It’s always entertaining when mainstream media quote academic papers and extrapolate findings in sensational headlines. So I was intrigued when I happened upon such a write up recently entitled: Women or Wine? Monogamy and Alcohol. In this case, however, this is the title of a working paper by economists Mara Squicciarini and Jo Swinnen from University of Leuven. Noting that monogamy started in wine drinking societies in ancient Greece and Rome while polygyny continued in other cultures, the researchers concluded that. “…across the world the main social groups which practice polygyny do not consume alcohol.”
The full paper makes for some interesting reading but what is still open to debate is whether the ban on alcohol in modern polygyny practicing cultures (predominately Muslim and fundamentalist Mormon) contributes to their polygyny or if this is just a part of their belief system that coincidentally includes an alcohol ban. Whatever the case, the statistical models and other proofs at the end of the paper certainly look compelling.
via Reason Magazine
Good to see you back in the saddle. I’m going to take the freakenomics view on this one, and say that it’s a lot more likely that monogamy drives us to drinking. I really hope my loving wife doesn’t read the blog.
You could be right… or it could be the civilizing nature of a committed relationship 😉