The Plank

Daily Affirmations 6/10


1. Via XX's Jessica Grose, University of Michigan researcher Daniel Kruger has found a link between the relative scarcity of men and women in a given city and courtship behavior:

In places where young women outnumber young men, research shows the
hemlines rise but the marriage rates don't because the young men feel
less pressure to settle down as more women compete for their affections.

But when those men reach their 30s, the reverse is true and
proportionately more older men are married in areas where women
outnumber men.

Daniel Kruger, a University of Michigan researcher who studies
evolution and how it relates to contemporary behavior, looked at the 50
largest metropolitan areas in the United States to test his hypothesis
on how the balance between women and men affects marital patterns.
Results showed that men aged 20-24 are more likely to cruise than to
commit if they live in an area with more women than men.

Good point, Daniel Kruger!

2.Thomas Frank's well-timed column explores the psychology of right-wing terrorism and conservative feelings of persecution:

Two weeks ago, former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline sent out a
fund-raising letter asking for help paying down legal bills he incurred
during one of his fights with that state's abortion providers. After
recounting his battles with Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller and
others, Mr. Kline moaned that "They must silence the truth by silencing
the messenger."

The depiction of the state's abortion providers as a malign power
capable of "silencing" whoever opposes them might seem absurd, but it
is unremarkable for Kansas conservatives, who once routinely accused
Dr. Tiller and his colleagues of pulling the strings controlling the
state's politics.

What makes this particular fund-raising missive supremely awkward is
that it arrived in people's mailboxes after Tiller himself had been
silenced forever, gunned down in a Wichita church, allegedly by a man
from the fringes of the antiabortion movement. ...

Public memory is short, however, and it won't be long before this
incident, too, has been carved and sanded and fitted neatly into the
grand narrative of the culture wars, in which true-believing patriots
are eternally disrespected by all-powerful liberals. And that will
bring us to Act II in our red-state story, in which certain pro-lifers
discover that they are the real victims of the Tiller tragedy, unfairly
slandered by the left for their views.

Good point, Thomas Frank!

--Jonathan Chait

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