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!