Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Working Women Cause Divorce

I know that the Prince of Darkness already reviewed this article in detail, but I wanted to highlight one passage anyway:

Rutgers University biological anthropologist Helen Fisher sees the rise of working women as a cause of women asking more from marriage, but she's not worried.

"Women have always commuted to work to gather fruits and vegetables, and for millions of years women were just as economically, socially and sexually powerful as men. ... Data suggest that many ancestral men and women had two or three spouses across their lives," she wrote on The New York Times' Room for Debate blog.

"The same occurs today: I have examined divorce patterns in 58 societies and everywhere that spouses have some independent means, both sexes leave bad marriages to make better ones."

Put me down in favor of social arrangements that don’t lead to women abandoning their husbands.  But at least we’re not disputing the facts of the case anymore.

4 comments:

Elusive Wapiti said...

Well at least I suppose Mike Noer is vindicated, at long last.

Novaseeker said...

The thing is, of course, that if we assume, arguendo, that FIsher is correct in that "normally" in "flatter" hierarchy cultures, people will not have lifelong monogamous relationships, then why bother to get married at all? At least from the male perspective, that kind of open-ended marriage, terminable upon boredom, simply doesn't work financially, really, because he has tailing obligations for a decade or more after Muffy has shacked up with her new paramour.

Leaving that hypothetical and returning to reality, I am highly skeptical of this "data" to which she refers. Mark Richardson quite well pointed out that the Aboriginal Australians, perhaps the most primitive hunter gatherers on earth when whites landed, were both pair-bonded and expressed high levels of sexual possessiveness and jealousy -- the women were very much *not* empowered at all. My bet is that Fisher is basing her theories on the long-since debunked "research" of people like Margaret Mead, rather than the actual reality of what hunter gatherer life is like.

This is popping up left and right today, though, now that people are realizing that the blank slate's days as a viable explanatory paradigm are numbered. Now what I am sensing is a growing tide on the left to harness evo-bio for its own interests and to claim (spuriously, probably) that h-g societies were essentially like 21st century feminist societies, except they were *more* equal than we are. Yep. Just keep those Abos way, way in the Outback, Helen FIsher.

Justin said...

Keep 'em barefoot and pregnant, Phi, that is my advice... And always work to keep their self-esteem DOWN.

Always remember:

If she's not complaining, she's not happy.

Φ said...

Novaseeker: Good point, and I didn't mean to pass uncritically on Fisher's version of our paleolithic past.