One of the most pressing imperatives human males (really most primates) have evolved is a need for certainty in their own paternity. Up until the last century with the advent of DNA testing it has been an imperative that has really been at the control of any female with whom a man copulates with. Indeed, even today a ‘father’ is really whomever’s name a woman puts on a birth certificate, generally no questions asked (and no information relayed) of that mother by the OBGYN doctors. Prior to the Sexual Revolution and the millennia leading up to it social and religious controls were instituted to keep rampant Hypergamy in check. An argument could be made that, even in a post-agrarian social order, ubiquitous monogamy and marriage were socially mandated as a way to not only control for women’s Hypergamous impulses, but were also the only practical means of control over certifying that a man’s child was of his own genetic line. And even this had its flaws.
Up until the advent of genetic testing the only practical, somewhat assured failsafe for knowing paternity was long term, pair-bonded monogamy and the social conventions that were instituted around it. Men’s sexual strategy (our masculine imperative) is scattershot. Our biology functions such that we can father countless children with each ejaculation and continue to do so well into our later years of life. This strategy is a counterbalance to women’s quality-over-quantity approach to their own sexual strategy. For each environmental obstacle one sex’s reproductive imperatives poses, the other will evolve contingent strategies to compensate for it.
To understand this conflict all we need to consider is the Cardinal Rule of Sexual Strategies – For one sex’s strategy to be fulfilled the other’s must be compromised or abandoned.
For men, in a social order founded on monogamous pair-bonding, this means abandoning his scattershot sexual strategy and adopting the strategic goals of women’s strategy. What were looking at here for men is exactly the type of evolved contingent strategy I mention above – abandoning his sexual imperative to essentially bet his genetic legacy on one horse, rather than diversifying his odds with, potentially, many sexual opportunities. This is a very important distinction for Red Pill aware men to make with regards to their own sex; opting in for long-term monogamy over a man’s evolved sexual strategy (scattershot) represents adopting a woman’s (ultimate) sexual strategy as his own. This dynamic is defined by what’s called strategic pluralism theory:
According to strategic pluralism theory (Gangestad & Simpson, 2000), men have evolved to pursue reproductive strategies that are contingent on their value on the mating market. More attractive men accrue reproductive benefits from spending more time seeking multiple mating partners and relatively less time investing in offspring. In contrast, the reproductive effort of less attractive men, who do not have the same mating opportunities, is better allocated to investing heavily in their mates and offspring and spending relatively less time seeking additional mates.
From a woman’s perspective, the ideal is to attract a partner who confers both long-term investment benefits and genetic benefits. Not all women, however, will be able to attract long-term investing mates who also display heritable fitness cues. Consequently, women face trade-offs in choosing mates because they may be forced to choose between males displaying fitness indicators or those who will assist in offspring care and be good long-term mates (Gangestad & Simpson, 2000). The most straightforward prediction that follows is that women seeking short-term mates, when the man’s only contribution to offspring is genetic, should prefer muscularity more than women seeking long-term mates.
If we consider that men are overwhelmingly (80%+) rated as unattractive by women today we begin to see the adaptive logic of strategic pluralism for men. Less opportunity equals less potential to follow a man’s sexual imperative. Solution: invest all your sperm and all your efforts into one long-term bet; reproduction with one or relatively few sexual partners – and if you can build social and moral conventions around this adaptive strategy to reinforce it, so much the better.
If men can compel intrasexually competing men, and women (whose strategy might be compromised by adopting it), to believe that monogamy is a social and moral imperative, then they increase the odds that they’ll successfully circumvent what would otherwise be the natural limitations of their own reproduction.
As you can probably guess, this adaptation for singular parental investment imposed a much higher premium on men’s need for certainty of their own paternity. To be sure, the Alpha Males of most primates have a habit of killing the offspring of any prior Alpha that had access to fertile females in a group prior to his own breeding with them. This infanticide is yet another adaptive insurance that a male primate can be certain that any resources, protection and parental investment he put into any progeny would be of his own paternal line. If it can be assumed that the importance of paternity is a primary, evolved drive in primates, how much more imperative must it be for human males adopting a sexual strategy of singular investment? How much more imperative must it be for women to collectively confuse paternity within a social collective (tribe) and protect against a perceived threat of infanticide or loss of resource provisioning if left on their own?
Even in our march towards ‘civilization’ we find this anti-paternity bias in the killing of male members of a social collective while preserving fertile females for potential breeding purposes. Today we may not be killing the sons of rival clansmen, but we can certainly see the paternity bias in how we regard kin affiliation above out-group affiliation in our personal dealings. Concerns of paternity, for men, evolved to be part of our mental firmware – and certainty of it became of paramount importance.
Strategic pluralism, however, is not without its own counter contingencies. Even within a social and moral environment that restricts Hypergamy, women are still psychologically compelled to optimize their own sexual strategy to its fullest. 8,000 years ago 17 women reproduced for every 1 man – and this was after the advent of agriculture. There’ve been other studies that reduce this number to a 5 to 1 ratio, but still the fact remains that even in a social order that (ostensibly) prioritizes pair-bonded monogamy, women have provably found ways to optimize Hypergamy and confuse paternity to a socially stable degree. Thus, we see counter-adaptations in behavior on the part of men to mate guard, to once again, insure certainty of paternity. Even in the relative stability of monogamy, men’s psychological imperative for paternity supersedes the social environment.
