The 2018 GSS data has been released. As in 2016, the number of young, virginal men (relative to women) has increased, which weighs toward interpreting this as a real trend rather than a blip. Thus, it seems that hypergamy may exist in a particular subset of the population.
It’s still not plausible to blame the Sexual Revolution, given the timing, but more recent factors (e.g. online dating) may deserve some attention. I still don’t believe that online dating is the real explanation, given that the data from OkCupid show relatively egalitarian outcomes.
(content warning: kicking the Culture War hornet’s nest pretty darn hard)
People like to argue about Jordan Peterson on the internet, so I’ll start this post with a Jordan Peterson video.
“Hypergamy” in the sense that Peterson is talking about has become a common theme in culture war debates over why young people are having so little sex, among other things.
The claim is that women, but not men, will only date, marry, or have sex with partners whose social status or attractiveness is higher than theirs. Peterson fears that this can lead to a sort of sexually Hobbesian state of nature in which a small number of high-status men get all the women, low-status men get none, and women are unhappy with their partners’ divided attention.
The proposed solution is “enforced” monogamy — enforced not by coercion, but by social norms — which supports a harmonious society in which most men are married, most women get the monogamous attention of one man, and children are raised in stable homes.
How many contradictory headlines can we generate from exactly the same set of General Social Survey data on attitudes toward free speech?