January 18th, 2011
04:54 PM ET
Men have upper hand in sexual economy
It's not a new theory: As women progress in educational and professional opportunities, their odds of finding a committed man appear to go down. Women in their 40s and 50s have long heard this, but new research finds it's true for women just entering adulthood as well.
That's one of the findings in the new book "Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate and Think About Marrying," by researchers Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker at the University of Texas at Austin.
They looked at the results from a number of national studies including the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and the National Study of Youth and Religion, in addition to interviews with young people ages 18 to 23.
Researchers found that since women in the 18- to 23-year-old group feel they don't need men for financial dependence, many of them feel they can play around with multiple partners without consequence, and that the early 20s isn't the time to have a serious relationship. But eventually, they do come to want a real, lasting relationship. The problem is that there will still be women who will have sex readily without commitment, and since men know this, fewer of them are willing to go steady.
"Women have plenty of freedom, but freedom does not translate easily into getting what you want," Regnerus said.
The wide availability of pornography has also influenced the dynamics of relations between men and women, Regnerus said. A segment of 20-something men are content to have their sexual experiences by themselves, removing them from the pool of available partners. That means high-quality men - likely those who want monogamous, committed relationships - are still eligible for dating, but the overall dating pool has shrunk, meaning some women will be left unsatisfactorily single.
Researchers also found that marrying at or before age 20 constitutes the greatest risk for subsequent divorce, the data show. Early marriage doesn’t cause the divorce, but the partners are likely to be unprepared for the kinds of adjustments required, Regnerus said.
And here's perhaps some good news: Sexual behavior among this age group is less salacious than you might think. The "hookup culture" is most prominent when there is a Greek system present; otherwise, college students seem more inclined toward stable relations and have fewer sexual partners.
In case you were wondering, 16% of 18- to 23-year-olds are virgins, according to the surveys used in the book. In that age group there are more men than women who have never had sex. By age 27, the portion of virgins goes down to 8%.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
observer, Of course the article is talking about broad social trends bot specific women. Stay in school if you can't figure that out and that it makes you confused.
Leo has made the most astutue comment. "The reality is – Most women who are available to date and are single come with baggage, and usually emotionally scarred by the time they realize who they are as individuals" As a single man in his mid 30's most of the women I date my age are just as Leo has described. (basically past their expiration date) I work hard, work out 6 days a week and I still go dancing, dinning and dating and most of the women I am attracted to are younger because unfortunately the women my age do have baggage, don't take care of themselves and are psychotic.
Funny how life works, nice guys are disillusioned by what they romantically thought women really wanted from them in life when they were in their 20's when women were into bad boys and now that i'm in my 30's, single, good looking with money and still the nice guy, I consider myself a super catch, however I will not date those same women my age who are basically damaged goods.
Ladies you have NO ONE to blame but yourselves.
Outstanding. I'm in the same situation, and I'll never marry. There is no benefit to men. Men: read nomarriage.com
I married a foreign woman. She is from Alabama
Hahaha! That is so funny .... In Australia she'd be from Tasmania. Well, it is over water.
Sarah in TX, I'm sorry to dissapoint you and I appologize for the idiot who sold you the fairy tale of a prince charming comming to pick you up in his modern day mercedez/ horse and take you to his castle/mansion where you can have servants cater to your every need and go shopping daily to your hearts content while the nanny takes care of your kids. You were duped into believing the same fairy tale us men have grown up with. Apparently the woman/princess who doesn't cheat, has dinner cooked when you get home from a long days work and waits to make love to you is also a fairy tale.
Nope. Not a fantasy at my house. My husband is a very happy man (he is not shy about saying so). I think in our case it's because we were both hurt in the past and we really appreciate each other. We got married in our late 40s when our kids from our past relationships were all grown. He gets breakfast made in the morning for on the way to work. His lunch is ready to go. His clothes ready to put on. His dinner is ready when he's ready for it. The bedroom is a very nice place to be several times a week. I drive 2 hours to care for his mother several times a week and take care of the bills for our house and hers. I don't want him anywhere near my kitchen. I earn about 1/2 what he does, but he doesn't seem to mind. We have pretty simple rules. I take care of everything inside the house and he takes care of everything outside the house (yard,cars etc.). No, I'm not kidding. And we're both really, really happy to see each other in the morning and at the end of the day. He respects me, and I respect him.He takes good care of me, and I take good care of him... He's my Knight in shining armor and I am His Lady.
