Hypergamy is the word of the day.

by on August 2, 2008 at 1:44 pm in Science | Permalink

Yes, men are also, to their own detriment, continually surrounded with images of exceptionally attractive women. But this has less practical import, because–to say it once more–women choose.

Or:

The decline of matrimony is often attributed to men now being able to “get what they want” from women without marrying them. But what if a woman is able to get everything she wants from a man without marriage? Might she not also be less inclined to “commit” under such circumstances?

This essay is not politically correct and at times it is misogynous and yes I believe the author is evil (seriously).  The main behavioral assumption is that women are fickle.  So they are monogamous at points of time but not over time; Devlin then solves for the resulting equilibrium, so to speak.  The birth rate falls, for one thing.  The piece also claims that the modern "abolition" of marriage strengthens the attractive at the expense of the unattractive.  Some of you will hate the piece.  I disagree with the central conclusion, and also the motivation, but it does seem to count as a new idea.  If you’re tempted, read it.

I thank Robin Hanson for the pointer.

Yancey Ward August 2, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Tyler,

Be honest now. Did Hanson really point this essay out to you for the first time, or did you, perhaps, first read about it somewhere else?

liberty August 2, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Some of it makes sense, but it makes many of the same mistakes I commonly find on these blogs with regard to love & marriage. For example, regarding the women’s ideal, it says “The fantasy is strictly utopian, partly because no perfect man exists, but partly also because even if he did, it is logically impossible for him to be the exclusive mate of all the women who desire him.”

This is stupid because the fantasy is not for “the perfect man” as if it is an objective thing. Love is not objective, “perfection” in a partner is not something you can measure in a lab. One woman’s perfect man is another’s complete loser. Theoretically, we all absolutely could have the perfect man, because someone different is perfect for each of us.

Caliban Darklock August 2, 2008 at 2:47 pm

This paper is riddled with inconsistency and flawed analogy. The biggest such example I’ve encountered thus far is the lottery ticket analogy on page 16.

This analogy compares a young woman who has been date-raped to a man who buys a lottery ticket but does not win. The analogy is flawed, because the young woman did not purchase the lottery ticket of her own free will: she was pressured into buying the lottery ticket by the man, who has misled her as to the odds of winning, and after the “drawing” is concluded walks away with a prize of his own. We do not call this “theft”, it is true, but we do call it “fraud”.

It’s an interesting paper, don’t get me wrong, but there seems to be a great deal of bias in it. The author goes rather far afield to cherry-pick the analogies and observances which support his conclusions, ignoring any evidence that runs counter to it, and improperly emphasising things like “parasitic dating”. Parasitic dating does happen, it’s true, but it’s not exactly common – and it’s generally not prolonged. The reality of modern dating isn’t the picture this paper paints; it paints the picture it needs to draw the conclusion it wants to draw.

I’d like to see a more balanced treatment of the theme. Among other things, Devlin completely ignores the reality that women match themselves to mates, identifying and pursuing the mates they find desirable AND feel confident of acquiring. The scarcity of movie stars is not so great an issue, because women – unlike most men – understand that the vast majority of them don’t get to have one. The average man doesn’t understand why he can’t have Angelina Jolie (after all, she has to have SOMEONE, and he’s someone), but the average woman does understand that she can’t have Brad Pitt – because he has access to a higher-quality pool of potential mates.

Yancey Ward August 2, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Caliban,

You make the same error. Most men, also, understand why he can’t have Ms. Jolie.

WestIndianArchie August 2, 2008 at 3:25 pm

The playing field is not level, but “the occidental quarterly”
is a racist magazine without a doubt.

Caliban Darklock August 2, 2008 at 3:37 pm

@Yancey Ward: “Most men, also, understand why he can’t have Ms. Jolie.”

Not to any practical degree; he understands that he can’t GET to her, but if she walked in the room, that would change. The average man pursues the most desirable of the available women in his proximity until she becomes unavailable. Then he turns to the rest, who are now unavailable because he’s spent all his time ignoring them and falling all over someone else. (Devlin would probably portray this as some sort of petty vindictive attempt at vengeance, but I think it’s really just a simple matter of getting the respect you’ve earned.)

The man now proceeds to complain about the lack of available women until a brand new available woman shows up, upon whom he descends… along with the rest of the single men, much like a pack of hungry dogs.

