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Love & War: Does the Mate-Switching Hypothesis Explain Female Infidelity?

Evolutionary theory says men stray to increase offspring, but what motivates women? Enter the mate-switching hypothesis.

David Buss is professor of psychology at University of Texas, Austin. His work has been published widely in journals and he is the author of several books, including The Evolution of Desire: Strategies in Human Mating (new edition, 2016). Edited by Pam Weintraub

writes: Scientists now know much about human mating. The menu includes at a minimum: brief sexual flings, long-term pair-bonding, some infidelity, some polygyny (one man, multiple wives), rare polyandry (one woman, multiple husbands), occasional polyamory, some divorce, and frequent serial mating. These strategies are not well-captured by single labels such as ‘monogamous’ or ‘polygamous’. And we know with reasonable certainty that lifelong monogamy does not describe the primary pattern.

Divorce rates in the United States have hovered just below 50 per cent, and are variable but comparable across cultures around the globe. Among married couples, infidelity is far from a trivial occurrence. In 1952, the sexologist Alfred Kinsey estimated it at 26 per cent for women and 50 per cent for men, although other studies put rates lower or higher. We know that infidelity is the leading cause of divorce worldwide, from the Inuit in Alaska to the !Kung San of Botswana. And we know that most adults in the modern world, including roughly 85 per cent in the US, have experienced at least one romantic break-up.

But there has always been one missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to understanding mating strategies, especially among women. Why do women have so many affairs when these do not increase the number of offspring they can produce?

From an evolutionary perspective, male infidelity is fairly straightforward. Men have evolved a strong desire for sexual variety, stronger than women’s on average, due to the large asymmetries in parental investment. Men can reproduce with as little effort as it takes to inseminate a fertile woman. Women require a metabolically costly nine-month pregnancy to produce a single child. Stated differently, an ancestral married man with two children could have increased his reproductive output by 50 per cent by a single successful reproduction with an affair partner. Adding additional sex partners for women who already have one generally does not, and never could have, dramatically increased their reproductive success.

Yet women do have affairs, a phenomenon that, up until now, has been explained by the ‘good genes hypothesis’: the concept that women have evolved a dual mating strategy – securing investment from one man while mating on the side with men who have better genes than their regular partners.

But the good genes hypothesis fails to explain why, in the wake of infidelity, so many women literally stray, throwing over a current mate for the affair partner. My team’s new concept – the mate-switching hypothesis – fills the gap in scientific understanding, explaining what we observe in the real world. The mate-switching hypothesis posits that women have affairs to extricate themselves from a poor mateship and trade up to a better partner.

For both sexes, the hypothesis explains what we commonly observe: a year after publicly declaring her marriage vows, a woman finds herself sexually attracted to her co-worker. After changing his child’s fifth diaper of the day, a man wonders whether he made a terrible mistake and fantasises about his high-school sweetheart that got away. After six years of marriage, a woman finds that she’s the primary breadwinner and her husband’s laziness has eroded her confidence in their union; she notices that her co-worker lingers longer in the doorway of her office than strictly needed. After years of living a life of quiet desperation, a man starts a passionate affair with his next-door neighbour. A woman confesses to her best friend that she’s in love with another man and surreptitiously lays the groundwork for leaving her husband – a separate bank account and a deposit on an apartment.

These diverse scenarios stem from a common cause – humans have evolved strategic adaptations for mate-switching, a phenomenon that is widespread across species. The simplest such adaptation is the ‘walk-away’ strategy, in which organisms simply physically separate themselves from costly cooperative partners. The mate-switching hypothesis proposes a version of the walk-away strategy underpinned by human psychological adaptations designed to detect and abandon costly mates in favour of more beneficial ones.

