issues).

                      OKRickety said:

                      “One result is that each sex has a different perspective on socialization. But what works well for one sex may not work well for the other. For example, socialization in the traditional school setting.”

                      I have to say, that’s a really weird thing to think.

                      When our daughter got her diagnosis at the end of 1st grade, it made me run the mental VHS tapes of my childhood. What I realized pretty quickly was that my daughter was very similar to me at the same age, and I had had a lot of similar behaviors. Of course, given that I was an 80s kid and from a poor family that would not have accepted the label, I just had normal school. It was academically almost OK, but socially it was a total disaster until probably 9th grade. I really did not have any friends in early elementary school and then my parents moved us out into the country so I couldn’t have done anything after school if I’d wanted to. (My parents are a little “different,” too.)

                      In Temple Grandin’s memoir Emergence, she talks about how she did pretty good in a small elementary school, poorly in a large middle school, but then blossomed at a small non-traditional boarding high school with a few dozen students total and lots of opportunities to work with her hands and spend time with horses.

                      So, I really have to question the idea that normal public school is somehow a great setting for autistic girls (especially those ridiculous 1,000 and 2,000 kid middle schools).

                      The size issue is, I think, really important. I think our son could probably have managed OK at a traditionally sized school, but our Asperger’s daughter has benefited immensely from going to a small PK-12 school. Early on, there were only about 10-12 kids per class. Now that she’s in high school, she’s friendly with her classmates in a way that blows my public-school educated mind. I would recommend the same thing to any family with an autism spectrum kid who can deal with it–put them in a small school where they can be with roughly the same small group of children from year to year. The continuity is really good for building relationships. And lots of summer activities, of course, some school activities, any relevant therapy, and a very serious effort to build children’s friendships. (“Good Friends Are Hard to Find” was my bible in early elementary school.)

                      School is just one piece of the socialization puzzle.

                      OKRickety said:

                      “I do not believe that poor socialization of boys is the primary reason for the manosphere.”

                      Here’s my rough division of the manosphere’s population among commenters:

                      1) bitter divorced guys
                      2) weird married guys (with a very occasional normal one)
                      3) enormous hordes of Aspie guys who have never dated, or haven’t dated much and don’t have much of a co-ed social life but who take everything that #1 and #2 say about women as gospel truth (being credulous is another Aspie trait)
                      4) try-hard Red Pill camp followers

                      The manosphere offers the guys in group 3 a get-out-of-jail card from thinking about what role their social behavior plays in how women react to them. It must be because women are evil, hypergamous [BLEEPs]. It can’t be that they themselves have poor hygiene, no small talk, have a tendency to monologue, are abrupt or rude, have bizarre theological theories, or are violating a lot of unspoken social rules every time they attempt to make a move.

                      “Because you are a woman (I presume), I have great doubt that you can understand well the motivations and thinking of those in the manosphere. It would not surprise me if you think I am mistaken and you know the real truth of the manosphere whereas I am an ignorant man incapable of seeing the reality.”

                      Pardon the mixed metaphor, but I think you don’t realize what a sewer it is because it’s not your ox being gored.

                      Like

                    13. OKRickety,

                      About your aggregator titles–what is actually revealing is looking at the actual content of the discussions. I’ve seen a lot of manosphere stuff, so I can hazard a guess:

                      Mens’ Rights would be griping about divorce and complaining about women.
                      Travel might be complaining about American women and scheming to get foreign women into bed.
                      Diet/Exercise would contain a lot of complaining about American women being fat and lazy.
                      Lord knows what “Lifestyle” might contain.
                      Society–complaining about women.
                      Politics–complaining about Hillary Clinton.
                      Economics–complaining about women being parasites.
                      Game–figuring out how to get women into bed.
                      Feminism exposed–complaining about women.

                      We’re all very, very familiar with what the manosphere looks like–it’s not a big secret The “Christian” manosphere offers even more variety:

                      –defenses of polygyny
                      –why men should be able to screw around but women shouldn’t (I guess that’s also a secular manosphere favorite)
                      –churches should not say boo to husbands no matter how terrible their conduct at home
                      –Some sort of underpants gnomes scheme involving bringing down feminism by having sex with “sluts” at church
                      –wanting patriarchy and sheltered virgin brides
                      –not wanting to have to deal with protective patriarchal daddies–the virgin brides should just be handed over, no questions asked
                      –no higher education for women
                      –homeschooling
                      –expecting sex on demand no matter what
                      –being surprised by how much the wife hates marital sex–blaming alphas
                      –women shouldn’t have education or careers
                      –women ought to contribute substantially to family finances
                      –tiny grocery budgets
                      –expecting lots of meat and fish in the diet

                      Like

                    14. AmyP,

                      You obviously took my comment regarding difference in perspective because of sex in a direction I did not intend. I meant that non-autistic men and women perceive very differently and this can be observed in their viewpoints of the manosphere.

                      “Pardon the mixed metaphor, but I think you don’t realize what a sewer it is because it’s not your ox being gored.”

                      To make certain I understand, are you saying that I don’t understand how awful the manosphere is, because I’m not in the group (women) that is being blamed for everything these men are unhappy about?

                      You may be right that autistic males and females are more similar to each other psychologically than to the non-autistic members of the same sex. However, I think there are still significant differences between the sexes in autistic people, too.

                      “In fact, there’s the potential for very happy marriages between high-functioning autistic people (aside from the eugenic issues).”

                      Please explain why you reference eugenic issues in this scenario.

                      I said: “One result is that each sex has a different perspective on socialization. But what works well for one sex may not work well for the other. For example, socialization in the traditional school setting.” And you responded: “I have to say, that’s a really weird thing to think.”

                      Again, I suspect you have interpreted something differently from what I intended. Based on your examples, I think you might agree with my intended meaning. Let me explain. Stereotypically, boys are physically more active than girls and interact accordingly. Sitting quietly at a desk for long periods is not natural for most boys, but is comfortable for most girls. In other words, the traditional school classroom setting works well for girls but not for boys. (I just realized that I have been thinking “classroom” but did not state it. Perhaps that will help.)

                      In your examples of socialization for those with autism, I see autistic children developing their social skills differently depending on the environment. In a similar fashion, non-autistic boys may develop their social skills better in an environment that would not work well for non-autistic girls. In fact, I rather believe that having separate schools for boys and girls has some positive benefits because of these differences.

                      Like

                    15. Hoping this threaded OK!

                      TPC said:

                      “The traditional classroom setting worked fine for little boys and if anything had more periods of sitting still if you go back to before World War 2.”

                      That’s a good point, but I think I’d nuance it a bit by adding the following:

                      1. The contemporary US has a long, long school day, and there are issues with PE and recess getting cut out in some schools. I’m not sure about the history of the length of the school day, but I’m pretty sure that the school day for elementary kids has been growing. My kids’ school day is definitely longer than the one I had as a kid.

                      If you look at Germany, my understanding is that at least in the lower grades, the kids are done with school by around lunch time. BUT–and this is very important–they have a lot of homework after that to be completed at home. And it sounds like the school day can be even longer than the US school day in the upper grades.

                      http://nypost.com/2008/09/10/school-days-in-germany/

                      2. While some little boys did just fine in the traditional classroom setting in the US, there was always the understanding that school was not every little boy’s cup of tea and that a lot of boys were not academic. See, for example, the description of school in Tom Sawyer.

                      3. In the good old days, a lot of boys would have bailed on school around 10 or 11 and gone to work. (And girls, too–if you google “cotton mill girls” you’ll find a lot of photographs of tween girl mill workers.)

