Re: prying open the "Rogue Males" article

From: Robert J. Bradbury (bradbury@aeiveos.com)
Date: Thu Nov 08 2001 - 03:38:02 MST


Amara provided a counterpoint to the Lionel Tiger, "Rogue Males"
article (which I believe I may have originally posted).

It is worth pointing out that for her counterpoint she drew
on her neighbor (in Germany), an Egyptian muslim.

To be balanced about this we would need to know perhaps
what the educational level of her neighbor is and why and
how he left Egypt. Presumably we have some kind of selection
effect (not dissimilar to that which almost all Americans
have previously been subjected to) that foreign immigrants
were dissatisfied with the situation in their home land and
were smart enough to seek better opportunities elsewhere.
So the opinions on which Amara is challenging the Tiger
position should be looked at in context. It is of course
natural for immigrants to seek to downplay the conditions
of their homeland when speaking with "foreigners" (particularly
when challenged by a potentially inflamatory piece of "journalism").

We may also want to bear in mind that Egypt is one of the
more moderate Arabic states. It is a democracy where women
do have the right to vote unlike many Arabic states.
(It would be nice to know precisely which states are not
democracies and which do not allow women to vote as I think
this would better reflect the environment on which the Tiger
article was focused).

> Polygamy is not common there. Not in Egypt. It's slighly more common
> in the Gulf states than in Egypt, but it's still very unusual. Of
> men, you find mostly the richest (in Saudi Arabia, for example) or
> the most powerful politicians living a polygamous lifestyle (even
> though their religion permits it).

I believe I commented at one point that the issue is poverty.
Women are unlikely to freely marry someone without good opportunities
for supporting children. Egypt's GDP/capita ($3600) is significantly
lower than Saudi Arabia ($10,500), or the UAE ($22,800) and so
it makes sense that fewer men in Egypt would be polygamous.

> "$40,000 (27,000) - an impossible accumulation for all but a few"
> is a peanut amount of money for the many in the United Emirates.

Well, given a U.S. GDP/capita of 36,200, we can scale $40,000 to
~$63,000 by U.S. standards which is *quite* a nest egg. Certainly
not one that most U.S. males between 20-30 have sitting in a bank
account.

More importantly (and very surprisingly(!)) compared to the U.S.
age 15-64 male/female ratio of 0.98, in Saudi Arabia the ratio
is 1.41 M/F while in the U.A.E. the ratio is 1.73 M/F.

So even without polygamy one has a significant shortage of women!
(It isn't surprising they are looking for Russian wives where the
ratio is 0.94 M/F).

[Source: CIA World Fact Book]

My conclusion would be that if only the wealthiest 1% of the male population
of Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. are polygamous, that will leave the poorest
3-5% mateless. That works out to at least a half a million men who
(in two of the less populous Arab countries) are unlikely to be
able to fulfill the biological prime directive.

The Saudi American bank estimate for unemployment is 15% with unofficial
estimates being higher (http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/saudi.html).
I suspect this primarily consists of young males giving you numbers
of ~1.5-2.4 million individuals who are likely to have a difficult
time securing mates.

So leaving aside any rhetoric of the Tiger article, I do not find
unbelievable the premise that there is a pool of unemployed, mateless
males in Arabic countries who provide fertile soil for memes that the
U.S. is polluting their culture (witness Satellite TV) and must
be destroyed.

Robert



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