How Getting Marriage ‘Wrong’ Destroyed Every Great Civilization in World History

The title makes a bold claim, but it’s one that this article will prove. We’ll end someplace that most people probably won’t expect, but that’s where we must end because it’s where the facts lead. (I had to alter some long-held beliefs while researching it.)

This is the first part of an article series on marriage and gender. Please note: I’m doing this article series backwards. Typically, I show what the scriptures say and then apply that to life. However this time we’ll look at the (dire) consequences of ignoring God’s commands first. Then we’ll look at His commands in scripture, which show us how to completely avoid those dire consequences.

EDIT: I’ve recently published an article entitled: How Crucial are Women to a Biblical Household? Very! (link opens in new tab) It makes an ideal “prologue” to this marriage series and gives an excellent “bird’s eye” view of roles in marriage. I will urge you to read that article before reading this one, as the context there might help greatly with this article.

Without further ado, we’ll dive in.

 

Fatherless Homes = Bad

I’ll be making the case that fatherless homes cause a society’s destruction. But while they are the cause, fatherless homes themselves are an inevitable result of a deeper issue. The trail will end at marriage, but it’ll take a few steps to get there.

…almost every social ill faced by America’s children is related to fatherlessness.

(“The Consequences of Fatherlessness“, National Center for Fathering)

Here are a few chilling facts from the article:

  • 80% of adolescents in psychiatric hospitals come from fatherless homes
  • 71% of high school dropouts are fatherless; fatherless children have more trouble academically, scoring poorly on tests of reading, mathematics, and thinking skills; children from father-absent homes are more likely to be truant from school, more likely to be excluded from school, more likely to leave school at age 16, and less likely to attain academic and professional qualifications in adulthood.
  • Children living in female headed families with no spouse present had a poverty rate of 47.6 percent, over 4 times the rate in married-couple families.

Just to point out, nearly half of all single-mother households (fatherless homes) are living in poverty. The following stats are from another article that’s collected more fatherless home stats:

  • 90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
  • 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
  • 71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father.
  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
  • 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.
  • 90% of adolescent repeat arsonists live with only their mother.
  • 75% of adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes.
  • 70% of juveniles in state operated institutions have no father.
  • 85% of youths in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.
  • Fatherless boys and girls are: twice as likely to drop out of high school; twice as likely to end up in jail; four times more likely to need help for emotional or behavioral problems.

Need I go on?

Okay, one more:

Of the 27 deadliest mass shooters, the vast majority came from broken families with no biological dad at home.

(There’s conflicting data, but some say it’s as high as 26 out of 27; Paul Kengor, “Shootings and Fatherlessness“, Crisis Magazine, Mar 9, 2018)

 

The Result of All These Fatherless Homes

Again, from the article the National Center for Fathering:

A study using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health explored the relationship between family structure and risk of violent acts in neighborhoods. The results revealed that if the number of fathers is low in a neighborhood, then there is an increase in acts of teen violence. The statistical data showed that a 1% increase in the proportion of single-parent families in a neighborhood is associated with a 3% increase in an adolescent’s level of violence. In other words, adolescents who live in neighborhoods with lower proportions of single-parent families and who report higher levels of family integration commit less violence.

Fatherless homes = bad (understatement of the century).

If you’ve ever wondered what makes inner-city ghettos so bad, this single statistic explains it. You say: “but wait, it only says ‘single-parent families’ not ‘fatherless families’.” That’s true, but “single parent” means fatherless in 80-90% of cases (which I’ll prove below). We’ll see why, and look at the cause of all these fatherless homes in just a minute.

Here’s the point: fatherless societies are criminal societies, and no civilization can long survive when large portions of its populace are criminals.

Please read that again.

It’s important.

A clear example of this is found in the black community. I would break it down for you, but PragerU has already done that for me:

 

As an interesting addendum:

Children living with their married biological father tested at a significantly higher level than those living with a nonbiological father.

Source: K. H. Tillman, “Family structure pathways and academic disadvantage among adolescents in stepfamilies“, Journal of Marriage and Family, 2007

 

Not only do children need a father, but their actual biological father is best. Not that adoptive dads can’t be an excellent influence – they can be and are – but a child’s biological dad is best.

Regardless of the reasons: 1 in 3 American children live in a fatherless home.

(Luke Rosiak, “Fathers disappear from households across America“, The Washington Times, Dec 25, 2012)

 

Why fatherless children misbehave more than motherless children

Fathers intentionally parent for well-behaved children; that’s actually most of their goal.

Dads tend to discipline because they want their children to grow up to do well in the world and not get denied opportunities because they’re not well behaved,” Bryson explains. In other words, the impact of paternal [father] discipline may show up later in life because that’s actually the intent.