It requires communication, patience and dedication to a joint goal of a good life together. I'm just not sure how many people are willing to make that kind of commitment anymore...but we decided together that we were/are. Oh and one more thing we do out of the norm. We had a wiccan handfasting after our "legal" wedding. We follow the wiccan tradition of recommitting once a year. That means we go away for a weekend, and really talk about anything that is an issue, and then recommit for another year only after we get it all worked out. It makes you really think about it. It works for us....
OUTSTANDING (in voice of Mortal Kombat narrator)
PS...AMERICAN MEN..DATE FOREIGN WOMEN..pss..don't, DO NOT, ever, ever ever, let them become Americanized or meet American women.
Zsa Zsa Gabor said exactly the same thing in a book she wrote a few years ago. She said, "If you marry a foreign woman, and bring her to America, don't teach her English." That's a little extreme, since Zsa Zsa herself is a foreign woman who came here with her family and learned English very well, but essentially what she was saying is that the Americanization of foreign women tends in some ways or some instances to ruin them as wives and mothers, or to spoil them as human beings.
Yup. I knew it all along. America ruins women.
Not sure why my last post didn't show up, I must have used some no no words. But here is the gist of it.
I hope all you guys holding out for virgins wives are willing to keep yourselves just as pure for them! I respect people willing to make that choice, but don't demand it from women if you aren't willing to do it yourself.
Reading these comments from you so-called men with your juvenile double standards makes me appreciate my husband even more. He sees me as an equal, and doesn't judge me for doing the same things he was doing before we met.
I'm very glad that because of my education and career choices I am financially independent, and therefore did not need to marry. I was able to take my time and wait until I found someone truly special who is also my best friend, and loves me just the way I am. I didn't have to put up with jerks like you with your ridiculous double standards.
I am a lucky woman, thanks for reminding me. He's getting a very special dinner to night, and an even more special desert, I'll make sure he has you losers to thank for it!
Nothing like an American woman showing her true colors in wanting to do the "right thing" (pleasing her husband) for the wrong reasons (to spite the "losers"). Yes, your husband has a real prize in you, baby girl. It's obvious you consider furnishing a meal and throwing in some s 3 x (your marital duty) as some kind of treat and privilege for him. Get over yourself. And while you're at it, better not check hubby's text messages...you might be in for a rude awakening when you realize he doesn't consider you the prize you think you are for him.
@Pffft: Just because your husband dumped you for a hooch he met at the club doesn't mean everybody else's did.
Pffft: If valuing a good man and wanting to keep him happy is an American woman showing her true colors, then I guess you nailed me.
I was a romantic in my late teens and early 20s. Now that I'm a pragmatist, if/when I do finally file for divorce, I know I won't be in the market for a lasting relationship. I'm actually getting more female interest in my 30's with a decent job than I ever got in college. Besides, overtime, everyone becomes a pain in the butt. Sartre was right, hell is other people. I could just work the single mother circuit or pay-to-play on vacations to Europe, Canada or Nevada. Why have to work my life around someone else, who isn't going to provide anything emotionally that my cats couldn't provide and who will just be stale and routine in the bedroom after a few years? In the age of contraception, families amount to hobby farms. If you're not into going to bad recitals, being informed how lame you as a parent and having to lend out your car only to have it either wrecked or copulated in, why suffer through the hassle? I know Meg Ryan and Norman Rockwell give women a lot of unrealistic ideals, but seriously, it's all crap.
I feel sorry for you since you feel like that. I hope you're able to find happiness.
Excellent arguments...just remember to speak to women as though you believe in the exact opposite of what you just wrote when you start banging those pathetic single moms (at least the ones who are still doable). Play on.
you are lying
" Either way all this promiscuity is a good thing!" – Mr. H. Simplex
"Remember me!" – Ima Condom
If you think about it a little. Marriage is just a way to own women. I'm not sure I really want to own a woman. I don't even like to own houses for too long.
