- Jan 2011
in my social circle marriage is rather mutually agreed uponSince most of marriage history the man was nearly literally buying the woman from her family the fact that the pressure is on men to propose is just a cultural artefact that will fade as women's earning power is sustained thru a couple generations. There is some interesting evidence on the long term effects of birth control on women's ideas about security/relationships but that only touches secondarily on marriage.
Anecdotally I know several marriages where it was the woman who proposed but most often in my social circle marriage is rather mutually agreed upon. I can only think of a single couple where the man actually surprised the woman with a proposal and they are fairly religious so in all honesty I think it was about needing marriage for sex to be permissible.
You haven't yet answered why you think men are taking a bigger risk than women going into a marriage. There are so many studies showing women are happier after a marriage has ended compared to men and as I already noted women get married during their most desirable years and while men have a much longer window of time to have children. It seems you are only very narrowly defining the benefits of marriage to a few years of monetary compensation. If that was all that men got out of it there would be far more men only seeking prostitutes. Most men are happier in a household with a woman. The converse is not true.
More often than not it is the man giving up after months or years of nagging (why are we not married yet, all my friend are married, this relationship is going nowhere, I want kids, I dont know what my status is I cannot live like that etc....)....
I do not know if men are taking a bigger risk, they are certainly taking a bigger liability.... Compare a relationship where the couple is living together, doing all the same stuff married people do and a marriage... The different is that if the couple breaks up in the first case, the man has no liability... In the case of a marriage he has to support his ex for life....