Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Statistical adjustments to promiscuity data.

The Centers for Diseases Control published a document which contained divorce data from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth. Entitled, Cohabitation, marriage, divorce, and remarriage in the United States, it was able to provide data on divorce probabilities according to individual educational and economic characteristics.

Below are some pertinent extracts to our previous posts. (Click on image to enlarge)


Looking at the table we can see that the average divorce probability is 0.45 after 15 years. If we look at the family income breakdown, we see that the 15 year rate of divorce probability for people earning less than $25,000 is 0.65, an extra 44% risk of divorce above the national average.

Many of the detractors of the Heritage Foundation paper felt that its findings could be explained away by educational/socioeconomic factors. They are wrong.

What's interesting to note, is that ooking at the above table, the risk of divorce varies the most according to economic status. The difference in raw probability from the upper and lower third economic classes is 0.34, whilst the difference between the upper and lower educational categories is 0.23. In real life the two characteristics, income and education, are closely correlated and it would be quite reasonable to assume that the 0.23 subsists within the 0.34. However the Heritage study shows a 0.63 probability variance across cohorts, therefore socioeconomic factors cannot explain all the variation.

However, this 0.34 difference does not apply across the board, it only explains the added socioeconomic risk of divorce on the poor, relative to the rich. Relative to the average (0.43), the poor have an added 0.22 probability. What this means is that poverty increases the risk of divorce compared to the average whilst wealth decreases it compared to the average.

Now, this chart, gives us the socioeconomic and educational breakdown within each sexual-partner cohort.


In order to determine the confounding effect income has on the cohort divorce rate we must sum the weighted risks of each economic group from the cohort and see how it varies from the average.

Example:

If the entire greater-than-10 partner cohort were composed of poor people, we could look at the marital risk chart and see that they have 0.796 probability of divorce(%20.4 are married), we would then subtract 0.22 due to socioeconomic effect, since the the lowest income third have a divorce probability of 0.65, which is 0.22 above the national divorce rate. We know that this increased risk is due to the economic circumstances in which they are in so we subtract that from the 10+ cohort figure to arrive at a figure of 0.576. On the other hand, if the group were composed entirely of the rich, we know that wealth protects against divorce by a probability of 0.12, therefore the adjusted probability would be 0.916.

Using this method we can adjust for income effects in each cohort by determining the cohorts economic divorce risk and comparing how it varies from the average.

% poor x poor divorce probability+%middle x mid divorce probability+% rich x rich divorce probabilty-average divorce probability= adjustment.

The same adjustment can be made for educational status by such a method.
(Click on image for large view)


Explanatory notes:

9.3% of current marriages were remarriages. I distributed these remarriages evenly amongst the 2+ cohorts, any error arising from such is likely to be insignificant in real world terms. Also since I could not control for income and education at the same time, I've presented both corrections. In the real world, income and education are closely correlated so I would not expect to see much variance across the figures however in an effort to capture any socioeconomic/educational affect, the Maximum variant value represents the calculated value which gives the lowest divorce rate. (i.e maximising the impact of socioeconomic/educational factors on these calculations)

What's fascinating to observe, is that the CDC data on cohorts does not generally show a preponderance of one statistical group amongst the others across the partner cohorts. For instance, in the 10+ crowd, there is a slight preponderance of the educated and wealthy over the uneducated and poor, yet the cohort divorce rate for education and income were 0.44 and 0.45 respectively, indicating a variance of 0.01 and 0.02 from the national average. The largest variance was found in the 2 cohort group where 0.03 probability increase of divorce above the national average was predicted due to economic factors.

What this data shows is that sexual partner count is a very good--in fact uncannily good--predictor of the risks of divorce.

How good? One extra partner in a woman is equivalent to negating the protective benefit of greater-than-high school education in a woman, two partners equivalent to having a poverty affected marriage, ten or more partners negates any benefit of income or education with regard to marital risk.

From a statistical perspective, the marital dissolution risk of a woman receiving welfare and a wealthy promiscuous educated woman is about the same.

(This post was revised at 20:00 Australian Eastern Standard Time)

30 comments:

Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life said...

