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Wine and Monogamy Go Together

Research by Belgian economists reveals that wine-drinking cultures are more likely to endorse monogamy

February 7, 2011

Ethnographic data shows that wine-drinking cultures are more likely to endorse monogamy than their abstinent counterparts

Could there be a correlation between wine drinking and monogamy? Although alcohol is often thought to fuel promiscuity, two economists in Belgium have proven something counter-intuitive. Published in the journal of the American Association of Wine Economists, "Women or Wine? Monogamy and Alcohol" explains the findings that wine-drinking cultures are more likely to endorse monogamy than their abstinent counterparts.

University of Leuven economists Mara Squicciarini and Jo Swinnen performed cross-cultural analysis with the aid of ethnographic data going back thousands of years, concluding that historically and across all societies, there is a positive correlation between monogamy and wine consumption. Their research revealed that with the aid of the Greek and Roman empires, who also introduced formal monogamy, wine-making spread throughout Europe in tandem with the marital practice. Also enshrining the trend into Western culture is the influence of the Christian church, which sets the code of marital fidelity and uses wine to symbolize the "blood of Christ." Overall, Squicciarini and Swinnen's research proves that the modern-day norm of monogamy emerged concurrently with the spread of alcohol in the West.

If you're wondering if there's a causal association prompting monogamous men to pick up the bottle, the answer is no. This is simply a spurious correlation, an economic term for a historical accident, explained Ms. Squicciarini to The Globe and Mail. So this Valentine's Day, symbolize your loyal relationship and take it to the next level with a timeless bottle of vino.

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