Mating and sexual conflict. Part I



Schematic illustration of the gender load. Because of differences in the optimal life-history trade-offs between the sexes, male (dashed line) and female (solid line) fitness functions typically differ. Whenever the evolution of SD in a trait expressed in both sexes is constrained, males (dark grey distribution) and females (light grey distribution) will be unable to reach their optimal sex-specific phenotypes. This results in a population fitness (W*) that is lower than that achieved when both sexes are free to evolve to reside on their adaptive peaks (Wmax). (Source: Göran Arnqvist, Midori Tuda, 2009)

There is currently controversy about definitions of sexual conflict, what it is, and how important it is in adaptation.

Paragon, one of the best posters on human mating/sexual selection, clarified some time ago some of its conclusions, and reviews some of the many recent developments relating to it:

“Premises: Female pessimal forms of social monogamy were a universal feature of all nascent classical civilizations. This is because all civilizations are density dependent, and thus only the most efficient mating systems are demonstratedly successful in achieving the requisite population yields.

Given that females are more sexually choosy (as well as more strategically passive), such female pessimal(where passive female choice prevails) solutions are most indicated in their efficiency. Thus, over time, evolution should favor viable female pessimal systems. Some people will point to female ‘liberation’ in contemporary occidental societies as proof that such assumptions do not hold. But given nascent trends of sub replacement fertility (where unbeholden/female choice confounds all other explanations), the of occidental populations will become increasingly evident at a rate of population momentum, and strategic displacement in frequency dependent selection.

Premises: Reproductive fitness ultimately reduces to an initial, limiting condition of female choice(passive: where outcomes in male competition are more strongly indicated, or active: where outcomes in sexual conflict are more strongly indicated). So, any solution which entails mediation of human reproduction (ex.theoretical policies in sustainable population dynamics), must necessarily weigh against options in female choice.

Premises: The lek paradox resolves through solutions in mutation-selection balance and intralocus sexual conflict, which retain constant variability in male sexual quality, thus preserving margins of selectivity even under conditions of more active female choice.

Premises: Strategic symmetry breaking(tending towards a more active form of female sexual choice – see ‘eating their cake and having it too’) has rendered conditions of artifical female scarcity (posing stochastic problems of large population replacement, evidenced in nascent indications of sub replacement fertility), analogous of local mate competition.

And just like in the case of LMC, evolution must resolve problems through their mechanism of imbalance (necessarily infringing upon prevailing options in fem sex choice).
Premises: Sufficient density in network reciprocity (correlated with large population size) will always pose problems in social prosperity, such that emergent efficiencies cultivate selfish replicator invasion vectors (which propogate through an unbounding of female choice) that break symmetry in the fitness landscape through strategic dynamics in balancing selection (like a bistable homeostatic switch), lending preponderance towards short term male fitness strategies and conditions of effective female scarcity in the more active expression of female choice.

So, any population acutely following from a more passive state of female choice to a more active state, will incur problems of stable population replacement (ie. sub replacement fertility) which must resolve through solutions which weigh against increased options in female choice.

Intervention is thus incumbant upon systematic regulation of reproductive fitness, through policies in stable population replacement (which, again, must necessarily infringe upon ‘floating’ options in female choice).

Further, any such control would need to hold globally, as any errant population would receive a competitive advantage, vectoring invasion by selfish replicators, which can then spread to all neighbouring populations (much like feminism has done). But, because such intervention requires infrastructure not yet in place, it will take time and resources to erect.

And if this cannot be accomplished before adaptive capacities are exceeded through efficiency demands in freefall replacement debt, remaining evolutionary solutions will entail the rapid unravelling of status-quo – western civilization, insofar as it is has come to exist, will very quickly lose all recognizable cohesion.

Premises: Adaptive capacity in human systems are meaningfully density dependent. It should be intuitively obvious that surplus population growth is easier to accomodate/abide than population decline, as population growth/explosion only becomes a problem where it begins to critically stress carrying capacity, while critical efficiencies in adaptive capacity are far more sensetive to declining trends in population.

Note: population explosion and decline pose potential problems which depend on the same limiting condition – female choice. Therefor any solution must necessarily weigh against that choice.


