Male incentives

In the comments to my post last month on the Cato Unbound series New Girl Order: Are men in decline?, there was some suggestion that men were being disincentivised from working hard by the increasing income and resources of women.

Bryan Caplan took up a similar argument when he looked at what was happening through the lens of two markets – labour and mating. He concluded that:

Income and income potential still matter.  But women now focus more on looks, machismo, coolness, and other “alpha” traits.  Holding charisma constant, working harder just doesn’t attract women the way it used to.  The result: Less desirable men often give up on women altogether – further tilting the effective male/female ratio in favor of the remaining men.  And both kinds of men act like boys: The less desirable men have little to lose, and the more desirable men can get away with it.

When Caplan comes to this conclusion, he understates the strength of the effect of increasing female income on the low-status male. This is because there is an additional element of the mating and labour market relationship – labour market outcomes are a signal of quality for the mating market. Woman care not only about the resources from the man’s income, but also about the signal of quality that it provides. This means that high-income men remain attractive even if the woman has considerable resources. When a woman ceases to consider the low-status male as she now has enough resources to find a higher quality mate who won’t support her children, her new mate’s income will act as a signal of quality in the same way that looks or charisma might.

The following chart (data from Heard (2011)) of Australian marriage and de-facto rates by age and income shows how strong the benefits of high income remain. The high income 20-24 year old is 4 times more likely to be married or in a de facto relationship than someone from the low-income group. Over 40 per cent of the lowest income 40-44 year old males remain unpaired. While incentives for men at the bottom of the income scales may be declining, there is still plenty of incentive to work hard for most of the male population.

22 comments

  1. Where’s the eye-popping gif? I know less than nothing about this area but that’s a shocking graph.

    Great blog by the way.

  2. Definitions:
    Objective reproductive success = total or optimal number of genes replicated into next generation.
    Subjective reproductive success = how well one’s actions abide by or satisfy one’s evolved psychological mechanism(s) relating to reproduction.

    Why is being married or in a de facto relationship considered the definition of (subjective) reproductive success?

    Try the hypothetical scenario;

    10 men, 10 women. All unattached/not in relationships.

    1 man has brief affairs with all 10 women and doesn’t marry. The other 9 men then proceed to marry the 9 women after the 9 women had engaged in the brief affairs.

    The 1st man doesn’t marry.

    In most men’s minds, who was the most reproductively successful? Or put another way, who was the most subjectively reproductively successful?

    I would argue that most men would perceive the first man to be the most (subjectively) reproductively successful despite the fact that he doesn’t marry or enter a de facto relationship. In fact I would argue that most men would perceive the other 9 men to (effectively) be cuckolds. These 9 men might not objectively be cuckolds as paternity tests and contraception would most likely prevent conception by the first man and paternity fraud by the 9 women. Furthermore, most men wouldn’t consciously hold these men as cuckolds as how most men categorise and define things generally follows rational and objective principles. However I would contend that most men’s evolved psychological mechanism(s) relating to reproduction would evaluate these men as cuckolds and hence motivate them (albeit subconsciously) to not pursue a long-term mating strategy with them. It would most likely result in them feeling disgust or repulsion or perhaps feeling like losers or chumps if they did.

    Hence, being married or in a de facto relationship shouldn’t necessarily be considered the definition of (subjective) reproductive success.

    The question then becomes, are some men obtaining a significant or disproportionate amount of short-term sexual success and are these men doing it through achieving economic or financial success?

    If some men are obtaining a significant or disproportionate amount of short-term sexual success and they aren’t doing it through achieving economic or financial success then you would have a disincentive towards both pursuing a long-term mating strategy and to pursuing economic or financial success as;

    a) Short-term success disincentivises the pursuit of long-term mating strategies due to the risks of cuckoldry which then also reduces paternal investment in children and any attendant economic work that would have been associated with that paternal investing.

    b) Short-term success that isn’t predicated upon the pursuit of or actual economic or financial success would then also disincentivise the pursuit of economic or financial success as that requires effort and there’s no point in putting mating effort into those things which don’t result in mating success.

    So, are some men obtaining a significant or disproportionate amount of short-term sexual success and are these men doing it through achieving economic or financial success?

    Well, according to sociologist Mark Regnerus at the University of Texas at Austin and author of, “Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate and Think About Marrying”, the answer to that question would be no.

