Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Virgin Bride.

Some of the best papers dealing with the subject of sexuality and divorce risk are unfortunately not online. I've purchased a few of these and unfortunately they come with pretty stringent copyright restrictions which means I cannot directly reproduce portions of the document. However I am allowed to comment on them.

One such study was done by Kahn and London. Joan R. Kahn, Kathryn A. London, 'Premarital Sex and the Risk of Divorce', Journal of Marriage and the Family 53 (1991): 845-855.

The data was extracted from the 1988 National Survey of Family group and involved over 2700 white women.

Virginity was defined as having sex within one month of date of marriage. (including before)

Some interesting findings.

At the end of the "Swinging Sixties" some 43% of white brides were virgins. I found this figure quite interesting since the impression that one gets from the media is that everyone was doing it, they weren't

By the early 80's only 14% of white brides were virgins.

In the first part of the paper they undertook a fairly conventional statistical analysis of virginity and its relation of divorce.

They did a probit analysis based on three models:

1) A simple virginity divorce correlation.
2) A virginity divorce correlation controlled for education, age of marriage , marital and per-marital birth.
3) A virginity divorce correlation controlling for all of the above and for intact/non-intact family background and religion.

The above analysis was calculated for 5 year and 10 year divorce risk respectively:

5 year divorce risk for virgins. -0.60. In other words, there was a 60% less risk of divorce.
10 year divorce risk for virgins. -0.402, less than 40% risk of divorce.

The other statistically significant findings were that:

1) Education and age of marriage is negatively correlated with divorce.
2) Education and age of marriage explained about 8-10% of the effect.
3) Coming from a broken home raised the risk of divorce but only for the first five years of marriage. Aat the 10 year mark, it, and age of marriage weren't significant.

The other really surprising finding was that there is no difference in the rate of divorce between Catholics, Protestants and non-religious when controlled for virginity.

The weakest part of the paper came next when they tried to explain the virginity effect by controlling for "unknown" factors using a bivariate probit analysis. Once controlling for these "known unknown" factors, no difference in divorce rates were observed between virgins and non-virgins. Kahn and London then go on to speculate as to what these known unknowns were. They freely admit that they're guessing. They suggested that it could reside in the attitudes and values of virgins compared to non-virgins. Though they admit it would require a study matching attitudes to divorce rates and virginity which they felt would be unfeasible. Essentially, their conclusion is that there is a qualitative difference between virgins and non-virgins which explains their lesser risk of divorce. They did not think that virginity per se was a protective mechanism with regard to divorce risk, rather that some unknown factors associated with virginity are responsible.


Some personal thoughts.

1) We are beginning to see some consistency. Teachman, on a different cohort, demonstrated a 35% reduction in the risk of divorce associated with virginity across cohorts. Kahn and London on a different group demonstrated a similar finding, a reduction between 40-60%.

2) Personally I find Kahn and London's explanation lacking. Their own research in a way repudiates their speculations. A persons religion or lack thereof is probably one of the biggest shapers of their life attitudes. Their own research showed the virginity effect persisted across all believing groups. Teachman was also able to show that cohabitors, who do have different attitudes to non-cohabitors, have no different rate of divorce when controlled for a single partner. Kahn and London showed that religion didn't matter if you were a virgin, whilst Teachman showed that "attitude effect" did not matter if you had premarital sex, only partner count. This explanation is overplayed.

3) Once again, that great shibboleth of the evo-bio crowd, education (which is a proxy for intelligence) had a mild effect on divorce rate, repudiating the haters of the critics of the Heritage Study.

Spend your fifteen bucks and buy a copy of the study.

59 comments:

Basil Ransom said...

S.P., you should take a gander at The Bell Curve's brief discussion of divorce. It found that higher IQ correlated with lower 5 year divorce rates (9% vs 23% for 130 vs 100 IQ), though the virginity rates are much higher among the 130+ IQ crowd.

Interestingly, after IQ is controlled for, higher SES is linked with a higher divorce rate.

To sum it all up, high IQ, virginity, and low SES make for a low risk of divorce.

I'm inclined to believe that virginity matters less once other factors are taken into account, which may be optimistic.

