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Friday, June 26, 2009

Black Perino Cantor Schoeder

Duncan Black is much amused by Dana Perino's theory that women never cheat.


While I am not able to explain, I do think I know the answer to all of this: Elect more women. No woman I know has the time for such trysts, nor do I know any who say the desire one. They’re too busy trying to keep all the plates spinning at home, at work, and at the gym to make sure none fall and break.

Basic set theory seems to support Black's view that Perino must be wrong. Whenever a man has sex with a woman with whom he has never had sex before, a woman has sex with a man with whom she has has never had sex before.

Average lifetime male sex partners per female person divided by lifetime female sex partners per male person must equal the number boys born divided by the number of girls born which is almost exactly one (slightly slightly more boys than girls are born). This is elementary counting (hence the reference to Cantor the top expert on counting in history).

So what could Perino be thinking ? Obviously for Perino some women just don't count. For example, take the case of David Vitter. He was a new sex partner to at least one prostitute. Prostitutes have many many sex partners. Perino doesn't count them. Also there are women, typically young women, who chose to have ses with powerful married men, because they find the men attractive. It is theoretically possible that women commit less adultery on average than men because unmarried women have more male partners than unmarried men have female partners, while wives have fewer male partners than husbands. But I think the key thing is the women who are prominent, famous, rich and/or powerful have many fewer sex partners than men who are prominent, famous, rich and/or powerful.

There just aren't that many men who are attracted to powerful women. Male power is a great aphrodesiac. Female power not so much.

Now it is also true that more women then men aren't tempted by adultery and aren't inclined to cheat. I was puzzled by the fact that male politicians who often pay a very high price for adultery commit so much of it compared to average guys who pay a lower price. I think it is partly that politics attracts narcissists who tend to commit adultery. Mostly, it is a matter of opportunity rather than motive -- most men who are inclined to commit adultery have trouble finding women inclined to have sex with them (single men have similar difficulties relative to single women).

In the end Pat Schroeder said it best (she's the one who first called Reagan the teflon president). She was defending her fellow Coloradan Gary Hart after his monkey business. She said adultery was normal for congressmen and that Sen Hart just got caught. The inevitable question of whether she had committed adultery was asked. She answered IIRC "no but we don't hav 25 year old life guards throwing themselves at us" or, in other (much worse words) "There but for the sake of men's sexist aversion to powerful women (might) go I."

Now why didn't Dana Perino think of that ? What's this about the plates and lack of inclination ? I mean what about her makes her unaware of the fact that most powerful women don't have to dodge 25 year old life guards who are throwing themselves at them ?


Bruce Webb said...

Sanford's mistress was a married women in the media, which is to say much the same category of person as Perino.

Set theory aside Perino may have a valid generalization going but to bring it up in the specific context of Sanford is absurd.

Newt Gingrich's current wife was a professional woman in her 20s (I think) when she managed to make time to shag the Speaker of the House in the back of a car.

Mabye Dana just needs some more time management skills.

Anonymous said...

Not all women are attracted to powerful men, in fact many find them repulsive.

Anonymous said...

From Elisir d'Amore second act
Io son ricco, e tu sei bella,
io ducati, e vezzi hai tu:
perché a me sarai rubella?
Nina mia! Che vuoi di più?

Quale onore! un senatore
me d'amore supplicar!
Ma, modesta gondoliera,
un par mio mi vuo' sposar.

Idol mio, non più rigor.
Fa felice un senator.

Eccellenza! Troppo onor;
io non merto un senator.

Adorata barcaruola,
prendi l'oro e lascia amor.
Lieto è questo, e lieve vola;
pesa quello, e resta ognor.

Quale onore! Un senatore
me d'amore supplicar!
Ma Zanetto è giovinetto;
ei mi piace, e il vo' sposar.