As the age of first marriage has gone up, the signals young men receive have also been pushed out. In the 1950s and 1960s half of all (first) weddings occurred before the woman’s twenty first birthday. This meant that women were often scoping out potential husbands in high school. They didn’t necessarily marry the man they paired up with in high school, but the criteria they were using to pair up was generally a marriage minded criteria set. There was practically no time for an AF/BB split. So for a man who went to high school in the 50s or 60s, signaling provider capability was immediately rewarded in the SMP. They probably weren’t making any money yet, but women were looking for precursor indicators (work ethic, grades, secondary education plans, etc).
There are many points to make about this,
1. Incentives matter. The boys want the girls, they will do what needs to be done, if they can figure it out. Preparing for a hopefully prosperous future was something that was useful for a wife and society. Presently, the incentives are much reduced; video games give a better rate of return.
2. Youngsters were forced to consider their future. They still do, but it is normally vague stuff like work some, live in Mom’s basement, maybe get a degree, play around, etc. Hard thinking and the advice in doing that hard thinking are presently lacking (expect for UMC types, who emphasize degrees, but are lacking in other areas). As an example, a nephew just got his first job ever at age 34.
3. Both sides were forced to grow up fully in their 20s. Some might consider this to be good, some might consider this to be bad. In any event, it happened.
4. Women don’t have the time to develop the bad attitudes and behaviors in their 20s. Let’s face it, it is not good. Ask yourself this question: does anything good developmental-wise come out the modern woman’s time in their twenties? Perhaps she develops some job skills, but she absorbs lots of BS from her friends and others. And how about those explore yourself/get to know the world experiences?
5. Huge reduction in alpha widows. This might be the biggest point of all. The fertile ground where they form just wasn’t there. To summarize the present day damage, married women who are alpha widows make poor wives and mothers because they are always pining for the past and resentful of the present. We do care about the children, don’t we? Apparently not.
Please feel free to add your own