(Lauren Vinopal, “Dad Discipline and Mom Discipline Are Different“, Fatherly, Jan 20, 2018)

 

By contrast, mothers do things differently:

Mothers tend to discipline kids more because they care about their social relationship with their child. That’s why mothers are more likely to take misbehavior personally, and kids appear to fall apart more in response — because they are primed to react more emotionally.

 

This different focus (behavior vs relationship) is why it’s the father who matters in terms of making the kids behave. Strict mothers can actually be counter-productive.

Based on the self-reported accounts of disciplinary styles moms and dads, results showed that when mothers used more harsh, coercive, and power-assertive forms of discipline, their kids displayed more aggression and were generally less popular with among their peers. Paternal [father] disciplinary behaviors, on the other hand, seemed to have little to no effect.

 

Of course, being only strict isn’t good either. You also need the warmth and love of parents to raise healthy children.

Multiple studies have documented that children who have authoritative parents – that is, both firm disciplinarians and warm, receptive caregivers – are more competent than their peers at developmental periods, including pre-school, school age and adolescence,

(Laura Clark, “Why Children Do Best With Strict Parents“, The Daily Mail, Mar 27, 2009)

Now, let’s look at how all these fatherless homes are created.

 

How did we get all these fatherless homes?

No surprise, but the answer is primarily through divorce and out-of-wedlock births.

 

Out of wedlock births

According to the CDC, 39.8% of births in the United States are to unmarried women. (Joyce A. Martin, et al, National Vital Statistics Reports, Centers for Disease Control, Nov 27, 2019) You might initially assume this statistic means that ~40% of US children start life in a fatherless home, but that’s not the case. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of cohabiting, unmarried couples with children.

Growing share of unmarried parents are cohabiting

However, cohabitation is not equal to marriage. Not Biblically, morally, and certainly not where the health of the child is concerned.

To start with, the father has no legal rights because – unsurprisingly – unwed mothers automatically have sole custody of their children.

When a child is born to an unmarried mother, the father has no legal right to see his child without a court order. There is no legal presumption of paternity, as unwed fathers are not automatically presumed to be biologically related to their children.

This type of situation prevents an unmarried mother from seeking child support from the child’s father, while also preventing the father from being awarded visitation or child custody.

(Travis Peeler, “Who Gets Child Custody When the Parents are Unmarried?“, LegalMatch.com, Apr 12, 2019)

 

Further – and more importantly for the purposes of this article – cohabiting couples split up far more often than married couples.

By a child’s 5th birthday, 50% of cohabiting couples have split up, turning those homes fatherless. (Remember, fathers have no legal rights unless they are married or can legally establish paternity.) By the child’s 12th birthday, over 70% of cohabiting couples will have split up. Further, this 70% number means the majority of these couples have split up just before the crucial teen years in a child’s development.

Lastly, cohabitation is far worse for children than marriage. Some of the effects of cohabiting include:

  • greater stress on the child because of the shifting and complex family dynamic
  • far greater poverty rate (nearly half will live in poverty)
  • 4x times greater likelihood of abuse (physical, sexual and/or emotional)
  • more likely to use drugs, suffer depression and drop out of school than married parent families

(Alysse ElHage, “For Kids, Parental Cohabitation and Marriage Are Not Interchangeable“, Institute for Family Studies, May 7, 2015)

While cohabiting is generally better for kids than single-mother homes, it’s far healthier for the child when their parents are married. (For more evidence, you can read: Richard V. Reeves, “Cohabiting Parents Differ from Married Ones in Three Big Ways“, The Brookings Institution, Apr 5, 2017)

 

Divorce

The actual rate of divorce in the United States is hard to measure. The oft-quoted figure of 50% is based on specious analysis of limited data from the late ’70s and early ’80s. (Virginia Pelley, “What Is the Divorce Rate in America?“, Fatherly, Jan 21, 2021)

According to the US Census Bureau, the highest rate of those “ever divorced” is 36.5% for men and 37.3% for women. That establishes a reasonable minimum, though the actual rate will be higher because that doesn’t count second or third marriages. The average length of a first marriage (if it ends in divorce) is only 8 years according to the same Census Bureau report. (Rose M. Kreider, “Number, Timing, and Duration of Marriages and Divorces: 2009“, US Census Bureau, May 2011)

Most of the research I’ve done puts the actual rate of divorce for all marriages – including 2nd and 3rd – at 40-45%.

Again, the divorce rate for a first marriage seems to be 36-40%.

Why such a high divorce rate?

