Two NYU researchers have succeeded in attaching an economic cost to being a “big girl”: every 1% increase in a woman’s BMI means a 0.6% decrease in future family income.
BMI is the ratio of weight to height.
In other words, a large-boned woman is penalized in the economic arena in the same way as a petite woman who is overweight.
This phenomenon is unique to women: men with high BMI’s don’t suffer the same financial consequences, nor (surprisingly perhaps) do men who are short-statured.
The researchers found that the difference in economic status is due primarily to the marriage penalty paid by large women: small women are far more likely to get married, and to have spouses in high-paying jobs, than the rest of us.
Pair this with a study conducted at Michigan State that homeliness also has a substantial economic downside, and the conclusion is obvious.
Heaven’s blessings on Dalton Conley, director of NYU’s Center for Advanced Social Science Research and the study’s lead author, for stating the ugly truth about what he calls “one of the core fundamental bases of gender inequality in the United States”:
“The marriage market is where physical capital, if you want to call it that, gets converted into economic capital. Marriage is an exchange relationship where men provide income, and women, in addition to child rearing, provide sexual status.”
In other words, having a skinny wife affords a man status as a “stud” IN THE EYES OF OTHER MEN.
How Director Conley reached this conclusion is not explained in the reportage, which causes me to wonder:
If a man is STRAIGHT, why should the evaluation of his sexual prowess by other men be important to him?
And why does having a thin wife provide more sexual status than a fat one?
You can get the paper at papers.nber.org/papers/w11343.pdf.