Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers– 1 Pet 3:7 (NIV)
Peter assumes husbands will be the stronger partner in marriage relationships.
In our society though, males are increasingly the ones who are “the weaker sex.”
National Public Radio (NPR) offered some interesting commentary to that effect in its “Morning Edition,” May 17, 2005. Here’s what NPR had to say…
Since the 1980′s, women have earned more undergraduate degrees than men each year. That gap has grown to where this spring 200,000 more women than men will receive a degree (out of a total of about 1.6 million graduates). Tom Mortenson at the Study for Opportunity in Higher Education says many colleges are asking, “Where have all the men gone?” He believes that the success of women is to be applauded, but that the challenge of fewer and fewer men with degrees may present a problem, especially as the economy has fewer “traditionally male” jobs, such as manufacturing which now represents only 11% of all jobs and continues to decline. Women have done a much better job fitting into the fast growing private service sector. (NPR Morning Edition May 17, 2005)
And level of education is just one of the “quality of life” indicators in which males lag females. Males fall behind females in involvement in crime, victimization by crime, health, longevity, suicide, mental health, drugs, control of wealth, and on and on.
All of this bodes ill for most women in their search for suitable husbands, a difficult task even when the “bell curves” for the sexes line up perfectly. See chart. The white area on the male curve represents unmarriageable males. On the female curve, it represents women who won’t be able to find decent husbands.
The really bad news for women is that feminism has successfully pushed the female curve to the right, thereby expanding the number of unmarriageable men and unmarried women.
All of the above is a product of feminist social policies that favor females in order to equalize elite females with elite males. The result is to disadvantage the vast majority of males (and females as it turns out). Many males simply opt out of the system as reflected in the NPR story.
In the meantime, diminishing realities and prospects for traditional marriage shift societal attitudes towards increasingly hurtful substitutes. The culture becomes hostile to an institution that is essential to its survival.
Truth is societies cannot enlist males in the maintenance of civic and civil arrangements without making gender distinctions that value their contributions. But feminists won’t let that happen. So it’s not surprising that, as the NPR report says …
While no one is yet talking about the need for affirmative action for male students, he expresses concern over the sociological implications. Male involvement in the work force, in voting, and in parenting have continued to decline while incarceration rates have only increased. (NPR Morning Edition May 17, 2005)
The growing disinvestment of males from public and private stature has natural stopping points in internal collapse or external conquest. Scripture considers males to be the stronger sex because that’s the norm across time and space. Societies that turn them into the weaker sex do not last very long.
He believes it is time to find ways to encourage, motivate and prepare boys for the roles they will need to play in the future economy. (NPR Morning Edition May 17, 2005)
“Finding ways to encourage, motivate, and prepare boys” is really no mystery. Societies have been doing that for thousands of years. It’s called “gender.”
Young boys cannot be encouraged, motivated, or prepared for “their roles” without a strong sense of what it means to be a man. The gender-consciousness of Scripture in grounded in that realization.