Most social circles are full of very attractive and interesting women, many of whom are available, but most of the men are pursuing the same one. The success strategy is to advertise availability without pursuing. Devlin is right on one point: men advertise, women choose. And the majority of men are spammers, filling up a mailbox with garbage until it starts bouncing, and then becoming confused when they find themselves blacklisted by people they’ve never emailed.

At its heart, sex is a marketing problem.

joan August 2, 2008 at 3:43 pm

The fertility rate has declined in the whole world, not just in the west or in the US, and it seem silly to ascribe this to peculiarities of the sexual revolution in the US in the 1960’s. It has been found by people working in population control that the two things that lead to lower birth rates is improvement in child mortality rates and increase in the independence of women, especially financial independence. It is thought that in hunter gather society’s women found mates to father a child and who would stay around until the child is walking and no longer needs constant care. Then more often than not they both moved on. Because of the long nursing times and strenuous life children were spaced no closer than three or four years. In an industrial economy women have become self supporting and capable of raising children with out help from the father once they reach school age, and birth control allows the spacing of children, so people are simply reverting to what is the natural pattern of sexual behavior.

asdkjhdf August 2, 2008 at 3:52 pm

also there’s lots of chemicals in or water now that lower sperm counts

Captain Awesome August 2, 2008 at 4:08 pm

A great deal of his argument is about date rape, and though I don’t agree with many of his arguments, I must admit that the common stat that 25% of college women are victims of date rape has always sounded insane to me. I’d be interested in any legitimate, detailed studies of this. It seems plausible to me that people have simply been tricked into thinking that rape is something other than it is. If you agree to have sex, you haven’t been raped, even if the guy was “pushy.” Rape is when you don’t agree to the sex.

Caliban Darklock August 2, 2008 at 4:15 pm

“…self-proclaimed libertarians and old fashioned conservatives seem to be fellow travelers more often than chance would predict.”

Libertarian philosophy is really not too far from the foundations of conservative politics – whereas the conservative wants fewer laws changed, the libertarian wants fewer laws. The friction between the two is largely when you start discussing which laws that already exist need to go; the conservative is wary of removing the elements of the existing system, because some of those elements are load-bearing structures. OSHA can’t just go away overnight; that would be disastrous. If an alternative to OSHA is desired, we must first find that alternative and plan the transition.

But in general, both the libertarian and the conservative are reluctant to make new laws, for largely the same reason: all laws reduce freedom.

The big-L Libertarian and the big-C Conservative are not really either, and have simply hung a label on themselves to show that they’re on the right side. It’s the non-capitalised versions that actually stand for something in which they believe.

rtc August 2, 2008 at 4:41 pm

since devlin is so keen on making bold assertion about character traits. here is my guess on him.
he sounds like one of those nerdish guys in their mid 20s, who didn’t get laid to much in school + college, because all the girls always wanted to sleep with the quarterback or something. unfortunately he didn’t get over it. and now he is commited to fight against the extinction of the white race, i guess.

brainwarped August 2, 2008 at 5:00 pm

Captain Awesome –

How dare you insult college women! More than 25% have been raped, they just are too scared to admit it to the anonymous surveys. Clearly 25% of college men are in jail and have been kicked out of college for raping women.

I’m just kidding around. The statistic is alarming though. I once calculated that a white 18 year old college woman in America has a 2.3-4.1% chance of being raped in her remaining lifetime, based on the barrage of statistics I’ve found on anti-rape websites. The 25% generally refers to rape as any sexually aggressive behavior, including ass-slaps, kissing, and yelling(sexual things). Whereas my 4% refers to forced penetration. The statistics are hard to compile because rape is defined differently by different states.

v August 2, 2008 at 5:25 pm

Amazing article in that actually tries to construct an entirely different social structure. His points about feminism and date rape are pretty good in that they are interesting and definitely as valid as most of his opponents’ are (ie they are based on belief structures). Unfortunately, the article has too many gratuitous slams which, while amusing, do make him easier to dismiss (like the women and lord and master one)…He should edit those out despite the laughs they gave me…

brainwarped August 2, 2008 at 5:58 pm

Captain Awesome -

Thanks for reminding me, I left out the limiting “raped by a stranger” factor in my 4% figure. That particular woman is more likely to be raped by someone she has previously met than a total stranger. Although, I do not see how that is any better, I was calculating the figure to see how crazy white college girls are in their fear of being raped randomly on the streets. 4% was much higher than I thought, and very significant. Being scared to fly, of elevators, or even of dieing in a car accident are less likely events. A women’s fear of rape is very legitimate, mainly because of the randomness of the event. The only control they have over the outcome is not walking home alone.