At the global level the proportion above age 60 is likely to increase from its current level of 10 per cent to around 22 percent in 2050. This is higher than it is in western Europe today. By the end of the century it will increase to around 34 per cent, and extensive population ageing will occur in all world regions. The most extreme levels will be reached in the Pacific OECD (mostly Japan), where half of the population is likely to be age 60 and above by the end of the century, with the 80 per cent uncertainty interval reaching from 35 to 61 per cent. Even sub-Saharan Africa in 100 years is likely to be more aged than Europe today. The trend of our median proportion over age 60 is almost identical to that of the UN long-range projections2 up to 2050, but shows significantly stronger ageing thereafter. This confirms recent criticism that conventional projections tend to underestimate ageing6,7. The extent of and regional differences in the speed of population ageing “the inevitable consequence of population stabilization and decline” will pose major social and economic challenges.

– NATURE |VOL 412 | 2 AUGUST 2001 |

Ascendence of Monogamy:

For much of recorded history, all large human populations were organized such that a culture of strong social monogamy prevailed attitude of female sexual choice.

The reason for this, is because in any environment where life conditions are sufficiently harsh, offspring survivability is reduced where paternal investment is minimal/erratic, thus according improved strategies in paternal investment and co-operative group care a selective advantage.

Given longer reproductive intervals acting upon selectivity, female sexual choice will naturally cluster/concentrate within small neighbourhoods of high quality males, posing stochastic fitness problems the more it is the case that *effective mate availability* deviates from an ideal 1:1 sex-ratio.

Thus, over time, evolution would expose competing human populations to selective pressures, favoring strategies which tended towards a viable1:1 ratio.

From this, a complex organization of co-operative specialty would emerge in socially monogamomous populations, where long term strategies in paternal success would efficiently maximize population yields by trading off opportunities in female choice for a more equal dispersion of effective mate availability (and an optimal utilization of male work in paternal investment).

This would be accomplished by strategies which exploit inferior female competencies, as well as burdens in reproductive liability, thus compelling them (deprived of sufficient welfare state contingencies) to trade sexual fidelity in exchange for male proxy(material benefits, etc) on behalf of themselves and their offspring.

Thus, paternity would be levered by males as an effective strategy in mate exclusivity, corresponding high selective value in reproductive fitness where initial conditions could be successfully met.

Such populations would go on to successfully outcompete rival systems of organization, and social monogamy – the precursor to civilization -was born.

“Thierry Lodé argued that monogamy should result from conflict of interest between the sexes called sexual conflict. Organized from territory defense and mate guarding, monogamy appears as a response of male for the control of female sexuality”


Emergent problems in unregulated social prosperity (technological advancement in social utility following from increased organizational complexities and economies of scale), cultivated selfish replicator strategies, such that they found an invasion vector through unforseen efficiencies – where they could thrive in the spontaneous symmetry breaking of the fitness landscape.

These strategies unbounded(‘liberated’) female sexual choice, breaking fitness dependencies in male long term strategies, lending to exacerbated conditions of effective female scarcity.

And this is why the most libertarian(occidental) populations – those which accord females the greatest lattitude of sexual choice – are also those becoming mired in sub-replacement fertility at a rate of evolutionary hysterisis, where popular scrutiny is confounded by migration dynamics and population momentum.

Considering the relative wealth of these populations, arguing family planning (which has existed for thousands of years) borne of some remote concern in diminishing carrying-capacity, proffers explanations with are neither indicated, nor plausible(multilevel selection in the form of overpopulation anxiety would have to be sensetive to local carrying capacities in order to operate advantageously – where evidence fails to agree).

You do not have to understand much about the subtleties of evolution to intuitively grasp that any dynamic which persists in skewing effective female availability towards a sufficiently small subset of males, must likewise incur stochastic ‘problems’ of large population replacement, perturbing stability (given that populations are ultimately density dependent on network reciprocity) through balancing selection in male fitness strategies(long term/short term).


Male complicity in female ‘liberation’ was motivated primarily by blind expedience (to statisfy harranguing mates and female relations -“Here you go, now shaddap!”), and by sexual opportunism (via selfish replicators).

But, it is highly doubtful that *any* male appreciated the full
implications of the eusocial time-bomb they were planting.