Many in modern cultures grow up believing a myth about lifelong love. We are told about falling for the one and only. We learn that the path to fulfilment is paved with a single glorious union. But the plots of fictional love stories often come to a close upon the discovery of that one and only, and rarely examine the aftermath. The story of Cinderella ends with her getting the prince. After overcoming countless obstacles, a union is finally consummated. Few romantic fantasies follow the storyline of committed mating – the gradual inattentiveness to each other’s needs, the steady decline in sexual satisfaction, the exciting lure of infidelity, the wonder about whether the humdrum greyness of married life is really all life has to offer.

In fact, we come from a long and unbroken line of ancestors who went through mating crises – ancestors who monitored mate value, tracked satisfaction with their current unions, cultivated back-ups, appraised alternatives, and switched mates when conditions proved propitious. To understand why, we must turn our gaze to those ancestors and uncover the mating challenges that they confronted. Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] Why We’re Losing Liberty

Was the Constitution written in a way that was designed to protect freedom and limit the government’s size? Has it been effective in doing that? And what’s the Supreme Court’s record when it comes to protecting our rights? Robert George, Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, answers these questions and more.


[VIDEO] Judge Sentences East Texas Man to Get Married or Face Jail Time

marry8n-2-web

The Marryin’ Judge: Judge Rogers declined to interview about an open probation case. He also declined to comment generally about his sentencing practice.

Julia Jenaé reports:  An East Texas couple says their choice to marry when they wanted to was taken away by a criminal court judge.

In July, a Smith County judge sentenced Josten Bundy to get married to his 19-year-old girlfriend as part of his probation, which also included writing Bible verses and getting counseling.

“You know, as a part of my probation, you’re going to have to marry her…within 30 days.”

The court case stemmed from a February altercation between Bundy and the ex-boyfriend of his girlfriend, Elizabeth Jaynes.

“[The ex-boyfriend] had been saying disrespectful things about Elizabeth, so I challenged him to a fight,” said Bundy. “He stepped in and I felt like it was on and I hit him in the jaw twice.”

marryin-judge-east-tx

“It just felt like we weren’t going to be able to have the wedding we wanted. It was just going to be kind of pieced together, I didn’t even have a white dress.”

Bundy said the ex-boyfriend did not require medical attention, but pressed assault charges.

“I took matters into my own hands and I know that’s wrong,” Bundy said. “I know I was raised better, but it happened.”

At his sentencing hearing, Judge Randall Rogers asked Bundy about the fight.

[Also see – Can a judge sentence you to marriage instead of jail? – Hot Air]

“Is she worth it?” Judge Rogers asked Bundy, according to court transcripts.

“I said, well to be honest, sir, I was raised with four sisters and if any man was talking to a woman like that,” recalled Bundy,  “I’d probably do the same thing.”

Judge Rogers asked Bundy if he was married to Jaynes and then said, “You know, as a part of my probation, you’re going to have to marry her…within 30 days.”

If Bundy declined to do the probation, he would be sentenced to 15 days in jail.

“My father didn’t get to go, and that really bothers me, I know he would have liked to be there. None of my sisters got to show up, it was such short notice, I couldn’t get it together.”

“He offered me fifteen days in jail and that would have been fine and I asked if I could call my job [to let them know],” said Bundy. “The judge told me ‘nope, that’s not how this works.’”

Jaynes, who was in the courtroom said the proposal from the judge embarrassed her.2B3064E000000578-3189725-image-m-72_1438977249990

“My face was so red, people behind me were laughing,” said Jaynes. “[The judge] made me stand up in court.”

“I used to watch ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ and all those shows and all the dresses and think about what kind of dress I would have. I would have liked a spring wedding when it’s not too hot and not too cold.”

Afraid of Bundy losing his job if he spent two weeks behind bars, the couple applied for their marriage license and scheduled a date with the justice of the peace to get married.

[Read the full story here, at KLTV.com]

“It just felt like we weren’t going to be able to have the wedding we wanted,” said Jaynes. “It was just going to be kind of pieced together, I didn’t even have a white dress.”

