Thursday, August 23, 2012

More Promiscuity Data.


Back in 2010 Anthony Paik published a study which received widespread media attention at the time. The findings were "spun" in such a way to show that casual hookups could lead to successful long term relationships. Susan Walsh had a look at it and found that the media reporting was quite biased, but this is to be expected, as selective reading of the findings were supportive of the liberal social script.

He did manage to get another study published in 2011, however, the findings in this one could not be spun so easily and hence the media gave it only a nominal amount of  coverage.

Titled, Adolescent Sexuality and The Risk of Marital Dissolution, the study attempted to find out whether adolescent sex was a risk factor working against long term marital stability, and if it was, whether the effect was causal or selective. The paper is available from here. (You can get the .pdf at the site)

The science of Slutology is still in its infant stages and Paik acknowledges that there have been very few studies done.  He lists the previous work in the area and some of the mentioned papers have been presented on this blog previously.
Only four nationally representative studies have examined whether premarital sexual experiences are linked to divorce (Heaton, 2002; Kahn & London, 1991; Laumann et al., 1994; Teachman, 2003). Nevertheless, the core finding—the association between premarital sex and increased risks of divorce—is robust[Ed]. Teachman (2003) found that women who had sex only with their future husbands did not have higher risks of marital dissolution, which suggests that the premarital-sex effect on divorce is related primarily to having sex with multiple partners
Now the question that Paik wanted to answer is whether premarital sex made a good woman risk or whether risky women engaged in premarital sex.
Despite the many contributions of prior research, there is a need for an approach that distinguishes between selection and causation explanations and that focuses attention on whether the timing and unwantedness of adolescent sexuality are linked to divorce.
He looked at the sexual histories of approximately 3,800 women taken from the 2002 U.S. National Survey of Family Growth and crunched the numbers. You can read about the methodology in the paper but the important findings are as follows:
  • Women who had unwanted first sex were at increased risk of divorce.
  • Women who had sex prior to 16 years of age were at increased risk of divorce, regardless of whether the sex was wanted or not.
  • Women who had sex after 16 were not at greater risk of divorce if they had only ever slept with one man. Once they had slept with more than one they were at increased risk of divorce.
  • He was able to pretty much replicate Teachman's findings that the increased rate of divorce amongst co-habitors is due to their multiple partner count. Note: He also replicated guest commentator Intrepid's finding that virgin brides are the safest bet of all.
  • Finally, his findings support the hypothesis that having multiple partners exerts some sort of effect on a woman that increases her risk of divorce.  Women who are prone to divorce are not born but are made that way:
My results support the argument that observed linkages between adolescent sexual debut and marital disruption is one not of selectivity but of changes in beliefs and attitudes about marriage and relationships that result directly and indirectly from these [Ed: Multiple Sexual]experiences.
and
I have argued that these formative sexual experiences directly change attitudes toward marriage and sex or lead to these changes indirectly through later life-course transitions, such as the accumulation of sexual histories or
experiencing premarital fertility.
Now Paik cautiously advocates that this is only a tentative conclusion and that more work needs to be done. I personally think that Paik wasn't too happy with the findings either. Throughout the work there appears to be a grudging acknowledgment of the effect of multiple sexual partners on divorce risk. Most sociology professors are liberal but he is to be commended on letting the chips fall where they may.

No one, of course, has yet been able to explain the rock solid association between premarital virginity and decreased risk of divorce.  These women, either through partner choice or personal quality have "something" which protects them against life's vicissitudes. No "scientific" explanation is yet forthcoming. Yet for the non-virginal, the bulk of data available seems to indicate a positive correlation between partner count and divorce. I can't but help but think of GBFM, and wonder if promiscuity is a mechanism of desoulment . It's a good an explanation as any.

Note. I can hear the bleating of Left already.

I know that correlation is not causation but the whole point of looking for correlations is that there is a likelihood of finding causation as well. For years the risk of smoking was only correlated to the risk of lung cancer. Tobacco companies for years denied the link and it was only in the late 1990's that a direct mechanism was demonstrated.  Feminists and Leftists will, with same logic of tobacco company lawyers, attempt to do the same. I am not attempting to convince them. Logic and empirical evidence are no use to people who practice cognitive dissonance as a voluntary habit.

15 comments:

Ras Al Ghul said...

The thing that makes virgins different is that they resisted temptation if they're a woman, either because of religious beliefs, a strong parental influence, community pressure or even that they're low in the SMV rank and couldn't get the attention from a good enough man. (there is an old saw that a man should never marry a beautiful woman because of infidelity).

Whatever factor makes a woman a virgin is going to have its influence in marriage, another old saw: the best predictor or future behavior is past behavior which is why the numbers matter, and not what nonsense comes out of a woman's mouth (whether it is how sex is sacred or hedonistic or not)

First, because any man in this sphere knows, a woman's words and actions are often quite different.

Second, unless they are pagan, a woman with a notch count may say sex is sacred but they have acted hedonistic and will act hedonistic regardless of what views they now hold (which is why Brandon's nonsense is just that).

