Future Time Orientated or Daddy’s Girl?

The marriage/divorce stats show a (morally) positive correlation between a woman’s achievement of a bachelor’s degree, and a continuance of marriage. Because of this, the idea has been put forward that this correlation centers on a (supposed) “future-time orientation”; i.e. the ability to delay gratification. Do we know how soon after graduation the women (who do not divorce) marry? I’m wondering how future oriented they are. Isn’t is possible that the ones who follow this pattern have made a decision to marry as soon as social pressures allow?

It seems to me that a college degree is the feminist merit badge among them all. It certainly is the prevailing notion for modernists, generally. Isn’t there the possibility that the women who are the most maritally stable are those women who both submit to the narrative of their leaders and media, and who also are really focused on (that is: strongly desire) marriage so to love a man? Is it possible that, given another set of priorities–or even just the removal of the bachelors degree notion–that those same women might do just as well marrying younger than 22 simply because that’s the demographic that wants to be married, and is also willing to listen to their authorities; that they wanted to marry earlier, and they only put it off as long as they needed to be respectful members of society as they were instructed?[1]

Maybe it doesn’t have to do so much with future time orientation as it does their respect for authority. Maybe daddy’s girls are a good thing, but not all daddies have the proper priorities. Of course, I don’t mean to say that all girls love and respect their fathers (or even that among those, they always do), but today we are talking about those girls that do.

EDIT: Let me ask it a different way: If there is a correlation between Daddy’s Girls and the continuance of marriage, and if there is a correlation between future-time orientation (impulse control, responsibility, etc.) and the continuance of marriage; then is it more likely that love for dad would arise from FTO, or is it more likely that FTO arises from love for dad?

[1] Not to say that such women do not also have desire to better themselves, or not to say that they aren’t also tempted to pride.

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34 thoughts on “Future Time Orientated or Daddy’s Girl?

  1. If I was to speculate, anecdotally from all of the articles about marriage and seeing it in person, that:

    1. Those who marry at 18-25 range are typically those who aren’t going to college. Thus, they have a a more volatile period where divorce can happen through the rest of the 20s and 30s
    .
    2. Those who tend to marry 25+ and often 30+ are the college graduates. The CC often extends into late 20s and it is only around 30ish years old when women are more serious about marriage. Hence, those who marry later are often married to a man who can support their kids even if they don’t like to have sex with them in general.

    3. This is especially true for graduate school. In all of the graduate school programs I’ve seen — and I’ve seen a lot — about 5% are married prior or entering the graduate school program (typically men who are 30+ and already have a family). About 25% of the people get married during graduate school or within 2-5 years afterward (mostly men who have become attractive, but some women who value monogamy). However, the rest of the women put off marriage until when they are 30+. In fact, I was talking with some of the women in graduate school who had boyfriends (or who were interested in me) and they were saying that many of the single women in graduate school were worried about not being able to snag a man (who is attractive to them).

    I would be interested to see the stats, if available, of the divisions of marriage by age of non-college graduates, college graduates, and graduate school graduates along with the percentage of those married and subsequently also the divorce rates of each of those.

    This would be telling because we could see the pattern of earlier marriage by those less educated and subsequently divorce through the more volatile 20s period…. when girls can still hop to other men because they are attractive OR when men realize that they’re becoming more attractive and want a more attractive woman or want to play the field.

    Marrage by college graduates and beyonds tends to be as much of a class thing as a happiness and kids thing. If you’re not married you don’t have the status, and that is definitely one thing keeping marriages together even with unhappiness and lack of sex.

  2. It is probably not one single factor at work.

    Future time orientation might play a part, at least for some. Tied in to that is Impulse Control- a woman with greater impulse control is both less likely to marry on a whim, and less likely to divorce afterwards.

    Both of these are then tied in to responsibility. A responsible person is more likely to have been good future-time orientation and to have greater impulse control. A responsible person is also more likely to heed the advice of his or her elders.

    There is something else as well to consider- namely that women are often afraid of commitment (just like men). At least in so far as it comes to marriage, although I believe it extends beyond just that. I suspect that a woman who is less responsible is less afraid of commitment in the form of marriage. She is less likely to value her vows, less likely to consider the possibility the marriage might not be as wonderful as she hoped, and less likely to control herself in marriage, such that she is more likely to leave it on a whim.

  3. @DG

    Impulse control and responsibility are basically synonyms for FTO; at least for the sake of this discussion. (I don’t mean to discount them, but only to keep us in agreement.)

    So the question I’m asking is: From whence does FTO/impulse control/responsible arise?

    There is something else as well to consider- namely that women are often afraid of commitment (just like men).

    Yessir. And which girls would be less afraid of committing? Why?

