Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Nice guys finish last?

I've written before about how men sometimes categorised as 'jerks' seem to have more success with the opposite sex than those described, often in a patronising tone of voice, as 'nice'. Two recent articles have been grist to my mill.

First is a review of When Men Behave Badly: The Hidden Roots of Sexual Deception, Harassment, and Assault by David M. Buss, Little, Brown Spark, 336 pages (April 2021), bRob Henderson

Henderson ends his review with a particularly interesting observation:

A popular idea is that men who are desperate or deprived of chances for sex will be more likely to use coercion. This is known as the “mate deprivation hypothesis.” However, studies suggest the opposite is the case. Men who have more partners report higher levels of sexual aggression compared to men with fewer partners. Furthermore, men who predict that their future earnings will be high also report greater levels of sexual aggression relative to men who predict that their future earnings will be low.

One contributing factor may be an empathy deficit—the book reports that high status is linked to lower levels of empathy. Men high on Dark Triad traits are viewed as more attractive by women, are more likely to have consensual sexual partners, and are more likely to engage in sexual coercion.
Were it susceptible to logical argument, and not merely the product of ideology, the idea that the Church's championing of chastity leads to sex abuse would receive yet another blow from this.

Another aspect of it is the fact that these horrible men appear to be more attractive. This point is discussed in the context of what Feminists make of it, by Scott Alexander: 'Radicalizing the Romanceless'. Alexander points out the quite staggering lack of empathy on display from Feminist authors on this subject. He concludes as follows.

Personal virtue is not very well correlated with ease of finding a soulmate. It may be only slightly correlated, uncorrelated, or even anti-correlated in different situations. Even smart people who want various virtues in a soulmate usually use them as a rule-out criterion, rather than a rule-in criterion – that is, given someone whom they are already attracted to, they will eliminate him if he does not have those virtues. The rule-in criterion that makes you attractive to people is mysterious and mostly orthogonal to virtue. This is true both in men and women, but in different ways. Male attractiveness seems to depend on things like a kind of social skills which is not necessarily the same kind of social skills people who want to teach you social skills will teach, testosterone level, social status, and whatever you call the ability to just ask someone out, consequences be damned. These can be obtained in very many different ways that are partly within your control, but they are complicated and subtle and if you naively aim for cliched versions of the terms you will fail. There is a lot of good discussion about how to get these things. Here is a list of resources that might be able to help you.

Of course, then you’ve got to have your resource list. And – and this is the part of this post I think will be controversial (!), I think a lot of the appropriate material is concentrated in the manosphere, ie the people who do not hate your guts merely for acknowledging the existence of the issue. Yes, it is interspersed with poisonous beliefs about women being terrible, but if you have more than a quarter or so of a soul, it is pretty easy to filter those out and concentrate on the good ones. Many feminists will say there are no good ones and that they are all exactly the same, but you should not believe them for approximately the same reason you should not believe anyone else who claims the outgroup is completely homogenous and uniformly evil. Ozy has tried to pick out some of the better ones for you at the bottom of their their anti-Heartiste FAQ, and Drew on Tumblr has added to the discussion.

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