I'm sleepy and tired so not quite focusing fully on what I'm reading. But am I reading that right that there's a huge drop off in martial success between marrying a woman whose only lifetime partner is you and a woman thats even had ONE guy before you? Like 80% to 53%. That would be a huge huge stat.

Athol Kay said...

Also the link to the CDC has a typo.

The Social Pathologist said...

Thanks for pointing out the typo, there were a few of them. I've revised the post a bit.

But am I reading that right that there's a huge drop off in martial success between marrying a woman whose only lifetime partner is you and a woman thats even had ONE guy before you? Like 80% to 53%. That would be a huge huge stat.

I'm as blown away by the stat as you are, I expected an effect but not that large and so early on. I've spent a couple of days chewing over the journal articles and they all seem to point towards the same direction.

David said...

What about religion? Is that in the data?

The Social Pathologist said...

@David

Not that I'm aware, but other studies have consistently shown that church attendance is negatively correlated with divorce.

Davout said...

On a related note, isn't your main conclusion a good reason not to practise 'game' outside of marriage? If a man can successfully game women, he is likely to sleep with multiple women which then decreases the stability of those women's marital prospects simply by virtue of the fact that they slept with multiple men (at a minimum the gamer + the to be hubby).

Have you come across any studies investigating the degree of bonding women experience towards the men they sleep with and whether this bonding varies as a function of number of men slept with?

The Social Pathologist said...

On a related note, isn't your main conclusion a good reason not to practise 'game' outside of marriage?

Yes.

Have you come across any studies investigating the degree of bonding women experience towards the men they sleep with and whether this bonding varies as a function of number of men slept with

No. In fact, I've done a short non systemic literature review and young man/woman wishing to make a name for themselves in psychology would have the field wide open to themselves. It seems curious though, for the limited number of papers that are out there, nearly all point to the fact that high partner counts increase unfaithfulness. No one seems to have asked, why?

The studies that have observed the phenomena seem to put it down to "liberal" values and leave it at that and certainly there is a correlation. However, one of the big predictors of sexual partner count is age of sexual initiation, as is coming from a single parent household. Both seen correlated to divorce rates, I just wonder if their is some sort of bonding malfunction happening here, just wondering.

Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life said...

Well there's nothing wrong with Game outside of marriage... getting kisses, dates, forging relationships, pulling female interest is all fine.

We all need some sort of game to get to the wedding anyway.

But progressing to the whole pump and dump routine seems an active social negative.

There's clearly a bonding factor with x-lovers. Look at the way Facebook is related to 20% of all divorces these days. It's not peer reviewed, but seems very believable.

Davout said...

"We all need some sort of game to get to the wedding anyway."

Not for those who get arranged marriages.

My understanding of game is that the ultimate purpose is to generate via non-traditional means sexual attraction for the male within the female. In my opinion, its popularity has extended outside the PUA circle primarily because men are handicapped via affirmative action policies and find it very hard to barter financial security or traditional status in exchange for gene transmission. 'Game' is how they have compensated for the confidence void. The underlying theory of game appears to be: if women are not sexually attracted to men, it must be men's fault.

My primary problem with 'game' is that the confidence deficit within men is viewed by many gamers and others as independent of its cause: discrimination against men which benefits women. By using game on women, men are, by and large, making a substantial effort to get attention from the same creatures that are contributing to their confidence deficit. Game IMO perpetuates the female entitlement syndrome because the number of rejections far exceeds the number of successes in the aggregate if one considers all PUA (neophyte and expert) activity.

Additionally, I don't honestly see what it is that single women are doing for men in return for men making an effort to push female attraction buttons.

Given that it is particularly hard for the average man to score at all, it stands to reason that he, should he be good at game, will bang dat chick should she give the green light: why delay the inevitable? He is bound by no marital vows! What is he to do if she makes fun of his reluctance to screw her?

Second, women tend to assess men positively if they can attract other women. This type of behaviour tends to encourage men to hit on multiple women, just so they can get woman 'A'. This opens up multiple 'banging' avenues for the guy.