Bob Howland August 2, 2008 at 6:40 pm

If you want a good critique of the 25% coed rape figure, see “Who Stole Feminism” by Christina Hoff Sommers. She has a whole chapter on the original study. Just to give you a taste, 73% of the women didn’t think they’d been raped, more than 1/3 of the “raped” women had sexual intercourse, apparently consensual, with the same guy at a later date, and 1/3 of attempted rape victims likewise had sex with the same guy at a later date. Apparently a lot of these “rapes” occurred in the context of long standing relationships and, as Sommers points out, one of the realities of long standing relationships is that very often one party does something that he/she doesn’t like simply because the other party wants to. When men do this to benefit women, it’s called caring. When women do this to benefit men, it’s called rape.

For those interested in a serious book on mate selection from an evolutionary perspective, I suggest “Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating” by David Buss. Make sure you get the 2nd edition.

truthseeker August 2, 2008 at 7:55 pm

“When he claimed that date rape accusations were what happened when woman regretted having sex, I stopped reading. That’s not just wrong, and not just offensive, it is in fact evil.”

You’re so right! People who accurately observe the world, those creeps who believe the evidences of their own eyes, ears, and reason, instead of properly obeying the taboos of political correctness, are wrong, offensive, and evil! God forbid that we would expose our minds to the filth of reality. Thank you such much for setting us straight. I’m going out and getting a blindfold, some earplugs, and some very spacy drugs right away. After all I want to be a good person too!

katie August 2, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Here are some other Devlin works for anyone interested!:
http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/devlin_contents.htm

umm the problem with this belief is that of course that the sensitivity classes many of us go through in undergrad do in fact teach that when you regret having sex the next morning, it is date rape…I don’t see why if that is in fact the curriculum, that that belief would become wrong, let alone offensive, or evil.
Wait, what? Really? We were told that you can be too drunk to consent, even if you say “yes,” and the male can be held accountable for date rape. As others have mentioned, date rape statistics are very difficult to quantify. They’re widely underreported, and when answering a survey, people aren’t always sure what constitutes date rape. Because the line isn’t very clear in the first place.

At any rate I’d have to agree with the other commentators that Devlin’s remarks are poorly thought out and fallacious in nature. It’s hard to take someone seriously who will start sentences like “since women are the weaker sex…”

kevin August 2, 2008 at 9:56 pm

anyone this concerned with “western birthrates” and “white birthrates” automatically earns my strongest suspicion.

Caliban Darklock August 2, 2008 at 10:14 pm

Men can’t be raped because men don’t get pregnant and nobody seriously expects men to be virgins a day longer than circumstances force them to be.

pohl August 2, 2008 at 10:17 pm

I read the entire thing, and this was difficult to do with the suspicious and perplexing appearance of the word “white” in the first sentence. Nevertheless, I felt that my expectation that the author write without bias means nothing if I’m not to hold myself accountable to reading without bias. This was a challenge, but worth it in the end.

Marriage and monogamy are on the ropes, to be sure. I now fit squarely within the author’s Zeugungsstreik demographic. That’s just what happens, I guess, when you fall in love with a woman, adopt her two sons (each sired by different men) only to be told, after you discover a decade later that she’s leading a secret double life, that the only thing your adopting them meant to her “is that you’d be legally obligated to pay child support if you leave.”

But I’m not about to support the author’s untenable position about restoring marriage and monogamy, though I did find it fascinating.

Most interesting to me is that the author ignored, or was unaware of, the explosive growth in the genre of books about pickup artistry, all of which are founded upon the same observations about the nature of hypergamy in women, albeit dressed-up in different jargon and taken in a constructive rather than critical direction.

These men, rather than moaning about never being a movie star, are practicing techniques for displaying higher social status, flipping attraction switches, and embracing & meeting women’s emotional needs rather than railing against them. I suspect their efforts will lead to babies, too, so our civilization won’t be toast after all.

Excellent, thought-provoking link. Your blog is one of my favorites.