More educated in what? Religeon? Social sciences? Politics? So, education in general makes a person moral? NO. The educated display if not equal more prevalent shares of corruption and unsafe behavior. The long or short term consequences have as little meaning to them as to anyone. Their education only makes them more reprehensible. Divorce has become a tool to explore more options unfettered, but some choose to ignore the backlash of egotistical life decisions, if the sting of a bad decision can be put off long enough. By that time, they figure: what do I care, I'll be dead. It is impossible to judge the female state of affairs in terms of divorce. The idea of divorce is no longer just negative. Monagamy can be the healthiest way for couples if we appreciate the motive for human monagamy.
Very good! "Education" is being increasingly defined by an educational structure which is a colossal failure at producing an educated electorate, or a cultivated individual. I think I would have been better educated if I'd never set foot in college.
Or you know. Maybe men and women get married because they love each other and want to start a family.
I feel bad for the 30-40 yr old women still looking for the right guy (50's, forget about it, it's for a different reason now). From the women I know in this situation, it's very depressing for them, but at the same time I don't believe they've altered their view of the "ideal" husband. Honestly, if you haven't found the ideal husband/wife by the time you're 30, maybe you have to change your view of what "ideal" means. The prince with boatloads of cash and charisma is not going to ride into your town on a white stallion looking you, time to settle for what's actually important deep down inside, and not what's superficially great. I don't believe it has alot to do with society, because most of those guys in college (or the Greeks) are already married, so they found someone, right? Everyone has to think about the fact that marriage is not for "financial dependence", it's about emotional co-dependence. People who get married for money, divorce for money. Marriage is really about wanting that guaranteed comfort, love, family, and support that we as social animals strive for. Money doesn't buy happiness.
Conceding defeat for these women would be like admiting they were completely wrong and had thrown away their best years for nothing (which is the truth they can't handle). So, these women will be alone with their romance novels for the rest of their lives.
Articles like this are always good for a comment section full of sweeping generalizations.
I do agree with the article somewhat – women, don't cheapen yourselves by sleeping with a bunch of men, and men, don't do the same. Only give yourself to people that really deserve it, or people that really care. If it ends up being the one that you marry, so be it. If there are one or two along the way, so be it. But "sleeping around" is definitely the road to a failed life, at least in my opinion.
But it would also be wrong to look at this article and not see it the other way around - the more successful that one becomes as a man, the number of available and eligible partners shrinks as well. The higher you go, the more likely you are to find women that are not family-oriented, or have a "list" of accomplishments they absolutely have to do in their careers before they consider a mate.
It's a quandary.
They failed to mention that men are also avoiding marriage due to crippling effect of divorce that disproportionately removes men as fathers, and financially devastates men. No mention in this article that 2/3rds of divorces are initiated by women? No mention that fathers have only a 15% chance of gaining custody? No mention that only MARRIED men can be held responsible for children fathered by another man?? I'd say they missed the real story. Men don't marry as much anymore, because marriage no longer holds any benefits for men.
Completely true. This is why women are the ones who are concerned about this trend. They are the ones who benefit almost exclusively from marriage (and the ability to easily cash out via divorce)
From what I can tell, men want to marry women who don't have much of an education, don't make a decent salary and who already have kids. My friends and I are all well adjusted college educated, professionals, no kids, own homes, etc. We're all 30-31...no prospects for marriage. I've had the opportunity to be married twice, the first time I was just too young and the second time, I wasn't in love. While I do have a boyfriend who seems committed...you never know. I think the best thing to do is to prepare mentally and emotionally to possibly be single for life. Yes, I'm jaded.
Men don't want women with kids, either. Where do you get these ideas?
Most men in their 20s are of little interest to women. Women consider 80% of men to be below average in attractiveness and as a result, few have decent prospects. When women finally get old enough to reconsider their impossibly high standards, the men are mature enough to ask: "If you weren't interested in men then, what do you see in me today?" Reliable alimony is the answer.
Hail to the Greeks!
