“It’s better to marry young because you can marry a girl straight out of high school, before she gets set in her ways and too comfortable by herself.” –Clem “Golden Boy” Hartford

“You have to get to them when they’re young before they get set to certain ways of thinking.” –Jonas, probably.

Unsurprisingly, Gannon finds it interesting that the honchos behind the FLDS, unconstrained by feminism and social convention, chose to mate with very young ladies. I find it interesting, too, though for different reasons. I actually agree with Gannon that men frequently can be sexually attracted to younger women and even people that we call children (but aren’t in any biological sense). Where Gannon and I differ is that he finds this to be determinative that to struggle against it is counterproductive and unnatural and that’s not how I see it at all. From my perspective, to the extent that it is a natural instinct it is sometimes natural in some men in the same sense that a propensity for violence is natural and the desire for men to have sex with as many women as he can is natural. In other words, it’s an aspect of our nature that we set up societies to moderate.

One of the more disturbing aspects of a lot of Gannon’s comments here and elsewhere and the comments of those like him are their talks about how unsullied young women are. They haven’t been embittered by feminism or a perpetually broken heart or whatever. He talks of how… fresh… they are. Not just in the physical sense, but in the mental and emotional senses as well. This disturbs me the same way that it would disturb me to hear a land developer talk about how natural and pristine a particular place is. He likes it natural and pristine so that he can himself develop it.

Between the ages of 15 and 25, a young lady will do her growing and by the end of that will become the core of the woman that she’ll be for the rest of her life. What Gannon, Golden Boy, and Probably Jonas are essentially saying is that it’s better to get in on the ground floor of this elevator and that the woman that appears at the top is inferior to the one at the bottom. She hasn’t been properly trained. The 25 year old has all sorts of inconvenient ideas and desires.

And I’ll be honest and say that I understand what they’re talking about. It’s nice to able to influence someone into being interested in what you’re interested in and doing the things that you like to do. My ex-girlfriend Julie (who was in the 15-25 bracket) was wonderfully malleable. She came around to agree with me politically, religiously, and we’d watch anime together, play video games, and listen to the same sorts of music and watch the same sorts of shows despite not having a whole lot of similar interests when we first met. It was something of a big deal when she wanted to watch Will & Grace and I wanted to watch SportsNight, which came on against one another.

My wife, I’ve learned, is not nearly so malleable. Getting her interested in a number of the things I am interested in is a longshot. Comic books and anime are out. Playing video games against one another is also not going to happen. Alternative rock? Not so much. Politics? We disagree a lot. Religion? Woooooo boy. Some of it is because I married a much more hard-headed woman than I dated a decade ago, but at the same time I’m less malleable when I was then. Ten years ago I acquired an interest in country music from Julie but I haven’t really made a similar effort with Clancy’s preferences of chick rock and classic rock, to pick an example.

To me there is an inherent problem when it comes to someone that has grown out of their malleable years dating someone that hasn’t. I can agree with Golden Boy’s comment so long as he says that men should get married young, too (which, since the LDS advocates it, I suspect that he does). But people with the wisdom of 25 years experience extolling the virtues of the inexperience of a 15 year old troubles me. It makes me believe that there is an element of control involved. A desire to be Pygmalion and create a statue to fall in love with.

While Gannon sees the FLDS situation and the apparent preference for teens on the part of the old men as supportive of his belief that such relationships should be more commonplace (or at least not illegal), I look at the same and see exactly what I fear about such relationships. The FLDS is built upon the manipulation and control of the young. So it’s not at all surprising to me that they would bite the bullet and take control of their sexuality as soon as they possibly can. Marry them off at 14 and they’ll never have anything to compare their sexual experience as a member of an old man’s collection.

I’ve thought about what I would do if my fifteen year old daughter came home with a twenty-five year old boyfriend and whether or not I could bring myself to approve. In the end, I couldn’t, and more than anything I think that the reason would be that she hasn’t fully discovered who she is yet and he probably has. Further, it is not necessarily in his interest for her to become all that she is capable of becoming. Unspoken would be the corollary that he is in a better position to prevent her from becoming all that she is capable of becoming than some numbnut that she’s going to school with.


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20 Responses to Men Can Be Such Pygmalions

  1. Peter says:

    One theme behind some of the early-marriage advocates is that early marriage for females makes it easier for them to have large numbers of children. And that, in turn, means that Western Civilization may be able to avoid being out-bred by the darker hordes and, especially, by the Towel Heads. I’ll bet that a significant percentage of those who favor early marriage also subscribe to Islam-will-Conquer-the-World-and-haul-us-off-to-the-ovens panty piddling paranoia. Even Gannon has hinted at this sort of motivation, though why someone in Argentina should care pretty much escapes me.

