Gold Miners and Gold Diggers – A Historical Perspective on Female Hypergamy

Comments (4)
  1. Pellaeon says:

    Perhaps it’s because I have little training in statistics or history, but your con conclusions seem far from obvious using the data you provided.

    To me, it just seems to show that people tend to leave areas that have been hit by disaster and flock to areas that are perceived to present better opportunities. I don’t see anything here that appears to lend evidence either for or against Briffault’s law…I just see evidence that shows people in general respond to incentives.

    Of course, that isn’t too say that the evidence isn’t there, but I think the OP needs to do more work explaining why/how the quoted numbers are statistically significant (they don’t appear to be by my untrained eye), and also explain how they specifically person to Briffault’s law rather than just being a general reexamine of people reacting to incentives.

    Did many women divorce to instead become prostitutes? Did far more women enter prostitution than other times? Can you establish that the reasoning for this was because they only saw men as financial opportunities rather than just choosing the lesser of several evils?

    I don’t question the veracity of Briffault’s law, and I don’t doubt that the OP has found evidence for it in these events, but the presentation of said evidence needs more work as it currently appears very tenuous.

    1. Firstly let me say that you bring up a very valid point. I deliberately kept the article shorter than it would have normally been, because I feared it would get way too long and dull. It was mistake on my part, and I’ll rectifying it on any future articles.

      What the stats aim to show are the movements of especially single women away from areas of low opportunity, and into areas of more abundance. I cannot say if there was more or less prostitution than in other times, since in the professional occupation portion of the censuses, in particular the older censuses, prostitution is simply not accounted for as it was a many times illegal profession. All I found were various personal accounts describing prostitution in San Francisco, for instance. When one can find no accurate numbers, the use of various personal accounts is a valid way to paint a picture of certain trends in those times.

      When I mean that this piece proves the second part of Briffault’s Law and hypergamous behaviors, I’m not just talking about marriage and married women. It may be failure in communication from my part, but I extend those concepts to simpler associations between men and women where resources are traded, sex for gold in this case.

      As an example, in the Great Famine, you can see that there were very disproportionate numbers between single men and women of the same age groups, despite not being a significant unbalance in sex ratio of the total Irish population. It’s this that led me the conclude that part of the younger married women in Ireland had be in fact married to older men. Again I’m aware that I could have explained this a lot better with more text.

  2. Paul Wilson says:

    Pellaeon — no it shows just how fucking lazy women are and loads are whores

  3. Reflections says:

    Excellent work. It was a very interesting read, clearly written and easy to follow. Looking forward to more articles from you in the future.


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