    Your second comment came through as I was responding, and I thought I smelled agreement!

  4. Regarding the “daddy’s girl” it’s more likely that those who go to college actually had a father as opposed to an absent or no father. We know that socially those with no fathers are at higher statistical risk of early sexual activity, teen pregnancy, abortion, violence, less likely to graduate high school, less likely to go to college.

    We can also consider that “life script” pushed by families — both fathers AND mothers — even of those who are Christian is often more important than early marriage. In fact, we know specifically that both fathers and mothers push this time orientation type of responsibility: “You need to go to college to be able to get a job in order to support yourself… especially if you can’t find a husband, he walks out on you, or [insert other excuse here].”

    The importance of “life script” via cultural impact cannot be understated in its impact on women because women more often feel compelled to follow the path that their parents outline for them.

  5. Amongst plain anabaptists, college is rare ( just a few percent) and divorce is nonexistent too (0.3%, evangelical rate of regular attenders is 22%, nominal Christian rate is 55%.)

    Girls who go to college often find themselves unmarried in their late 20s or 30s due to missing out in dating opportunities during the critical 18-21 stage.

    Exalting college as some kind of innoculation against divorce is foolish. We need to look at more dimensions on the data. In addition, almost every girl will attend/graduate college soon, or at least that seems to be the government’s plan. What then?

  6. is it more likely that love for dad would arise from FTO, or is it more likely that FTO arises from love for dad?

    I would say the latter. But it isn’t just dad pushing this- mom and most of the rest of society does as well. But father are probably the biggest motivating factor.

    Which ties in nicely with my longstanding argument (of course, not just mine) that foolish Christian fathers are responsible for much of the ills of the present Church. At least, in terms of immediate impact.

  7. Yessir. And which girls would be less afraid of committing? Why?

    An excellent question. I don’t think the answer is clear-cut. I’ve seen different behaviors from women with the same level of father involvement or same type of father. Might be an innate thing as much as a matter of parenting.

  8. I have a theory on this. Its just something to add to the other theories, not supplant them.

    Ive also choked on the notion that the educated are staying married. Lets not forget that there are men who file for divorces too. Though a smaller number, in the aggregate their motives have an impact on overall divorce stats.

    That’s what makes me think its the presence of some form of stigma. Which also is counter intuitive because we rightly see you go girl rather than don’t go there girl when it comes to UMC divorce.

    So the stigma isn’t coming from peers, other educated yupdinker couples. Maybe Ive talked my way right into the congealing hypothesis.

  9. Missed that last part. FTO arises from love for daddy. Hands down. Or….how about FTO arises from RESPECT for daddy, or to split the hair more, from loving-respect for daddy as opposed to begrudging respect. Tricky line to walk as a daddy of girls. Its very easy to have girls respect you in the sense that they simply fear your displeasure. Its quite another to have her look at you with love and respect when she yields to your will. If you get there …..that girl will have FTO

  10. @ Cane

    Given that most of the ills of society are from fatherlessness, it’s basically love for fathers.

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/behavioral-cycles-and-identity/

    BUT, it is true that everyone is promoting life script. However, the fathers bring more weight to what they are saying.

    I’m sure you’ve seen the statistics on fathers versus mothers and retention of children to the faith. The fathers are significantly more important in the formation of identity and subsequent influence on future decision making of their children.

  11. I agree with Empy on this question based on my own experience. I have an attractive daughter who, I feel strongly, both loves and respects me. Unfortunately, I’m afraid I have unknowingly steered her down the wrong path. She has always been an ambitious and practical girl who was willing to listen to me. I gave her the advice I would give my sons. She is now 30 and single with a Stanford MBA and a high powered Marketing job. Most of her less ambitious friends are married and, with no man in sight, she’s starting to panic. I fear for her happiness.

  12. “is it more likely that love for dad would arise from FTO, or is it more likely that FTO arises from love for dad?”

    Love for dad is the key, of course.

    Speaking of which, even though I’m a dad of eight, I never really understood the innate power of a daughter’s bond with her father until recently with our youngest (and only biological) daughter.

    All our other daughters are adopted, and although my youngest adopted daughter is definitely a daddy’s girl, none of them got to bond with me from infancy.

    My bio daughter, on the other hand, just turned one and is already powerfully bonded with me. She yells for me and will even chase me down when I leave the room, even if she was in the middle of nursing. The other day she tripped and whacked her head on a table. I picked her up and handed her to my wife, thinking she’d want to nurse for comfort. Instead, my daughter turned around and reached for me!

    Neither of my bio boys did anything like that when they were babies.

  13. @bradford

    I have an attractive daughter who, I feel strongly, both loves and respects me. Unfortunately, I’m afraid I have unknowingly steered her down the wrong path.