    “A second measure is the number of sex partners that “sub-optimal men” have had. I define that group as men who are 22 years old, dropped out of high school and don’t have a full-time job — men who don’t have a lot going for them. We compare the number of partners they’ve had with the number of partners of a male college graduate who is employed full-time. Theoretically, if sex is valuable to her then she’s not going to trade it away to just some crummy man, and when we look at the data, we find that those sub-optimal men report a lot more partners than men who actually have a lot going for them.”

    from http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2011/01/19/young_women_romance/

    Of course it’s entirely possible that the women that are giving into these “crummy” men aren’t the same ones that would be marrying the men who do “have a lot going for them”, and hence those men who do “have a lot going for them” aren’t likely to be disincentivised save for perhaps the various cultural and legal forces arrayed against them that allow for their potential reproductive exploitation, but that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.

    I look forward to your response, and hopefully, your proving of my argument as false.

  3. “So, are some men obtaining a significant or disproportionate amount of short-term sexual success and are these men doing it through achieving economic or financial success?

    Well, according to sociologist Mark Regnerus at the University of Texas at Austin and author of, “Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate and Think About Marrying”, the answer to that question would be no.”

    Should have been;

    So, are some men obtaining a significant or disproportionate amount of short-term sexual success and are these men doing it through achieving economic or financial success?

    Well, according to sociologist Mark Regnerus at the University of Texas at Austin and author of, “Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate and Think About Marrying”, the answer to the first part of that question would be yes and the second part no.

  4. Also, I should probably qualify that in the hypothetical scenario, the 10 men and 10 women are the only men and women in the system. So the only people they can have relations with are each other and the only relations they have are the ones mentioned.

    1. A few points are worth noting:
      – On your example, do you expect women will cuckold the other men with the low or high quality male? Evidence from paternity testing suggests low-income, low-status males are more likely to lose on this one. Further, misattributed paternity is not particuarly common (generally around a couple of per cent and rarely above 10 per cent in most studies).
      -On your source, at 22 years of age, things are probably as good as they will get for the low-income male. He might have got by with looks until now, or might have potential (as he is a university student). However, as he ages, things will only get worse.
      – More importantly, don’t trust self-reports of male mating success. Men consistently report that they have had more partners than women report (when obviously, on average, they should be equal). This effect is particuarly pronounced in low-status men. Who has more incentive to talk themselves up – the single, low-status male or the successful, married male?
      – Finally, I expect your intuition about mate quality is spot-on.

      1. Definitions:
        Long Term Mating Strategy=LTMS
        Short Term Mating Strategy=STMS
        Long Term Relationships=LTR=Pursuit of LTMS
        Short Term Relationships=STR=Pursuit of STMS

        I would’ve responded earlier but I had an essay to complete for uni.

        I’ll address the points you noted in the order which I think is easiest.

        First, in answer to your third point.

        “More importantly, don’t trust self-reports of male mating success. Men consistently report that they have had more partners than women report (when obviously, on average, they should be equal). This effect is particularly pronounced in low-status men. Who has more incentive to talk themselves up – the single, low-status male or the successful, married male?”

        The same argument can be used in regards to women. Women could be consistently under-reporting as they have an incentive to downplay their sexual experience in the mating market.

        Secondly, even if reports did suggest an equal distribution of sexual partners amongst men, there still might be a perceived discrepancy in subjective reproductive success.

        Take for instance the hypothetical of 5 men and 5 women in a closed system. 4 of the men sleep with all 5 of the women once each. The other man sleeps with all 5 of the women 1000 times each. All the men wind up with the same number of sexual partners, 5 each, but I would contend that the man who slept with each woman 1000 times each would be considered more subjectively reproductively successful.

        Your second point.

        “On your source, at 22 years of age, things are probably as good as they will get for the low-income male. He might have got by with looks until now, or might have potential (as he is a university student). However, as he ages, things will only get worse.”

        I think the source suggests that the low-income males were the ones not attending and not going to attend university (they are high school drop outs after all).

        But yes, as such a male ages, his sexual opportunities with similarly aged females will decrease as those females will be shifting into long-term mode not short-term mode and will be seeking out partners for LTR’s not STR’s. But here’s the kicker, a) how many men will have maintained course on making themselves good long-term partners when women have been sleeping around with short-term men and b) how many men who are good long-term partners would want such women?