It took a study to figure this out.?? lol It's been like this since i was a kid 55 years ago. geez
Im one of those guys that find women with careers, educated etc much more attractive than women who don't. having now been married 17 years...i look around and those women that stay home, or have menial jobs to be no where near as interesting or attractive as ones who do have jobs and an education. There is more balance in lives, you share more ( chores, kids, etc) you are able to balance your seperate interests etc. Maybe im in the minority which is the point of the discussion..more guys like having that stay at home housewife. Not for me man... Plus it doesnt suck that my wife also brigs home a strong paycheck. I think its also good for the kids also to see both parents like that and they end up doing better in school.... especially a girl ( I have sons)
DEAR CNN, WHY ARE ALL OF YOUR COMMENT BOXES DIFFERENT!!! HAVE SOME CONSISTENCY, IT MAKES NO SENSE. REGARDS, ALL OF YOUR READERS
Cue pretentious, holier-than-thou, 'I'm better, more moral than that' reader comments...
you're a bit late on the snare drum
I think the young men of today are a lot smarter. They see what happens when you get married(everything changes)
I feel like Leo above had a point about how male and female social cultures clash. I am speaking from my dating experience and the marriage experience of friends of mine, so take it with a grain of salt when compared to national statistics...but in my humble opinion Leo is right, in that many women are raised to have this romanticized version of what love is and that it caters to their every whim, while most men [who are brought up properly] are taught to take care of their woman's needs to the point that there is a very small window of an intersection of understanding. By the time most of the women I know decided on what they wanted in life, they were close to 30 and the majority of them were working on/had finished up with their first divorce. Meanwhile, so many guys become disillusioned at the way they were treated in their younger years, and that translates to the way they handle arguments in their relationships (this is my experience). I've come to the point in life (only 28, mind you) where I would rather spend my life single and having a go here and there rather than having to put up with more arguments about nothing ("Why do you hang out with so-and-so? Is it because she's prettier than me?"). I've gotten to the point of just walking out when it comes to the point of someone my age turning into an instant child over their own insecurities...and it's not that I don't understand that women can be insecure creatures (same as we men can do), but I've just had to deal with so much of it in the past that I feel it's no longer worth trying. So to the women of empowerment, I say "More power to ya!", because in all honesty, we don't *need* someone to make us happy so much as we need certain things/feelings in our lives. And my advice to everyone in their mid-to-late twenties: Don't settle for something just because you're afraid of "being alone". Fear is NO VALID REASON to stay in a relationship that isn't built on happiness, respect, trust and loyalty.
MEN are raised to have delusions about love with women and all this provider nonsense. You sound like you're at least 50 years old. The only men who get married are naive idiots. Today, women are raised to believe they are smoking hot goddesses, even if they're homely and weigh 300 pounds. They're egomaniacs who believe men are to be hated, used and punished for the great crime of being a man. Men are always blamed for messing around but women today have all the loyalty of stray dogs in the street.
Feminists have succeeded in making everyone else as miserable as they are.
Men want looks
Women want money
That's all there is to it.
no. men want s3x. looks aren't the deciding factor, though it certainly doesn't hurt. tiger had looks, but chose s3x because elin was lame in the sack. prince charles chose a hag over his wife because apparently the s3x was hotter. in my experience, the cuter the girl, the lamer the s3x...curious correlation i haven't quite figured out.
Circ, I used to think that too, until I met my hot, s e x y wife.
But I will say that the SECOND best lay wasn't a looker! 😉
Women want looks AND money and about 300 other things too!
The truth is men & women are very different in lots of ways, duh uh! & perhaps feminism did obscure that basic fact a bit? Ladies, there was NO "Men's Lib" on par w the changes woman experienced in this country. Most men, poor or rich, think their job is to work hard to be a good PROVIDER! & Guys, no one teaches us relationship skills! I can only speak for me but I adore women & know I will always be with a woman, rite?! So, it behooves an intelligent, sophisticated human to try & understand, if not appreciate the differences? And 'sides ain't that what every "higher order" religion or philosophy embraces?! "Love your bother as yourself", "love is patient, love is kind, love is not easily angered...". How many of us live those standards day to day? How many of us speak more harshly to our mate than a co-worker? Division & alienation come easily to our highly wired animal nervous system. What makes us higher order is our ability to override those impulses & to even guide them w a set of loving principles??! After seeing over 10,000 couples? Here some clues as to what changed the globe for the better & will do no less for your relationship. Folks who knew the power of understanding & compassion over animal anger & retaliation. Ready? Buddha, Ghandi, Jesus, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Mohammed, Deepak, Jane Goodall, etc, etc. There IS no way being negative to each other promotes understanding. Remember, perception is reality & someone else's may not not be yours! Learn to understand a woman's perspective & value it, even if it's different. Then you have two sets of eyes. Many/most men I see have zero skills training in doing this w their woman. We are often tunnel vision as we are typically trained to focus our brain on doing one thing really well! Which also means: "No, we can't read your mind ladies, sorry, we are actually pretty simple creatures : )
It's clear to me that monogamous relationships are NOT the norm for humans. Most marriages end in divorce, most of the rest have to deal with infidelity. I spent many hours watching nature docs and, judging from the human behavior that I have witnessed, marriage and monogamy seem to be more a device for men to control women and their reproduction. If I own land, I want to leave it to my kids and how will I know these are my kids if I don't control my woman's womb?
