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Coldwinterskies

Mormons and Orthodox Jews are facing a "marriage crisis"

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Coldwinterskies

I thought this article from Time was interesting from a sociological view on these two conservative religions.

http://time.com/dateonomics/

One fact that becomes apparent when studying the demographics of religion is that it is almost always the women who are more devout. Across all faiths, women are less likely than men to leave organized religion. According to the Pew Research Center, 67 percent of self-described atheists are men. Statistically speaking, an atheist meeting may be one of the best places for single women to meet available men.

Due to men’s generally higher rates of apostasy, it makes sense that the modern LDS church, like most religions, would have slightly more women than men. The Utah LDS church was in fact 52 percent female as recently as 1990. Since 1990, however, the Mormon gender gap in Utah has widened dramatically—from a gender ratio of 52:48 female to male in 1990 to 60:40 female to male in 2008, according to a study coauthored by ARIS researchers Rick Phillips, Ryan Cragun, and Barry Kosmin. In other words, the LDS church in Utah now has three women for every two men.

...

The lopsided numbers encourage Mormon men to hold out for the perfect wife, Blake said. “I call it the paradox of choice,†she explained. “For men, there are so many choices that choices are not made. The dream for the Mormon man is to get married and have six kids. As he ages, his dream never changes. But when you’re a thirty-seven-year-old woman, you’ve already aged out of that dream.â€

...

Wheelwright believed allowing women a leadership role in the teaching of LDS gospel is important. As things stand now, getting married and having kids is the Mormon woman’s primary responsibility within the LDS faith, she said. The lopsided gender ratios feed preexisting disillusionment among Mormon women by making their core duty—getting married—difficult, degrading, or even impossible. Said Wheelwright, “In a religion where women are already unnecessary to the essential structure of the church, having a gender imbalance where you have too many women just compounds that effect.â€

As with the Mormon marriage crisis, the Shidduch Crisis has become a source of enormous heartache for Orthodox Jews, especially older single women and their parents. (Among Orthodox Jews, “older†often starts at 21.) The Letters to the Editor section of The 5 Towns Jewish Times, a weekly newspaper for the Orthodox community in suburban New York, has become a receptacle for Shidduch Crisis–related angst and sadness. “An absolute tragedy,†is how one mother described the situation. It is “what we as a family and I as the mother of a 27-year-old ‘older single girl’ go through every moment of my life, every breathing second of every day. And believe me, sometimes it hurts to do just that—i.e., to breathe.â€

I do wonder if some of the fundie families we know about who seem to be forcing their kids to stay at home well into their 20s or 30s are not actually purposely trying to stop their kids from getting married but are actually struggling to find "suitable" marriage candidates because they are part of such a tiny, closed community.

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silverspoons

Interesting, I wonder what it will hold in 20 years due to this shift in the ratio. I guess women like me contribute to the problem. I married a returned LDS missionary who now has left the church. he was a very eligible bachelor, owned a nice home debt free, good job, came from a big family, and served a mission.

I was going to say the Mormons are back to marrying young. Ever Since they made the new singles wards a few years ago and said marriage by 25, I have never seen so many marriages. I have over 300 invitations sitting here (I guess you get invited if you live in the stake, member or not). This last summer was crazy, the first batch of the younger missionaries coming back and the low interest rates, it was a crazy summer of weddings and home buying. Here 19-20 year old newly married couple, working $10 hr jobs, going to college part time own 5-6 bedroom new homes.

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Milly-Molly-Mandy

^300 invitations?? Seriously? What are the weddings like?

And how much is real estate? We pay a ridiculous amount in Australia :/

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HighlandCow

There are some Orthodox communities where the women have university/professional degrees while the men only have religious education. While it would be very sad to never marry if that is what you were taught your purpose in life was, they are at least equipped to support themselves and participate in the world around them, unlike SAHDs.

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Beammeup

Maybe mormon men are quicker to realize the bull shit that the LDS church serves is horrible. Maybe they read cesletter.com more than women.

There is no way LDS women will ever get anything but tokens thrown their way.

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prayawaythefundie
I thought this article from Time was interesting from a sociological view on these two conservative religions.

http://time.com/dateonomics/

Good news for Kody Brown?

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FundieWatcher
...so many choices that they don't choose.

That makes sense. Even for some of our female fundies- Botkin daughters for example. Maybe they had so many choices that they held out for someone so perfect. So perfect that they don't exist.

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MamaJunebug

Coldwinterskies wrote,

"I do wonder if some of the fundie families we know about who seem to be forcing their kids to stay at home well into their 20s or 30s are not actually purposely trying to stop their kids from getting married but are actually struggling to find "suitable" marriage candidates because they are part of such a tiny, closed community."