        In answer to a) I would contend that (taken from my previous comment on the gender gap) as women pursue short-term men in their youth, men who are pursuing a LTMS will (subjectively and/or subconsciously) determine that such a strategy is a losing option (that is, it won’t be subjectively reproductively successful) and hence will either shift to a STMS or just drop out altogether and hence will be disincentivised from economic success as STMS’s generally aren’t predicated upon economic success.

        Furthermore, in answer to b), of those men who don’t adapt to a STMS and are good LTMS material, they won’t find the women pursuing a LTMS attractive for LTR’s as the characteristics which make a female attractive for a LTMS have now been decreased by her pursuit of a STMS in her youth. Specifically, those characteristics are youth and chastity/sexual inexperience. You would also probably see a diminishment in beauty due to no longer being young but not necessarily, and probably also a diminishment in fidelity due to a psychological adaption/acclimation towards no-strings-attached sex and perhaps a jadedness towards the motives of men, the “all men are pigs” type of jadedness. Although such a diminishment in beauty and fidelity is just conjecture on my part. Furthermore, I would contend that men’s preference for youth and chastity/sexual inexperience in women for LTMS is evolutionarily hardwired into men and isn’t the product of society and hence isn’t readily amenable towards modification/social engineering. Hence those men who are good LTMS material won’t find any of the women available for LTMS attractive and hence upon discovering this will be disincentivised from economic success for LTMS’s as none of the women will be worth it.

        Qualification: All of this argument of disincentivisation towards economic success is predicated upon the women in question attempting to pursue a dual mating strategy, that is sleeping with short-term men then trying to shift towards long-term men.

        Addendum: I think an interesting reading to take from this argument may be that women are failing to effectively price themselves for LTMS’s in the mating market. That is they’ve been told by society and the media that chastity/sexual inexperience is unimportant as a mating attribute for women, and that what is important as a mating attribute is having a career/economic success. This false belief has been motivated by a certain political ideology’s misunderstanding/under-estimating/ignorance of human nature in relation to mating, and so, as these women price themselves for marriage as they get older, they fail to realise that they have over-valued themselves as the characteristics used for LTMS value for women have been diminished by their behaviour and the characteristics that they have been encouraged to develop/pursue hold no bearing on their LTMS value and are really only useful if one pursues a STMS. Put simply, cash and careers don’t make women attractive for LTMS’s and lack of youth and chastity/sexual experience makes a woman unattractive for LTMS’s. But cash and careers does enable one to pursue STMS’s (as the guys won’t stick around to paternally invest in her or the children) and lack of chastity/sexual experience has no negative bearing on STMS (as the guys won’t stick around to paternally invest in her or the children).

        Note: When I say ‘attractive’, I am referring to those characteristics which trigger those evolved psychological mechanisms that determine attractiveness, not those characteristics which society says are attractive. Basically I am referring to those characteristics that our emotions say are attractive not what we are consciously think/led to believe are attractive. Or what we feel/react to as attractive not what we ‘think’ is attractive.

        Your third point.

        “On your example, do you expect women will cuckold the other men with the low or high quality male? Evidence from paternity testing suggests low-income, low-status males are more likely to lose on this one. Further, misattributed paternity is not particularly common (generally around a couple of per cent and rarely above 10 per cent in most studies).”

        Two points here:

        1) “do you expect women will cuckold the other men”

        When I refer to ‘cuckold’ to make the argument that men will be disincentivised from pursuing economic success, I am using ‘cuckold’ to refer essentially to those feelings that would compel men away from pursuing LTMS’s with a women and are the result of evolved psychological mechanisms related to mating. Whether in your third point you were referring to it in the abstract sense that I am referring to here or in a more concrete sense I’m not too sure of, but I will assume you are referring to it in the abstract sense.

        2) “with the low or high quality male”

        This, I think is the main difference between us. Namely, what is the definition of a low or high quality male. As mentioned in your post you state that ‘labour market outcomes are a signal of quality for the mating market.’ I think that in LTMS’s you are correct as success in the labour market can translate into better paternal investment.

