Lots of commentary below on my post about extramarital sex. I guess that’s fine, but I’m really not too interested your theories, I can do basic logic after introspection too. In fact, I can go down the street and ask a random person and I’m sure they could offer up after the fact rationales for the results I reported (people are always interested in sex and sharp about models to explain it). Instead, here’s the variable you need to use in the GSS: XMARSEX. I assume forms and graphical user interfaces worthy of 1997 are not too intimidating to readers of this weblog even if they perplex Matt Yglesias?
In any case, here’s some more results. First, I wanted to double check that there was in fact decreased tolerance of extramarital sex over the years. Let’s break it down by sex:
Some of you were curious about the demographic correlates of this behavior. Please note that all the following charts are limited to the year 2000 and later. The sample sizes for XMARSEX were rather large, so I saw no reason not to make it relevant to contemporary attitudes.
Next, what are the sex differences in attitudes?
It looks me to that there’s a divergence among smart and educated individuals. WORDSUM 9 and 10 is the top 10% in the data set (WORDSUM has an 0.70 correlation with IQ). But that’s a small segment of the population. I did a logistic regression where I picked categorical values which were ordinal (e.g., political ideology goes from most liberal to least on a six point scale). After performing the analysis I will tell you that when you account for very powerful predictors like Biblical literalism there doesn’t seem to be much sex difference on this issue. In other words it may be that the sex difference in the aggregate sample is largely a function of the demographic differences between males and females. But I don’t think this necessarily explains the gap at the very smart and educated segment, which are a small elite slice. Nevertheless this is the slice which is represented among pundits (in theory) and readers of this weblog.