Monday, March 07, 2005

Invoke Often, Infidelity and Statistics

  • More of the same set. I consider this work safe, I hope you do too.

  • I am going to try to use affirmations in the way described in Dilbert, by Scott Adams. In fact, I am going to try an affirmation for the coming trade show that I am going to this Friday. Now, technically that is not enough time for the affirmation to take effect so I won't sweat if it does not work this time. But I am going to start trying this. Being a Theist, I will invoke in the name of Brigit, rather than simply invoking-we'll see what we see.

    To give credit where credit is due, Omni and Phoenix are the ones who got me started down this path. I will let you all know what I learn on this journey.

    Omni was asking where I got my statistics on infidelity because she had not seen statistics that low. This thread has links to several sites with infidelity and other marital statistics. They cite 37% of men and 22% of women being unfaithful. I also looked at a varaity of other sites with stats but most of those had some sort of axe to grind: conservative sites proving our society was immoral, women's sites proving men are unfaithful, gay sights proving straights are holier-than-thou. I was not comfortable with those numbers. I also relied upon the statistics in What's Love Got To Do With It? by anthropologist Meredith Small. Those numbers are doubtless out of date.

    Two things to note as having a major impact on the numbers:

    1. The rate at which women report their own infidelity. Almost universally the consequences of infidelity are disproportionately harsher on women then they are on men. Men admit infidelity and they are to some extent admitting to being attractive, virile and behaving like men. Women admitting to infidelity face possible divorce, prosecution and execution depending on their culture. In the United States it is not uncommon for men to kill their girlfriends/wives and sometimes their children as well upon admission of infidelity.

    In light of this, it should be no surprise that women's infidelity is generally underreported. It is unlikely that there is a small group of promiscuous women who are servicing a large portion of unfaithful men. And if they are, someone should forward me some names and numbers. Odds are that the true numbers are somewhat lower than reported by men and somewhat higher than reported by women.

    Again, to me this points to the concept of private property in a couple of ways. Men sometimes view women as little more than personal property with a mouth and a vagina. I find this view unacceptable and inhuman. There is also the concern about the children being from the one male who heads the household. I know I am not expressing this as well as I might, but I think most of you will follow me and I'm late for work, so...

    2. The definition of infidelity. Adultury is more specific and narrows the numbers a bit when used as a search term. Unfaithfulness and infidelity probably produce more accurate descriptions of the behavior. Again, you have to be very careful of sites with an axe to grind. I did not save the link, but it was a Google search, probably no further back than page three and some conservative organization was going on about how immoral our society was and their numbers for infidelity were like 80-85%!! It turned out that they were defining infidelity as something like: any interaction with a member of the opposite gender where you are alone with that person and they are not your spouse. By that definition, I am unfaithful every time I go to work, to coven, get a haircut and sometimes (depending on the checker) when I go to the convenience store.

    Lots of fun stuff to think about.