Mike August 3, 2008 at 12:15 am

This is fascinating. The essay is:

1. interesting and new — focusing on explaining sex relations based on a new view of women’s preferences;

2. filled with lots of unsupported claims, some of which seem quite weak;

3. clearly the work of a man who feels wronged by many women and by feminism

What I fail to see is why Tyler describes him as evil. It would seem that he is more hurt and lashing out.

The other thing is that Tyler’s evil ascription reminds me of his Roissy post. I don’t think I have seen Tyler refer to any other people as evil. What’s up with that Tyler? Interestingly, Roissy was — or claimed to be — an alpha male. This guy clearly has the beta viewpoint. In fact, the entire essay is a complaint about women by a beta, at times almost explicitly so.

Does Tyler really believe that being angry at women and feminism is evil?

Mike August 3, 2008 at 1:40 am

Here is Roissy’s take on the article.

http://roissy.wordpress.com/2008/07/23/decivilizing-human-nature-unleashed/

Perhaps not surprisingly, he liked it.

themightypuck August 3, 2008 at 4:48 am

Interesting essay. The problem with these sorts of essays is that (like a lot of other clever economic perspectives on things) they lack a clear methodology and rely mostly on intuitions that everyone already knows. This is kind of like stand up comedy, and like standup, it uses caricatures to make what are in reality subtle points. Also, the basic insights here are not all that new. For the past ten years or so I’ve discussed such issues with women who are my friends (it might be telling that I don’t discuss such issues with women who are more than friends). They were more in agreement than offended. An anecdote: In general, I (male) have broken up with more women than I have been ditched by, but in terms of serious relationships (marriage, living together for say 2+ years and acting “married”) I have been consistently the dumpee although in 2 out of the 3 cases I was the “active” dumper (I think a lot of women don’t want to actively dump and so just make life miserable enough to force the man to do the dirtywork–again this is anecdotal). On the other hand, I have anecdotal evidence that marriage can be valuable for a man. I know a number of men who had no direction in life and were whipped into shape by their wives to accomplish something. They could lose half of their wealth in a divorce, but they can’t lose the professional esteem they have gained.

Andrew August 3, 2008 at 5:44 am

As a luckily married man, and someone who as a friend once put it “I may talk a big game, but you want to see someone turn tail and run” I didn’t really care about the subject, but was intrigued to see what was so evil. Couldn’t find it.

I have problems with his views on date rape. But being wrong isn’t evil, as the host here has pointed out before. If I bring someone to my room, and he stabs me with a knife, is it my fault because I didn’t acknowledge the consequences of my actions, eschewing good sense in bringing in a hapless knife murderer? Silly.

However, never even having opportunities to date rape anyone that I can recall (maybe I was just dull), I am annoyed by the sexual harassment thing. I have to sit and listen to women skirt the line of acceptable speech, while if I were to match them, let alone up the ante, it could be (or at least I’ve been lead to believe) construed as harassment. I’d be fine to just be fired. It’s their property, they can do what they want. But, I have a lot of trouble with laws about it where it seems arbitrary rules define crime based on individual preference for degree of inuendo.

“The thinking behind the sexual harassment movement is that women are
entitled to “an environment free from unwanted sexual advances.† What sort
of advances are unwanted? In plain English, those made by unattractive men.
Anyone who has been forced to endure a corporate antiharassment video
can see that what is being condemned is merely traditional male courtship
behavior.”

Actually, I’m not sure they even show the videos anymore if they ever did. I think they are content to have all the men scared out of their wits at the complete arbitrariness of it all.

arthur August 3, 2008 at 7:14 am

I too have an original idea, Tyler. I think that constantly mistaking “political incorrectness” for “maverick originality” is generally an effective way increasing page views, but only as intertemporal substitution.

Also, I would like to add that anyone who disagrees with me is merely trying to be politically correct and can therefore be dismissed without consideration.

athelas August 3, 2008 at 9:53 am

I agree with Andrew: On date rape, this Devlin guy is exactly as wrong (in the opposite direction) as the modern feminist consensus that’s the standard for HR types and university administrators these days.

We should put ‘em in a room, wait till they neutralize each other, and implement that result.

Pat Mathews August 3, 2008 at 10:57 am

This essay is valuable as a warning that the backlash which apparently comes around about 40 years after every wave of feminism is starting to happen again. If anyone is old enough to remember Philip Wylie’s “Generation of Vipers” – and all the early-50s science fiction in which young men saw women, especially older women, as the Forces of Repression – you’ll know what I’m talking about. At any rate, like the foghorn in the bay, he’s sending us a signal.

