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Old 07-15-2019, 10:30 AM
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Is MRA/pick-up artist/incel "biological psychology" necessarily........wrong?


First off, let's address the groups of people in question: Many MRAs, pick-up artists, and incels are unsavory people, and many of their views are reprehensible. So there's that. I don't think there'll be much dispute on the Dope about that.


Now, with that out of the way, the biology or psychological theories that they put forth seem to be, for the most part, scientifically sound. From Reddit and elsewhere, their science is as follows (from what I can gather of them):


  • Women are the bottleneck of reproduction, because it takes a woman 9 months to bear a child (and she cannot bear any other children while already pregnant) whereas men can simply disperse their many millions of sperm about with ease. One man can impregnate a thousand women, but a thousand men can't all impregnate one woman. So from the standpoint of reproduction, women are incredibly valuable while men are incredibly cheap. (Not that a woman's value lies only in reproduction, but just saying that insofar as this issue is concerned, women hold vastly more value)
  • In addition to men being less valuable in reproduction, men are also stronger and more suited to rough tasks or danger, and hence society has much less qualms about having men die in combat or dangerous occupations.
  • Women are drawn towards men who possess traits such as confidence, strength, height, status within a group, leadership, maturity, wealth, success and responsibility because those are traits that make for a good provider and defender. Furthermore, being with a male of high societal status also confers status upon the woman as well.
  • Conversely, men are drawn towards women who are young, have attributes such as symmetry of face, curves on the body, etc. because those are biological traits that make for suitable reproduction (a woman who is too skinny or fat, for instance, might not do well in pregnancy; ditto for a woman who is over the age of 45.) (Not that men are consciously thinking such things, but rather, subconsciously drawn towards such attributes)




There are other beliefs of theirs, but those 4 listed above are generally the gist of it.

Now, from a sheer scientific standpoint (again, ignoring the distastefulness of many of the people propagating the views,) are these 4 claims necessarily.........wrong? They seem to be entirely backed up by facts; women do, in fact, usually prefer men who are wealthy, confident, successful and have status; men generally do, go for women who are young and have a curvy figure and pretty face; society does, in fact, consider men to be more "dispensable" than women in many ways and it is undeniably biologically true that women are the "bottleneck of reproduction."
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:43 AM
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Regardless of whether there is a bottleneck for reproduction, there's much less of one for sex. And it seems to be sex, not necessarily babbies, that the incels are after.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:45 AM
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Could you define what an MRA and incel are?
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:04 AM
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Let's posit STRICTLY for the sake of arguing the points that follow that these patterns do exist, and exist intrinsically as opposed to having been inculcated by socialization alone. I do not stipulate that they do, but bracketing that off for the time being...

Individual male and female humans are not wind-up toys that march lockstep to the tune of their biological pipes. So what you get, IF you get anything of this ilk, is a general trend of behavior among the sexes.

Where that leaves me w/regards to the Incels/MRA folk is that, like so many other social echoes of human sexual experience, they turn a generalization (which they are resentfully complaining about, at least superficially) into an absolute. Their recommendations to their own target audience -- the males who experience themselves as sidelined and left out of sexual activity -- is not very different from the generic social recommendations on how to be a sexually successful male, except for the extra-high dose of cynicism, hostility, and disgust at the whole situation.

They could be identifying themselves and their target audience as exceptions to these generalizations, insofar as it doesn't seem to be "coming naturally" to these guys to be suave comfortably confident initiators of sexual activity. They don't. They could concentrate on strategies for locating the female people who are also exceptions to these generalizations, on the premise that if they wish to connect but don't like these rules and expectations, but they're not doing that.

In short, a sexual revolution for male marginalized misfits they are NOT.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:10 AM
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[*]In addition to men being less valuable in reproduction, men are also stronger and more suited to rough tasks or danger, and hence society has much less qualms about having men die in combat or dangerous occupations.
The problem with this as an argument is that it's technically true, but essentially irrelevant. The number of men in the modern world who die from such causes is just not statistically significant.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:14 AM
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Let's pretend for a second that all of your bullet points are true.
Some groups, including the ones you call out are not content just with these things being true, They want to mandate this behavior for all of society. They insist that society organize itself in only this manor and any man or woman who doesn't want to follow these "traditional" roles are somehow evil and a detriment to society and should be punished or ostracized or made to conform. Which, imho, is where they and there thoughts go off the rail.

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Old 07-15-2019, 11:16 AM
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Let's pretend for a second that all of your bullet points are true.
Some groups, including the ones you call out are not content just with these things being true, They want to mandate this behavior for all of society. They insist that society organize itself in only this manor and any man or woman who doesn't want to follow these "traditional" roles are somehow evil and a detriment to society and should be punished or ostracized or made to conform. Which, imho, is where they and there thoughts go off the rail.

mc
The impression I get from Reddit and elsewhere is exactly the opposite: MRAs, incels, etc. are not mandating these principles; they are complaining about them. They are complaining that women go for rich guys, that men's deaths are much less mourned, that society views men and women differently, that only men have to register for Selective Service, etc.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:18 AM
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Could you define what an MRA and incel are?
Men who can't get laid. MRAs blame society for it; incels blame it more specifically on women.
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Originally Posted by Velocity
Now, from a sheer scientific standpoint (again, ignoring the distastefulness of many of the people propagating the views,) are these 4 claims necessarily.........wrong? They seem to be entirely backed up by facts...
The theories aren't wrong, or not entirely wrong. The conclusions they draw from the theories are wrong. For instance, if you think this -
Quote:
Women are drawn towards men who possess traits such as confidence, strength, height, status within a group, leadership, maturity, wealth, success and responsibility because those are traits that make for a good provider and defender. Furthermore, being with a male of high societal status also confers status upon the woman as well.
An MRA will conclude "only creeps get laid" and incels say "I'm a creep - I should be getting more ass than a barber's chair". This contradicts the experience of the vast majority of non-creep men who nonetheless get laid, and the vast majority of non-stupid women who don't like creeps.

