Prince Charming vs. OBL

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In 1986, a now-infamous Newsweek cover story included the claim that a single woman over 40 was "more likely to be killed by a terrorist" than to get married. In an equally stupid you-go-girl update this week, Newsweek retracts that claim and revises its old stats; the chance of a woman over 40 ever tying the knot was reported to be 2.6 percent in the '86 version, while, Newsweek reassures, "when the Census last crunched the numbers in 1996, a single woman at 40 had a 40.8 percent chance of eventually marrying." But as Maia Szalavitz points out over at Stats.org, the marriage part of the marriage/death-by-terrorist scenario is the less bizarre half of the comparison. In 1985, the chances of getting zapped by a terrorist were, oh, about 1 in 1.6 million. In 2001, adds Szalavitz, the chance of dying in an American terror attack was .0012 percent. Marriage stats of that caliber only exist in the apocalyptic post-gay marriage world in James Dobson's head.

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  1. What Newsweek omits from this retraction is that the probability of a woman over 40 marrying a terrorist is at an all time high.

  2. It’s amazing that in this day and age talk of “marriage” still focuses on women as if they’re the only ones who want to commit.

    I know quite a few men in their late thirties who would love to find a woman to marry; and quite a few women of that same age who have no desire to. So, Newsweek, what are the chances a single 40-year-old man will get married/have kids, etc.?

  3. Does this mean that the media and culture were vastly exaggerating the hazard to women who chose to delay marriage in order to pursue their careers?

    Methinks there are some 90s-era feminists who deserve some apologies.

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