General Partners

Kevin Lewis

February 08, 2020

Occupational Sex Composition and Marriage: The Romantic Cost of Gender‐Atypical Jobs
Elizabeth Aura McClintock
Journal of Marriage and Family, forthcoming


The author considers the mechanisms by which occupational sex composition (the proportion of women and men in an occupation) might be associated with romantic transitions in the United States. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 to 2014, the author estimates the odds of marriage during a period of 35 years as a function of occupational and personal characteristics. Men's odds of marriage are decreased by working in predominately female occupations (75%–100% female) when compared with working in predominately male occupations (0%–25% female) or integrated (26%–74% female) occupations. Also, working in a predominately female occupation increases the odds that men have never married by ages 30 and 40. Women's odds of marriage are unrelated to occupational sex composition. Although the author focuses on marriage, the results are robust to including cohabitation as a competing risk. The author uses data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health 1994 to 2008 to replicate these findings in a more recent cohort with additional control variables. The romantic penalty for men's occupational gender atypicality demonstrates the continued devaluation of female activities and attributes and the resulting rigidity of expectations for men's gendered behavior, which may reinforce occupational segregation.

Cohort Increases In Sex With Same-Sex Partners: Do Trends Vary by Gender, Race, and Class?
Emma Mishel et al.
Gender & Society, forthcoming


We examine change across U.S. cohorts born between 1920 and 2000 in their probability of having had sex with same-sex partners in the last year and since age 18. Using data from the 1988–2018 General Social Surveys, we explore how trends differ by gender, race, and class background. We find steep increases across birth cohorts in the proportion of women who have had sex with both men and women since age 18, whereas increases for men are less steep. We suggest that the trends reflect an increasingly accepting social climate, and that women’s steeper trend is rooted in a long-term asymmetry in gender change, in which nonconformity to gender norms is more acceptable for women than men. We also find evidence that, among men, the increase in having had sex with both men and women was steeper for black than for white men, and for men of lower socioeconomic status; we speculate that the rise of mass incarceration among less privileged men may have influenced this trend.

Elite Mobilization: A Theory Explaining Opposition to Gay Rights
Benjamin Bishin et al.
Law & Society Review, March 2020, Pages 233-264


Media and scholastic accounts describe a strong backlash against attempts to advance gay rights. Academic research, however, increasingly raises questions about the sharply negative and enduring opinion change that characterizes backlash among the mass public. How can we reconcile the widespread backlash described by the media with the growing body of academic research that finds no evidence of the opinion change thought to be its hallmark trait? We argue that rather than widespread opinion change, what appears to be backlash against gay rights is more consistent with elite‐led mobilization — a reaction by elites seeking to prevent gays and lesbians from achieving full incorporation in the polity. We present evidence from what is widely considered to be a classic case of anti‐gay backlash, the 2010 Iowa Judicial Retention Election. Analysis of campaign contribution data in Iowa versus other states between 2010 and 2014, and voter roll‐off data exploiting a unique feature of the 2010 retention election supports this argument. The results simultaneously explain how reports of backlash might occur despite increased support for gay rights, and an academic literature that finds no evidence of backlash.

Psychopathy and the Induction of Desire: Formulating and Testing an Evolutionary Hypothesis
Kristopher Brazil & Adelle Forth
Evolutionary Psychological Science, March 2020, Pages 64–81


The problems psychopathic individuals impose on society and in their interpersonal relationships can be held in stark contrast to reports of their appeal and sexual success in some of those relationships. In the current paper, we seek to contextualize this enigma by focusing on the interpersonal dynamics of psychopathic individuals in romantic encounters. We first formulate a plausible evolutionary function, the sexual exploitation hypothesis, that proposes psychopathy exhibits “special design” features for subverting female mate choice, facilitating the induction of favorable impressions and desire in prospective intimate relationships. We then test the hypothesis in two studies with university samples. Study 1 had young men assessed on psychopathy, social intelligence, and sociosexuality engage in a filmed dating interaction. Study 2 had young women view a subsample of the videos, rate them on desirability, and leave voice messages. Results show psychopathy was related to sociosexuality, specific factors of social intelligence, and generating higher desirability ratings from women after controlling for men’s physical attractiveness. Analyses involving comparisons of two men showed women’s ratings increased in favor of the more psychopathic man. Women’s voice pitch also changed, but only in response to different facets of psychopathy. The results provide preliminary support for the sexual exploitation hypothesis and suggest that more dynamic assessment of putative desirability in psychopathy may be required to capture its plausible special design features in prospective dating encounters.

to your National Affairs subscriber account.

Already a subscriber? Activate your account.


Unlimited access to intelligent essays on the nation’s affairs.

Subscribe to National Affairs.