It's mostly a matter of assigning blame. All men (and women) are confronted with the same set of problems (mostly). Most of them get laid, eventually. Usually, if a guy can't get any women to have sex with him, it isn't the women's fault. That's a difficult thing to admit, because changing yourself to fix your faults is hard. MRAs and incels aren't willing to make the effort.

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Old 07-15-2019, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
The impression I get from Reddit and elsewhere is exactly the opposite: MRAs, incels, etc. are not mandating these principles; they are complaining about them. They are complaining that women go for rich guys, that men's deaths are much less mourned, that society views men and women differently, that only men have to register for Selective Service, etc.
They probably complain about the weather too.

What makes them think the world is 1) fair, or 2) designed for their benefit?
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:20 AM
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Could you define what an MRA and incel are?
MRA's are men's rights activists (or advocates). They're men who believe that American society is biased against men and towards women and are advocated for changes to address this imbalance.

Incels are involuntary celibates. These are men who say they want to have a relationship with a woman but are unable to find a willing woman because society has indoctrinated women against relationships.

This is how these men see themselves. They are viewed more negatively by people outside their groups.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:23 AM
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Could you define what an MRA and incel are?
Why are you asking these questions when you have already shown you know what they mean?

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...5&postcount=79

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What we need to do is instead of making fun of these "incels"...


So many young men in their early 20's do stupid things. Alot tied to wanting sex and companionship. They get lonely, horny, and frustrated when they look around and all these other guys have the beautiful women and they cant even get a date.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:25 AM
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This contradicts the experience of the vast majority of non-creep men who nonetheless get laid, and the vast majority of non-stupid women who don't like creeps.

It's mostly a matter of assigning blame. All men (and women) are confronted with the same set of problems (mostly). Most of them get laid, eventually. Usually, if a guy can't get any women to have sex with him, it isn't the women's fault. That's a difficult thing to admit, because changing yourself to fix your faults is hard. MRAs and incels aren't willing to make the effort.
I agree. The reality is that women are dating men and having sex with men all the time. So if you're a man who isn't getting any it's not because there's something wrong with women. It's because there's something wrong with you.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:27 AM
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The basic concepts aren't wrong but the assholery they tack on is entirely by choice.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
The impression I get from Reddit and elsewhere is exactly the opposite: MRAs, incels, etc. are not mandating these principles; they are complaining about them. They are complaining that women go for rich guys, that men's deaths are much less mourned, that society views men and women differently, that only men have to register for Selective Service, etc.
I spent some time at a site that I discovered was run by incels. That was exactly the attitude of most, and the hatred some of them had for me and my kind was palpable. It was very unpleasant to say the least, but educational.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:40 AM
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Regardless of whether there is a bottleneck for reproduction, there's much less of one for sex. And it seems to be sex, not necessarily babbies, that the incels are after.
But it's a crude evolutionary psychology model. If our behaviors are driven by instinct, natural selection has not had time to change those instinctive behaviors to take into account modern contraception that enables sex independent of reproductive considerations. The "pick-up artist" model that OP describes asserts that many women tend to follow simplistic instinctive behaviors without much cultural or rational modification (or that culture has not advanced beyond those simple instincts).

Last edited by Riemann; 07-15-2019 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:52 AM
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The impression I get from Reddit and elsewhere is exactly the opposite: MRAs, incels, etc. are not mandating these principles; they are complaining about them. They are complaining that women go for rich guys, that men's deaths are much less mourned, that society views men and women differently, that only men have to register for Selective Service, etc.
yeah...I don't know much about incels, but the MRA movement is in response to the Women's Lib movement. They say that the feminists are dismantling traditional society in a way that gives an unfair advantage to women, while keeping the parts that tended to favor women. That's why they always bring up things like selective service and hazardous jobs. If women were really interested in equality, they say, then why don't they do something about the disparities in these institutions? Clearly it's because they are not interested in equality but in favoritism for women.
Traditional society, according to MRA'a, was more egalitarian. Both men and women endured hardships and benefits equally.

mc
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:57 AM
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I know the OP didn't mean to, but there is an obvious poisoning of the well here.
None of these groups are defined by believing any of the claims in the OP.

I know that all 3 groups are toxic now in popular culture, particularly in the US, but this is ridiculous.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:59 AM
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Here's my understanding, for what it's worth:

The four bullet points of the OP are teachings of evolutionary psychology, a legitimate but controversial approach to explaining human psychology, especially with regards to sexual attraction, by what has evolutionarily been built into us via sexual selection. As such, they are descriptive but not prescriptive: they purport to help explain the way we are, but they do not presume to tell us what we should do about it.

Pick-up artists use tricks and techniques to try to obtain sex (or attention, or validation, or something like that) from women. Their tricks and techniques are often based on or justified by evolutionary psychology.

Incels and MRA types complain about the way things are vs the way they think things should be, often appealing to evolutionary psychology to justify their complaints.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:06 PM
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I think the idea that "ease of pregnancy" is a primary selection factor for men is flawed. Hunter gather societies don't want a baby every ten months. They can't support them. They want a baby every 3 years or so. Furthermore, women contribute significantly to the long term survival of their offspring by providing calories, protection, education. So from an evolutionary standpoint, it seems like there would be at least as much pressure to select intelligent, resourceful women . .women that can keep a kid alive.

It seems to me that contemporary preferences are as likely the result of post-agricultural status symbols as inherent genetic desire.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:09 PM
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Pickup artists and incels are two VASTLY different breeds. "Pick-up artist" as a phrase defines a certain Platonic ideal that seems like a douchebag, especially anyone who actively defines himself this way and especially those who market programs to other men and charge a lot of money for it. Within the world of "game", eh, there are some really sociopathic types that have very misogynistic attitudes and callously use women, but there are also a lot of guys just trying to improve their dating skills in a focused and methodical way. I can't really fault them for doing so, we live in a culture of casual sex, and guys who want to be single and play the field are naturally going to want to increase their chances of success.