Cuckoldry by Any Other Name
As I’ve mentioned in prior essays, cuckoldry deserves a much broader definition today; one that goes beyond the obvious duplicity of birth fraud. Women have found that by tweaking the social conventions that would limit their own sexual strategy they can circumvent the monogamous side of sexual pluralism socially enforced by men. Thus, we get new feminine-primary social conventions that celebrate, socially reward and positively reinforce men’s acceptance of the parental investment responsibilities of other men who fathered children with a woman they’ve pair-bonded with. Step-dads get the big thumbs up and we rejigger the positive reinforcement to downplay father’s day and replace it with special person’s day.
Now, consider this with respect to the potential for infanticide that a woman’s hindbrain believes men are capable of. That fear of infanticide represents a root-level limbic part of women’s evolved need to optimize Hypergamy and the great potential for loss of having optimized it in her offspring. So imperative is this to the female psyche that it became necessary to socially condition men’s evolved paternity need out of them once women and the Feminine Imperative became the dominant social driver.
On a larger social scale, one that is defined by a post-Sexual Revolution, feminine-primary social order, the answer is simple and total; men must be convinced to completely abandon their biological imperative of parental certainty before they commit to a monogamous relationship with a woman. Socially, we make paper heroes of men who will accept the parental investment responsibilities of a child he didn’t sire. That ‘heroism’ of the guy who accepts his assigned role as a retroactive cuckold is short-lived, but the archetype of that guy who ‘man’s up’ and adopts the children of a single mother is now embedded into our modern folklore.
I would also argue that a large part of the Blue Pill conditioning of men for the past 5 generations can find its roots in women’s need to optimize Hypergamy while ensuring the security that once she does a provider-male will step in to fulfill his role as a dutiful cuckold. In order to achieve this, free from the fear of infanticide, boys and men must be conditioned to unequivocally revoke any need for certainty of their own paternity.
A few years ago I outlined the next step in Open Hypergamy would be transitioning to a state of normalized and accepted Open Cuckoldry. Wrapped into this transition is also the social efforts to normalize a feminine-controlled form of polyamory – one in which primarily a woman is presented with the options and control of exercising both the short-term sexual, and long-term provisional, sides of Hypergamy. Today this is what’s termed a polyamorous relationship with male partners representing Alpha seed and Beta need. In moving from a normalized state of Open Hypergamy to Open Cuckoldry there are a series of social changes that need to occur and find acceptance in the general population of men. One of these changes is a large scale, socialized effort to get men to accept that their biological imperative to ascertain paternity – even the questioning of paternity – be equated with “toxic” masculinity.
The War on Paternity
Increasingly we are seeing a push on the part of the Feminine Imperative to delegitimize the innate need of men to ensure their paternity. It’s actually an aspect of a war that’s been going on since the Sexual Revolution to redefine masculinity and fatherhood. As I mentioned in Positive Masculinity the definition of what makes a father is becoming more and more ambiguous, while fathers become increasingly more superfluous. In order to complete this delegitimization of masculinity men must be convinced that their innate need to know paternity, and the importance they inherently place on it, is something to be ashamed of.
Every social mandate we see today puts the interests of the mother and child well above that of any father. This is why paternity is rarely ever a factor in issues of child support; even for children that a man didn’t father but is held legally liable for. Socially, even religiously, any importance of paternity for men is being systematically erased. From doctors being gagged from informing cuckolded fathers of genetic tests, to limiting their access to DNA tests themselves, to encouraging men to ‘man up’ and marry single mothers as a moral imperative, paternity for men is now some sort of shameful insecurity.
Why would the Feminine Imperative seek to root out what has been a fundamental, evolved, part of men’s mental firmware since the time of our hunter/gatherer beginnings? Because Hypergamy needs security. Hypergamy needs assurances to quell the doubt that a woman has optimized both the Alpha Fucks and Beta Bucks aspects of her sexual strategy. I would argue that men’s psychological need for certainties in his paternity is on par with the need women have of certainties in their need for optimizing Hypergamy.
All this war on paternity amounts to is an ensuring that women’s unquestioned, unilateral control over Hypergamy is baked into men on a societal level. Convincing men to abandon any claims on certainty of paternity, and at the same time shaming men who put any importance on it, is an effort on the part of the Feminine Imperative to get men to surrender their sexual strategy by abandoning it wholesale, while praising them for playing a willing role in fulfilling women’s sexual (and life) strategy. Even when that sexual strategy is one where a man acknowledges his lesser sexual market value and seeks to put all his investment into one woman, the push to delegitimize men’s need for paternity circumvents this strategy.
Delegitimizing men’s need for paternity cancels any and every upside that long-term monogamy had for Beta men using this sexual strategy. Thus, a return to a scattershot, some would say ‘less civilized’ sexual strategy becomes the only obvious alternative for men who want parental certainty.
Erasing the importance of paternity for men is literally the last nail in the coffin that is now contemporary marriage. It reduces men to little more than draft animals and livestock for women’s breeding purposes by erasing any claim a man may have to know his children are his own. Most well-conditioned Blue Pill men adopt this archetype unquestioningly. There are no ‘Fathers’ anymore; all men are interchangeably either breeding stock or simply childcare workers in this new social framework. And boys and young men’s pre-acceptance of this state of men is part of their Blue Pill conditioning.
To fully effect Open Cuckoldry the goal of the Feminine Imperative is to have men define masculinity as accepting parental investment as separate and apart from evolved concerns of paternity.