                      But, in short, there never was a golden era where 100% of US boys happily studied in an academic environment perfectly designed for their developmental needs.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    16. The threading is really getting out of hand. Hope this works!

                      OKRickety said:

                      AmyP,

                      “You obviously took my comment regarding difference in perspective because of sex in a direction I did not intend. I meant that non-autistic men and women perceive very differently and this can be observed in their viewpoints of the manosphere.”

                      Yeah. When I was talking about boys, failed socialization, and the manosphere, I was talking primarily about the spectrummy types that are disproportionately common in the manosphere online. If autism affects only something like in 1 in 42 boys in the general population, there’s something very interesting going on to produce the sheer density of spectrummy young guys you see in the manosphere.

                      There are many lovely people who are on the spectrum, but none of them are manosphere guys (or they aren’t anymore). The manosphere takes guys that are unsocialized, self-centered, rigid, and unempathetic, and puts those qualities on steroids. And the Christian manosphere takes guys like that (who could really use some humility and outside input) and tells them that they are infallible and should be instantly obeyed.

                      I think some people have a lot to answer for.

                      “To make certain I understand, are you saying that I don’t understand how awful the manosphere is, because I’m not in the group (women) that is being blamed for everything these men are unhappy about?”

                      Right.

                      “Please explain why you reference eugenic issues in this scenario.”

                      One does get concerned about the possibility of winding up with a more autistic child than one can effectively manage at home.

                      “Stereotypically, boys are physically more active than girls and interact accordingly. Sitting quietly at a desk for long periods is not natural for most boys, but is comfortable for most girls. In other words, the traditional school classroom setting works well for girls but not for boys.”

                      I don’t know that that description (“sitting quietly at a desk for long periods”) really adequately describes contemporary pedagogy. That’s probably less true of elementary education than it ever has been.

                      There are a lot of criticisms to be made of modern schools, but that would not be high on my list. Higher on my list would be:

                      1) confusing instructions
                      2) a wordy, convoluted approach to math
                      3) an over-emphasis on projects with a poor work-to-learning ratio
                      4) poorly implemented group projects

                      The archives here are good:

                      oilf.blogspot.com

                      The blogger is the mother of an autistic young adult and the author of “Raising a Left-Brain Child in a Right-Brain World: Strategies for Helping Bright, Quirky, Socially Awkward Children to Thrive at Home and at School,” which talks a lot about typical middle school issues.

                      “In your examples of socialization for those with autism, I see autistic children developing their social skills differently depending on the environment. In a similar fashion, non-autistic boys may develop their social skills better in an environment that would not work well for non-autistic girls. In fact, I rather believe that having separate schools for boys and girls has some positive benefits because of these differences.”

                      I used to be friendly to the idea for academic reasons (I actually taught single-sex classes back in the day and there are some very fine private single-sex schools), but I have a lot of concerns on the social side.

                      1) I’ve heard from a number of graduates of single sex high schools that it made them view the opposite sex as a totally alien species–that’s a big socialization problem. I didn’t necessarily love the boys I went to high school with, but I got the idea that they were people, too. A lot of manosphere guys don’t seem to have gotten that memo about girls and women.
                      2) A big part of social skills is learning to be comfortable talking to the opposite sex. I’ve been very pleased to see how well my oldest does relating to her male classmates and how she appreciates their uniqueness. There’s a real blessing in being able to understand members of the opposite sex as individuals.
                      3) I think you’re underestimating the degree of neurodiversity within each sex. So, a same sex school (if that was all it was) would not begin to meet the needs of all of the individuals there. I would argue that it makes a lot more sense to start with the neurology rather than the gross anatomy when figuring out how to teach students.
                      4) Also (and this is a big deal) autistic people often find the opposite sex a refuge. An autistic girl might find male friends refreshingly easy to communicate with, while an autistic boy might find that female friends can offer him compassion and understanding that he isn’t going to get from his male classmates.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    17. I suspect this could be restated as “A lot of men don’t comprehend subtleties the way women do,….”

                      No. I’ve met autistic people of both sexes and they all had the same problems understanding implied meaning, jokes, irony, sarcasm, flirting, and even body language to name a few. They tend to be very concrete or literal in their thinking.

                      I understand that you have a child with autism, but it’s not something “fun” to experience or sometimes encounter. Many women married to men with autism report feeling like they’re married to a brick wall, and report behaviors such as self-absorption or social awkwardness.

                      There is no way for me to say this delicately, but a lot of young women I’ve encountered and have read reports from don’t fancy being with an autistic guy. They just don’t. A lot of neurotypical women with ASD men report higher conflict and miscommunication, and it’s downright frustrating for marriage. I disagree with the idea autism leads to greater understanding between the sexes.

                      Like

                    18. Maea,

                      ‘I suspect this could be restated as “A lot of men don’t comprehend subtleties the way women do,….”’

                      Yet again in this thread, I have been misunderstood. My intention was to point out that, stereotypically, non-autistic men are significantly less aware of these “subtleties” than non-autistic women. Assuming that is true, then the difference would be even more pronounced between an autistic man and a non-autistic woman.

                      Yes, my son is autistic and he does not recognize many, if not all, of the subtleties you mention, so I understand what you are saying.

                      “A lot of neurotypical women with ASD men report higher conflict and miscommunication, and it’s downright frustrating for marriage.”

                      Are the autistic men also frustrated with these marriages, or only the non-autistic women?

                      I am certain that most non-autistic women, at least those who have considered it seriously, would not want to marry an autistic man. But how in the world does a non-autistic woman not quickly recognize the peculiarities of an autistic man (even if he is not diagnosed) and associated relationship difficulties prior to marriage? How do these mismatched marriages happen? Do their families and friends not get involved?

                      Like

                    19. But how in the world does a non-autistic woman not quickly recognize the peculiarities of an autistic man (even if he is not diagnosed) and associated relationship difficulties prior to marriage? How do these mismatched marriages happen?

                      It is typical in our culture to pretend a problem doesn’t exist, or it will magically go away. That’s how the majority of romantic relationships function. Things change after marriage, and when there’s children involved (when things usually blow up). People with autism get really good at imitating. What NT take for granted as typical communication is like speaking another language to a lot of autistic people. They learn there are certain things that are “normal” but they don’t understand what’s going on or why it means anything.

                      A lot of the things with autistic men are “quirky” and novel to most women and they assume that’s part of who this guy is and take it. They think it’s an endearing quality. A lot of men who’d have a diagnosis now wouldn’t be autistic decades past, and tbh diagnosing can be hard. There can be 5 young men with “quirks” like doing one task at a time, only eating one food at a time on their dinner plate, don’t like to make eye contact, and tend to stare a little too long or smile too big. How do we know who’s got autism?

                      Are the autistic men also frustrated with these marriages, or only the non-autistic women?

                      No, the men get frustrated to because people aren’t fitting in their definition of how the world and/or marriage works. NT people learn to adapt and adjust their thinking of how the world works. Men with autism have a harder time with that.

                      TIME magazine had an interesting piece awhile back about autism rates and marriage, too.

                      Like

                    20. OKRickety said:

                      “But how in the world does a non-autistic woman not quickly recognize the peculiarities of an autistic man (even if he is not diagnosed) and associated relationship difficulties prior to marriage? How do these mismatched marriages happen? Do their families and friends not get involved?”

                      Easy. A fast courtship will do it. Or an international marriage. Or a naive young bride. Interestingly, EVERY single one of these options gets pushed in the manosphere. It’s as if they don’t want their future wife to be somebody who knows them well, to be familiar with their cultural frame of reference, or who knows what “normal” looks like.

