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Archetypes

archetypes

Law 17

Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability

Humans are creatures of habit with an insatiable need to see familiarity in other people’s actions. Your predictability gives them a sense of control. Turn the tables: Be deliberately unpredictable. Behavior that seems to have no consistency or purpose will keep them off-balance, and they will wear themselves out trying to explain your moves. Taken to an extreme, this strategy can intimidate and terrorize.

In Law 17 Robert Greene hits upon a human dynamic that has much broader implications than a useful tool for power. Of course Dread – whether a passive acknowledgement or an overt display – is rooted in this principle, but the fundamental dynamic is that humans have an inherent ability to perceive patterns in nature.

It’s comforting for us to know what to expect in both people and our environments. It gives us a certain sense of security to have things remain consistent, but it also allows us to better pick out and isolate exceptions to that consistency. In a herd of brown cows we can better avoid or prefer the lone purple cow in the field.

It’s important to understand this basic need in humans because it’s both an aid and a hinderance to a Red Pill awareness. Dread works because when it’s applied, or even when it’s simply a new perception, what a woman is being forced to recognize is an inconsistency in what she’s come to expect about a man she’s familiar with. When a husband (or a wife) takes on an interest in hitting the gym where previously he’d had none before, the imaginings this prompts is the triggered result of seeing an inconsistency in a previously reliable behavior pattern.

We are creatures of habit, so when that habit is replaced by another behavior this then becomes the purple cow in a field of brown cows. I’ve stated this in many prior posts, but familiarity, comfort and rapport are anti-seductive elements in a man’s Game. This is one of the first areas I try to address with men trapped in a sexless LTR. Most Beta conditioned men believe that a woman needs to be comfortable with him before she’s willing to sleep with him and are then dumbfounded by how quickly she bangs the hot guy in the foam cannon party in Cancun on Spring Break.

These men believe that consistency in behavior will lead to their becoming intimate with a woman – this is a principle of Beta Game that’s reinforced by women with a ‘plan’ for him. However, it’s important to bear in mind that this comfort and familiarity is based on establishing a pattern of behavioral consistency; a pattern women really have no capacity to appreciate.

That’s not cut on women per se, but women’s lack of being able to appreciate a man’s consistency is founded in the same human want to experience security in the environment. Thus the anomaly is what’s appreciated; the ‘hawt’ guy in the right place at the right time who “she wouldn’t normally do this with”.

Bucking the Meta

Men’s unlearned, deductive Game derives from efforts to appear unique amongst the herd. This is the foundation of all Game really. Early PUAs identified the base utility in principles like Peacocking, being Cocky & Funny and mastering the art of Negging because their willingness to experiment with the boldness necessary to do so (often with women they perceived were above their SMV level) set them apart from the masses of men who’s Game was based on the comfort, rapport and familiarity women had told them would make them attractive all their lives.

These early PUA were bucking the meta game of the time. Women were (and mostly still are) accustomed to being pandered to by ‘Nice’ guys, ready and pre-programmed to defer to, respect and pedestalize them by virtue of their being a woman. Thus the anomaly, the man undisposed to that deference, who reverses her expectations of him qualifying to her becomes the purple cow.

Statistically Beta men are the common herd, but this isn’t what they believe of themselves. What that Beta  believes his herd is is what makes his efforts fail and traps him in the plan of the Feminine Imperative. He believes he is the purple cow, but that belief is what makes him common.

That Beta man makes his efforts about adhering to what a fem-centric culture has convinced him will make him unique. He believes he’s bucking the meta; a meta environment he’s convinced is overwhelmingly populated with insensitive Alpha assholes. He believes the Alpha Men (women love to hate) are the common herd and the more he is alike with women and his behavior is more consistent than the Alpha ‘douchebags’ the more he will appear unique amongst them.

Archetypes

I’ve been asked on many occasions about my impressions of Vox Day’s now manosphere-common referencing of different sub-types of men as Alpha, Beta, Delta, Sigma, Omega, etc. I had Goldmund ask me about these classifications when we had dinner last week and I had to admit that I’m much more of a reductionist when it comes to delineating and Alpha mindset from a Beta mindset.

I’ve always been impressed with Vox’s thinking and observations, and I do think his classifications have a definite merit as useful models for abstract personality types, but I have to also temper that by saying these classifications are by no means absolutes. I say that because I know that humans have an insatiable desire to see consistency and familiarity in people. For the better part that want to interpret patterns is generally reliable in predicting behavior, but that isn’t to say personality is ever static.

Robert Greene works his own personality archetypes into the first half of his book The Art of Seduction. He too categorizes different seduction types in an effort to make their strategies more understandable – The Dandy, The Natural, The Rake, etc. And again, these are very useful archetypes upon which Greene builds and applies examples of how each uses various seduction strategies more or less effectively.

While generalizations are always a necessary tool in a broader understanding of a dynamic it’s important to grasp that the archetype you believe you embody are neither static nor deterministic. As I’ve stated before, Alpha and Beta are mindsets, not demographics. We’ve recently had an interesting debate about how uncommon it is for men to break their Beta cycle, and how rare it is for a man to change his stars. I’d like to address this by saying that personality is never static.

Over the years I’ve evolved from naive Beta high school chump to unwitting Alpha semi-pro rock star, to simpering Omega crushed by a BPD woman, to a lesser Alpha husband / father, to an Alpha businessman, artist, and successful brand owner – those are demographics. You could’ve placed me in many of Vox and Greene’s personality types along my progression to who I am today, and my Game evolved with what I adapted to and what proved successful (or so I thought) for me then.

But when I distill it down to an essence, what shifted for me in all these instances wasn’t the label I would’ve applied to myself, but rather what mindset I adopted at that time – Alpha or Beta. The results of my Alpha or Beta impression of myself became what I was. This is why I’m more of a reductionist in this respect. A want for consistency makes archetypes comforting, but there is never growth, there is never arousal or stimulation in comfort.

Equalism in the Meta

I should also address that the prevailing ideology of egalitarian equalism hates the idea of easy archetypes (even though it fluidly applies its own). The easy observation of course is that if all are equal blank slates then categorizing people by personality type smacks of profiling and denying the individual in a state of equality. However the real flaw in the equalist philosophy comes from an ego-investment in a blank slate state that doesn’t allow for ‘types’.

While critics in the manosphere see this categorization as deterministic and incapable of changing, the equalist chafes at the idea that people could be too predictably alike in type and behavior.

Preferences

In Women’s Physical Standards I briefly outlined the concept of men’s fetishization of their ‘type’ preferences when it comes to women:

You see, men will very readily cater their physical sexual “preferences” in accordance with what has proven sexually successful for them in past experiences. In other words, men tend to return to the same watering hole they found to be plentiful in the past. These preferences of convenience manifest themselves as ‘fetishes’ for men. And you don’t even need all that extensive research to prove this.  All one need do is search the vast variety of porn available catering to the physical attributes that men will fetishize. Big boobs, small boobs, big ass, small ass, every hair color of the rainbow, shaved snatch, hairy snatch, teen girls to MILFs and older, tan, pale, ultra-thin to the ubiquitous BBWs (Big Beautiful women). Ladies, name the physical attribute(s), and there’s a fan-group just waiting to bang you. Rule 34 was never more provable than in men’s willingness to fuck damn near any physical demographic of women – just ask the female midgets catering to that fetish of porn.

Men tend to stick with the same breeding circumstances that proved successful in the past. Again, this is another function of the want of a predictability in pattern and behavior. It’s the Watering Hole Theory as I stated here; we go back to what worked for us before.

Men’s deductive, rational nature when it comes to problem solving is both a blessing and a curse in this respect. The problem inherent in repeating the pattern in order to extract a similar success runs the risk of a man being trapped by what he believes are his “natural ”  preference for a certain ‘type’ of woman – the type who would eventually fuck him.

We may fetishize these preferences and thus men believe their only options for sex and intimacy with a woman get pared down to archetypes of women – Goths, Plain Janes, single mothers, big “beautiful” women, etc. become the ‘type’ that will fuck him. They become his ‘preference’, but in the same way men consider the deterministic nature of applying archetypes to themselves, rarely do they consider the archetype of woman their conditions and self-image predispose them to.

Most men don’t see the link between physical types and personality types. In other words they don’t really grasp why they like what they like. A fem-centric society, with the imperative of keeping a man ignorant of it, will offer him the easy answer that his desires, his very arousal cues, aren’t ‘natural’ at all. Rather they’re the result of a nebulous “society” programming him to only respond to what makes a woman less able to compete and consolidate on a man.

In reality physical and personality preferences can differ according to what was priorly successful for him, as well as what a man understands about himself (maturity, SMV peak potential) and what women have or lack in contrast to that.

Law 25

Re-Create Yourself

Do not accept the roles that society foists on you. Re-create yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience. Be the master of your own image rather than letting others define if for you. Incorporate dramatic devices into your public gestures and actions – your power will be enhanced and your character will seem larger than life.

I began this essay with the truth that others will always want to see a consistency in your behavior. It’s interesting when you consider this and how flashes of Alpha tend to both shock and excite women expecting a Beta response from you in a confrontational instance.

Both men and women want what they expect from you consistently. Granted, the comfort of the pattern is part of human nature, but the categorization that comes from it is often a way to keep you trapped in the role others expect of you. One reason I advocate that there is no “Beta with a side of Alpha” is because the inconsistent side of that equation is never believable. Women want that consistency to keep you in the role they expect of you.

Men struggling in Dead Bedroom marriages, or ones in which the power/authority dynamic defaults to their wives fight an unenviable, uphill battle to reclaim the Alpha respect their wives really want from them. It’s a difficult situation because the believability of that change doesn’t happen in an instant, it takes the progressive establishment of consistent behavior changes. A sudden switch from Beta servitude to Alpha respect from a woman never happens. What’s necessary is a persistent, slow, believable change in the pattern she’s expecting.


Interview with Goldmund

Last week I got a tweet from fellow manosphere blogger Goldmund Unleashed informing me that he’d be making a slight detour to his ‘American Tour‘ as it were and he wanted to visit me in Reno. Far be it from me not to play the gracious host, I put him up at one of my clubs for a couple nights and we got together for dinner and talked a bit.

After we’d finished and were heading back to the club Goldmund asked if I’d be down for an impromptu interview. My time was limited, but I thought what the hell, and we ended up doing a quick half hour talking on the video of his SLR camera and a little mic he had. It was early evening and the high dessert was cooling off so I just pulled over to a spot I thought might do.

What follows here is what we discussed.