P.S. – does it occur to him that some of us ungrateful predatory female curs have divorced out husbands because we were in fact treated like curs? Or is constant criticism done in a derisive tone only what he thinks we deserve? (Ah, females – taking EVERYTHING personally!)

Did you also notice he wanted the franchise limited to the “producers of wealth”?

Yancey Ward August 3, 2008 at 12:03 pm

Caliban Darklock,

Put Angelina Jolie in a roomful of “average men”, and almost all of them would be too intimidated to approach her for the simple reason that they know she is out of their league.

Yancey Ward August 3, 2008 at 12:22 pm

It was fascinating reading the comments this morning. A nice mix of interpretations.

I first read Devlin’s essays a couple of weeks ago when Roissy wrote about them, and while I think Devlin is clearly animated by some fairly deep resentment towards women, I also think it is a mistake to dismiss his arguments solely because of this. Where he is largely correct, in my opinion, is in regards to the destruction of the institutions of marriage and monogamy. My own fear here is that I believe strongly that our western civilization is actually built upon these institutions, and, in their absence, most men will not be in a position to have their own identifiable children and will have far less incentive to be the builders/maintainers of this civilization.

Ask yourselves this- what rich, technologically advanced culture practices primitive forms of mating and procreation- what subpopulations within our own practice these mating forms, and what is their state of social organization? Or, in the same vein, of the men you know, what do the ambitious and hardest working have in common, and what do the unambitious and lazy have in common? From my own observations, the ambitious are almost all married with children, or soon to have them.

gorobei August 3, 2008 at 12:53 pm

Stupid essay – standard conservative drivel about how we should return to the “natural marriage state.”

Get a clue! The model of everyone getting married and being faithful is a Western European, relatively recent, quirk. Sure, it probably lowered the murder rate and increased GDP, but it isn’t very natural. Hell, eventually even the Church noticed this, and decided to get into the the “marriage sanctification” business.

Me, I love this whole women’s liberation thing! Put on a nice suit, augment it with a $250 tie: men display, women choose. It’s that simple. I’m glad we’ve given up on stoning loose women — that would really cut into my sex life.

Anonymous August 3, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Some posters above objected to my statement of: “When he claimed that date rape accusations were what happened when woman regretted having sex, I stopped reading. That’s not just wrong, and not just offensive, it is in fact evil.”

The percentage of date rape cases that result from regret is very small indeed. When it comes to the cases that matter–where the police or university administrators are involved–this is not the work of somebody who “didn’t have as much fun as she expected.” Those who I have known who were victims of date rape did not simply “regret” having sex, they had to go to the hospital for stitches and surgery. There is a huge difference between “honest guy misreading signals,” and the emergency room.

Claiming that date rape accusations are the result of women who had ex post regrets about ex ante consensual sex is evil because it apologizes for something that is in most cases quite clear. It attempts to undercut very real concerns about something that is morally wrong. Saying “he didn’t rape her because she invited him into her room” is evil.

Also, I don’t know what university the posters attended where “the sensitivity classes many of us go through in undergrad do in fact teach that when you regret having sex the next morning, it is date rape.” However, I can most definitely assure you that this is NOT what was taught at mine. The posters should probably review what was actually said, rather than what they heard.

Asher August 3, 2008 at 6:40 pm

The responses to the essay are perplexing. Let’s be clear: the entire point of the essay is that women have a specific sexual nature and that this nature is to select the best mate and to be on the lookout for a better mate than the current one.

It’s too bad that the essay is cluttered up with asides that are only tangential to the thesis but that doesn’t affect the basic point.

As for “natural monogamy”, say what? The whole point is that monogamy is NOT natural, and in fact must be socially enforced or the species will revert to its naturally sexuality of about 20 to 25 percent of the males mating with all the females. Fine, but you have to figure out what to do with the remaining males.

Oh, and poaching off the younger cohorts only works for one generation before demographic ratios of taken to single catch up.

I see little to no substantive criticism of Devlin’s basis thesis. I see mentions of “contradictions” but no substantiation of those claims.

weichi August 3, 2008 at 9:43 pm

“most of Western society is rapidly filling up with lost boys”

Dude, seriously, what the fuck are you talking about?

no surprise August 4, 2008 at 2:19 am

Once again, you learn a lot about someone by the kind of material they recommend, out of all the stuff available on the internet.