David Foster said...

Basil...IQ & social status referring to that of the man, the woman, or some combination of the two?

The Social Pathologist said...

I got my copy of the book just two days ago!

The whole divorce end point is complicated by a whole host of variables. IQ (at least occupational status correlated to IQ) does decrease divorce rate...........in America. In other countries it increases it. (Another post coming up) Religiousness, spousal structure, family history all contribute. In the U.S. high IQ is negatively correlated with divorce but positively correlated with infidelity. Go figure.

One of the interesting findings is that high IQ people appear to be sexually unattractive during their teens. (The sociological implications of this are enormous)Now, the Heritage study showed that starting sexual activity later seemed to be less harmful than starting it in adolescence. Perhaps high IQ teens (trough their sexual unattractiveness as a group) are protected from adolescent promiscuity and hence bonding dysfunction. What I'm trying to say is perhaps high IQ makes people sexually unattractive at a time when promiscuous sexual activity can be harmful to future bonding. It's a thought.

David. High IQ is protective of both man and woman. Though other studies have shown that if the marriage is hypogamous the risk of divorce is higher. The Study quoted by Murray stated that coming from a high SES childhood increased the risk of divorce.

David Foster said...

William Langewiesche, in his book about the airline flight that landed in the Hudson river, asserted that higher-IQ people are generally more able to understand their own fallibility. Not sure this is true, but here's the whole passage:

"Intelligence is not a prerequisite for safe flying, but an acceptance of human fallibility is, and the two are generally linked. Ziegler mentioned it on the banks of the Garonne. He has seen such variations over the years. He said that the mark of the great pilots he has known is that they admitted in advance to their capacity for error, and they addressed their mistakes vigorously after making them. He said, 'Vous savez, monsieur. L’Erreur est humaine.' Actually the Latin original, in full, goes 'Errare humanum est, sed perseverare diabolicum.' To err is human, but to persist is diabolical. Maybe it should be posted in polling stations. Certainly it should be posted in cockpits."

And in bedrooms and living rooms?

Anonymous said...

I knew a very attractive, nice, very successful woman married to a man who seemed unworthy of her, and who sometimes insulted her cuttingly in the presence of her friends and business associates.

Several of the business associates wondered why she had stayed with this man. An astute & fairly sexually experienced woman said, when the topic came up between us:

"I'll tell you exactly why. I'll bet you anything he's the only man she ever had sex with, and she just doesn't realize that it could be just as good or better with someone else. That kept them together until they had kids, and now it's much harder for her to get out."

If the exclusive-sex superglue-bonding theory is right, it has dangers as well as benefits, and a woman should be careful who she gets superglued to! The woman I'm talking about here may not have been actively miserable, but she didn't have the marriage she should have had. Maybe if she'd had a few more sexual experiences before marriage she would have been more likely to get out early.

Just Thinking

The Social Pathologist said...

@David

I think it was Feynman who once said a good physicist is always trying to prove his theory wrong, not right.

Insight into our own fallibility may be more due to the quality of intellectual honesty rather than intellectual ability. There are lot of very smart liberals, the problem is that there are very few intellectually honest ones.

I think that intelligence contributes to marriage stability because the partners make better life choices which help them avoid initial problems. Personal experience suggests that once the problems have assumed a significant status in the marriage then intelligence does not really seem to help.

The Social Pathologist said...

Anon.

I knew a very attractive, nice, very successful woman married to a man who seemed unworthy of her, and who sometimes insulted her cuttingly in the presence of her friends and business associates.

I've known women like that as well, and the more I've got to know them the less surprised I am by the situation.

An attractive woman always has options. Attractive women are hit on all the time and the ability to leave is always there. The question to ask is why they don't if the marriage is so miserable?

My view is that whatever she is getting out of this marriage is worth more than the pain she is in.
The domineering "asshole" husband is akin to the domineering "asshole" boyfriend in high school. Yeah, the girl always bitches and complains but in the end she always returns back to him. The tragedy here is that were her husband to suddenly turn nice, the risk of divorce would suddenly go up!