The pair said a summer courthouse wedding was nothing like what they pictured when they imagined their future nuptials while they were dating.

“I used to watch Say Yes to the Dress and all those shows and all the dresses and think about what kind of dress I would have,” said Jaynes. “I would have liked a spring wedding when it’s not too hot and not too cold.”

texas_judge-800x430

Bundy said they talked about getting married just six months after they started dating. Read the rest of this entry »


Report: Only 47,000 Social Justice Milestones To Go Before U.S. Achieves Full Equality

gay-wed

WASHINGTON—Following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision making same-sex marriage legal nationwide, sources confirmed Friday that only 47,000 social justice milestones need to be reached before the U.S. achieves full equality. “This is a watershed moment for civil rights that finally brings the dream of living in an equitable society one tiny fraction of a step closer to reality,” said civil rights lawyer Helene Najjar, adding that the country could now turn its attention to closing the income gap, ending racial discrimination in law enforcement, and providing equal educational opportunities for all children, among tens of thousands of other issues. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] REWIND: Barack Obama Describes His Christian Definition of Marriage

 


Supreme Court Guide: Six Big Decisions Remain

OG-AE878_Scotus_G_20150617193126

The Supreme Court is scheduled to issue decisions Thursday, with six major cases remaining on the docket, and is expected to release opinions again on Friday and perhaps next week. Still to be decided are the health-law subsidies and gay-marriage cases, along with closely watched rulings involving congressional redistricting and power plant emissions. Here’s a list of the remaining cases….(read more)

WSJ


Mary Kay Letourneau: ‘I Want to Get My Name Off Sex-Offender Register’

Mary-Kay-L-beret

Before embarking on a sexual relationship with her 13-year-old student, Letourneau was a married schoolteacher and the mother of four children. Today she is a grandmother, but she remains a registered sex offender.

K.C. Blumm writes: “There is a story of us that has a life of its own, but it’s not our story,” Mary Kay Letourneau told Barbara Walters in a revealing interview on 20/20 Friday.

“There’s a process, there’s a form, you take it to court and then they grant it if it looks like it should be granted.”

The 53-year-old – who spent 89 months in prison for child rape as a result of her relationship with her then-student Vili Fualaau in 1996 – is looking forward to celebrating her 10th wedding anniversary with Fualaau next month and admitted that as the date Mary-Kay-Lapproaches she’s been looking back on the events that shaped her life.

Before embarking on a sexual relationship with her 13-year-old student, Letourneau was a married schoolteacher and the mother of four children. Today she is a grandmother, but she remains a registered sex offender.

“Recently I said, ‘It’s been 10 years, why don’t I lift that?’ ” she told Walters of her status. “There’s a process, there’s a form, you take it to court and then they grant it if it looks like it should be granted.”

Letourneau, who also said that she’d like to return to teaching, admitted that earlier this year she was banned from visiting her sick teenage daughter in hospital because of her sex offender status.

While Fualaau said he remained faithful to Letourneau in his “heart and mind” while she was in prison, the former teacher says he wasn’t.

276AD16C00000578-3034109-Family_affair_Mary_Kay_Letourneau_Vili_Fualaau_and_their_two_dau-a-10_1428689390875

“He wasn’t faithful,” she said. “I said he did his thing, I was gone!”

However, the pair did stay in touch while Letourneau was in jail, even though they were banned from contacting each other. The couple communicated through their young Mary-Kay-L-Proud_She_is_pictured_showing_off_her_pregnancy_bump_in_a_photodaughters, who helped Fualaau propose to Letourneau.

“He had sent a message and they came in singing Hawaiian, ‘Will you marry me?’ They knew daddy would be proposing to mommy as soon as she got to leave [prison].”

As the talk turned to the couple’s children – Audrey, 17, and Georgia, 16, who were born when Fualaau was barely in his teens – Letourneau and her husband revealed that they don’t always see eye to eye when it comes to parenting.

