Charles Murray, Bradley Wilcox, and other conservative “intellectuals” would have you believe that marriage makes you rich, and that the source of American inequality is people turning away from the gods given lifestyle of the heterosexual patriarchal nuclear family with lots of children and a virgin bride who drops out of college, doesn’t work, and bakes cookies! Real sociologists are shocked that anyone would make such claims in public, since we all know how sex and marriage and wealth work. No Money? No Honey! That’s right. Now, think about it. In case you’re too fucking stupid or spent your youth sucking off some priest, success in life–or at least having a successful economic position—makes it easier to negotiate sex when one is not married. And, unmarried people want to have sex, just like everyone else. GSS data show that 75% of unmarried respondents under the age of 40 reported having had sex in the last year. People have sex because they like sex, but also they want to have intimate connections to other people. And, low and behold, having sex with other people can generate positive affect!!! Also, you find out things about people. Whether or not you might make a compatible long term mate, for example. This is what really horrifies the conservative Christian wackjobs—they’re horrified that adults are trying out potential mates and considering sexuality to be a big part of mate choice. You know, like you’d expect. And, of course, if you didn’t do that….ah…..Gee, no wonder conservative Christians have the highest divorce rates!!!
But, I digress. Back to the issue of why married people have higher incomes, and who those high-income married people are, in terms of their sexual histories and mate choice patterns. Above is a figure charting the personal income of unmarried GSS respondents under the age of 30. Most of these people will marry, eventually. I present these data by gender and by the number of sex partners in the last year. AS you can see, people who do not fornicate have low earnings, and this is true for both women and men. There is a substantial income benefit to fornication—or, rather, people who make more money are more likely to get laid at least once in a year. And, there is a slight monogamy benefit relative to “limited searching”. People who have 2-3 partners don’t earn as much as monogamous fornicators. However, people who are casting a wider net, having four or more partners (but fewer than 11, you sluts!) have substantially higher incomes. Indeed, women who have 5-10 partners in a year earn 50% more than women who can’t get laid, and the difference is even bigger for men!
These high-earning slut people tend to wind up marrying, later in life and with knowledge about what they want in life and in bed. They have high household incomes because both the men and women have strong and stable careers. They also tend to have more stable marriages, in contrast to the patriarchal marriages of sectarian Christians. Their advantages aren’t about moral prudishness or patriarchal submission touted by bullshit pseudointellectuals. The advantages of contemporary married couples were forged by fucking around, finding someone you love, staying with them at the appropriate stage of the life course, and doing whatever you both want or negotiate.