The research paper “These Boots Are Made For Walking: Why most Divorce Filers are Women” found – in more than 68% of U.S. divorce cases – that women were the ones who initiated the divorce proceedings. (Margaret F. Brinig, “These Boots Are Made For Walking: Why Most Divorce Filers are Women“, American Law and Economics Review V2 N1, 2000)

68%!

Why are women doing this? The study partially answers that question:

The finding of most significance (statistical, coefficient size, and political interest), though, was that the spouse anticipating child custody was most likely to file. Since women more often than men receive custody, this explained most of the difference in filing behavior. To miss this point is to miss the major finding of the work. (source)

Merely switching the anticipation of custody in this case from the husband to the wife changes the probability of the wife’s filing from 9.5% to 69%—slightly more than a seven-fold increase.

Our results are consistent with our hypothesis that filing behavior is driven by self-interest at the time of divorce. Individuals file for divorce when there are marital assets that may be appropriated through divorce… We have found that who gets the children is by far the most important component in deciding who files for divorce.

And women definitely get full custody far more often. According to a US Census Bureau report:

One of every six custodial parents (17.5%) were fathers

To put that another way, 82.5% of custodial parents are women/mothers. That means after a divorce, a child has an 82.5% chance of becoming essentially fatherless.

82.5%

Remember the effects of fatherless homes and then think about that.

Really think about it.

Women are virtually assured of custody because of our divorce system in America. It’s the same in most of the world, and it’s been true throughout world history too (which I’ll show soon). This guarantees that fatherless homes will proliferate as long as the status quo remains unchanged.

 

What about joint custody?

There are two kinds of custody. The first is legal custody which gives a parent the legal right to make decisions for the child. The second is physical custody, where the child actually lives with the parent. Legal custody is less relevant to the child’s behavior, as the parent with whom the child lives will naturally have a greater effect on the child’s behavior.

That’s why having physical custody is the more important metric when measuring fatherless homes.

(It should be noted that joint legal custody is far more common than joint physical custody. When you see stats about joint custody, make sure you know which kind they are talking about. They aren’t the same and often a parent – usually the father – who has joint legal custody won’t have joint physical custody.)

According to a study entitled “Joint Physical Custody and Communication with Parents: A Cross-National Study of Children in 36 Western Countries“, these are the physical custody numbers for the United States: (specifically school-aged children of 11, 13, and 15)

  • 60% “Intact families”
  • 22% Single mother
  • 11% Mother and stepfather
  • 3% Single father
  • 2% Father and stepmother
  • 2% Joint physical custody (via divorced mother and father)

Just 2%.

In 33% of cases, the child winds up with the mother but only 5% of cases result in the child ending up with the father. These are the same ratios that we’ve already seen. Joint custody is better for that 2%, but it’s only 2%.

 

What about divorce “for the kids sake”?

It turns out that there’s no such thing (except in cases of actual abuse). From chapter 3 of the book “Real World Divorce“:

The conclusion of the research was that about 85-90 percent of children whose parents divorced were worse off than if the parents had stayed together despite a lack of affection. The children for whom divorce was beneficial were those whose parents were in marriages “marked by physical violence or severe abuse.”

Unless there is “physical violence or severe abuse”, kids are better off with both parents, especially their father (as we’ve already seen).

Further, no one would argue that the death of a parent isn’t a serious blow for a child. However, divorce is even worse for a child than the death of a parent. (Again, except in cases of abuse)

Painstakingly assessing their data, the authors of the new study see an unmistakable pattern emerging: “Parental separation has stronger and wider effects on mental illness than death.” Specifically, the researchers conclude that parental separation “significantly predicted risk for all disorders except phobia“… Looking closer at their data, the researchers conclude that “parental separation had the strongest impacts on risk for depression and drug abuse/dependence.”

The Virginia Commonwealth and Tokyo scholars see in their findings strong evidence that “the effect of parental death persists a relatively short time and has weaker impact on adult psychopathology than that of parental separation.” This conclusion, they acknowledge, is “in accordance with previous studies” that have found “no or weak associations between parental death and psychiatric disorders.” The authors of this study indeed interpret the findings of this 2014 study against the backdrop of their own 2002 study in which they “demonstrated that the risk for depressive onsets due to parental death returned to baseline within a limited time whereas a much longer time period was required for the risk due to parental separation to return to baseline.

Divorce is really bad for children.

 

The myth of “deadbeat” dads

Contrary to popular belief, deadbeat dads – i.e. men who won’t pay child support – are not common. In fact, deadbeat mothers are far more common than deadbeat dads. For some highlights:

Almost 47% of non-custodial mothers default on child support compared with the 27% of fathers who default. (Source: Garansky and Meyer, DHHS Technical Analysis Paper No. 42)

66% of all child support not paid by non-custodial fathers is due to inability to pay. (Source: U.S. General Accounting Office Report)

That means only 9.18% (34% of 27%) of dads can pay child support, but choose not to. Less than 10%; hardly an epidemic. Further, the penalties for falling behind can include counter-productive penalties like revoking a father’s driver’s license. That makes it nearly impossible to get a good job in most parts of the country.