“When the girls get in trouble, I wouldn’t handle it the way she would,” Fualaau, 31, admitted. “It will be a two-hour talk. I’ll be sitting there thinking, ‘When will this be over!’ A lot of the time I’ll give her a hard time about it but actually [it] works in the end.”

While Fualaau added that his wife is “a very good mom,” Letourneau revealed that he’s also a strict father to his girls.

“He told them several years ago, they’re not permitted to have a boyfriend,” Letourneau said. Read the rest of this entry »


OH YES SHE DID: Mary Kay Letourneau Details Her First Sexual Encounter With Student Lover in Barbara Walters 20/20 Interview

276AD16C00000578-3034109-Family_affair_Mary_Kay_Letourneau_Vili_Fualaau_and_their_two_dau-a-10_1428689390875

Former teacher Mary Kay Letourneau and her student-turned-lover, Vili Fualaau, have revealed the intimate details of how their controversial relationship started — including what went down the night they first had sex

For Hollywood LifeJason Brow reports: Mary Kay Letourneau, 53, and Vili Fualaau, 31, didn’t hold anything back when they sat down with Barbara Walters for their 20/20 interview, which will air on April 10. The couple that made headlines for their affair — when he was only 12 and she was his sixth grade teacher — address how it all began, even detailing their first sexual encounter!

[Update: Teacher Convicted Of Raping Student Wants To Teach Again – CBS News]

27702D0D00000578-3034109-Struggles_The_couple_said_they_have_had_their_ups_and_downs_but_-a-13_1428689391440

“After a highly-publicized trial, she was sentenced to six months in jail over the charges of rape. After her release in 1998, Mary Kay and Vili were discovered having sex in a car, resulting in her being sentenced to seven and a half years behind bars for violating the terms of her probation.”

Mary Kay and Vili spoke candidly about everything during their 20/20interview, according to the Daily Mail. They even discussed the night their relationship shifted fromMary-Kay-L student-teacher to passionate lovers.

“The incident was a late night that didn’t stop with a kiss. And I thought it would and it didn’t.”

“I kind of thought, ‘why can’t it ever just be a kiss?’”

The then-34 year old Mary Kay and 12-year old Vili started flirting during the 1996 school-year. The two spent time together under the excuse of her helping out his drawing skills, but it all changed one summer night.

“The incident was a late night that didn’t stop with a kiss,” Mary Kay reportedly said. “And I thought it would and it didn’t.”
Mary-Kay-L-beret

When Mary Kay was asked about the affair — since at the time she was married and a mother of four young children  — she said that even back then, she knew she loved Vili very much. “I kind of thought, ‘why can’t it ever just be a kiss?’”

mary-kay-L-Barbara-Walters-ABC

Vili Fualaau & Mary Kay Letourneau Sex — Details Revealed In ’20/20′ Interview

The rest is history. At the end of the summer, Mary Kay was pregnant with her and Vili’s first child. Her then-husband discovered the affair and contacted the police. After a highly-publicized trial, she was sentenced to six months in jail over the charges of rape. After her release in 1998, Mary Kay and Vili were discovered having sex in a car, resulting in her being sentenced to seven and a half years behind bars for violating the terms of her probation. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] The Universal Hot-Crazy Matrix: A Man’s Guide to Women

The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry meets Popular Mechanics. Potentially offensive to unprepared viewers, but good-natured, sharp, silly, revealing, brilliant, based on solid science and in-depth research. Bonus: watch it all the way through. Also includes a brief Women’s Guid to Men, but it’s very brief, ’cause the research is less developed. Hysterically funny. Drop whatever you’re doing, and watch this.

Thanks to our Hong Kong Bureau Chief for the link.