I generally don’t do video ‘appearances’, but Goldmund is doing what I can only describe as touring documentary of the manosphere as he makes his circuit around the United States, so I felt compelled to do this one. He’s making a herculean effort in this ‘On the Road’ trip and I had to make sure his stay here was comfortable and worthwhile. This isn’t some new foray in my going public; I thought my readers would appreciate this.

On Goldmund’s blog Jack Raynor left this comment and I thought it might make for an interesting discussion:

On the topic of being, instead of acting (which I’m 100% in agreement with), my current position is that this isn’t something that is possible for all men, or even “most”…

Just like the behavioral differences between males and females are the results of inborn traits (and these traits’ adaptations to the environment), not just “socialization” (the blank slate hypothesis), the behavioral differences from one male to the next are likewise the results of such inborn traits. These things can be…tweaked, but how far?

I, for example, have had an easy time with the red pill because I’ve have always had a rather shallow emotional response. My own brother, however, has always had a terrible temper. (He takes after my father much more in that regard.) As he’s matured he’s learned to get it under control a little, but it’s still there. He’s even gotten into Buddhism, but it hasn’t suppressed it completely. The difference between us is significant enough that he claims that I’m a natural born Buddhist, even though I don’t know the first thing about Buddhism…

This thought of mine originated while getting more involved in the conversation on r/theredpill. I’ve observed individuals who talk about the fact that, try as they might, they can’t get their emotions under control enough to keep up the act for long periods of time , much less to simply “be”.

Any thoughts on this?

Let me know what you think.


Our Sisters’ Keeper

sister's_keeper

“Men are to blame for women’s behavior. The Feminine Imperative only has as much power as men have allowed it to have. Hypergamy (open or otherwise) wouldn’t be the unrestrained social juggernaut it’s become without men’s complicity or accomplice.”

This quote is a go-to rationalization I read a lot from women just coming to terms with their first taste of the Red Pill. Unfortunately it’s also become a common refrain among certain sets in the manosphere; this rationale is usually particular to the moral absolutist strains of the manosphere.

When I read it from women it’s kind of ironic considering it usually comes from women who share in the same moral absolutism, who were “so different when they were in college”, but they’ve had their Epiphany and “got right with God.” They often cling to the Strong Independent® identity for themselves, but turn over a rock and show them the visceral, observable, ugly truth of unfettered Hypergamy and then, then it’s men’s partial or total responsibility for fostering women’s conditions.

It becomes men’s fault for not having the fortitude and presence of mind to correct them when they needed it – never mind the lifetime of Blue Pill conditioning that taught them judging women made them misogynistic assholes. I understand axiom that men and women get the men and women they deserve, but I wanted to explore this blame game dynamic a bit more.

From Validation Hunting & The Jenny Bahn Epiphany:

The Feminine Imperative relies on memes and conventions which shift the ownership of women’s personal liabilities for their sexual strategy to men.

When men are blamed for the negative consequences of women’s sexual strategy it helps to blunt the painful truths that Jenny Bahn is (to her credit) honestly confronting in her article at 30 years old and the SMV balance shifts towards enabling men’s capacity to effect their own sexual strategy.

As I was writing the Adaptations series it occurred to me that men on the ends of both the Alpha and Beta spectrum adapt their own sexual strategies in accord with the sexual marketplace and how that environment dictates the approach to what seems the most efficient.

As I stated in the last post, Hypergamy is nothing if not pragmatic, and efficient. However, men’s adapting to the “market” dictates of Hypergamy has to be equally efficient if that guy is to fulfill his own sexual imperative. Pragmatism doesn’t have time for how things should be. You make the best play with what’s in front of you.

Just to illustrate, for about 25 years or so, popular culture strongly pointed men towards a sexual strategy that could be defined as Beta Game. Play nice, respect a woman by default, be supportive of her self-image and ambitions to the sacrifice of your own, don’t judge her and do your utmost to identify with the feminine, was the call to action that, deductively, should make a man more attractive to a woman.

Furthermore, the intrasexual combat amongst men for sexual qualification was (at least ostensibly) focused on out-supporting, out-sympathizing, out-emoting and out-identifying with the feminine more so than other men. To set oneself apart from “other guys” the seemingly most strategic tact was to accept what women said they wanted from men. To pragmatically effect this men gladly joined the chorus of ridiculing conventional masculinity; denouncing and resisting the very element that would in fact have set them apart from the nebulous “other guys“.

So while this is an illustration of men’s deductive pragmatism in their adapting to the SMP, it’s also an illustration of how that adaptation can work against men’s best interests. Between the 80s, 90s and into the early 2000s this adaptation involved men following women’s lead to systematically turn conventional, positive masculinity into ridiculous or gay-associations of “macho-ness”. Later, defining the very idea of masculinity would progress from ambiguousness to women being the sole authority of what masculinity should mean to a man.

Women and Moral Agency

For as long as I’ve read and commented on Christo-Manosphere blogs a common thread has cropped up again and again; the debate as to whether women have the same moral agency or the same accountability for it as men. I’ve always found it fascinating because for all my dealing in cold harsh observable facts I’ve never paused to consider that women might have some excusable reason for their ethically challenged behavior. In my own estimate Hypergamy isn’t inherently bad or good – it just depends on whether you find yourself on the sharp end of it.

My point here isn’t to reheat that debate, but rather to see how it feeds into the rationale that men are in some way responsible for what contemporary women have become, and how they’ll progress if men don’t assume some responsibility for women’s behaviors.

Hypergamy is pragmatic, but it’s also inherently duplicitous. It’s unjust and unforgivable to a guy who doesn’t measure up to his burden of performance. When you consider the War Brides dynamic it’s downright reprehensible, but we have to also consider the pragmatism in that dynamic. From a male perspective we want to apply masculine concepts of honor and justice to women’s action – and in the past there was a high price to pay for infractions of it – but are we presuming our concept of justice is one that’s universally common to that of women?

Much in the same way we were Blue Pill conditioned to presume that our idealistic concept of love was mutually shared by women I would propose that men’s concepts of justice, honor, and (from an intrasexual perspective) respect are dissimilar from those of women.

For women, whatever actions serve Hypergamy are justifiable actions.

All that needs to be sorted out is reconciling those action with the concept of justice held by men. In the intersexual arena, what best serves men’s imperatives is justice. Up until the sexual revolution the balance between the sexes’ concepts of justice was mitigated by mutual compromise – each had something to lose and something to gain by considering the other sex’s imperatives.

For roughly the past 70 years this balance between the two concepts has listed heavily to the feminine. Our age has been defined by women’s unilateral and ubiquitous control of Hypergamy, and as such it is women’s sexual imperatives that is biologically and sociologically setting the course for future generations.

Along with that unprecedented control comes the prioritizing of women’s concept of justice above that of men’s. We can see this evidenced in every law, social convention or social justice movement that entitles women to rights and privileges that free them of any accountability for the negative consequence their Hypergamously based behavior would hold them to in a concept of justice that men would have.

I would also argue that women’s inherent solipsism reinforces this separation of concepts of justice between the sexes.

Rivelino had a good take on this on Twitter:

1 The woman is always the victim

2 Nothing is her fault

3 She is not responsible for her actions

4 A man is to blame

To which I’ll add a 5th: Any fault is always a ‘strength’.

The problem I see in assigning the blame of women’s behavior to men’s lack of control is that, presently, men have no real control nor does men’s concept of justice align with that of women. There’s a manosphere idiom that says women are the gatekeepers of sex while men are the gatekeepers of commitment. I’m not sure I completely agree with that.

That’s not to be defeatist, or an endorsement of a MGTOW course of action, but it is to say that if a man has neither the sex appeal to be a short term sexual prospect nor the provisioning appeal to be a long term investment, women feel entirely justified in acting in the best interests of Hypergamy and controlling his capacity for commitment as well.

And yes, that’s pretty fucked up if you, again, find yourself on the sharp end of it. Men’s adapting to the intersexual conditions set by women isn’t some deterministic prospect, but the idea that the mass majority of men would be responsible for the state women find themselves in is ludicrous. There will always be men willing to accept the sexual dictates of women because it serves their breeding imperatives. It’s good for him personally and it’s good for the species.

There will never be some global Lysistrata where men organize in solidarity, promising not to fuck another woman until they comply with demands that would place the Masculine Imperative above that of the feminine’s. Our own biology guarantees it.

Personal Responsibility

On a final note here, whenever I delve into the ethical implications of Red Pill awareness I invariably run into the personal responsibility equation. I do my best to make as coldly rational an observation of dynamics I see and allow my readers to make their own judgements. However, those observation are never intended to excuse the behaviors men and women find themselves prone to acting out.

There is always a want on the part of either sex to see their concept of justice enacted on those who would act against it. Thus you get honor killing in the Muslim world, and you have men’s access to the DNA testing of children they suspect aren’t their own denied in the “best interest of the child.”

So are men to blame for the conditions they find their women in? Are we our sisters’ keepers, hamstrung by our own culpability to actually help them be better women? Or do they bear the responsibility to conform to our perspective of justice and police the worst impulses of a Hypergamy most are only peripherally aware of?

 


Hats Off to the Bull

open_hypergamy_cartoon

CH maxim: The feminist goal is removing all constraints on female sexuality while maximally restricting male sexuality

The following is a story from the Red Pill subredd:

My all too true story goes like this: years ago in my divorce my wife basically stopped having sex with me. The lack of sex was in line with her seemingly having a problem with anything I did (be it how I dressed, how I told jokes, and more). …Note: sex was once every two months or so if that.

I tried to talk to her about how it seemed we just weren’t getting along that well. She said we were getting along just fine. The only problem was me. Per my wife I had UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS about married life after 15 years of being together and with kids running around. Her work demands also helped make sex a low priority for her. She was too tired in the evening. The kids were up in the morning. The weekends were needed to catch up on house stuff and spend time with the kids. Vacations were also “kid” time. The twist she put on it was DIDN’T I LOVE THE KIDS?

Another problem I had (per my wife) was that was I was TOO SENSITIVE. My “whining” about the lack of sex and closeness was proof of this.

[Game note: If I were to consider another Iron Rule of Tomassi it would be this: Never complain, whine, negotiate, or otherwise attempt to appeal to a woman’s reason by explaining your need for sex, intimacy or “closeness”. Nothing demonstrates lower value and reconfirms a woman’s Beta perception of you than openly complaining, or explaining, about your sexless status.

This is not exclusively for married men. Rank Beta men will often make these “dryspell appeals” to female friends who then talk to their other friends and pass on your DLV impression to them.]