                      There’s a book I may have mentioned on this thread entitled “Alone Together,” and it’s about a Swiss woman’s marriage to an Australian who only got a diagnosis well after their marriage. She had a very hard time of it up until his diagnosis. His differentness was initially invisible to her, as he swept her off her feet and they had a whirlwind romance, but the romance switch flipped off pretty much as soon as they got on the plane to Australia…Similar descriptions are common for spouses with narcissistic personality order–I believe there may actually be some overlap between the two categories.

                      I gave this piece a light skim:

                      http://www.aspergerpartner.com/intimacy-and-romance-in-nt-as-relations.html

                      “A standard remark to NT-spouses and NT-partners is: You must have known it before you got married / moved in together!

                      “But it doesn’t work that way. Tony Attwood explains in his book “Asperger Syndrome” that an adult with AS / Hfa typically exhibits overwhelming skills in wooing in the infatuation period. [Tony Attwood says] The loved one, who has no insight into the complexity of Asperger’s Syndrome and Hfa, has no chance of realizing that the apparent social skills in romance and relationship forming are not an intuitively naturally behavior for the aspie, but are a learned response from copying and memorizing other people’s behavior.

                      “[Tony Atwood says] The person with Asperger’s Syndrome may have developed a superficial expertize in romance and dating from careful observation, and by mimicking actors and using the script from television programmes and films. (4.)

                      “Some partners have explained that they never saw the real person before they were married, and after their wedding day, the person abandoned the persona that was previously so attractive. (4.)

                      “Several neurotypical wives report unanimously that their AS partner stopped showing interest in sexual activity quite soon after the wedding. NT husbands are reporting similar short time frames, although sometimes their AS-wife first switched the “persona” when a child was born.”

                      To be fair, an autistic person may find courtship behaviors so exhausting that they are only sustainable for short periods of time–which is not really practical when you are married and parenting together.

                      It’s really, really important for an autistic spouse to be able to take input from their husband or wife, so the manosphere playbook is really damaging. This is kind of a rude way to put it, but there is the potential for the neurotypical spouse (or even the less autistic spouse) to serve as a sort of social seeing eye dog to the autistic spouse.

                      Like

                    21. Maea,

                      “It is typical in our culture to pretend a problem doesn’t exist, or it will magically go away. That’s how the majority of romantic relationships function.”

                      That sounds like a recipe for relationship dysfunction. If true, then it is not surprising that there are so many divorces, even in marriages without autism involved.

                      If women have difficulty recognizing possible autistic behaviors, then I think longer dating/engagements and the couple intentionally interacting with family and friends would increase the likelihood of discovery of these red flags.

                      “NT people learn to adapt and adjust their thinking of how the world works. Men with autism have a harder time with that.”

                      I would think that the NT spouses also need to have the consideration to allow their autistic spouses the time and opportunity to make those adjustments.

                      Like

                    22. AmyP,

                      Narcissists and autistics might appear similar in some scenarios, but I think the differences would be quickly apparent to those who are not blindly in love.

                      My son is the only ASD person I know well and was diagnosed with Aspergers. I cannot imagine him exhibiting “overwhelming skills” while wooing a girl. Consequently, I find it difficult to envision anyone with ASD imitating or mimicking romantic social skills well enough and long enough to get a partner to the point of marriage.

                      I suppose premarital counseling could help in discovering potential issues in relationships involving ASD, but, in my experience, it is inadequate because the counseling is too short and does not probe deep enough. Of course, the couple themselves are in love so they would likely discount its value and any red flags found.

                      Like

                    23. OKRickety said:

                      “My son is the only ASD person I know well and was diagnosed with Aspergers. I cannot imagine him exhibiting “overwhelming skills” while wooing a girl. Consequently, I find it difficult to envision anyone with ASD imitating or mimicking romantic social skills well enough and long enough to get a partner to the point of marriage.”

                      It’s a big spectrum.

                      Tony Attwood is a very big cheese in the Asperger world, so if he says it’s possible, it’s possible.

                      http://www.barnesandnoble.com/reviews/the-complete-guide-to-aspergers-syndrome-tony-attwood/1116708126?ean=9781843106692

                      Liked by 1 person

                    24. I would think that the NT spouses also need to have the consideration to allow their autistic spouses the time and opportunity to make those adjustments.

                      Much easier SAID than done.

                      I’ve met a lot of people with autism. I’ve worked with kids with autism, and I can say without a doubt a lot of them have been very stubborn and for good reason. A lot of them don’t want to change because they don’t understand, they want people to accept them, and the change is scary. So, they buck against the opportunities to change, which leads to growing frustration from their spouses. I’ve seen the frustration from parents, too.

                      My son is the only ASD person I know well and was diagnosed with Aspergers. I cannot imagine him exhibiting “overwhelming skills” while wooing a girl. Consequently, I find it difficult to envision anyone with ASD imitating or mimicking romantic social skills well enough and long enough to get a partner to the point of marriage.

                      There’s a reason why a lot of adult men are receiving ASD diagnoses well into their 30’s, after a decade of marriage. It isn’t happening in a vacuum. And if your son meets a woman and he really, really likes her, he might go out of his way. It’s not too different from what NT people would do. Heck, courtship behaviors are pretty exhausting for most people, too. The main difference is, NTs understand why certain behaviors are meaningful.

                      Like

                    25. AmyP, Maea,

                      For me, this discussion has left me with this:

                      I now have one more reason to tell others to avoid marriage.

                      Note: I don’t really tell others to avoid marriage, but I would if someone asked me my opinion. But, most of all, I really wish I didn’t think avoiding marriage is the best option. That is because I believe marriage should be the best option for most, but the current state of affairs makes marriage far too dangerous for both sexes.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    26. TPC,

                      “Interesting you get that out of talking to long-married women in stable, healthy marriages.”

                      As far as I can remember, they have not provided examples of success in their own marriages, nor specifically stated that they have overcome ASD in their marriages. However, they have provided input regarding ASD in relationships and marriage which is the basis for my conclusion.

                      Like

                    27. OKRickety said:

                      “As far as I can remember, they have not provided examples of success in their own marriages, nor specifically stated that they have overcome ASD in their marriages. However, they have provided input regarding ASD in relationships and marriage which is the basis for my conclusion.”

                      I seem to have forgotten to give the case for the defense. A high-functioning autistic guy may bring a lot to his marriage in terms of loyalty, fidelity, honesty, technical skill, originality, ability to support a family, and (in the case of a double ASD couple) shared interests.

                      That’s the positive side. The dark side is all the stuff Maea and I have been discussing.

                      Here are some negative issues (I won’t repeat all the stuff that’s come up in discussion):

                      –stubbornness and rigidity
                      –blindness to other people’s needs
                      –selfishness or at least being extremely self-centered
                      –quirkiness to the point of failure to perform basic everyday adult tasks (google “my husband won’t bathe” for an especially annoying example)
                      –sensory issues that make living with the person a trial (an older relative teaches visitors to his home a special method of soundlessly opening doors–he has a special way of doing pretty much everything)

                      The manosphere magnifies nearly all of those negative features while nuking many of the positive ones.

                      Like

                    28. I have been watching this exchange in the sidelines, but I couldn’t help but notice

                      OKRickety: something something what’s wrong with Autism? something something
                      The Ladies: *provides input*
                      OKRickety: something something OUTRAGE! something something poor autists something something
                      OKRickety: Marriage is bad!!

                      Oh…….kay? Being a disadvantaged minority sucks, but that doesn’t mean torching an entire institution because you can’t get your way. We’re not militant leftists here.