Anonymous said...

The chart that Athol commented on is either entirely nonsensical or mislabelled. The y-axis is labelled "Percent of sexually active women aged 30+". Should it say "Percent of sexually active women aged 30+ WHO ARE IN STABLE MARRIAGES"?

The Social Pathologist said...

@ Athol

Well there's nothing wrong with Game outside of marriage... getting kisses, dates, forging relationships, pulling female interest is all fine.


Agree.

@Daveout

My understanding of game is that the ultimate purpose is to generate via non-traditional means sexual attraction for the male within the female.

Define traditional means.

In my opinion, its popularity has extended outside the PUA circle primarily because men are handicapped via affirmative action policies and find it very hard to barter financial security or traditional status in exchange for gene transmission.

Bloody hell, I'm not meaning to be rude but that's a rather autistic way of looking at love.

It's more a definition of institutionalised prostitution.

Game' is how they have compensated for the confidence void. The underlying theory of game appears to be: if women are not sexually attracted to men, it must be men's fault.

It usually is. A lot of guys think that devoid of social skills, basic grooming and fitness and simple manners that they are entitled to the affections of a woman. No.


He is bound by no marital vows! What is he to do if she makes fun of his reluctance to screw her?

Been there, done that. I said I'm religious and religion matters. If she didn't like it she could leave.
Didn't make any excuses.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Anon.

The chart was lifted from the Heritage study book of charts, and no, you and the Heritage study have both got it wrong, it should be percent of ever married women over 30 who are in stable marriages. The never married sexually active are excluded.

@athol

It's not peer reviewed, but seems very believable.

Some won't believe what's in front of their eyes unless it's peer reviewed.

Ellen said...

SP

I think your larger point about partner count and bonding is correct, but to focus on the drop off in stability between one and two partners:
I suspect that this is sample selection at work. In this day and age, it is as far from accidental as you can get to make it to the alter, or close enough, with no previous partners. So I think that part of the sample is just very, very different than the women in the rest of it.

mnl said...

How do you arrive at the % currently married figures (which I think you added) at the bottom of Table 31? When I calc this, I get a different figure. For example, looking at those with just one lifetime partner and where you show 80% as currently married, I *think* the math should be...

= (.345 * 29673) / ((.345 * 29673)+(.128 * 30528))

= 72%

...or did the 80% figure you show come from some other table in the report?

Next, how do we get the divorce rate out of this table? Seems to me that some of the previously divorced become part of the "Married at time of interview" figure (if they've remarried) and, therefore, the % divorced can't be teased out.

Davout said...

SP,

The last two paragraphs of my prior comment were addressed to Athol Kay, not you, SP (sorry about the confusion).

Traditional means are IMO broadly defined as financial, physical, and emotional protection and provision. The financial and emotional aspects are negatively affected by feminist legislation. Differentially advantageous physical attributes of individual men are largely nullified by automation in factories and efficient security in big cities among other things. So the superfluous observer would conclude that men are bringing nothing to a relationship today that women don't already have or can get from an external source.

I don't agree that your characterisation of my statement amounts to prostitution: unlike marriage, the purpose of prostitution is not procreation but largely unilateral lust satisfaction. I am talking about the importance of quantifiable assets that both parties must bring to a relationship in the interest of perpetuating society.

The importance for men and women to bring unique quantifiable assets to the table prior to marriage has support in the following facts: (1) there are 213 husbands who provide 100% of the income for every wife who provides 100% of the income in the US. (2) husbands who lose their jobs and women who become fat/ugly tend to experience higher rates of divorce than those who don't have these problems.

IMO, a voluntary marriage of these assets manifests trust and the integrated value of trust over time is love. Over time, men and women utilize and develop their unique (nurturing, authoritative etc.) abilities wrt their assets (children included) and this reinforces trust, which reinforces love. Anything masquerading as love prior to marriage is really lust because there is no committment and therefore no trust.

"It usually is. A lot of guys think that devoid of social skills, basic grooming and fitness and simple manners that they are entitled to the affections of a woman. No."