IMO, as a rule, the concept of game strategy is ok when its main focus is self-improvement (which a lot of men could really benefit from) and when it doesn't veer into the territory of viewing women as just being marks to be conned. I feel like at least 50% of these guys fall into the latter category, but as for the ones who don't, I wish them the best. They have a goal that they're trying to achieve in a logical way, and as long as it's all consensual, whatever.

Incels are a different story.

The whole subculture is a blight on society and it is literally a pressure cooker of violence. It scares me, seriously. I've only taken a cursory dip into their rabbit hole and that was enough for me...these guys are in need of serious guidance and role models, but in their echo chamber, all they have to provide that are other incels. It is a black hole of negativity.

At least the PUAs are trying to do SOMETHING productive. The incels are just collectively digging deeper and deeper and deeper into a hole, and in the process, fostering obsessive-compulsive negative beliefs about their bodies, their faces, their height, the rest of society...one of the things I've learned from the therapist that I saw years ago to help with my own OCD issues was the concept of a negative feedback loop and how important it is to break it. Well, incel culture is about as much of a negative feedback loop as you can POSSIBLY have, and there's NO attempt to break it, instead they are reveling in it. And every so often one of them is going to explode and kill people - it's already happening.

Incel is an incubator of psychopathy and destruction, every bit as bad as a cult or a religious fanatic organization. There is not a single thing in any of their beliefs that is right, or good, or useful in ANY way.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:24 PM
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To engage with some of the claims in the OP:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity
In addition to men being less valuable in reproduction, men are also stronger and more suited to rough tasks or danger, and hence society has much less qualms about having men die in combat or dangerous occupations.
This implies societies all have some deliberate plan of maximizing reproduction. Do they? Also a lot of societies have historically treated a lot of women as worthless. And a lot of "women's work" was actually pretty dangerous.
So it's definitely debateable the degree to which societies shelter women.

Quote:
Women are drawn towards men who possess traits such as confidence, strength, height, status within a group, leadership, maturity, wealth, success and responsibility because those are traits that make for a good provider and defender. Furthermore, being with a male of high societal status also confers status upon the woman as well.
Conversely, men are drawn towards women who are young, have attributes such as symmetry of face, curves on the body, etc. because those are biological traits that make for suitable reproduction (a woman who is too skinny or fat, for instance, might not do well in pregnancy; ditto for a woman who is over the age of 45.) (Not that men are consciously thinking such things, but rather, subconsciously drawn towards such attributes)
I would say broadly, yes, as socially unacceptable as it is to suggest this.
But it's just in a relative sense. Being young and handsome makes a *big* difference to how successful a guy is likely to be in attracting women.
It's just somewhat less important than with genders flipped.

And as a final point, slightly off-topic, it's just not helpful to see social relationships in this way. Even if it's true that social status is more important for guys thinking like that puts many guys in a weird place where they are evaluating interactions in a transactional way that is very unattractive.
And the idea that self-confidence is important is also true, but trying to appear confident is often the fast path to being a jerk.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:00 PM
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I think the idea that "ease of pregnancy" is a primary selection factor for men is flawed. Hunter gather societies don't want a baby every ten months. They can't support them. They want a baby every 3 years or so. Furthermore, women contribute significantly to the long term survival of their offspring by providing calories, protection, education. So from an evolutionary standpoint, it seems like there would be at least as much pressure to select intelligent, resourceful women . .women that can keep a kid alive.

It seems to me that contemporary preferences are as likely the result of post-agricultural status symbols as inherent genetic desire.
Seriously. How many of these model-gorgeous arm candy wives are popping out a baby every year or so? Not many.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:06 PM
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Honestly, the little time I’ve spent browsing incel forums and MRA subreddits leads me to believe the real problem with these guys is that their standards are just way too high. They don’t just think society owes them a girlfriend. They think society owes them a Victoria’s Secret model. If you’re a spiteful, barely employed misfit who always looks like you just rolled out of bed, most women are going to be out of your league. Unfortunately, rather than improve themselves or just be realistic and settle for a woman that’s more on their level, they just stew about how terribly unfair it is that the most desirable women have the nerve to date desirable men. Then they use the rudimentary principles of evolutionary psychology listed in the OP - which are basically true in the aggregate but don’t tell anything like the whole story - to justify not bothering to make themselves more attractive.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:14 PM
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They all sound like they could benefit from spending a few years in the French Foreign Legion.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:25 PM
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Am I a fixture of everybody's ignore list, or y'all just find my post boring as fuck? **sulk**
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:42 PM
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Am I a fixture of everybody's ignore list, or y'all just find my post boring as fuck? **sulk**
I clicked the "Like" button. What more do you want?
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:57 PM
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Here's my understanding, for what it's worth:

The four bullet points of the OP are teachings of evolutionary psychology
Thanks, that was the term I should have used.
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:02 PM
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To summarize is acknowledging that human behavior is function of evolution, physics, and biology wrong? Not factually. Donít know if that really matters.
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:31 PM
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[nm

