September 22, 2006

The woman shortage

In memoriam Sixteen Volts, hounded into auto-CtrlAltDeletion by The Woman (or maybe not; we still can't tell). One good thing about having a more nutty, less-socialized personality is that they can't easily reboot your mind.

Peter has discussed before the woman shortage in various comment boxes that I frequent. The gist is that, from looking at how many men vs women belong to online dating websites such as Match or E-Harmony, there are more men than women, giving women the upper hand. But how can that be in a metropolis, which attracts disproportionately more women and gay men than straight men? Peter's idea is that serial monogamy is really de facto polygyny -- those supposedly monogamous guys are having affairs and whatnot on the side, taking their mistresses off the dating market. Collectively, then, the alpha-males -- let's say the top 25% of the desirability distribution -- all but monopolize the pool of females.

I don't doubt that alphas play around whenever possible, and that this takes some women off the market, but I think a stronger phenomenon occurs under serial monogamy -- that is, even if a would-be mistress doesn't indulge the alpha in his polygynistic fantasies, the unspoken-for females might still be enamored of him (or another alpha), preventing them from accepting offers from sub-alphas. Their reasoning isn't so screwy -- they know that under serial monogamy, it's only a matter of time before he dumps her, so she may as well wait eagerly, securing a "first in line" spot. Hell, she may even try to orchestrate the dissolution of his current relationship using subtle or gross methods. This aspect of serial monogamy has the same result on availability of females as polygyny has -- namely, they're almost all spoken for physically or mentally, thus producing a shortage of women interested in what a sub-alpha has to offer. And yet it doesn't engender the animosity in sub-alphas that polygyny does, as the monopolization is not overt, given that the additional females whom the alpha keeps off the market are only enthralled and waiting their turn, not actually living or mating with him. This is illustrated below: green boxes represent a person from the top 25% of the desirability distribution, the facial expressions are self-evident, and solid and dashed lines indicate "is comitted to" vs "is yearning or pining for" relationships, respectively.

This aspect of serial monogamy produces another curious result -- females must constantly compete against each other, not simply to land an alpha, but to keep him even while in a "committed" relationship (he's committed to leaving her once something better comes along or he grows bored of her). Under monogamy, they compete to snag the alpha but afterwards must settle, grin, and bear it if they lost. Under polygyny, only a bottom-of-the-barrel female won't be snatched up by some alpha or another, so competition isn't as fierce either. Yet under serial monogamy, the struggle is unceasing, and this frustration is compounded by the carrot-and-stick nature of a female's prospects -- sure, she could settle for a sub-alpha while she waits her turn to be the alpha's girl du jour, but she's equally sure that the alpha is this close to dumping that bitch of a girlfriend who's been hogging him for so long already, and that even if not, she'll get to work on sabotaging their relationship.

And though thoroughly perplexed by the lack of available women despite the absence of overt or stealthy polygyny, the sub-alphas do seem to realize that this is reality nevertheless, and so end up quitting the relationship game by throwing their hands up in confusion: "Girls!" They start hanging out only with guys and caring only about guy things -- video or computer games into their 20s and 30s, extreme sports, cars, whatever -- the devil if it alienates them even further from females. This is who SpikeTV is geared to -- it hosts manly car mechanic shows, as well as the geeky Video Game Awards, and of course the only focus on women is during a countdown of the 100 Hottest Babes. Hey, if your chances of marrying are slim, you might as well fantasize about the best available rather than develop some silly crush on a co-worker, who's likely pining away for someone taller and richer than you. These are thus the guys who drive the multi-billion-dollar-a-year porn industry in the US. The ones with more antagonistic personalities grow mildly misogynistic, while the more nurturing personalities wallow in shame believing that they haven't properly raised the child of their relationship prospects.

Some will say I'm painting such an awful picture of things so that we'll all decide to go monogamous -- conveniently enough for me, a delta-male. The alphas wouldn't like having their dick fenced in, and though the most desirable females probably wouldn't mind (since they'll snag the best no matter what), the sub-super-hot females would resent abandoning the opportunity to be the Miss Alpha for at least a little awhile to cash in on being Miss Nobody forever. I'm actually not urging legislation or a popular movement or what-have-you to return to strict monogamy, even though I believe that's optimal, as it doesn't bode well for social cohesion to have a growing sub-population of not just unattached but drop-out males. And while still acknowledging every woman's right to choose which mating strategy she'll employ, I look at the frustration etched onto their faces as they try to compete with would-be usurpers 10 or 20 years younger by purchasing $175 butt-resculpting jeans, and think: "You got what you asked for."


  1. as it doesn't bode well for social cohesion to have a growing sub-population of not just unattached but drop-out males.

    In general that might be true. But these are the wimps, so what are they gonna do? (shrug)

    You also leave out the fact that most of the sub-alpha males realize eventually that they're going to have to settle for a sub-alpha female. Given gender parity this is possible, which is why the tacit parallel to China fails. After all, Darwinism selects against those whose ambition exceeds their game. Put another way, most delta males could easily score some chubby/ignored chick who is even more desperate than he is.


  2. In general that might be true. But these are the wimps, so what are they gonna do?

    Well, the nerdy guys might be wimps, but there are lots of other non-wimps out there who also aren't getting girls and who drop out. Being a hulking Neanderthal-type guy isn't going to win lots of girls anymore, since it's more about status. I think this drop-out of males is part of the "angry white male" phenomenon.