I partly agree about basic grooming, fitness and simple manners but not about social skills because, ceteris paribus, the confidence required to exhibit these are a function of female approval and if guys are repeatedly rejected for arbitrary reasons, they will likely not possess the confidence to manifest said social skills. Further problems include women approving of men who other women approve of and women defining social skills inconsistently.
An additional problem I have is the perception, also embedded within game, that today's women bring the same assets to the table that women prior to the 1950s did. IMO today's women are more shortsighted, less feminine and more bereft of female specific attributes than those women and therefore not worthy of the same sort of effort that the 1950s men put into dating the 1950s women.

JackAmok said...

Ellen

but to focus on the drop off in stability between one and two partners:
I suspect that this is sample selection at work. In this day and age, it is as far from accidental as you can get to make it to the alter, or close enough, with no previous partners. So I think that part of the sample is just very, very different than the women in the rest


Yes, you're almost certainly correct, but that doesn't change the overall conclusion. BTW, I wouldn't call it "simple" selection. It's selection all right, but it's highly significant and relevant selection.

Number of lifetime sexual partners is the result of a woman's upbringing, character, and outlook, not the cause of it. But the characteristics that lead a woman to have few sexual partners are also largely the characteristics that lead her to value a stable marriage.

The chart doesn't say that sleeping around causes divorce. It just says that sleeping around is a very good indicator of a woman who will get divorced.

Ellen said...

Jack:
I don't have any argument with SP's general conclusions. I was thinking about what Athol pointed out -- about the drop off in marital success when you compare women with one vs. two lifetime partners, and I was thinking that those two groups really are very different. In the first group you've got women who basically rejected premarital sex, and in the second group are women who, by today's standards, are really, really not promiscuous. I suspect that if you are looking to measure the effect of another partner in and of itself, it's probably there moving from two to three partners. Those women are probably pretty similar as a group, and just have had somewhat different life experiences.
Anyway, this is just a guess. I also suspect that the men that first group (women with one lifetime partner) are married to are pretty singular, too!

Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life said...

I'm still reading the reports. I think the Heritage people are not entirely honest with their definition of "Stable Marriage" in that you're either in a "Stable Marriage" (of five years or more at the time of the study) or you aren't.

The graph means anyone married for less than 5 years, a virgin, a divorced woman, a widow, or simply not yet married counts as "Not in a Stable Marriage".

Basically all you can glean from it is that women that delay marriage have a higher sexual partner count. It doesn't say anything about the actual stablity of the marriage once they become married, it just leads you towards thinking that's what it says.

I still want to get into the CDC report though.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Athol, the 30 year cutoff was made by the CDC in the National Survey of Family Growth. Page 17 of the Divorce, Cohabitation document gives the reasons why.

Will reply to the other commentators later on.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Ellen

The National Survey of Family Growth goes to great pains to ensure an representative sample of the U.S. population. I've got the 2002 figures, unadjusted for income, education or remarriage, the marriage rate for women over 30 ever married with one extra partner is 58%.

I'll repeat again, I thought promiscuity had an effect but I never thought it had that much of an effect. I'm as surprised as everyone else at the data, but the data appears good.

@mnl

The divorce rate is calculated by:
number married/(number married+formerly married)

The Heritage foundation was sloppy in its labeling of the Y axis. See my response to anon above.

Your quite right the in the 2+ crowd, marriage includes remarriages, however the divorce and cohabitation publication by the CDC gives data on the remarriage rates. It makes the 2+ crowd figures even worse.

Daveout.

I agree that nothing destroys self-confidence like repeated failure, but the Zen point in game is achieved when the opinion of women doesn't matter.

It's a paradox. The more you want them the less they want you. The more you crave their approval the less likely they're to give it. It took me years to realise that I was the prize, not her. That's assuming you have positive attributes.

Assuming that you're not a natural, there are two paths to this way of enlightenment. The way of the manslut, who after his fill of women realises that sex is easily achievable and that getting knocked back by a woman is no big deal. Or the way of the Christian, who in being able to control his dick, evaluates women on other criteria beside their "pussy potential". Once you do that, a lot of women are unappealing and you'd rather not consummate the deal. Walking away then becomes really easy.

