Contraception’s under the radar effect on divorce

Now that we’re on the topic of marriages and not marriages, that led me to thinking more about the reasons for divorce. I’ve written on contraception before, but I didn’t really think about it in terms of divorce.

We know that hormonal contraception alters womens’ mate preference attraction. Some articles on how that works here in Time and Scientific American. The general conclusion is that women prefer more masculine features and/or personality in men when off of the pill. Hence, they’re more likely to marry more feminine looking men and/or with less masculine personalities when on the pill, and when they go off of it find them less attractive.

We know that about 50% of marriages implode, and about ~70% of divorces are initiated by women, which means about 35% of all marriages are imploded by women. Many of these which are due to unhaaaapyness and “I love you but I’m not in love with you.”

To connect the dots, it would be interesting to look up the how much of the actual female population was on oral hormonal contraception given that we know the average age of marriage is currently sitting at 27 for women and 29 for men.

CDC data on contraception use for 2006-2012.

A whopping 50% of the population 15-24 of women in the US are using oral hormonal contraception, and it only declines to about 33% in the age at which 50% of women get married.

The use of a hormonal method by nulliparous women, either the pill or another hormonal method, to delay a first pregnancy increased 20% between 1995 to 2006–2010, from slightly more than one-half of women with no births (52%) in 1995 to approximately 63% in 2006–2010.

Almost twice as many women who intend more children used other hormonal methods in 2006–2010 (11%) than in 1995 (6.0%). IUD usage increased by about the same amount among women who intend more children (from 0.6% to 5.5%) as among those who intend no more children (0.8% compared with 5.3%)

Among women who intended to have children, married or not, the rate of oral hormonal contraceptive use increased over the general female population use to 63% and up to 74% for other contraceptive use total.There’s like ~10 points on religious use and contraception, but here are two of the more important ones.

Baptist and Fundamentalist Protestant women used the pill to a lesser degree (21%) compared with Catholic (28%) or other Protestant (29%) women, or women with no religious affiliation (31%).

Catholic women (18%) and women with no religious affiliation (16%) more frequently rely on their partner’s use of condoms as their most effective contraceptive method compared with Baptist or Fundamentalist Protestant women (12%). Women for whom religion is not important (22%) rely on partner’s use of condoms more frequently than women for whom religion is very important (15%).

Lots of nominal Catholics given the Catholic Church forbids contraception. Also shows that the Church is almost no different from the secular on these points, much like other various Life Script(tm) of go to college, get a job, and so on before marriage. Again, not surprising the Church divorce rate is quite similar to the secular when you have marriages that mimic them.

Overall, I am extremely surprised that contraception is as ubiquitous as it is among 15-24 year old women (~50% of all women) and among those who are planning to have a child (~63% for hormonal, ~74% total). Given that 35% of all marriages are imploded by wives, I do not think it would be a stretch to say that contraception plays a significant role in the implosion of marriages due to its effects on wives’ attraction toward their husbands.

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10 Responses to Contraception’s under the radar effect on divorce

  1. Roman Lance says:

    In Catholic marriages I am certain that one of the overriding tells that a woman is not “happy” in the marriage is the willingness with which she accepts the use of NFP. I have been preaching against NFP in my house for years due to the fact that it promotes the contraceptive mindset. Which is to say it produces a mindset where the practitioners believe that God’s command to be fruitful and multiply doesn’t apply this month, or year. What a slap in the face to God! God wants us to be ready always for the new life he desires to send us without us putting anything in the way; even our own “responsible” intentions.

    I realize their are legitimate reasons… blah blah, but I don’t accept that the vast majority of the reasons given for using NFP are legitimate.

    NFP is a trust killer; slow, insidious and relentless. Moreover, the people who use it won’t necessarily see it coming. And they will be left wondering what went wrong? Why don’t I trust my husband or wife any longer?

    I hate NFP. I hate it will all my heart.

  2. cynicinchief says:

    Interesting stats. I wonder how many women nuked their marriages after switching to non-hormonal birth control, such as sterilization above, or going off it to have a baby? When suddenly their husbands weren’t as attractive as before (since they wanted more masculine features when off the synthetic hormones). Besides the dead bedroom and kids leaving the home, it would also explain why there are so many divorces when couples get older and menopause kicks in.

  3. donalgraeme says:

    Not surprised by the Catholic numbers, sadly. So many lies being told, and so much willful ignorance there it makes me physically sick.

    But good question to ask in the first place. I think the effects of “The Pill” are far more drastic and widespread than most can imagine.

  4. @cynicinchief

    We don’t know, but we also know it doesn’t help. There’s probably too much noise to ever separate it out, but it’s definitely “an issue”.

    Also, hopefully we’re getting to the point to discuss just how much of a problem manipulating the hormonal state of a person is. It utterly shifts a huge slate of personal preferences & actions. We understand what a Testosterone Cycle does to a Man, yet we flood Women with similarly as disordering amounts of hormones and we call this good.

    But we also allow it because the “moral” framework has been shifted where “sex with whoever I want” is accepted among Women. And they’ll not stop until they get it. The vast majority of “Church Ladies” will be eager to help as well.

  5. earlthomas786 says:

    I think the reason artifical birth control spikes up the divorce rate is two fold.

    1) It gives women a false sense of security that they can have sex with what the sphere calls ‘dark triad’ men without the natural consequence they’ll get pregnant (even though she can still get pregnant while on the Pill). So it opens the door to becoming very sexually immoral (and other things like uncontrolled hypergamy) which is one death knell to marriage.

    2) The reasons stated above. It alters her hormones and mate selection. If she ever gets off of them suddenly the ‘not happpppppies’ occur.

  6. Daniel says:

    Margaret Sanger:

    No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.

  7. Mark MacIntyre says:

    I’m not surprised it’s as ubiquitous as it is. Unfortunately, in the USA in particular, there is an extremely strong influence by the pharmaceutical industry to push for medical “solutions” to all of life’s inconveniences. In this context, when a girl starts menstruation and isn’t enjoying it, quite a few doctors will put them on the pill, when just a healthier diet and exercise would make their periods a lot less painful, no medical intervention required.

    Also, doctors are trained to ask if their young female patients have become sexually active and, if so, put them on the pill. This is ostensibly to avoid unwanted pregnancy, but really it’s to make more money for the pharmaceutical companies who manufacture birth control. You don’t build a trillion-dollar-a-year industry by passing up on these kinds of opportunities.

    As for women becoming unhappy with their partner choices when they come off the pill, I agree that this is a significant contributing factor in marriage breakdowns and affairs. Add to that the awful mainstream advice men get when their partners aren’t happy — do more housework, give them more freedom, be more subservient in general — and it’s no wonder it causes so much trouble.

  8. earlthomas786 says:

    This is ostensibly to avoid unwanted pregnancy, but really it’s to make more money for the pharmaceutical companies who manufacture birth control.

    My brother, I always wondered if I was one of the few who saw the money grabbing scheme it is.

    On top of that…with the fail rate of contraceptives it’s no wonder the abortion industry is closely tied to the contraceptive industry.

  9. Wow, I didn’t know that. Makes sense though. I decided against hormonal contraceptives years ago, mostly because they make me feel psychotic, and a little because they make me fat. I never would have put two and two together with divorce. Interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  10. honordads says:

    1-Exactly what Pope JPII predicted.
    2-Exactly what happens during a woman’s mid life crisis.

    PS: Sadly watching our church worship leader divorce her husband of a decade with three young kids. Found happiness in her guitar teacher. Pastor says nothing.

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