Friday, May 21, 2010

The arithmetic of polygyny

When men imagine what living in a polygynous society might be like, they imagine themselves married to several wives. What they don’t realize, however, is that, more than likely, they would be left without any wife in a polygynous society. Polygynous marriage in a polygynous society is always limited to a minority of men. If 50% of men have two wives each, then the other 50% cannot have any wives. If 25% of men have four wives each, then the other 75% cannot have any wives. When women imagine what living in a polygynous society might be like, they imagine themselves having to share their current, no-good loser of a husband with other women. What they don’t realize is that they could be sharing Matt Damon or Bill Gates with other women.
--Satoshi Kanazawa, Psychology Today, on why polygyny is a bummer for most men

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