Tag Archives: rape

Financial Equivalents of Life Events

Willingness to pay to prevent traumatic life events is “the relevant standard” for measuring the hurt they inflict upon a person.

This is according to Robin Hanson, responding to comments in an earlier article of his (previously) where he suggested that as cuckoldry “is a bigger reproductive harm than rape, so we should expect a similar intensity of inherited emotions about it. If 2+% of women were raped and we had a reliable cheap way to identify the guilty party, don’t you think we’d require that?”

Many were offended by Hanson’s comparison of the hurt a man has inflicted on him through cuckoldry to the hurt inflicted on a rape victim, so he notes that, according to the aforementioned relevant standard, men seem to hurt more in some situations (divorce, death of a spouse/child, etc.) than women (original article by Paul Frijters), so why not in this situation?

What’s a marriage worth? To an Aussie male, about $32,000. That’s the lump sum Professor Paul Frijters says the man would need to receive out of the blue to make him as happy as his marriage will over his lifetime. An Aussie woman would need much less, about $16,000.  But when it comes to divorce, the Aussie male will be so devastated it would be as if he had lost $110,000. An Aussie woman would be less traumatised, feeling as if she had lost only $9000. […]  The lifetime boost to happiness that flows from a birth – for the mother around $8700, for the father $32,600. […]  The death of a spouse or child causes a woman $130,900 worth of grief. […] It costs a man $627,300.

Note(s): It is not clear whether the gender pay gap is taken into consideration in the above calculations.
It’s also worth noting that if one were to put a financial value on cuckoldry and rape, cuckoldry’s more obvious financial implications (raising another man’s child) must be taken into account (i.e. subtracting it, at least in part, from the figure).
In this context cuckoldry refers to non-paternity events, rather than just unfaithfulness. With this in mind, I agree with Robin Hanson: “I’d prefer to be raped rather than cuckolded”.