  2. bobvis says:

    You’re referring to the naturalistic fallacy here: the belief that because something is natural that thing is good. Unfortunately, all sorts of bad things come naturally. Animals rape one another. Racism has been found in experiments to be established in children even before language. Untreated water, for that matter, is natural too. None of these are particularly good though. Pursuit of the very young, even if it is a natural urge, may be in the same category.
    —–
    An alternate theory to the malleability hypothesis, which I follow, is that many of us haven’t established our personalities yet at younger ages. Our personalities are going to end up being whatever they will be. Your spouse can influence this only somewhat. So, in marrying a very young girl, you don’t really know what you will be getting into. (The same thing goes for appearance, by the way. I’d rather marry someone at least 25 (at the low end). If they are much younger, they all look good. This falls off rapidly as we age for both men and women.)

  3. Gannon says:

    @Peter: Islam is a real thread to Europe: what you don’t seem to understand is that the Islamic population is slowly outbreeding the European one. Northafrica and small Asia once belonged to the Germanic-latin-helenic world. Turks and arabs in Germany are not becoming German, but follow Sharia. They are demanding Sharia to override European law. Coward Euopean courts are granting their wishes. I travel to Germany on a regular basis, and parts of Berlin and Köln are starting to look like Teheran. Once they become the majority things will get violent. Just see what happened in Serbia (the US bombings on Serb christian troops does proof to me that part of the US government hates white christians). This same cowardice and hipocrisy is also well alive on this board or on bobvis: if a nice white 25 year old christian wants to marry consentually a nice 15 year old female, then he must be the worst kind of pedophile. But if a 40 year old muslim marries a 10 year girl then anybody who opposes this must be the worst kind of racist ever seen on earth and we must tolerate all cultural differences.

    @Trumwill: Men don’t want to date teens because they can control them or because of the power diference. Feminists are obsessed about power and domination. Men like teen girls because they are higly fertile, very attractive and in their bonding years. Teen girls are also cherry and always smilling. If you want to know why teen girls are better than old gals read Dusk in Autumn form Agnostic, accesible through Half Sigma. That men should focus on dating women after their most attractive years have passed (after 25) shows me that they are rather deluded. I also think you are incredible selfish for sacrificing the happiness of your daughter on the altar of your feminists believe. True love between postpubescent people is ageless.

  4. Gannon says:

    “None of these are particularly good though. Pursuit of the very young, even if it is a natural urge, may be in the same category.”
    But you must argue why that is. I say a girl 14 and above is sexually mature and has enough emotional, cognitive and rational maturity, so she can consent on sex by hersel and on marriage with parental authorization.

    So, in marrying a very young girl, you don’t really know what you will be getting into”
    You do: just look at the mother and father.

  5. trumwill says:

    Peter,
    I’ve not noticed a huge overlap (Gannon aside). There is a huge overlap between pro-natalists and fear of Islamic domination. Pro-natalism can be separated from extremely early marriage if you start reproducing in your early twenties.

  6. trumwill says:

    Bob,

    I agree that the ability to control young people is limited (any parent can tell you that), but it’s much stronger at 15 than at 25. It’s much, much easier to redefine what’s “normal” with someone inexperienced.

  7. trumwill says:

    True love between postpubescent people is ageless.

    Not. At. All. Even if we look at only people over the age of twenty this isn’t true. The older you get the larger the age difference needs to be, but it occurs across the spectrum. Take two people that are aged apart significantly, age is an issue (at least in American society). It’s not necessarily an issue that cannot be overcome, but it’s an issue nonetheless.

  8. trumwill says:

    This same cowardice and hipocrisy is also well alive on this board or on bobvis: if a nice white 25 year old christian wants to marry consentually a nice 15 year old female, then he must be the worst kind of pedophile. But if a 40 year old muslim marries a 10 year girl then anybody who opposes this must be the worst kind of racist ever seen on earth and we must tolerate all cultural differences.

    Care to provide a link either here or on Bobvis of anybody defending 40 year olds marrying 10 year olds in Muslim society?

  9. Peter says:

    There is a huge overlap between pro-natalists and fear of Islamic domination. Pro-natalism can be separated from extremely early marriage if you start reproducing in your early twenties.

    You’re right, pro-natalism does not necessarily require support for very young marriage. The overlap probably is stronger in the other direction, with most teen-marriage advocates also being pro-natalists.

    Agreed about the pro-natalist/Islamophone overlap.

  10. Willard Lake says:

    The gap between one’s actions and the effect that they will have on their lives is not truly gapped until the mid-twenties on average. That is a neurological fact. Sure, I can convince a 14 year old that having sex with me is in her best interest, and have a difficult time doing the same thing with a 24 year old, and that has little to do with the ten years of embitterment that that woman may have allegedly recieved. They are just more capable of understanding the consequences (both good and ill) of their actions the older they get.

  11. Abel says:

    Willard,

    I agree with you 100%.

    Will,

    With the FLDS, I believe it’s all about control. Hard to leave the group if you’re 18 and already have a couple of kids and no other way to support them.

    Abel

  12. Brandon Berg says:

    I prefer younger women mostly because they’re prettier now and will stay that way longer, but malleability is another plus, and I don’t see anything wrong with this.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to be assuming that if a woman doesn’t marry early and leads a relatively normal life until she’s 25, then and only then will her “true” personality be allowed to develop. But for better or for worse, she will be influenced by the men with whom she consorts in her youth, whether it’s one or a dozen.