 


American Idle

Work was supposed to be liberating…

Turn-on-non-work

Now nonwork is

James Taranto writes:  Annie Lowrey, an economics reporter for the New York Times, has an essay in this coming weekend’s Times magazine rebutting what she calls “the policy solution du jour” to the problem of “how to alleviate poverty”–namely, “marriage promotion.” She makes a good case that the argument she’s rebutting is fallacious, then concludes by committing the same fallacy in reverse.

slacker

“Economists have done studies showing that if you snapped your fingers and suddenly all the country’s poor, unmarried partners were hitched . . . the poverty rate would drop,” a catchy if imprecise way of saying that there is a strong correlation between marriage and prosperity. “It’s a rare policy solution that data-crunching geeks and Bible-thumping crusaders can agree on,” she writes. “Unfortunately, there might not be much that Washington can actually do about it.” Read the rest of this entry »


Sacré Bleu! French Socialists Retreat on Family-Law Change after 100,000 Protest

People protest in support of traditional family and education values, in Paris February 2, 2014.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Protest in support of traditional family and education values, in Paris February 2, 2014.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

France’s Socialist government dropped plans on Monday to update family law this year after huge weekend protests by conservatives against gay-friendly reforms they say harm traditional families.

[NRO‘s Maggie Gallagher notes: “Apparently, they do not want taxpayer-financed IVF procedures extended to same-sex couples, but it is what the schools may teach that these parents are most concerned about, according to Reuters...]

The government tried on Monday to reassure the protesters, who numbered over 100,000 in Paris and Lyon on Sunday, that the new law would not legalise assisted procreation for lesbian couples or surrogate motherhood for gay men who wanted children.

But when Socialist lawmakers insisted they would amend the planned bill to include those reforms, the government announced the draft law – which would also define the legal rights of step-parents in second marriages – needed more work.

Read the rest of this entry »


Sacré Bleu! French Study Shows a Majority of Men and a Third of Women Cheat

The majority of French men and a third of French women cheat on their partners, a new poll has found  Photo: ALAMY

The majority of French men and a third of French women cheat on their partners, a new poll has found  Photo: ALAMY

Poll finds that 55 per cent of French men and 32 per cent of French women are unfaithful and that infidelity is on the rise but that the French are champions of forgiveness

From Paris, Henry Samuel reports:  A majority of French men and a third of French women cheat on their partners, a new poll, has found indicating that infidelity is on the rise in France among both sexes.

The study also found that Left-wing French are more likely to cheat on their partners than those who identify themselves as on the Right

In figures that could help explain why so many French are unfazed by the dalliances of their president, François Hollande, the Ifop study found that some 55 per cent of French men and 32 per cent of French women admit to cheating on their other halves.

Read the rest of this entry »


How to Fight Income Inequality: Get Married

couples-vintage

In families headed by married couples, the poverty level in 2012 was just 7.5%. Those with a single mother: 33.9%

brideAri Fleischer  writes:  If President Obama wants to reduce income inequality, he groomshould focus less on redistributing income and more on fighting a major cause of modern poverty: the breakdown of the family. A man mostly raised by a single mother and his grandparents who defied the odds to become president of the United States is just the person to take up the cause.

“Marriage inequality” should be at the center of any discussion of why some Americans prosper and others don’t. According to Census Bureau information analyzed by the Beverly LaHaye Institute, among families headed by two married parents in 2012, just 7.5% lived in poverty. By contrast, when families are headed by a single mother the poverty level jumps to 33.9%.

And the number of children raised in female-headed families is growing throughout America. A 2012 study by the Heritage Foundation found that 28.6% of children born to a white mother were out of wedlock. For Hispanics, the figure was 52.5% and for African-Americans 72.3%. In 1964, when the war on poverty began, almost everyone was born in a family with two married parents: only 7% were not.

Read the rest of this entry »


Uncomfortable Truths about Family Breakdown

truth-family

Children without married parents miss out on more than just income

Michael Barone writes:  Christmastime is an occasion for families to come together. But the family is not what it used to be, as my former American Enterprise Institute colleague Nick Schulz argues in his short AEI book Home Economics: The Consequences of Changing Family Structure.