A time-bomb which must ultimately resolve through a bottlenecking population, and free-fall inefficiencies (ie. as civilization crumbles) which will combine to exacerbate the work demands in paternal investment, according males with high paternal-care aptitudes a selective advantage in reproductive fitness (unlike today).

Over time, this will compel males to invest in a long-term mate (out of economic necessity), and the more entangled they become in such long term strategies, the more they will tend towards concerns of mate exclusivity/mate guarding (insuring their great ‘investments’).

The *only* effective strategies for mate exclusivity/mate guarding are female pessimal, as success relies upon a (male) consensus deterrence of female abandonment – the ball and chain will then be on the female foot (literally, if need be)!

So, the irony is that the ill-gotten gains of female liberation will not be confiscated by the nice-guy loser types who females love to mock, but by the anti-social males they most sexually covet – once this happens though, it will *radically* begin to change the evolutionary context (fitness landscape) of what it *means* to be a high quality male(ie. a primacy of physical attractiveness will not longer hold, much to the chagrin of females everywhere).

Monogamy will again hold strategically proponderant such that life conditions burden females with significantly greater liability, thus compelling them(deprived of sufficient welfare state contingencies) to trade sexual fidelity in exchange for male proxy benefits on behalf of themselves and their offspring.

Thus, paternity will be levered by males as an effective strategy in mate exclusivity, corresponding high selective value in reproductive fitness where initial conditions can be successfully met.

Populations will explode, and round-and-round we go(only this time, as in every iteration, female pessimal strategies should be better adapted to resisting invasion by selfish replicators, and thus conditions of ‘liberated’ female choice, through a stricter *regulation* of reproduction).

Some people appeal to ‘unforseen technological efficiencies’ as the savior to their sexual dystopia.

But, as the frequency dependent dynamics of best response strategies (male short term free-riders/selfish replicators) combine with the density dependent dynamics of sub replacement fertility (for which there exist only female pessimal solutions), the efficiency requirements of status quo will begin to increase geometrically, beyond critical thresholds of stability.

The great female optima experiment will crash and burn spectacularly. Some people claim that fragmented societies will simply revert back to smaller communal societies of joint-care in offspring – and that may indeed happen in isolated pockets.

But, such communities will be at a selective disadvantage for the same they were thousands of years ago (and for the same reasons occidental populations are in the nascent stages of depopulation as we speak), and evolution will once again, inevitably, favor the success of social monogamy (cue female angust). (Paragon 2009).

Therefore sexual conflict is a conflict between the evolutionary interests of individuals of the two sexes. A ‘conflict of evolutionary interests’ is equivalent to a potential to generate sexually antagonistic selection.

“The expression ‘sexual conflict’ encapsulates the capacity of individuals of one sex to inflict damage on individuals of the other sex. A conflict between the evolutionary interests of individuals of the two sexes’—and ongoing use by evolutionary biologists, this damage is in terms of genetic fitness, so that all instances of sexual conflict are by definition underlain by sexually antagonistic selection. (Lessells 2006).”

This may or may not result in overt behavioural conflict between males and females, depending on the form of the conflict and on how the evolutionary conflict is resolved. In terms of what we actually observe, it is theoretically possible either for one sex to win and the other to lose, or for some intermediate compromise.

Sexual conflict results ultimately from the fact that reproductive partners are genetically different; a mutation in one partner will not be present in the other, unless they are sibs in which case the probability of sharing the mutant allele is still below 1.0. Owing to their different genetic interests, for a given trait the two sexes may have different optima (yielding highest fitness prospects). Having different optima for certain character traits need not involve a conflict of interest between the sexes, provided the two optima can be achieved simultaneously (e.g. by sex limitation).

For instance, sexual selection often operates to increase male size relative to female size. There is no obvious conflict of interest between the sexes, provided that the two optima can be achieved simultaneously, because the fitness of one partner is independent of the strategy played by the other partner. Conflict requires some interaction or common activity between males and female (such as mating or parental investment (PI)) which generates the constraint that the ideal optima for each sex cannot be achieved simultaneously (e.g. only one outcome is possible). So, an individual’s fitness is both a function of its own strategy and its partner’s strategy.