One of the most corrosive social memes out there is the romantic notion that bliss is somewhere waiting around the corner. In many individuals this idea unsettles them, making them always think that whatever they have is somehow not as good as what they could have: The potential is always greater than the reality. Tell me, is your sexually experienced friend married? (2nd+ marriages do not count)

Anonymous said...

She was't married at the time (and had never been married) but is married now, about 7 years, happily as far as I can tell.

Her "number" was at least 7 (at 28) probably closer to 10.

Just Thinking

AMac said...

S.P. wrote, "At the end of the "Swinging Sixties" some 43% of white brides were virgins."

As I read it, the chart suggests "30%", not "43%" for 1965-69. Typo somewhere?

"Virgin brides" plus "Non-virgin brides" don't total up to 100% for any of the four time periods. The definition used by Kahn & London seems non-intuitive.

Anonymous said...

@AMac The chart is of divorce probability not percent virgin brides. I imagine that line is her reading off another statistic from the paper.

AMac said...

Thanks anon. I should have read the figure legend more carefully. Sometimes stupid questions are (slaps self).

R. Stanton Scott said...

I'm not sure you can claim consistency here, since the three studies you cite use different metrics, and at least one simply doesn't say a single interesting thing about the relationship between virginity and divorce. None of them really control for a host of intervening variables--Teachman even points out this flaw in his work.

Anyway, three thoughts:

First, let me say that no copyright on academic work keeps you from citing and quoting excerpts if your purpose is to analyze the work and make a case that it is right or wrong. As long as you don't publish the entire paper and you cite the authors you should be fine.

As far as your analysis, let me start by suggesting that 43% of women said they were virgins at the end of the "swinging sixties" because many of them simply lied. This is not uncommon in surveys which ask people whether they follow a social norm--studies of sexual and voting behavior are particularly vulnerable to this flaw, and all three studies you cite almost certainly suffer from this.

This changed by the 80s because norms about female sexual behavior had changed by then, and women were more comfortable confessing to surveyors that they had engaged in premarital sex. Besides that, the "swinging sixties" actually happened between about 1968 and 1974, so a survey in 1969 would not capture this.

Finally, and for the record, let me say that I suspect that the core theory you have is correct: women who have had multiple sex partners before marriage are probably less likely to remain in stable marriages (or other relationships) over the long term. I just don't think these studies support this view very strongly. And I don't believe that this is necessarily a bad thing.

In any event, I would challenge your claim in comments to another post that "a lot of the liberal world view is only logical by a strong dose of reality denial." I would be interested in hearing just what parts of the "liberal world view" (whatever that is) requires denying reality. It seems to me that conservatives depend much more on rejection of facts which would challenge their opinions (see for example the wealth of data on climate change).

The Social Pathologist said...

First, let me say that no copyright on academic work keeps you from citing and quoting excerpts if your purpose is to analyze the work and make a case that it is right or wrong

That may be the case in the U.S. but I'm not so sure over here in Australia. I'm going to take a very conservative approach to the matter.

let me start by suggesting that 43% of women said they were virgins at the end of the "swinging sixties" because many of them simply lied.

As it appears that you don't have a copy of the study in front of you, I'm going to be charitable.

The women who reported that they were virgins in 1965-69 were responding do a survey done in 1988. The societal pressures of the 60's weren't there anymore. So you criticism on that point, respectfully, is wrong.

I just don't think these studies support this view very strongly. And I don't believe that this is necessarily a bad thing.

I've just been reviewing the original studies which linked smoking with an increase in overall mortality. A brief history history of it is here. Initially the view was met with disbelief, hostility from the vested interests and finally near universal acceptance. Please note that the effect of smoking on mortality seems less than the effect of promiscuity on divorce.

Not thinking divorce a bad thing? Well that's where you and I differ. Divorce is responsible for a lot of the misery and social pathology of our society. I deal with its detritus on a daily basis. Divorce, while tolerable between two childless parties, is wicked when children are involved.

As for left wing intellectual pathology. I suggest reading Orwell and Muggeridge(before he became right wing). He has a great essay called the Great Liberal Death Wish.The pertinent points are his recollections of the West's intellectual elite justifying their faith in Stalin. Orwell's understanding of the left wing's mentality is I think his greatest legacy.