I don’t find recommendations to read “at times…misogynist” essays on Brad de Long’s, or Mark Thoma’s or Felix Salmon’s or Richard Green’s sites, let alone, say, naked capitalism or CalculatedRisk.

It says a lot about you, too, Tyler.

Andrew August 4, 2008 at 4:40 am

I kind of find the “misogynistic” label to be similar to “anti-semitic.” Half the time it appears to mean an objective observation of the facts. I bet a few years ago I might be at anti-semitic and sexist just for that comment. Maybe today I’m not sexist or anti-semitic. Maybe tomorrow I will be again.

Could the host have done more than call the author of the piece EVIL? I don’t think so. When a President wants to demonize countries, he calls them an axis of evil. They are evil and aligned against us. He has an army of wordsmiths, so I doubt the host could have provided a more visceral caveat.

Besides, he doesn’t peruse everything on the internet for us. He finds some things, gets tipped off to some things and passes some of them on. A better critique would be to compare what he finds and doesn’t pass on, which noone could know, probably not even him. My guess is his tightest filter is on quality. The linked article appears pretty high quality, evil or not. I mean, the Nazis were high quality, still evil.

Brad Urani August 4, 2008 at 11:40 am

I find fault with the following comment:

“Second, if women are all monogamous, the men will perforce be monogamous
anyway: It is arithmetically impossible for polygamy to be the norm for
men throughout a society because of the human sex ratio at birth.”

It has been the norm in many societies throughout history because men are more likely to die in wars. This was the basis for the sanction of polygamy in the Qur’an. Men had to care for the wives and children of their fallen brothers and friends.

janya August 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm

This article was actually censored by Websense, the corporate software guard that supposed to prevent inappropriate materials from showing up on our screens. My company is fairly liberal; the information on the web is not screened for being “relevant to work”, only for propriety and possible viruses.

Apparently, not liberal enough.

truthseeker August 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm

there is no need for men to have a wife as a full time maid at home anymore. Devlins lack of examples of a wife’s duties reflect that. She needs to fix supper in the kitchen, he says. Well, even cooking takes little time, unless you are stomping your own butter and making your own pasta.

What Devlin’s trying to say, or should be saying, is that if a woman wants to win a commitment from a man, she needs to signal her faithful commitment to that man. Some of the traditional ways for women to do this were by lovingly cooking the most special food he eats, washing and sewing the most special clothes he wears, and similar. The results were sensual effects that touched most men deeply. Cooking and sewing have lost most of their practical value but none of their symbolic value, where the men are not alpha males (whose commitment in our society is difficult to win by any means) and have not been corrupted by feminism which, not coincidentally, goes far out of its way to disparage these signals of caring commitment.

Far more importantly, though, (and Devlin himself emphasizes this), women, if they want to enter happy marriages rather than enter ones full of miserable jealousy or remain single, must continually send strong signals of their commitment to be faithful. This is now practically impossible to do in the West. The vast majority of modern Western women are such thoroughgoing sluts, or have at least been so influenced in their behavior by their slutty friends to act as if they are, and so cheered on in this by the alpha-male-run mass media and by the legions of beta male dupes of same, that they cannot with any credibility send such signals. Women traditionally could be considered virtuous until proven otherwise, but today you’re an idiot to not consider the Western woman a fickle slut unless proven otherwise.

Mate-guarding behavior and fidelity are another set of cultural norms that were once, when the West was monogamous and on the rise, rather than polygamous and in decline, considered the highest virtues, but that the alpha mass media has turned these too into the most despised of beta male traits. Once Christianity, like Islam, instituted the death penalty for female adultery, as well as a wide variety of other legal and informal norms to enforce monogamy and thus make most men see marriage as desirable. Men in the best Western societies made strong investments of time and money in caring for their children, because they were psychologically confident that these were indeed their own children, but this is no longer the case. The rise of the mass media in the West gradually swept these values away until the Hollywood century destroyed them. Now most “Christianity” is really just the claim to believe in Jesus while following the teachings of Hollywood. It bears far less resemblance to the two millenia of Christian teaching upholding monogamy than does modern Islam. Most “Christianity” today is effectively and quite ironically far more polygamous than Islam. It is to Islam or forms of Christianity that are now only historical that we must turn to if we seek a return to monogamy and the preservation of the civilization that monogamy made possible.

