Don’t get too excited, married men. This opinion is coming from a sociologist. Until Oprah releases a statement condoning infidelity, most women won’t be on board with this. To women, Oprah > science, especially if that “science” is sociology.
I put about as much stock in the opinion of sociology as I do in astrology. I came to this wildly biased conclusion after taking a particularly awful sociology class in college, which I enrolled in to fulfill one of my random GenEd requirements. Plus a girl I was dating at the time was in it and I figured I could poach her notes. After roughly a month of learning about how I was an asshole and the cause of most of America’s problems, simply for being a middle class white guy, I pretty much checked out mentally. I got a lot of fantasy football research done during that class.
Being willingly uninformed on the material I had to find other ways to pass the tests. Eventually I conceived and deployed what I consider to be one of my most genius corner cutting scholastic tactics of all time. Instead of studying for the multiple choice tests, I completed each question by picking out which multiple choice answer either sounded the most paranoid or put the most blame on middle to upper class white people. I passed both exams and the class (with a C+, but whatever, fuck that class).
All of that is to say that I think sociology is generally a load of shit. Granted, that opinion is biased, shortsighted, and outrageously under-informed, but I’m sticking to it. By the admissions of many sociologists themselves, including the professor of that obnoxious class I took, sociology is a relatively new “science,” so it’s bound to make some mistakes while groping in the dark for the basic truths that provide its basis. Besides, this newest piece of sociology from Catherine Hakim and her new book “The New Rules: Internet Dating, Playfairs, and Erotic Power” isn’t exactly hurting my case.
According to Hakim, America’s fifty percent divorce rate can be chalked up to uptight attitudes. She believes that marriage lasts longer in countries like France, where having a mistress is socially accepted. She says that affairs need to be viewed differently by married couples, and goes as far as relabeling these healthy sorts of extramarital rendezvous as “playfairs.” How cute and scientific! That doesn’t at all sound like a total betrayal of trust! It’s because of the word “play,” I bet.
Never mind that France also has, per capita, the smallest number of marriages performed each year out of any European country. What that probably means is that the French take the institution more seriously, and put more thought into making that commitment with a partner, which probably leads to more dedicated couples that are capable of lasting.
There are also many long term French couples who prefer to live Sarandon/Robbins style and not bother getting married at all, yet still officially live together. This option, which legally binds the couple together without calling it marriage, is known as being “en concubinage.” This is preferable to many French couples because under French law they can still receive many of the legal rights that married couples do, including French social security. When these couples split up it isn’t considered a divorce.
So yeah, it’s either everything I said or the whole “husbands fucking waitresses” thing that keeps the French divorce rates so low. SCIENCE!
Hakim also cites Japan’s lower divorce rate, and credits both their Geisha culture and the country’s practice of showing porno everywhere. Does that actually help marriage? At the very least it gives me an excuse to post videos of weird Japanese porn, an opportunity I will never pass up, ever. That’s a sincere promise to you, the reader.
I recommend this video as a chaser.
So does playing spank material on the subway help the Japanese stay married? I’m not really sure. From 1960 to 2002 Japanese divorce rates increased quite a bit. I assume somewhere in that timeframe whoever runs Japanese subways started playing Tokyo Godfuckers during rush hour. However from 2002 to 2010 Japanese divorce rates have begun to drop. No word on whether this had anything to do with an increase in production value and animation quality in Japanese pornography.
Maybe it’s just me, but if I had a wife sexually liberal enough to let me fuck around on her, or have crazy threesomes with her and her friend Anastasia, the sexy Eat, Pray, Love wannabe from her book club, she would probably also be sexually exciting enough to keep my attention focused solely on her. I base that assumption on nothing other than my own experiences, but I think it makes sense.
Either way, sociology is stupid.
- [via The Telegraph]
Follow me on Twitter @BaconTFM