Pur Autre Vie

I'm not wrong, I'm just an asshole

Sunday, March 04, 2012

False Consciousness in Action

I can't help laughing when I read something like this, from the NY Times:
Reviewing the academic literature, Susan L. Brown of Bowling Green State University recently found that children born to married couples, on average, “experience better education, social, cognitive and behavioral outcomes.”

Lisa Mercado, an unmarried mother in Lorain, would not be surprised by that. Between nursing classes and an all-night job at a gas station, she rarely sees her 6-year-old daughter, who is left with a rotating cast of relatives. The girl’s father has other children and rarely lends a hand.

“I want to do things with her, but I end up falling asleep,” Ms. Mercado said.
What Brown and Mercado don't understand is that the "missing marriages" would have been miserable - Ms. Mercado's alternative (for instance, in a hypothetical society in which LTCRs are a bigger part of the social fabric) would have been to marry an abusive man, or an asshole. What Brown isn't controlling for in her research is the selection effect - married couples do better because that is where good fathers and husbands go. If she were married, Ms. Mercado might get to spend time with her child, but only in between beatings from her husband. I will see if the NY Times reporters who wrote the story will give me Ms. Mercado's contact information so I can explain this to her.

7 Comments:

Blogger Steph said...

Funny, what I took away were the quotes from all the women who said they didn't want to get married because their baby daddies were unreliable, or because they didn't want to be abandoned by their husbands the way their mothers were.

"The girl’s father has other children and rarely lends a hand." Yes, I'm sure marriage would've whipped him into a monogamous and supportive childcare provider. Those little gold bands are some magic.

1:17 PM  
Blogger James said...

So I actually wrote my reply to your comment over 5 years ago.

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Blogger James said...

On the other hand, who hacked my Blogger account and wrote this garbage?

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