Lion of the Blogosphere

Susan Patton’s letter to the Daily Princetonian

It seems to be missing from the Daily Princetonian website, but you can read the entire letter at the Daily Mail.

Princeton graduate Maureen O’Connor’s (born in 1985 so maybe class of 2007?) reaction at New York Magazine is one of vile hatred. I think that Susan Patton probably has pretty good advice, and maybe in 30 years, Maureen will realize that.

Meanwhile, I have to wonder about some of Maureen’s assertions, such as “Some of the dumbest and most intellectually incurious people I’ve known were in my class at Princeton.” Is Maureen living in some kind of bubble? None of the dumbest people I know went to an Ivy League school, but I get to interact with a lot of regular people. Maybe if everyone you know graduated from Ivy League colleges, then it may seem that some of the dumbest people you know were at Princeton.

* * *

It should be pointed out again that the highest bobo value is self-actualization though one’s career, and that Patton violated a Princetonian taboo about publicly exclaiming how superior they are; it’s a secret they are supposed to just keep among themselves.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 31, 2013 at 12:13 AM

52 Responses

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  1. It generates such VILE hatred because even the feminists know it’s TRUE. Why else would it be denounced so much?

    As an undergraduate at HYP, I’ve had women friends who expressed much worry at not being able to find a man worthy of them once they left the ivy bubble. I’ve also overheard HYP women talking about getting their boy friends to propose to them. Some women are obviously in search of a husband, although they wouldn’t say so.

    What clueless Susan Patton did was to point out what most HYP women knew all along but was supposed to be a “secret,” something that was supposed to be kept that way by the PC-nazis.

    AsianDude

    March 31, 2013 at 12:30 AM

  2. “Some of the dumbest and most intellectually incurious people I’ve known were in my class at Princeton” -> probably some science nerd who was very smart but was “uninteresting”

    AsianDude

    March 31, 2013 at 12:32 AM

  3. She apparently divorced recently so she probably wrote the letter to piss off her ex husband who did not attend Princeton.

    Also she seems to be a “kidult” who never really grew out of her twenties.

    I would say that’s just her hypergamy instinct screaming.

    A good example of why women shouldn’t go to college on large numbers.I think a quota of five percent would be enough.

    Victor SAjr

    March 31, 2013 at 1:03 AM

  4. Agreed, I doubt that the people she is meeting at Princeton are all that dumb but they might be immature which is understandable or not in Maureen’s case. What is dumb? When I read in the paper about someone who gets a long sentence in jail for stealing 50 dollars, I think that person has a flawed cost/ benefit analysis. Also, people who make a living I could only dream about but still find themselves in financial problems. Maybe, Maureen meets people who are much dumber then that. No where close to an Ivy league intellect here but I will offer my opinion. Love is a battlefield so follow Patton’s advice and forget about that lady from Facebook.

    mark

    March 31, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    • People who go to princeton can get caught stealing 50 trillion dollars and walk off without even a slap on the wrist

      Anonymous

      March 31, 2013 at 1:52 PM

  5. I hate to wade into a manufactured controversy of which, up to now, I had been blissfuly ignorant.

    But yes, and I’m speaking from experience, stupid people do get admitted to Princeton (and other Ivy League schools). And many of these people live sheltered lives, which allows their stupidity to flourish in ways that are inconceivable outside of that world.

    And I thought that one of the messages repeated in this blog was that intelligence does not necessarily correlate with wealth? If so, the presence of stupid people among the student body at an Ivy League school does not preclude the “go to the Ivies and snatch a rich husband” strategy, in fact it may facilitate it. But aren’t there easier ways of gold-digging?

    Ed

    March 31, 2013 at 1:23 AM

  6. What a miserable life. You’d figure a group of people that had largely rejected religion would want to enjoy their one life. The term ‘slave morality’ comes to mind.

    cannibal

    March 31, 2013 at 4:13 AM

  7. It’s the right idea that young people would do best to marry from within their social circle during their college years. Unfortunately we no longer live in the 1950’s and the majority of American women are simply too masculine to be suitable wives and the women who attend college are the most masculine and sexual degenerates to boot. It would be better for a young man to find a bright girl who didn’t attend college, or the military, unfortunately most college men are too fey for such women.

    Of course she herself broadcasts her failure at marriage quite loudly, leaving her husband of 27 years because he wasn’t a Princeton alumnus, such foolishness, she’s probably like one of these gals who are football super fans, why would a man be interested in such a woman?

    It would be wonderful if her son married a NAM attending Princeton via affirmative action.