The mean fitness of each sex must be equal in sexually reproducing species with a sex ratio of 1.0. Nevertheless, an individual with a mutant trait that increases its direct fitness in an interaction involving sexual conflict will, by definition, decrease the fitness of an individual of the opposite sex with which it interacts. If the trait spreads, counter selection may generate retaliatory changes in the other sex.

Sexual selection is a selective force defined by Darwin arising from competition between members of one sex for the other sex. Sexual conflict is not equivalent to sexual selection, it is a form of evolutionary conflict that may, or may not, be generated by sexual selection.

For instance, male–male competition may lead to suites of male adaptations (e.g. relating to mate-searching) that have no influence on female fitness. Like parent–offspring conflict or sib conflict, sexual conflict is a potential for generating selective processes, not the selective process itself. The selective pressures it generates may become part of, or modify, the action of sexual selection. Thus, sexual conflict is not equivalent to ‘sexually antagonistic coevolution’, though this may be a product of it.

This distinction is important: we first need to define over what parameter space conflict can occur (i.e. to define the *battleground*), and to distinguish this clearly from the question of how conflict may be resolved. Confusion can often arise from failure to distinguish between *battleground* and *resolution* models. Resolution models typically require many assumptions about strategic possibilities and trade offs, and typically generate a rich diversity of results. Battleground models typically make few assumptions about individual strategies, and serve to show over what parameter space conflict can occur.

Sexual selection arises ultimately from anisogamy, and a primitive form of sexual conflict may have occurred during the early evolution of anisogamy, such that early ova (proto-ova) might profit by fusing with other proto-ova rather than with proto-sperm. The intensity of sexual selection relates to relative PI, operational sex ratio (OSR) or potential rates of reproduction.

To be continued


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23 Responses to Mating and sexual conflict. Part I

  1. thegreatshebang says:

    It’s going to take me a bit to digest this… look forward to Part II !

  2. thegreatshebang says:

    Where can I find Paragon’s blog, if he has one?

    • Sir Tyrion Lannister (Administrator). says:

      He has not his own blog, at least as far as my knowledge reaches. Anyway I can provide you a lot of links (if you want to read his contributions) to locate many of his writings (of great erudition and wordy content on evolutionism).

      • thegreatshebang says:

        If they’re not too much trouble, I will use the links. I believe that I did read some of Paragon’s comments on therationalmale blog – I think it was him.

        • thegreatshebang says:

          I am loathe to give clicks to RationalMale because I consider his writing style deliberately obscure and misleading as his premises of Game and the human psyche are totally false. I think his blog is worse than harmless. Nevertheless, I spent some time looking for Paragon’s posts and have not found them again yet. I didn’t think at the time to save a link. I hope to find them soon, if my memory serves.

  3. Cristian says:

    I am sorry to disagree with you on the most important two presumptions you make and also to pain a much more pessimistic outcome .

    What ultimately caused this kind of culture was not the welfare state (see poor Eastern European countries that have very very poor welfare states (in theory a welfare state, in practice the payouts are unlivable)- teens and tweens are “liberated” and just as picky and looks-oriented as their american counterparts). Also i do not believe removing the welfare state will improve things.

    Ultimately what caused this sexual revolution was technological advancement – easy and effective contraception. Contraception removes all the negative consequences for females and enables them to have sex with only a very small minority of men, and after their value decreases – also secure a “beta” husband. They can have their cake and it eat too and i don’t see how can this ever be prevented again.

    As much as i would like to see the welfare state removed, i believe it would just turn any rich country into a Eastern Europe kind of sexual culture (they have a lot of sex with best looking men in their teens and early twenties, after that secure a “Beta” husband). Eastern European women are just as picky and fickle as the rest (in their teens and early twenties, from then on they become much more serious about securing a “beta” husband and abandon their slutty ways – my perspective having lived here since birth).

    In short – removing the welfare state will not fix the problem, because contraception allows women to have their cake and eat it too. The only solution i see is removal of the welfare state + early marriage and/or virginity checks like in the old days. I don’t see what can happen to bring that on ever again….

    So i have a pretty bleak outcome…i eagerly await your arguments.