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Old 07-15-2019, 03:07 PM
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Am I a fixture of everybody's ignore list, or y'all just find my post boring as fuck? **sulk**
I nodded my head in an obvious "I understand what AHunter3 is saying, and agree" way. What more do you want?
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:30 PM
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To summarize is acknowledging that human behavior is function of evolution, physics, and biology wrong? Not factually. Donít know if that really matters.
There's a pretty big difference between, "Is human behavior a function of evolution, physics, and biology?" and "Does evolution explain why I don't want to fuck fat chicks?"
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:49 PM
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I think the idea that "ease of pregnancy" is a primary selection factor for men is flawed. Hunter gather societies don't want a baby every ten months. They can't support them. They want a baby every 3 years or so.
Sure, which is why people evolved so that lactation has a suppressive effect on ovulation, and mobile, hunter-gatherer cultures evolved things like infanticide. But the ability of a woman to successfully get pregnant, bring a child to term, survive childbirth, and nurse successfully, is a sine qua non of reproduction. Better that she gets pregnant too easily than not at all. Hence the evolved preference for the easily visible marks of youth and good health, like the 1:3 waist to hip ratio, clear skin, glossy hair, etc. A fifty year old hunter can impregnate a twenty year old woman much more easily than vice versa.
Quote:
Furthermore, women contribute significantly to the long term survival of their offspring by providing calories, protection, education. So from an evolutionary standpoint, it seems like there would be at least as much pressure to select intelligent, resourceful women . .women that can keep a kid alive.
Sure, there's pressure for that. Overall, however, pregnancy and lactation/child care are a disadvantage - pregnant women can't run as fast, as you mention lactating women have to carry the baby as well as the tent/tools/whatever, and childbirth is risky because human infants are born with unusually large heads compared to other mammals, and have a longer period of dependency. So women need larger hips, and are tied down longer. So, overall, it makes "sense" evolutionarily to mate with a higher-status male, because he is more likely to have access to resources that maximize your child's chance of survival.
Quote:
It seems to me that contemporary preferences are as likely the result of post-agricultural status symbols as inherent genetic desire.
Sure - there is such a thing as a high-status woman. Historically, this translated into "this woman is a member of a higher-status family with more access to resources". Why? Because men are bigger and meaner - if a woman produced something, they can just take it. As long as she doesn't have a family or social group of men to protect her from other men.

When females are at a surplus, they tend to come with dowries. When they are at a premium, the groom tends to have to pay a bride price.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:50 PM
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In short, a sexual revolution for male marginalized misfits they are NOT.
I think that if Pickup artists - NOT incels - help male marginalized misfits from feeling like marginalized misfits, they're performing sort of a useful function, because God knows we have enough problems with marginalized male misfits erupting in violence. Or, I'll just put it this way. If a genie appeared and said, "I have control over the destiny of 25,000 men and random men, and you can choose whether I turn them into pickup artists or into incels", then for fuck's sake I'd say ANYTHING BUT INCELS!!

The thing is, I have a feeling that a lot of incels ARE guys who are failed pickup artists. Or that the existence of pickup artists is part of what causes incels or something....they provide a tangible subculture of people for incels to hate, and that hatred boils over and results in shit like the Isla Vista shooting whose perpetrator -I don't even want to say his name - was a member of a forum called "PUAhate" and, I think would fit anyone's definition of an incel, an EXTREME incel. This guy wrote a manifesto which came out after that shooting, and in my morbid curiosity I read it. It's horrifying. The guy did have some major clinical OCD in addition to the obsession and anger at being a virgin, but the two fueled each other.

Here's an observation in general about this from a mental health perspective: I do think that a huge, huge component of the whole incel subculture is OCD. They're popularly and maybe erroneously linked to autism-spectrum disorders, and maybe high-functioning autism involves a degree of OCD, but severe OCD is treatable. In the sense that it can be channeled into something productive.

The obsession with looks-rating and physical self-scrutiny and talking about height and all the alpha and beta and whatever classifications, that I know are a part of incel "culture", absolutely SCREAM "CLINICAL OCD."

My big takeaway from Incel in terms of "what can society do to help these guys" - and yes, they need to be helped, because they are ticking time bombs - is to encourage them to seek treatment for OCD. It should be encouraged in a compassionate, not snarky, way. They should know that it is OK to have OCD, that it can help them be really good at something if they're able to channel it into some skill or productive interest, and that doing so will help them relate to people and that this would improve their romantic prospects, because the fact is, it will.
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:56 PM
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Have they considered that making them weak, unattractive and whiny in nature's way of culling them from the gene pool?
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by octopus View Post
To summarize is acknowledging that human behavior is function of evolution, physics, and biology wrong? Not factually.
Yes, it is wrong.

Human behaviour is influenced by those, but saying "is a function of" implies those are the only influences on it, and that's just not true.
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:17 PM
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they always bring up things like selective service and hazardous jobs. If women were really interested in equality, they say, then why don't they do something about the disparities in these institutions?
We do.

Part of the women's equality movement is claiming the right for women to take hazardous jobs and to enter the military. And quite a few women do so; despite there still being significant societal obstructions put in the way.

Selective service registration in the USA is a hangover that hasn't been changed -- or used -- since the 1970's. If they ever start actually drafting people, you can bet your bippy they'll have to draft women as well as men, or else be immediately sued in court. And the fact that they'd almost certainly win in court is due to the women's movement.

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Let's posit STRICTLY for the sake of arguing the points that follow that these patterns do exist, and exist intrinsically as opposed to having been inculcated by socialization alone. I do not stipulate that they do, but bracketing that off for the time being...

Individual male and female humans are not wind-up toys that march lockstep to the tune of their biological pipes. So what you get, IF you get anything of this ilk, is a general trend of behavior among the sexes.

[ . . . ] They could concentrate on strategies for locating the female people who are also exceptions to these generalizations .
Exactly this. (And I was going to include this in my response before I saw AHunter's later grumble.) There may be overall tendencies, whether for evolutionary or for current reasons (and it's almost certainly a mix of both); but there are large numbers of outliers going against any of those tendencies. Nobody in the world is a preferred mate for everybody. Nobody (possibly short of a person sure to murder their partner on the first night) is a disfavored mate for everybody. Some people like tall, some like short, some don't care. Some like fat, some like skinny, some don't care. Some like rich, others run from it. Some like competence, some like helplessness. (Personally, I'd run from those who like helplessness; but there are relatively benign forms of this.) People looking for partners, whether for the night or for their life, should be looking for people for whom their particular qualities are the desired ones, sufficiently so to overwhelm -- for that particular partner -- any undesired ones. This is especially true for the qualities they can't change; if they themselves are unhappy with qualities they can change, then they ought to change them.