    S_McCoy The Winged Lion of Relationship Advice

    March 31, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    • Unfortunately we no longer live in the 1950′s and the majority of American women are simply too masculine to be suitable wives and the women who attend college are the most masculine and sexual degenerates to boot.

      This only applies to girls going to the most elite schools. At state schools, the women are less psychologically masculine.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      March 31, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    • Do you know how hard it is to find a woman, or a person of either gender these days who hasn’t been to university and has a triple digit IQ? If I had to guess, about 35% of young women (and 28% of young men) of marriage age have a bachelors degree or will get a bachelors degree. Assuming that we start from the very right end of the IQ distribution and work our way left, and a SD of 16, this means every woman with an IQ of 106 or more is all but guaranteed to either have a bachelors degree or be working on getting one. For all the bashing of university educated women out there, the alternative option would be to marry a low IQ, prole woman who probably has some combination of the following: bastard children, 3 page long criminal record, meth addiction, dependency on goverment welfare. I don’t think that university education has a positive correlation with masculinity. In fact, if it did, men would be more likely to have degrees than women. Higher education has become feminised and I wouldn’t be surprised if the most feminine women choose to go to university instead of getting a job in the trades or join the military. If you really want to avoid marrying a masculine ball-buster, instead of avoiding Ivy League women, avoid women in the trades or in the military.

      SC

      March 31, 2013 at 11:35 PM

      • If you are in the 99th Percentile of intelligence and you believe that your husband should be smarter yet, you will indeed hava limited pool of prospects. But it will be better at Princeton than elsewhere. This is the same problem tall women have. A six foot woman who wears heels will feel uncomfortable with almost 99% of all men.

        Human beings – as the Stage Manager says in “Our Town” – are designed to go through life in pairs. Its been that way for a long time and if the feminists don’t like that – tough. They will go the way of the Shakers. Mothers should push their daughters into the hands of thge best prospective husbands they can find. Princeton seems like a good hunting ground. It’s certainly better than the local mall.

        BTW there’s no reason to struggle to explain why this woman is divorced. She was married for 27 years. The vow of “till death do us part” was composed when the life expectancy was 36.

        Pat Boyle

        April 1, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      • Pat, not sure if you know this or if your post is just ambiguous, but a life expectancty of 36 doesn’t mean that people were old and gray at 36. Rather, there were many infant deaths, plus diseases could strike people down at any age — but a lifetime for someone who avoided these things wasn’t much shorter than it is now. “Threescore and ten” was a human lifetime in biblical times.

        Kyo

        April 1, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    • “Bright girls” with no college education are few and far between.

      islandmommy

      April 1, 2013 at 12:53 PM

      • Well, “bright” girls are few and far between regardless. A wise man would gladly give up a few points of IQ and several grand earning potential for a woman who is kind. The funny thing is most of the genuinely kind women I know are attractive. So a man should stay away from whatever the deviants consider to be a “HB9” or whatever term they use. Girls who like big dogs like setters and retrievers is a better qualifier than if she has a bachelors.

        S_McCoy The Winged Lion of Relationship Advice

        April 1, 2013 at 8:14 PM

  8. “Some of the dumbest and most intellectually incurious people I’ve known were in my class at Princeton.”

    Gen Y which is her generation (anyone born in the 80’s – 90s) proves just that. Lion needs to head back to the college campuses and see what these kids are all about. They’re pretty numb and sterile on their laptops and Iphones.

    Just Speculating

    March 31, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    • Agreed. Or take something like that ridiculous David Denby book (I despise Denby almost as much as David Brooks, perhaps more since, despite a Biblical series of comeuppances, Denby still refuses to hang himself, or at least his damned pen) where he audits the Great Books classes at Columbia. What adolescent drivel.

      Let’s take Harvard’s Elizabeth Wurtzel. She’s a druggie and a flake. She does, admittedly, have a raw intellect sufficiently good that, even (?) under the influence of Ritalin, heroin, etc., she penned the book “Bitch”, which actually has some fairly clever things to say about, for instance, Hillary Clinton. It’s full of non sequiturs, illogic, and bitchiness, but let’s brush that aside.

      All the same: Elizabeth Wurtzel’s idea of a Great Author is J. D. Salinger. She believes each Jane Austen novel has the same plot]; she even provides ludicrously delusive particulars about what she thinks this “plot” is (nope, not a single Austen novel closes with a “patriarch” sitting on the front porch of his Georgian mansion, grinning into the sunset).