I'm not saying right wing people aren't capable of their own prejudices, but the extent of outright intellectual dishonesty isn't just present on the right as it is on the left. Political Correctness is a left wing phenomena. This is huge topic which a combox discussion can't do justice but stick around and over the next few weeks I hope to continue my Fundamentals of Conservatism series and hope to expound on the phenomena at length.

The Social Pathologist said...

She was't married at the time (and had never been married) but is married now, about 7 years, happily as far as I can tell.

I'm happy for her, though the odds don't look good. Let's hope she beats the odds.

Just saying.

R. Stanton Scott said...

Whenever they answered the survey, the percentage of women reporting virginity is probably overstated for the reasons I cite: people often lie when surveyed about their compliance with social norms, and this is particularly true when responding to surveys about sex and voting. I agree that respondents in 1988 would have less reason to, and this probably means that the number who lied is smaller than I might have thought, but that does not make this claim a false one. This is a well-known and real problem in survey research.

To be sure, divorce often causes problems for those who wish to remain married. My own take is that it causes problems mostly when the couple disagrees that a split needs to happen. For many couples, even those with children, divorce is the healthiest and happiest outcome in the long run.

In any event, it makes no sense to privilege marriage for its own sake, and to the extent some couples realize they have made a mistake after a few years of wedded misery they should not be criticized for acting to improve their quality of life. As a child of divorced parents, I can tell you that in my own case keeping them together would have hurt my siblings and me more than the divorce did.

If your basis for critique of the "liberal elite" is a 60-year-old hope that Communism might succeed in the Soviet Union, then you may want to update your reading. Orwell and Muggeridge are more than a bit dated, and few if any liberals today would argue that Soviet style totalitarian communism could ever have been anything other than a tragedy for the Russian and other peoples. This is little more than a straw man in the end--a projection of attitudes and beliefs on liberals who don't really hold them so the right can score points criticizing values leftists do not hold. That said, you did not respond to my request for a concrete example of some fact liberals ignore today so they can cling to an ideological faith. This should come easily if your claim is true.

And I would suggest that the disease of political correctness infects the left and right alike. Try burning a US flag at a Tea Party gathering if you don't believe this is true.

The Social Pathologist said...

R Stanton Scott.

You miss the point. What Orwell and Muggeridge correctly pointed out was the intellectual mechanisms which the Left employed to justify its beliefs in the face of manifest falsehood. Their understanding of the intellectual gymnastics required to maintain belief in the left wing view was valuable. Like Aristotle, the Classics are timeless.

Getting upset at burning the flag is not an example of bias. People getting upset about their identifying symbols being trashed is a perfectly normal human emotion. I'd have no problem with climate change advocates getting upset with me burning an effigy of Al Gore.

No the real intellectual challenge is to maintain the facade of intellectual openness whilst at the same time pretending the climategate emails and their contents did not exist. Now that requires some intellectual skill. Or how do you acknowledge that C02 is an important Greenhouse gas whilst denying the water vapour--present at 100x greater quantities--is not?

For the record, I believe climate change is occurring, though no one has actually been able to tell me what the correct temperature of the world is meant to be.

Anonymous said...

The Social Pathologist:

I agree with you here in relation to R. Stanton Scott and liberal versus conservative. However, I think your choice of examples is wrong. None of the climate models ignores water vapor for example, so I don't know where you get the idea that climate scientists somehow equates to being left-wing.

No, the example you should have used was human biodiversity. You might have also mentioned blank-slatism. Those, plus the universal hatred of even poor white males are the international lefts biggest bugaboos.

Clarence

The Social Pathologist said...

@Clarence

You're quite right, it was a poor example.

I believe that climate change is occurring but I'm not convinced that it's anthropogenic. The fact that the it's the proposed remedies align with the left's favour it causes ensure that it will a cause celebre for a long time.

But suppose, as some scientists are suggesting, that we are on the verge of another "Maunder minimum" and going to experience global cooling. Do you think the Left would demand that we increase the number of coal fired power stations and burn down the forests in order to raise C02? I strongly doubt it.