                      Look at the alternatives to marriage; I see at least two. The first is the ghettos in the big cities–rampant illegitimacy leading to dysfunctional “family” formation leading to a whole host of social maladies. A child who grows up in this environment (assuming he doesn’t die from neglect or crime) is going to get swallowed up by the failed culture and propagate it, or else choose sterility (either through abortion or contraception) leading to societal death.

                      The other alternative is the highly developed countries of Europe and Asia. They are able to coast for a while due to the posterity left by previous generations, but will not produce children due to the demands placed on lifestyle and/or the costs associated with it. The few children that are born are basically glorified pets, coddled and not really expected to do anything, let alone support the upside-down population distribution. It lasts for a good long while until the belated realization that old people can’t work as well as they used to, and that there’s hardly any young people to support the populace. So they have to put their faith in automation or import human capital, likely from the overflow of people from Marriage Alternative One.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    29. AmyP,

                      I think you (but maybe not Maea) have previously given some possible positives about ASD people in relationships. Additionally, both of you have stated many possible or even likely negatives.

                      It seems that these negatives override the positives, to the degree that these marriages are quite likely to be unhappy and thus likely to be dissolved.

                      Supposing that at least 2%, maybe more, of the population has ASD and it is often undiagnosed pre-marriage or diagnosed post-marriage, I think this provides an additional reason to avoid marriage.

                      I don’t think it was clear before, but I would recommend avoiding marriage for everyone, not just marriages involving ASD. There are many reasons. ASD is the latest addition to the reasons.

                      I perceive the possible impact of the manosphere on those with ASD to be a relatively miniscule portion of all marriages.

                      Note: I would be more positive about marriage if there was significant improvement in pre-marital teaching/counseling, quality and availability of marriage counseling, and changes to divorce law.

                      Like

                    30. Any and all,

                      Do you agree that Aethelfrith’s description of the discussion is accurate?

                      Aethelfrith,

                      Actually, I think marriage is great in its ideal, but, unfortunately, it is something best avoided in today’s environment.

                      I agree that the alternatives to marriage are not positive to society. But until society recognizes this and is willing to change so that marriage is a good choice, the risk inherent to the individual in the current situation makes avoidance of marriage by any given individual likely to be the best choice.

                      “Oh…….kay? Being a disadvantaged minority sucks, but that doesn’t mean torching an entire institution because you can’t get your way. We’re not militant leftists here.”

                      It seems you presume I have ASD. I do not, but my son is ASD, so I have a vested interest. I may be a member of a disadvantaged minority (or more than one), but I am not advocating for abolition of marriage. I would prefer that changes be made to make marriage viable. I consider my position to be similar to that of Paul in 1 Cor. 7:26-28, where he states that, in light of the present distress, remaining single is best, but it is okay to marry if you want. In other words, marry if you want but I think it’s better if you stay single.

                      Like

                    31. I think that is a good point, but it is something that needs to be acknowledged perennially. Saint Paul was speaking in a society in which marriage was healthy and traditional for many, especially outside the cities; but marriage comes with its own temptations and limitations.

                      Like

                    32. My experience with ASD has been on the job, with children and adults. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to get parental input and worked in their homes.

                      As far as I can remember, they have not provided examples of success in their own marriages…

                      Why do our personal success examples matter right now?

                      On one hand, when women post examples and cite personal anecdotes they’re criticized for being too personal and solipsism. Here, you’re finding fault in women who are posting observations and citing information. Wow, the irony. You just can’t win sometimes!

                      Like

                    33. I don’t think it was clear before, but I would recommend avoiding marriage for everyone, not just marriages involving ASD. There are many reasons. ASD is the latest addition to the reasons.

                      You’re basing your decision off a faulty premise AND you’re advocating for cultural suicide.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    34. Maea,

                      Here is the flow of relevant comments with some annotation:

                      Rick: “I now have one more reason to tell others to avoid marriage.”
                      That is, ASD is one more red flag when considering marriage.

                      TPC said:
                      “Interesting you get that out of talking to long-married women in stable, healthy marriages.”
                      TPC implies that my conclusion is inconsistent with the success in marriage exemplified by the other commenters. I consider that irrelevant, but I do not state that in my response.

                      Rick: “As far as I can remember, they have not provided examples of success in their own marriages, nor specifically stated that they have overcome ASD in their marriages. However, they have provided input regarding ASD in relationships and marriage which is the basis for my conclusion.”
                      I had little knowledge of their marriages. Without them providing examples or statements to that effect, why would their marital situation impact my conclusion?

                      Maea said:
                      “Why do our personal success examples matter right now?

                      On one hand, when women post examples and cite personal anecdotes they’re criticized for being too personal and solipsism. Here, you’re finding fault in women who are posting observations and citing information. Wow, the irony. You just can’t win sometimes!”

                      As far as I am concerned, unless your marriage demonstrates success in dealing with an ASD spouse, the success of your marriage is irrelevant to my conclusion. I only mentioned that no examples were given because of the implication in TPC’s statement, but I did not ask for any or expect any.

                      I appreciate the information that has been provided. I have not intended to complain about the behavior of other commenters. I am sorry if I have.

                      That said, I do consider your complaint about “you just can’t win sometimes” to be unjustified, and I find that ironic.

                      “You’re basing your decision off a faulty premise AND you’re advocating for cultural suicide.”

                      What is my faulty premise?

                      I do not believe that lack of marriage will kill our culture, at least on its own. If so, we are already well on the way, with more than 50% of adults today being unmarried, marriage rates decreasing, and cohabitation rates increasing.

                      Like

                    35. I think you’re mixing up many different phenomena in your rush to drown a baby in some bathwater. There is plenty of marriage among Christians and high-income people. Marriage is down from an historically unusual high point, and taking that high point as the normal range is itself very questionable.

                      As I’ve already noted, cohabitation is not increasing at a rate sufficient to replace or overtake marriage. It remains very low and has been showing clear signs of stalling out.

                      Like

                    36. TPC,

                      “Drown a baby in some bathwater.” I think you missed the idiom.

                      Marriage as God designed it is good. Marriage in the USA today is not good.

                      “There is plenty of marriage among Christians and high-income people. Marriage is down from an historically unusual high point, and taking that high point as the normal range is itself very questionable.”

                      I believe the percentage of Christians is decreasing, and the rate of divorce for them is too high. I suspect the percentage of high-income (however that is defined) people is decreasing. Regardless, high-income is an outlier as the motivations for marriage are different.

                      Percent currently married is down to about the value in 1900. The percent currently divorced is up from about 0.5% in 1900 to over 9% now.

                      “In more recent years, women were increasingly likely to cohabit with a partner as a first union rather than to marry directly: 48% of women interviewed in 2006–2010 cohabited as a first union, compared with 43% in 2002 and 34% in 1995.”

                      Like

                    37. You can suspect, but you’d be wrong. The income data shows the upper 20% having nearly all increases in income (not wealth, income, though there has been some increase in wealth among that group).

                      And you’re simply historically ignorant. Income has always been a motivation for marriage. Comparing divorce rates is not as useful because “widowhood” was less aggressively recorded. Living separately was also more common 116 years ago.

                      As for cohabitation,
                      https://www.census.gov/hhes/families/files/graphics/UC-1.pdf

                      From one million households with kids to about two million. As a replacement for marriage with children, that’s a fail. Same for the numbers without kids, really. There’s an increase, but compared against the population increases, it’s much less significant than you’re attempting to portray.

                      Like

                    38. What is my faulty premise?

                      You entered into this with assumptions, and then only looked for the “evidence” to support your conclusion. You are attempting to take a small piece of a potential problem and generalize it to the whole.