        However, I think in STMS’s women do not (necessarily) use labour market outcomes as a signal of quality for the mating market and instead are more focused to cues of social dominance and genetic quality. i.e. sexy son hypothesis;

        “Human sexual behaviour

        The sexy son hypothesis has also been put forward as the origin of some aspects of human sexual behavior. In particular, it has been shown that human females are more attracted to men of higher physical attractiveness, and to men whose physical features are indicative of a higher exposure to testosterone during key developmental periods,[17] during the most fertile times of their menstrual cycles, and more attracted to relatively feminine men (“dads”) during the remainder of the cycle. However, the methodology of these claims is disputed.[18] These observations have led to the conclusion that infidelity is a natural occurrence in women, and evolutionarily advantageous, on the grounds that it will enable them to secure both the best genes and the best caregiver for their offspring.[19][20]”

        From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexy_son_hypothesis#Human_sexual_behavior

        While it is true that labour market outcomes can improve social dominance, the fact is that socio-economic status doesn’t necessarily equal social status within the context of STMS’s as social status within the context of STMS’s is determined by social dominance or genetic quality (i.e good looks).

        One pertinent example would be the mild mannered yet socio-economically successful accountant vs a non socio-economically successful criminal biker thug. Who would be sexier to a woman for a fling? I think most women would consider the biker more desirable for a fling compared to the accountant even though the accountant is of a higher socio-economic status. Why? Because the biker is of higher social dominance and that is the prime indicator of status/sexiness in STMS’s, apart from explicit genetic quality.

        This occurrence can be witnessed through the proliferation of ‘game’, ‘PUAs’ and ‘seduction gurus’ who spend a lot of their time centred around trying to teach nice, mild mannered, socio-economically successful men, (referred to as betas by this community), to become more socially dominant (referred to as being alpha by this community) and hence sexually successful with women that they meet in bars and night clubs and various other social environments (i.e within a STMS context/environment).

        So, to summarise my argument, I contend that;

        1) In STMS’s, social dominance and genetic quality, not success in the labour market, are the primary signals of mating quality.

        2) In LTMS’s success in the labour market is factored into what constitutes mating quality.

        3) If women pursue STMS’s then men will be disincentivised from pursuing LTMS’s and the subsequent economic success that would have gone along with pursuing a LTMS. Furthermore when women pursue STMS’s the signal used for mating quality is social dominance and genetic quality, not labour market success or socio-economic status (in as much as labour market success or socio-economic status don’t contribute to social dominance.)

        So, in response to your question, “On your example, do you expect women will cuckold the other men with the low or high quality male?” I would argue that when pursuing a STMS, what would be considered a low-quality male in a LTMS, is the high quality male in the STMS, and when pursuing a LTMS, would be considered a low quality male in a STMS, is the high quality male in a LTMS. That is, the determination of mating quality shifts depending on the mating strategy employed by the woman.

        This then leads to the argument I made previously of;

        “If some men are obtaining a significant or disproportionate amount of short-term sexual success and they aren’t doing it through achieving economic or financial success then you would have a disincentive towards both pursuing a long-term mating strategy and to pursuing economic or financial success as;

        a) Short-term success disincentivises the pursuit of long-term mating strategies due to the risks of cuckoldry which then also reduces paternal investment in children and any attendant economic work that would have been associated with that paternal investing.

        b) Short-term success that isn’t predicated upon the pursuit of or actual economic or financial success would then also disincentivise the pursuit of economic or financial success as that requires effort and there’s no point in putting mating effort into those things which don’t result in mating success.”

        Addendum: Authority for some assertions made in preceding argument.

        Support for economic success not serving as signal of mating quality in STMS vs LTMS

        “Short-term sexual appeal largely rested on targets’ attractiveness, particularly among women with an unrestricted sociosexual orientation. Dating appeal was dependent on attractiveness, particularly among unrestricted women, and on ambition. Ambition and attractiveness synergistically influenced targets’ long-term desirability, and these preferences were not moderated by women’s sociosexual orientation.”

