Scandals come and go, but true facts are forever

October 18, 1998|By Susan Reimer

WITH WORD THAT Hustler publisher Larry Flynt will pay $1 million to any woman who can prove that she had sex with a member of Congress, columnist Susan Reimer has taken a brief leave of absence to pursue this important development.

Reimer reports that she will attempt to get Flynt to pick up the tab for a pair of movie tickets for her and her husband - if the happy couple can agree on a movie.

While she is busy negotiating financial sponsorship of her marriage, Reimer has left the following true facts to consider.

* Two-thirds of mothers surveyed for the book "The Sacrificial Mother," by Carin Rubenstein, say they don't feel comfortable making themselves happy.

* Forty percent of mall shoppers stop at the food court, spend 24 minutes there and shop for one more hour, according to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.

* Only 4 percent of women and 1 percent of men claim to be virgins on their wedding night, says a survey of 3,000 engaged women in Bride's magazine.

* Men spend an average of 81 minutes a day driving and women spend 64 minutes a day, according to the Department of Transportation's Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey. This is more time than the average American spends cooking or eating and more than twice as much time as the average parent spends with his or her children, according to the American's Use of Time Survey by the University of Maryland.

Almost two-thirds of all car trips are made alone, making it the most important source of quiet time for Americans.

* The average 29-year-old working woman with a college degree will lose $900,000 over her career thanks to the gap between men's and women's paychecks, according to the AFL-CIO.

* A survey of parents conducted by iVillage.com found that getting their kids to bed on time is the most important school-year routine. Keeping a clean room was the least important.

* Husbands and wives are arguing about the same things today that they argued about in the 1970s, according to the editors of the Roper Reports: what to watch on TV, money, whether to go out and with which friends. But there appears to be more of an atmosphere of compromise. The most frequent response to questions about such disagreements were "it depends on whose turn it is" and "it varies."

Women continue to win the battles over how the house is kept and clothing spending. Men are losing ground in front of the television. In 1989, 30 percent of wives won control of the remote; today, it is just about even.

* Most children benefit from mothers' participation in the labor force, enjoying greater educational achievement and ending up in more challenging jobs than children of mothers who don't work, according to Alan Booth, professor of sociology and human development at Penn State, and Paul Amato, professor of sociology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

However, working overtime does not carry the same benefits for sons as it does for daughters. While the girls demonstrate higher self-esteem because their mothers were strong models of self-sufficiency, boys don't get the same benefit from this model of female achievement and have more to lose when Mom is away for long hours.

* And the truest true fact of all: You could wear a spacesuit while adding bleach to the washer and you would still end up with splatter marks on your jeans.

Pub Date: 10/18/98

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