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Sex Ratio, Redux

This post is also available in: German

For those who are interested in a syncretism of competing sex ratio theories (an elite audience, I’m sure), Jason Malloy sent me an email responding to my ‘Sausage Fest‘ post, and responding indirectly to Peter Frost whose quote I used in that post:

Hey, I just came across your sex ratio post from several weeks ago. I’m surprised I missed it at the time, because I read fairly often.

Just to clarify a few issues:

A common misunderstanding which I kept addressing on Dr. Frost’s blog was that I was claiming that women have some absolute preference for Dads over Cads. This was not my argument. My argument was that: “Females are never as promiscuous as men (as a group) prefer, therefore when male scarcity puts females at a sexual market disadvantage, females give in to male sexual pressures more easily.” And this innate differential preference is the ultimate basis for sex ratio dynamics.

Peter Frost’s claim that I “ignored”  some crucial wisdom from Guttentag & Secord isn’t true. I left numerous comments on his blog explaining to him why Guttentag & Secord’s social constructivist understandings about sex differences were wrong. Frost is suggesting that, sans social pressures, women are just as oriented towards low investment mating as men. This is wrong. Sex ratio dynamics are based on biological differences between men and women, not on gender politics. The wider society will likely never be as libertarian towards women’s sexuality as a college campus, but even there we see that more women = more male “misbehavior”; because even on college campuses men want lower investment sex than women: “Think of it as a game of chicken that men will always win. In an environment where women are ok with one night stands, men will push for the glory hole.”

I realize your primary interest is in how gender dynamics shift with male quality, but on this issue I don’t think I’m missing much. e.g. The number of top quality males increases on a male-biased campus, but female promiscuity still decreases. There are, no doubt, many hidden dynamics to sex ratio, but they don’t seem to monkey wrench the general predictions.


Sounds intuitively correct to me. What I’ve witnessed in social venues where the sex ratio is skewed in favor of women: when men outnumber women, the women set the terms of the courtship, and this is true regardless of the number of alpha males in attendance. They flit about soaking in the attention of all the male suitors, act bitchier, and play harder to get. Shit tests are locked at maximum deflection. The men are more animated and become agitated toward the end of the night, which sometimes spills over into (literally) pushing and shoving the male competition aside, and getting blotto once they realize the odds will not work in their favor.

Of course, more alpha males is always better than fewer alpha males from a woman’s perspective, because alpha male attention is almost as good as alpha male sex (though not as good as alpha male love). In fact, for most women, alpha male attention is better than beta male sex and love. So while women may be less promiscuous in male-skewed environments, they are going home happier in their chasteness if the male attention they lapped up came from higher quality men.

In contrast, those heavenly times when the women outnumbered the men, pickup up could not not have been easier. I sometimes had women approach me.

It’s like shopping for a TV in a store that has an abundance of TV choice. You might very well walk out of there empty-handed because you figure you can afford to take your time deciding which brand best suits you, and that there are so many brands there’s bound to be an even better value in there next week.

The part where sex ratio dynamics gets interesting is what influence it has on rates of male violence. As I mentioned in my previous post on this subject, when I’ve been in bars that skewed male the drunkenness and rowdiness hit a fever pitch. Male friendships temporarily sundered when a target was in sight: hos before bros. It’s sad watching a bunch of angry dudes squabble over the few remaining fat chicks at garbage hour. I suppose it helps in sex ratio discussions to define what we mean by male “misbehavior”. Maybe it should be divided into two categories: male violence and male caddishness. They overlap, but they aren’t synonymous. This accounts for the observation in some contexts that more men = more male agitation but not more male caddishness, whereas more women = more male caddishness but less silverback posturing and fighting over the abundance of women.

A lot of what I write about on this diaryetic outpost is based on personal experience, and only second-hand do the forces of science get summoned when I feel like putting in the extra work to buttress my steely-eyed observations of reality. If you want (mostly) hard science and bursts of numerical flavor, GNXP is a good place to go.

In general, I find that about 80% of what I observe in real life is eventually corroborated by scientific evidence. The remaining 20% left with question marks can be explained either by experiences peculiar to some subset of my life circumstances, or idiosyncratic personal observations insufficiently examined by science. My belief is that most people go through life lying to others, and to a lesser extent to themselves, about 90% of the nature of reality. Everything from the finality of death, to the horrors of aging, to the pitiless churning of the sexual market, to the true costs and benefits of human diversity is sheathed in a velvet scabbard of pretty lies. Pessimists would argue the excalibur of truth-examination is best left sheathed, for some truths bring nothing but distress. Optimists would argue the sword is a figment of negative minds, a weapon of the haves to dispirit the have-nots. Chaotics such as yours truly revel in the paroxysms the unsheathing of the sword causes those who stumble into the id monster’s lair.

It is possible to make it to the endgame having avoided the worst travails while refusing to acknowledge 90% of reality, as long as you don’t act in accordance with your stated beliefs. For example, a fat woman looking for love may console herself without consequence that it’s what’s on the inside that counts as long as she pays the lie to her beliefs by dieting and exercising. Her hypocrisy, from her point of view, is win-win — her psyche is soothed by her lies while her love life is invigorated by her sexier body. Similarly, a single mom anxious for love can tell herself she is choosier than her single female counterparts without bastard baggage, but when the quality of suitors willing to commit to her and her child by another man predictably degrades she will ignore her little lies and act like a woman with fewer options, smartly offering more concessions in the zero-sum race to settle for Mr. Better Than Nothing. If, however, she insists on living by her lies she will likely spend the rest of her dreary years half-nourished by a child’s love instead of fully nourished by the added romantic love of a male partner.

Despite evidence of hypocrites acting in ways contrary to their lies and in accordance with the reality of the mating market, in the double helical arena of all against all, it is those who acknowledge more of reality who will win out over those who acknowledge less of reality. Hypocrisy costs mental energy, and when incentivized enough and fully internalized can lead to bad decisions. The few who can look the chaos in the eye and not flinch will best those whose ego-assuaging lies act to divert them from the path of personal happiness. A downwardly spiraling feedback loop can result when hypocrisy is allowed to run rampant, as one bad decision after another coaxes ever more contorted pretty lies to stave off the chilling self-realization that creeps up in the deep black of night when solitude enshrouds.

There is one truth that will always be heard. The shiver down the back of your neck late at night never lies.


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