Unfortunately, I bought her story line and internalized it. I self-censored, essentially stopping my complaining about no sex and just accepted it. I was less accepting of her poor day-to-day treatment of me but even on that point I tried not to complain too much (not wanting to come across as “whiny”).

And I was pro-active about trying to make our marriage better. I tried my best to be positive about things. I even kept a diary to keep myself honest. I did more chores around the house. I more and more let her have things her way. And I was already in quite good physical shape. I made myself even more so.

And the end result of all this? Turns out my wife had been having secret affairs for years. She was having sex 4 or 5 times a week with her lovers (lunch time, quickies after work in a park, the beach locker, the driveway at night, etc.) Her story line on “my problems” had mostly just been bullshit to keep me at bay so she could continue her secret affairs. As she told me at the tail end of our divorce in a moment of candor, the “forbidden fruit” of extramarital sex was “very exciting”. Her longest term lover (3 years) had just been a play thing and only ended when he asked her to marry him (not realizing he was also being “cheated” on with another lover my wife had).

Next up is TRM reader Razorwire who came strong with this comment from the Adaptations II thread:

[…] I’d say by now the societal and personal risks are negligible for pretty much any decision made by women. So these days, the delay of the beta-bucks model is extended to encompass a starter marriage or having children. The cuckold window is wide open.

I’ve seen this in fellow genXers who actually married young (by todays standards) but of course those men turned out to be jerks or were too irresponsible or selfish (all of the things that got her wet) so they divorced and she quickly locked down the beta-bux who was likely her “friend” back in college or some “nice” co-worker she met in her three-year career with the insurance company.

I went to one such wedding a couple of summers ago. Now that they have a kid and she’s realized the full potential of the AF/BB transition, she can’t (or doesn’t bother to) hide her disdain for his niceness and general lack of alpha behavior. He’s a dead man walking.

On that note, I caught a trailer of an upcoming Will Ferrell film: “Daddy’s Home.” Frames it up nicely.

While I’m sure they will have some hollywood make-believe ending in which the biological dad realizes his loss, has to confront manhood (as defined by the FI), and is jealous/admiring of the stepdad for his honorable provisioning of the kids, the interesting part of the trailer was how it focused on the two “dads” competing for the love and attention of the kids. I’m sure it is funny, but also telling.

Not only is the Sandberg stepdad supposed to be a just-in-time dad to fulfill the equalist needs of the post-wall (and in this case – post reproduction) wife, but he is also expected to pedestalize and perform for the offspring of the cad in order to earn (and keep) his place as the settle-down guy in the eyes of the wife. He must keep winning his way through the consolation bracket for a wife who has not just achieved the AF/BB transition, but has done so after capturing the genetics of the Alpha. He doesn’t even “get” the beta bucks prize of breeding.

The dwindling societal pressure to honor marital commitments and minimal shame of divorce has allowed the delay of beta bucks to blow past birth control in terms of prevention into what is now birth control in terms of actualizing female preference for the AF offspring – with rapidly decreasing risk/impact on her ability to secure the Beta Bux stepdad or post-baby-daddy husband (because now marriage means something to her.)

With, of course, big daddy gov’t as a stand in. But I’d reckon that the attractive single moms are not struggling at all to parlay into BB.

Because they aren’t his kids the stepdad’s burden of performance includes purchasing/exchanging resources for the children’s love which is one more condition he must continually meet in order to maintain her conditional love. Talk about a fleeting proposition.

Peruse any online dating site and you will see the teaser advertising for this coming from all single moms. It’s really just “must love dogs” on crack but often with more bait n switch mechanisms.

Meanwhile the perpetual competition (between you and him) merely deepens the resource pool for her to leverage into her lifestyle and security.

One man is operating under the threatpoint of divorce, the other under the legal extortive aspects of the post-divorce financial fatherhood model. Both must pay to play. Both are subject to her approval, her terms – backed by the social and legal structure. As such, neither are actually fathers, but just offshoots of motherhood channeled through provisioning and conditional exchanges.

I’d say even with the extensive provisioning (the kids in this flick have it all), the kids are still getting the shit end of it. Two marginalized dads is still less than one Father, one marriage. They are just being indoctrinated into the consumerist, fem-centric, self-indulgent model of modern marriage.

A mom who goes full AF/BB with kids in tow may get sold as the heroines journey, but it still strikes me as deeply selfish.

We had an interesting discussion in this thread about modern cuckoldry and the rise of it becoming ‘fetishized’ for men as some new form of ‘alternative’ lifestyle. I’ll get into the grisly biological nuts and bolts of this later, but before I do the practical reasonings for a societally acceptable cuckoldry need to be highlighted.

I chose Razorwire’s comment and the story above to illustrate a fundamental Red Pill truth – Hypergamy is nothing if not pragmatic.

In a larger respect, a woman optimizing Hypergamy follows a predictable schedule, but as Razorwire points out, on a psychological level it also builds fail-safe contingencies into that schedule. Root level, largely subconscious, survival/parental investment insecurities and long term insurances against them drives this pragmatism. Thus we see operative social conventions carefully prepared to excuse and absolve women’s duplicitous behaviors in both a social and personal scope.

What benefits a female sexual strategy is forgivable and prudent in a fem-centric social order no matter what the personal consequences are. Women’s default victimhood status is their strongest insurance against those consequences while what benefits men’s sexual strategy is characterized as selfish, juvenile or criminal. These characterizations, and the social conventions that are an extension of them, are part of the pragmatism of Hypergamy.

When you look at the time line I presented in the Preventative Medicine book and series, and you get to the stages just before and just after a woman’s Epiphany Phase – the phase at which a woman’s subconscious understanding that her SMV decline has begun in earnest – you begin to see a bigger picture; a meta overview of the necessity of keeping Blue Pill men ignorant of their long term role in that strategy.

While women increasingly embrace Open Hypergamy and become increasingly more confident of their capacity to satisfy both sides of it (AF/BB) due to a presumed expectation for men to also openly support it, there comes less expectation to try to optimize Hypergamy with only one man.

The Future of Hypergamy is Cuckoldry

The following quote came from a fantastic essay one of Heartiste’s readers, Chris, submitted regarding the recent gay marriage ruling:

I don’t know many men who would sign up to an institution where the partners are expected/morally obliged to be emotionally faithful but not sexually faithful. It is much easier for women to get casual sex than men, so any man signing himself up to that deal would be signing himself up for cuckoldry and cuckoldry is the absolute worst thing that can happen to a man pursuing a long-term mating strategy, (and it is the evolved moral norms surrounding the long-term mating strategy which marriage as a cultural institution is/was developed around/for.)

Of course, if people became more knowledgeable about evo-bio/evo-psych and instead started calling marriage essentially what it is, the social-codification of the long-term mating strategy in humans, then this concern wouldn’t really matter. (No worrying about importing norms anti-thetical to the reproductive interests of one party in the relationship and subsequently which disincentivizes the pursuit of the strategy from that party as its definition is strictly evo-bio/evo-psych.)

In The Myth of the Good Guy I put forth the idea that while women would ideally like to have both the Alpha Fucks and Beta Bucks aspects of Hypergamy satisfied by the same man, women today don’t even have the expectation that this is in anyway possible, much less is it preferable to them anymore. The expectation becomes one of the Sandberg plan; expect to bang the bad boys, the Alphas and the thrill providers while your SMV is high, and expect a good, persistent and reliable ‘Dad’ to be ready to forgive and forget all that before you’re 30.

What Chris digs into in that essay isn’t so much about gays being married, but rather the fundamental restructuring of the nature of marriage. Religious issues only serve as a convenient distraction, the nuts and bolts of it is that this edict fundamentally restructures the legal aspects of male/female marriage. When this restructuring questions and impedes the access to long-term resource provisioning for divorced women (initiators of 70+% of divorces), that’s when you’ll see a truly misandric inequality in hetero vs. homosexual marriage arrangements. Men will still need to be forced into indenturement and forced to cooperate with a binding commitment to Hypergamy in the face of alternative marriages not based on monogamy.

Indeed, what man would sign up for that arrangement? Particularly in an era when women (not the Red Pill) blatantly lay bare the duplicity of their sexual strategies.

Limiting Dick

Around the time I was writing the second book I’d gotten into a Twitter debate with several feminists on a hashtag called #askmenanything or something to that effect. The pretense was of course to “ask men” all the insipid meme questions and answer them for men with feminist boilerplate. Once the Red Pill forums and manosphere proper got involved the tag quickly switched footing and feminists lost interest.

It was during one of these exchanges that I’d quoted Heartiste’s maxim from the start of this post to a particular feminist; Feminism’s end goal is removing all constraints on female sexuality while maximally restricting male sexuality.

Her response was an incredulous, “So you think all feminism is about is limiting dick?!”

It was of course the type of simple dismissive I’ve come to expect from the fem-powerment generation, but it sums up the dynamic pretty well. It’s always been my take that feminism in all of its waves has always been another social arm of the Feminine Imperative; which has always been an imperative driven by the best interests of optimizing women’s Hypergamous choices.

So yes, feminism is in fact about ‘limiting dick’ by socially, legislatively, personally and psychologically facilitating the selecting out and opting in on what best serves a woman’s short term and long term sexual strategy needs – throughout her entire life, not just around her Epiphany Phase. She needs the Alpha bull for his raw sexuality, dominance and confidence, and she needs the Beta comfort, investment and reliability that her bull is unwilling or unable to give her.

In this new age of proactive and reactive cuckoldry, men are expected to put up and shut up with playing the role of one or the other. In our thread conversation about cuckold fetishes the idea was put out that there’s some sick or deviant mindset in which a man gets off on watching his wife get pounded by another man. Keep in mind the possibility that the rise in popularity of cuckold porn may be an extension of this new paradigm.

The cuckold fetish narrative follows the same Hypergamous script as any other “alternative lifestyle”. As I mentioned in the Adaptation series, even within the ostensibly Free Love paradigm the same Hypergamous imperative was played out. In cuckold porn there is always an Alpha bull, a ‘superior’ sexual competitor that fucks that man’s wife; an inferior Beta sexual partner is never the tingle generating center of that fantasy. Thus that husband plays his expected passive, supportive role within that “fantasy” and thus is that wife’s dualistic Alpha Fucks sexual strategy completed.

That’s the messy nuts and bolts of it, but it’s all too easy to get caught up in the sensation of our blood boiling in righteous indignation than to see the larger perspective. This too is a part of the pragmatism of Hypergamy.

Cuckoldry is not simply about who got to breed with a woman before or after she settled into a committed monogamy; it’s about the consistent impulse to optimize Hypergamy. It is cuckoldry for a man to assume the parental investment responsibilities of another man that a woman previously bred with. It can be proactive or it can be reactive, but the purpose it serves is the same.