R. Stanton Scott said...

I did not say that burning a US flag at a tea party event would be an example of "bias." I said that you might want to try this if you don't believe "political correctness" infects the right. As you correctly point out, this would offend them--and that is the definition of "political correctness"--requiring others to avoid inoffensive comments.

What, exactly, makes the "classics" timeless? Orwell and Muggeridge wrote a long time ago about a society very different from ours. Aristotle, for example believed in a socialist utopia run by the wealthy for the sake of greater society, and he had no sense of the importance of the individual. Do you think he has anything important to say about today's society? In any event, citing authors who wrote decades ago does not give an example of intellectual failure of today's left.

The climate change debate gets you a bit closer, but only if you ignore the science in favor of right wing talking points about emails and Maunder Minimums. No liberal I know of "pretends the emails don't exist," which makes this nothing more than a straw man which you need to make the larger point that liberals ignore facts which disprove their views. Many of course dispute their meaning, but that is not the same thing. Unfortunately, most conservatives think that their opinions (e.g., divorce is bad) are facts, and accuse liberals of intellectual dishonesty when they really only disagree.

Bill said...

R. Stanton Scott said...
Whenever they answered the survey, the percentage of women reporting virginity is probably overstated for the reasons I cite

The effect of this measurement error would be to move some true-non-virgins into the measured-virgin category. This would dilute the measured effect. So, the true effect of virginity would be higher than the measured effect. This is an example of measurement error / mis-classification bias.

The Social Pathologist said...

As you correctly point out, this would offend them--and that is the definition of "political correctness"--requiring others to avoid inoffensive comments.

Uhm.....no. Political correctness is the practice of suppressing truths to avoid offense either real or imagined. Political correctness is in an attempt to suppress the truth under the guise of "niceness".

Orwell and Muggeridge wrote a long time ago about a society very different from ours.

Human nature does not change. Muggeridge's musings on the culpable gullibility of the West's intelligentsia in the 30's is applicable to the intellectual mechanisms of the modern left.

No liberal I know of "pretends the emails don't exist," which makes this nothing more than a straw man which you need to make the larger point that liberals ignore facts which disprove their views. Many of course dispute their meaning, but that is not the same thing.

Acknowledging that the emails exist whilst at the same time ignoring their significance is a sly way of denying the truth. Lets put it this way. If a drug company refused to share research data with the open scientific community on a matter of public health as Phil Jones did, I imagine that the left would have a field day attacking the drug company...and rightfully so. If a drug company had statistically manipulated the data to "hide" any toxic effects of its drug, the left would demand justice against the drug company. But when Phil Jones does the same, the left acknowledges that he did it and then stays silent.

Jones's violated the most basic tenets of scientific research, his sin wasn't supporting climate science, his sin was violating the scientific method and protocol. Any other scientist would have been summarily dismissed, but the left acknowledges the emails and then pretends nothing of significance happened.

Unfortunately, most conservatives think that their opinions (e.g., divorce is bad) are facts, and accuse liberals of intellectual dishonesty when they really only disagree.

If only. Disagreement would be acceptable if it were consistent. Some fundy preacher wants to burn a koran and that's a hate crime, so pissant artist puts a crucifix in urine and it's art.

A marriage is a public promise, and divorce, basically a legitimizing of the breaking of promises. Presuming that the couple were of legal adult age, the young "in love" adults were responsible beings. Responsible beings are bound to keep their promises; for better for worse, in sickness and in health.

Anonymous said...

"Disagreement would be acceptable if it were consistent. Some fundy preacher wants to burn a koran and that's a hate crime, so pissant artist puts a crucifix in urine and it's art."

To me it still works if I change the subjects:

"Some [pissant artist] burns a koran and it's art, some [non-Christian preacher where Christians are a minority] puts a crucifix in urine and that's a hate crime."

Anonymous said...

"Disagreement would be acceptable if it were consistent. Some fundy preacher wants to burn a koran and that's a hate crime, so pissant artist puts a crucifix in urine and it's art."

To me it still works if I change the subjects:

"Some [pissant artist] burns a koran and it's art, some [non-Christian preacher where Christians are a minority] puts a crucifix in urine and that's a hate crime."