 

What causes/allows all these divorces and out-of-wedlock births?

Now we’re getting to the crux of the issue; the root cause. To unpack this fully, we need to look at more than just America’s history. We’re going to look at every great civilization in world history and we’ll see that in every case a civilization’s fall was caused by the exact same event. This event always and invariably leads to an explosion of divorces and out-of-wedlock births…which leads to fatherless homes… which leads to miscreant children… which destroys the civilization.

We’ll look at that now.

 

Sex and Culture

To get a “bird’s eye” look at all these civilizations, we’ll examine a book published by J.D. Unwin in the 1930s entitled “Sex and Culture.” (It’s entered the public domain so I’ve uploaded a copy to my website. You can download the whole book in PDF form by clicking this link) In the book, the author chronicled his research into 80+ different civilized and uncivilized cultures. For the ancient cultures, he looked at the written laws and customs from archeological finds.

In every one of the 80+ cultures, the author found a 100% correlation between the ability/opportunity of people to have sex outside of marriage and the civilization’s level of sophistication. Those who have taken statistics know that a 100% correlation almost always indicates cause-and-effect.

  • The more people had sex outside of marriage, the more the civilization declined
  • The less people had sex outside of marriage, the more the civilization flourished

It was true 100% of the time; no exceptions. It seems that pre-marital chastity and post-marital fidelity are required for a great civilization to exist. In every single culture – no matter how advanced or primitive – the facts remained the same.

  • The closer people follow God’s standards for sexual purity, the more a civilization flourishes
  • The farther people get from those standards, the more a society declines

To quote from the book regarding the great civilizations in world history:

These societies lived in different geographical environments; they belonged to different racial stocks; but the history of their marriage customs is the same. In the beginning each society had the same ideas in regard to sexual regulations. Then the same struggles took place; the same sentiments were expressed; the same changes were made; the same results ensued. Each society reduced its sexual opportunity to a minimum and displaying great social energy, flourished greatly. Then it extended its sexual opportunity; its energy decreased, and faded away. The one outstanding feature of the whole story is its unrelieved monotony.

(Sex and Culture” by JD Unwin, page 381, emphasis added)

 

NOTE: “unrelieved” essentially means “unrelenting”, so: “The one outstanding feature of the whole story is its unrelieved unrelenting monotony“. The same story played out the exact same monotonous way, no matter the culture or ethnic group.

In the 80+ civilizations the author studied, there wasn’t a single exception to this rule. Whether the society lived in mud huts or conquered the known world, this rule remained the same. Every time sexual standards were tightened, the society advanced; every time sexual standards were relaxed, the society declined.

Again, no exceptions.

(This shouldn’t be news to Christians. Following God’s commands has always been the path to greater happiness for a person/family/civilization.)

 

Here’s “the why”

The author actually made zero attempt to explain why this was the case. He made no attempt to analyze the data beyond the raw conclusions the data clearly supported. He tried – as much as possible – to be an impartial observer, merely reporting what he found and leaving the analysis to others.

I propose that the reason a society declines when sexual customs become lax is not because of the extra-marital sex itself, but rather the results of the extra-marital sex: children born out of wedlock. (Who then grow up in a fatherless home.)

Intuitively, this makes sense.

Having sex outside of marriage means you will have kids outside of marriage. This is especially true before the modern era when birth control wasn’t reliable or safe. Sex outside of marriage creates fatherless homes as we’ve already seen, and fatherless homes destroy civilizations.

Simple.

 

The event that causes sex outside of marriage and divorce to flourish

In every case – in every society the author studied – the exact same event always preceded this “extension of sexual opportunity” as the author calls it. Before this event, sex outside of marriage and divorce (and thus fatherless homes) were rare. During the lead-up to this event, they became more common. Once this event happened, sex outside of marriage and divorce (and thus fatherless homes) flourished… just as they flourish in America today.

Buckle your seat belt, because this one’s a doozy.

(EDIT: If you haven’t already, I urge you to read my article: How Crucial are Women to a Biblical Household? Very! (link opens in new tab) It will put what I’m about to say in perspective.)

Before I tell you what this event is, I should mention that the author was a secular egalitarian and almost didn’t publish his findings because he didn’t like them very much. In fact, he almost regretted starting the research project because of what he found. His research is also well-documented. Nearly half the book is footnotes with source citations.

