Beware Missing Signals

AshleyMadison.com, a personals site designed to facilitate extramarital affairs … enjoyed another big boost this week, following Father’s Day, when CEO Noel Biderman says men often feel underappreciated. Traffic to the site tripled on Monday. (Biderman says there’s a similar boost in interest from neglected wives and girlfriends after Valentine’s Day.)

That is from Time.  It is interesting that it is Father’s day when men feel unappreciated.  Although Valentines Day is officially “for lovers” we all know it is far more for men to signal to women than vice versa.  So on what day do kidless men feel most underappreciated?

GD Star Rating
loading...
Tagged as:
Trackback URL:
  • Jonathan

    If they’re single, then it’s still likely Valentine’s Day. Otherwise, perhaps a summer holiday like July 4th or Memorial Day?

    • Jonathan

      On further reflection, I would think Christmas, when you have no children to watch opening presents.

  • HH

    Sundays…

  • AGB

    Depending on the specifics of their relationship and their own desire to have children, attached men without kids could easily still feel most underappreciated around Father’s Day. Hard to study, but I imagine birthdays would be another one.

  • http://www.intrade.com John Delaney

    I actually think that kidless men feel underappreciated on Fathers Day also but may have similar feelings on Xmas day.

  • Douglas Knight

    Is it the people who don’t get enough of a signal on the holiday turn to cheating, or is it that the holiday inflates their standards, making them disappointed in the following days?

  • http://web.mac.com/redbird/ Gordon Worley

    Every day without sex or the promise of future sex.

    • http://brightinstrument.blogspot.com Nick Novitski

      But surely sex, promised or actual, doesn’t perfectly correspond to feelings of accomplishment, satisfaction, or due appreciation. Some people report having stressful or humiliating sexual encounters, and some sexually satisfied people complain that they are disregarded in other ways.

      My guess is also Christmas.

  • KJW

    birthday perhaps.

    What is it that fathers missed and what is it they look for to compensate?

  • mikem

    This reminds me of the headline I read this morning about how the stock market had it’s “biggest weekly gains since march”. What the headline doesn’t tell you is that the two weeks prior saw a sizable drop, so this week’s ‘gain’ is mostly just a recovery of recent short term losses.

    For this affair site, maybe it’s not so much that there is a boost following father’s day, but a recovery to normal levels. There might be a sizable drop in usage on the run-up to Father’s day, as father’s feel guilty and have a boost in their sense of traditional family values, which evaporates once the event commemorating those values is over.

    The valentine’s day stat is also interesting. I’ve known several people in relationships who wait until after Valentine’s day (or New Year’s Eve) to start looking for alternative partners because they want something guaranteed for Valentine’s day; what actually happens on Valentine’s day is irrelevant to their subsequent cheating/break-up. Heck, this ‘tripling’ occurred on a monday, so it might even simply be a post-weekend/monday-effect, and might happen every week.

    Point is, we don’t know, because we don’t know the base rates. All we have is propaganda from the company’s CEO.

  • Stephen

    mikem: Ignore the word ‘tripling’ and the CEOs armchair justification for the boosts and we have a description of an event that matches intuition fairly well and which we have no reason to doubt: traffic to AshleyMadison.com increases between Father’s day and the day after.

    It would be nice to have base rates, but we aren’t empty handed without them.

    We do know one base rate though: the base rate of willingness to cheat of our sample is 100%.
    And which of these sounds like a cognition of someone ready to cheat:
    “Father’s day is coming, so I’m not going to seek sex outside my relationship until I see how that pans out.”
    “Father’s day passed and left me feeling underappreciated. I need someone new who will appreciate me.”

    It has been my experience that cheaters (or people seriously considering cheating) have huge relationship discount rates (or they perceive themselves as having them). That may be definitional. But it means they don’t “do” delayed gratification well, yet they do respond strongly and immediately to negative emotional stimuli within their already unhappy relationships, such as being neglected on Father’s day. Remember, everyone involved is already prepared to cheat.

    It seems stranger to assume cheaters become good at subduing their impulses before major relationship-related holidays than to assume that a cheater behaves like a cheater all the time, but moreso after these holidays.

    “But surely sex, promised or actual, doesn’t perfectly correspond to feelings of accomplishment, satisfaction, or due appreciation. Some people report having stressful or humiliating sexual encounters, and some sexually satisfied people complain that they are disregarded in other ways.”

    Your brain wants your body to have sex and it will accept no substitute stimulation gladly. Feelings of sexual under-appreciation must be set apart from other disappointments; they have a unique psychological signature. Remember, these people aren’t cheating because they lost their job or because their dog died.

    Gordon nailed it: “[Kidless men feel underappreciated] every day without sex or the promise of future sex.”

  • DPH

    Just getting around to reading this…

    Alternative explanation, rather than feeling under-appreciated, what about them feeling old, and that life is moving past them, kind of a realization that leads to a mini-mid-life-crisis?

    do sportscar sales spike after father’s day?