      Austen is a great artist; but as Great Books go, hers shouldn’t cost Wurtzel or her compeers the mental effort required to scale Dante or Aquinas. I fear much of the Lionsphere has very Romantic notions of what sort of Whit Stillmanesque princesses reside in the Ivy towers. I warrant you’ll find plenty of non-legacy, lily white girls who are more interested in refreshing their tumblr’s daily stock of “Soft Grunge” fashion photos, or writing up the sublimities of Kathleen Hanna’s incarnation of GRRRL Power, than in doing anything of their own volition that would qualify as serious mental effort.

      Lucius Somesuch

      March 31, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    • I think that Susan Patton probably has pretty good advice, and maybe in 30 years, Maureen will realize that.

      i.e, after it’s too late – Muwhaha!

      It should be pointed out again that the highest bobo value is self-actualization though one’s career, and that Patton violated a Princetonian taboo about publicly exclaiming how superior they are;

      I’ve found the most insecure Ivy Leaguers are the non-HYP ones. HYP undergraduates are more relaxed because they’ve achieved the supreme level of undergraduate scholastic status and no longer feel the need to be resentful of those above them.

      They’re pretty numb and sterile on their laptops and Iphones.

      Is there something wrong with crude materialism and intellectual laziness?

      I fear much of the Lionsphere has very Romantic notions of what sort of Whit Stillmanesque princesses reside in the Ivy towers.

      As I’ve typed before, the SWPL elite’s humanities education rarely deviates from higher-brow pop culture. For all their moral posturing, surprisingly few of the intellectual “elite” could discuss classic works of literature. And the Ivy Leaguers who can discuss, say, Shakespeare or Dumas are more likely to be country-club Republicans, not left-liberal SWPLs.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      March 31, 2013 at 9:05 PM

      • “Is there something wrong with crude materialism and intellectual laziness?”

        Apparently this is the gripe of Ms. O’Connor’s assertion, that her peers are uninspired by learning for its own sake.

        “And the Ivy Leaguers who can discuss, say, Shakespeare or Dumas are more likely to be country-club Republicans, not left-liberal SWPLs”.

        Not necessarily, individuals in both extremes would not. A guy like Bill Clinton would know more about the classics than a guy like Donald Trump.

        But most of the Ivory Tower types of all disciplines, did wholeheartedly support the Occupy Wall St dregs of society movement.

        Just Speculating

        April 1, 2013 at 10:08 AM

  9. Slightly off topic:

    I just picked up “Megatrends 2010” at the library (okay, I’m a little behind).

    It almost as if the Lion were the author.

    What is the megatrend? Self actualization through work! More specifically, a self-actualization that ties into “spirituality” (the Oprah kind).

    The Engineer

    March 31, 2013 at 11:55 AM

  10. LofB,

    You should mention that the first chapter of Bobos in Paradise was about assort mating and how the elite marry each other these days. For all the talk of trophy wives, I doubt if any Ivy Leaguers would marry a trophy wife since the Ivy Leaguer would be ridiculed forever for doing it. In the days of lawyers marrying lawyers, and doctors marrying doctors, no wealthy Ivy Leaguer is going to marry a secretary or a shopaholic trophy wife.

    superdestroyer

    March 31, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    • I doubt if any Ivy Leaguers would marry a trophy wife since the Ivy Leaguer would be ridiculed forever for doing it.

      Ivy League finance dudes and those on the medschool track will marry trophy wives because they are the most psychologically alpha of the undergrad Ivy male students.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      March 31, 2013 at 9:07 PM

      • Any Ivy Leaguer who is a physician and marries a trophy wife is begging for a messy divorce and a miserable life. Physicians work a ton of hours and start making real money late in life. Very few physicians marry trophy wives these days because it costs too much money and they have loans to pay. Those physicians marry other physicians and other professionals such as lawyers because that is who those physicians are around. A physician with a trophy wife would be laughed at rather than a physicians married to another physician. Having a spouse that makes lots of money is better than a pre-nup.

        superdestroyer

        March 31, 2013 at 9:38 PM

      • I’ve heard bulge bracket finance girls complain about this. Male bankers are not interested at them; they want models.

        Now, I’m not so sure about the med school guys. There are some alphas, and most of them have big egos, but the majority of med school dudes are nerds.

        AsianDude

        March 31, 2013 at 9:55 PM

      • I agree with the finance part, not so much with the med part. Replace ‘finance and med’ with ‘finance and law’. Healthcare and STEM will attract high IQ nerds, finance and law will attract high IQ alpha males.