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Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
I think the idea that "ease of pregnancy" is a primary selection factor for men is flawed. Hunter gather societies don't want a baby every ten months. They can't support them. They want a baby every 3 years or so. Furthermore, women contribute significantly to the long term survival of their offspring by providing calories, protection, education. So from an evolutionary standpoint, it seems like there would be at least as much pressure to select intelligent, resourceful women . .women that can keep a kid alive.
Exactly this, also. The evolutionary prize doesn't go to the ones who start the most babies; it goes to the ones who continue to have descendents many generations down the road.

And humans don't use the technique of 'have huge numbers of progeny and put as little as possible into each one.' We're not African driver ants, or even mice. We're way out on the other end of the reproductive strategy technique: have a few kids and put a whole lot into them. Humans need not only nine months of pregnancy to produce in most cases only one infant, but our children need years of care before they stand any chance at all of surviving without parental care -- and during the first several years they need to be carried if the group moves any distance; which, as Manda JO says, means that hunter-gatherer societies can't have more young children at once than can easily be carried, along with everything else that needs to be carried, and without slowing the group down.

It's true that there's some difference between male and female in this, in that men can duck the pregnancy and nursing and stand a better chance at ducking the rest of the care than women do; but throughout human history and prehistory nearly all men have had little or no chance of producing hundreds of pregnancies, let alone thousands. Men as well as women need to have some significant percentage of their children survive. So to the extent that there are evolved preferences, they should be for both men and women not only for healthy physical appearance, but also for competence in finding food, willingness to share it at least with one's own kids, and competence in caring for children. Preferences for status would apply to all genders -- and children of high-status females have a better chance in non-human primate troops, also; agricultural societies didn't invent female status. Preferences for strength in order to protect the children also make sense -- but only if that strength is balanced with being unlikely to kill or significantly damage one's partner. And, in humans, intelligence may be more useful than strength for protecting and feeding children; which may be why one of the most attractive qualities for so many is the ability to tell/sing a good story.



In addition to all this: the entire theory that preferences in modern humans are overwhelmingly determined by evolutionary forces is massively undercut by the current social preference for thin women. Through most of human evolution, 'thin' meant 'is having trouble getting food'. 'Fat' as in 'so fat as to be unable to get around' would have been too rare to bother selecting against. 'Moderately fat' meant 'is really good at getting food' -- either because the person was a really good hunter/gatherer, or because they were really good at getting others to feed them. And in societies subject to frequent food shortages, 'fatter' meant 'has reserves enough to be able to sustain a pregnancy through the next shortage'. So obviously even average overall societal preferences in humans aren't determined overwhelmingly by evolutionary forces.
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:25 PM
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Sure, which is why people evolved so that lactation has a suppressive effect on ovulation, and mobile, hunter-gatherer cultures evolved things like infanticide. But the ability of a woman to successfully get pregnant, bring a child to term, survive childbirth, and nurse successfully, is a sine qua non of reproduction. Better that she gets pregnant too easily than not at all. Hence the evolved preference for the easily visible marks of youth and good health, like the 1:3 waist to hip ratio, clear skin, glossy hair, etc. A fifty year old hunter can impregnate a twenty year old woman much more easily than vice versa.
Sure, but the vast majority of women can get pregnant easily enough and often enough that a baby every three years or so is going to occur. But all this EvPsych shit depends on the idea that determining the slightest differences in fertility overwhelmingly dominate what men find attractive. But I just don't see any actual evidence that a woman who had a 90% chance of getting pregnant in a given year provided any actual reproductive advantage over a woman who had an 85% chance--both are going to have the same number of babies over 30 years.

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Sure, there's pressure for that. Overall, however, pregnancy and lactation/child care are a disadvantage - pregnant women can't run as fast, as you mention lactating women have to carry the baby as well as the tent/tools/whatever, and childbirth is risky because human infants are born with unusually large heads compared to other mammals, and have a longer period of dependency. So women need larger hips, and are tied down longer. So, overall, it makes "sense" evolutionarily to mate with a higher-status male, because he is more likely to have access to resources that maximize your child's chance of survival.
But pregnancy and lactation don't reduce a woman to the point that she's useless for anything else. Woman produce massive amounts of resources in primitive cultures. Evolutionarily, it makes sense to mate with an intelligent, creative woman because that maximizes your children's chance of survival, as well. It doesn't do any good to have a baby every 10 months if they all die because she can't provide calories and shelter and education. What evidence is there that those factors are trivial but having a man who can bring home big chunks of meat makes a dramatic difference?

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Sure - there is such a thing as a high-status woman. Historically, this translated into "this woman is a member of a higher-status family with more access to resources". Why? Because men are bigger and meaner - if a woman produced something, they can just take it. As long as she doesn't have a family or social group of men to protect her from other men.

When females are at a surplus, they tend to come with dowries. When they are at a premium, the groom tends to have to pay a bride price.
My point is that everything men and women find desirable in each other can be explained by cultural constructs. It doesn't have to be explained by evolutionary psychology, and the idea that the picture you've drawn--that women select men based on ability to provide resources and men with immediate fertility--is far from settled fact. It's accepted like settled fact, but it's about as supported as phrenology.

Last edited by Manda JO; 07-15-2019 at 04:26 PM.
  #38  
Old 07-15-2019, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by don't mind me View Post
Have they considered that making them weak, unattractive and whiny in nature's way of culling them from the gene pool?
QFT,
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:30 PM
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From what I know, evolutionary psychologists like David Buss make the same claim. And he is not motivated by a hatred of women because he can't get laid.

So yeah I'd say there is some validity to it. However these are general rules of thumbs, not guarantees.

As a general rule of thumb, men care about looks more than women. As a general rule of thumb, women care about status and resources more than men. As a general rule of thumb women want to wait longer to have sex than men when meeting someone new.

But its not applicable in all situations, and sometimes the differences are minor. I saw one study where people were making a big deal out of the fact that thinner women had fewer sex partners and handsome men had more sex partners. They felt it validated evolutionary psychology. Which I'm sure it did in a way, but the differences were minor. It was something like 6 partners for ugly men, 7 for average or semi-attractive men and 10 for extremely good looking men. The differences for women were something like 6 vs 8 partners based on fat levels. Pretty minor differences even if they do validate evo psych teachings.

