Khaaaaan has a post up about a German study which purports to show that the cuckoldry rate — situations where the presumed father is not the biological father of the child — in Germany is around 1%. (Via Glpiggy.)
A few words on that. First, misattribution of paternity can occur in any number of ways. Steve Sailer left some good comments over at Khan’s blog that illustrate in real life, flesh and blood scenarios how cuckoldry rates can be misattributed. Nevertheless, I’m not here to argue that the 1% figure is wrong. In fact, the 1% figure is higher than I assumed. Look at it this way: That recorded 1% cuckoldry rate is more than 30 TIMES the US recorded rape rate of 0.03%.
Besides the actual rate, there are other angles to this id-loaded topic that are worth exploring.
A flaw in assuming present-day cuckoldry rates align with historical cuckoldry rates is the fairly recent widespread availability of contraceptives and abortion. How many women who sleep with interloper males are using birth control? Probably most, and more so if those women are higher SES. How many are aborting the fetus, should contraception fail or not be used, before hubby finds out or is doomed to raise a child as an unwitting cuckold? Again, I’d guess most. That 1% figure may simply be a reflection of the fact that cheap and effective modern contraceptives bite into a possibly larger historical cuck rate. And since our sexual natures are the product of millions of years of fine-tuning, it would make sense for male jealousy and mate-guarding instincts to have evolved, especially if the real cuckoldry rate (and not just the “don’t worry, I’m on the Pill” shadow cuckoldry rate in which the act is performed but the consequence is averted) in the environment of evolutionary adaptation was considerably higher than 1%.
Or: Don’t start hedging your bets that women are no more than 1% evil.
Then there is the issue of serial monogamy. Serial monogamy is much more the norm now than it was in the past. Women on second marriages (or on post-divorce second dating lives) bring their kids from the first marriage into any new relationship. As much as the new boyfriend or husband might not want those bastards around him, he is going to participate in their raising in some form or another if he plans on banging out the mother for any length of time greater than two weeks. He is, in effect, a de facto cuckold, albeit an informed and, presumably, voluntary one. (Though the definition of voluntary is a bit loose when one is put in the position of weighing the odds of future fux against the pain of supporting present bastards. Duress matters if you are a desperate beta male willing to put up with snot-nosed shit to get some floppy, aged action.)
Women, too, are subject to unwelcome participation in the raising of unrelated children if they are in second relationships with divorced single dads, but in practice this punishment is not meted out to women nearly as often as it is to men, because it is usually the ex-wife who has full-time custody of her kids, or the single mom who is solely raising her hatchlings, and hence it is usually the sloppy seconds beta male who is getting the screws by groveling for sexual relief from these SMV leftovers.
So there are really two kinds of cuckoldry: De facto and deceptive. The latter is far worse from a moral calculus (it really is the equivalent of female rape, except the pain is dragged out over eighteen years) but the former is no less an indictment of the growing dysfunction of the modern sexual market.