    Still, let's say we've got roughly 100 million males in the population, 75% of whom are sub-alpha. If current mating patterns raised the likelihood of one of them committing a crime by a tenth of a percent, that's still 75,000 more criminals. Assuming criminals commit 3 crimes on average, that's 225,000 more crimes of varying degrees.

    You can tweak the numbers as you like, but the point remains: even a trivial increase in likelihood of doing something bad, spread over such a large swath of the population, has intolerable costs, given that the only benefits in this scenario are that alphas get more females over the lifespan, and that sub-alpha females get to be Miss Somebody for a few years before being recycled.

    East Asians are the least crime-prone and are a tiny fraction of the population, so the utilitarian argument doesn't hold up in alleviating their predicament. But I wouldn't want to see this situation unfold any further in Black and non-White Hispanic areas especially, and also in White areas to a lesser degree.

    Plus, there's more to social cohesion & quality of life than lack of high crime rates.

    You're right about deltas being able to score w/ someone even more desperate -- but that would have to be one desperate girl! I read personals ads for fun, and lots of BBW girls have only slightly more realistic criteria than the so-so girls. You'd probably have to visit other parts of the country entirely... in which case, the guy might as well patronize a mail-order bride company (nothing against that).

  3. Another note on the desperate, chubby girls -- if we're talking "more desperate than delta-males," I think it would be generous to say that such girls represent the bottom 25% of females (I'd say less than 10%). Desperate though they are, they're still females, and they don't want to service multiple males & be branded the town slut anymore than desirable females do; they still want something of a normal relationship; etc. So at most they would absorb 25% of all guys, still leaving 50% in angry limbo. Changes the figure I gave to 150,000 more crimes, but still awful.

  4. Also, the bottom fell out of the low end of female attractiveness over the last dunno years as obesity rates went up.

    Now, dumb girls,
    girls with less pleasant personalities, and less than perfect-faced girls are now obese.

    It's like if the only jobs left were CEOs and bagboys.


  5. Serial monogamy is a variation of de facto polygamy that also makes life more difficult for non-Alpha males. Serial monogamy occurs when an Alpha dates (or even marries) women for brief periods of time, quickly casting them off in favor of new ones. Think of the middle-aged executive who acquires a new trophy wife every couple of years.
    One wouldn't think that serial monogamy contributes to the Woman Shortage, because the Alphas' cast-off women go back into the dating pool. Unfortunately, things don't work out so neatly. Women take much longer to "get over" broken relationships than do men. When an Alpha dumps his current girlfriend or wife for a new one, he's back out scoring in the singles' bars next weekend, while for the next several months she's probably too broken up to be interested in any men except Ben & Jerry.
    In addition, a woman who's been with an Alpha male, even one who dumped her, may never again be satisfied with lesser men.

  6. The 1:49 comment was mine, I forgot to post my sig.
    Anyway, I have to disagree to some extent with the assertion that non-Alpha males who can't find women often immerse themselves in male-oriented interests such as those shown on Spike TV. In my experience, men who are involved in many stereotypically male activities have no particular difficulty finding women, even though not many women share their interests. Examples of these largely male activities include sports, cars, outdoor recreation, and manual crafts such as woodworking. It seems as if women will accept men who are involved in activities that don't interest women themselves, so long as the activities are masculine, "guy-type" things.
    What women will not accept are men who are involved in things that do not appeal to women yet are not sufficiently masculine in nature. These include Trek, sci-fi in general, video games (especially Warcraft and its ilk), D&D and other RPG's, LOTR and other forms of fantasy, and so on.

    Iron Rails & Iron Weights

  7. As I've said before, I sympathize with the issue of the woman shortage because I am a victim of it, but the situation we have now is a result of women no longer being forced to partner with a beta male for her economic support. I'd rather have woman shortage than have women forced to partner with men they don't like and for men to economically support women that barely tolerate their existence in exchange for cash.

    Sexual needs can be easily met (and maybe even superiorly met) thru pornography and legalized prostitution with emotional needs being met thru platonic relationships between males and females. While it isn't the same as having a girlfriend, my close female friends and my porn are considerably better than having nothing at all.

  8. I have to disagree to some extent with the assertion that non-Alpha males who can't find women often immerse themselves in male-oriented interests such as those shown on Spike TV.

    To clarify, I meant it as "80% of dropout males are into SpikeTV-ish shows," rather than "80% of SpikeTV's audience are dropout males." So you're right that there's a significant non-dropout male subset of SpikeTV's audience. I was just highlighting that SpikeTV has targeted the dropout male especially as an unfilled niche in the TV market.

  9. Well, if it is 75% of guys who are left out, then there's gotta be something we can try to change the game. Because we have numbers. I refuse to settle for a fat woman because I am not fat. One thing guys need is guts. Tell women, bluntly, how shallow and stupid they are being sometimes. Because no one ever does it. Negative reinforcement might be a start.

  10. white women are too easy.

  11. I applied this topic to black Americans...and came out with totally different results.

  12. "Delta male?" Dude, you just pulled that out of thin air after a bad night, right? :) Or have you guys actually taken this theory (which I've never heard outside this node, BTW) to the point where you have an actual system of classifying yourselves with sub-alpha Greek letters?


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