Plus there is short term vs long term mating and the strategies can be opposite. What men look for in short term mating can be the opposite of what htey want in long term mating, same with women.
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:30 PM
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Have they considered that making them weak, unattractive and whiny in nature's way of culling them from the gene pool?
That is essentially what they think. Not the whiny part, which is a personality trait that people can actually change. But incels generally believe they are doomed. That's what they call "the black pill."

Again it's useful to compare it to doomsday cults or religious fanatics who believe the entire WORLD is doomed. Look at a major thing they have in common: obsessive compulsion about various facts and figures. Look at sovereign citizens and their Kabbalistic reading of arcane legal codes. I'm telling you, it's influenced in large part by clinical OCD.
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:47 PM
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My impression was more that the black pill believes looks are all that matter when women evaluate men, while the red, blue and purple pills feel that female attraction to men is based on a wide range of factors, individual preference and what reproductive goals the woman has at the time.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:39 AM
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Have they considered that making them weak, unattractive and whiny in nature's way of culling them from the gene pool?
The thing is, it's this kind of framing that is actually a big part of the problem.

Guys are cultured to believe it's all about "manning-up" or whatever.

I don't doubt that masculinity is a big part of what makes a guy attractive. But when we're looking at the lowest tier, of guys who struggle to get dates at all, or constantly get dumped, it's unlikely to be the main problem.
Immaturity, lack of social skills and inability to understand other people are bigger factors in my experience (OK, poor personal hygiene / grooming probably ranks up there too).

Unfortunately there are a lot of guys, particularly in the very-macho US, trying super hard to be the "alpha male" and just looking like jerks. And when it doesn't work after a while they implode and consider themselves "beta" and become very bitter, often towards women but equally towards themselves.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:08 AM
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Sure, but the vast majority of women can get pregnant easily enough and often enough that a baby every three years or so is going to occur. But all this EvPsych shit depends on the idea that determining the slightest differences in fertility overwhelmingly dominate what men find attractive. But I just don't see any actual evidence that a woman who had a 90% chance of getting pregnant in a given year provided any actual reproductive advantage over a woman who had an 85% chance--both are going to have the same number of babies over 30 years.
The woman with the 90% chance is going to produce 5% more than the woman with the 85% chance, all other things being equal.

Evolution is a game of percentages and market share. Any advantage gets selected for, any disadvantage gets selected against. That's how natural selection works - whoever produces the most viable offspring, wins.
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But pregnancy and lactation don't reduce a woman to the point that she's useless for anything else.
Pregnancy and lactation/child care are a disadvantage, nearly universally suffered by women. Women's strategy to overcome that disadvantage is to find higher status men with resources to support them while they are disadvantaged, and their children are helpless.
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Woman produce massive amounts of resources in primitive cultures. Evolutionarily, it makes sense to mate with an intelligent, creative woman because that maximizes your children's chance of survival, as well.
It makes sense to mate with an intelligent, creative woman, as long as she is young and healthy enough to get pregnant. It does not make sense, evolutionarily, to mate with an intelligent, creative forty-year old. Her resourcefulness has to be exploited in different ways. Not that that resourcefulness isn't valuable, but it is not directly related to reproducing her own or someone else's genes. She can benefit the community, but that benefits people who are not as nearly related to her genes as her own offspring, or her mate's. Taking care of nieces and nephews is great, and a real benefit. But it is not as much a benefit to the selfish gene as benefiting your own offspring.
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My point is that everything men and women find desirable in each other can be explained by cultural constructs.
The general preference for youth and health in women, the physical markers of youth and health in women, and the preference of women for higher-status, higher-resource men, crosses cultures.

Unless you can name a few cultures where the average man fantasizes about mating with a seventy year old with no teeth, and the average woman would rather marry an unemployed high-school drop out than the steadily employed college graduate who owns his own home.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:53 AM
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The thing is, it's this kind of framing that is actually a big part of the problem.

Guys are cultured to believe it's all about "manning-up" or whatever.

I don't doubt that masculinity is a big part of what makes a guy attractive. But when we're looking at the lowest tier, of guys who struggle to get dates at all, or constantly get dumped, it's unlikely to be the main problem.
Immaturity, lack of social skills and inability to understand other people are bigger factors in my experience (OK, poor personal hygiene / grooming probably ranks up there too).

Unfortunately there are a lot of guys, particularly in the very-macho US, trying super hard to be the "alpha male" and just looking like jerks. And when it doesn't work after a while they implode and consider themselves "beta" and become very bitter, often towards women but equally towards themselves.
I don't entirely disagree, but let's look at the situation of the male who isn't conventionally masculine. He is likely to end up behind the curve in maturity and social skills because both of those things thrive in a bath of confidence and experience.

My own narrative is definitely that of a guy who could not get laid, was sidelined from the dating experience.

* Yes, I had to wonder if this was because I was no fun to be with, had the personality of a dead trout (or the underarm odor thereof, for that matter), or that there was something I was doing, or NOT doing, that made this entirely my own fault. I don't think anyone in that situation can avoid dwelling on that possibility. It's what you're alluding to from the outside. It would be silly not to consider that it might be the reason, right? But if you see what I mean, it becomes rather circular with regards to confidence. Wondering about this a lot doesn't increase confidence.

* It is also fair to say -- as part of "things he is NOT doing" -- that a not-conventionally-masculine male may not be getting laid because he hasn't made a high priority of getting laid and instead just expected it to eventually "happen" as an outgrowth of interacting with girls and making out / having an ongoing girlfriend-relationship or two. Or that interacting with girls as friend and companion would lead to situations where there would be mutual erotic interest. But this is where these fellows' complaints start to resemble the outside critiques of "why it's his fault" -- lots of people say "guys like that bring it on themselves by not doing what you gotta do to have that in your life" without examining whether the set of social expectations and requirements for male people, specifically, to be heterosexual in practice aren't a bad fit for guys who aren't of a masculine temperament.

