Discussion of the Ladder Theory.

The folks at intellectualwhores.com have an ineresting theory trying to explain pretty much everything about romantic/sexual relationships. (intro.)

Very Basic Summary:
*When people of the opposite sex meet each other, they put place the other person on a ‘ladder.’ Men have one ladder, depending on how much he would like to have sex with the women he knows. Women have two; the friend ladder and another another one which is like the men’s.
*People proceed to do everything they can to have sex/a relationship with people higher up on their ladder. To say it in a different way, women always want richer/more powerful men, and men always want more physically attractive women. (There’s more to it.)

The theory is insulting to people in certain ways,by its simplification. Yet I think it’s right on with its analyzation in others.
I realize that the ladder theory is not completely serious about itself, but it does bring up some ideas interesting enough to discuss.

Please visit the website itself, if you haven’t before. Don’t go on my summary.

So: what do you guys think?


If it’s so hot, it’d be already been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

I seriously disagree with the Men’s rating system. I give at least 20% to personality and intelligence when consider women.

Sounds like a disgruntled guy trying to wave a big brush to smack all his ex-dates with.

I think the website is intended to be a parody and a “tongue in cheek” look at the whole situation.

Pretty much. I read that the day before yesterday, and found it preposterous. There is one man born for every woman, and vice versa. They go through numerous lives trying to be together. They’re together on the last one. Once they’ve done everything that needed doing, then they get together, then after that they finally die and are free.

What the fuck is the ladder “theory” about? Do people actually think about other people that way?

Yeah, but have you read the forums?:eek:

I think the guy believes in certain things about women, then he developed a whole pseudo-scientific ‘theory’ around those things.

True Thing: women are very,very attracted to money/power.

I looked at the site from another post.
Turned my stomach.

Pretty damned insulting to everyone.

So far, no one has mentioned what I think is the most important part of the theory: Women have two ladders, but men only have one. If a man isn’t interested in a relationship with a certain woman, the theory suggests that it’s because he already has a higher ranking relationship; but if a woman isn’t interested in a certain man, it could be that he ranks too low, or he could just be on the “friends” ladder instead of the “relationship” ladder.

Thou the site is obviously a parody or an exageration… I actually think its a reasonably valid simplification. I even consider myself a sort of feminist too… of course some stuff seem more off and others only as a generalization correct.

 Being a man I think that its hard for men to separate friendship from sexual desire. Its what I call the "Harry met Sally" dilemma... if your female friend is attractive you will want to sleep with her. So only "ugly" women will be "real friends." My Ex kept complaining that all men that approached her none seemed intersted only in friendship. I do have attractive female friends... but I wanna sleep with 80% of them. The other 20% don't necessarily mean the "rule" doesnt work... just that its not 100%.

(i mentioned it.)

So, why do you think this is the most important part of the theory? What segnificance do you find in it?

A person would only mention that if that person subscribes to this “theory.”

As I said, it looks like bunk.

I’d almost accept the theory, except I don’t see a pidgeonhole to place the women in the (normal) man’s life who he would not have any sexual desire for (mother, grandmother, sister, etc.)
(Implicitly) rating them at the 0 step is kind of an awkward method in my view.
Other than that…

I can’t be bothered to wade through all that stuff in the OPs cites (I did have a good look though), but I think it is safe to say that anyone who believes that human behaviour can be deconstructed to a handful of simple rules that can be said to apply to everyone is talking out of their arse (or maybe just seeing what they wish to see).

People are a diverse set of brilliant, stupid, complex creatures and perform a huge variety of complex, brilliant, stupid actions for a wide range of stupid, complex, brilliant reasons.

Having skimmed the background I must asK:

Is the theory falsifable? It appears to have no testable consequences whatsoever.

There is one testable claim. Every woman who has a platonic male friend should, the next time he is over, excuse herself to the bathroom and come out naked, and ask him for sex.

If even one man declines, then the theory is wrong.

This should only be done with men who are not already in committed relationships.

Why leave out the ones in relationships ? If your good looking he will take your offer for sure :slight_smile:

Ah, you did mention it in the OP, sorry.

I think it’s the most important part because frankly, the rest of the theory seems obvious to me. Men and women use different criteria to measure how desirable a potential SO is? Of course. People would rather be with a more desirable person than a less desirable person? Naturally.

The only real “surprise” in the theory is that a woman might decide that Bill is more desirable than Ted, but she might still pursue a relationship with Ted instead of Bill, because Bill is on the friends ladder and Ted is on the relationship ladder.

Not so… the man might not find her desirable, or desirable enough in comparison to his other recent SOs.

Ladder theory? I remember reading this on some site many a month ago. I certainly wouldn’t lend it any credibility, if only because I - a male - have two ladders.

Thus it fails as a model for human behavior, or me and all my friends are freaks.