While Mentu notes that there is always a man that seems to be willing to marry the sluts, the more this information gets out, the less that's going to happen.

Which may lead to this correcting itself.

Black Death said...

Good post. I would suspect that, at least in western countries, and probably worldwide, there is a strong correlation between virginal status at the time of marriage and religiosity. Since sex is so freely available, if you are not religious, why not take advantage of it? People who are religious are more likely to view marriage as a spiritual as well as temporal commitment and to sick with it through difficult times than those who are not. Of course, as you say, correlation does not prove causation, but no other explanation comes to mind.

I agree that there is no point of trying to demonstrate this to the leftists, who inhabit their own, fact-free universe. Why, you might as well attempt to convince them that poverty is caused primarily by low IQ, poor lifestyle choices and lack of future time orientation rather than racism, insufficient government funding for anti-poverty programs and societal indifference. How could you even think such a thing?

Susan Walsh said...

Thanks for adding to the body of knowledge on this important topic! I've saved this for future reference.

Most of the studies seem to have been done on women alone. I am interested in learning about the potential impact of men's premarital sexual partners. I have found one study:

THE EFFECTS OF PREMARITAL SEXUAL PROMISCUITY ON SUBSEQUENT MARITAL SEXUAL SATISFACTION

(Christen, 2004, BYU)

She found something very interesting, IMO:

Gender Regression Differences. The male model explained much more of the variation of marital sexual satisfaction than did the female model...

Further, the male model had significant variables including premarital sexual promiscuity, while the female model did not have any significant variables.
The coefficient for premarital sexual promiscuity in the male model was -.053 and was significant at the .006 level. This indicates that for every additional premarital sexual partner a man has, the likelihood that he will categorize himself as being extremely satisfied with his first marital sexual relationship as compared to only being moderately satisfied decreases by 5.3%.

The coefficient for premarital sexual promiscuity in the female model was -.046 and approaches significance but does not reach significance. The standard error for this variable was .029, .01 higher than the male model and .016 higher than the complete model. No other variables in the model were significant.


The results of this study support the first hypothesis, indicating that premarital sexual promiscuity may be a significant predictor of subsequent marital sexual satisfaction.

The second hypothesis, that there would be gender differences, was correct but in the opposite direction hypothesized. There were significant gender differences between men and women but the significant effects were much stronger for males, not females. The gender variable in the full model was not significant but in running different models for males and females, the male model was significant while female model only approached significance. Therefore, while males’ marital sexual satisfaction is affected by premarital sexual promiscuity, these results indicate that the relationship is not significant among females.

While men report a lower age at first intercourse, higher number of sexual partners, a higher frequency of intercourse, and tend to report more permissive sexual attitudes (Oliver & Hyde, 1993), it appears that their marital sexual satisfaction is still affected more by premarital sexual partners than females’ marital sexual satisfaction. This may be due to the evolutionary biological theory that males tend to be more invested in or notice more the physical aspects of the sexual relationship, while women tend to be more invested in or notice more the emotional aspects of the sexual relationship (Buunk, Angleitner, & Buss, 1996).

Due to this difference, premarital sexual promiscuity may not influence females as much because the past emotional connections are no longer salient and the focus is on meeting the needs of the current relationship. Further, women tend to be aroused more and are more likely than men to report attraction increasing in long-term relationships, indicating that having previous sexual experiences may in fact lower the overall comparison levels and comparison level for alternatives for women in a marital sexual relationship (Knoth, Boyd, & Singer, 1988).


Are you familiar with this study? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Unfortunately, the original link is dead but I can email you a copy if you like. I am particularly interested in learning about the effects of male promiscuity because it directly and dramatically affects the advice I give to young women re the importance of a man's sexual history.

Thanks too for the link, I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, any man marrying a woman who is not a virgin is a damn fool!!! Better not to marry at all than to marry a non-virgin. Non-virgins cannot be trusted. Hence, marital breakdown.

Dean Joseph said...

This is sooo true! I was in a relationship with someone like this. She met her ex husband when she was 16. He was 24 at the time. They eventually got married when she was 24. During this time she cheated on him the WHOLE time. Not too also mention issues in an abusive home. But I can see where your article makes sense.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Susan

Are you familiar with this study? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I'm aware of it and thought about putting up a post on it, but I thought that given is medium sample size it would be dismissed by detractors as insignificant. The NSFG derived statistics usually has several thousand in their sample size and therefore far harder to dismiss.

My thoughts?

I actually think the findings of the study are real. There is fair large body of evidence now to suggest that high N is correlated with lower happiness overall. Whether it is cause or effect I don't know. But from a perspective buyer, and explanation of the phenomenon does not matter as much as the consequence of it. Who wants to be married to a moody grump or a guy that's likely to cheat?

I think this study also demonstrates the biological basis of the sexual double standard. Women don't seem to mind previous history as much as men. I imagine it's because being popular with the ladies is marker of preselection status, and as women are hypergamous, a bit of of a reputation actually may make a man more desirable.