It’s a subject that many people are uncomfortable with. “Everyone either is or knows and has a deep personal connection to someone who is divorced, cohabiting, or gay,” Schulz writes. “Great numbers of people simply want to avoid awkward talk of what are seen as primarily personal issues or issues of individual morality.”

Nonetheless, it is an uncomfortable truth that children of divorce and children with unmarried parents tend to do much worse in life than children of two-parent families. (I’ll leave aside the sensitive issue of children of same-sex marriages because these haven’t existed in a non-stigmatized atmosphere long enough to produce measurable results.)

As Schulz points out, that uncomfortable truth is not controversial among social scientists. It is affirmed by undoubted liberals such as Harvard’s David Ellwood and Christopher Jencks.

Growing up outside a two-parent family means not just lower incomes and less social mobility, Schulz argues. It also reduces human capital — “the knowledge, education, habits, willpower — all the internal stuff that is largely intangible — a person has that helps produce an income.”

While children are born with certain innate capacities, those capacities can be broadened or narrowed by their upbringing. The numbers indicate that single or divorced parents — however caring and dedicated — are unable, on average, to broaden those capacities as much as married parents can.

Read the rest of this entry »


Boy Trouble

DE AGOSTINI PICTURE LIBRARY/A. DAGLI ORTI/THE BRIDGEMAN ART LIBRARY Boys have less self-control, say neuroscientists (and parents).

DE AGOSTINI PICTURE LIBRARY/A. DAGLI ORTI/THE BRIDGEMAN ART LIBRARY
Boys have less self-control, say neuroscientists (and parents).

Kay S. Hymowitz writes:  When I started following the research on child well-being about two decades ago, the focus was almost always girls’ problems—their low self-esteem, lax ambitions, eating disorders, and, most alarming, high rates of teen pregnancy. Now, though, with teen births down more than 50 percent from their 1991 peak and girls dominating classrooms and graduation ceremonies, boys and men are increasingly the ones under examination. Their high school grades and college attendance rates have remained stalled for decades. Among poor and working-class boys, the chances of climbing out of the low-end labor market—and of becoming reliable husbands and fathers—are looking worse and worse.

Economists have scratched their heads. “The greatest, most astonishing fact that I am aware of in social science right now is that women have been able to hear the labor market screaming out ‘You need more education’ and have been able to respond to that, and men have not,” MIT’s Michael Greenstone told the New York Times. If boys were as rational as their sisters, he implied, they would be staying in school, getting degrees, and going on to buff their Florsheim shoes on weekdays at 7:30 AM. Instead, the rational sex, the proto-homo economicus, is shrugging off school and resigning itself to a life of shelf stocking. Why would that be?

This spring, another MIT economist, David Autor, and coauthor Melanie Wasserman, proposed an answer. The reason for boys’ dismal school performance, they argued, was the growing number of fatherless homes. Boys and young men weren’t behaving rationally, the theory suggested, because their family background left them without the necessary attitudes and skills to adapt to changing social and economic conditions. The paper generated a brief buzz but then vanished. That’s too bad, for the claim that family breakdown has had an especially harsh impact on boys, and therefore men, has considerable psychological and biological research behind it. Anyone interested in the plight of poor and working-class men—and, more broadly, mobility and the American dream—should keep it front and center in public debate.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Six The Movie — Helen Smith

Dr. Helen Smith writes:

“I often get requests to see my video Six about a group of teenagers who killed a family in East Tennessee. I am no longer selling the documentary, but PJM has been kind enough to upload it to YouTube so that PJM readers can watch it if they wish. It is now almost a decade old but much of the complexity of mass murder still holds true today. I hope my readers find it of interest.”

