Dyadic Cofactors on Marital Stability in Australia

In this post, we take a look at an example of how scientific reports can be misleading, and how the liberal media exaggerates those specific claims that fit the feminist narrative, all while failing to recognize the error – or perhaps more insidiously, deftly overlooking it.

In fact, I would go so far as to say, if the news goes crazy about any particular scientific finding, there’s a very good chance that the scientific study lacks rigor and caters to sensationalism.

I found this example from a few years ago.

In 2009-2010, a blue pill scientific study was published concerning dyadic cofactors on marital stability, and was entitled, “What’s Love Got To Do With It?“. This study was wildly popular in the media, receiving reviews and summaries on several news outlets. One summary of this study from Reuters Press can be found here.

This study was authored by Dr. Rebecca Kippen and Professor Bruce Chapman from The Australian National University, and Dr Peng Yu from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

A brief summary of the findings of this study are as follows.

In terms of ‘good’ marriages, our laundry list might read:
a. Husband 1 year younger to 3 years older than his wife
b. Husband and wife have similar preference for a(nother) child
c. Husband and wife have same level of education
d. Both 0-2 standard drinks per day
e. Both do not smoke
f. Equivalised household income is $30,000–$39,999
g. Husband works 35 or more hours per week
h. Husband perceives the family as comfortable to prosperous
i. Both sets of parents did not separate/divorce
j. Husband’s age at marriage is 30–34 years
k. First marriage for both
l. No children born before marriage
m. Wife (responded with a rating of) ‘8’ on would like another child

The probability of separation is less than one per cent over the first five years, and
less than four per cent over 35 years.

In contrast, ‘bad’ marriages in terms of (1) homogamy, (2) socio-economic variables, and (3) marriage and children variables can be defined respectively.

In terms of (1) homogamy, characteristics associated with increased separation hazard include:
a. Husband 9 or more years older than his wife
b. Wife 5–10 points higher than husband on preference for a(nother) child
c. Husband’s education much higher than wife’s education
d. Husband 0–2 drinks, wife 3+ drinks
e. Husband does not smoke, wife smokes

For (2) socio-economic variables:
f. Equivalised household income is under $20,000
g. Husband is unemployed
h. Husband perceives the family as very poor to just getting by

For (3) marriage and children:
i. Both sets of parents separated/divorced
j. Husband’s age at marriage is under 25 years
k. Second-plus marriage for both
l. Children born before marriage
m. Wife (responded with a rating of) ‘2’ on “would like another child”

A lot of the data appears congruent with intuition, but that is part of the smooth, pleasant appeal. Remember, the title of this study was, “What’s love got to do with it?”. This title, once made into news headlines, adds a spinning frame. Several problematic issues are listed as follows, and none of them are very good.

  • The study emphasizes the dyadic aspect – what each partner brings to the marriage – and fails to clearly state that these factors listed above are not causative factors, but merely cofactors.
  • The authors presume there is a connection between these dyadic cofactors and “love”, as indicated by the frequency of divorce.
  • As such, the cofactors are easy to be mistaken as being causative factors of either good or poor marriages, which is simply not true.
  • The impression of the title is that love is preferential, but also optional, which basically spoofs and discredits the power of love.
  • As a whole, the news uses this misinformation to create an illusion of well-being in society, where in reality, traditional marriage, which is the foundation of a strong society, is being ripped to shreds.

Now onto the next point of contention.

This study finds that homogamy contributes towards marital stability. That is, the more similar the personal habits and lifestyles of the individuals are, the less likely the couple is to divorce. That much seems acceptable, but they found a few caveats,

However homogamy in terms of country of birth and religiosity are not important.

Statistically speaking, this suggests that a protestant Australian man can marry a Muslim Indonesian woman, and the success of the marriage should be outstanding, provided that the wife doesn’t smoke or drink more than the husband, which is very likely, since the Koran forbids drinking alcohol. It makes one wonder, what influence does God and Country really have on a person? I believe this is a subtle attack on nationalism – a bastion of conservatives.

Moving on again.

Kippen and Chapman also attempted to assuage one of the common fears associated with the demise of marriage. (Remember, the demise of marriage is arguably the main concern that forms the backbone of the manosphere.) The specific fear that they try to debunk is that if women were to achieve economic equity, then they would be more likely to abandon their marriages. An excerpt follows.

The independence hypothesis postulates that women are more likely to leave a marriage if they have the resources to do so, measured in terms of education and connection to the labour force. Using Australian data we find no support for this. Wife’s education, employment status and years in paid work have no significant correlation with the risk of marital separation.

By referring to the fact that their study does not support the independence hypothesis, the authors make it clear that they are trying to renegate the perceived problem of women’s independence. Although they may not be reporting the results of their findings incorrectly, the way this claim is stated is nevertheless craftily misleading, because their scope of impact is too myopic. A larger view would recognize that in the “rest of the west”, women are choosing to delay marriage and raising a family in order to pursue education and careers. In other words, more women are choosing self-advancement INSTEAD of getting married!

To prove my point, some recent trends in marriage are found here. The marriage rate in the U.S. dropped from 8.2 to 6.9 between 2000 and 2015, while the divorce rate dropped from 4.0 to 3.1 over the same time period. If we compare the marriage rate to the divorce rate (-15.8% versus -22.5%, respectively), the divorce rate dropped more. Also, cohabitation and the number of children born out of wedlock has been on the rise, but has leveled off since 2010. This phenomena is further explored by Dalrock here. This information suggests that people basically got more serious about taking and keeping their wedding vows, with more people taking the detour of bypassing the formal legal arrangement.

In essence, marriage has become very unpopular, and a careful study of the data tends to confirm the female independence hypothesis. The growing independence of many women greatly reduces their MMV, and effectively dries up the pool of those deemed eligible for marriage by men. This aspect of the female independence hypothesis also seems to explain why the marriage rate to foreigners is on the rise. According to this article in USA Today, 21% of marriages in the U.S. had at least one foreign born spouse in 2010.

In making a scientific conclusion, the conclusion must have the following.

  1. The conclusion should follow the results of the experimental procedure.
  2. The conclusion should attempt to answer the question motivating the research.
  3. It must state how the hypothesis has been either proved or disproved.

By stating their conclusion that the female independence hypothesis is unsupported, they are making a sampling error relative to this conclusion, and they are giving the public a scientific version of a cross between a red herring and straw man. They are basically saying, “There’s no problem with female independence. Nothing to see here, now move along!” In addition, they are also quietly alluding that, “The manosphere has no real credibility. It is only a vestige of the misogyny from pre-modern times.

The news media jumps on this report, because it fits their feminist narrative, and sadly, most of the public accepts it at face value. Only those who take the time to review the study carefully with criticism would discover that the range of their study is outside their claims in the conclusions. But by then, people have already accepted and digested these false conclusions, and forgotten about it.

Meanwhile, the media continues to play the pipes for the fools who will dance.

About Jack

Jack is a world traveling artist, skilled in trading ideas and information, none of which are considered too holy, too nerdy, nor too profane to hijack and twist into useful fashion. Sigma Frame Mindsets and methods for building and maintaining a masculine Frame
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