        SC

        March 31, 2013 at 11:39 PM

      • I have no idea why people think that BIGLAW is full of alpha-males. It’s full of people, men and women, who had the highest grades and went to the top law schools.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 1, 2013 at 7:07 AM

      • Physicians work a ton of hours and start making real money late in life. Very few physicians marry trophy wives these days because it costs too much money and they have loans to pay.

        They can hold off on marriage and fool around in the interim.

        There are some alphas, and most of them have big egos, but the majority of med school dudes are nerds.

        Medschool guys have alpha traits that work in their favor to more than counterbalance any nerd characteristics. They’re more likely to play sports than, say, CompSci dudes, and they are also arrogant and have higher social status than the others.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        March 31, 2013 at 11:52 PM

      • True, finance might have a lot of Alpha guys, but I’ve seen a lot of Beta dudes on Wall St. In terms of BIGLAW, most of them went to top law schools and graduated with good grades.

        Trophy wife? Well, most men don’t marry trophy women. Many of the elite have frumpy wives if you care to observe.

        Just Speculating

        April 1, 2013 at 9:50 AM

      • AsianDude said: “I’ve heard bulge bracket finance girls complain about this. Male bankers are not interested at them; they want models.”

        I don’t know anyone who would seriously consider a model for anything more than, well, sex. That said, nobody in the entire world wants to settle down with, or even seriously date, a girl who spent more than 2-3 years in the finance world. A girl who did an analyst stint at Goldman, went to HBS, and now works at a non-profit or some luxury retail company? Sure. A girl with 7 years in IBD under her belt who actually wants to make a career out of it? LOL.

        When my finance friends (mostly H undergrad, now working all sorts of high-profile IBD/PE/HF jobs at the VP/MD level) settle down, they almost inevitably choose attractive, reasonably intelligent women, ones with pretty similar pedigrees.

        Ian

        April 1, 2013 at 4:53 PM

  11. In high school (class of 2005, public hs in a dc suburb “superzip”) I was in all advanced classes, so I knew all the high achieving gunner type kids. I had the chance to see how they actually functioned day to day both academically and in general life. With the exception of one guy who went to Harvard, I found almost all the kids who went on to Ivies or other prestige schools to be borderline retarded and way, WAY, less intellectually curious than the low achieving pot head kids I also knew. The gunners were good at, well, gunning. I haven’t kept track of what they are doing now, but probably something bobo as all hell.

    Anonymous

    March 31, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    • And what were the intellectual topics that the stoner pot head kids were discussing in high school. I sure they were discussing some profound topics instead of making bodily function jokes.

      I think in the suburbs of DC, you get the hard driving asian kids who have never read a novel or non-fiction book outside of school in their life.

      superdestroyer

      March 31, 2013 at 2:26 PM

      • And what were the intellectual topics that the stoner pot head kids were discussing in high school.

        They were up all night debating how Goethe’s Faust laid the foundation for the plot of Pauly Shore’s Biodome.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        March 31, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    • When people say high achievers aren’t intellectually curious what they really mean is that they are conformists. They say and do whatever it takes to get ahead and they don’t give a shit about anything else. They’re not like us expanding our knowledge for no real gain. They just follow orders and follow them well and do well for themselves in the process. However these prodigies have pretty shitty track records beyond enriching themselves the last decade in particular has shown has that.

      Conquistador

      April 1, 2013 at 12:55 AM

  12. Agree with AsianDude. It generated hate because it’s true.

    Patton’s letter seems inoffensive enough.

    “Some of the dumbest and most intellectually incurious people I’ve known were in my class at Princeton.” Is Maureen living in some kind of bubble?

    In my view, knee-jerk liberals are dumb and intellectually incurious, and such creatures are overwhelmingly prevalent at HYP.

    But I doubt that’s exactly what Maureen meant, heh heh.

    Maureen’s response is typical of the Leftist logic that if you can find even one counterexample to a generally valid observation (i.e., a stereotype) then it invalidates the observation. Yeah, you can find smart people outside elite colleges. But if you’re attending an elite college, your best chance to find an intellectually and socially equivalent or superior mate is right where you are.

    Tarl

    March 31, 2013 at 2:37 PM

  13. Elite schools select for people with high analytical abilities, but don’t select against people with low social abilities. The non-academic evaluations are supposed to select against this but are easily gamed.

    Women are attracted to social dominance, and turned off by men with poor social cognition. I’ve personally met people from the Ivy League with very poor social cognition and I wouldn’t be surprised if women would evaluate men like this as unintelligent.