With recent crimes and mass shootings, the national debate has shifted to questions of mental health, parenting, and the ability of the legal system to deal with troubled youths. These are all issues that PJ Media contributor Dr. Helen Smith addressed in an award-winning 2003 documentary. Her film “Six,” featured in programming on A&E and WeTV, tells the story of a group of Kentucky teens who murdered a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses despite clear warning signs. Though many want to blame violence on guns, the factors involving violence are much more complex than simply blaming a weapon. Watch the documentary, and see what happens when the system fails, as it all too often does.

http://www.sixthemovie.com/

Six The Movie — YouTube


UPDATED: Sex Offender to Legally Marry Transgender Bride in Wa. State Island Prison Ritual Wiccan Ceremony

Special Commitment Center at McNeil Island on Wednesday, February 2, 2011.       (Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer)

Special Commitment Center at McNeil Island                                 (Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer)

Editors note: An earlier version of this story mistakenly referred to the transgender member of this couple as a man. (note: that has to be the best correction reporter Stacia Glenn ever had to write)

The bride will wear a traditional white veil. The groom will wear a Grim Reaper cloak.

pic-mcneilislandcenterThey will step into a Wiccan circle to exchange vows and rings before being ushered back to their respective units at the Special Commitment Center, the state’s institution for sex offenders on McNeil Island.

Their relationship is unlike most. When Hank Pollock and his transgender bride Rebecca Elmore – who changed her name from Keith in 2002 – tie the knot Thursday, they will become the first two residents to marry each other.

Read the rest of this entry »


21st Century Narcissism: Woman Marries Herself, Embraces Her “Inner Groom”

Fine. If he doesn’t come, I’ll marry myself. I can buy batteries in bulk, and watch porn by myself.

Fine. If he doesn’t come, I’ll marry myself. I can buy batteries in bulk, and watch porn by myself.

As Powerline blog notes, commenting on this same article, it’s getting harder and harder to distinguish supposedly serious news sites from the Onion.

According to the ever-entertaining and self-aggrandizing Huffington Post, Nadine Schweigert married herself and “opened up about self marriage.”

A 36-year-old North Dakota woman who married herself in a commitment ceremony last March has now spoken about her self-marriage choice in an interview with Anderson Cooper.

The marriage took place among friends and family who were encouraged to “blow kisses to the world” after she exchanged rings with her “inner groom”, My Fox Phoenix reports.

Read the rest of this entry »


Carnival of Perverse Incentives: Why Divorce Attorneys Will Love Obamacare

iStockphoto/The Fiscal Times

iStockphoto/The Fiscal Times

Someone in the White House thinks marriage is a bad idea.

Jacqueline Leo reports: Earlier this year, TFT showed that a high-earning couple, each with incomes of $400,000, would save about $27,000 annually if they divorced and filed their taxes separately.  Now we learn that the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, is dangling a similar fate in front of middle income earners.

A typical 40-year old couple with two kids could save $7,230 a year by divorcing if one partner earns, say, $70,000 and the other $23,000. Sixty year-olds earning $62,041 each a year would save $11,028 annually if they broke up. Read the rest of this entry »


After 20 years of marriage husband and wife both realize they’re gay

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A California man says he realized he was gay more than 20 years into his marriage, then he realized he was a she.

It’s the kind of thing many think would tear a husband and wife apart, but not David and Cat Kaufman. But the end of the Kaufmans’ love story has an unusual ending. More than 20 years later, David Kaufman became Dani Kaufman.

“We were each other’s best friend,” Cat said. Read the rest of this entry »


The Case That Destroyed Marriage

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How did marriage lose most of its meaning? How has it gone from being regarded as an institution that formed the conjugal bond, established nuclear families, knit vital social ties across extended familial units, and forged the necessary social cohesion for the sheltering and rearing of children, to a more-or-less optional affirmation of love?

True, the same-sex marriage debate has rekindled some interest in the institution and its purposes. But that imbroglio seems more like the last flaring of a star before it goes cold rather than a true rekindling.

