Jack’s distribution on Zippy’s moral agency reminded me of most of the Big 6 personality trait distributions, male-female IQ distributions, and others. This seems to me like a fairly good way to assess moral agency as it stands.
Perhaps reading or math level could be a decent analogy. In inner city schools if the parents don’t teach their kids to take school seriously then they’re going to be stunted in their education. Their reading and writing and math will start to lag behind. However, the capacity for something like say math is relatively similar for boys and girls except boys generally trend stronger in the STEM subjects. Let’s go with this analogy.
There’s a common RP saying that “wives are the most responsible teenager in the room.” We’ll assess this later.
Cane Caldo made an astute observation on the temptation nature of men and women that has stuck with me for almost a decade now.
The typical desire of a typical man is weighed thus: “Can I get the goods without getting in trouble?” A woman says to herself, “How do I get the goods without getting in trouble?” While the difference in words is subtle to the ear; the meanings are widely separated. The thought of doing without is a secondary consideration at best. That’s just in the nature of a woman, and why they need a leader.
Now, try and imagine successive generations of women; each raised on more and more skewed diet of unmerited praise and affirmation, but without hearing “No” and without consequences. If you can’t imagine it, then go to the mall, or the office, or the DMV and open your bloody eyes.
So A power-play by a woman is not a misguided come-on. It’s a power-play. There could be a come-on mixed in, but the attempt at control is for its own sake; simply because she is driven to strive to be in control. The come-on (if there) is for him, but the power-play is for power.
Women who don’t want to be in control are a figment of the imagination. It’s their sin nature. The marriageable ones are those women who struggle against it. The honorable women are those who redirect their desires, and only ask themselves “How do I get The Good?”
The difference, as Cane explains, is very similar to how men and women evaluate right and wrong and their consequences.
- Men – Right or wrong? -> if wrong and I want it badly, can I do it without getting in trouble? -> if I can do it without getting in trouble, how can I do it without getting in trouble?
- Women – Right or wrong? -> if wrong and I want it badly, how can I do it without getting in trouble?
This is perhaps related to solipsism. As Cane says, the thought of doing without is a secondary consideration. When a woman really wants something she will do everything to make it happen (e.g. pursue an alpha). This is why Eve is easily deceived into taking and eating the fruit. Envy and jealousy are two of womens’ biggest struggles.
Now, we have some type of scenario where most men and women are able to get to college level of moral agency. Men probably have some sort of inherent advantage where they are more inclined to be 100% moral actors, but moral agency can be blunted if right and wrong are not taught adequately. Hence, why God instructed Israel’s men (Deut 6) to constantly teach the law to their children. Parents need to teach their kids right from wrong.
However, some men and even more women get stunted in their educational growth on moral agency. Just as rich parents who spoil their kids get kids who have no morals or responsibility, so too the culture at the moment pushes women to less morally capable than they are able to be.
When Judeo-Christian values were nearly universally accepted in the West most men and women got to at least high school or college level — probably 80-100% range — of being capable moral agents. However, with the increase in victimhood culture especially with women and minority groups, moral agency has started to plummet. We are seeing grade school and middle school level moral agents these days. Perhaps even some toddler level.
However, for Christians, Christ exemplifies this for the Church which is the analogy used for husbands and wives.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Sanctification can only be had if someone is a moral agent and able to determine right and wrong. Only if they know what is right and wrong are they able to be convicted by their conscience and repent of their wrongdoing. Hence, why husbands are tasked with sanctifying their wives like Christ does the Church.
This is how the process usually goes:
Obviously, a wife who is respectful and submissive even when it is difficult is much easier to trust than one who is disrespectful and rebellious. But there are many different steps that it takes to get there. For instance,
- A wife who is disrespectful and rebellious according to her own whims
- A wife who knows what is right but can be disrespectful and rebellious when things get tough for her
- A wife who knows what is right but has developed greater self control and perseverance but sometimes slips up when things are tough
- A wife who knows what is right and it’s rare that she’s disrespectful and rebellious
There can be many in between with these circumstances like how she responds to teaching, correction, or rebuke for good or for evil. You could probably make another whole list or expand this one to 8-9 bullet points with these.
However, the point is that if you and your wife are a Christian and actively wanting to obey God and His Biblical roles and responsibilities, the sanctification process will be gradual over time in most cases and it is a process. This process is cultivated step by step and large jumps though they can happen tend to be unlikely since unlearning ingrained sinfulness is difficult.
Regardless of the level of moral agency of a wife started at or has grown in the process, the goal should be to continually sanctify her to be more like Jesus. Thus, her moral capability to acknowledge any wrongdoing and repent should increase over time. As she becomes a stronger moral agent, she will become a more mature Christian who can resist temptation more effectively.
Circling back to the “women are the most responsible teenager in the room” saying, I think this is conditionally true. It can be true if a woman is stuck a middle school to high school level of moral agency with associated responsibility. However, like most RP sayings they ignore the absolute truth from the Scriptures that women do have the capacity for moral growth through the sanctification process.