Right before Rebecca & Steven Loomii closed down their Instagram, she guilelessly posted, "what a wonderful man Steven is! I can't believe I turned him down years ago when he first approached." Puts yet another evil spin on The Rev. Dr. Tinyvoice Serven's machinations in keeping Rebecca single til age 29: did he suppose Steven was beneath them? After all, brilliant though he be, Steven only recently actually got his bachelors degree. Or maybe Rebecca really did find him ooky and icky, back in the day

In any case, this all makes me newly grateful to have been raised in a garden variety conservative denomination that knew where to draw the line in meddling in pewsitters' personal affairs.

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anjulibai

Seems to me these communities do this to themselves by making it so that there is only one or two legitimate choices for their members.

Perhaps it's time these communities stop making marriage the only path to spiritual fulfillment. Perhaps they can encourage them to more volunteer activities in the wider community.

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Closed Womb

This was also pretty true of mainstream Christian churches, at least the ones I went to in the 90's (I'd call some of them fundie-lite). The singles groups were about 3:1::women:men. The women were pretty cold to any new woman joining and the men were pretty sure that God had the perfect blue-eyed-blonde-haired virgin lined up for him (and, behold, "God" usually did!) I've said it before on this forum, I have met more shallow, insipid men at church in my 15 years of active membership than I have throughout the rest of my life (and I teach college students -- so, you know, hundreds of 18-22 year old men per year are less shallow than your average church going man.)

I'd say it's a HUGE problem for these fundie women. When it comes to the Botkins, it's probably not looks that's keeps the men moving on, but the "Godly men" can still afford to picky and say, "nah, no entitled, vapid beauty queen for me."

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2xx1xy1JD

Keep in mind that "tragic crisis" is being defined as a girl still being single past 20. You know, what other people may call "normal life". Some hysteria seems self-perpetuating.

I heard some speculation that the Orthodox Jewish issue could also be fueled by age at marriage combined with high birth rate. With large families the number of 18 yr olds will be higher than the number of 21 yr olds. If girls or 18 or 19 marry boys of 21 or 22, there will be more girls than boys.

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Florita

This should create a conundrum amongst the manosphere bloggers who make their living insisting pious, marriage-minded women don't exist.

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sophie10130

This doesn't surprise me at all.

With the way most of these communities treat women, it makes sense that they never leave. These women are not taught to think about their choices. They typically don't have any. They are just supposed to get married and have kids. They aren't even typically in charge of the finances, bills, etc.

In many circles they are told they were the root of original sin, and the only way to be forgiven is their religion. They are so beaten down in their culture, but they are also told that no one else will ever be there for them and help them. So why would they ever leave?

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Enraged
ADoyle90815
Interesting, I wonder what it will hold in 20 years due to this shift in the ratio. I guess women like me contribute to the problem. I married a returned LDS missionary who now has left the church. he was a very eligible bachelor, owned a nice home debt free, good job, came from a big family, and served a mission.

I was going to say the Mormons are back to marrying young. Ever Since they made the new singles wards a few years ago and said marriage by 25, I have never seen so many marriages. I have over 300 invitations sitting here (I guess you get invited if you live in the stake, member or not). This last summer was crazy, the first batch of the younger missionaries coming back and the low interest rates, it was a crazy summer of weddings and home buying. Here 19-20 year old newly married couple, working $10 hr jobs, going to college part time own 5-6 bedroom new homes.

I've noticed that as well, and my guess is that there are more marriages among those under the age of 22 because the ages for people to serve missions was lowered a couple of years ago, to 18 for males, and 19 for females. I've seen that with my youngest step sister who put in her papers to go when she turned 19 as soon as the age lowering announcement was made, as she was engaged and married after less than a year of being back from her mission. Her companions also got married really fast, often after quick engagements. At least my step sister was friends with her now husband in high school, so despite a quick courtship and engagement, she wasn't marrying someone she just met. Mormonism says that premarital sex is one of the worst sins someone can commit, so the church strongly encourages short dating and engagement periods, even if the couple had just met.

I do think that one reason more women don't leave and accept the tokens they're given is that the indoctrination is so strong, especially if they were raised in the culture. It's somewhat easier for men to see through the bullshit, so you see more men leaving the church. I see that in my step family, where the males have left the church, while all of the women are devout believers.

Mormon women are taught from birth that their main goal is to marry a RM and stay at home if possible to raise children. I see it with my mom's youngest step granddaughter, as everyone is talking about how "cute" she is, but nothing about how smart she is, and at 6, she was carrying around something that looks like a cellphone, but it's lip gloss. My niece on the other hand who is 7, is very much different since she's not being raised in that culture, still likes stuffed animals and other toys like a wooden train set my mom has for grandchildren who visit.