    • thegreatshebang says:

      I think the evidence points to the fact that women in large numbers (but not exclusively so) go on 4-5 year monogamy pairings. I don’t think this blog owner uses the terms “alpha/beta” but just to point out that his research points that women take the best they can get but generally don’t go below a minimum threshhold. So the “beta husband after 30” claim is a bit unscientific, although I understand that it is true that many women delay marriage in their 20s but they may still have 1 to 3 long-term partners in their 20s.

      Still, your point about contraception holds, particularly if viewed under the umbrella of modern technology.

      Other critical improvements in modern technology include: hyper-urbanization, male contraception (condom), modern medicine for infants, industrialized farming, kitchen appliances including washing machines.

      Example: Women can have 2.2 children under modern medicine and still grow the population (above 2.1/woman replacement) but without modern medicine they need a husband by their late teens to take care of them while they have 6 children. This effect alone gives women choice of mates for up to a decade!

      All of these technologies help women have more choice, regardless of social structure or stigma. In Latin America, you will see “sexually-liberated” women in cities but not in the countryside. Nevertheless, births per woman are dropping in the countryside even though many women take a husband in their late teens or early 20s.

      As long as these technologies are around, women will have “freer choices” and the imbalance suggested by the theory in the post will be around. Using consciousness, individual people won’t give up these technologies easily. And in a “bottom-up” view of how society is formed: first come the technologies, then comes women’s level of reproductive choice in reaction, then comes the social shaming or lack of it. There is no group at the top of society that can change society by strongly suggesting that women get married as virgins. It will be an emergent effect as suggested by this post when (and only if) the sexual imbalance is corrected by necessity.

      The specific economic claims that are predicted are very likely to be false. Most predictions about the economy expect “runaway” effects when the economy has a much more subtle effect of changes at the margin. A huge drop in population occurred in Europe after the Black Death and inflation rose due to increased labor wages due to the scarcity of labor. These effects are very hard to predict.

      Furthermore, from the point of view of evolution (selection pressures) there may be a time when humanity becomes extinct, evolves into a new species, or becomes another civilization like those in the near past. We can’t really predict, in my opinion.

      • Cristian says:

        Something on terms first: i use alpha/beta with the meaning of either good looking or average looking (even ugly) but financially dependable, i do not mean in the PUA sense, i mostly refer to looks.

        I very much agree with you – economic incentives shape the culture, not the other way around

        Like i previously said, i live in a relatively poor country and most girls here need a man financially once they leave their parents house. In adolescence and early twenties (when they are still supported by their parents) they have very similar traits and behavior with American/Western Europe girls. So my conclusion was that economic configuration still does not change their behaivor in early age and that contraception overrides any economic climate (and thus spawns that horrible carousel ride and sex in the city lifestyle when they are young no matter the economic context). Of course, if the economic incentives are there (like in my country where wages are pretty low and no livable welfare state) – they search and quickly get a “beta” husband after 25 (a husband on their level or looks or worse looking that is financially dependable). Of course, this happens after the “fun” period, and most men would i agree i think – that is a real sour deal (“buyer discrimination” is a big part of it i think- alphas get free/easy no strings attached sex while betas get the reverse situation and have to trade in their life basically)

        I live in Romania by the way, so not typically a EE country and pretty much a western country in general stances on things (barring the insane leftism of recent years in the west or the pathological altruism).

        In conclusion, i would love to be disproven: i would like for economic incentives (ex:lack of welfare state) to drive female behavior in a better direction, but i do not see that happening. Here they act like american girls until they need a husband, then they quickly get a “Beta” so they have their cake and eat it too (because contraception permits them sex with lots of non-dependable good looking men, without consequences)

        I previously said what i see as the solution was lack of welfare state + early marriage and/or virginity coditions for marriage. I do not see what sort of economic incentives could spawn this, i think this is one thing the free market won’t fix?

        I eagrly await counter-arguments to this, maybe real-life example of countries and situations (maybe Latin America? i’d like to not be right), all the best.

        • thegreatshebang says:

          First of all, keep looking for quality data. Having said that, look for data without the need to “find a fix”. Just observe. Find quality data. Find theories with very little bias.

          I for one do not feel anxious about “finding a fix” as I don’t feel responsible one way or another to change a highly complex system. This has helped me think clearly and find good data sets, like the ones on this blog.

