Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why men favor a low-count wife

As with most things, it's all about the probabilities of future behavior being predicted by past behavior:
The University of Iowa study shows that 31 per cent of women who had sex for the first time as teens divorced within five years, and 47 per cent within 10 years. Among women who delayed sex until adulthood, 15 per cent divorced at five years, compared to 27 per cent at 10 years.... The findings were published in the April issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family.
These are hugely significant statistics. But it's not just about the count, it's about when the count started. A man's risk of divorce very nearly doubles on the basis of his wife having started having sex as a teenager. The study does attempt to distinguish between a loss of virginity that was "wanted" vs "not completely wanted", but given that "Forty two per cent reported that their first sexual intercourse before age 18 that was not completely wanted", that is a dubious and subjective factor that does not warrant being taken into account here.

This doesn't mean that if your girlfriend was getting it on with Scrawny Joe Junior in the back seat of a Camaro during 10th grade that any marriage to her will be doomed to divorce. It does, however, mean that divorce is twice as likely. But this increased risk also has to be balanced against other risk factors, such as religious commitment, individual discipline, and her overall sex count. A woman who started having sex with her boyfriend at 16, then had sex with two or three more boyfriends during and after college is a much better marital bet than the woman who stayed a virgin until she went away to college in the big city and racked up a 15+ count after the age of 18.

The problem, of course, is that very few girls believe they will ever want to get married and have children at the age of 15 or 16 since they are encouraged to focus only on college, career, and fun. So, the idea that she might pay a price for her behavior down the road, either in the form of divorce or rejection by a man who might have otherwise liked to marry them, probably isn't going to make a difference to many girls. The girl who is already actively thinking about her life and future ten years hence is very seldom the one who is having sex in high school.


vexed said...

If a man is shopping for an iPod and discovers that the one he pulled off the shelf has been opened, I guarantee you that he’ll put it back on the shelf and take the one behind it that hasn’t been opened. But when it comes to shopping for a mother to his own damned children?...well, I guess that just isn’t as significant as an iPod.

“Low-count” doesn’t cut it for me, man. I want my own damned woman...not one that Scrawny Joe Junior opened up already. Little whores or big whores...those are my options? (sigh...)

Validating your point, Vox, not disagreeing with it.

Joseph Dantes said...

Saw a post over at Foseti's I think that challenges this type of thinking.

To wit, marriage is still a safe bet with a college-educated white wife.

I suspect the shocking stats here and elsewhere have a lot to do with class and race.

You need to control for the big factors before determining the impact of the little ones. Class and race are causes, not effects for this phenomena. Age of first intercourse is both, in unknown proportion.

Realmatt said...

You can always move to some 3rd world country where the age of consent is disturbingly low and have a ball, vexed.

That's really your safest bet.

Randall said...

As the step-father of one of my best friends in high school once warned us: "Once a whore, always a whore."

So true. So very true.

Dodo Bird said...

Once again Vox, silence speaks volumes.


VD said...

Once again Vox, silence speaks volumes.

I recommend you try it sometime. It would certainly sound more intelligent.

Nate said...

This seems like statement of the obvious. Chicks that refrain from having sex have a higher moral standard???

Next you'll tell me that chicks with fewer sexual partners are less likely to divorce.

VD said...

It's not the statement of the obvious that is interesting, but rather the quantification of it. I am very surprised that the divorce risk of a woman starting sex prior to 18 is roughly equal to that of a non-virgin having an additional 15+ partners.

VD said...

Sorry, the INCREASED divorce risk. The average divorce rate itself is still only 47%, which is very close to the minimum more than one partner risk, which is still 35 percentage points more stable than the highest risk 16-20 premarital partner group which has an 82.2% 10-year divorce risk.

NateM said...

something to watch, file this in the signs of our times department

Stingray said...

Wow, obviously that woman did not receive any training in logic during her wonderful education.

Anonymous said...

I guess the two groups do not ressemble each other when it comes to socio-economiacal factors. But I doubt that there is someone who has gathered all these facts.

Jace said...

The problem, of course, is that very few girls believe they will ever want to get married and have children at the age of 15 or 16 since they are encouraged to focus only on college, career, and fun

I dont buy this completely...Logic wise, sure..but the whole being swept up in the moment and getting married is a huge part of the game. Its almost how a guy should come accross to her, as the guy she will marry or have a relationship with for her to sleep with him..i mean this is broad stuff, and her resistance can change any second..but I dont believeanyone doesnt think about getting married alot. Everyone has a bit of a hole to fill...may as well be you or I who fills it haha.

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