Few people really grasp how outrageous it is for a man to take part in his own cuckoldry. We call those men heroes for playing savior to a woman who made “bad choices” and invests himself in a child he didn’t father, but even this association has become yet another expectation of the dutiful Beta’s role. A conditioned White Knight disposition makes him feel good about it, but it’s a woman’s strategy that comes to completion, not his own. A bull was in his bed long before him.


Adaptations – Part III

chart7

Today’s chart comes courtesy of Time’s recent analysis of how Americans met their spouses (h/t to Heartiste). Heartiste provides the most obvious reasoning for these stats:

Every inception source of romance is down over the past 70 years except for bars and online. What happens in bars and online that doesn’t happen in the normal course of events when couples meet through the more traditional routes? That’s right: Intense, relentless, and usually charmless come-ons by drunk and socially clumsy men, that pump girls full of themselves. We’ve entered the age of the narcissistically-charged woman who houses in the well-marbled fat of her skull ham a steroid-injected, Facebook-fed hamster spinning its distaff vessel’s place in the world as the center of existence.

Not to be outdone, but what CH doesn’t address here is the adaptive strategies men are pragmatically employing in order to facilitate their sexual strategy. What this chart illustrates is a graphic representation of the adaptive sexual strategies of the sexes over the course of 70 years.

Granted, in contemporary society women’s attention and indignation needs are as ubiquitously satisfied as men’s need for sexual release (i.e. internet porn) is . This of course leads the mass of women to perceive their social and SMV status to be far greater than it actually is – and when that inflated SMV is challenged by the real world there are countless social conventions already established to insulate women and simultaneously convince men that their perceived status should be the fantasy they believe it is.

It’s important to keep this in mind because men’s adaptive strategies key on women’s self-impressions of their SMV (and often personal worth). I start with this for the last installment of this series because the intergender conditions we’re experiencing today were seeded by the adaptive strategies men used in the past and the contingent counter-adaptations of women employed then too.

From The Abdication Imperative:

The Abdication Imperative

Hypergamy is rooted in doubt. Hypergamy is an inherently insecure system that constantly tests, assesses, retests and reassesses for optimal reproductive options, long-term provisioning, parental investment, and offspring and personal protection viability in a potential mate. Even under the most secure of prospects hypergamy still doubts. The evolutionary function of this incessant doubt would be a selected-for survival instinct, but the process of hypergamy’s assessment requires too much mental effort to be entirely relegated to women’s subconscious. Social imperatives had to be instituted not only to better facilitate the hypergamous process, but also to reassure the feminine that men were already socially pre-programmed to align with that process.

In an era when women’s sexual selection has been given exclusive control to the feminine, in an age when hypergamy has been loosed upon the world en force, social conventions had to be established to better silence the doubt that hypergamy makes women even more acutely aware of. And nowhere is this doubt more pronounced than in the confines of a monogamous commitment intended to last a lifetime. Thus we have the preconception “Happy Wife equals Happy Life” pre-programmed into both gender’s collective social consciousness. It’s as if to say “It’s OK Hypergamy, everything’s gonna be alright because we all believe that women should be the default authority in any relationship.”

When you disassemble any operative feminine social convention, on its most base, instinctive level the convention’s latent purpose is to facilitate and pacify hypergamy.

Heirs of Free Love

Over the course of this series I’ve mentioned the “Free Love” movement. When most people hear that term their first mental impression is usually something like the picture I posted for part one; hippies at woodstock smoking pot. Later it quickly morphed into the 70’s adaptation of socially permissive promiscuity. However, it’s very important to understand that this most recent Free Love social push is by no means the first in human history.

Our impression of Free Love today was colored by the Baby Boom generation, but there have been many Free Love “movements” in the past. This was a fascinating read in light of the SCOTUS recent ruling on gay marriage:

A number of utopian social movements throughout history have shared a vision of free love. The all-male Essenes, who lived in the Middle East from the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD apparently shunned sex, marriage, and slavery. They also renounced wealth, lived communally, and were pacifist vegetarians. An Early Christian sect known as the Adamites existed in North Africa in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th centuries and rejected marriage. They practiced nudism and believed themselves to be without original sin.

In the 6th century, adherents of Mazdakism in pre-Muslim Persia apparently supported a kind of free love in the place of marriage,[15] and like many other free-love movements, also favored vegetarianism, pacificism, and communalism. Some writers have posited a conceptual link between the rejection of private property and the rejection of marriage as a form of ownership

[…] The challenges to traditional morality and religion brought by the Age of Enlightenment and the emancipatory politics of the French Revolution created an environment where ideas such as free love could flourish. A group of radical intellectuals in England (sometimes known as the English Jacobins), who supported the French Revolution developed early ideas about feminism and free love.

Notable among them was the Romantic poet William Blake, who explicitly compared the sexual oppression of marriage to slavery in works such as Visions of the Daughters of Albion (1793). Blake was critical of the marriage laws of his day, and generally railed against traditional Christian notions of chastity as a virtue. At a time of tremendous strain in his marriage, in part due to Catherine’s apparent inability to bear children, he directly advocated bringing a second wife into the house.[19] His poetry suggests that external demands for marital fidelity reduce love to mere duty rather than authentic affection, and decries jealousy and egotism as a motive for marriage laws. Poems such as “Why should I be bound to thee, O my lovely Myrtle-tree?” and “Earth’s Answer” seem to advocate multiple sexual partners. In his poem “London” he speaks of “the Marriage-Hearse” plagued by “the youthful Harlot’s curse”, the result alternately of false Prudence and/or Harlotry. Visions of the Daughters of Albion is widely (though not universally) read as a tribute to free love since the relationship between Bromion and Oothoon is held together only by laws and not by love. For Blake, law and love are opposed, and he castigates the “frozen marriage-bed”.

There are certain manosphere writers of note who believe that our current state of “social degeneracy” is unprecedented in human history. And while it’s certain that no prior generation did it in the same manner as the one before it, ours is simply one more chapter in a Free Love flareup that’s punctuated history for many cultures, not just the west – all prompted by the underlying bio-evolutionary / psychological impulses our race has always been subject to.

That said, it’s important to consider the residual social after effects of our most recent Free Love incidence. I can’t speak to the era in the past, but the Free Love ideology is very much an evident part of the egalitarian equalism ideology that’s rooted itself in our contemporary culture. As western culture spreads, so too does that equalism rooted in Free Love.

The Rise of Fem-powerment

By the time the 80s had begun the redefinition of conventional masculinity – masculinity adapted to capitalize on women’s short-term, Alpha Fucks, sexual strategy – was beginning to take shape. By the mid 80s gone were the Captain Kirk and Han Solo archetypal machismo characters. They were systematically replaced by sensitive, supportive, asexual and unthreatening Dr. Huxtable and increasingly contrasted with laughable parodies of conventional masculinity; these roles redefined to fit into shaming and obfuscating any former idea of masculinity and the men who’d attempt to embrace it.

The action heroes of the era abounded, but the expectation to accept a new archetype, the Strong Independent Ass Kicking Woman® was coming into its own.

Granted, the feminization process was gradual. Throughout the 80s this feminization was primarily reinforced by men (or men like them) who’d borne the brunt of the ‘macho men’ of the 70s sexual opportunism. Beta men of the post Disco Generation and the men who identified with them adapted their own Beta Game of increased identification with the feminine, and thus began the rise of the era of fem-powerment.

A new paradigm was evolving; a social environment founded on the same ‘higher selves’ faux-equalism of the Free Love generation(s), but one predicated on Beta men’s enthusiastic supportiveness of women’s imperatives. Gradually the Free Love narrative was sublimated by a one-sided expectation of male supportiveness and self-identification with women.

From Identity Crisis:

Far too many young men maintain the notion that for them to receive the female intimacy they desire they should necessarily become more like the target of their affection in their own personality. In essence, to mold their own identify to better match the girl they think will best satisfy this need. So we see examples of men compromising their self-interests to better accomodate the interests of the woman they desire to facilitate this need for intimacy (i.e. sex). We all know the old adage women are all too aware of, “Guys will do anything to get laid” and this is certainly not limited to altering their individual identities and even conditions to better facilitate this. It’s all too common an example to see men select a college based on the available women at that college rather than academic merit to fit their own ambitions or even choose a college to better maintain a pre-existing relationship that a woman has chosen and the young man follows. In order to justify these choices he will alter his identity and personality by creating rationales and new mental schema to validate this ‘decision’ for himself. It becomes an ego protection for a decision he, on some level, knows was made for him.

Beta Game is predicated upon this effort to become more alike, more in touch with a calculating feminine ideal men they were being conditioned to believe was equitable to their concept of love and would be reciprocated with appreciation and intimacy. Into the 90s, men built their lives around the ‘high self’ hope that if they could just relate more to the feminine – supporting their girlfriends and wives in equalist endeavors women of the past never had access to – they could out-support the ‘ridiculous cad’ parody straw men they’d created for themselves.

The burden of performance that the men of the Free Love eras had hoped to avoid with higher self conditions of love were replaced with a burden of more accessible Beta supportiveness. Thus, into the 90s we had more and more characterization of masculine competition become associated with men out-supporting one another. Stay-at-home Dad became a socially lauded life choice to be proud of. Tootsie, Mr. Mom, Friends, and the culmination of total abdication to feminine identification, Mrs. Doubtfire, became apex examples of men adapting to a socio-sexual environment they’d been conditioned for – a burden of support.

Mrs’ Doubtfire was a particularly egregious depiction of this male to female transition. The apex Beta Father Provider versus the social and sexual Alpha ‘great guy’ in a battle for the genetic rights to the Beta’s children (which he eventually concedes and accepts). This story epitomizes the subtle undercurrent of socially acceptable cuckoldry that would define men’s adaptations during this era.

By assuming the female role, by identifying with the feminine they’d been convinced was so lacking in themselves, men reinforced, aided and abetted the rise of contemporary women’s default entitlements; not just to support, but to conventional masculinity when convenient, and equalist independence when convenient.

There’s a presumption in the manosphere that women have become more masculinized today, and while this is true, the Hypergamy that’s defined every era for women is more dominant now than in any other age. There is nothing that defines the feminine more than the Feminine Imperative’s want for the security of provisioning and sexual optimization that the masculine provides for women.

As men we’re prone to believe that if we’ve become more feminine women have become more masculinized, but is it this or is it the expectation that women need to adapt a masculinized outlook to counter men’s conditioned Beta passivity? Even staunch feminists get tingles from conventionally masculine, unapologetically Alpha men.