    Theoderic

    March 31, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    • It is pretty easy to select against people of very low social abilities because even “gaming” extra curricular activities require some skill. I know because I intentionally gamed the system to come across as someone a lot more socially intelligent than I am, by associating myself with activities like media internships. But you have a point – a person with pretty mediocre social abilities can fake it, at least on resume, to be at least upper-middle in social skills. However, there are some unfakable signs of very high social skills/status, like being elected the president of student council (which ivies LOVE by the say)

      AsianDude

      March 31, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    • Not true at all. They are attracted to good looking men who project confidence and status. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy. Attractive people are usually confident because they are attractive. Attractive wealthy men will have many suitors, regardless of their social cognition.

      http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Ivanka+Trump/Jared+Kushner/8th+Annual+CFDA+Vogue+Fashion+Fund+Awards/mM-XzJEhuEV

      Just Speculating

      March 31, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    • –Elite schools select for people with high analytical abilities, but don’t select against people with low social abilities. The non-academic evaluations are supposed to select against this but are easily gamed.

      If I want to be in your club, and I can figure out what kind of people you typically let in your club and present myself in that manner, how exactly is that indicative of low social abilities? Caltech and MIT are really the only schools that might fit your description, but I’ve found the people I know from MIT (don’t know anyone from Caltech) to actually have decent enough social skills.

      Husker Don't

      March 31, 2013 at 8:02 PM

  14. I think the most salient point of Patton’s article is that age is the death knell of a woman’s marriage prospects. For each year that ticks by, a woman loses the group of men below that age. Yes, some guys marry older women but it’s a rarity and those marriages are more fragile and vulnerable to divorce (statistically speaking), even if the woman is only slightly older. Whereas men’s marriage pool doesn’t shrink with nearly the same rapidity, and if anything, can expand. I don’t know her details but I would guess she married too late and was less desirable at that point– and ended up with a guy of lesser caliber than she might have found otherwise. What institution of higher learning he graduated from is probably less relevant than that.

    There is some truth to boys maturing more slowly than girls. I don’t blame female college freshmen for not going wild over their same age male peers. They should be hunting down guys in the alumni club.

    islandmommy

    March 31, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    • My mom tried to set me up with her friend’s daughter who is in her mid twenties but I don’t want to date an old hag. I want a hot 18-22 year old. Women literally age like 20 years in young adulthood. I’m not kidding. I remember all those hot teen girls I went to high school with and they all look old now. Sure some have put on weight but nothing embarrassing instead they just look old. I have a theory on that. All the cruelty, selfishness, hedonism, and promiscuity women indulge in during their prime corrupts their soul like the portrait of Dorian Gray.

      Conquistador

      April 1, 2013 at 1:14 AM

      • Correct brah, men still have the upper hand in the looks department. Most of those attractive ladies in my college days are now busted hags at my college reunion. And this is only in a decade’s time, when many guys still look even better in their 30s and 40s. It’s all downhill for the ladies post college graduation.

        Just Speculating

        April 1, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      • I salute you, monsieur, for having the temerity to tell it like it is. I do think weight gain plays a large part in that among American wimmin, though it’s not the only factor. What you say is true: mid-twenties is over the hill.

        Allerious

        April 1, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      • Look for a nerdy girl. They age better because they avoid the sun and don’t party.

        islandmommy

        April 1, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    • Where do you think the saying women like older men comes from?

      Just Speculating

      April 1, 2013 at 10:18 AM

  15. nice comment at O’Connor’s article:

    “As freshman women, you have four classes of men to choose from. Every year, you lose the men in the senior class, and you become older than the class of incoming freshman men. So, by the time you are a senior, you basically have only the men in your own class to choose from, and frankly, they now have four classes of women to choose from. Maybe you should have been a little nicer to these guys when you were freshmen?”

    At Dartmouth College, we call this the ‘X’, where the x-axis is year, the bottom to top line in the ‘X’ are the males, increasing in popularity as their time goes on, and the top to bottom line is are the females. Regardless of your stance on what should be in the collegiate dating world, this is the reality. Of course there are exceptions, there always are, but point blank this is the culture.

    namae nanka

    March 31, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    • So the solution would be to stagger age-grades by gender. I was lucky enough to have skipped two years of grade school, making me 16 when I graduated highschool and 20 when i graduated university and entered grad school. My undergraduate boyfriend was a grade below me yet a year older than me (I was 18 and a junior when we met, he was 19 and a sophomore). In grad school I dated people who were same age or older than me, yet they were undergraduate seniors and I was a grad student. If we changed social norms so that all men would take a gap year between high school and university, upper year women and lower year men wouldn’t have the problems they do. Everybody could date people in their own grade and things would be fine. (I don’t think we should stagger age-grades by gender in highschool because highschoolers shouldn’t be dating or having sex in the first place.

