Friday, May 08, 2009

Promiscuity and getting a lower-earning husband: Few women seem to read this blog, so I might be talking to myself, but if you want to marry a man who earns more than you, then don't be a slut. Here is the mean number of lifetime sexual partners since age 18 by who has a higher income:


Mean lifetime sexual partners (GSS women, N = 327)

They have the same income 3.24
Spouse has no income 3.65
Husband has a higher income 3.75
Husband has a much higher income 3.80

All wives 4.17

Wife has a much higher income 6.38
Wife has a higher income 7.33

With the exception of the unusual situation of having a husband with no income, women with fewer partners end up with wealthier men. Women who end up with low-earning men were almost twice as promiscuous. More masculine women might explain the correlation, but men are still old-fashioned enough to not want to marry the town whore.

(It might also be the case that women who wait longer to get married because they are building careers may pick up more sex partners along the way, but I still like my interpretation.)

15 comments:

Whiskey said...

I think you've misread the data.

First off, who are the women who tend to have husbands with much higher incomes?

Mostly stay-at-home wives married to big time execs, lawyers, etc. who make big bucks. These men are at a premium, and so demand younger women (who also have fewer partners).

Who are the women who earn significantly more than their husbands? Mostly corporate execs, and other women in high-paying careers, in their late thirties, who have racked up considerable sex partners and want a husband. Who typically is a "beta type" that settles for whatever he can get. These marriages btw rarely last.

The same-earning level seems to be the college age sweethearts who marry, etc. Model would be Todd/Sarah Palin.

Given equal participation in the workforce, and women out-earning men in the urban professional demographic slice, it's probably a fact of modern professional life that women will rack up more partners than their husbands, and end up with failing marriages.

I think we are on the change-edge of rather dramatic changes in women's preferences. Most women would prefer to make more money than their husbands, and have more partners. It maximizes short term their pleasure and independence.

Jim Bowery said...

She's not a slut -- she's called a "bottom woman".

agnostic said...

The GSS has a variable for astrological sign -- just go on a fishing expedition and keep the findings that you could package into something for the Oprah book club.

Presto -- half your readers will be female.

Jason Malloy said...

No, I don't think the GSS shows this. The correlation between a woman's sex partner # and her husband's socioeconomic index is -0.1. But the correlation between her education and her husband's SEI is .42, and between her IQ and her husband's SEI is .34.

Ron Guhname said...

JM: Which partner variable did you use?

Jason Malloy said...

Ok, using as much of each sample as possible: Husband's absolute SEI and wife's # of sex partners = .00 (N = 5,543).

Wife's earnings relative to husband's earnings, and wife's # of sex partners = -.03 (N=328).


Variables: SPSEI, EARNMORE, NUMMEN(1-989), SEX(2)

Ron Guhname said...

JM: I would say it's not clear what the GSS says. You used EARNMORE (1996) while I used EARNSHH (2002, N = 357). Mean differences are often more impressive than correlations. SPSEI addresses a slightly different question. If a women wants to marry a high-earning man, I would certainly suggest that she increase her level of education. It looks like IQ is mostly a gift from God.

Nick said...

"It might also be the case that women who wait longer to get married because they are building careers may pick up more sex partners along the way, but I still like my interpretation."

Couldn't you control for this by looking only at women in a young age range?

If delay in marriage due to careers is the cause of the difference in the number of sex partners then it should show up more strongly among older women than younger ones.

Jason Malloy said...

JM: I would say it's not clear what the GSS says.Agreed. I find this a lot too; similarly worded questions give very different results.

Using 'EARNSHH(2-6)' (virtually identical 5 scale question*), the correlation between husband's relative earnings and wife's sex partners is -.18 (N = 290).


*EARNSHH(2-6):
Considering all sources of income, between you and your spouse/partner, who has the higher income?

2 I have much higher income
3 I have higher income
4 We have about the same income
5 Spouse has a higher income
6 Spouse partner has much higher income


EARNMORE:
Who earns more money?

1 I EARN MUCH MORE THAN MY SPOUSE
2 I EARN SOMEWHAT MORE THAN MY SPOUSE
3 WE EARN ABOUT THE SAME AMOUNT
4 MY SPOUSER-PARTNER EARNS SOMEWHAT MORE
5 MY SPOUSE-PARTNER EARNS MUCH MORE

Jason Malloy said...

For future use and reference, I combined the 1996 and 2002 questions into a custom variable called PANTS (N = 1,325).

The correlation between wife's promiscuity and her husband's relative earnings is -0.7 (N= 618).

Interestingly, the same is true for men. The more sex partners a man has, the more his wife earns relative to him: .05 (N= 512).

I interpret this to mean promiscuous people are more likely to follow the African model of relationship economics, where women do more of the work, and men contribute more by being sexy.

Less promiscuous people are more likely to follow the Eurasian economic model, where men do more of the work and women contribute more by being sexy.

Jim Bowery said...

http://justentertainment.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/heidi-klum-family-park-bh.jpg

ironrailsironweights said...

Who are the women who earn significantly more than their husbands? Mostly corporate execs, and other women in high-paying careers, in their late thirties, who have racked up considerable sex partners and want a husband. Who typically is a "beta type" that settles for whatever he can get.Or some may be women with decidedly ordinary jobs, married to men with poor work histories who spend more time out of work than working.

It's always been my impression that women with well-paid jobs usually marry men who also earn good money. That's been the case with most of those I've known, though the n= might not be large enough to draw conclusions.

Peter

Jason Malloy said...

I cross-tabulated PANTS with HAPMAR (happiness of marriage) to check the economic arrangements that work best for men and women.

The least happy marital arrangement for both men and women is when the wife makes a lot more than the husband.

The best arrangement for men is when he makes more than his wife, but not a lot more.

The best arrangement for women, by a significant margin, is when her and her husband make about the same amount. And this is a close 2nd best for men.

So equality of income in a marriage is actually the condition that leads to the most harmony.

Whiskey said...

Peter -- my own personal anecdotal (I know) sets of data has been corporate executive wives plus "romantic bad boy husbands."

Anecdotal, but there you have it.

Anonymous said...

you probably could've done this for whites only