• Fri, Jan 7 2011

You Need a Drink: Because It Keeps You from Cheating

You’d think that drunk people were more likely to cheat, since drunk people are more likely to lose their inhibitions and do stuff they regret later. But a new study says otherwise: there is a correlation between countries with high rates of alcohol consumption and high rates of relationship fidelity. The scientists will break it down for you:

Historically, we find a correlation between the shift from polygyny to monogamy and the growth of alcohol consumption. Cross-culturally we also find that monogamous societies consume more alcohol than polygynous societies in the preindustrial world.

The study claims that monogamy was introduced way back in the days of ancient Greece and Rome, both of which were big drinking societies. When wine-making spread throughout the rest of Europe, so did monogamy.

You hear this, people? The couples that get shitfaced together stays together. And they say you can’t meet a quality man at a bar.

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  • HistoryTeacher

    The article states that there is a “correlation” between countries with high rates of alcohol consumption and relationship fidelity. As any introductory statistics class will tell you, correlation does not imply causation. For example, ice cream sales and hot weather are correlated. Does buying ice cream cause the temperature to rise?

    Consumption of alcohol, by itself, does not inspire monogamy. For evidence, we must consider the fact that the barbarian (and polygamous) tribes of Europe weren’t pious teetotalers until the Romans and their wine arrived. Celts, Franks, and all the others brewed and consumed copious amounts of beer and mead, which is an alcoholic drink made from fermented honey. Is there something magical about wine that promotes monogamous relationships? If one looks at the followers of Bacchus (Roman god of wine) and their drunk orgies for confirmation, the answer is a resounding NO.

    So what could it be? The article claims that monogamy spread throughout Europe on the heels of wine-making. Wine-making, according to the study, is a gift of the Romans, who learned it from the Greeks. However, the article overlooks something FAR more important than the spread of wine-making: the spread of Christianity. As Roman culture permeated the European continent, so too did Christianity, which eventually became the official religion of the Roman Empire. It’s more likely that the spread of Christianity had far more influence on monogamy than did the spread of wine-making.

    In addition, the article states that monogamous and industrialized societies consume more alcohol than do polygynous (one man, multiple wives) preindustrialized societies. We’re comparing apples and oranges here: polygamy in technologically primitive societies vs. monogamy in advanced industrialized societies. Is it not possible that the reason modern societies consume more alcohol is because mass production has made alcohol cheaper and easier to find, and we have more leisure time than our preindustrial ancestors did to kick back and enjoy a cold one?

    A little bit of critical thinking and knowledge of history completely demolishes the flimsy arguments in this article.

  • bmwrider001

    merely a coincidence in MHO, it is human nature to be curious and to experiment
    new experiences then lead to new codependencies issues, alcohol being one and nymphomania yet another