Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The perfect match: right-wing Christians and evolutionary psychologists

Well we've seen Social Justice Warriors make common cause with right-wingers like Michelle Pro-Internment Malkin, so this should come as no surprise -  Phyllis Schlafly, long-time opponent of feminism, sounds very much like Richard Dawkins' BFF and uber-evolutionary psychologist Helena Cronin.

Here is Schlafly:
Another fact is the influence of hypergamy, which means that women typically choose a mate (husband or boyfriend) who earns more than she does. Men don't have the same preference for a higher-earning mate. 
While women prefer to HAVE a higher-earning partner, men generally prefer to BE the higher-earning partner in a relationship. This simple but profound difference between the sexes has powerful consequences for the so-called pay gap. 
Suppose the pay gap between men and women were magically eliminated. If that happened, simple arithmetic suggests that half of women would be unable to find what they regard as a suitable mate.
The basic concept is the same as that of evolutionary psychologists - all women are whores who have such a weak sex drive that they only value men for their money.
Although obviously neither right-wing Christians nor evolutionary psychologists come right out and admit that's what they believe.

Here is Helena Cronin, in what was first a policy proposal to the British government, and then this op-ed in the Guardian:
Darwinian analysis suggests that a potent cause of family breakdown is likely to be a marked inequality among men. For increasing inequality (particularly in a winner-take-all economy) creates increasing numbers of relatively high-status and low-status men. Men who lack access to resources - because of low pay or unemployment - find it difficult to be adequate providers and adequate husbands. Families break down in such circumstances because fathers have become liabilities. Study after study of what the sexes find attractive in a partner - including the largest study ever conducted, spanning 37 cultures - has shown that women in all cultures put a high value on economic prospects in a mate.
Cronin concludes that the way to ensure that women find a mate with "economic prospects" it is vital that the British government devise a two-tier employment system:
Rather than taking male standards as the universal measure, or expecting the sexes to adopt androgynous working roles, the government should design family-friendly employment practices that reflect the different preferences of women and men. A recent government survey revealed that women are happier with a different balance of work and family. Following the birth of the first child, women work less, men work more - an arrangement that both mothers and fathers endorse. Another recent study found that of all parents in the 1990s, the most contented groups appeared to be mothers and fathers in "traditional" single-earner families in which only the father worked. The unhappiest mothers and fathers were those in families without an earner, followed by families where mothers were the sole earners. 
The government should be tackling the causes of family breakdown. There is no evidence that interfering with the symptoms - re-educating the poor parenting, purveying marriage guidance, instituting prenuptial agreements or redesigning marriage ceremonies - will have any effect on marriage and divorce rates.
So it's clear - "Darwinian analysis" and Christian fundamentalism may get there in different ways, but once they arrive they are in total agreement - women are "naturally" inclined to care about economics when choosing a mate - therefore men should make more money than women.

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