the al-hajnal line?

(<< i know. i've got a double definite there!)

in How unique is the Western European marriage pattern? A comparison of nuptiality in historical Europe and the contemporary Arab world [pdf], engelen and puschmann have found that, in the arab world today, both men and women are marrying at a very late age on average — kinda like nw europe behind the hajnal line (click on charts for LARGER view):

the authors reckon that men and women in the middle east/north africa/arab world are putting off marriage ’til later nowadays simply because it’s expensive to get married and start a family in today’s world (sounds familiar!). i wonder how long this delayed marriage pattern will last in this part of the world?

one way that the arab world’s new marriage pattern is unlike what goes on behind the hajnal line is that there is still (near) universal marriage in the arab world. everyone’s getting married late — but everyone is getting married [pg. 14]:

“There are also interesting differences. Especially Arab men in the age category 25‐29 have less chance of being married in 2000 than their European counterpart one century earlier. Since only very few men remain single at age 45‐49, this points to a very high age at marriage. Women in Arab countries marry younger than European women did and by the time menopause sets in, almost all have married. The convergence between historic Europe and contemporary Arabic nations thus only applies to the age at marriage. Permanent celibacy remains a difference between the two societies. Nevertheless there are signs that in the near future Arab societies may also see a rise in the never marrying proportions of the population. After all, in countries like Bahrain, Lebanon and Kuwait marriage show already relatively high percentages of celibates in the age‐category 45‐49.”

previously: behind the hajnal line

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11 Comments

  1. Hey, HBD Chick — if you take requests… and this is related to the Hajnal line: I’ve suggested to the British science’n’politics expert and free-speech-advocate Kenan Malik that mass immigration is bad for free speech and that free speech has “cultural and biological underpinnings” via Protestantism. He’s not reacted well to my suggestions:

    So mass immigration causes authoritarianism and loss of free speech? Compare America, a nation built on immigration, with Russia, a nation with relatively low immigration. Which, I wonder, is more authoritarian and censorious? … And anyone who can seriously talk about the ‘biological underpinnings’ of free speech would seem to require a bit of underpinning themselves, and not just biological. I would prefer those who make comments to engage their brains before doing so. That’s not too much to ask is it?

    http://kenanmalik.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/out-of-bounds/

    He isn’t allowing me to respond any more (e.g. I pointed out that he doesn’t understand logic very well and had “denied the antecedent” in introducing Russia). I’d say he’s crypto-theological in rejecting the idea that biology can influence free speech. To me, its bio-cultural underpinnings would seem to be: individualism, altruism to strangers, and lack of aggression. I can’t see it arising among in-bred groups, for example. In the U.K. it seems to be an “English” thing: see these comments by the Scottish BBC apparatchik Andrew Marr:

    And the final answer, frankly, is the vigorous use of state power to coerce and repress. It may be my Presbyterian background, but I firmly believe that repression can be a great, civilising instrument for good. Stamp hard on certain ‘natural’ beliefs for long enough and you can almost kill them off. The police are first in line to be burdened further, but a new Race Relations Act will impose the will of the state on millions of other lives too.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/1999/feb/28/lawrence.ukcrime4

    I think that is a shocking statement, but maybe that’s just my biology speaking and I need a Glesga kiss or two. Any thoughts?

    Reply

  2. I think that’s to be expected. The changes that occurred in Europe created a social and economic model and even those least keen on the social model have tried to adopt the economic model because of its greater prosperity and some of those changes e.g. greater urbanization, tend to encourage the social model too (which is partly behind the Islamic reaction). Perhaps more fundamentally the economic model has led to massive population growth throughout the world putting pressure on jobs and housing leadign to later marriage.

    Which incidentally might provide a very simple possible explanation for the development of the late marriage system in Europe (not tacitus, dratz) as a function of the population explosion caused by manorialism and the heavy plow?

    .
    “So mass immigration causes authoritarianism and loss of free speech? Compare America, a nation built on immigration, with Russia, a nation with relatively low immigration.”

    America wasn’t built on immigration it was built on conquest by a population that (uniquely) valued legally protected free speech.

    Reply

  3. @g.w. – “Which incidentally might provide a very simple possible explanation for the development of the late marriage system in Europe (not tacitus, dratz) as a function of the population explosion caused by manorialism and the heavy plow?”

    oh, yeaaaaaaaahhhhhh! that’s a good thought. population explosion because of the successful new farming techniques/system = more expensive to raise a big family early on in life so you put that off. yeah, that could make sense!

    part of it, too, i think, is simply that you had to wait until the lord of the manor gave you a tenancy (wait to inherit your father’s or wait until another one became available). you just couldn’t start a family — not with any hope of your kids having a good future, that is — without getting that tenancy.

    speaking of the middle ages and labor issues, i read this the other evening and it was something i hadn’t been aware of before. tptb — always interfering with stuff for their own ends — and royally screwing everything up.

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  4. @candid k9 – “And the final answer, frankly, is the vigorous use of state power to coerce and repress. It may be my Presbyterian background, but I firmly believe that repression can be a great, civilising instrument for good. Stamp hard on certain ‘natural’ beliefs for long enough and you can almost kill them off.

    well, the funny thing is (insofar as there can be anything funny at all about such a statement) that he’s probably right, although presumably he’d never acknowledge the reason for why he’s probably right — namely natural selection.

    yeah, absolutely — “stamp hard on certain ‘natural’ beliefs” or traits for long enough and you probably will get rid of them! or could, anyway.