        From http://www.bakadesuyo.com/how-do-womens-tastes-vary-in-short-term-vs-lo

        Support for social dominance amongst males being/having been a primary mechanism of sexual selection amongst humans.

        http://www.putslab.psu.edu/pdfs/puts_10_beautybeast.pdf

        More support for economic success not serving as signal of mating quality in STMS vs LTMS

        “Whereas women have been found to prioritize status in long-term mates, they instead (like men) prioritize physical attractiveness much like an economic necessity in short-term mates. Both sexes also show evidence of favoring well-rounded long- and short-term mates when given the chance. In Studies 4 and 5, participants report reasons for having casual sex and what they find physically attractive. For women, results generally support a good genes account of short-term mating, as per strategic pluralism theory (S. W. Gangestad & J. A. Simpson, 2000).”

        http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X0000337X

        Masculine males have more short-term sexual partners

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090513804000765

        Women prefer masculine men when most fertile confirming sexy-son/good genes hypothesis. This change in ovulatory mate preferences would indicate a selection for dual mating strategies in women.

        http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2010.06.001

        I look forward to you response.

      2. I agree with most of your points – in particular, the changed incentives for women. There is a reason why there are so many single mothers in the USA. I even agree that the incentive of men who can’t compete with a social security check are changed. But I don’t see any evidence that men are giving up on pursuing financial success as women don’t care about it.

        Let’s turn to your 3 summary points. 1) You claim that genetic quality is the primary signal of mating quality – but that is circular. How do they signal genetic quality? Through appearance, displays of intelligence (such as humour) and conspicuous consumption. Conspicuous consumption is an excellent source of information on genetic quality – even short-term. Wealth (not perfectly) indicates intelligence, diligence and other factors important to a woman seeking a mate. There are no shortage of studies into short term mating and flashy signals of wealth such as sports cars. It is true that women have a stronger preference for masculine appearance in a short-term than a long-term partner. But that does not mean she ignores other factors.

        2) Agreed.

        3) Apart from communities where the average male can’t deliver more financial security than social security, women are not simply pursuing short-term relationships. Most women still have children with a long-term partner. Income is still an important factor in this – as the graph shows (and it also has short-term benefits as noted above). And the competition for high paying jobs, entry to elite colleges etc all indicate that men find wealth to be important.

        As a final aside, beautiful people earn more.

      3. First in response to;
        “But I don’t see any evidence that men are giving up on pursuing financial success as women don’t care about it.”

        I thought it was common knowledge that less and less men are going to college and the male/female ratio is approaching 40% men and 60% women. Wouldn’t that be an indicator of men at least starting to give up on pursuing financial success seeing as college and education is considered the main pathway towards economic security/success? I also remember a study coming out not long ago showing that when it comes to young single men and women without children, women are now actually out earning men (in the USA that is).

        “1) In STMS’s, social dominance and genetic quality, not success in the labour market, are the primary signals of mating quality.

        (Your response to 1) You claim that genetic quality is the primary signal of mating quality – but that is circular. How do they signal genetic quality? Through appearance, displays of intelligence (such as humour) and conspicuous consumption. Conspicuous consumption is an excellent source of information on genetic quality – even short-term. Wealth (not perfectly) indicates intelligence, diligence and other factors important to a woman seeking a mate. There are no shortage of studies into short term mating and flashy signals of wealth such as sports cars. It is true that women have a stronger preference for masculine appearance in a short-term than a long-term partner. But that does not mean she ignores other factors.”

        I do remember reading psychological studies indicating that men are more interested in STMS’ were more likely to spend a lot of money on a date to try and impress a woman, however I would still contend that when it comes to STMS that the main determinant of quality is good looks, (i.e. tall, muscular, symmetrical face, masculine face/body, face that is similar to the average for their respective population of men), and dominance. If we look at ‘A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World’s Largest Experiment Reveals about Human Desire’

        http://www.amazon.com/Billion-Wicked-Thoughts-Largest-Experiment/dp/0525952098/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1317420208&sr=1-1

        by Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, we find that women’s fantasies indicate that what women find attractive is socially dominant males.

        (the following quote is a quote of a quote from this book as I couldn’t find a news article outlining it.)
        “Study after study has demonstrated the erotic appeal of male dominance. Women prefer the voices of dominant men, the scent of dominant men, the movement and gait of dominant men, and the facial features of dominant men…Scientists believe that the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex may be responsible for processing cues indicating social status or dominance, and it appears that almost all female brains are susceptible to dominance cues.”
        From http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2011/09/30/hookinguprealities/marcottes-boxers-are-in-a-twist-over-nice-guys%c2%ae/

        The fact is, in today’s society, social dominance and financial success are no longer intertwined. A guy can get more action being a criminal or biker than an accountant. Why? Because the criminal or biker is more socially dominant than the accountant.