Drumroll please…

 

The event precipitating the fall of every great civilization in history was the emancipation of women, making them the full legal, social, and political equals of men.

 

(EDIT: I realize this might sound misogynistic at first glance; it’s not. Women have a crucial role, are dearly loved by God, and should be honored by both men and society at large. A difference of role does not mean a difference of value. For more information, again please see my article How Crucial are Women to a Biblical Household? Very! (link opens in new tab) Also, consider that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit all have different roles, but none is intrinsically worth ‘more’ than the others.)

 

Some will say: “But wait, women today have more freedom and equality than ever before.” Actually, that’s not the case. From Sex and Culture:

I mention the matter now because, owing to the egocentricity in our historical outlook, to which I have already referred (para. 159), it is often supposed that female emancipation is an invention of the modern white man.

Sometimes we imagine that we have arrived at a conception of the status of women in society which is far superior to that of any other age; we feel an inordinate pride because we regard ourselves as the only civilized society which has understood that the sexes must have social, legal, and political equality.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. A female emancipating movement is a cultural phenomenon of unfailing regularity; it appears to be the necessary outcome of absolute monogamy.

(Sex and Culture” by JD Unwin, pages 344-345, paragraph breaks and emphasis added for readability.

(NOTE: We’ll look more at this concept of “absolute monogamy” in a future article in this series; please the link at the end of the conclusion for more information.)

Women being the full social/political equals of men is not a new idea. Egalitarianism is not new either and neither is feminism. Both have been practiced many times over the course of world history as astute historians will attest. First-wave feminism began before Christ was born; not in the last couple hundred years. There’s proof in the book, as well as any other good history book.

For example, let’s look at Rome starting over a century before Christ:

By the late Hellenistic Age, this had resulted in a metamorphosis in the position of women. Equality for women extended beyond politics into economic life, and in some occupations such as plumbing they came to dominate. The rate of divorce increased enormously, and the power “of the paterfamilias was shaken to its foundations and eventually swept away altogether.” “The meek and henpecked Roman husband was already a stock comedy figure in the great days of the Second Punic War.” This changing relationship led Cato the Censor to protest bitterly, “All other men rule over women; but we Romans, who rule all men, are ruled by our women.” Equality had progressed to the point that by the late Empire a woman who married retained her property, “and, legally, the man had not even the right to enjoy the income from it.”

“Egalitarianism and Empire” by William F. Marina here.

Let me repeat that quote by a Roman historian (Cato the Elder/Censor, died 149 B.C.) so no one misses it:

“All other men rule over women; but we Romans, who rule all men, are ruled by our women.”

As you can see, the supposed oppression of women in 1st century Rome/the New Testament is one of the most pervasive myths in Christendom. We’ll looked at even more evidence in the 4th article of this series.

Ancient Babylon, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, and many others all gave women legal and social equality with men just before they began their decline. In every single case, the great civilization began to fall right after they made women the legal and social equals of men. (Again, that leads to unwed mothers and divorce, which leads to fatherless children, which leads to miscreant children, which is what destroys the society)

To quote from the book:

A female emancipating movement is a cultural phenomenon of unfailing regularity; it appears to be the necessary outcome of absolute monogamy.

The subsequent loss of social energy after the emancipation of women, which is sometimes emphasized, has been due not to the emancipation but to the extension of sexual opportunity which has always accompanied it. In human records there is no instance of female emancipation which has not been accompanied by an extension of sexual opportunity.

(Sex and Culture” by JD Unwin, pages 344-345, paragraph breaks and emphasis added for readability)

And again:

In the past, too, the greatest energy has been displayed only by those societies which have reduced their sexual opportunity to a minimum by the adoption of absolute monogamy (para. 168). In every case the women and children were reduced to the level of legal nonentities, sometimes also to the level of chattels, always to the level of mere appendages of the male estate. Eventually they were freed from their disadvantages, but at the same time the sexual opportunity of the society was extended… …So the energy of the society decreased, and then disappeared.

(“Sex and Culture” by JD Unwin, page 431, emphasis added)

 

Do note, he referred to women not having equal status with men as “disadvantages”. Data in the book notwithstanding, the author firmly believed that women should be the full social/political equals of men as the quote below indicates,

Now in the past, as I have said, sexual opportunity has never been reduced to a minimum except by depriving the female of the species of certain legal rights which she seems entitled to enjoy.

(“Sex and Culture” by JD Unwin, page 375, emphasis added)

 

Again, it’s worth pointing out his use of the phrase “depriving the female of the species of certain legal rights which she seems entitled to enjoy.” The author firmly believed that women should be equal to men in every (social/political) respect.

He still believed this despite his own research to the contrary.