* When expressed in the most cynical, angrily caustic way possible, with the maximum contempt for girls & women who require or expect it, the set of behaviors that are often described in friendly advice to shy or socially awkward males has a certain resemblance to the mechanical "pickup artist" manipulations that these guys describe and complain about.

Here's an exercise for you: think about feminists complaining about the unfair sexist expectations of female courting / flirting / dating behavior. These angry beta boys / incels / etc seem to hate feminists and blame female people collectively as if they'd designed this whole mess one day in the secrecy of the women's bathroom, but that doesn't mean you're required to do the same in your own analysis. Isn't any dance that requires dancing partners going to have a flip side, the set of steps that the other dancer has to participate in? Well, even if WhatAboutism indicates that the experience isn't pleasant on either side of an experience, that doesn't mean the dance doesn't suck, in fact it seems to me to mean the opposite.

And for both sexes, the worst for the minority who least fit the generalizations about their sex, because the dance steps are least well fitted for their personality and behavioral patterns.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
The woman with the 90% chance is going to produce 5% more than the woman with the 85% chance, all other things being equal.

Evolution is a game of percentages and market share. Any advantage gets selected for, any disadvantage gets selected against. That's how natural selection works - whoever produces the most viable offspring, wins.
It doesn't work that way. For one thing, it's not how many viable offspring you produce, it's how many offspring you produce who go on to produce offspring. Furthermore, again, marginal differences in fertility are not going to directly translate into having marginally more babies--there's only 30 fertile years at most, and a marginal difference in fertility is not going to automatically translate into another pregnancy in that interval. The slightly-less-fertile woman gets pregnant in the next month or two. This is all especially true when a big part of your survival strategy is making sure you space your kids adequately. A woman who gets pregnant too easily may well be a disadvantage in that case. I mean, you've acknowledged that infanticide is common in hunter-gather cultures. If KILLING babies is an important survival strategy, why does the potential to produce slightly more make any difference at all? But EvPsych suggests it doesn't make a difference, it's the KEY difference, overwhelming everything else.

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Pregnancy and lactation/child care are a disadvantage, nearly universally suffered by women. Women's strategy to overcome that disadvantage is to find higher status men with resources to support them while they are disadvantaged, and their children are helpless.
Pregnant and lactating women are not helpless. The society still needs them to be productive--there aren't enough surplus calories for women to be a drag on the society while they are reproducing. Again, this is why babies are so regulated: you can't support lots of useless mouths at once. So men ALSO need to select women who can contribute toward keeping their offspring alive. But, again, EvPsych holds that all that is nothing compared to the need for marginally improvments in fertility.

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It makes sense to mate with an intelligent, creative woman, as long as she is young and healthy enough to get pregnant. It does not make sense, evolutionarily, to mate with an intelligent, creative forty-year old. Her resourcefulness has to be exploited in different ways. Not that that resourcefulness isn't valuable, but it is not directly related to reproducing her own or someone else's genes. She can benefit the community, but that benefits people who are not as nearly related to her genes as her own offspring, or her mate's. Taking care of nieces and nephews is great, and a real benefit. But it is not as much a benefit to the selfish gene as benefiting your own offspring.
The general preference for youth and health in women, the physical markers of youth and health in women, and the preference of women for higher-status, higher-resource men, crosses cultures.
Children are not antelope. If you want your children to live to reproductive age--and, honestly, for your grandchildren to live to reproductive age, you need to be able to continue to support them. given a choice between a woman who will have babies spaced 22 months apart and one who will have babies spaced 25 months apart, the slight chance of one more pregnancy over the course of a life seems much, much less important than which of the two women has the skills and intelligence to keep the maximum possible number of those children alive.

And I thought the idea of "cheap sperm" was that a wise man would want to mate with BOTH or ALL. A man who is only attracted to super-fertile women might well have no opportunities to reproduce at all.

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Unless you can name a few cultures where the average man fantasizes about mating with a seventy year old with no teeth, and the average woman would rather marry an unemployed high-school drop out than the steadily employed college graduate who owns his own home.
Hyperbole doesn't strengthen your argument here. And I'm not arguing that there aren't society-wide preferences. I'm arguing that we don't have enough evidence to create a just-so story about where they came from--especially because life in hunter-gather cultures is so radically different than our own. The whole field seems to start with assumptions I find unsupported: that selecting for marginally more fertile women is the best, practically the only, way to increase the number of descendants you have and that 2) women don't contribute enough to their children's survival to create selection pressure--rate of production overwhelms those factors. Neither of those seem remotely self-evident to me. You need to show me substantial evidence that these things are true.

Last edited by Manda JO; 07-16-2019 at 08:56 AM.
  #46  
Old 07-16-2019, 09:17 AM
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The woman with the 90% chance is going to produce 5% more than the woman with the 85% chance, all other things being equal.
Only if they could both potentially have children every year for the same length of time, with the exact same chance of the children surviving and of the mother surviving all of those pregnancies; which during nearly all the time of human evolution was extremely unlikely.

If only one child every three or four years can be raised, there's going to be a lot less than 5% difference if everything's equal but the chance of becoming pregnant. Plus which, overly frequent pregnancies are an increased risk to the mother's life; and her early death puts her already-existing children at much higher risk. The woman who catches too easily may well raise fewer children, not more of them.

Plus which, other things never are all equal. Even aside from the above, a woman with a slightly smaller chance of becoming pregnant in any given cycle but a much greater chance of raising a child to adulthood would still be a better bet.

