How The Entire Modern Mating Framework Has Shifted And Its Evolutionary Consequences

Figure shows significant falls in TFR in all regions of the world, although the poorest part of the world (Sub Saharan Africa) still maintains a high but declining level of fertility.

Figure shows significant falls in TFR in all regions of the world, although the poorest part of the world (Sub Saharan Africa) still maintains a high but declining level of fertility.

In my previous posts we have seen how the most reliable findings (field experimentation, speed dating and online dating) generally are totally opposite to the evolutionary hypothesis that current women would emphasize social status attributes more than men. Also failed to support the hypothesis that men would emphasize physical appearance more than women. Furthermore, regarding to strong female choice skew, women accept less variability on this dimension from their potencial partners than men do. A physical attractive appearance is the feauture prefered mostly by women when considering a potencial partner. Attractiveness clearly plays a much larger role in female mating preferences than theoretically has been supposed.

In fact, the sexes in general are far more similar than different in terms of their selection standars. This suggests that male partners are primarily selected on the basis of external physical attributes, rather than by any ability to provide resources, intelligence, or mental stimulation through social skills. Taken together, empirical studies suggest that any theoretical evolutionary perspective completely captures the dynamics for human mate selection. Parental investment-based evolutionary theories and social context theories are structured based on to a mixture of surveys, self-reports (questionnaires are lack validity for measure of mate preferences), and theoretical predictions (not within real mate choice environments) and seem particularly suited to predicting and explaining short-term mating preferences, or rather, male short-term mating preferences. Neither perspective comprehensively accounts for the importance placed by women on attractiveness in male partners and the relative unimportance given to social status attributes.

Interestingly, Darwin himself predicted this patter, suggesting that when existing environmental conditions create the opportunity to choose from an array of potencial mates, both sexes will select partners:

“not for mental charms, or property, or social position, but almost solely from external appearance” (1871, p386).

Although Darwin did not speculate as to the adaptive significance of this preference for beauty, it is certainly the case that in modern ,industrialized societies ,the physical and social environments are such that both men and women have considerable, and considerable more equal, powers of selection ( e.g., mobility increases access to potencial mates, economic opportunities for women reduce the need to select mates based on financial considerations, contraception, decreased social sanctions against divorce and premarital sexual activity, etc).

Since natural selection is primarily driven by adaptation to local environments and ecological factors, the role of these selective agents suggests that the genome-wide pattern of local adaptation can be detected by identifying correlations between patterns of allele frequencies and environmental variables. The genetic basis of female preference can differ between the differents environments, suggesting genotype-by-environment interactions and hence a condition-dependent preference expression. And in prosperous population of deferred ecological pressures (like we currently enjoy), this prosperity is increasing the mating latitude of females (dramatically perturbing the breeding population, to the point of near evolutionary instability).

The problem will always follow a shift towards ecological prosperity (which implies a relaxation of precedant ecological pressures). When a highly cooperative population is too prosperous, a strategic morph known as a ‘selfish replicator’ can exploit a favorable evolutionary niche to outbreed all others when that prosperity becomes sufficiently distributed throughout the population. And because selfish morphs incur the least liability (they take far more than they contribute), they are able to out-produce (outbreed) all others, gaining an evolutionary advantage. So, over generations, selfish replicators become dominant in a population (this is what is happening in all developed world populations as we speak)

As selfish replicators become increasingly dominant, populations become less cooperative/efficient, and the male breeding population shrinks dramatically(relaxed ecological pressures marginalize the paternal investment advantages in offspring success that would otherwise hold female sexual selectivity in check by favoring larger, more inclusive male breeding populations) as female sexual choice focuses on an increasingly small pool of ‘choice’ males.

A tendency to smaller male breeding populations in turn begins to pose evolutionary problems in the form of large population replacement (incurring fertility losses through the overhead of increased female selectivity, and the time and energy costs that this entails) and inbreeding depression-type effects, which must ultimately reduce population viability (as delterious recessives will tend to combine at greater frequencies in smaller populations).  Eventually, this dynamic becomes unsustainable, as the population becomes evolutionarily unstable (indicated in tendencies to sub-replacement fertility – another symptom observed of developed world populations).

Thus, unperturbed female sexual choice can be the most pernicious agency acting upon the stability of density dependent human systems.  And, since the ‘problem’ I am describing is a systemic one, entangled in the most base and selfish of evolutionary concerns (which mediate all human rationality), there can be no common solution – these problems must resolve systemically, over evolutionary time (where we should expect that the same invariant evolutionary forces that acted upon small populations in the past – tending to constrain female choice – will likewise hold, and reassert themselves in the future).

Actually, it is a very apt analogy, as large populations become insoluble (ex. in their rates of replacement, taken as a vector of instability) given a sufficient latitude of female choice.

First, we can resonably infer this from unifying historical precedence with the knowledge that male dominated sexual conflict in reproductive potential would favor greater population fertility in a greater dispersion of reproductive success(by focusing pressures that have historically weighed against elective maternity).

Second, A tendency to smaller male breeding populations will pose evolutionary problems in the form of large population replacement (incurring fertility losses through the overhead of increased female selectivity, and the time and energy costs that this entails) and inbreeding depression-type effects, which must ultimately reduce population viability(as deleterious recessives will tend to combine at greater frequencies in smaller populations).

Eventually, this dynamic becomes unsustainable, as the population becomes evolutionarily unstable(indicated in tendencies to sub-replacement fertility – another symptom observed of developed world populations). Thus, unperturbed female sexual choice can be the most pernicious agency acting upon the stability of density dependent human systems.

