While reviewing the slides on the topic of reproduction, I found the information on what males and females rate as important characteristics in relation to long-term mate selection interesting, but I was really surprised that women in the U.S. still consider men with “good financial prospects” to be a more ideal mate (shouldn’t we be past this by now?). When I read this, I immediately thought of recently learning more about Iceland and how egalitarian it is. I did a Google search and learned that in Iceland “67 percent of babies are born to parents who are not married” (Epstein, “in the Land of Independent Mothers, ” see below), which made me wonder, in such an egalitarian society where marriage and maybe monogamy are not as important as here in the U.S., does the financial stability of women influence levels of jealousy and mate poaching in Iceland?
According to Icelander Bryndis Asmundottir, who has three children with two different partners, there seems to be no jealousy present in her current relationship. Women also have much economic freedom in Iceland than in the U.S. See the YouTube clip below:
It seems, at least according to Asmundottir, that jealousy and mate poaching are less of an issue in Iceland where monogamy and marriage are not necessarily the goals within relationships; where there is no stigma attached to having several children with several different partners; and where women have more freedom, meaning financial freedom. But is her experience reflective of the norm in Iceland? I wondered…. I also wondered, just how financially independent are women in Iceland? My second question here was easy to answer: According to the article associated with the above video clip, “Is Marriage Becoming Totally Outdated in Iceland?” (See above link), Iceland “guarantees some of the most generous parental leave in the world: nine months at 80% pay (three months for mom, three for dad and another three to be divvied up). As a result, women are emboldened to start families whether or not their men took Beyonce’s advice to ‘put a ring on it.’” So this financial help from the government definitely gives women more independence and freedom. Also, Iceland ranks number one in the world as far as gender equality in the workplace (they still have a 14% gender pay gap, but they’re still number one in the world), so again, financially, women are doing better than anywhere else in the world. So it seems that women do have more freedom and independence, which seems to lead to less jealousy and mate poaching. (See link below regarding Iceland’s work environment for women in comparison to other countries in the world):