Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Bogus marriage science from NY Times

A NY Times science article about some anthropological research on an obscure African tribe starts with this:
In the United States and much of the Western world, when a couple divorces, the average income of the woman and her dependent children often plunges by 20 percent or more, while that of her now unfettered ex, who had been the family’s primary breadwinner but who rarely ends up paying in child support what he had contributed to the household till, climbs accordingly. The born-again bachelor is therefore perfectly positioned to attract a new, younger wife and begin building another family.
Huhh? No source is given for these bogus factoids.

It is a simple economic fact that it costs more to maintain two households than one. If a couple gets divorced, the net standard of living declines as they housing expenses increase. Of course, their standard of living can go up if they remarry rich spouses.

In California, a father will often pay 50% of his income in child support. Yes, this will usually be less than what he was putting into the household till before the divorce, because now he has to support himself in a separate house. But it will usually be much more than was actually being spent on the children before the divorce.

The article drew some scathing comments, such as this:
This article is a dreadful, poor excuse for science reporting.

Out of 14 published paragraphs, only two paragraphs discuss the actual research results, three paragraphs give background information about Pimbwe culture -- and all the remaining paragraphs are useless, indulging mostly in scientifically meaningless cultural and gender stereotypes.

If an intelligent lay reader wants to gain a understanding of the actual science involved, please go to the source and download and read the original article published by the quoted anthropologist, Dr. Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, in the journal Human Nature.
The NY Times does have some better science reporters than this woman.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All the news thats fit to print eh? Yeah, if it meets their agenda.

My buddy actually falls under this category of number fixing. It's quite clever how they do it.

1. Man makes 50k a year
2. Woman is stay at home mom or works part-time and makes, lets say 24k.
3. Couple divorces for whatever reasons. Feminist refer to this as "he drove her away".
4. Man loses house, both cars, all items in house and moves back hom with his mother with 4 hefty bags of clothes and underwear.
5. Man is already in arrears (somehow) for 5k, owes her 60% of income (3 children, gets to see said kids 2days a month (when shes up to it) and he has to borrow moms car to go pick them up.
6. The minute man becomes laid-off, unemployed, or can't keep up with the payments he is immediately a "deadbeat dad".
7. Woman receives 1400/month tax free, takes trip to Malta with new beau (who was the reason for the divorce in the first place)and places kids in private school.
8. Man still makes 50k a year. Women works even less and makes around 15k a year. NYTimes sucks up to feminist by saying, Men make more after divorce and live better. And they wonder why readership is plummeting?