          Here are some random thoughts for further introspection:

          Even though there is not a welfare state in Romania (and various Latin American countries and other parts of the world) – there is still a lot of other technologies that make food and money very easy to get. This is far, far different than merely 75 years ago in most parts of the world. You know this from data on height for both men and women going up in many countries. Economic conditions are still very good for women to not be a burden on their families and not need a husband in the late teen years.

          Consider also, that once women get married, they are less likely to get divorced – it sounds obvious, but it’s an important point – they were still always getting gifts from dependable men when single and may cheat on a husband. In other words, marriage is not a guaranteed marker that they are done with the party years.

          Women could still have 2.5 kids after marrying a dependable man after 25 or 30 but no, overall, women are choosing to have less than 2.0 kids, whether they are in their party years or marriage years. That is the critical factor. So contraception plays a big role. But this blog post looked deeper at the theory of conflicting sexual strategies.

        • Sir Tyrion Lannister (Administrator). says:

          @ Cristian,

          “Here they act like american girls until they need a husband, then they quickly get a “Beta” so they have their cake and eat it too (because contraception permits them sex with lots of non-dependable good looking men, without consequences)”.

          Here you are observing strategic pluralism in stable female strategies that are successful in concurrently reaping both material (direct) and genetic benefits from different males in such a way that favors the evolutionary success of short term male strategies(with the more costly direct/material benefits of long term strategies expropriated in the increased selective value of short term strategies), as from this it is intuitive to infer the dynamic implications of any such stochastically stable, polymorphic state where hybrid strategies can invade under favorable conditions of frequency dependent selection.

    • Sir Tyrion Lannister (Administrator). says:

      @ Cristian,

      You’re splitting hairs on a trivial nuance. The Eastern Europe populations are structured on an ecological/fitness landscape axis (proxy of polygynous pattern – just look at the high rates of divorce of these countries) close to Western populations.

      They have modest welfare states, but enought ones (e.g. programs providing modest support for the most vulnerable segments, as single pregnants mothers) to trace these populations outside from a dynamic of precarity with stressors that alter selective pressures.

      Note that whatever social system where female fitness is not disturbed if male investment tend towards a little/nothing beyond his sex cells, the female has only to decide which male offers the ideal genetic material for her offspring.

      In the absence of direct fitness effects, preference for sexual choices (i.e. indirect benefits/genetic assests) can spread via a genetic correlation that develops between preference alleles and high fitness genotypes.

      When direct benefits are not in dire need (leading to changes in selection), female sexual selection switch to fixing loci which take precedence for using cues indicating indirect benefits.

      Therefore monogamy matrix moves toward one end of polygyny, since only male physical/aesthetic stimuli upon high rate signaling are weighted.

      The final landscape that we observe is of high kurtosis, where a relatively wide segment of female population tends to a relatively much smaller subset of hiper attractive men.

  4. SlurpingGreen says:

    Really interesting series you have here.

    I’m curious what you think is happening among less promiscuous women.

    Looking at dating website data can’t tell you anything about women who aren’t engaging (frequently) in the sexual marketplace. Obviously some of them get married or have long term partners, but my understanding is roughly a third of college graduates, particularly those with higher intelligence, are still virgins. In Japan, the so called dried fish ladies. Is it the case that in the absence of social pressure to be married some women just avoid men (eg, low sex drive means the effort is not worth it to them)? Is it a discrepancy between self perception of market value and actual market value (eg, ugly but successful career women who want to be valued for their success)? Clearly the sexual marketplace is changing and everyone talks about sluts, alphas and the guys being left out, but there’s this interesting set of women who seem to not engage.

    I remember reading an anonymous post by a guy who claimed to work for a dating industry website. He talked among other things about a small subset of women who essentially trolled around but never actually went on dates. According to him, message exchanges with these women disproportionately caused men to leave the site. I can’t help but to picture someone with a colossal desire for ego validation and an itsy bitsy sex drive. Maybe that captures some part of this story.

    • thegreatshebang says:

      Interesting questions. I don’t know that science (or psychology) models “character” – that is, the inquiry into what makes one person distinct as an individual. A study of female selection of male features won’t tell us very much about why one female crosses a certain behavioral threshold.

      Some of these issues are studied under “Life History Theory” which has taken over the framework for discussions from only r/k selection models.