        Furthermore, a simple counterexample, if financial success was really what mattered most for attractiveness to women in STMS, then women would be swooning for Bill Gates and Warren Buffet when it comes to flings, not the bad-boy down the block.

        “3) If women pursue STMS’s then men will be disincentivised from pursuing LTMS’s and the subsequent economic success that would have gone along with pursuing a LTMS. Furthermore when women pursue STMS’s the signal used for mating quality is social dominance and genetic quality, not labour market success or socio-economic status (in as much as labour market success or socio-economic status don’t contribute to social dominance.)

        (Your response to 3) Apart from communities where the average male can’t deliver more financial security than social security, women are not simply pursuing short-term relationships. Most women still have children with a long-term partner. Income is still an important factor in this – as the graph shows (and it also has short-term benefits as noted above). And the competition for high paying jobs, entry to elite colleges etc all indicate that men find wealth to be important.”

        Are you not familiar with the development of ‘Hookup Culture’ on US college campuses and its continuation amongst young US adults to after college as well? If not, then here are a few articles in newspapers detailing it:

        http://www.gwhatchet.com/2005/10/03/the-hookup-culture-having-casual-relationships-is-the-new-dating/

        http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/valley-girl-brain/201005/hook-culture-clash

        http://www.incasa.org/PDF/2010/Passion_In_A_Hook.pdf

        http://www.thetrumpet.com/?q=6248.4680.0.0

        If you ask me, the development of ‘Hookup Culture’ does sound like the women pursuing STMS’.

        Also from Mark Regnerus in the NYPost;

        ““The price of sex is about how much one party has to do in order to entice the other into being sexual,” said Kathleen Vohs, of the University of Minnesota, who has authored several papers on “sexual economics.” “It might mean buying her a drink or an engagement ring. These behaviors vary in how costly they are to the man, and that is how we quantify the price of sex.”

        By boiling dating down to an economic model, researchers have found that men are literally getting lots of bang for their buck. Women, meanwhile, are getting very little tat for their . . . well, you get the idea.

        Sex is so cheap that researchers found a full 30% of young men’s sexual relationships involve no romance at all — no wooing, dating, goofy text messaging. Nothing. Just sex.

        Men want sex more than women do. It’s a fact that sounds sexist and outdated. But it is a fact all the same — one that women used for centuries to keep the price of sex high (if you liked it back in the day, you really had to put a ring on it). With gender equality, the Pill and the advent of Internet porn, women’s control of the meet market has been butchered.

        As a result, says Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin, men are “quicker to have sex in our relationships these days, slower to commitment and just plain pickier.””

        http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/cheap_dates_EnfcHi7NwBAkD3RYMUWv6I

        This sounds like STMS’ to me.

        “(Part of your response to 3) Most women still have children with a long-term partner. Income is still an important factor in this – as the graph shows”

        Yes but I believe its common knowledge that atleast amongst the working and middle classes in the US, more and more women are becoming single mothers, if I remember correctly it might’ve been up to around 20% of middle class women are raising children on their own these days.

        I can’t really be bothered finding all the statistics showing this about single mothers, as I do believe it is common knowledge, but with a quick google search I did find some stats on the case of single mothers in Australia which do demonstrate their increasing proportion of all families over the past 30 years.

        http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/F4B15709EC89CB1ECA25732C002079B2?opendocument

        Also, if you really want me to I can find further stats for my assertions above, but like I said I do think it is pretty common knowledge these days.

        I think my main contention is, not that all men are immediately acting the way I describe above in response to the behaviour of women, what I’m trying to say is that given the changes in the sexual market-place that happened in the 60’s, more and more men are going to be exhibiting these behaviours and we are now only just beginning to see the influence/effect I’ve detailed showing up in the societal-wide behaviour of men.

        Personally, and this is just an opinion of mine, I think that when it comes to new/novel fundamental social changes, it takes a few generations before the full effects of those changes can be observed in the general behaviour of people in society. Each proceeding generation learns about how the new rules are to be played/taken advantage of from observing the effects of them on the previous generation. We are now at the 3rd generation, and the full effects of these social changes are just beginning to show and I do believe that by the time that this 3rd generation stops mating and its then time for the 4th generation to begin mating, that the full effects of these new/novel social changes from the 60’s will be in bloom. Although, society itself probably won’t begin deteriorating till the 5th or 6th generations.