    I’m not sure the company you are in is good, but it is certainly large. Until my oldest daughter reached high school I went along with the general assumption that college was her future.

    It’s amazing how seriously they take us when they are young.

    @Oscar

    Kids are stranger than strangers.

  14. In general, it should be quite hard to distinguish between respect for authority (especially older authority) and future time orientation. There is, after all, not much need for an authority to tell you to eat, drink, and be merry!

    Another way of looking at it is that it’s kind of a strange thing to be “future-oriented.” How can anyone predict the future? The way we attempt to do it is by extrapolating from the past, but sons and daughters don’t have access to that, except through their parents.

    This is mostly just me thinking out loud; thanks for posting this.

  15. IQ has been found to be a very strong predictor of divorce rates, and it correlates with education and future time orientation. It probably also strongly correlates to daddy’s girls, since high IQ parents are much more likely to have Daddy in the home. From The Bell Curve (emphasis mine):

    It is clear to all researchers who examine the data that higher education is associated with lower levels of divorce. This was certainly true of the NLSY, where the college sample (persons with a bachelor’s degree, no more and no less) had a divorce rate in the first five years of marriage that was less than half that of the high school sample: 7 percent compared to 19 percent. But this raw outcome is deceptive. Holding some critical other things equal–IQ, socioeconomic status, age, and date of marriage–the divorce rate for the high school graduates in the first five years of marriage was lower than for college graduates.

    They also found that IQ played a huge role in divorce rates within the college educated group. Those who were college educated with an IQ of 100 had a 5 year divorce rate of 28%. Those who were college educated with an IQ of 130 had a five year divorce risk of only 9%.

    Education doesn’t seem to be the driving factor, except:

    1) Completing a 4 year degree is a filter for the ability to see something through once started. The group with the highest divorce rates are women with “some college”.
    2) Women who complete college tend to marry later, and the highest divorce risk occurs when wives are young. Delaying marriage not only shortens the length of lifetime marriage, but it removes the most risky years from the equation.

  16. @seriouslypleasedropit says:
    April 23, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    “Another way of looking at it is that it’s kind of a strange thing to be ‘future-oriented’.”

    That reminds me of a Heinlein quote. “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people.”

    It really is strange.

    “How can anyone predict the future? The way we attempt to do it is by extrapolating from the past, but sons and daughters don’t have access to that, except through their parents.”

    It doesn’t seem to be “parents”, but rather fathers who instill in their children the ability to think of – and strive towards – the future.

    We know that people raised by single moms are far more likely to end up in prison, engage in promiscuous sex, get divorced, have kids out of wedlock, flunk out of high school, do drugs, and generally perpetuate the cycle. All these behaviors indicate an inability to think ahead and consider consequences.

    That’s not to say that moms CAN’T instill forethought in their kids (some obviously do), but for the most part, for whatever reason, they DON’T.

    @Dalrock

    Do you know of any correlation between IQ and being raised by dad? I ask because kids raised in orphanages typically have lower IQs than kids raised by parents (although they often catch up after being adopted). Could it also be that removing one parent has a similar, though maybe less pronounced, effect? Is our society making people dumber by dishonoring fatherhood?

  17. @Oscar

    Do you know of any correlation between IQ and being raised by dad? I ask because kids raised in orphanages typically have lower IQs than kids raised by parents (although they often catch up after being adopted). Could it also be that removing one parent has a similar, though maybe less pronounced, effect? Is our society making people dumber by dishonoring fatherhood?

    I don’t, but it would make sense. In The Bell Curve they spent a good deal of time on the question of nature vs nurture, and they went through studies of twins separated at birth. In line with what you suggest, the differences due to upbringing tend to shrink as the twins get older. This would give us causation going both ways. Growing up without dad would suppress the child’s IQ, and children of higher IQ parents (who would then inherit higher IQs than average) would be more likely to grow up with dad in the home.

    One of the points the authors of TBC closed with is that our elites are making rules based on their own (elite) needs, which is incredibly destructive for everyone else, especially those on the lower end of the IQ distribution. This is painfully obvious when it comes to family law. Our elites have crafted a new family structure which they like a great deal, but which is an all out disaster for the average family. I used to think that the drowning out of this observation was a tragic side effect of the controversy around the book. I now suspect that discomfort with the implications of this observation drive the disdain for this book as much if not more than anything else. The idea that public policy shouldn’t be made by and for the elites is arguably the most subversive part of the book.

  18. @Dalrock

    Thanks. Most are from my travels.

    And thanks for the info from TBC.

    @Oscar

    Could it also be that removing one parent has a similar, though maybe less pronounced, effect? Is our society making people dumber by dishonoring fatherhood?

    This is along the lines of that at which I am getting.

