Intelligence and Marriage Institutions - Why More Intelligent Men (but Not More Intelligent Women) Value Sexual Exclusivity

The Intelligence Paradox: Why the Intelligent Choice Isn't Always the Smart One - Satoshi Kanazawa 2012

Intelligence and Marriage Institutions
Why More Intelligent Men (but Not More Intelligent Women) Value Sexual Exclusivity

Now what does the association between intelligence and the value for sexual exclusivity among men mean for the society? What would be the macrolevel implications at the societal level of the microlevel association between intelligence and preference for sexual exclusivity among men at the individual level?

It turns out that the institution of marriage (monogamy vs. polygyny) is very strongly associated with the average intelligence of the population.31 Across 187 nations, average intelligence and the degree of polygyny is correlated at r = −.615. Even net of such relevant factors and potential confounds as economic development, average level of education, geographical location, Muslim religion, and income inequality, the average intelligence of a population is very strongly associated with the level of polygyny in society. The more intelligent the population, the less polygynous (and the more monogamous) it is.

In a 1999 paper with Mary C. Still,32 I argued that a major determinant of the level of polygyny in society was income inequality. The more unequal the income distribution, the more polygynous the society. This is because, when the income inequality among men is great, it makes more economic sense for women to share a wealthy man than to monopolize a poor man. In the memorable words of George Bernard Shaw (one of the founders of the London School of Economics and Political Science, where I teach), “The maternal instinct leads a woman to prefer a tenth share in a first rate man to the exclusive possession of a third rate one.”33 This is no longer true when the income inequality among men is less. Under more egalitarian income distribution, women should prefer “the exclusive possession of a third rate” man to “a tenth share in a first rate man.”

The earlier finding still stands; income inequality does greatly increase the level of polygyny in society. However, it turns out that the average intelligence of a population is an even stronger determinant of the level of polygyny. In fact, the average intelligence of a population is the strongest determinant of it of all factors considered, even stronger than the Muslim religion. Yes, Muslim nations are more polygynous than non-Muslim nations, but the effect of the average intelligence of the population on the level of polygyny in society is much greater.

Notes

1. Miller and Kanazawa (2007, p. 81)

2. Miller and Kanazawa (2007, pp. 81—85). http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200806/why-are-there-virtually-no-polyandrous-society-

3. Alexander et al. (1977); Leutenegger and Kelly (1977)

4. Alexander et al. (1977); Leutenegger and Kelly (1977)

5. Harvey and Bennet (1985); Kanazawa and Novak (2005); Pickford (1986)

6. Kanazawa and Novak (2005)

7. Daly and Wilson (1988, pp. 140—142)

8. Kanazawa and Novak (2005)

9. Alexander et al. (1977, pp. 424—425, Table 15-1)

10. Eveleth and Tanner (1976)

11. Smith (1984)

12. Kanazawa (2001)

13. Baker and Bellis (1995); Gallup et al. (2003)

14. http://www.metro.co.uk/lifestyle/815295-cheat-on-wives-men-less-intelligen

15. http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-03-02/entertainment/27057710_1_iqs-monogamy-smart-me

16. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/7339654/Intelligent-men-less-likely-to-cheat.htm

17. Trivers (1972)

18. Clark and Hatfield (1989)

19. Hald and Høgh-Olesen (2010)

20. Gangestad and Simpson (2000)

21. Kaneshiro et al. (2008)

22. Dixson et al. (2010); Furnham, Tan and McManus (1997); Henss (2000); Singh (1993, 1994); Singh and Luis (1995); Singh and Young (1995); Tovée and Cornelissen (2001)

23. Kanazawa (2004b)

24. Buss (1994)

25. Kanazawa (2011); Kanazawa and Kovar (2004)

26. Kanazawa (2011)

27. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201012/beautiful-people-really-are-more-intelligen

28. Gangestad and Simpson (2000)

29. Jensen and Sinha (1993); Kanazawa and Reyniers (2009)

30. Buss and Schmitt (1993); Cameron, Oskamp and Sparks (1978); Lynn and Shurgot (1984); Gillis and Avis (1980)

31. Kanazawa (2009)

32. Kanazawa and Still (1999)

33. Shaw (1957, p. 254)