And one last quote to drive the point home: (Note: “continence” today often refers to bladder control; however he uses the now obscure definition of abstaining from pre/extra-marital sex.)

From a superficial study of the available data it might be thought that the questions of female subjection and parental power are indissolubly allied to that of female continence; but actually their alliance in the past has been due to the chance factor that sexual opportunity has never been reduced to a minimum except by depriving women and children of their legal status. It is historically true to say that in the past social energy has been purchased at the price of individual freedom, for it has never been displayed unless the female of the species has sacrificed her rights as an individual and unless children have been treated as mere appendages to the estate of the male parent.

(“Sex and Culture” by JD Unwin, pages 381-382, emphasis added)

 

On an intuitive level, this makes sense.

When women are fully submitted to men, they don’t have the freedom or opportunity to engage in premarital/extra-marital sex due to their position. As they gain more freedoms, they gain this ability/opportunity. Once they are the full legal equals of men, nothing prevents them from engaging in premarital sex and/or divorcing their husbands… and men are often happy to take advantage of that fact.

That invariably produces fatherless homes.

When women are the social/political equals of men, out-of-wedlock births and high divorce rates – and thus fatherless homes – are inevitable. Fatherless homes inevitably lead to a society’s destruction.

Again:

The subsequent loss of social energy after the emancipation of women, which is sometimes emphasized, has been due not to the emancipation but to the extension of sexual opportunity which has always accompanied it. In human records there is no instance of female emancipation which has not been accompanied by an extension of sexual opportunity.

(Sex and Culture” by JD Unwin, pages 344-345, paragraph breaks and emphasis added for readability)

Every great civilization in world history bears out this reality, and so does America and her history (which we’ll look at in a moment).

 

(NOTE: As we’ve already shown, Unwin’s personal opinion was that women should be the full social/political equals of men. He at no point whatsoever advocated a patriarchal system and ends the book by saying men and women should have exactly the same social/political status. However, his data suggests otherwise.)

 

How America followed this pattern

To examine this, we’ll review the divorce rates over our history and compare them to major events in feminism. For further background, see History.com’s article on the topic.

Now that we have the big picture, let’s look at the data at a granular level. You’ll see every spike in divorce coincided with an advancement in women’s emancipation.

(Note: unlike the chart above, the divorce rates below are the number of divorces per 1000 population, per year. They are not the percentage of marriages that ended in divorce; merely the raw number of divorces per year, per 1000 population. This will allow us to track divorce trends. Source #1, Source #2)

 

The first “women’s rights” conference was the Seneca Falls Convention in New York, which was held in 1848. The movement gained little traction in the 1850s and was interrupted by the Civil War (1861-1865).

In 1872, Susan B Anthony succeeded in voting, but was arrested for it and the case went to the Supreme Court. In 1875, the Court ruled against Anthony, but the case helped the movement gain widespread publicity. Notice what happened to the divorce rates after this publicity…

 Divorces per 1,000 population% Increase over Baseline
18670.30%
18700.30%
18750.30%
18800.433%

In a country where the divorce rate was close to zero, we have a major jump upwards in divorce a few years after women’s suffrage gained widespread publicity. Going from 0.3 to 0.4 might not seem like much, but that’s a 33% increase in just 5 years. That’s huge. The divorce rate continued to climb slowly as the movement gained momentum. The 19th Amendment granting women the ability to vote was ratified in 1920. (Ironically, men gave women the ability to vote over their objections; yes that’s right: the vast majority of women didn’t want the ability to vote.)

Notice what happened to the divorce rate that year.

YearDivorces per 1,000 population in a given year% Increase over Baseline
18850.433%
18900.567%
18950.6100%
19000.7133%
19050.8167%
19100.9200%
19151.0233%
19201.6533%

The year women were granted the ability to vote, the divorce rate shot up 60%! The divorce rate continued to slowly rise until the end of WWII, where it spiked.

 Divorces per 1,000 population in a given year% Increase over Baseline
19301.6533%
19351.7567%
19402.0667%
19453.51167%

This is significant because during WWII, women entered the workforce in significant numbers for the first time. The divorce rate spiked at the same time that women were able to support themselves for the first time in America’s history. (I’m sure that’s just coincidence though; it couldn’t be causal… right?)

Divorce numbers dropped in the 1950s with the post-war boom, the creation of the suburbs, and TV’s portrayal of the traditional family as an ideal.

 Divorces per 1,000 population in a given year% Increase over Baseline
19502.6867%
19552.3767%
19602.2733%
19652.5833%
19703.51167%
19754.81600%
19805.21733%

However, second-wave feminism began in the 1960s. Then you can see the divorce rate skyrocket, reaching its peak in the early 1980s.

