Simon Cone remembers the days when his wife Haley would light up when he walked into the room. These days when a smile and loving look appear on his wife’s face, Cone knows the cause is Sporty, the couple’s canine companion.
New research shows that Cone’s experience is becoming more common, as women increasingly prefer canine companions to husbands. “By age 43, about 72 percent of married women say they derive more joy from the family dog than their husband,” says Dr. Ima Pepper, sociologist and author of “The Future Is in My Head.” As late as 2005, men ranked higher than the family pet all the way until their late 60s.
“What’s interesting is the link to technology, because women’s preference for dogs seems to move in lockstep with technology becoming simpler and easier to use,” adds Pepper.
Simpler technology changes social contract
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates says he foresaw the link between technological complexity and male significance in society. “Do you really think all those missing .dll files, print spool errors and volume label syntax errors were mistakes? Microsoft gave men something to do that women perceived they needed. Unlike the user-pandering communists at a company let’s just call ‘Apple,’ we helped maintain the social contract that identifies women as users and men as network administrators.”
Pepper sees more trouble ahead for men. “If you think things are bad now with women anthropomorphizing dogs, just wait until that cute-as-a-button family robot shows up,” she said. “Men desperately need a new, barely functioning technology they can use to demonstrate their usefulness.”