Or we can regress to polygamy and barbarity, but this time with lost boys wielding nuclear weapons. Your choice.

lemmy caution August 4, 2008 at 5:52 pm

They have not yet cooperated in a major way with their lost boy brothers in the gangs and the militaries, but as more lost boys wake up to reality that will change.

Good luck with that.

weichi August 5, 2008 at 12:53 am

Truthseeker,

I don’t even know where to begin, but I’ll just point out that 15 seconds of googling turned up data indicating that marriage rates in the military are *higher* than in the civilian population. Jennifer Hickes Lundquist, “When Race Makes No Difference: Marriage and the Military”. It’s pretty interesting – she finds that marriage rates in the military are nearly the same for whites and blacks, and in *both* cases higher than civilian whites. This holds at all age cohorts.

You appear to have had little success with women, and as a result have a great deal of anger toward them. I’m sorry about that. I truly hope that as you grow and mature as a person you will get over your anger, and someday find a woman with whom you can be happy.

Anonymous August 5, 2008 at 1:50 am

It’s funny that a piece with a sharp disclaimer that is politically incorrect is used by some posters here to try to character assassinate all libertarians as having residual hatred and bigotry. I think it is a testament to Tyler’s character and judgment that he posts things he disagrees with but doesn’t agree with without entirely ripping it apart.

At least this has led to some interesting conversation.

Ethnic Austrian August 5, 2008 at 6:21 am

What Devlin’s trying to say, or should be saying, is that if a woman wants to win a commitment from a man, she needs to signal her faithful commitment to that man. Some of the traditional ways for women to do this were by lovingly cooking the most special food he eats, washing and sewing the most special clothes he wears, and similar. The results were sensual effects that touched most men deeply. Cooking and sewing have lost most of their practical value but none of their symbolic value

Sounds like you are reducing housework to some kind of fetish. If Devlin cared about signals rather than substance, he should be fine with men still being expected to pay on dates. That after all is just a symbol from a bygone era as well. But Devlin wants true economic interdependence and that is what kept marriages stable, not some kind of role play.

Once Christianity, like Islam, instituted the death penalty for female adultery, as well as a wide variety of other legal and informal norms to enforce monogamy and thus make most men see marriage as desirable. Men in the best Western societies made strong investments of time and money in caring for their children, because they were psychologically confident that these were indeed their own children, but this is no longer the case.

They may have been confident that the children were their own, but that was according to Devlin just a useful illusion. Paternity testing had not been invented after all. It is in our day and age that fathers can be 100% sure that their children are actually their own.

Women got in trouble if they gave birth before marriage. They were “fallen women”, but they weren’t stoned, but shunned. Their illegitimate children were treated like second class citizens too.

So, this author claims that at least 25 percent of the population of the Western world is incorrigibly evil, and we’re supposed to take this argument seriously? There’s no indication in this article that women are actual human beings, but are rather walking vaginas looking for the highest-status c***.

Sounds very similar to the contemporary popular view of men.

Did Devlin actually say anywhere that he considers women to be evil? I am not motivated to read his article a second time. Evil is a moral category that makes no sense without some moral standard to judge by. If you are judging women by conservative christian or contemporary feminist standards, then they are evil if Devlins assessment of human nature is correct. But that only tells us that the conservative christian and feminist views of human nature are unrealistic and pointless. We don’t call lions evil either and human beings are just another breed of animals.
You seem to define “human being” as a moral standard in and of itself.

Your infuriation with the notion that women might be status seeking exemplifies this. It seems to be perfectly acceptable that women are tallness seeking. Why should one be acceptable and moral and the other not?

Whatever standards women have, they are free to choose. In earlier times they had to choose for economic reasons. Modern economic prosperity allows them to be pickier or not to choose at all. Where I completely disagree with Devlin is the notion that this is a problem, that men have a right to a life long marriage and that the economy should be messed with in ways that would systematically force women into marriage.

meter August 5, 2008 at 10:03 am

The numbers are similar in the U.S., and have been rising since the 1960s. Our record numbers of men in jail also directly reflect the great increase since the 1960s in the lost boys, although the vast majority of lost boys are not (yet) in jail.