astute observation, except that now the economic advantage has reverse in favor of women. women are the only reason monogamy and marriage, in particular still lives on...they want to "own" the provider, whereas in the ancient world, you could probably buy a wife for less than a goat or camel. nowadays, guys (chumps) simply go along with what the girl wants (marriage, monogamy, kids, white picket fence in the suburbs, social proof).
Growing up, I was told that 75% of the people I will gradute with will be a "crab in the bucket". In American society, both men and women would try disrupt, destroy, or devastate someone they know/see because they if they aren't happen then no one else will. It doesn't make sense that we moved from a helping society to a selfish society. Because of this, most people want thier OWN which may be one factor that impede on someone's decision to be married
Right on Leo.
It’s not just a matter of “man-power.” Society and media have been on a crusade to diminish men and boys as “children” and reckless, testosterone driven, useless beings. Some call this “man and boy hatred.” It started with the women’s movements, who suggested that “men and boys were actually unnecessary for human survival.” (Artificial insemination could replace men).
I see some of this in the posts here. Ladies, you can’t have it both ways. Either you respect boys and men as different, or don’t expect them to stay around. I’m not talking about loving serial philanderers. I’m talking about appreciating a guy who does not look like Brad Pitt, and treats you like dirt. Sanjosemike
Why does a relationship have to be monogamous to be serious and committed? Do people not realize that monogamy is a product of modern religion and that polyamorous relationships can be just as, if not more, serious than a "traditional (last millennium or so) relationship? Modern media has made a few strides to think outside the traditional box with this but the stigmatism on non-monogamous relationships needs to be removed. Please take a look at some more current studies people, studies which show that poly or other "non-traditional" relationships are far more common and in fact much healthier for many people, especially those with higher education capable of more open thinking.
In other words please stop trying to put everyone in the same little boxes that they have been forced into for so many years.
Polyandry for the goose, Polygyny for the gander.
This was obviously an article written by a woman to advance women's causes.
But let's have a little truth here: Any man who has ever gone to a singles bar knows the truth. Being "high-quality men – likely those who want monogamous, committed relationships – are still eligible for dating" will not get women to dance with you. The women aren't interested in your quality as a man. They judge you entirely by your appearance.
Shhhhhhh....you're making us look bad.
Yeah, but if you're looking for a potential spouse at a nightclub, then you are truly deluded.
I hope John isn't a primary caregiver for children. His parenting model is making inappropriate (and ineffectual) generalizations about children. And the pre/post divorce comment is included in that. Every situation is very different and has thousands of moving parts. Many children get better when the parents divorce. These stereotypes are old, trite and just incorrect. Not to mention that people that comment on another persons use of spelling, grammar, syntax, etc. in a derogatory manner tend to have many issues of their own. It's ok to correct. But making a negative, insinuating comment about the person is a sign of a person lacking control and getting joy out of others misfortune. Not to mention a form of discrimination.
All articles like this should be ignored unless they site actual statistics that have been validated by more than one study. Phrases like "more likely" are meaningless–how much more likely? .05% more likely? 90% more likely? Without stating that, this article has no value except to scare women from getting a good education, which is shameful of CNN.
Dave, perhaps you should stop trying to pick up women in bars and try book clubs or church. You might find a different type of woman there.
The women in church are the same ones who were at the bar the night before.
Exactly – they have to atone for getting their freak on the night before!
Better places for finding a marriage-minded girl:
– grocery store
– political events
– support groups (hey, at least she's seeking HELP for the problem!)
– college campuses (unless you're over 30 (unless you're a grad student))
If you have kids:
– PTA meetings
– your kids' sporting events or other extracurricular activities
Online dating sites are overrated, in my opinion. My experience is that people tend to misrepresent themselves.