The Social Pathologist said...

Anon

To me it still works if I change the subjects:...

Then you really don't get it. Burning the Koran like Submersing the Crucifix in urine is a profoundly insulting act. One that shows no consideration of the feelings of other human beings. Conservatives who want to burn the Koran are Just as vile as atheists who want to offend Christians. One of my favourite quotes of Johnson's

That man is little to be envied whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plain of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona.

A man who cannot respect another man's piety is indeed a failed man.

The_Editrix said...

"Some [pissant artist] burns a koran and it's art, some [non-Christian preacher where Christians are a minority] puts a crucifix in urine and that's a hate crime."

Point taken and yes, there are two sides of that matter -- theoretically. However, the fact remains that no embassies burn and no people die if somebody puts a crucifix in urine. Maybe it's a conservative thing to understand that "equality" isn't the answer to everything.

"The whole divorce end point is complicated by a whole host of variables."

SO true!

IQ (at least occupational status correlated to IQ) does decrease divorce rate........... in America. In other countries it increases it."

I'd wager that is, because American society is in many things lower middle class (or petty bourgeois, if you like that better) in its VALUES. ("What WILL people say!") From my experience -- I am a German who was partly socialised in England -- people above a certain stratum simply don't care what others say about them.

Fascinating discussion. Keep up the good work!

The Social Pathologist said...

The Editrix, thanks for dropping by.

However, the fact remains that no embassies burn and no people die if somebody puts a crucifix in urine.

That's because Christians don't care. If they did the embassy's would burn. The only reason why the towelheads burn embassies if because they love Allah, we give God lip service.

I'd wager that is, because American society is in many things lower middle class (or petty bourgeois, if you like that better) in its VALUES.

It is both American society's strength and weakness. America probably cannot scale the heights of European glory, nor can plumb the depths of European wickedness.

people above a certain stratum simply don't care what others say about them.

So true, but it's a fatal flaw to have when the criticism leveled against one is legitimate. Sometimes its most beneficial to care about public opinion, most times its not.

The_Editrix said...

"It is both American society's strength and weakness."

Indeed! I was trying not to be judgemental, just stating a fact. A lot of American traits we tend to sneer at are really strengths.

I find this blog most interesting because it seems to deal with the facts of female nature, different from the Roissy-ites, in a matter-of-fact and non-contemptuous way. Many of the complaints of American men, of which I have no doubt that they are justified, I find as exotic as I might find the the mating rites of some Australo-Papuan tribe.

To make an attempt at putting the problem, as I see it for the European society in which I live, into words: Women are not able to live their sexuality in a self-reliant and responsible way. They simply don't possess the ethical and moral fibre necessary for that and need the confinements of a TRADITIONAL marriage. The most destructive single cause for the decline of our civilisation is the sexual liberation of women. I see a woman at the root of virtual each and every marital and familial failure I am watching. I see sluttiness, idleness, vanity, lack of backbone, morals and common decency. What I do NOT see is "hypergamy". But then, when I first came across the American wedding cult, five-figure wedding dress, diamond ring, the lot, more than ten years ago in the Internet, it was one of those Australo-Papuan culture shocks as well. I am not saying that we are any better in Europe or Germany, we aren't, and the outcome for marriages and families is just as disastrous here. All I am saying is that the underlying motives are different, and that wouldn't be so if "hypergamy" were really a biological given.

I see this as food for thought and further discussion, not as the ultimate truth.

However, and on a different note: I'd like to strongly contradict your statement about Muslims. I don't think Muslims love their Allah, which is not the God of the Bible, as we love the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They just hate everything and everybody that doesn't fit into their debased world view. I strongly deny that we can learn anything from them. Any similarity with a traditional Christian view, be it the love of God, women's modesty or whatever, is purely pheno- not genotypical.

Off my soapbox now. ;-)

The_Editrix said...