    That’s not to say that moms CAN’T instill forethought in their kids (some obviously do), but for the most part, for whatever reason, they DON’T.

    My suspicion is that it’s a matter not of “can or can’t”, but “how much”.

  19. @Dalrock

    “our elites are making rules based on their own (elite) needs, which is incredibly destructive for everyone else, especially those on the lower end of the IQ distribution.”

    Coincidentally, McMegan recently published an article on how child support laws disproportionately damage poor men.

    http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-04-22/when-deadbeat-dads-can-t-catch-a-break

    But she doesn’t offer any solutions. How do we craft family laws that actually help poor families?

  20. @Dalrock,

    I agree the rotating banner is well done. Though I do like the original art.

    @Cane,

    I believe you are correct. There is a young friend of my daughters (my kids are younger than yours I believe) who is most definitely going to college. And she’s going to do it because daddy has said so. She’s a good “farm girl” of the more square-built variety (alas for her), very bright, and very dedicated to her dad. She would, in a better world, go straight at 20 something into a marriage full of kids but dad doesn’t want that. So she won’t.

    Her dad and I have exchanged pleasant though sometimes grouchy words over the topic, not her specifically. He’s an education major though so he’s invested in the philosophy…which is ironic given the rest of his personal beliefs.

    My daughter knows I want grandkids and that college is optional. It may be that college is the right choice for her but if it _is_ it will be in view to find the right guy in the right social strata while living at home.

  21. @ Dalrock

    I appears you’ve answered my question on your blog. Thanks!

    @ Cane

    “This is along the lines of that at which I am getting.”

    Good to know I’m tracking.

    “My suspicion is that it’s a matter not of ‘can or can’t’, but ‘how much’.”

    So, why is it that dads tend to instill forethought in their kids more effectively than moms?

  22. @Oscar

    So, why is it that dads tend to instill forethought in their kids more effectively than moms?

    Because men’s scope of life is larger in general.

    More specifically husbands and fathers are designated providers. That is to say they make provision; as in pro (forward/advanced) vision (sight). Men are farsighted.

    While we men are often annoyed by women’s nagging and (seemingly) piddly concerns, we should recognize that this is an outgrowth of their sphere; which is local…very local. The closer the subject to the woman, the more she’ll be concerned with it. Women are nearsighted.

    Men who are self-centered tend to think of themselves as adrift or deserted (alone in the wilderness). Farsighted, they can’t see the people right at their feet. Selfish women express feelings of being cooped-up or boxed-in (alone in prison). They can’t see others more than zero feet away.

    Our scopes of interpersonal conflict are different, too. Men are strategic. Women are tactical. Even if he is wrong, strategically, truth and good (as he sees it) matter. But to the tactically-minded, there is nothing off-limits. This is why a man loses (or feels as if he did) every argument with his wife. She will feign submission, cry, and then–mid-peace–shank him with a comment he discarded last year.

  23. @ Cane

    So, basically, this is yet another example of how men and women are designed to complement each other. Men look at the big picture and the future, but that can cause us to miss the details and the immediate. Women look at the details and the immediate, but that can cause them to miss the big picture and sacrifice the future for the sake of the immediate.

    It’s also an example of God’s design for headship. Leaders have to keep their eyes on the big picture. Subordinates can and should bring to their leader’s attention instances when they think details are being missed, but ultimately, the leader needs to decide how the details fit into the big picture.

  24. @Oscar

    Yes. It’s also an example of mankind’s relationship to God. He knows His plans, but He still wants us to keep an eye on the details and pray to Him about our little things; yet while keeping our obedience in mind. He has perfect sight, of course, but in this way He gets us involved. He makes us ready for “promotion”; testing and demonstrating faithfulness to us in little things in preparation for bigger things. He makes us more like Him.

  25. @ Cane

    Good point, and good conversation overall. Again, I’m seeing something I didn’t see before reading your blog.

  26. @Oscar,

    I’d emphasize Cane’s comment here on relationship. I’ve been leaning against complementarianism as I get older and taking Ephesians 5 a bit more seriously. In some ways I think women were given to us so we could think about our relationship with God. Children provide the same thing to women.

    It is also why men “grow up” when they get married and women tend to do it after children (there are of course exceptions to each).

  27. @GK Chesterton

    In some ways I think women were given to us so we could think about our relationship with God.

    Agreed. “It’s not good for man to be alone” isn’t just a statement of needing companionship, but of how we are to be instructed.

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  29. @ GK Chesterton says:
    May 1, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    “I’ve been leaning against complementarianism as I get older and taking Ephesians 5 a bit more seriously. In some ways I think women were given to us so we could think about our relationship with God.”

    I don’t see the two as mutually exclusive.

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