Adaptations – Part II

Studio 54

When I first published the comparative SMV graph a few years ago one of the first criticisms was that the age comparisons between men and women seemed too concrete and too specific to contemporary times. I tried to make concessions for this then, but when I was writing that post it was at first meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek. Still, I try to write with the presupposition that critics will take things either too literally or too figuratively. I knew that the literati then and now would think, “…well, yes it’s a good outline, but you’re looking at the SMV from the perspective of 2012 and society was much different 50, 70, 100, 2,000 years ago so this graph is flawed…”

My SMV graph was never meant to be some canonical tablet handed to me from the almighty. I thought of it then, and still think of it now, as a very good workable outline for how men and women’s comparative SMV relates to the other. This has been borne out in many other statistics from individual studies sent to me by readers or just my coming across them since I created that graph.

That said, and in relation to where I’m going with this Adaptations series, those critics aren’t wrong to suggest that this outline would be subject to the social environments and simple physical realities of earlier times, and likely some times yet to come.

Take what I’m about to delve into here with a bit of salt; I’m not a historian. One of my favorite figures from the civil war ear was Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. If you’ve seen the movie Glory you know who I’m referencing here. This young man was 23 when he enlisted and 25 when he was promoted to Major and then Colonel. In that time Shaw saw some pretty grisly shit, including the battle of Antietam.

I’d seen the movie when it first came out in 1989, but after watching it again for a class assignment I had a new appreciation for the real man who was Robert Shaw. I saw the film using what was just becoming my Red Pill lens. It struck me that the realities of that era forced men to become Men much sooner than men do today. The realities of our times give us a leisure the men of Shaw’s age simple couldn’t imagine. The realities of that time necessitated a quick maturation to bear the burden of heavy responsibilities. Those burdens were much more imperative then, but a 23 year old is still a 23 year old.

I thought about how I’d spent my own years between the ages of 23-25 when I was at the peak of my semi-rock star tail chasing in the late 80’s Hollywood scene. I began to really think about the differences in the social and physical environments of the 1860s and the 1980s-90s. I’ve always joked that men don’t become Men until they’re 30. Even on the SMV graph the point at which I attribute men’s real ascendency to their peak SMV at around age 30, but this wasn’t always the case in the past.

Men (comparatively) live longer lives as a result of health and medical advances, but (at least in westernizing culture) it takes much more time and personal investment, as well as acculturation for men to realize their personal potential. Men’s burden of performance wasn’t much different in prior eras, but the timeframe necessary to reach a man’s peak potential was much more accelerated.

So to address the concerns of the temporal critics of the SMV graph, yes, this graph might look a bit different to the men and women of the 19th century. Considering lifespans of the era and the social conditions then, the ages during which a woman would reach her own peak might be around 17, and a man’s may be 25, however the same curves of the bell wouldn’t change drastically. Men adapted to the conditions their environment dictated to them then in much the same way they did before and after the sexual revolution. And this adaptation came as the result of what was expected of them as their burden of performance, as well as what their social leisures would permit them.

Love American Style

Into the 70’s the new social contract of the Free Love generation began to take a new shape. Bear in mind that this new equalitarian contract was based on the hopeful presumption that both sexes would mutually honor the “what’s on the inside is what counts” normalization of attraction. Under this contract women’s Hypergamous natures could flourish, while men’s unlimited access sexual strategy could ostensibly be realized.

Of course these lofty, higher-consciousness, presumptions  were meant to supersede human nature and an evolved sexual arousal function based on human biology. One thing that still thwarts ideological feminism today is that its perceived goal states contradict human beings’ natural states. This contradiction gets narratively blamed on men not wanting to cooperate with feminism, but even the most ardent feminist is still guilty of her own biology and arousal triggers contradicting herself.

Biology trumps conviction. People get fidgety when I apply this in a religious context, but it’s equally applicable to feminism and really any ideology that under-appreciates human nature and the realities of its conditions.

As the new sexual landscape began to solidify, men began to adapt their own sexual strategies to the conditions of this fast and loose environment. Just prior to the Disco Generation hardcore pornography began its path to the ubiquitous porn we know today. The sexual restraint necessitated by the realities of prior generations loosened in light of widespread hormonal birth control and safe(er) legal abortion.

While Hypergamy was effectively unleashed, the women of this era hadn’t fully grasped the scope of it being so or what it would become. Acceptable premarital sex, abortion and unilaterally feminine controlled birth control meant that women had an unprecedented degree of control over their Hypergamous decision making. I doubt many women of the time understood this, but the only real control men had (and still have now) over women’s breeding and birthing outcomes was now grounded in the psychological (Game) or the physical (arousal). Provisioning was still a consideration for women, but the division between short-term and long-term pairing became more stark.

As I mentioned here in the beginning, a slowing of the maturation process was the inevitable result of women’s freedom of Hypergamous choice. Short-term Alpha Fucks no longer posed the same societal and personal risks of a pre-birth control generation, thus long-term pairing choices (Beta bucks) began to be delayed. The ideological cover story was one of women expecting men to “love their insides” despite their age, psychological baggage or physical condition.

Women’s preoccupation with The Wall was ostensibly mitigated by the Free Love social contract that men would honor their end of the higher-consciousness equalitarian dream of a mutually agreed attraction based on intrinsic qualities. The biological realities for both sexes was much different.

Women trusted they could be sexually ‘free’ without social stigmatization, but the reality was that the long-term needs of Hypergamy could be postponed in what would eventually become a Sandbergian sexual strategy. The more Alpha men of the time – ones in touch with the visceral nature of women and themselves – understood the incredibly boon this represented to them.

It’s important to bear in mind that Hypergamy was not the openly embraced dynamic it’s come into today. Thus, the unspoken, secretive nature of Hypergamy was something a man who ‘just got it’ instinctively understood and women were aroused by it.

Machismo

During the 70s ‘Macho’ men began to adapt to a new paradigm. They adapted to the reality that women were conflicted by the Free Love paradigm. These men embraced both the sexual openness expected of women, but they also understood that in spite of the social contract of love being based on intrinsic qualities, women still wanted to fuck (with abandon) the men with extrinsic arousal triggering qualities. The physical began to take priority above the emotional pretentiousness.

The macho quality could take different forms. Whether is was the good ole boy of the south or the Tony Manero at Studio 54, understanding the mindset is what’s important here.

Macho men in the discos and key parties of the 70s figured out they could ‘Game’ the old paradigm of non-exclusivity paired with birth control by re-embracing (with disco era gusto) a masculinity that had been abandoned just a decade earlier. Unlimited access to unlimited sexuality was for men who overtly challenged the Free Love preconditions. They enjoyed the rewards of its expectations of women while rebounding off the self-expectations of the Beta men who were still cooperating with the Free Love social contract.

This era is an interesting parallel to our own. I think much of the Red Pill resentment coming from men still plugged into a Blue Pill mindset is rooted in a similar perception that they’re playing by an acceptable set of rules that “men with Game” are exploiting for their own selfish ends. What they don’t realize is that their Blue Pill interpretations are a designed part of a social paradigm that supports feminine primacy. Game works because, like the macho men of the 70s, it’s primarily based on women’s inborn psychology and the visceral realities of women’s biological impulses.

Beta men in the 70s still believed that the Free Love mindset was equally and mutually beneficial for both sexes since it was supposedly based on a freedom from performance for themselves while freeing women from sexual repression and (covertly) from the reality of the Wall. In reality the Free Love paradigm put men at a disadvantage by giving women almost total control of Hypergamy and the time in which to realize short term mating and long term provisioning.

So these men’s resentment of the Alphas of the era is understandable when you consider that their visceral attractiveness was observably and behaviorally arousing to women who were supposed to idealistically love them for who they were not what they were. These men represented a return to that burden of performance they’d hoped to avoid in the Free Love contract.

These Alpha men understood women’s base impulses then, and that understanding became an integral part of their “just getting it” attraction. However, as we’ll see in the next part of this series, these men would eventually become the butt of their own joke as the Feminine Imperative fluidly transitioned into a new social paradigm of Fem-powerment developing in the 80s and reaching its apex in the 90s.

The arousing ‘macho’ men, the Alphas of the era, would systematically become the most ridiculed parodies and caricatures of masculinity as women came into a better understanding of the power they were only beginning to realize and the Beta men took their perceived revenge. And likewise men adapted to this new paradigm based on the same visceral reality women’s sexuality is fundamentally based on.


Adaptations – Part I

age-of-aquarius-woodstock

Prior to the post-Sexual Revolution era men adapted to their socio-sexual and relational realities based on a pre-acknowledged burden of performance. I’ve outlined the expectations of this period in The Second Set of Books,

[…] when men transition from their comfortable blue pill perspective into the harsh reality that the red pill represents, the experience is a lot like Ball discovering that the set of books (the set of rules) he’d believed everyone was using wasn’t so. Likewise, men who’ve been conditioned since birth to believe that women were using a common set of rules – a set where certain expectations and mutual exchange were understood – were in fact using their own set. Furthermore these men ‘just didn’t get it’ that they should’ve known all along that women, as well as men’s feminization conditioning, were founded in a second set of books.

During the eras prior to the Sexual Revolution that first set of books was more or less an established ideal. Men were every bit as idealistic as they are today, but the plan towards achieving that ideal (if it was in fact achievable) was preset for them. Even the worst of fathers (or parents) still had the expectations that their sons and daughters would follow that old-order rule set as they had done.

For men a greater provisioning was expected, but that provisioning was an integral aspect of a man’s Alpha appeal. The burden of performance was part of a man’s Alpha mindset or was at least partly paired with it.

The danger in that mindset was that a man’s identity tended to be caught up with what he did (usually a career) in order to satisfy that performance burden. Thus when a man lost his job, not only was he unable to provide and meet his performance expectations in his marriage, he also lost a part of his identity. Needless to say this dynamic helped incentivize men to get back on the horse and get back to his identity and his wife’s esteem (even if it was really her necessity that kept her involved with him).

A lot of romanticization revolves around the times prior to the Sexual Revolution as if they were some golden eras when men and women knew their roles and the influence of Hypergamy was marginalized to the point that society was a better place than the place we find ourselves in today. And while it’s undeniable that cultural shifts since the sexual revolution have feminized and bastardized those old-order social contracts, men will always adapt to those new conditions in order to effect their sexual strategies.

There’s a lot of nostalgia for these idealized periods in the manosphere at the moment; seemingly more so as its members mature past their “gaming” years and begin to feel a want for something more substantial. Men are the true romantics of the sexes so it’s no great surprise that their romantic / idealistic concept of love would run towards romanticizing a hopeful return to what they imagine these eras were like.