                      Like

                  2. AmyP,

                    “1) confusing instructions
                    2) a wordy, convoluted approach to math
                    3) an over-emphasis on projects with a poor work-to-learning ratio
                    4) poorly implemented group projects”

                    Sounds familiar from my children’s schooling. Item 1 is almost inexcusable but relatively common. Item 3 reminds me of my child’s project for English with a requirement of a “book cover” that was graded on its artistic merit. Item 4: Group work sounds like good experience for life, but allows 1 or more students to be penalized because of the other students. Item 2 is probably true, but students need to learn the practical application of math (I loved math, preferred “straight” problems, but never understood why so many hated “word” problems).

                    As to your points about single-sex schools, I am inclined to think that smaller both-sex schools may be the best option. The only real advantage I see of larger schools is the ability to offer a wider variety of classes and scheduling options that enable an individual to take all of their desired classes.

                    “An autistic girl might find male friends refreshingly easy to communicate with, while an autistic boy might find that female friends can offer him compassion and understanding that he isn’t going to get from his male classmates.”

                    This seems to suggest that an increase in autism might actually improve communication, compassion, and understanding between the sexes. Hmmmm.

                    Like

                    1. OKRickety,

                      I do mean wordy, not word.

                      I’m making this example up, but you might gets something that looks like this:

                      1 + 1

                      Explain how you got your answer.

                      Katharine Beals (of oilf.blogspot.com) is really good on this stuff–she uses actual textbook examples on her blog. There’s a lot of making things harder than they need to be.

                      “This seems to suggest that an increase in autism might actually improve communication, compassion, and understanding between the sexes. Hmmmm.”

                      Yeah. That’s why it’s so sad to see people as unnecessarily hostile as a lot of young manosphere guys are toward women, especially when they mostly haven’t had any bad experiences with women themselves, aside from just being overlooked.

                      Like

                    2. This seems to suggest that an increase in autism might actually improve communication, compassion, and understanding between the sexes. Hmmmm.

                      Does this conclusion hold up when the opposite sex wants a romantic relationship? It’s one thing to have a platonic relationship and level of understanding, and another to want a relationship and marriage. A romantic desire and/or relationship usually changes the mode of communication. A lot of people with autism don’t comprehend subtleties the way neurotypical people do, and we’re left with a lot of singles who are “friendzoned.” Or worse, they’re rejected and it leads to a lot of frustration.

                      To securely move into a romantic relationship, one has to understand subtleties or they are simply imitating. Imitation goes south when conflicts occur. There are studies and many of them do have limitations, but the data shows men with autism are significantly less likely to marry than neurotypical men. It’s hard to find a compatible partner, and also a lot of men aren’t interested in marriage.

                      Like

                    3. Maea,

                      The more intimate the relationship, the more important it becomes for each to understand the other’s needs. If the needs are poorly stated and understood (that is, communicated), there will be difficulties. I think relationship success will be improved by the autistic person working diligently to understand, while the non-autistic person will need to be very considerate and careful to communicate more directly.

                      “A lot of people with autism don’t comprehend subtleties the way neurotypical people do,….”

                      I suspect this could be restated as “A lot of men don’t comprehend subtleties the way women do,….” and you would have the same results. 🙂

                      Assuming “men with autism” includes the whole ASD spectrum, then I would expect that finding a match for a large percentage of them would be almost impossible. Some of the rest have little interest in girls and marriage, and finding a match for the remainder would be quite difficult rather than almost impossible. And, yes, for a number of reasons many men, autistic or not, are not interested in marriage. I wonder if women are truly interested themselves, because marriage is decreasing and cohabitation is increasing.

                      Like

                    4. TPC said:

                      “It’s not increasing anywhere near enough to be viewed as a trade-across for marriage.”

                      Yeah. Middle class American people don’t like the idea of raising their children outside marriage. College educated women have almost no children outside wedlock.

                      Once middle class Americans start wanting to have children together, it’s time for rings.

                      Also, living at home with parents is also way up.

                      http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2016/05/24/for-first-time-in-modern-era-living-with-parents-edges-out-other-living-arrangements-for-18-to-34-year-olds/

                      “In 2014, for the first time in more than 130 years, adults ages 18 to 34 were slightly more likely to be living in their parents’ home than they were to be living with a spouse or partner in their own household.”

                      “Dating back to 1880, the most common living arrangement among young adults has been living with a romantic partner, whether a spouse or a significant other. This type of arrangement peaked around 1960, when 62% of the nation’s 18- to 34-year-olds were living with a spouse or partner in their own household, and only one-in-five were living with their parents.

                      “By 2014, 31.6% of young adults were living with a spouse or partner in their own household, below the share living in the home of their parent(s) (32.1%). Some 14% of young adults were heading up a household in which they lived alone, were a single parent or lived with one or more roommates. The remaining 22% lived in the home of another family member (such as a grandparent, in-law or sibling), a non-relative, or in group quarters (college dormitories fall into this category).”

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. Also, there’s no real stay at home dad revolution as male employment decreases. If the man won’t work, the woman can’t make him take on a housewife role, so there’s just more divorce if the guy does get married, and more reluctance by women to sign on to a marriage where they have to breadwin and do the housework too.

                      Like

                  3. OKRickety:

                    “I suppose premarital counseling could help in discovering potential issues in relationships involving ASD, but, in my experience, it is inadequate because the counseling is too short and does not probe deep enough. Of course, the couple themselves are in love so they would likely discount its value and any red flags found.”

                    There’s also the interesting possibility that the big oxytocin surge of being in love may actually make the autistic person temporarily much more empathetic and socially functional in the early phases of a relationship.

                    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/be-mine-forever-oxytocin/

                    “A handful of new studies show that oxytocin makes us more sympathetic, supportive and open with our feelings…”

                    http://www.livescience.com/18644-long-relationship-oxytocin-shows.html

                    “Elevated levels of oxytocin also have been seen in new parents, although the levels were not as high as those seen in couples in this study, suggesting the initial period of romantic love may induce the most intense oxytocin activity, the researchers said.”

                    I haven’t found any articles that connect the dots, but a smart male Aspie correspondent pointed out to me the implications–it means that once there is a drop off in oxytocin levels after the initial phase of being in love, the Aspie partner may be much, much less functional within the relationship than they were initially. So, there may be a completely unintentional bait and switch.

                    (I suppose the same applies to couples generally, but the drop-off may be more severe with a pair where autism is involved.)

                    Maea is correct about the likely incredible stubbornness of the autistic spouse.

                    In the marital context, rigidity is a huge problem.

                    Like

                    1. AmyP,

                      That’s an interesting theory about oxytocin. If true, I would think it would also hold true for relationships without ASD.

                      And, if true, either case would provide additional support for my conclusion.

                      Like

                  4. OKRickety,

                    I think you posted your reply before you had a chance to see mine. Admittedly, mine is incendiary and polemical, but if I could distill it, it would be that denouncing marriages because marriages are (for an unspecified large percentage) unhappy IS A STUPID IDEA.

                    I realize your position is based on marriage as it exists now and in (America?) but it still doesn’t change my thesis that denouncing marriage is a stupid idea.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Aethelfrith,

                      It’s true that your reply was incendiary — you did mention torching. 😉

                      If marriage is practiced as God intended, I think marriage is a good institution.

                      You are right that my position against entering into marriage is based on the situation as it exists today in the USA and most of the western world. As long as unhappiness is accepted as sufficient reason to get a divorce, then it will remain difficult for the true love and commitment needed for a successful marriage to overcome it. (Actually, I think there other significant problems with the understanding of marriage today, but I won’t go into that now.)

                      If my position against entering into marriage is denouncing marriage, then, yes, I am denouncing marriage as it exists today. However, I am not denouncing marriage according to God’s plan.