@Athol

The graph means anyone married for less than 5 years, a virgin, a divorced woman, a widow, or simply not yet married counts as "Not in a Stable Marriage".

The Heritage report excluded those married less than 5 years.(at the time of the study) The report was heavily biased towards giving the younger sexually active females a greater chance of forming stable marriages by discounting any marriages that they may have been in earlier. A woman would qualified as a stable marriage if she had slutted it up during her youth and then settled down in her 30's. On the other hand, a girl who had one partner and divorced by 30 would have counted as being in a non stable marriage. As for the 5 year rule, I think it's incredibly lax, I'd personally define stable marriages as over 10 years before they would qualify.

Even with the odds stacked towards the promiscuous, they still failed.

JackAmok, nearly agree with everything you say, except it would appear that sexual behaviour whilst young, may actually cause some type of bonding dysfunction, though I able to be convinced otherwise on the matter.

Davout said...

SP,

I'm Davout, not Daveout. Your Zen article is very good and I am familiar with the gist of it. My argument, however, is that most girls don't bring to the table feminine virtues that men would like to see in a potential wife. Now most guys don't bring masculine virtues to the table either but women don't have an excuse: they are on the winning side of the ledger in our feminist world, men are not.

If one is to consider game as the exhibition of masculine virtues, do we see a movement to coax girls into exhibiting feminine virtues in response? No, because it is more politically correct to tell men to improve than it is to do the same to women.

On a sidenote, a very large percentage of boys are brought up largely or exclusively by single mothers and these women have IMO more often than not feminized their sons.

David said...

Perhaps this point has already been raised--but isn't it generally thought that women considerably under-report their number of sexual partners in surveys of this kind? So maybe "3 partners" in the survey *really* means "6 partners" or something like that.

Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life said...

Posted response at

http://www.marriedmansexlife.com/2010/09/virginity-and-big-bad-wolf.html

Overal I'm not seeing much to disagree with.

The Social Pathologist said...

Davout:

If one is to consider game as the exhibition of masculine virtues, do we see a movement to coax girls into exhibiting feminine virtues in response?

Game is not exactly the exhibition of manly virtue, rather it is the exhibition of manly traits that women find sexually attractive. "Game" is not a movement, it's a body of knowledge, a body of knowledge which helps with a fundamental human problem of how to find a mate. Women know the formula of sexual attraction, they know it rather too well.

@David,

There is a strong possibility of this, and there is scientific evidence of this phenomena, but given the current sexual climate, I imagine that there would be pressure to inflate the partner amongst women who have very limited sexual experience. I think in the current western cultural milieu, three sexual partners would not be considered too shameful. Still the drop off effect is seen at one extra partner.

@Athol
Thanks for the link-love.
The report is quite disturbing because there doesn't seem much wrong with it. There's not much to explain away the phenomena.

Jake said...

"The never married sexually active are excluded."

Where did you get that from? I can't find it in the Heritage Foundation report.

R. Stanton Scott said...

You compare apples and oranges here. These two reports address very different questions, and using the probability of divorce by socioeconomic class and education levels reflected in the CDC report (which in no way addresses the effects of the number of prior sexual partners on marriage stability, by the way) and that of women being in "stable marriages" by number of non-marital sexual partners reflected in the Heritage "report" makes no statistical sense.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Social Pathologist said...

The last comment was deleted because it was very rude.

Anonymous said...

As a woman, I can say thats probably one of the most attractive things you can do (sticking to your morals and rejecting her sexual advances) since women crave men to be the leader.

Anonymous said...

Modern women are less worthy of your effort because they are apart of a different culture than the 1950's? Its not fair to assume individual women agree with the perceived values of the culture we live in. Besides the fact that women have to now be independent because it is far less likely she'll find a man willing to marry before 30, and that means not having time tl cook spectacular meals...for herself. Not to mention its becoming an expectation that she contributes to the household income... so if I were to make a gross generalization I wouldnt say a modern man is all that much of a prize either.