It’s kind of an interesting counter to how feminism and the Feminine Imperative paints these eras – rather than some idyllic place where women appreciated men, feminists exaggerate and deride these times as oppressive; the sexual revolution akin to the Jews leaving Egypt. What both fail to grasp is the realities of these eras were still just as susceptible to human nature – the human nature described by what we call Red Pill awareness – and both sexes adapted to the social environments of the times to effect their natures.

Condoms were widely available in the 1940’s and men painstakingly painted half-nude pinup girls on the noses of their bombers. Women too adapted to that environment; from What Lies Beneath:

two books by John Costello; ‘Virtue Under Fire’ and ‘Love, Sex, and War’ in which all too much of the above female psychology manifested itself;

“Of the 5.3 million British infants delivered between 1939 and 1945, over a third were illegitimate – and this wartime phenomenon was not confined to any one section of society. The babies that were born out-of-wedlock belonged to every age group of mother, concluded one social researcher:

Some were adolescent girls who had drifted away from homes which offered neither guidance nor warmth and security. Still others were women with husbands on war service, who had been unable to bear the loneliness of separation. There were decent and serious, superficial and flighty, irresponsible and incorrigible girls among them. There were some who had formed serious attachments and hoped to marry. There were others who had a single lapse, often under the influence of drink. There were, too, the ‘good-time girls’ who thrived on the presence of well-paid servicemen from overseas, and semi-prostitutes with little moral restraint. But for the war many of these girls, whatever their type, would never have had illegitimate children. (pp. 276-277)”

and;

“Neither British nor American statistics, which indicate that wartime promiscuity reached its peak in the final stages of the war, take account of the number of irregularly conceived pregnancies that were terminated illegally. Abortionists appear to have been in great demand during the war. One official British estimate suggests that one in five of all pregnancies was ended in this way, and the equivalent rate for the United States indicates that the total number of abortions for the war years could well have been over a million.

These projections are at best merely a hypothetical barometer of World War II’s tremendous stimulus to extra-marital sexual activity. The highest recorded rate of illegitimate births was not among teenage girls, as might have been expected. Both British and American records indicate that women between twenty and thirty gave birth to nearly double the number of pre-war illegitimate children. Since it appears that the more mature women were the ones most encouraged by the relaxed morals of wartime to ‘enjoy’ themselves, it may be surmised that considerations of fidelity were no great restraint on the urge of the older married woman to participate in the general rise in wartime sexual promiscuity. (pp. 277-278)”

Women of the “greatest generation” were still women, and Hypergamy, just like today, didn’t care then either. Dalrock made a fantastic observation in a post once, and I regret I don’t have the link on hand, but paraphrasing he said “Every generation in bygone eras dated differently than the ones before it. Your parents dated in a social condition that was very different than your grandparent or their parents. No one in this generation is going to date like they did on Happy Days.” I think it’s important we don’t lose sight of this, but it’s also important to consider that in all those eras men and women’s sexual strategies remained an underlying influence for them. All that changed was both sexes adapted to the conditions of the times to effect them.

Post-Sexual Revolution Adaptation – The ‘Free Love’ Era

While there’s a lot to criticize about the Baby Boomer generation, one needs to consider the societal conditions that produced them. Egalitarian equalism combined with ubiquitous (female controlled) hormonal birth control and then mixed with blank-slate social constructivism made for a very effective environment in which both sexes sexual strategies could, theoretically, flourish.

Women’s control of their Hypergamous influences, not to mention the opportunities to fully optimize it, was unfettered by moral or social constraints for the first time in history. For men the idea of a ‘Free Love’ social order was appealing because it promised optimization of their sexual strategy – unlimited access to unlimited sexuality.

The new Free Love paradigm was based on a presumption of non-exclusivity, but more so it was based on an implied condition of non-possessiveness. Men adapted to this paradigm as might have been expected, but what they didn’t consider is that in this state their eventual cuckoldry (either proactively or reactively) amounted to women’s optimizing their own Hypergamous impulses.

The social contract of  Free Love played to the base sexual wants of permissive variety for men, or at least it implied a promised potential for it. Furthermore, and more importantly, Free Love implied this promise free from a burden of performance. It was “free” love, tenuously based on intrinsic personal qualities on the inside to make him lovable – not the visceral physical realities that inspired arousal nor the rigorous status and provisioning performance burdens that had characterized the intersexual landscape prior.

It should be mentioned that ‘free love’ also played to men’s idealistic concept of love in that freedom from a performance-based love. The equalist all’s-the-same environment was predicated on the idea that love was a mutually agreed dynamic, free from the foundational, sexual strategy realities both sexes applied to love. Thus men’s idealism predisposed them to being hopeful of a performance free love-for-love’s-sake being reciprocated by the women of the age of Aquarius.

That’s how the social contract looked in the advertising, so it’s hardly surprising that (Beta) men eagerly adapted to this new sexual landscape; going along to get along (or along to get laid) in a way that would seem too good to be true to prior generations. And thus their belief set adapted to the sexual strategy that, hopefully, would pay off for them in this new social condition.

For women, though not fully realized at the time, this Free Love social restructuring represented a license for optimizing Hypergamy unimpeded by moral restraint and later unlimited (or at least marginalized) by men’s provisional support. For the first time in history women could largely explore a Sandbergian plan for Alpha Fucks and Beta Bucks and, at least figuratively, they could do so at their leisure.

The problem inherent in the Free Love paradigm was that it was based on a mutual understanding that men and women were functional equals, and as such a mutual trust that either sex would hold the other’s best interests as their own. That basis of trust that either sex was rationally on the same page with regard to their sexual strategies is what set the conditions for the consequent generations to come.

This trust on the part of men was that these “equal” women would honor the presumption that it was “who” they were rather than what they represented to their sexual strategy at the various phases of their maturity that would be the basis for women’s sexual selection of them.

In part two I’ll continue this exploration through the 70’s and into our contemporary socio-sexual environment.


In Defense of Evo-Psych

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You’ll have to forgive this exceptionally long post here, but for many critics of (and in) the manosphere of evolutionary psychology the following post articulates things better than I could. Some in the ‘sphere seem to think a reliance on evo-psych is some form of blind faith at worst; some sort of creative, purpose-built guesswork at best.

It is not.

When I apply anything regarding evolutionary psychology on Rational Male I approach it in the most deductive manner I can see fit insofar as connecting the behavioral dots with the social apparatus I observe. While Red Pill awareness isn’t reliant upon evo-psych it is founded upon a similar observationally deductive methodology.

Evo-psych is a very broad school of psychology that is not just limited to intersexual relations. While I do largely embrace the foundations of evo-psych, it’s important to remember that my particular education revolves around behaviorism.

The following re-blog here is a collection of ten answers to common criticisms of evolutionary psychology by Dr. David P. Schmitt. I’ve pared it down a bit for readability, but do see the link for all the sources cited.

Emphasis my own.


A few years ago, I was giving an invited presentation to an audience of mostly sociologists and family studies professors on the topic of evolution and human reproductive strategies. I mentioned that some social scientists hold false beliefs about “evolutionary psychology,” such as the mistaken assumption that evolutionary psychologists think all men are interested in bedding as many women as possible (often called short-term mating), whereas all women are only interested in marrying a single man and staying faithful to him for a lifetime (i.e., long-term mating).

When I tried to dispel this common misperception by noting, for instance, that evolutionary psychologists have hypothesized women are just as designed for short-term mating as men are—in some ways even more so such as women’s heightened desires for cues to genetic quality in short-term mates—an audible gasp swept through the conference hall. I kid you not, I could see rows of people who looked genuinely horrified. I was a little taken aback, so I asked an audience member near the front row who had her hand over her mouth if something was unclear, to which she proclaimed, “that’s not the evolutionary psychology I know.”

When I tried to explain that women’s evolved short-term mating desires have been studied by evolutionary psychologists since the early 1990s and the topic remains a very active area of inquiry today, heads swiveled in disbelief. My subsequent Power Point slides chock-full of studies confirming women’s specially designed short-term mating psychology were falling, I feared, on an auditorium of deaf ears (or blind eyes, I suppose). Alas, this stereotype about evolutionary psychology wasn’t going to change anytime soon.

It seems to me many critics of evolutionary psychology cling steadfastly to false stereotypes of the field, both theoretical and empirical. This is partly because so much evolutionary psychological research has been produced over the last 25 years it is hard for even evolutionary-informed scholars themselves to keep up (for an up-to-date review, I recommend Buss’ new edition of The Evolutionary Psychology Handbook[1]). Add to that the methodological breadth of different techniques used by evolutionary scholars to test hypotheses about the adaptive design of the human mind, and it is understandably difficult to know what all evolutionary researchers have been, and currently are, up to as active Darwinian scientists.

Perhaps more than other social scientists, evolutionary psychologists use an incredible variety of research methods, ranging from self-report surveys and behavioral field test experiments, to investigations involving genetics, hormones, and neuroscience, to cross-species and cross-cultural comparisons, to ethnographies of foraging societies and computer modeling of artificial intelligences[2] [3] [4]. To be aware of contemporary evolutionary psychology requires broad and deep knowledge of many scholarly disciplines, and a lot of evolutionary psychology’s critics simply do not know what they do not know about the field as it is practiced today.

Beyond simply not knowing about the empirical breadth and methodological richness of modern evolutionary science, many critics exhibit a certain kind of “empirical nihilism” toward any psychological findings even remotely portrayed as supporting evolutionary hypotheses. For instance, when one points to a set of studies that respond to a specific criticism, some critics reply with a “yes, but” attitude and set forth new criticisms requiring more evidence (sort of a serial “moving the goalposts” maneuver).

Now, in science extreme skepticism is generally a good thing. For scientists, there are no capital “T” Truths, and every claim about reality is tentatively true with a small “t” and is always adjustable as more evidence is accumulated over time. Sometimes, though, this attitude is more than healthy skepticism about a particular empirical finding and is, instead, clearly an attitude of irrefutable empirical nihilism toward evolutionary psychology studies in particular. As an example of this type of unshakeable attitude of disbelief, I list below 10 of the more common “yes, but” criticisms of evolutionary findings on women’s long-term mate preferences. It’s an illustrative (not exhaustive) list of just how impenetrable some scholar’s beliefs are when it comes to considering evidence that our evolved human mind might be something more than a domain-general learning mechanism writing on an asexual, ungendered blank slate. 

