The facts have no bearing on the truth

Want to see a concrete example of a columnist zooming past contradictory facts to bolster their article’s shaky narrative?

Well, let’s start off with some semblance of fact.

When Dr. Brumbaugh pressed her subjects to pick which of the three profiles they would be most romantically interested in — deep breath — men did not pick their moms. Phew. “They had a strong tendency to pick the person who most resembled their partner,” she said. “And, in fact, they did not like the person that resembled their parent any more than they did the person who resembled a stranger.

— Micah Toub.  “Oedipal angst: Don’t worry if she’s just like Mom“, Globe & Mail, May 7th, 2009.

So apparently men do not pick women who resemble their mothers.  But two paragraphs later, you get this:

Christine B. Whelan, author of Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women, says that from a gender-equality perspective, it has been beneficial for the current stock of spouse-seeking men to be attracted to women like their mothers.

Uhm, didn’t we just establish earlier that men don’t actually pick spouses like their mothers?  How can a trend that isn’t actually happening have beneficial effects?

How did anything beyond this point get past G&M‘s Life editor?

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2 Responses
  1. Wouldn’t a better study have used single people?