It seems I ought to have read your entry "The Programmable Sex" first. It goes a long way towards explaining the differences. If one assumes that women's sexuality does indeed reflect societal norms and peer group pressure, it is not so amazing anymore that American woman go for material gain and a diamond ring when looking out for a mate, and German women for (far more frightening) idealistic reasons. Don't take that as a flattering description. Germans are at their most obnoxious, even dangerous, when their sense for idealism is tickled. If I think of the failed marriages within my circle of friends and acquaintances, I'd wager that the adulteresses are very sure that they really "love" that man, "deserve" him and can make him SO much happier than his wife can, in brief, that they are doing actually a good and meritorious, even noble, thing. Few of those I have in mind right have gained much financially, but, again, that doesn't make them in the least better than any American gold digger and the marriage and family they broke up is just as broken.

The same applies to the wives who leave their husbands because they are bored. They usually don't improve their financial status.

Reversely, you would be amazed for what German men are exchanging attractive, charming and even rich wives. The Roissy-ites with their scale of female attractiveness would be stunned. I am not a man, so I can only say that I haven't a clue what makes them tick. Admiration from the cook or groom they don't get from their wives? Maybe, but why MARRY them?

I have been thinking for a while now rather sketchily in that direction because the differences are so obvious to me when I have no reason to doubt the complaints of the American men. Thank you and this blog for helping me clarifying that.

The_Editrix said...

Corrigendum:

"Few of those I have in mind right have..."

should be:

"Few of those I have in mind right now have..."

The Social Pathologist said...

Reversely, you would be amazed for what German men are exchanging attractive, charming and even rich wives.

Camilla Parker Bowles is perhaps the greatest example of this. Prince Charles could of married any one of dozens of supermodels and yet he chose a relatively plain type of woman. A woman who knows that she is relatively plain. The thing about beauty is that while it attracts, we become conditioned to it after a while. It's not that it looses its luster, its just that it looses its magnetic allure. Many a plain Jane has more personality, that many a model and personality is more enduring that looks. For a man who is looking for a long term relationship, nothing is more off putting than a self absorbed empty headed woman. I'm not saying personality will triumph over looks, simply that while looks may pull them in but it's no guarantee of keeping them there.

As for money, sometimes giving a rich woman the flick is worth it. Being poor is better than being with her. Sometimes the psychic repulsion overcomes the physical and monetary attraction.

The_Editrix said...

I totally agree with you, but it contradicts everything I read at American "gamers'" sites.

Mrs. PB and Prince Charles are interesting examples for the fact that attraction doesn't always follow the American way of physical attractiveness in exchange for material goods. Mrs. PB is very upper class, much more so than Diana Spencer (whom I despised), although the latter came from a "better" family. Basically, Diana was a traitor to her own class when she became the darling of middle England. Mrs. BP, on the other hand, is very (English) upper class in her total contempt for "keeping up appearances", as the Queen is. Both have execrable dress sense and only dress up out of a sense for etiquette -- and that's exactly how they look. I haven't come across a copy of "Country Life" for quite some time. Their frontispieces of society brides (I mean REAL society, not glossy magazine scum) used to show that the mating rites of the traditional English upper classes are something entirely different again. The same applies (or applied) to the society columns of "Tatler". I'd wager that the horsey brides and their red-faced country squires in morning coats, whose wedding pictures one could once admire there, are mostly still happily married.

If I had the choice between the American beauty-for-lucre, the frightening and cruel German concept of "love" and the English "the right face at the opposite end of the table" approach, I'd go for the latter any time.

An interesting excursion from biology into mentalities.

Anonymous said...

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"William Langewiesche, in his book about the airline flight that landed in the Hudson river, asserted that higher-IQ people are generally more able to understand their own fallibility. Not sure this is true, but here's the whole passage:"

Yes, it is true. Confidence varies inversely with competence.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15866966

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect

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Just three things to add or clarify: Christians don't engage in international terrorism, because they know they're correct and that Muslims are wrong. People who know they're correct don't care what others believe.

Placing a crucifix in human waste product does in fact kill peope, because that level of Mockery proves humanity is sufficiently reprobate to preclude salvation, and so it brings its own destruction.

When all possible variables are normalized for all possible values, every study of any kind yields an identical result:

Death is certain and after death each person will either be in Heaven or Hell, period!

What was Truth is Truth now, and it always will be Truth. There is One Truth. Everything else is wrong!

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