Is it wiser to be married or is it preferable to remain a bachelor? Are bachelors in fact smarter than married men? Dr. Laurence J. Peter authored several books, and to him is attributed the remarkable Peter Principle. Among Peter's many insights is the following: In a society based on marriage, why do so many men remain bachelors? It is easy to find a girl and to fall in love when a man is young. The urge is strong, the sap is high, and the powers of selectivity are undeveloped. “The girl who is easy to get may be hard to take.” – F. Wisely There are some men who do not fall in love and some who keep falling in love but do not marry. As a man matures sooner or later he reaches the age of discretion. The blood ceases to boil and reason takes over. Instead of rushing into marriage he considers the evidence for or against. After a man reaches a certain age, marriage decreases in value. The urgent appetite for sex decreases. He is now experienced at satisfying his needs without benefit of marriage. He still wants sex, but the price he is willing to pay has slumped. A bachelor does not grow lonelier as the years pass by. He learns how to live with himself. He satisfies his unique social needs. His companions may consist of members of his own sex or of the opposite sex or any combination of the above. He may dream of the exceptional girl who could excite him to the point where he would give up all this, but while his standards are going up, the quality of what he can get is going down. The available choice of desirable prospective wives gets smaller day by day. As his competence in making a rational selection increases, the desirable selectees decrease. To estimate his chances of success he looks at his married pals. Most are stalking girls at the office or sneaking off with others’ wives. He concludes that if married men have mistresses or look for sex and love outside of marriage he would not improve his situation by wedlock. A bachelor is a man who looks before he leaps – and then does not leap. “Bachelors know more about women than married men; if they didn’t, they’d be married, too.” – H.L. Mencken Do you agree with Peter’s analysis? Is there a corollary for bachelorettes? Since the time that Peter wrote this (almost 40 years ago), have any factors changed which would alter the validity of his analysis? Is Peter’s paradigm equally applicable across the entire range of sociological and anthropological stratifications?