      • Sir Tyrion Lannister (Administrator). says:

        @ thegreatshebang,

        “Some of these issues are studied under “Life History Theory” which has taken over the framework for discussions from only r/k selection models”

        This seems an interesting idea to discuss. Can you elaborate more depth?

    • Sir Tyrion Lannister (Administrator). says:

      @ SlurpingGreen,

      “Really interesting series you have here.”

      I appreciate your compliment.

      “I’m curious what you think is happening among less promiscuous women.”

      Before inferring ad hoc conclusions, we should have some available population data of mating (short term/long term) frequency. And as far as I know still do not exist anything like that, beyond spurious self-reports.

      “Looking at dating website data can’t tell you anything about women who aren’t engaging (frequently) in the sexual marketplace.”

      Online dating tests just provide us some clarifiers frames on female responsiveness/preference. Anyway sheds no light about offline mating/sexual intercourse pattern/distributions.

      “Obviously some of them get married or have long term partners, but my understanding is roughly a third of college graduates, particularly those with higher intelligence, are still virgins. In Japan, the so called dried fish ladies.”

      What is the source?

      “Is it the case that in the absence of social pressure to be married some women just avoid men (eg, low sex drive means the effort is not worth it to them)?”

      It is rather their low responsiveness/reciprocity to most male stimuli, than any overall low sex drive.

      “Is it a discrepancy between self perception of market value and actual market value (eg, ugly but successful career women who want to be valued for their success)? Clearly the sexual marketplace is changing and everyone talks about sluts, alphas and the guys being left out, but there’s this interesting set of women who seem to not engage”.

      Just not engaged to their statistical equivalent males, in any case (assuming that statistics you have alluded to are true).

      “I remember reading an anonymous post by a guy who claimed to work for a dating industry website. He talked among other things about a small subset of women who essentially trolled around but never actually went on dates. According to him, message exchanges with these women disproportionately caused men to leave the site.”

      Can you give the reference? I bet it’s fallacious. First, most (genuine) women online communicate only with a narrow spectrum of male concurrence (i.e attractive males). Which is why the rest of men usually ends up leaving the dating site soon. There are not such women who waste their time trolling men (except for a small margin of fake profiles/catfishes).

      “I can’t help but to picture someone with a colossal desire for ego validation and an itsy bitsy sex drive. Maybe that captures some part of this story.”

      I agree with a high ego-validation proxy on women, anyway I do not see any link with your previous argument.

      • SlurpingGreen says:

        It looks like all the data on college virgins is from surveys. points to and quotes %20 virgins after graduation, %40 of current students.

        The comment about trolling women:

        I wish there was more open access to dating website data and more articles talking about it. Unfortunately, it seems that would point to uncomfortable truths, which isn’t in the interest of such companies.

        • Sir Tyrion Lannister (Administrator). says:

          @ SlurpingGreen,

          “According to the a study of more than 24,000 students at campuses across America, 20 percent of college students graduate without ever having sex — a minority, to be sure, but a much larger percentage than even the students themselves might expect. In our own poll, which included underclassmen, 40 percent said they were virgins”

          Thanks for the references.

          20% virgins for both sex according to “Online College Social Life Survey”, and 40% surveying from “New York Magazine” (I guess). But where would be data for females group separately?

          “The comment about trolling women:

          Let’s assume that that poster is really part of a technical staff from some dating website. Where exactly he speaks about women trolling? He just says women that get replies and are hostile/unresponsive. Which is not surprising. Most women fit this pattern.

  5. Emdrive says:

    Seriously, do you think I might be onto something here? Do men have an instinctive preference for girls about 14, who would have be on the verge of reproductive age in caveman times? Maybe most men in modern societies don’t act upon this preference but we can find evidence that they have it. Most men in modern societies don’t act violently either but there’s lots of evidence that males have adaptations for violence such as liking violent video games, the rough and tumble play of toddlers, greater upper body strength etc.


    Anthropological data:

    Crime statistics:

    Search statistics:

    Most attractive BMI (17-20) is typical BMI for girls about 13:

    Female faces about 13 rated most attractive:
    Roeder study and others.

  6. highever says:

    Could you help me find the study where women are shown to care very little or not at all about the intelligence of a romantic partner?

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