Women’s Long-Term Mate Preferences

Looking across the animal kingdom, one cannot help but notice that members of most species tend to mate non-randomly. Whether it is peahens preferring peacocks with more elaborate trains[5] or female common chimpanzees preferring males who possess higher social dominance[6], males and females of most species display adaptive forms of preferential mate choice.

Evolutionary psychologists were among the first to propose similar sex differences might exist in human mate preferences. For instance, evolutionary psychologists hypothesized that women may possess specially-designed long-term mate preferences for cues to a man’s ability and willingness to devote resources to her and their offspring[7] [8] [9]. Such cues include a man’s status and prestige which, depending on local culture, may involve hunting ability, physical strength, or other locally-relevant attributes, as well as his ambition, work ethic, intelligence, social dominance, maturity, and slightly older age[10] [11]. Not all women desire the highest value long-term mate at all times, of course, but it is expected that women’s long-term mate preferences should be marked by some degree of “special design” that is reliably observable using the methodological richness of modern evolutionary psychological science.

One way to evaluate whether women possess long-term mate preferences for cues to status-related traits is to directly ask people whether they prefer those attributes in long-term mates (via methods such as self-report surveys), and then compare the intensity of responses of women and men. When doing so, psychologists typically evaluate the degree of sexual differentiation using the dstatistic, with an observed d value of ±.20 being considered a “small” sex difference, ±.50 is a “moderate” sex difference, and ±.80 is a “large” sex difference[12]. Negative d values typically indicate women score more highly on a particular preference, whereas positive values indicate men score more highly.

Buss and Barnes[13] were among the first to evaluate whether women (more than men) prefer cues related to a man’s ability and willingness to devote resources. For instance, they found women more strongly prefer long-term mates who have a “good earning capacity” (a large sex difference, d = -0.82), “are a college graduate” (d = -0.60), and “possess intelligence” (d = -0.19). Obviously, these findings are not definitive proof that men and women differ in the evolved design of long-term mate preferences. The findings are merely tests of evolutionary-guided hypotheses, and the tests were supportive of specially-designed sex differences existing in human mate preferences. Still, some critics challenge these results, arguing yes, but…

1) Yes, but…that is just one study. One cannot trust the results of just one study. Evolutionary psychologists need to conduct many more studies before I am convinced these effects are legitimate, let alone evidence of evolved psychology. I’m sure many other studies wouldn’t find sex differences in mate preferences.

Actually, most investigations of sex differences in mate preferences have been supportive of these hypotheses (to be honest, virtually all studies have). In 1992, Feingold[14] meta-analytically reviewed the extant literature (including 32 independent samples) on self-reported mate preferences across college students and community samples and found women more greatly desired socioeconomic status (d = -0.69), ambition (d = -0.67), and intelligence (d = -0.30) in potential long-term mates. Numerous additional investigations have since replicated these basic sex differences in long-term mate preferences among college students[15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22]. For instance, a recent study focused on women’s mate preferences for men with the ability to invest in them, revealing that college women desire a man who has earned his money (compared to other sources), ostensibly reflective of the aforementioned qualities (ambition, work ethic, intelligence), and that this effect is strongest in the long-term mating context[23].

2) Yes, but…those studies are mostly with college students. People in the real world (e.g., representative samples of adults) won’t display these stereotypical sex differences of youth.

Actually, yes they do[24] [25] [26]. For instance, Sprecher and her colleagues[27] examined sex differences in mate preferences across a nationally-representative sample of the United States and found women, more than men, valued a long-term mate who had a steady job (d = -0.73), earned more than they did (d = -0.49), was highly educated (d = -0.43), and was older by five years (d = -0.67). Young or old[28] [29] [30], gay or straight[31] [32], sex differences in long-term mate preferences for status-related attributes tend to reliably emerge.

3) Yes, but…many of those findings are from decades ago. Sex differences in mate preferences are probably not historically stable. They may have existed many decades ago (in the era of Mad Men), but sex differences in mate preferences are surely not present in more recent times.

Actually, yes they are. In a cross-generational analysis of the same mate preference questionnaire administered to Americans from 1939 to 1996, both men and women increased their valuing of good financial prospects and decreased valuing ambition/industriousness over time, but the degree of sex differences in these items largely persisted in strength across more than 50 years[33].

4) Yes, but…that is only when you have people self-report their ideal mate preferences from a pre-chosen list of traits given to them. If you ask them what they really want, say at a minimum, or maybe let them freely design their ideal potential partners, status-related traits aren’t emphasized by women more than men.

Actually, yes they are. Researchers have questioned people about their long-term mate preferences using a wide variety of self-report methodologies. Kenrick and his colleagues[34] asked people what the minimum threshold of possessing a particular attribute would need to be to agree to marry a person. Women, on average, required men’s earning capacity to be in the 70th percentile to be marriageable, whereas men required women to be in the 40th percentile (overall d = -1.41).

Using another nuanced form of self-report, Li[35] compelled men and women to engage in tradeoffs among various cues when intentionally designing a desirable long-term mate. Women devoted the most of their limited budget toward their mates’ social level (33%), whereas for men social level was of moderate budgetary importance (17%). Across a series of studies[36], researchers using this tradeoff paradigm concluded that women, but not men, consider a long-term mate’s social status a “necessity” and not a “luxury.” Indeed, when forced to make decisions with very limited budgets, sex differences in long-term mate preferences are stronger than with typical self-report surveys.

Self-report surveys also reveal men, more than women, appear effective at displaying status-related traits to the opposite sex[37]. Overall, self-report methods (via ratings, rankings, trade-offs, nominations, or open-ended questions[38]) consistently support the hypothesis that women possess long-term mate preferences for cues to a man’s ability and willingness to devote resources.

5) Yes, but…this is only because women are denied access to resources themselves. If women have higher status themselves, they would not prefer men with high status. It’s just basic rationality, not evolved psychology, causing these sex differences in mate preferences for status.

Actually, it is a compelling test of women’s long-term mate preferences for men’s status-related traits (including their ability and willingness to provide resources) to evaluate whether their expressed preferences disappear when women have ample resources of their own. It could be women only prefer cues to men’s ability and willingness to provide resources because women are structurally denied access to resources[39].

Addressing this alternative explanation, Townsend and his colleagues have found women in medical school[40] and law school[41] are more selective of a future mate’s financial status, not less. Similarly, Wiederman and Allgeier[42] found college women’s expected income was positively associated with their ratings of the importance of a potential long-term mate’s earning capacity. Regan[43] found as women’s mate value goes up, so does their insistence on men’s high status and resources (i.e., they “want it all”; see also[44]). Having higher personal status and resource-related traits appears not to attenuate women’s preferences for cues to men’s ability and willingness to provide resources. Instead, at least in the USA, women achieving high status themselves appears to make their long-term mate preferences for men’s high status even more intense!

6) Yes, but…that is only true in the United States. Americans happen to live in a culture with conspicuous gender stereotypes about mate preferences that the rest of the world does not share. If you look at more gender egalitarian cultures, in Scandinavia for instance, sex differences in preferences for status-related attributes “disappear” (as claimed by Marks[45]).

Actually, no, they do not. Numerous studies have found sex differences in mate preferences for status-related attributes are prevalent across cultures[46] [47] [48]. Lippa[49] conducted an internet sampling of 53 nations and Zentner and Mitura[50] conducted an internet sampling across 10 nations and both studies found 100% of cultures displayed expected sex differences, with women demonstrating especially heightened long-term mate preferences for good financial prospects, social status, ambition, and older age.

Some researchers have found the magnitude of sex differences in mate preferences for status-related attributes shifts from a large/medium effect size to a more moderate medium/small effect size in nations with higher gender egalitarianism. Zentner and Mitura found exactly this pattern of results after placing nations into three groups, low gender egalitarian cultures (within which women valued Ambition-Industriousness moderately more than men, d = -0.65), medium gender egalitarian cultures (women valued Ambition-Industriousness moderately more, d = -0.53), and high gender egalitarian cultures (women valued Ambition-Industriousness moderately more, d = -0.48). Hence, sex differences in the preference for Ambition-Industriousness in long-term mates were reduced (though not by much, and were still medium in terms of effect size) in nations with higher levels of gender egalitarianism.

Most other sex differences in status-related mate preferences also were attenuated from larger to more moderate levels in Zentner and Mitura’s sample of nations that were higher in gender egalitarianism (e.g., Good Financial Prospects went from d = -1.04, to d = -0.84, to d = -0.55; Favorable Social Status went from d = -0.67, to d = -0.42, to d = -0.31). In most cases, these reductions were caused by women preferring status-related traits less in high gender egalitarian nations, though in many cases men’s preferences for status-related attributes also were reduced in high gender egalitarian nations (which seems counter to the logic of men appreciating women’s status-related traits more as women enter the workforce in high gender egalitarian nations). One thing is clear, sex differences in long-term mate preferences for status-related traits do not “disappear” in gender egalitarian cultures. They may only be moderate in size, but we see them just fine.

Importantly, Zentner and Mitura also found in low gender egalitarian nations, men valued Good Looks only a little more than women, d = 0.24; in medium gender egalitarian nations, men’s valuation of Good Looks was higher still than women’s, d = 0.43; and in the highest gender egalitarian nations, men’s valuation of Good Looks was the most different from women’s, d = 0.51. Thus, contrary to the expectation that gender egalitarianism always reduces sex differences, Zentner and Mitura found sex differences in Good Looks are largest in nations with the highestgender egalitarianism. What!? Actually, these findings are not unusual, as high gender egalitarian nations also exhibit larger sex differences in Big Five personality traits and the Dark Triad traits of Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and psychopathy; in romantic attachment and love styles; in sociopolitical attitudes and personal values; in clinical depression rates and crying behavior; in tested cognitive and mental abilities; and in physical attributes such as height and blood pressure[51]. If the sociopolitical gender egalitarianism found in Scandinavian nations is supposed to produce smaller psychological sex differences, it’s not doing a very good job of it.

7) Yes, but…all these studies showing men and women want different things in potential partners are merely evidence of gendered narratives as measured by self-report surveys. If ever tested in the real world, women would not preferentially choose or be affected by a partner’s status-related attributes more than men.

Actually, there have been dozens of studies of real world mating and mating-related cognition, and almost all find that women do choose and are affected by a partner’s status-related traits more than men are.

Feingold[52] meta-analytically examined what women ask for and what men advertise in public, real-world personal advertisements and found, as expected, women more than men ask for cues to willingness and ability to provide resources (e.g., 27% of women ask for high socioeconomic status compared to 7% of men). Men who advertise such status-related cues actually receive more responses from women, as well. For example, in a study that experimentally manipulated real-life personal ads, ads placed by men noting they were financially successful elicited the most interest, whereas for women physical attractiveness was the key[53]. In a study of Polish personal ads, the top four cues displayed by men that received responses from women were good education, older age, high resource levels, and tall height[54]. In a study of mail order brides from Colombia, Russia, and the Philippines, women universally listed ambition, status, and wealth as among their most desired attributes in a future husband[55].