                      Like

                  5. This has nested so hard I can’t reply to AmyP and I don’t even know if she’ll see this but

                    –love of rules
                    –rigidity
                    –love of mastering elaborate systems (example: geeking out over Red Pill arcana or geeking out over theology)
                    –black and white thinking (example: virgin or slut, alpha versus beta, wives being either 100% obedient or “rebellious,” homeschool or hell, etc.)
                    –being willing (indeed eager) to do things differently than normal people
                    –a lower-than-average need for social interaction
                    –lack of empathy
                    –obsessiveness and persistence–there’s nobody like an autistic person for keeping on keeping on

                    That’s axis 2 personality disorders, not autism.

                    Like

                    1. It may also be axis 2 (which is not really my turf), but yeah, all of those things are autistic features.

                      As one discovers, there is actually a lot of common ground between different mental issues. With autism, specifically, there’s a lot of talk of “comorbidity,” as ASD not infrequently occurs at the same time as ADHD, OCD, Tourette’s. These are neat little boxes that people fit into, one box per customer.

                      Very speculatively (because I’ve never seen any specialist talk about this), I think there is a point of overlap between ASD and narcissism. Obviously, not a complete overlap, but if you have an autistic person who has mastered the basic social forms via mimicry but at the same time still lacks empathy, you might wind up with someone who looks, walks, and quacks like a narcissist.

                      (I’ve floated a version of this idea to an online friend who is the wife of a narcissist and she finds it plausible.)

                      Like

                    2. Yeah no.

                      Autism isn’t NPD and I don’t even think it’s comorbid that often.

                      NPD (colloquially known as “asshole”) men in tech and related fields are picking up on autistic behaviors in the workplace and people are looking at these behaviors and go, oh the poor dear is austistic. But this is BS and it’s very easy to tell. You know how you can tell? If you see a situation where the man gets to eat what and when he likes, gets to sleep on the schedule he likes, has everything arranged so that he can keep working the job he likes?

                      *That is NPD/ being an asshole. That is not autism.*

                      Autistic men mostly don’t get married in the first place (I completely disagree with our hostess here), and if they do, they sure as heck are not managing to finetune their tantrums exactly in the perfect ways to get everything arranged to please themselves. That book you mentioned – Alone Together is a perfect example of this.

                      Like

          2. ” There is a fascinating momblogger I wish to write about one of these days who is a bit along those lines. She just puts a lot of unwitting honesty out there and has very little idea how more neurotypical women view her lifestyle and mothering.”

            I think I know who you’re talking about, and I don’t think she’s spectrum, I think – well I don’t want to say it exactly because I don’t want to ID her, but I think your analysis is missing the effects of generational abuse, let’s just say that.

            Like

      2. TPC said:

        “…but their characteristics mean their numbers haven’t risen as predicted by many conservatives who promote large family sizes.”

        For example, since ASD dads are likely to be antisocial or extroverted but not tactful, any family system where ASD daddy is in charge of producing matches is going to wind up with a lot of single adult children twisting in the wind.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Giving up on the threading.

    On one of the forums I follow, there’s a budding (mostly online) romance between two people. They’ve only seen each other for dates twice (!), but wedding bells are starting to chime.

    She is mid-20-something. She’s devout, a virgin and lives with her controlling parents and is rather naive. She admires him and thinks of him as being established and mature and very manly.

    He is early 30s (only 6 years older), but (by his own account) he’s been around the track as many times as the Indianapolis 500 with a lot of trashy women. He’s a veteran and not well off. He is divorced and has at least partial custody of his son. He is a revert and very zealous. He seems to have a history of making bad decisions (especially romantically), is bright but erratic, unfiltered, uses inappropriate language, and has been banned twice from the forum that I know of. (I suspect some sort of undiagnosed thing–ADHD or bipolar.) I wouldn’t say that he has the gross manosphere obsessiveness about virgins, BUT he values that about his sweetie way, way out of disproportion to other marital virtues. He seems to have the belief that after all of his trainwreck relationships, starting over again with a virgin will fix things. As far as I can tell, he thinks that the only thing wrong with the trainwrecks was his choice of partner.

    The age gap here normally wouldn’t be that bad, but there’s a huge gap in terms of life experience and street smarts. I feel that if she had more life experience or were less naive, that she would be more worried about a lot of his behaviors, but maybe she just is incurably dumb?

    Like

      1. YKW,

        Which part was the scary part?

        Or was it ALL scary?

        I think the couple I was describing wants to do the right thing–but I don’t think she knows what she’s getting into, and I don’t think he realizes what a mess he is.

        Like

    1. Elspeth said,

      “My point is being lost here.”

      Nah, I’m just riffing on the relationship between age and experience and how they are related, but they aren’t exactly the same thing.

      On the one hand, I feel like this young woman is very naive and doesn’t see the red flags that everybody else can see (the erratic behavior, the poor economic situation, the veritable North Korean May Day parade of exes, his not being anywhere near where a 30ish guy should be in life). But on the other hand, the naivete is so pronounced that I wonder if even time or experience will cure it.

      And then there’s her guy. He’s in his early 30s and has got lots and lots of experience, but (by his own admission) he’s made the exact same mistakes over and over again.

      So, maybe they are well-matched?

      Like

  7. You are correct stages in life matter, but one can easily find themselves “moving back” or “forward” at any age in life. It’s just the way it is. I’m trying to give you and Elspeth the benefit of the doubt here because it’s obvious you’re both coming from competing perspectives, although both are valid. The takeaway is how often does that stuff really happen, and when it does who is it happening to?

    Excellent point, which strikes at the heart of my comments. Unless you’re talking about generational differences which are a problem (although my parents managed to swing even that!), the subject involves a lot more than *just* the ages of the bride and groom.

    You also said something Maea, that is highly relevant to young women wanting to not wait until their 30’s to marry a man their own age. In my husband’s family, three mid-20’s women have married in the past 5 years. They range in age 23-25 at the age of marriage. Every single one of the husbands in question was between 30-33.

    Why? Because quite simply, those men are the ones most likely to be in a situation whee they can take on the burden of starting a family. The idea of everyone waiting until 30 to get married is a tenuous situation to me. Particularly for women whose fertility begins to take a dive at that point when it comes to fist time pregnancy. And it’s partly why things are as messed up as they are on the moral front.

    My desire would be to see us re-evaluate the way we have ignored the development of young men, frankly. They need to be ready to marry at they age when they burn most and young women are m ost fertile. But I don’t see what is to be gained by insisting young women gamble with their fertility for the negligible chance that they might be more compatible with someone their same age. Most women are attracted to men at least a few years older anyway.

    Like

    1. It is tenuous, but it’s currently more common at least among Catholic Christians, than what happened in your extended family. Among Protestants and Mormons, it’s more common to marry young and contracept until you can afford 2-4 kids (3-4 for Mormons). I don’t like the more common situation, but the 10 year age gap situation when it’s not my own kin has turned out much uglier than worked out IRL.

      Like

      1. I don’t think this is true of Mormons, at least not across the board. Their church strongly, strongly discourages postponing childbearing, though they seem to be fine with limiting/stopping after 3-4 kids, or taking a significant break after 2. I meet a lot of Mormon families where the husband is in business school. I can spot them easily because (very unusually for my high COL urban area) they are not yet or barely 30 white native-born Americans, who always already have at least 2-3 children (in one case 5), and who visibly take a lot of care with their appearance.

