Is assortative mating simply a function of convenience, i.e. mate proximity? There’s a lot of chatter on the blogs about how the college-educated are marrying others in their same educational and class bracket, and that this proves that men and women are selecting partners based on criteria such as intelligence and socioeconomic status. In other words, people are assortatively mating along education and SES lines because that’s what they prefer to do.
Here at the Chateau we make the bold claim that assortative mating doesn’t tell the whole story. The Ivy League grad who goes on to marry a plain jane Ivy Leaguer would, in fact, be a lot happier marrying a hot and sexy waitress with decent smarts. And that the marriage statistics don’t so much reveal preferences as they reveal restrictions imposed by lack of options. The CEO or IT entrepreneur doesn’t avoid marrying the hot waitress because she’s less intelligent or of lower social status, but because he simply doesn’t have the amount of social contact with her that would encourage meeting, dating and marrying.
Lo and behold, here is a study from the excellent Barking Up The Wrong Tree blog which lends credence to the Chateau view.
Marriage data show a strong degree of positive assortative mating along a variety of attributes. But since marriage is an equilibrium outcome, it is unclear whether positive sorting is the result of preferences rather than opportunities. We assess the relative importance of preferences and opportunities in dating behaviour, using unique data from a large commercial speed dating agency. While the speed dating design gives us a direct observation of individual preferences, the random allocation of participants across events generates an exogenous source of variation in opportunities and allows us to identify the role of opportunities separately from that of preferences. We find that both women and men equally value physical attributes, such as age and weight, and that there is positive sorting along age, height, and education. The role of individual preferences, however, is outplayed by that of opportunities. Along some attributes (such as occupation, height and smoking) opportunities explain almost all the estimated variation in demand. Along other attributes (such as age), the role of preferences is more substantial, but never dominant. Despite this, preferences have a part when we observe a match, i.e., when two individuals propose to one another.
What this is telling us is that educated men marry educated women not so much because they prefer education in itself as a mate quality, but because that’s what’s available to them. Ergo, smart men would prefer to date hotter but less educated girls but don’t because they don’t run in the same social circle. You have to meet the hottie community college grad before you can propose to her.
Individual preferences will always remain for men centered on women’s youth and beauty. Luckily for all the chunky college attending careerist femcunts, the men they marry don’t mingle very often with Hooters chicks. If they did, you’d see less assortative mating along SES metrics, and more along the natural preferences of men to date and marry PYTs irrelevant of their educational attainment. This theory also elegantly explains why so many American men settle for fat chicks — when 60% of the nation’s women are tub-a-lards, options are quite limited. And for a lot of desperate losers, sticking a dick in a wet, flabby, porcine hole beats celibacy.
Now you know why rich, geometrically-jawed snobs like Maria Shriver diligently work to surround their alpha male husbands with ugly mestizo housekeepers instead of uneducated but hot Russian au pairs. An aging upper class wife knows who her true competition is. Regrettably for the Shrivers of the world, even a sausage-y third world maid is ripe for the banging to a guy who’s been tapping the same depreciating pussy for years. Arnold’s case illustrates well how important convenience and opportunity can be to a guy on the lookout for strange.
So for all the lawyercunts who married lawyers and are proud of the fact: sugartits, you were just in the right place at the right time.