Yes, it's true that marriage benefits men more so than women- statistics show that men are happier and healthier when they are married. Women, not so much...
And no, there is no double standard when it comes to sleeping around. No woman wants to date a man who has slept around, either. A man that has had a bevy of partners isn't "macho" or "a real man". I wouldn't want a man who's wh*red it up and wouldn't look at him as relationship material either. If you're loosey-goosey, you're loosey-goosey. It doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman.
It's true I always tell my gf what to do in bed. I HAVE THE POWER!
Get some sleeping dude!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And also i LOVE BACON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Duck Tape, it is a magical thing.
the women looking in the wrong place not all man are like that
Make marriage worthwhile for a man. There is zero reason at all to get married if you are a man. As a woman, you get everything from a failed marriage, kids half my stuff and monthly payments of child support. As a man, I get, to pay out every month and loss all my stuff.
Yea about that...
Men are finally learning to get their balls back and stand up to women: Manhood101 . com
lame site...anyone who needs technique or game is spending too much time and energy trying to get laid. want b00ty? pay for it, then move on to worthier pursuits, like cracking open a beer and fa rting in your boxers.
I still feel that ultimately people get married for most of the wrong reasons when they are young. Mostly influenced by media and this crazy notion that getting married will make everything better. People need to be together because they want to be together. My girilfriend and I have been together for 3 years both of us 30 when we met and we have a solid trusting relationship and both of us know that if we didnt' want to be here..we wouldn't be.
Be happy with your own self and your own life before you try to involve someone else in it.
i read that too quickly as a "solid thrusting relationship". i'm going to go squeeze one out...brb
In this country everyone always seems to try and fit relationships into a box, when the human spectrum of emotions and interests is much more dynamic and constantly evolving. I think people have the capacity for all types of relationships, both simultaneously and intermittently as interests grow and change, but we are too hung up on this notion of monogamy which just isn't for everyone (as evidence shows). It's not just women- both men and women expect their partners to be faithful to them for life once they get married or at least for the extent of their relationship, and that's just not something that everyone is capable of, nor should they be forced or pressured into that type of situation if it's not for them.
WOMEN ARE EWWWY 11111111111111111111111111111111111111111 fo lyfe
Learn to be happy with yourself and your own life before trying to involve someone else in it.
I'm just waiting for the day where this information translates in to women stop behaving like self-absorbed @##holes out there! Honestly, you wouldn't know the shortage was on the male side with the ego and facade on display... Oh well, if you want to pretend like you're all set, you better get ready for the long haul in that acting department... just sayin!
The simple solution is for women to have more respect for themselves. That's what it all boils down to. Most women see themselves the way men see them: as objects. It's really sad.
What a load of nonsense. American women are selfish egomaniacs. The last thing they need is more self esteem. The entire feminist media tells them they are goddesses who can and should beat the guts out of men in all areas every single day. And they believe it.
sorry about the other comment some kid hacked my email
Remember when Newsweek said women over 35 were more likely to be killed by terrorists than to get married - and that was before 9/11
You have a chance of finding a girl with a soul and a heart in some parts of the south and midwest, but still the chances are slim. On either coast you will never find a female with a heart and a soul, they don't exist.
Foreign women are truly gods gift to mankind, sweet, honest, fair, loving, giving, and decent, all things 99% of American women are not. Find a good one and give her the world, she will give you back all that you give her, take a trip to Europe, South America, or Asia, you will find everything that god intended a woman to be.
American women take pride in destroying lives. They will take all your money and if you have children with them, they will use the children against you, deny you the right to see them, force you to make chlld support payments where 25% of it is enough for the kids, they horde the other 75% for themselves even after taking 50% of your wealth in the divorse. The American female is created in hell, the foreign woman is created in heaven, I pray for you that you don't need to learn this lesson firsthand.
@ Doug... I AGREE WITH u 110% .am from africa been here two years but i have seen all that. I can not put my hands on an american woman..99% of them are ill motivated.sadly its men who legislated the laws that allow american women to be arrogant and selfish. thats the saddest part. its men who sat down to make laws that have caused so many men heartaches and stupid divorces. why should someone who came to u with nothing go with half if she wanna leave..she can leave the way she came!
If Europe or Asia is too far for you... go north, young man... go up to Canada. There's better quality up there. Your eyes will be opened to the wider world.