    @candid k9 – “To me, its bio-cultural underpinnings would seem to be: individualism, altruism to strangers, and lack of aggression. I can’t see it arising among in-bred groups, for example. In the U.K. it seems to be an ‘English’ thing….”

    agree with you there!

    @candid k9 – “So mass immigration causes authoritarianism and loss of free speech? Compare America, a nation built on immigration, with Russia, a nation with relatively low immigration.”

    of course the point he missed is the type of immigrants under question — i.e. having had a long tradition of inbreeding (clannish)? or having had a long tradition of outbreeding (not clannish)? and russians (and east europeans in general) have a longer tradtion of inbreeding/endogamous marriages than nw europeans and, therefore, clannishness, too.

    thanks for sharing! (^_^)

    Reply

  5. andrew marr said – “It may be my Presbyterian background….”

    what’s the story with presbyterians, anyway? i’ve never really been around them much — that i’ve been aware of anyway — until a couple of years ago when i had the chance to meet a whole gaggle of them — in their church no less (no, the roof didn’t fall down on my head!).

    what struck me was … shaking hands with them. i was introduced to something like a dozen of the congregation — a bunch of different people not related to one another or anything — and every last one of them had one of those dead fish handshakes! it was a truly weird … and disturbing … experience. i was worried that they might start collapsing into little pools of jelly onto the floor (apparently not having any vertebrae…).

    if they were at all representative of their faith, i can’t see how presbyterians would be into repressing people and their beliefs? (or maybe they like to be repressed themselves?)

    i also had to giggle (internally, of course) at the VERY LARGE BANNER at the front of the church which read: TOLERANCE. yeah. good luck with that i thought!

    Reply

  6. “population explosion because of the successful new farming techniques/system = more expensive to raise a big family early on in life so you put that off. yeah, that could make sense!”

    And more incentive to push kids out to work outside the home?

    .
    “part of it, too, i think, is simply that you had to wait until the lord of the manor gave you a tenancy”

    Yes, a bottleneck combined with a population expansion.

    Also if the european late marriage model did develop relatively late in world terms i.e. heavy plow / manorialism time and *if* the response of previous populations around the world to the population explosion caused by agriculture reaching a similar tipping point in their region much earlier in history was female infanticide then if that option was blocked in Europe then a unique solution would have been required

    I really wanted it to be an earlier tacitus-era thing but the above does seem plausible.

    Reply

  7. @g.w. – “I really wanted it to be an earlier tacitus-era thing….”

    tacitus is still cool. (^_^) and i do think you guys are right that there was something about the germanic tribes. not sure what that was (i think maybe it had to do with reckoning the lineages from both sides, but there could be other stuff i don’t know about) — but we shall endeavor to find out!

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  8. “i do think you guys are right that there was something about the germanic tribes”

    In my case it was the ancient writers mentioning the height of the northern barbs and the (partial) modern north-south height difference which made me wonder about a single cause however now i’m beginning to think the two are either completely unrelated or only indirectly related i.e. the early height difference being due to either being still or more recently hunter-gatherers (and / or a higher protein diet from pastoralism) while the later height difference is / was maybe due to the effects of the late marriage system either through increasing sexual selection or the marriage system itself creating a mechanism for shedding more genetic load than other systems.

    There might still be an indirect connection if for example the populations around the edges of Europe still retained some of the height genes from their more recent h-g past but those genes were suppressed by genetic load / nutrition so when those negative effects were removed they shot up in height whereas other populations who are further from their h-g past get taller through nutrition or partially adopting the western marriage model as a consequence of industrialization but not to the same extent as some north or northwest euros.

    The above might explain the norwegian / dutch examples maybe?

    Reply

  9. Thanks, HBD Chick — yes, the type of immigration (and amount) matters hugely. But I don’t think Kenan Malik, for some reason, is going to admit that. And if he DID, his career — based entirely on intellectual merit — might run into a few difficulties. His ideological past is, um, interesting and he hasn’t always been as passionately devoted to free speech as he is now.

    what’s the story with presbyterians, anyway? i’ve never really been around them much — that i’ve been aware of anyway — until a couple of years ago when i had the chance to meet a whole gaggle of them — in their church no less (no, the roof didn’t fall down on my head!).

    Historically, they have been v. aggressive and intolerant. Some still are:

    In 1989, a splinter group formed the Associated Presbyterian Churches “following the perceived failure of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland to put into practice chapters 20 and 26 of the Westminster Confession of Faith”,[5] following the suspension of Lord Advocate Lord Mackay of Clashfern as an elder for attending the Roman Catholic funeral masses of fellow judges.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Presbyterian_Church_of_Scotland

    One reason that Protestantism is good for free speech is that it’s very fissiparous. So the intolerant ones tend to end up in smaller and weaker groups. Catholicism and Orthodoxy, based on a central authority, haven’t had that problem.

    Another story about Scottish aggression: Alan McGee of Creation Records (responsible for Oasis) says that his Glaswegian asset was a great asset in England. It frightened people. Scots are represented way out of proportion to their numbers in English culture, from politics to soccer. And murder statistics. Take them out of the English total and it drops a lot. Take other non-English groups out and it drops even further.

    Reply

  10. “Historically, they have been v. aggressive and intolerant…One reason that Protestantism is good for free speech is that it’s very fissiparous.”

    Yes, important point i think. The dissident Protestant groups that built the foundations of the USA wanted legally protected free speech and the separation of church and state for protection *between* their groups. *Within* their group they often wanted the exact opposite.

    Reply

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