        An interesting blog (don’t worry, I’m not the author and I’m not trying to shamelessly plug it, I just think you might find it interesting) that talks about some of the stuff I’ve just discussed in relation to marriage is here;

        http://dalrock.wordpress.com/

        and a post that is tangential to the previous paragraph(s) is here;

        http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/all-the-lonely-feminist-spinsters/

      4. Once you control for the age structure of the population and delayed marriage, I’m not sure the trend is as strong as it appears. However, the more important point is who among the males is not getting married. It is low income males who are missing out – and as before, I see no evidence that these men could be high income males but have checked out because they believe they can get more action by being bikes or criminals.

      5. I just noticed a typo

        “Put simply, cash and careers don’t make women attractive for LTMS’s and lack of youth and chastity/sexual experience makes a woman unattractive for LTMS’s.”

        should read

        “Put simply, cash and careers don’t make women attractive for LTMS’s and lack of youth and chastity/sexual inexperience makes a woman unattractive for LTMS’s.”

      6. Also,

        “(as the guys won’t stick around to paternally invest in her or the children) and lack of chastity/sexual experience has no negative bearing on STMS (as the guys won’t stick around to paternally invest in her or the children).”

        should read

        “(as the guys won’t stick around to paternally invest in her or the children) and lack of chastity/sexual inexperience has no negative bearing on STMS (as the guys won’t stick around to paternally invest in her or the children).”

  5. Jason-
    Why would the number of sexual partners of men and woman be equal couldn’t this just suggest that men on average have more sexual partners than woman?
    To put it a bit bluntly men take what they can get while woman with a greater leverage have less sexual partners?

    I find this in my short experience with regards to my social group to be quite true.

  6. Also there could be discrepancy between males and females with regards to what is a sexual encounter.

    Isn’t the argument that males have the tendency to sow their oats so to speak, whereas woman are more content to wait.

    1. For a male to sow his oats requires a willing partner. It appears your social group suffers from the same reporting bias as the rest of the population.

  7. Yeah fair call, just wish I had that argument in mind at the time instead of listen to people going on and on….

    Great blog!

  8.  http://www.springerlink.com/content/pv40794hh82guj12/

    Abstract:

    Although robust sex differences are abundant in men and women’s mating
    psychology, there is a considerable degree of overlap
    between the two as well. In an effort to understand where
    and when this overlap exists, the current study provides an exploration
    of within-sex variation in women’s mate preferences. We
    hypothesized that women’s intelligence, given an environment where
    women can use that intelligence to attain educational and
    career opportunities, would be: (1) positively related to their
    willingness to engage in short-term sexual relationships,
    (2) negatively related to their desire for qualities in a partner
    that indicated wealth and status, and (3) negatively related
    to their endorsement of traditional gender roles in romantic
    relationships. These predictions were supported. Results
    suggest that intelligence may be one important individual difference
    influencing women’s mate preferences.

    Hmmmmmmmmmm.

    there was some suggestion that men were being
    disincentivised from working hard by the increasing income and resources
    of women

    ?????

    1. I note that regardless of whether they were categorised as high or low intelligence, they still allocated more importance to work ethic and intelligence than physical attractiveness. It seems quite clear what  a male should do if he wants to succeed.

      The following limitation noted by the authors is also interesting:

      Although women who are more intelligent may say they value a “good financial provider” less than less intelligent women do, they may be just as attracted to symbols of status and resources when evaluating men in real-life dating contexts. Likewise, more intelligent women may find it socially acceptable and even preferable to scoff at the notion men should always pay on dates, but when on actual dates they may be just as put off as less-intelligent women if their partner suggests they should split the check. An alternate explanation for the current findings then is that the more intelligent the women are, the less they believe they care about a man’s ability to provide.

    1. If women raise their standards for a long-term partner when they have higher availability of resources, the incentive is for men to increase their income to reach that threshold. Some men may check out of the game (as they have no chance of reaching the threshold) and fail to pursue income increasing strategies, but these short-term strategies are not going to lead to bumper short-term success. They are on their way out of the gene pool.

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