Although the ancestral state of early human bond pairing is not well known given the lack of conclusive archaeological evidence, arranged marriages are inferred to go back at least to first modern human migrations out of Africa and phylogenetic reconstructions suggest that marriages in early ancestral human societies probably had low levels of polygyny (low reproductive/mating skew) and reciprocal exchanges between the families of marital partners (i.e., brideservice or brideprice).

Thus, mutual sexual attraction, traditionally, has never been a requirement for long-terms relationships. Rather, sexual chemistry was(and in many cultures still is) a frequent trade-off that women were expected to make, in securing a long term mate – the reason being, that women are so selective in terms of sexual chemistry, as to render an insoluble scarcity of males to satisfy this requirement under assumptions of a monogamous mating system.

Female sexual liberation (where they were no longer economically/politically dependent on their mates) changed all that, and engendered in effected female populations a kind of romantic idealism, that, for many, will be impossible to realize. And it is these kinds of unrealistic expectations that form the basis for much of the prevailing conflict between the sexes in the Western world. But, what most in the manosphere fails to grasp is that being a high-status male in the current mating market (post female sexual liberation) says less about independent wealth/status indicators, than about indications in physical attractiveness.

True, all things being equal, women will favour wealthy/high status males – but only in very exceptional cases (often involving very high profile individuals in the public eye, tending to skew perceptions of normal) will a female make significant concessions in terms of the physical attractiveness of her mate (unless she is not, herself, attractive enough to warrant the attentions of physically attractive males).

Not so surprising, when one considers that a selection bias for resourceful males should exist in some proportion to the advantages they pose to the survival of her offspring.
Thus, if the advantages are small (given a prosperous welfare state, which marginalizes these advantages), then there will be minimal selection bias (which explains a large population of women who are increasingly disinterested by the lone prospect of a resourceful mate). Therefore male physical attractiveness has become the limiting concern in female mate choice, following a Pareto (Principle) distribution.

Females only receive two quantities of evolutionary value from males – direct benefits (observed in long-term mating, with implications for the survival of offspring), and genetic benefits (observed through indications of physical attractiveness in her mate). And since females can receive genetic benefits outside of marriage(i.e. through casual sexual encounters), and no longer need rely upon mates for the survival of their offspring, there is no pressure for them to compromise on holding out for an unlikely (long-term)fantasy partner.

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12 Responses to How The Entire Modern Mating Framework Has Shifted And Its Evolutionary Consequences

  1. in other words, the sex revolution of the past decades has made the sexual market a capitalist market. Only the handsome badboys gets to have the fun of fucking

    • tyrionlannister69 says:

      This current social pattern increases highly male variance in mating success, because female sexual choices always tend towards small male breeding populations (narrow range of male phenotypes), while male ‘preferences’ are inclusive of a broad range in female variance.

      And this is a predictable manifestation of sexual-conflict, where males and females really do have conflicting reproductive agendas, courtesy of sexual evolution. It has always been like this, the only difference is that before female ‘liberation’ outcomes in this ‘conflict’ tended to be male-dominated, rather than female dominated as it ‘post’ liberation.

      And I don’t think I need to elaborate on which extreme is more agreeable to the preservation of civilization.

  2. Live-Evil says:

    Wow man, this is deep.

  3. Steve says:

    One of the mechanisms that could stabilize the market again is the fact that most good looking couples have a higher chance of having girls , thus growing the proportion of females , thus lowering their value and thus loweing their standards (they will face bigger competition for mates). All this assuming good looking men mate long-term with good looking women and that couples where both spouses are unnattractive will be on the decline as far as child bearing goes.

    If only attractive men mate (with attractive or very attractive females) that could significantly change the sex ratio.

    There was another factor like this i wanted to mention, but forgot , if i remember it i will post.

  4. Reader says:

    This is an interesting post (and some others) but you’d need to back it up with more data. Besides, neither many typos nor fully legible sytanx help credibility to your posts.

  5. Travis says:

    Another great article Tyrion. I would say that the problem with today’s dating is that women want visually appealing men and usually hold the stereotypical 6’2″ good looking white man of Northern European ancestry to be the most appealing in most cases. The problem lies is that they’re are far more visually appealing women than men in a whole population meaning less attractive men to chose from than women.

    • Sir Tyrion Lannister says:

      Do you mean that men have a higher phenotypic variance than women?

      • Travis says:

        @Tyrion

        I suppose that too. I know men are more more likely to find different types of women sexy as for women are much more narrow in what they find attractive.

        • Sir Tyrion Lannister says:

          @ Travis,

          I meant rather within sex-phenotypic variance for morphological traits (in a population), on sexual traits. I did not mean to pointneurophysiological phenotype of mate preference functions, where the net variance is obvious.

          I wonder if humans have been selected to adjust preference selectivity according to the phenotypic variability of sexual traits of potential mates in their social environment.

          A higher male morphological variance (regard to female variance) might explain (in part) the greater female choosiness for male characteristics. But however I think the strength of directional sexual (female) selection on male signals would make male phenotypes would tend to remain relatively constant in natural populations.

          • Travis says:

            @Tyrion

            Good question. Not sure. Maybe you can do a blog on female preferences in regards to a male’s race in regards to a diverse ethnic population and which group of the ethnicities the men vs women were.

            • Sir Tyrion Lannister says:

              @ Travis,

              You are confusing phenotypicity with ethnicity. A phenotype is the composite of an organism’s observable characteristics or traits. A phenotype results from the expression of an organism’s genetic code, its genotype, as well as the influence of environmental factors and the interactions between the two.

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