 Divorces per 1,000 population in a given year% Increase over Baseline
19855.01667%
19904.71567%
19954.41467%
20003.61200%
20053.61200%
20103.61200%
20153.11033%

The number of divorces per year has been dropping since the mid-1980s. At the same time though, the number of people getting married has also been falling dramatically. (Which accounts for the lower divorce rate, as those likely to stay married are also more likely to get married.)

Today, the marriage rate is lower than it has ever been in the history of our country. According to US government statistics, marriage rates have historically fluctuated between 9-11 marriages per year, per 1000 population. However, recently they’ve dipped as low as 6.8 per 1000, per year. (currently it sits at 6.9)

Further, out-of-wedlock birth rates have been rising slowly since the early 1900s. This rate skyrocketed (along with divorce rates) when second-wave feminism began in the 1960s.

 

It used to be that ~2% of births were out-of-wedlock. Now, it stands at ~40%. That’s a 20-fold increase.

 

Another way social/political equality for women contributes to collapse of a civilization

We’ll just touch on this now, but it’s worth noting another thing that always occurs when women are the full social/political equals of men: a large, corrupt bureaucratic government. To again quote from JD Unwin in “Sex and Culture” as he describes the progression of the Ancient Babylonian Empire:

Women, from being legal nonentities, had become free and equal citizens; they could possess real estate; they could contract, administer, buy, and sell. They were granted a definite legal status, and could appeal to the court in their own names. A wife could even prosecute her husband. Sons and daughters married without their parents’ consent.

After a few generations the usual symptoms of degeneracy began to appear. A huge bureaucracy sprang up; officials and priests plundered the poor; public funds were misappropriated; and there was great oppression. Urukagina usurped the throne, and tried to stem the flowing tide. He found that the marriage tie had fallen into disrepute.

(Sex and Culture” by JD Unwin, Page 386, emphasis added.)

Our large, corrupt bureaucratic state is nothing new. It’s as old as Ancient Babylon and seems to appear every time women become the social/political equals of men. It’s also accompanied by government social programs like welfare (which subsidizes single mothers, further enabling them to survive without a husband) and “no-fault” divorce.

We’ll get more into the reasons for this in the 7th article in this series.

 

A quick recap

As we saw in the first part of this article, fatherless homes destroy a society. Fatherless homes are primarily created by out-of-wedlock births and divorce, both of which greatly reduce – or eliminate – the father’s influence in the child’s life because the mother wins custody in most cases. (Going all the way back to Ancient Babylon) As soon as women become the social/political equals of men, they always begin to divorce their husbands and to have children out of wedlock.

That last sentence is true 100% of the time.

In human records there is no instance of female emancipation which has not been accompanied by an extension of sexual opportunity.

(Sex and Culture” by JD Unwin, pages 345, emphasis added for readability)

…which always leads to the fatherless homes which destroy a civilization.

No instance.

None.

Not even one.

In the whole of human history, there has never been a civilization that was sexually moral after making women the social and political equals of men.

It simply doesn’t exist.

It never has.

And it makes sense that it won’t ever exist because you can’t change human nature. As we’ll see in the next article (and especially the 7th article), this is a consequence of biology… and human biology doesn’t change.

A person can change, but mankind doesn’t change. We are fallen, sinful creatures. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more moral, Christian nation than America at its founding. But even then, the moral decay began once women became the social/political equals of men.

Thus:

  • Societies are destroyed by fatherless homes
  • Fatherless homes are caused by divorce and unwed mothers
  • Unwed mothers and divorce always accompany making women the social and political equals of men

Therefore, the natural result of any great civilization making women the social and political equals of men is always the destruction of that civilization.

(And I must point out: no great civilization has ever risen to prominence while women were the social/political equals of men. That alone might tell us something.)

America’s results are nothing new. This drama has played out many times before on the world stage; America is just the latest encore performance.

Again:

These societies lived in different geographical environments; they belonged to different racial stocks; but the history of their marriage customs is the same. In the beginning each society had the same ideas in regard to sexual regulations. Then the same struggles took place; the same sentiments were expressed; the same changes were made; the same results ensued. Each society reduced its sexual opportunity to a minimum and displaying great social energy, flourished greatly. Then it extended its sexual opportunity; its energy decreased, and faded away. The one outstanding feature of the whole story is its unrelieved monotony.

(“Sex and Culture” by JD Unwin, page 381, emphasis added)

 

In America today, we’ve made the same mistake that every great civilization in world history made: making the women the social/political equals of men. Truly, Solomon was right when he said:

Ecclesiastes 1:9

9 That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.

10 Is there anything of which one might say, “See this, it is new “? Already it has existed for ages Which were before us.

