Smug marrieds! Look out! The single girls are coming to ruin your lives

Posted at 2:20 PM Aug 13, 2009

By Andrea Grimes


Stop me if you've heard this one before: single women are stop-at-nothing whores whose every goal is to steal happily married men away from their poor, beleaguered wives. No, it's not the theme of yet another single-shaming article from Caitlin Flanagan or woebegone Gosselin tale, it's science! Er, science-ish. Er, okay, it's a survey of 184 male and female undergraduates at Oklahoma State University that proves claims that single women are practically unable to stop themselves from "mate poaching."

According to the New York Times, when shown photos of some dude, 59 percent of single women surveyed said they might want to go out with him. When told the dude was in a committed relationship, 90 percent of single women said they were interested in him. There was no change in interest level among committed women or single or committed men when told about their potential match's relationship status.

How this means that single women are prone to "mate poaching," which is the actual act of going and stealing someone's partner--because men don't have a choice, as they are powerless to defend themselves against horny Jezebels--I don't know. I'll buy that knowing a man is capable of and interested in being in a relationship might make him more interesting as a potential mate--to someone looking for a relationship. But I don't buy that finding a man attractive, partly because you know he is capable of having a relationship, necessarily leads to "mate poaching," which is what the OSU study seems to want us to believe. (Also, what are we, fish?)

One potential problem with the survey comes to mind: the research was done on 97 undergrad women, who I'm guessing are perhaps not as romantically mature as they might be in a few years. Their concepts of commitment, long-term relationships, etc., are likely to be limited, if nothing else, by their age and relative inexperience. Thus, their perception of the value of a committed relationship--and the harm in breaking one up--may be different from a 30- or 50-year-old woman's. It's a lot bigger deal to steal someone's husband than her college boyfriend.

The whole skew of this study is off, of course, because it places mate poaching responsibility on the slutty single girls who connived and cajoled saint-like men into their beds. I mean, those guys just wanted to stay home and play XBox! Oh, wait. No they didn't: the men in the survey were just about universally interested the potential mate, regardless of attachment on either end.

Our results showed an interesting mate poaching pattern. Although men were more interested in the target than women, this was because men were more interested in the target in general, regardless of whether she was attached or single.

So, to review: single women want to take your husband, and your husband wants to screw single women, and he ain't picky about it. Oh, happy day! Thanks, narrowly-and-just-barely-not-anecdotal-scientific-generalizations-about-gender!


theChad said:

The phrase "goal-seeking" comes to mind. If you want to find a pattern of mate poaching, 97 horny undergrad girls who are away from their predominantly White, predominantly Baptist homes for the first time is where you're going to find mate poaching.

Jakob said:

Doesn't this really just prove that OKState girls are home-wrecking skanks? And who didn't know that already?

Eye-Roller Lass said:

The only thing these studies prove is that people still prefer to be hated as home wreckers than pitied as spinsters, or to be seen as players, instead of some sad whipped bufoon stuck with the same old nag.
I wonder how many of these people who gave these answers would deal with the trouble of activelly pursue a commited mate. Or how many would really cheat and give up an easy, steady relationship. I hate to generalize, but, no matter what culture you're from, the old art of talking sh** seems to be sadly universal.
But again, the temptation of starring your own personal soap opera can always trump the common sense, just like the need to impress the cute surveyor.

Margo said:

Really? A sample of 97 women, all of the same age group and all in college? Therefore = women are all scientifically man-thieving skankbots?

I need to lie down and let the headache ebb.

Calvin said:

I think "mate poaching" is just a bad term. Obviously the survey had a VERY limited set of participants, but even if we forgive that for the time being (let's just say the survey is about college girls and not women in general) the conclusions are still up for debate.

It seems kinda cut and dry if you take out the flashy, sensational words: College girls find men who are willing to be in a relationship more attractive than men who aren't. Seems kinda obvious anyway. It has been obvious for a long time that people (men or women) in relationships are more attractive in person: they have "happy" hormones all over them, they feel more secure and confident, they have to worry less about safe-guarding against suitors and so talk more freely, etc etc. None of that has to do with "mate poaching" or "players" or "spinsters" or anything else we'd like to make the survey about.

The survey says nothing. Period. If you want to make it say something, then you are just going to project all your own shamey language onto it. I think the conductors of this survey, if Andrea's quotes are legit, did just that. Shame on them.

perplexed said:

Scarier than this "study" are the scores of people who believe its conclusion. Apparently, critical thinking is dead and reading comprehension is a fossil.

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