And if this controls modern behavior: again, why is the current general societal preference not for moderately fat women?
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
It doesn't work that way.
Actually, yes, it does work that way.
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For one thing, it's not how many viable offspring you produce, it's how many offspring you produce who go on to produce offspring.
If you don't produce viable offspring, you aren't going to have any offspring who go on to produce viable offspring. Having children is a necessary but not sufficient condition for having grand children.
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Furthermore, again, marginal differences in fertility are not going to directly translate into having marginally more babies--there's only 30 fertile years at most, and a marginal difference in fertility is not going to automatically translate into another pregnancy in that interval. The slightly-less-fertile woman gets pregnant in the next month or two.
I'm sorry you don't believe in the law of averages, but evolution does.
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If KILLING babies is an important survival strategy, why does the potential to produce slightly more make any difference at all? But EvPsych suggests it doesn't make a difference, it's the KEY difference, overwhelming everything else.
Evolutionary psychology does not say that it overwhelms everything else.
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And I thought the idea of "cheap sperm" was that a wise man would want to mate with BOTH or ALL. A man who is only attracted to super-fertile women might well have no opportunities to reproduce at all.
Men are preferentially attracted to women who have the physical markers of health and fertility.

You are correct about the idea of cheap sperm. Men will mate with both if possible. The investment for men is minuscule. The investment for women is much greater, which is why they prefer higher-status, higher-resource men.
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And I'm not arguing that there aren't society-wide preferences.
Not merely society-wide - cross-cultural.
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The whole field seems to start with assumptions I find unsupported: that selecting for marginally more fertile women is the best, practically the only, way to increase the number of descendants you have and that 2) women don't contribute enough to their children's survival to create selection pressure--rate of production overwhelms those factors. Neither of those seem remotely self-evident to me. You need to show me substantial evidence that these things are true.
It isn't necessary to over-state the assumptions to argue for selective evolutionary pressure as an explanation for the near-universal preference of men for young healthy women, or of women for high-status, high-resource men. They aren't the only factors, but they are factors.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:31 AM
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I don't entirely disagree, but let's look at the situation of the male who isn't conventionally masculine. He is likely to end up behind the curve in maturity and social skills because both of those things thrive in a bath of confidence and experience.
Disagree. If you had said let's look at a guy who is very shy, say, I would agree with you. But not being masculine is not the same thing as not being social.

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My own narrative is definitely that of a guy who could not get laid, was sidelined from the dating experience.
Me too. I basically didn't have a real relationship until I was close to 30 Then things turned around relatively quickly (in hindsight) and I can say I have dated a lot of very beautiful, amazing women, and now at the age of 40 I still find it easy to get dates and, yes, get laid (though I have not personally desired to "bed N=ridiculous number of women").
I don't do it by being "alpha" or even extrovert.

That's why I am always dropping in on threads like this with unsolicited advice, hoping I can help some 20-something not waste years like I did. No-one ever listens, I think because "social skills" doesn't sound like the magic fix they are looking for.

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But if you see what I mean, it becomes rather circular with regards to confidence. Wondering about this a lot doesn't increase confidence.
Yeah. The thing is, sometimes true information is nonetheless not helpful to hear.
Confidence is important, but consciously trying to be confident often causes problems. It's better to forget about it IME.

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that a not-conventionally-masculine male may not be getting laid because he hasn't made a high priority of getting laid and instead just expected it to eventually "happen" as an outgrowth of interacting with girls and making out / having an ongoing girlfriend-relationship or two.
I would say "friend zone" is a real phenomenon, with specific reasons for happening. But guys with steady girlfriends who frequently "make out" but never get to actual sex...is not a frequent issue that I am aware of.

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Here's an exercise for you: think about feminists complaining about the unfair sexist expectations of female courting / flirting / dating behavior. These angry beta boys / incels / etc seem to hate feminists and blame female people collectively as if they'd designed this whole mess one day in the secrecy of the women's bathroom, but that doesn't mean you're required to do the same in your own analysis. Isn't any dance that requires dancing partners going to have a flip side, the set of steps that the other dancer has to participate in? Well, even if WhatAboutism indicates that the experience isn't pleasant on either side of an experience, that doesn't mean the dance doesn't suck, in fact it seems to me to mean the opposite.

And for both sexes, the worst for the minority who least fit the generalizations about their sex, because the dance steps are least well fitted for their personality and behavioral patterns.
I am afraid I don't really follow this.

Last edited by Mijin; 07-16-2019 at 09:35 AM.
  #49  
Old 07-16-2019, 10:14 AM
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Only if they could both potentially have children every year for the same length of time, with the exact same chance of the children surviving and of the mother surviving all of those pregnancies; which during nearly all the time of human evolution was extremely unlikely.
If you don't think averages apply to evolution, I doubt if I can explain points that are based on that understanding.
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]And if this controls modern behavior: again, why is the current general societal preference not for moderately fat women?
It doesn't control it; it affects it.

But get back to us in a hundred thousand years or so, and we can discuss how evolutionary pressures affect mating preferences.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Mijin View Post
I would say "friend zone" is a real phenomenon, with specific reasons for happening. But guys with steady girlfriends who frequently "make out" but never get to actual sex...is not a frequent issue that I am aware of.
Could be an artifact of the time and place where I grew up, I don't honestly know. Is it no longer true that prior to full adulthood (and even into it for a few years) the act of consensual making out does not intrinsically imply intent or consent to go further?

By the time I was 21, I had the sense that several of the girls I had spent time with had been hesitant but were also sort of anticipating the experience with excitement and were amenable to being carried along by the passion of the moment if it were to happen that way, but except in such moment were not inclined to opt for it explicitly. This was all within a context where boys who either asked verbally for sexual activity or who made physical attempts to see if and where and when they would be stopped were often accused of not caring for the girl as a person, that they "only wanted one thing" and were hence exploitative and not very nice people.

I'd been on the receiving end of that kind of push-away once or twice so I was leery of doing anything that might make the person I was with feel disregarded or mistreated. I, too, was amenable to being carried over the line by things happening and excitement building, if it were happen that way, but I was damned if I was going to be accused of those exploitative and deliberately manipulative agendas.

So yeah despite having had a steady girlfriend in my senior year of high school and again (after a dry spell w/o girlfriend) a couple years later in college, I was a virgin, my girlfriends were virgins, and in both cases by the conclusion of all things I was still a virgin. Not, I assure you, because I had a commitment to remaining one.
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