I'm speculating that in men the mechanism is different. There is a whole bunch of psychological research to show that men have a better capacity of abstract thinking and spatial visualization than women. Romantic relationships demand exclusivity and a man who is aware of his partners N can "visualise" her in the act with them. Roissy's florid language offends a lot of women but it resonates with a lot of men because that is how they "see" things. So a woman with high N is percieved as non-exclusive. Note, this only matters if a man thinks about it. If he does not devote his mind to the subject it does not matter.

Also, for a variety of reasons, men are better able to compartmentalise their life. Love and sex are two different things. Men with high N, may miss the pleasures associated with high variety, and whilst loving their wives may find their sex lives boring. I think men compare lovers in their head and combined with the compartmentalisation effect may cause men with high N to seek out the ultimate lover, even whilst loving their wives.

The reason why I don't write about male promiscuity as much is because the data is simply not there. A lot of the female data is derived from sexual health research. I've got no problem about putting forward data about men. I'm not a statistician and I was hoping a an associate might be able to provide me with the data. Unfortunately this has not come through. My own "back of envelope" calculations suggest that men don't seem to be affected as much as women by partner count. I wouldn't put too much weight on these figures but male risk(N+3)=female risk (N).

Also,


Susan Walsh said...

@SP, thanks for the response.

. I wouldn't put too much weight on these figures but male risk(N+3)=female risk (N).

This strikes me as a reasonable estimate. For the reasons you mention, it seems likely that some men would struggle with a "greatest hits" loop from past partners (one of my young male readers actually described this as a problem), while others would be able to shut that down and be monogamous.

Martian Bachelor said...

> a "greatest hits" loop

Way back before FaceBook, blogs, and content aggregator sites, any Joe could put up his own simple webpages at a site called GeoCities. The infamous zed had his original pages there.

I had one too, at a different host, dedicated to my various hobbies. At some point I went through my extensive vinyl and CD music collection (I'd once been a DJ on the radio) and made a simple alphabetical list of the whole inventory. You never knew when an email might come in from another fan about some obscure band or album you had.

Anyway, I remember adding in parenthesis, for The Bangles' Greatest Hits, "hint: there really weren't any".

So, thanks for that Bangles moment again. I suppose having to be dragged repeatedly through the lowlights reel would be the nearly daily downer dose of torture with having a wife/gf/SO around.

I probably have to add the disclaimer that this is decidedly not a low N effect. The real question is, then/rather/should be, how high an N does one need to get to before you can expect that first mythical memorable hit?

I mean, really, the unmitigated gall of you women thinking you're forever the porn stars of our fantasies or something. Sheer projection.

mdavid said...

I would love to see this sort of study done on divorce and birth control...women initiate most divorces, and when relationships do not bear children women might have some sort of Darwinian "alert" switch that causes them to bolt. Their fertility window is so narrow this makes a lot of sense.

GK Chesterton said...

@Ras,

But then the data for forced sex wouldn't apply. That is, women who avoid sex for _whatever_ reason do better in marriage. That's just, well, shocking. It is a much harder to believe statement than what you are proposing.

@Social Pathologist & Susan,

From the quotes provided by Susan the study seems to focus on male happiness and not male fidelity. Is that true? If so then it is measuring a different thing. I personally believe that all N>1 behavior in both sexes erodes their virtue. However I don't _think_ the erosion happens equally. I'd actually be strangely happy to know it was exactly the same.

@MDavid,

I agree. I think the results of high child count influencing lower divorce rates is ignored for reasons in the zeitgeist. Women _can't possibly_ be happy with children after all. Despite social compulsion I swear emotional outbursts from my wife went to near zero after our second child. She was always a good gal, but she became a much more consistently good gal with kids.

The Social Pathologist said...

@GKC

She was always a good gal, but she became a much more consistently good gal with kids.

Distraction is a good thing with women. When they're busy with something they're not busy hyperanalysing every little thing.

From what I remember GKC the study focused on happiness in both sexes rather than fidelity.

As I said before, I did some quick calculations and it did appear that women were more sensitive to the promiscuity affect.

GK Chesterton said...

BTW, your dressing the man link in your blogroll is bad.

Anonymous said...

@Social Pathologist

The sexual double standard has NO basis in biology. Women are as polygamous as males. This is proven fact in every species. It is merely belief that will keep men and women from fornicating before marriage. God did not make it easier for women to not disobey his commandments than men. Don't let your bias force you to make a broader implication you wouldn't like.

What you are speaking of is men simply wanting women to be more 'emotionally driven' and monogamous because it helps with their establishing paternity. However, women are just as concerned and effected by high promiscuity in their mates because it would mean the taking of her mate's resources from her to another female. Women can outwardly appear to tolerate higher partner count for men though, because they can always be sure of what child they sire since they will birth it. But this is usually a sentiment only reserved for women who are sleeping around similarly to the men they excuse for their shameful behavior or men who have a tremendous amount of resources to go around.

Regardless, you seem to make a lot of excuses for male whoring and contemplating softly why that may be and how it could not be so bad. On the other hand, you lambaste female whoring, with little thought as to how it might be a result of this or that excuse. How convenient.

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