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Idle Science

Positive Correlation Between Monogamy and Alcohol 11

wiredog writes "A recent paper asks the question: does monogamy cause drinking, or does drinking cause monogamy (PDF)? From the paper: 'Intriguingly, across the world the main social groups which practice polygamy do not consume alcohol. We investigate whether there is a correlation between alcohol consumption and polygamous/monogamous arrangements, both over time and across cultures. Historically, we find a correlation between the shift from polygamy to monogamy and the growth of alcohol consumption. Cross-culturally we also find that monogamous societies consume more alcohol than polygamous societies in the pre-industrial world. We provide a series of possible explanations to explain the positive correlation between monogamy and alcohol consumption over time and across societies.'"
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Positive Correlation Between Monogamy and Alcohol

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you were only ever going to fuck one woman for the rest of your life, you'd drink too!!

  • ...and apparently I'm doing it wrong. I'll have to show my wife this paper.

    If y'all see this as my last Slashdot post ever, you'll know why.

    (but to be half-serious, I have the 'alcohol tastes bad' gene; this may not be all cultural)

  • Simple explanation: take away one form of group fun and people will find another.

  • by wiredlogic ( 135348 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @11:12PM (#34761814)

    In most cultures where male centric polygamy is the norm, it is practiced primarily because it is the only easy means for men to have multiple sexual partners without running afoul of draconian religious tenets. Repressive religions tend to put a blanket ban on alcohol and drug use as well. The correlation only stems indirectly from the mutual association with a religion and is not a causal effect.

  • I just had a long hard laugh looking at some of the titles of their working papers, which remind me of the humorous article titles in the "Journal of Irreproducible Results".
    Makes me wonder if there is a bright future in enology economics research.


    AAWE Working Paper No. 67 Economics
    Fraternity Membership & Frequent Drinking
    Jeffrey S. DeSimone


    AAWE Working Paper No. 68 Economics
    Binge Drinking & Sex in High School
    Jeffrey S. DeSimone


    AAWE Working Paper No. 70 Economics
    Return to Wine: a Comparison of th

  • The summary misquotes the original article as about drinking and polygamy. The original is about drinking and polygyny. The difference being that "polygamy" is having multiple spouses, while "polygyny" is having multiple wives. Contrast with "polyandry", which is having multiple husbands.


Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.