11 There is no remembrance of earlier things; And also of the later things which will occur, There will be for them no remembrance Among those who will come later still.

This has happened many times before. We have just forgotten it.

 

WHY!?

When I first learned that equality for women eventually destroys a civilization, I was quite confused because I hadn’t made the fatherless connection yet.

I tried to find the answer and found one rooted in human biology. Not psychology, not behavioral/cultural conditioning, nor parental training. God hard-wired these differences into the biology – into the very DNA – of men and women. He made men and women fundamentally different on an unchangeable, hard-wired, biological level. Those differences make women far less suitable than men for certain things (like leadership, politics, and business). We’ll look at those differences in the next article of this series.

The other great reason is the “Why” of submission in marriage.

Ultimately, this is the crux of the issue. God so ordered the world that women having equality with men would destroy a civilization. This makes no sense unless you understand why He ordered things the way He did. And once you understand why God ordered marriage as He did, everything falls into place.

We’ll look at this “why” after first looking at the hard-wired differences of biology between men and women in the next article.

 

Bonus: a cure for atheism?

In the book Sex and Culture, The author noted a 100% correlation between a society’s sexual practices and its spirituality. Further, their spiritual beliefs followed their sexual practices; not the other way around.

Basically, the more sexually moral a society was, the more they believed in god(s).

There was no exception to this either. In societies where women were compelled to be sexually moral because they weren’t the social/political equals of men, the culture as a whole always believed in god(s).

Always.

100% of the time.

Again, the spiritual beliefs always followed the sexual practices; never the other way around. Could having a sexually moral society be the cure for atheism?

 

Conclusion

Here’s this article in a nutshell:

The fall of a civilization is the inevitable result of the moral degradation of its populace, which inevitably occurs in the children of fatherless homes, which are the inevitable result of widespread divorce and out-of-wedlock births, which are the inevitable result of women obtaining equality with men.

In heaven, everything and everyone submits to The Father. Everything would completely fall apart if that weren’t the case.

Why would it be different here on Earth?

To better understand why civilizations fall when women become the social/political equals of men, next we’ll look at the Gender Differences and the Biology of Leadership that God hard-wired into men and women. After that, we’ll look at The “Why” Behind God Telling Wives to Submit to their Husbands in Marriage. (A full index of this marriage series is at the end.)

 

One final thing:

Remember this quotes from earlier?

A female emancipating movement is a cultural phenomenon of unfailing regularity; it appears to be the necessary outcome of absolute monogamy.

(“Sex and Culture” by JD Unwin, pages 344-345.

Unwin defined “absolute monogamy” as a martial arrangement where both men and women were only allowed one spouse; i.e. the union of one man with one woman, and no other marital arrangement was tolerated in that society.  Yes, defining marriage as “one man + one woman” always leads to women becoming the social/political equals of men.

Always.

(He says this several times throughout the book; I just picked the shortest/clearest quote.)

It might seem like we’re doomed because of this, but fortunately that’s not the case.  If you want to know why, please read my article: Is Polygamy (Polygyny) Biblical? Does God Allow it?  Dear reader, I’m sure you’re smart and can see where I’m going, but please don’t dismiss this out of hand because the biblical evidence is absolutely overwhelming.  God commanded polygamy at three separate places, rewarded it at least once, He symbolically/metaphorically describes Himself as a polygamist, and Jesus told a parable about Him marrying five women. (Just a parable though, obviously Jesus didn’t marry.)

There’s more evidence too, and please see the article for it.  Again, it’s absolutely overwhelming.

 

Marriage Series Index:

  1. How Getting Marriage 'Wrong' Destroyed Every Great Civilization in World History
  2. Gender Differences and the Biology of leadership
  3. The “Why” Behind God Telling Wives to Submit to their Husbands in Marriage
  4. The Bible on Authority & Submission in Marriage
  5. Does God View Women as the (Social/Political) Equals of Men?
  6. Biblically, What’s the Role of Women in Society and Marriage?
  7. Gender and Attraction: What Men vs Women REALLY Want
  8. Biblically, What’s the Role of Men in Society and Marriage? (still writing it...)
  9. Is Polygamy (Polygyny) Biblical? Does God Allow it?
  10. Follow up articles coming...

 

10 Comments

  1. george May 18, 2019
    • Berean Patriot (admin) May 19, 2019
  2. Peter Rambo October 28, 2019
    • Berean Patriot (admin) October 30, 2019
  3. fleus December 2, 2019
    • Berean Patriot (admin) December 3, 2019
  4. Fleus December 6, 2019
    • Berean Patriot (admin) December 8, 2019
  5. K November 6, 2021
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