Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Workplace sex desegregation and marital infidelity

While it is not easy to find good ideas in sociology, it's not impossible. One useful concept is called "exposure" (I'm not sure a discipline really invented it. It's common sense). It's simple: behavior depends a lot on ease and opportunity. Why am I good friends with the professor next door, and not the guy down the hall? Simply because I bump into my neighbor all the time. Why are children often beaten by women--the less aggressive sex? One reason is because men are around kids less.

This truth has conservative implications. For example, it suggests that if you want to reduce the frequency of marital infidelity, reduce the number of men and women who work together.

The GSS asked: 1) have you ever cheated? and 2) what is your work status?  Here are the percentages who have ever been unfaithful:

Percent ever unfaithful (sample size = 7,890 white women--married or previously married)

Works full-time 16.9*
Part-time 13.0*
Homemaker  8.3
Retired 8.5

*significantly higher than homemaker

Full-time working women are twice as likely as those keeping house to cheat. In this respect, sex desegregation in the workplace is anti-family.

1 comment:

Sam said...

I appreciate your blog & find it interesting. Thanks. :-)

I agree with what you said about 'exposure.' It makes sense. In fact, it seems like most studies in the social sciences seem to validate what an intelligent and perceptive person already knows (or can figure out) once a certain degree of life experience has been attained. But the studies are still strangely validating nonetheless.

I will ad co-founding factors including religiosity (religious women tend to have more kids and stay at home or simply don't have the feminist urge to work), testosterone levels (women who value working tend to have higher T than women who do not and therefor have a higher sex drive), & socioeconomics -- women who need to work to support a family tend to be prole versus those who don't have to (unless not employed by choice) and have prole values with correlate with cheating.