Helen, of all the benefits of marriage to men which have dissipated, probably the most important is sexual abundance within the marriage. The sexual pact at the core of marriage has always included two promises: exclusivity and abundance. For thousands of years, everyone understood that it is UNFAITHFUL for a wife to significantly curtail that abundance. Suddenly, in the space of two generations or so, the dominant culture and most women have forgotten this. She who messes with abundance messes with exclusivity, and lack of sexual abundance transforms marriage into marriage-lite. Marriage-lite is an inherently weak institution. Legal disincentives to men to enter it, as you've discussed, simply weaken it further.
also from http://pajamasmedia.com/2008/02/ask_dr_helen_8.php
i tried to explain this to a kitten once, in my not-quite-tactful-enough manner as:
GODDAMNIT IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT THE SEX, it's like... when I was in middle school and I got in trouble and I knew they would be sending the referral to the house in the next few days- every day, riding my bike, walking around, whatever- that referral and its impending doom was overshadowing everything i did. My normal life was no longer enjoyable, because this issue kept popping up to the front of my mind. It's just like how I feel about money- when it's there it's there, when it's not it's not- but overall if I have enough I don't have to worry one bit about it and I'm able to enjoy every aspect of everything else in my life, and enjoy everything else about you being in my life. But if there's not enough? Well then it becomes that thing stuck in the top of my head overshadowing everything- upon which every activity and endeavor must be weighed against...
I don't like going out to breakfast and constantly thinking "GOOD GOD HOW MUCH IS THIS GOING TO COST?" just like I don't like going out to breakfast and constantly thinking "GOOD GOD WHEN ARE WE GOING TO FUCK?"
it's called a baseline, and it must be met.
this of course upset her greatly and... yeah... :(