        Like

    2. Anymouse said:

      “There is also the issue here of what the man has done with his life as he aged; if it has been entirely focused on financial accumulation and banking (as in parts of Renaissance Italy) it is a very different situation than the one where the man has been wasting his time unproductively. “

      This right here is probably the BIGGEST concern with a large age gap. It’s one thing if a man was chaste (and a virgin), spent his time amassing wealth and skills, and then decided he was financially secure enough to marry. But reality often isn’t like this. A lot of men haven’t been chaste, have “expectations” at times, and often seek out very naive or sheltered women. I believe with serious devout Christian men, there wouldn’t be much of a concern, but if the trend is some guy who got to spend his youth around the block, then makes a pendulum shift and demands a virgin– that’s weird. And it’s something to question, and once again it’s an extreme subculture advocating for this.

      I understand when you hear about it happening, it’s quite jarring. Wasn’t there a blogger who married a guy 20+ years older? That would raise a lot of eyebrows of course. Once again, how often does the latter occur versus the former?

      Oh, the first article in this link is very interesting: http://national.deseretnews.com/article/1893/the-national-marriage-age-is-increasing-but-not-for-this-group-of-people.html

      Like

  8. in hard-core submission circles

    Key words: In hard core submisssion circles.

    And that whole thread is just ridiculous. Why is that even up for debate? Somebody call the cos already on this Tyler dude.

    Like

  9. Elspeth, Agreed – “hard-core submission” circles can have this dynamic with large age gaps.

    My two-cents on the marriage age gap is that while it can be a practical solution in certain situations, it shouldn’t be pushed as some kind of norm to aspire to. It certainly shouldn’t be taken lightly when the woman is say under 24 and the man is in his thirties. Very young women can be easier prey to pretty words and sensible sounding theories until they find out the particulars of what the guy had in mind after marriage and those fringe theories are put into practice. Girls coming from dysfunctional homes without a healthy dose of loving affection can be particularly vulnerable to older men who promise to save them.

    Like

  10. Mrs. H said,

    “My two-cents on the marriage age gap is that while it can be a practical solution in certain situations, it shouldn’t be pushed as some kind of norm to aspire to. It certainly shouldn’t be taken lightly when the woman is say under 24 and the man is in his thirties. Very young women can be easier prey to pretty words and sensible sounding theories until they find out the particulars of what the guy had in mind after marriage and those fringe theories are put into practice. Girls coming from dysfunctional homes without a healthy dose of loving affection can be particularly vulnerable to older men who promise to save them.”

    Right. I especially agree about not making the big age gap the norm or the ideal.

    And it’s not necessarily a picnic for the guy, either. A relative of mine married a young woman from his youth group when he was a youth pastor. (I know!) They had a large family and homeschooled and 20 some years later, when her kids were starting to go off to college, she suddenly realized what she had missed out on by getting married so young and having children immediately. And off she went! As he was a head pastor by that point, he lost his livelihood.

    The manosphere guys who think the secret to lasting marriage is catch ’em young are sadly mistaken.

    Like

  11. OKRickety,

    If you’re still hanging out, I’d like to point out an interesting fact to you.

    A large minority (maybe even a majority) of the female posters at TPC started out sympathetic to the manosphere and manosphere complaints. Speaking personally, I bought a lot of them for many years when they came in diffuse form in mainstream outlets (Instapundit, for example). I see quite a number of other female posters used to be sympathetic but are less and less so.

    Again, speaking personally, my sympathy started to dry up the more I got to know about the manosphere mothership (sorry! bad choice of words). At some point as a woman, you realize that it isn’t about fairness at all.

    Like

    1. I’ll take your word on the history, but my perception is that the vast majority of the female posters at TPC are far closer to hating the manosphere than just having lost sympathy on manospherian complaints. It is what I have learned to expect.

      My interest is greater in the ASD topic, and I am starting another thread here to simplify the comments.

      Like

      1. OKRickety said:

        “I’ll take your word on the history, but my perception is that the vast majority of the female posters at TPC are far closer to hating the manosphere than just having lost sympathy on manospherian complaints. It is what I have learned to expect.”

        It really is true. A lot of conservative or conservative religious women start out somewhat sympathetic (even very sympathetic) to the more mainstream manosphere stuff, but bail once we see the hate, the self-pity, the double standards, the sense of entitlement, the tolerance of pornography, the idolizing of PUA gurus, the gross language directed toward respectable Christian women, the social ineptness, the rigidity, the obsessive dwelling on women’s sexual sins, the weird Nietzschean Christianity, the refusal to accept church authority while moaning about “rebellious” women, etc.

        Anything that’s good in the manosphere can be found elsewhere.

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      2. “my perception is that the vast majority of the female posters at TPC are far closer to hating the manosphere than just having lost sympathy on manospherian complaints”

        I don’t hate the manosphere, they’re pretty entertaining. But as far as taking them seriously? Why?

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        1. For me, there is valuable information and ideas I have found in the manosphere. Perhaps the information can be found elsewhere, but that is where I first found much of it. Of course, there are many worthless claims and ideas, too. Sometimes you have to dig through the trash to find the treasure.

          For others, some believe the “Christians” in the manosphere are driving people away from Christianity, the alt-right are driving people away from conservativism, the Gamers are driving people away from healthy sexuality, etc. They believe that the manosphere is very dangerous, that it is being underestimated, and the sky is falling. Well, the sky is falling figuratively, not literally. In my opinion, the beliefs and behavior of these people is almost as frightening as those in the manosphere.

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          1. I get a lot of useful information from a lot of groups I don’t take seriously: libertarians, deep ecology anarchists, radical feminists, and hoteps. I’m not going to go into business with any of them though or even go have a beer. Oh wait I’m not going and having a beer with anyone, becuase I’m a homeschooling mother with no childcare.

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          2. There is no perhaps. The information that is useful can definitely be found elsewhere without the falsehoods and craziness, without the “trash”. Refusal to admit this basic truth is a huge part of the problem.

            You believe nobody should marry and have lack of self-awareness to claim it’s those other people who disagree with your pet cult who believe the sky is falling. Projection is a also a thing.

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            1. Desire to avoid trash is why I try to limit my web consumption. The only place where my consumption is a little more broad is Twitter (but that is of course the point of the latter).

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Well I don’t know about now, but back in the day, a lot of information about how women can abuse family court wasn’t available anyplace else. Information about abusive men using family court to control women was much easier to get.

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            3. I don’t deny it’s available elsewhere, but I really don’t know where to find it easily. Would you provide a couple of examples of sources that regularly do this?

              I don’t have a pet cult. My belief that getting married today is not a good idea for the individual existed long before I ever heard of Red Pill.

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          3. The manosphere is dangerous, it’s not growing, but shrinking however and there are positive signs for Christian marriage and family formation, but they are marginal shifts and not critical-mass shifts.

            The alt-right is driving people into a confused historical understanding but into some semblance of reactionary thought, Gamers are driving people away from healthy sexuality, but they’re also shrinking and not growing.

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            1. The manosphere is weirdly psychically dangerous. I’ve seen confident attractive professional women reduced to real selfdoubt by reading Roissy for 5 minutes. And for some reason “don’t read stuff that makes you feel that way” isn’t an internal program people have.

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  12. “monetizing domestic labors”…on a farm in the Olden Days, the distinction between domestic labor and economic activity was pretty fuzzy: does making lunch for the hired hands fall into the former category, or the latter? And feeding the chickens, some of which are for domestic consumption and some of which will be sold.

    Is that the sort of thing you were meaning?

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  13. AmyP,

    I was perusing ScienceDaily today (it has a lot of very interesting material) and found an article relating to the question of autism, socialization, and sex differences. In Autism and friendship: It’s different for girls is this:

    “One of the most striking findings of our study was that the friendships of autistic girls were more like those of non-autistic girls than they were like the friendships of autistic boys.”