      Anonymous

      March 31, 2013 at 11:47 PM

      • “I don’t think we should stagger age-grades by gender in highschool because highschoolers shouldn’t be dating or having sex in the first place.”

        I think it’s rather the other way around: People over the age of 24 shouldn’t be permitted to have sex. Have you seen what most of them look like naked?

        Allerious

        April 1, 2013 at 12:27 PM

  16. Left unstated by Ms. O’Connor, whose message of course focuses only on women’s wants and needs: “You men who went to state schools but would love to meet an extremely intelligent partner who went to an Ivy: don’t bother trying. You’re not worthy of us.”

    Kyo

    April 1, 2013 at 5:39 AM

    • Correction to my post: it’s Ms. Patton who seems to be telling young Ivy-league women that non-Ivy boys aren’t worthy of them.

      Kyo

      April 1, 2013 at 2:59 PM

  17. The smarmy attitude of that woman cracks me up. But I still agree with her. HYP girls will never have better prospects than when they’re in school. But they’re too high on themselves to realize it. It reminds me of that Princeton girl from last year who left a comment talking about “women like us” who were too important to date and get married because they needed to make contributions to society. Or some such nonsense.

    destructure

    April 1, 2013 at 9:52 AM

  18. The Last Psychiatrist has a post relevant to the topic. He write about the stupidity of women sacrificing the chance to have a family for the sake of a career

    “Sheryl Sandberg is the future ex-COO of Facebook, and while that sounds like enough of a resume to speak on women in the workplace, note that her advice on how to get ahead appears in Time Magazine. Oh, you thought that Sandberg’s book is news worthy in itself, how could you not do a story on this magnificence? No, this is a setup, the Time Magazine demo is never going to be COO of anything, as evidenced by the fact that they read Time Magazine. Much more importantly, they are not raising daughters who are going to be COO of anything. So why is this here?”

    http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2013/03/dont_hate_her_because_shes_suc.html

    Martin G.

    April 1, 2013 at 3:29 PM

  19. Catherine Rampell on the letter.

    “O.K., so there are a lot of controversial issues in her letter, which has been called regressive and much worse. But the idea that women may have stronger preferences than men do for assortative matches — that is, for marrying mates who are like them — has a long literature in economics and to some extent has been supported by data.

    That said, it seems as if preferences for assortative matching are increasing for both genders, particularly as more women join the labor force (and therefore become more likely to have the same wage profile as their prospective partners, at least compared to women a couple of generations ago). One unintended consequence of more likes marrying likes is higher income inequality; the rich and educated marry the fellow rich and educated and get richer together, while the poor and uneducated generally don’t get married at all, remaining poor and alone.

    What about Ms. Patton’s assertion that men are willing to overlook “a woman’s lack of erudition, if she is exceptionally pretty”?

    A paper published last year in the Journal of Political Economy actually tried to quantify the trade-off that husbands make between beauty and brains when choosing a mate. Using longitudinal survey data on married American couples, it found that women can compensate for two additional units of body mass index with one more year of education. In other words, it’s all right for women to be a little heavier if they’re also a little more educated, or a little less educated if they’re also a little skinnier.

    Male physical attractiveness matters, too. But for men, the stronger trade-off seemed to be between weight and wages: Men may compensate 1.3 additional units of B.M.I. with a 1 percent increase in wages.

    Addendum: I should note that long before Ms. Patton’s letter made it to the nightly news, Princetonians seemed exceptionally prone to assortative matching. According to a Daily Princetonian article from 2002, 26 percent of female graduates and 12 percent of male graduates married a fellow Princetonian. The share was larger for women because the universe of Princeton alumnae is smaller than that for Princeton male alumni, since Princeton’s first female graduates were admitted in 1969.

    .
    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/01/women-and-marriage-at-princeton/

    Julian

    April 2, 2013 at 5:25 PM

  20. ““Some of the dumbest and most intellectually incurious people I’ve known were in my class at Princeton.” ”

    I suspect that’s just her way of categorizing those college students who have the temerity to reject the political and social views that dominate academics.

    Crank

    April 9, 2013 at 8:25 PM


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