Numerous studies of marital patterns also have found women tend to desire (and actually marry) men who are slightly older than they are, regardless of women’s own age[57] [58]. As men get older, in contrast, they tend to desire and marry younger and younger women[59]. Women have been found to preferentially marry higher status men across such diverse cultures as the Kipsigis of Kenya, the Hausa of West Africa, Trinidadians, and Micronesian islanders, among many others[60]. It is true that some speed-dating studies in urban settings find women do not choose higher status men more often as dates, but these studies are limited by having only high status men in their samples (no homeless men allowed) and potentially including those who are interested in short-term mating (women’s short-term mate preferences focus more on gene quality, not status). In speed-dating studies with low status men included, and when the context is explicitly long-term mating only, women do pick higher status men more often for dates[61].

There also are a wide range of cognitive studies that test for women’s desires for status-related traits without explicitly asking them what they want. For instance, as part of a study ostensibly helping a university develop a dating service, Kenrick and his colleagues[62] experimentally manipulated whether already-mated men and women were exposed to a target date either very high in dominance or very low in dominance. They found women, but not men, were less committed to their current long-term mating partner after being exposed to a high dominance member of the opposite sex. Merely being experimentally exposed to a man with very high dominance lowered women’s commitment to their current mate, and did so without consciously asking women about their preferences for dominance.

Similarly, exposure to physically attractive women appears to evoke in men desires to fulfill women’s evolved preferences, such as increasing men’s attention toward and desires to possess resources and to display ambition, creativity, independence, and risk-taking[63] [64] [65]. And when exposed to men who are high in dominance, men tend to rate themselves as lower in mate value[66] and men’s feelings of jealousy are more strongly evoked[67]. All of these cognitive processes occur differently in women and men without explicit, conscious awareness of why they are doing so. Surely, to an open-minded scientist these types of non-survey findings should buttress the view that women possess mate preferences for men’s status-related attributes…

8) Yes, but…even though evolutionary psychologists may study real life cognition, emotion, and behavior, they fail to study the most important Darwinian outcome…fertility. If women evolved mate preferences for status-related traits, then women who marry men of high status men should have more children. Evolutionary psychologists haven’t even bothered to look at these outcomes, lazy-headed daisies…

Actually, several studies by evolutionary psychologists have found women who marry higher status men tend to have more children, and to have children survive to an older age. In a study of pre-industrial Finland (from the 1700s), women married to wealthier men had more children and decreased child mortality[68]. In another study, marrying a man four years older was associated with maximum levels of fertility among women[69]. Bereczkei and Csanaky[70] conducted a study of 1,800 Hungarians over 34 years of age and found women who married older and better educated men tended to have more children. These are important findings, as it is critical that women’s mate preferences for status-related attributes lead to reproductive success, or at least likely did so in our evolutionary past[71] [72].

One may also look at the effects of high personal status on men’s versus women’s reproductive success. Nettle and Pollett[73] and many other scholars have found men’s higher level of personal status is related to higher fertility, but the same is much less true (or not at all true) for women’s higher level of personal status. In fact, modern women who have higher personal incomes themselves tend to have fewer children[74]. Jumping Jehoshaphat…yes, but…

9) Yes, but…ancestral men were foragers and could not accumulate wealth, so these mate preferences for “good earning potential” are largely irrelevant to evolved mating psychology. Evolutionary psychology findings are extremely limited because they only apply to modern materialistic cultures.

Actually, it is correct that large masses of “material wealth” were not present in our ancestral past when we lived as foragers, but it is likely ancestral men did accumulate social capital or “status” (from among other things, hunting ability). Several studies have documented this form of male status as being the subject of selective pressures (i.e., high status men—whether that status comes in the form of land, livestock, money, physical prowess, or hunting ability—have more offspring[75][76]). Evidence of selection for men’s status has been found in many types of cultures, including studies of men’s hunting ability among the Aché, Hadza, and Tsimane[77]. Apicella[78], for instance, found men’s hunting reputation and upper-body strength both predicted reproductive success among Hadza hunter–gatherers.

Moreover, it is important to acknowledge that women’s preferences in modern nations do not seem to be calibrated on money, per se. Instead, women may view money as a proximal cue to the underlying qualities that they have evolved to care about, such as status, prestige, social dominance, ambition, work ethic, and intelligence[79]. So it is certainly true that ancestral men did not accumulate financial wealth, but focusing too much on the importance (or not) of money or wealth across all cultures is missing the adaptive forest for the trees.

10) Yes, but…I know so many people who strongly believe that sex differences in mate preferences simply cannot exist. The idea of evolved sexual desires of any kind are a theoretical impossibility from my point of view! Evolved sex differences in mate preferences have to be just a figment of the imagination of evolutionary psychologists bent on maintaining patriarchy. If the evidence is, on balance, supportive of women possessing long-term mate preferences for men with high status, why do so many post-modernists and social constructionists insist evolved sex differences are not, indeed cannot, be real[80]?

That’s a big question requiring several responses. First, the evidence of evolved sex differences in mate preferences is accumulating, but it is certainly not definitive. Evolutionary psychologists evaluate evidence of psychological adaptation in many ways[81], including cross-species, neurological, hormonal, genetic, and epigenetic evidence that has not been reviewed here (some examples of such evidence, see[82] [83] [84] [85] [86] [87]). Nothing in science is ever set in stone, and more evidence could emerge that would cast serious doubt about evolved sex differences in mate preferences (though it would take quite a lot to tip the scales against the existence of this particular set of mate preferences). Scientists are skeptical and open-minded, so anything is possible.

Second, it is a mistake to pit post-modernism and social constructivism against evolutionary psychology as though they are in an intellectual death match that only one side can win. This tribalistic, us-versus-them thinking isn’t helpful to science. Much like partitioning the causes of human behavior into nurture versus nature or culture versus biology or learned versus innate, social constructivism versus evolutionary psychology is a false dichotomy that may feel intuitively correct but should not be utilized very often by serious scientists (exceptions include behavioral genetics studies). As insightfully noted by Tooby and Cosmides[88],

“To say a behavior is learned in no way undermines the claim that the behavior was organized by evolution because the behavior was learned through the agency of evolved mechanisms. If natural selection had built a different set of learning mechanisms into an organism, that organism would learn a different set of behaviors in response to the very same environment. It is these evolved mechanisms that organize the relationship between the environmental input and behavioral output, and thereby pattern the behavior. For this reason, learning is not an alternative explanation to the claim that natural selection shaped the behavior, although many researchers assume that it is. The same goes for culture. Given that cultural ideas are absorbed via learning and inference—which is caused by evolved programs of some kind—a behavior can be, at one and the same time, ‘cultural’, ‘learned’ and ‘evolved’.”

Mate preferences in humans are certainly to some degree cultural, learned, and evolved. Ultimately, the adaptations of the human mind unearthed by evolutionary psychologists will likely play key roles in explaining precisely how and why human social constructionists have the mate preferences they do[89].

Third, some scholars believe, based on strict ideological commitments, that evolved psychological sex differences must not exist[90] or even if they do exist, studies of sex differences should be evaluated in ways that favor certain political ideologies over others, such as raising the evidentiary bar for evolutionary psychology hypotheses[91]. As a consequence of these political beliefs, many scholars chauvinistically dismiss or ignore much of the extant evidence accumulated by evolutionary psychologists.

This is a mistake on several levels, not the least of which is that even if evolved sex differences in mate preferences do exist, that does not make them “desirable” or “good” or “inevitable” in any way. Thinking like that is fallacious, it is wrong. Even though humans have likely evolved to be omnivorous, that doesn’t mean we should eat meat. What is natural is not inherently connected to what is desirable and thinking that way is committing the so-called naturalistic fallacy (actually more related to the is-ought problem and appeal to nature fallacy).

Instead of this false point of view, evolutionary psychologists take the position that by knowing what our evolved psychological adaptations are, and precisely how they are expressed (e.g., how they are specially-designed and which environments especially accentuate or attenuate their expression), we will be more capable of creating effective tools for altering human behavior in ways we do find desirable. This includes utilizing the socially-constructive psychological adaptations in our mental toolkit to do so. Evolved sex differences are not to be ideologically feared, they are to be scientifically evaluated and, if they exist, knowledge about their special design can be used to more efficiently create the healthy society within which we wish to live[92] [93].

Lastly, there are some scholars who are actively deceiving people about empirical findings in evolutionary psychology (e.g., claiming that sex differences “disappear” in egalitarian cultures[94]). Many of these thinkers spread doubt about evolved mate preferences by alluding to a highly popular study by Eagly and Wood[95]. People’s memories of Eagly and Wood’s study, however, are often quite at odds with what they actually found, and with the hundreds of empirical findings since.

Eagly and Wood related the size of sex differences in mate preferences for “good financial prospects” to sociopolitical gender equality measures across nations (actual mate preference data came from a large cross-cultural study by Buss[96]). Eagly and Wood examined four indicators of sociopolitical gender equality and found only one indicator (that’s right, only one of four tests) was significantly linked to smaller sex differences in long-term mate preferences for good financial prospects. Based on that rather meager empirical finding, a generation of scholars seems to have fallen for a “Jedi mind trick” (these aren’t the sex differences you are looking for) and have been convinced that sex differences in mate preferences completely disappear in more gender egalitarian nations. Indeed, Eagly and Wood’s study has been cited over 1,000 times and has led to many to believe all psychological sex differences disappear in gender egalitarian cultures. Not true then, not true now.

To the contrary, most cross-cultural studies find nations with the highest sociopolitical gender equality (e.g., Scandinavian nations) exhibit the largest psychological sex differences in the world. You read that correctly. Higher gender egalitarian nations tend to have larger sex differences in mate preferences for Good Looks, in Big Five personality traits and the Dark Triad traits of Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and psychopathy; in romantic attachment and love styles; in sociopolitical attitudes and personal values; in clinical depression rates and crying behavior; in tested cognitive and mental abilities; and in physical attributes such as height and blood pressure[97]. If sociopolitical gender egalitarianism is supposed to reduce sex differences to the point where they “disappear,” it’s doing a terrible job. In fact, it’s most often doing the exact opposite. Without the constraints of patriarchal sex role socialization, it appears men and women are freer to follow their evolved desires in ways that lead to even greater psychological difference[98].


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