The weakening of the institution has been ongoing for so many years that it is difficult to discern the proverbial tipping point. But I have a good candidate: The 1976 California Supreme Court case, Marvin v. Marvin.

Read the rest of this entry »


Book Review: Men on Strike by Dr. Helen Smith

A real eye-opener about the feminist cultural demonization and trivialization of men, and the consequences.

 by 
A few years ago, I rejected donating to a breast cancer charity in favor of one focused on prostate cancer.

I recognized that there was a vast disparity between the funding amounts and promotion levelsfor the two cancers — despite the nearly equal number of deaths from each of these illnesses. Knowing men would never organize to complain, I decided to “rebel against the matriarchy” for them.

Little did I realize I was engaging in “men’s rights” activism, as outlined in Dr. Helen Smith’s new book, Men on Strike: Why Men are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream — and Why It Matters.

Men on Strike Cover

Long-time readers of Legal Insurrection recognize that when I write about “feminism”, my goal is to ensure women empower themselves by getting the full story on any matter and then making fully informed decisions. While I was aware the rate of marriage in this country was going down and the number of single-parent households was going up, I never connected it to men making their own set of informed decisions.

Therefore, Dr. Helen’s book was a real eye-opener.

As an unabashed capitalist, I recognize that rewarding desired behaviors and punishing unfavored ones is a successful strategy. The book clearly outlines how modern feminism demonizes men as “potential perverts”, punishes them with fiscally punitive court decisions in divorce and custody cases, and trivializes the needs of males in educational and college settings. The result is a decline in traditional and positive male behaviors.

In fact, Dr. Helen often references The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men. I read the book shortly after having my son, and it inspires me to be pro-active in his education and ensure he has alpha-male role models.  It also influenced my incipient activism.

Dr. Helen (the wife of Professor Glenn Reynolds) uses much information gleaned from herPajamas Media website.She offers the testimony from her comments section to discuss the reasons our men are opting out of college, marriage, and fatherhood. Part of the reason is that today’s society has empowered women’s sexuality while controlling men’s via the legal system (e.g., being sued for childcare for children not their own). One 23-year-old offered the following perspective:

“I think girls a long time ago, maybe forty or fifty years ago, were doing less cheating and were more trustworthy. Now girls are like guys used to be. I would say that eight out of ten girls are ‘sketchy’ and about six or seven guys out of ten are those girls can trust”.

Dr. Helen notes that middle management is now comprised predominately of women, and many of them favor women in hiring and promotions. Over 90% of the genetics counselors are women, who do not feel the need to inform male partners of the results of DNA tests. Women dominate in higher education at every degree level.

Society has evolved into a “girl’s club”.

What is the ultimate impact? Dr. Helen cites the Costa Concordia tragedy, which made it seem like chivalry is dead because men saved themselves as their boat sank.  Interestingly, at the time, I had an online discussion about “What Became of Real Men” with a paid expert on masculinity about the event.

Dr. Helen rightly points out that when you reward the “Uncle Tims” at the expense of the “White Knights”, and decry masculinity as evil, then self-serving behavior will be the result. She notes, “as you sow, so shall you reap.”

True, that.

I hope to keep up the battle for “men’s rights” in my own way: Inspiring women to make healthy choices and respect the wonderful differences of masculinity. Here is one of my many rewards — being surrounded by a group of dashing warriors, who treat me like a queen and make very special memories for my son.

Leslie Eastman with San Diego's Lanciari, costumes by Ovidia 550 AD

Leslie Eastman with San Diego’s Lanciari, costumes by Ovidia 550 AD

via »  Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.


Trump’s Unwelcome October Intervention

I agree with Katrina Trinko

There are rumors swirling that Donald Trump’s big surprise is that he has obtained divorce papers for the Obamas. If that is indeed the case and I have no proof that such papers even exist, I hope he doesn’t release them.

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