    The question is not whether her development will be influenced by others, but rather by whom and in what way. I’d rather it be me than the usual lineup.

    Of course, this can go both ways. Just as one good man can exert better influence on a young woman than can a dozen men of mixed quality, so can one bad man screw her up much more severely. So while it may, in general, be bad for women to marry young, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t expect a priori that for certain couples it would work out pretty well for everyone involved.

  13. Brandon Berg says:

    Also, I’m skeptical of the idea that you can’t predict how a woman you marry at 16 will turn out at 25. I suspect that changes in personality during those years are due primarily to external influences, not to the expression of genes that have lain dormant up to that point. If you are the primary external influence, this makes it unlikely that there will be an undesired change in her personality. At least, that’s the model I have, though I’m not wedded to it.

  14. Brandon Berg says:

    For the record, I do think that it’s unwise for a woman to marry at 16, mostly because she’s unlikely to be able to pick out a good husband.

  15. Spungen says:

    If you are the primary external influence, this makes it unlikely that there will be an undesired change in her personality. At least, that’s the model I have, though I’m not wedded to it.

    Well, I guess if you keep her in a dungeon, that model works. 😉 Otherwise, she’ll become more educated, more independent, and will desire to try new things. Think how easily you got bored at 16. Why do you think women are any different?

    But you are right about picking out a good husband. Gannon has never, never answered my main criticism of his plan: How are young women supposed to weed out the losers? Teenagers have very little knowledge of finances or the working world. How can they successfully cull 30-year-olds? Perhaps he thinks parents should pick out the husbands?

    A lot of guys might say the problem is that young women would pick flashy jerks. I say, it’s at least as big a problem picking guys they believe will be stable and good earners, but in fact will not. And they need men who are financially stable and successful if they’re going to get married at 16 and start pumping out children.

  16. Spungen says:

    For instance, most of the guys who dumped me in college are doing rather poorly now. I sure wouldn’t want to be stuck with them raising a family. And they weren’t flashy alphas. But back when I was 18 or 19, I assumed certain positive things about any guy going to college that turned out not to be true.

  17. trumwill says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to be assuming that if a woman doesn’t marry early and leads a relatively normal life until she’s 25, then and only then will her “true” personality be allowed to develop.

    Well sort of. What I’m saying is that if a person’s romantic experience is limited to one person, that makes it less likely that they will be able to discover their “true” personality. Or at least be able to fully understand what their preferences are and the circumstances in which they are most likely to be happy. It’s easier for them to be manipulated into things that they think will make them happy. When it’s two sixteen year olds it works itself out because it’s extremely unlikely that both are going to be competent enough to hold the relationship together. Throw a 25 year old with a 16 year old and it becomes more problematic.

    I also have a basic problem with the notion of a man saying “I got 25 years to figure out who I am and what I want, but I only want her to have 16 because it’s more advantageous to me to help influence who she is and what she wants.” As I said in the post, I understand the inclination. I understand where you’re coming from. But I don’t think it’s a desire that should be indulged. Who you think she should be is not necessarily what she is best off becoming. It’s a problem that parents run into when they guide their children too heavily. With parents, though, it’s more of a necessity (children need to be guided) and it comes with a stop-point (eventually you release them into the world). I am discomforted with the notion that young women (or young men, for that matter) should be passed on from a set of mentors to another mentor.

  18. trumwill says:

    Well, I guess if you keep her in a dungeon, that model works. 😉 Otherwise, she’ll become more educated, more independent, and will desire to try new things. Think how easily you got bored at 16. Why do you think women are any different?

    That’s a good point. American teenagers are not the models of stability. One of my disagreements with Gannon is the notion that the teenage years are a girl’s “bonding years”. Little I’ve seen in my life suggests that’s true. I was looking for stable relationships when I was sixteen. Despite their protestations, most girls really weren’t.

  19. trumwill says:

    I agree with Brandon about the predictability of the 16-to-25 year old trek most young people would make. I think if you took a look at a class of 30 or so young men and women, you’d have enough experience watching people grow up that you’d be able to approximate personality barring external influence (which, if you are the senior partner in the relationship, would be you).

    On the other hand, you’d still be wrong more frequently than you would gauging 25-to-34 growth and a lot of people get that wrong. Also, most of the guys that express interest in young girls, including Gannon and others, are expressing interest in the very things that are going to change. Get married for the wide-eyes and giggles, get stuck with all those characteristics of their personality that you weren’t looking as closely at.

  20. Gannon says:

    @Spungen
    “Perhaps he thinks parents should pick out the husbands?”
    I think you are answering your own question. The girl should choose her guy, but her parents should advise her, because they definitively CAN filter out the losers. And also, in the end, you can’t predict the future. I know guys who made money in their youth, lost their job at 40 and weren´t able to recover.
    @Trumwill: you make some valid points, but none is good enough for CRIMINALIZING such a relationship.

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