A new Census Bureau report indicates that not only have the crapadelic economic circumstances of the last few years driven many young people to move back in with their folks, but that men have returned much more willingly to the hearthy teat than their female peers. In fact, one in five men between the ages of 25 and 34 now live with their parents. Mama mia! America's turning into Italy!
Politico states that the report shows a marked uptick in youths living at home since 2005; during that innocent bygone year, 14 percent of men between the ages of 25 and 34 called mom's house "home," whereas now the figure sits at 19%. Women don't live at home with the same frequency; in 2005, only 8% of women in the same age bracket lived at home, and now, 10% do.
Younger adults aren't faring much better. Of American men between the ages of 18 and 24, 59% of them live with their parents, up from 53% in 2005. Half of that demographic of American women currently live with their parents, up from 46% in 2005.
It's easy to understand why an economy in the toilet might cause adults to return to the toilets of their youth, but what's with the fact that so many more men than women live with their parents? And why is that gap widening?
This phenomenon could be due to the fact that women marry at younger ages than men and may be off wifing it up with their life partners rather than eating Spaghetti O's on their parents' couch during their twenties. It might have something to do with single motherhood. But I suspect it has a lot to do with the fact that parents tend to treat male and female children differently, no matter what their ages.
Many a young woman was more sheltered as a teen than any male children in her family, and many a young man who was encouraged by his folks to flit amongst the ladies and spread his seed as deemed necessary. The sexual discrepancy in parental attitudes doesn't change much as their children reach adulthood. If a woman wants the freedom to socialize without coming home at 3 am to find her mother sitting up watching reruns of Law & Order on the couch, worried sick about her 26 year old daughter's fate, she best move out. On the contrary, as long as he has friends with their own places that contain couches upon which he can crash, a single man who lives at home with his parents doesn't have to deal with quite as big a parental worrystorm as the live-at-home adult woman. I'd also contend that, for a man, living with one's parents doesn't necessarily kill one's dating life, either. Since most women have their own places and many women have low self-esteem, nowadays the number of women who absolutely wouldn't date a man driven by hardship to live at home is dwindling. It doesn't matter if you can pay your automo-bills, just that you have an automo-pulse. The negative implications for a woman moving home, in other words, are much more dramatic than the implications for a man moving home.
Whatever the underlying social reasons for men moving home more frequently than women, lets hope that this phenomenon leads to at least one all-adults keg party when Matt's parents are out of town for the weekend, like the kind they have in teen movies. I've never actually been to one of those.
Victim of recession? Bachelor pads. [Politico]
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