Friday, July 04, 2008

Further discussion of the uncomfortable subject of Old Men and Young Girls.

A lot is said about the primary function of marriage as being for the purpose of raising a family and of having children. The elephant in the room is the reality of declining fertility and rising rates of birth defects. First the birth defect angle, quoting from Wikipedia.

"Birth defects, especially those involving chromosome number and arrangement, also increase with the age of the mother. According to the March of Dimes, 'At age 25, a woman has about a 1-in-1,250 chance of having a baby with Down syndrome; at age 30, a 1-in-1,000 chance; at age 35, a 1-in-400 chance; at age 40, a 1-in-100 chance; and at 45, a 1-in-30 chance.'"

No one wants to whelp a monster. I would love a child of mine that was so burdened, but no one wishes for such an occurrence. As a man seeking a wife with whom one of my primary functions would be to reproduce and form a family, who would I select? Society tells me to pick a professional woman who has unfortunately passed her fertility prime. Who has unfortunately fallen in all likelihood from the ranks of the chaste. All these things fly in the face of what God tells us and his apparent design. "Be fruitful, and multiply" saith the LORD, not "find a professional wife and postpone fertility."

We now have more expansive definitions of abuse. Suppose that I take a fertile woman nearer my own age, if she is 45 I forgo the greater number of children, the greater number of chances to have them and I increase the chances that they will be sickly. If I have four children with a woman over 40, I keep her pregnant most of her fifth decade and the chances are greater than even that I will produce at least one child with downs syndrome. That's a one in six chance of that defect, 4 kids. Statistics say if I have six kids at that age for a mother, one will be downs, so if I have three or four, I've got a better than 50/50 chance. Am I not abusive by some measure to seek to bring defective children into the world? Abusive to them, abusive to future generations and so on? That's one way of looking at it.

Next, let's address the fertility curve itself;

"Women's fertility peaks around the age of 19-24, and often declines after 30."

If I want children, as a man, (and God knows and tells us I SHOULD) who do I pick? From a functional standpoint, again wishing to pick the chaste girl, not the "experienced" one, I pick someone on the upswing. Frankly without the clucking of society factored in I pick a girl BEFORE she's 19, that way I enjoy the most fertile years of her life with her healthiest children. Unless you go to the wife store and pick one off the shelf as she's approaching peak freshness, where do I find this 19-24 with which to have the largest number of healthy children? Um, that would be 18 or under.

If we pursue a goal involving some compatibility for the emotional welfare of that girl whom we intend to take as wife, plans are getting in gear a little sooner than the wedding day. I'm sure Dad wants to get to know ME, I'm sure SHE wants to get to know me, and so on.

This all goes to the question of where does a man find a WIFE? A wife in the TRADITIONAL sense, for after all, the Apostle Paul says;

"Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety."

That does PRIORITIZE having children, doesn't it? It does so not as a detriment to women, but as a BENEFIT to them. Don't I help my wife in a general sense by causing her to have children?

Men and women are so very much different. If you look at the curve for men's fertility it does not go into the steep decline that women experience.

"Sperm count declines with age, with men aged 50-80 years producing sperm at an average rate of 75% compared with men aged 20-50 years. However, an even larger difference is seen in how many of the seminiferous tubules in the testes contain mature sperm;

* In males 20-39 years old, 90% of the seminiferous tubules contain mature sperm.
* In males 40-69 years old, 50% of the seminiferous tubules contain mature sperm.
* In males 80 years old and older, 10% of the seminiferous tubules contain mature sperm.

This does not directly correlate with any absolute decline in fertility, since there are still many sperm cells left for fertilization."

To put it another way, the only swimmers that win the race are the healthy ones. I drop my odds a little by being older, but I still have mature seed that can run the race and achieve the goal. Furthermore, they're young in relative terms. My 20 year old wife in this hypothetical has older seed than I do.

Thank you Captain Obvious, what we have just reiterated here is that men can go on having children successfully into their 90's. Women hit the top of the baby roller coaster while still teens and peak while very young, most quitting altogether shortly after they turn 40. We knew that you say. But I say you're in denial. This is the Elephant in the room no one wants to talk about.

Those of us who believe the Bible is historic truth have no choice but to understand the implication of design. Women are meant to marry YOUNG. They mature physically faster than boys do. Generally in grade school we notice the girls get taller, start getting interested in boys sooner than we did. The first girl I was romantically serious about when I was 13 was eye level with me at that age. Years later when I saw her again, she was SHORT. In the sex sweepstakes she blew past me at warp speed and got where she was going a long time before I did.

This also shows up in promiscuity statistics that I mentioned earlier in the blog. When girls and boys fornicate, it's shown that at least in these days and times, girls start earlier than boys do and get a jump on them in that category. That's not an endorsement, just an observation. Boys catch up later, but it's just another one of those reality markers about how we were designed. The vocation of women is child bearing. God tells us that, design bears this out. There are exceptions, but that's the general reality. They get there in a hurry as well. They're best for it for a rather narrow window.

Men get there later, and have a longer window of opportunity. Now, those of you who sign on to intelligent design (as I do), what does that tell you?

Are we conforming to the world or are we informing it? By consenting to the idea that we should raise ages of marriage/consent in the law, and by inserting an age differential factor, are we not saying no to God's plan, and yes to a worldly one?

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Disciple said...

Right on, Hugh!

We (those of us professing to believe God's Word) have been putting another, a strange god before Him - the god of Zeitgeist. We go with the culture in which we happen to live instead of consulting His Word prayerfully.

This is so easy to do, and wanting to conform to the ambient is a natural tendency. Nonetheless, we should not conform to anything but our Lord; we should inform the world (i.e. be that lamp on a lampstand, that city on a hill).

You are so right, too, about the subject of age difference in marriage. Christianity has so easily bought into the current Zeitgeist. Is it really so innocent? To leave God's Word behind for the christ of "progress" promised by men in white laboratory coats who honor each other with academic titles, and considering themselves to be wise, point mockingly and disparagingly at God's Word, tickling our ears with pronouncements that WE have progressed beyond such beggarly social standards as are recorded in God's Law-Word.

Prase be to God for those like you who are coming to the knowledge of the truth and have the gift for communicating it!

Keep up the good work!

John said...


Good job with a difficult topic. I join Disciple in that analysis. Keep on keeping on!