    I understand that to say that autistic girls socialize more like non-autistic girls than autistic boys. This means that autistic girls are more girl than autistic when it comes to socializing. Contrast this to your statement “I would say that (all things being equal) autistic males and females psychologically resemble each other more than they resemble their respective sex.”. If this study is accurate (it’s only 46 subjects), then this difference in socialization due to sex might help explain why far fewer girls are diagnosed with autism. They simply are more typical in their social interactions than are boys, thus they are considered less socially deficient during diagnosis.

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  14. I’ll take your word on the history, but my perception is that the vast majority of the female posters at TPC are far closer to hating the manosphere than just having lost sympathy on manospherian complaints.

    I was for sure one of those women, and I have the e-trail to prove it. In fact, TOC and I were both contributors to a blog that offered manosphere friendly commentary pretty regularly.
    My foray into the shere came when a -then- very popular blogger linked to me. It just so happened at a time when I watched a couple ofmen I know and love experience things at the hands of their Christian wives that even the manosphere couldn’t fully appreciate. They offer theories and pseudo science based on anecdotes from anonymous men. They have no idea, not really…

    That combination of events made me particularly sympathetic to their cause. And on some topics I still am very sympathetic albeit not the ones they write about most., interestingly enough.

    But any thinking person who is paying attention begins to see some things that just don’t add up. Inconsistencies of thought. Cognitive dissonance of a high degree. Excusing in men what is lambasted in women. Turning the Scripture on its head for the furthering of a clearly selfish and fleshly agenda.

    Wait…that sound EXACTLY like the hard core feminist model, doesn’t it?

    And so I find myself and my ideology floating somewhere other (as much as I have any ideology outside of Biblical truth as plainly written, in English). If you a 6000 word dissertation exploring the meaning of 4 words is required to live a godly life, I would be forced to believe our Creator asks too much of us, but I know he doesn’t.

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  15. OKRickety,

    I have my doubts. First of all, we’re talking about autistic children with friendships–that is already a group of autistic children that is doing pretty well. I’ll give you a quick description of a few people I know well.

    Me:
    –Didn’t have a particular friend in early elementary school. Liked playing with other kids fine, but did not pair off consistently with any particular person. Looking back, I’d say that at that age, I couldn’t really SEE other people as individuals.
    –Played with neighborhood children until parents moved us 20 minutes into the country.
    –6th grade–awkward friendship with more popular girl who had been dumped by her friendship group. We didn’t have a lot in common except the 4-H group that her mom ran.
    –I did not have any shared interests with classmates until high school when school started to get more interesting and there was a larger social pool to choose from.
    –College was when I first really seriously experienced friendship, and a number of the people I spoke to the most regularly and at the most length were guys. Having male friends in college was a fine preparation for having a husband later on. It was really wonderful being around so many people that I had shared interests with for the first time.
    –Since I’ve gotten married, I’ve drifted deeper into Girlworld and I now find myself in a situation where aside from my husband, nearly all of my regular social contacts are women (although I often chat with dads at birthday parties or with my husband’s colleagues). I find that friendship among women is an upper division course because it requires a lot more consideration and more tact.
    –At this point in my life, I can talk to pretty much anybody.
    –I’ve also found that my social development has kept ticking along, even late into my 30s. Even 5 years ago, there were a lot of nuances that I didn’t get. My verbal filter in real life is SO much better now. My previous verbal impulsiveness used to get me into a lot of trouble.

    Husband:
    –Had a generally rough school career with lots of bullies (he was often overjoyed by getting to change schools), but he speaks warmly of several boys from his gifted program in school. I think they did math contests together and other academic competitions together and I believe some of them went on to college together.
    –Has had a lot of friends over the years–definitely more close friends than me in K-12.
    –He has one psychologist parent, so a large advantage over me.
    –Is friendly and well-liked, but shy and doesn’t have a lot of small talk. But when he’s talking about his specific interests (which are fortunately very numerous), he can be very fun and engaging, especially when talking to colleagues or people he knows through his interests. However, he is capable of freezing and not having anything to say to another parent from school.

    Daughter:
    –from pre-k through probably 1st grade, was most interested in playing with boys rather than girls. The problem was, she was only interested in doing one particular thing with each one (digging for dinosaurs, swinging on a tire swing, etc.) I got to watch several of those cross-gender friendships fizzle, partly due to her refusal to do other activities.
    –has been in a small private school for the last 9 years
    –There were several years in early elementary school where I was very consciously cultivating her friendships, making playdates, doing social skills group, putting her in lots of camps during the summer, making sure she stayed social, and working on expanding her comfort zone.
    –she’s in high school now and I don’t feel the need to do a lot to develop her socially, aside from working on her manners. She self-reports as being friendly with everybody in her class, and I think it’s true. She has a lot of interests now, so she’s more and more able to find common ground with a larger number of people. She sometimes has social anxiety (especially with regard to authority figures), but she is far more flexible than she used to be.

    The cross-gender similarities here jump out at me far more than the differences. Also, shared interests seem very important.

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  16. Here’s another thing–the experience of being a middle class/upper middle class mother of school children is an intensely social experience. Obviously, it’s not like that all the time, but when the social demands turn on, it’s requires an Olympic level of social performance for anybody who isn’t naturally very social.

    You need to interact with teachers and administrators, you need to make sure your child has a social life of some kind and positive friendships, there are parent education nights with hundreds of parents who seem to know you milling about, there are birthday parties with dozens of kids and parents, etc.

    That is a very daunting environment for a less social or Aspie mom to navigate. Of course, some may choose not to navigate it at all, or as little as they can get away with (my mom) while having kids in school, while others may find that it makes homeschooling look very enticing.

    But then, we run into some problems. If mom isn’t very social and dad isn’t very social and the family homeschools, how is mom going to forge the relationships with other mothers that will help her homeschool effectively? Furthermore, if neither mom nor dad is social, and the family is homeschooling, aren’t the kids kind of up a creek?

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    1. Actually, obsession with counting was one of the mythical attributes of vampires that kind of got lost along the way.

      It was said that one could distract a vampire by throwing down a whole bunch of small objects, which he would compulsively count, giving one a chance to flee.

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  17. restarting a thread for readability, etc.

    Maea,

    “You entered into this with assumptions, and then only looked for the “evidence” to support your conclusion.”

    Unfortunately, that doesn’t tell me what you think is my false premise. I will make an assumption and suppose that you consider my conclusion that it would be best to not enter marriage today to be false. Since I have not provided any reason other than ASD, I do not think you can possibly know my premises.

    Returning to your statement above, I will presume that you think I came here looking for evidence to support my belief that it would be best to not enter marriage today. In fact, that is completely false. Because I have an ASD son, I entered into the discussion to find out more about TPC’s “Grand Unified Theory of Spectrum Formation”, her reason for it, and what she thinks the impact will be. Since “comments tend to take leaps and bounds”, the discussion moved to the impact of ASD on marriages. Initially, I was inclined to think the impact would be only slightly negative, but the discussion swayed me to think it would likely be quite negative.

    Only at this point did I realize that this was an additional premise for my already-existing conclusion that it is best to not enter marriage today.

    “You are attempting to take a small piece of a potential problem and generalize it to the whole.”

    Assuming again, I suppose you think I am starting with the difficulties of marriages involving ASD and extrapolating to reach the conclusion that it is best that no one enter marriage today. That is also completely false. I have a number of reasons for that belief. My previous “confidence level” was high, perhaps 75%. This discussion has only increased my “confidence level” by perhaps 1%.

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