What we do have is a large and rapidly increasing population of men who are increasingly waking up to the fact that the rest of society treats them as subhuman (as “losers”, as “evil”, as unworthy of a committed and faithful marriage for better or for worse, ad nauseum).

At the same time they are being ostracized they are increasingly being depended upon by the alpha males and their female harems to make the weaponry and their tools of control and to fight their battles for them. Millions of lost boys have passed through the military or police academies or have otherwise trained themselves in the arts of war in an attempt to preserve their self-respect. An increasing proportion of our police and military are lost boys, and the gang population is burgeoning because gangs have always been the first haven for lost boys. Lost boys program and operate the server computers we all depend on.”

Sounds like the typical dystopian backdrop for a really bad Wesley Snipes flick.

Yancey Ward August 5, 2008 at 10:30 am

It would be fascinating to compare notes in 30 years when the illegitimate birthrate for all ethnicities in the US is above 80%. We already know what that will look like since we have such areas in this country today.

Mark Atwood August 5, 2008 at 4:58 pm

To follow up on myself, they are “argumentum ad logicam” and “ad hominem circumstantium”

I am a long time reader of MR.

truthseeker August 5, 2008 at 7:22 pm

“No pussy, no peace” ?? A bit over the top aren’t we?

Nice allusion and naughty alliteration, all wrapped up in four little words. Unfortunately it is not at all over the top — “no pussy, no peace” is how primate mating has generally worked, and can be seen today with the high correlation between crime rates and polygynous urban cultures, with as Eurosabra points out the hittistes, with the demographics of terrorists and gang members, and so on. There is a commonly observed correlation between poverty and crime, but there are closer correlations that get closer to the ultimate cause between differential sexual success and crime and, moving up in scale, differential sexual success and political violence.

The ultimate genetic reason for this is that in the evolutionary environment of adaptation a genetic loser had nothing to lose. He might as well risk everything, up to and including his life, to try to gain his genes access to future generations. As a result the genetic loser is extremely risk-seeking as opposed to the risk aversion and stability of women and of men who feel confident in their long-term access to women.

Because of the threat of violence from genetic losers with nothing to lose, in polygynous societies the alpha tends to become alpha through skills in violence — from defending himself as an alpha, and often from using violence to move from beta to alpha — more often than through the peaceful, peer-to-peer voluntary exchange that characterize most competition within monogamous societies. Unless the betas can be very strictly controlled through a hypersecure totalitarian regime, polygyny results in barbarism. I’m not sure whether I prefer totalitarianism or barbarism, but I sure know I like traditional Western civilization, with its values of liberty and volutary exchange that utterly depend on monogamy, far more than either polygynous extreme.

truthseeker August 5, 2008 at 8:04 pm

“No pussy, no peace”

I’m coming to think that this nice bit of poetry actually has a surprisingly high explanatory power. It’s almost a theory of everything. Why was President Clinton impeached, but many Presidents committing acts of seemingly far greater and certainly far more direct political harm were not? Why in most democracies does an affair often disqualify a politician from high office, whereas oriental despots with not much greater power than our President often controlled large harems? Why do male celebrities get assasinated far more than female ones, and more generally why do some celebrities and politicians get assassinated and not others?

The short answer may be that politicians in a democracy need popular votes, including the votes of beta males and faithful couples to get elected, and in almost any kind of polity if you have any security vulnerability at all to violent acts of peons, you’d better not be too open about your sexual conquests, or one of these beta males may get pissed off and kill you. By this theory harems only worked where emperors were secure from the most nutty or otherwise very pissed betas, i.e. before the coming of the handgun.

The “no pussy, no peace” theory predicts that male Presidents and celebrities with well-known affairs, like the Kennedies and John Lennon, are more likely to get shot than sexually boring presidents like George W. Bush. It’s an interesting paper for somebody to write, to see to what extent this correlation holds up.

Zdeno August 6, 2008 at 11:04 am

Truthseeker, have you got a blog of your own that you could point me towards?

truthseeker August 6, 2008 at 4:27 pm

Truthseeker, have you got a blog of your own that you could point me towards?

I do now. :-)

more truth from another August 8, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Truthseeker,
Reconsider. Even if this theory of yours were accurate(it’s not, at the very least on the individual level), you’d benefit more in every conceivable way by channeling all this energy into a regime of vigorous exercise and perhaps meditation. I’ve harbored my share of bitterness towards women in the past but it never, ever served any useful purpose to do so.

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