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  • Mineralogy and Economics

    Posted by Mitch Townsend on May 26th, 2005 (All posts by )

    According to this story, a woman’s weight has an adverse effect on family income. The effect is attributed largely (so to speak) to the marriage market and the ability to attract high-status, high-income mates. There is no corresponding difference in family income based on men’s weight (as originally formulated by Prof. Joe Jackson, “looks don’t count for much”). The study failed to credit Townsend’s Law of Mineralogy, which states that the carat weight of an engagement diamond varies indirectly with body mass index.


    The study’s authors get a sypathetic hearing in today’s Boston Globe, where they describe men’s preference for lighter-weight wives as “discrimination” and “objectification.” Leaving aside the voluntary nature of marriage (see Nozick), the authors do not see a corresponding problem with the converse: “discrimination” against men of slender means. It is not clear whether whatever redistribution scheme they would use to overcome this injustice would involve the transfer of money or avoirdupois.


    3 Responses to “Mineralogy and Economics”

    1. Lex Says:

      Shouldn’t that be “varies inversely”?

    2. Mitch Says:

      Either term works. I thought for sure I’d catch hell for this post, but I guess I can take off my helmet.

    3. Half Sigma Says:

      Over twenty years ago, Paul Fussell wrote about how poor people are fatter in his book “Class: A Guide Through the American Status System.”