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Coldwinterskies

It will be interesting to see if the trend of the LDS church encouraging younger marriages may ultimately lead to more people becoming disenchanted due to divorce. I do think the last few years of internet revelations about the LDS church's history have really taken a toll on their membership numbers.

I do find it frustrating that a lot of times women are the ones who cling most strongly to these oppressive religions even though they are the ones who are harmed the most by the religion. For example, with the Duggars, I would not be surprised if the boy Duggars leave long before any of the girls do, even though we all know the girls have a lot more to gain by getting free.

I see this a lot in the JWs I know. The JW culture is very patriarchal and misogynistic (all the "headship" stuff is very much a thing in JW culture, and one of the Jehovah Witness leaders has literally said that women are not as smart as men are because of their "small craniums"), and yet I have seen so many cases where women have a perfect opportunity to leave the religion but won't take it.

So many times, I've seen a married JW man realize it's bullshit yet when he tries to get his wife to see it, she digs in her heels and refuses to even consider that the JWs could be wrong. In some sad cases, the wives really double down and become MORE devout after their husband leaves the religion, because I guess they are hoping that Jehovah will help their marriage if they just try harder. It is really sad to me, to see these women are basically in the grips of Stockholm Syndrome.

I also get the sense that women are more likely to care about keeping family bonds intact, so the threat of their still-believing family members shunning them for leaving means more to them than it does to a lot of men.

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O Latin

This is all anecdotal, but I've read many posts on exmormon forums by former LDS (mostly men) who say they started questioning heavily while on their missions. Now that more women are going on missions due to the lower ages, I wonder if that will lead to more balanced numbers of women and men questioning and leaving.

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shedemei
This doesn't surprise me at all.

With the way most of these communities treat women, it makes sense that they never leave. These women are not taught to think about their choices. They typically don't have any. They are just supposed to get married and have kids. They aren't even typically in charge of the finances, bills, etc.

In many circles they are told they were the root of original sin, and the only way to be forgiven is their religion. They are so beaten down in their culture, but they are also told that no one else will ever be there for them and help them. So why would they ever leave?

That might be the case with Mormons, but it's different in the Jewish communities. Women and original sin is not a Jewish thing. Both genders are taught that their mission is to get married and have children. Based on my observance, however, it's actually the men who have fewer choices then the women. Women have to abide by modesty rules, but can choose their outfits while men essentially have a uniform that they must wear. Women's occupations tend to be limited to ones deemed appropriate, but men have one and only one choice: years of studying religion all day, every day, until their family is in such dire straits that they need to work (and even then, they should be studying Torah every minute available). I think men get shafted in this society just as much as women do as they do not have the opportunity to explore interests, engage in much learning outside of the bible and commentaries upon it, or having a choice in career. They are stunted. Yeshivish women are raised to look down upon "working boys" and they are not considered "top boys" in the shidduch market.

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HighlandCow

That might be the case with Mormons, but it's different in the Jewish communities. Women and original sin is not a Jewish thing. Both genders are taught that their mission is to get married and have children. Based on my observance, however, it's actually the men who have fewer choices then the women. Women have to abide by modesty rules, but can choose their outfits while men essentially have a uniform that they must wear. Women's occupations tend to be limited to ones deemed appropriate, but men have one and only one choice: years of studying religion all day, every day, until their family is in such dire straits that they need to work (and even then, they should be studying Torah every minute available). I think men get shafted in this society just as much as women do as they do not have the opportunity to explore interests, engage in much learning outside of the bible and commentaries upon it, or having a choice in career. They are stunted. Yeshivish women are raised to look down upon "working boys" and they are not considered "top boys" in the shidduch market.

I honestly think the Yeshivish are running themselves into the ground. Every generation has less and less to give to the next. It's the same with most big families, but the entitlement culture of the boys combined with the low income potential of the parents makes the decline that much faster. It used to be that only the very rich, the very lucky, or the very clever got to dedicate their lives to Torah study, but now everyone is pretending they are rich, lucky, and clever. It's not sustainable.

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Alexa

I've seen this firsthand. A bit of my extended family is LDS, and in one family 4 of the girls stayed LDS while the 1 boy got the heck out of there as soon as he could. Only 1 of the 4 girls is married with 4 kids of her own now. The other 3 girls are struggling to find a boyfriend/future husband. The cousin that I am the closest to is now 30 and was telling me how hard it is to find a LDS boyfriend now at her age. She's in the singles ward, but she says all the guys go straight toward the younger girls and overlook anyone older (not that 30 is old by any means). She now wishes she hadn't been so picky when she was younger, but admits she wasn't ready for marriage in her early 20's. She still says she wants 5 kids but doesn't think it's going to happen. I won't be surprised if she marries the outside of the church eventually. According to her and my other single cousins the good LDS men won't give any of the girls over 25 a second glance, but of course most of the "good" LDS men got married before 25 so......I guess the girls better be ready to marry young if they want to nab a good one? Lol

I also wonder if there will be a spike in divorces in the next 20 years in the LDS church because of all the teenage/early 20's marriages that you just know aren't going to make it and what that will mean in the church?

