Is Hypergamy and Hypogamy the Misunderstood X Factors of Parental Alienation Claims?

“The females romantic conation is more adaptive and directive than that of the male,” Kephart concludes. “Apparently, she is able to exercise a greater measure of control over her romantic inclinations, adapting them to the exigencies of marital selection.” (1967:472.) Such an orientation seems to be in line with the tendency to marry up.”

The above is an excerpt from the paper “Do American Women Marry Up?” by Zick Rubin, University of Michigan.

In its own right it is both an interesting, controversial and perhaps even incendiary paper given that there are negative connotations associated with the concept of marrying up (as well as marrying down), such as references to gold-digging and status climbing.

What is interesting, and as demonstrated in real life scenarios such as with the Sandra Bullock and Jesse James scandal, or in the movies in which Matt Dillon’s character in the 1991 film “A Kiss Before Dying” provides an extreme demonstration of wealth oriented aspirations, is that the practice perhaps knows no gender.

Marrying Up and Cheating Down

Regardless of the conflicting data which has become even more convoluted in social realms where traditional gender roles have been and are being redefined, such relationships take on an entirely different dimension when children are introduced into the equation.

Take the case of Dr. James Wardner. When his legal wranglings with the Florida Courts regarding both access to and custody of his 5 children were first brought to my attention, the picture that was painted was one of a noble dentist falling prey to a conniving, status seeking drug addict who had the reputation for using both men and the legal system to forward her insatiable appetite for cocaine and fraternizing with society’s dark underbelly.

But here’s the thing, if she was so bad why did the doctor have 5 children with her?  I can’t seem to wrap my head around this one point as well as others.

In an effort to better understand parental alienation and the impact that either marrying up or marrying down has on the frequency and degree to which it is a factor in custody battles, we are joined by an expert guest panel who will provide their take on what is undoubtedly a complex and emotionally charged issue.

Remember to tune in to the PI Window on Blog Talk Radio on Tuesday, January 25th at 8:00 PM EST to Is Hypergamy and Hypogamy the Misunderstood X Factors of Parental Alienation Claims? Both our live chat room and toll free call-in line will be open to your questions and comments.

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