Over at Living Single, I wrote an in-depth critique of a recent study about single men and their purportedly more anti-social behavior than married men. In the first post, Actual Newspaper Headline: ‘Married Men Better Men,’ I worked through the details of the study, including the actual items used to measure anti-social behavior and the point-by-point results of the research. In the second post, Naughty or Nice? Single Men and Married Men, I explained what I thought the results really did mean.
Just posted in the New York Times is an essay in Pamela Paul’s “Studied” column called, The Marrying Kind: Born or Made? She includes my point that the difference in scores on the anti-social behavior scale between the single and married men was underwhelming. (Specifically, on a 10-point scale, the single men report an average of just over 1 “symptom,” and the married men report an average of just under 1.)
Paul then accurately quotes me as saying, “So that one item counts for a lot.”
What is not mentioned in that column is what that one key item was: “Has never sustained a monogamous relationship for more than one year.” Men who are single at heart may well qualify as meeting that criterion, but it is not because they are psychopaths but because they like their single lives – they find that way of life most meaningful and fulfilling.