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anjulibai
I've seen this firsthand. A bit of my extended family is LDS, and in one family 4 of the girls stayed LDS while the 1 boy got the heck out of there as soon as he could. Only 1 of the 4 girls is married with 4 kids of her own now. The other 3 girls are struggling to find a boyfriend/future husband. The cousin that I am the closest to is now 30 and was telling me how hard it is to find a LDS boyfriend now at her age. She's in the singles ward, but she says all the guys go straight toward the younger girls and overlook anyone older (not that 30 is old by any means). She now wishes she hadn't been so picky when she was younger, but admits she wasn't ready for marriage in her early 20's. She still says she wants 5 kids but doesn't think it's going to happen. I won't be surprised if she marries the outside of the church eventually. According to her and my other single cousins the good LDS men won't give any of the girls over 25 a second glance, but of course most of the "good" LDS men got married before 25 so......I guess the girls better be ready to marry young if they want to nab a good one? Lol

I also wonder if there will be a spike in divorces in the next 20 years in the LDS church because of all the teenage/early 20's marriages that you just know aren't going to make it and what that will mean in the church?

A friend of mine from high school who was/is LDS got married not long after high school to another LDS guy, in the Temple SLC. She was divorced after only a couple of years (no kids). She's still LDS, and I think the ex is not. Not really sure what happened, but obviously it was not a good match.

So, maybe the divorcing is already happening.

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nausicaa

It's somewhat easier for men to see through the bullshit, so you see more men leaving the church.

I'm curious as to why you think this?

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Sunshine1491

Because girls are socialized from an early age to get along and put other people's wants and needs first. I'll even dredge up a conversation we've all had or at least heard.

"Where do you want to go for dinner?" <--Any question requiring an opinion that other people might disagree with.

"I don't care, where do you want to go?" <--I've heard woman say this far more than men.

It's not because women don't care about where they eat dinner, it's because the wants of the group outweigh the desires of the woman.

Which will lead to teenagers and young adult woman ~not~ rocking the boat and leaving their culture because it would hurt their families and putting themselves first is a selfish, selfish thing to do.

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lilah

I honestly think the Yeshivish are running themselves into the ground. Every generation has less and less to give to the next. It's the same with most big families, but the entitlement culture of the boys combined with the low income potential of the parents makes the decline that much faster. It used to be that only the very rich, the very lucky, or the very clever got to dedicate their lives to Torah study, but now everyone is pretending they are rich, lucky, and clever. It's not sustainable.

So are the women expected to get jobs then since the men are too busy to get jobs? I remember Anna T complaining about how it was unfair to expect a woman to run a household, constantly having babies and working to support her scholarly husband.

Yeah the shidduchim crisis reminds me of being a small high school and not being able to find a prom date senior year since lots of guys were dating younger women. Of course we had other options like dating guys from other schools or in community college.

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lilah

I honestly think the Yeshivish are running themselves into the ground. Every generation has less and less to give to the next. It's the same with most big families, but the entitlement culture of the boys combined with the low income potential of the parents makes the decline that much faster. It used to be that only the very rich, the very lucky, or the very clever got to dedicate their lives to Torah study, but now everyone is pretending they are rich, lucky, and clever. It's not sustainable.

So are the women expected to get jobs then since the men are too busy to get jobs? I remember Anna T complaining about how it was unfair to expect a woman to run a household, constantly having babies and working to support her scholarly husband.

Yeah the shidduchim crisis reminds me of being a small high school and not being able to find a prom date senior year since lots of guys were dating younger women. Of course we had other options like dating guys from other schools or in community college.

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SusanAtTheLastBattle

I thought this was a very sharp first person piece on the pressures put on women's appearances for the shidduch market:

"Now, I get to hear the other side of the Orthodox dating world, that of the ‘matchmaker’: 'She’s not so gorgeous. She can use some work. And I mean work. Her hair is too curly. Her teeth are a bit crooked. She never wears heels. She ought to dress a bit more expensive, she can’t afford not to. She’s not so thin, a size six, on the heavy side really.'"

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jew ... s/1.673419

(not breaking link, haaretz is a mainstream newspaper)

ETA: Sorry, it looks like it's behind a paywall :embarrassed:

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