October 14, 2012

"Sexual Selection, Conspicuous Consumption and Economic Growth"

A new paper:

Jason Collins 


University of Western Australia - UWA Business School

Boris Baer 


University of Western Australia - Plant Energy Biology

Ernst Juerg Weber 


University of Western Australia - UWA Business School

July 13, 2012

Abstract:      
The evolution by sexual selection of the male propensity to engage in conspicuous consumption contributed to the emergence of modern rates of economic growth. We develop a model in which males engage in conspicuous consumption to send an honest signal of their quality to females. Males who engage in conspicuous consumption have higher reproductive success than those who do not, as females respond to the costly and honest signal, increasing the prevalence of signalling males in the population over time. As males fund conspicuous consumption through participation in the labour force, the increase in the prevalence of signalling males who engage in conspicuous consumption gives rise to an increase in economic activity that leads to economic growth.

Maybe, except it seems like the wealthiest countries are ones where the men tend toward the drab. Wearing finery gets in the way of working hard, and the richest countries are the ones where the men work hard. In contrast, in countries where the women are out all day hoeing the yam fields while the men sit around dreaming up sexy new ways to display their sexiness, you wind up with a yam-based economy.

Or within a country, which occupation sees the most extreme male conspicuous consumption for purposes of sexual display? Right: pimpin'. But that doesn't seem like a real wealth-creator of an industry.

I think it works more the other way around: cultures where the women engage the most in conspicuous consumption relative to the men tend to be the richest. Conversely, I have this theory that the collapse of the Soviet economy had to do with the lack of opportunities for female conspicuous consumption, which left men with little to work for.

By the way, Jason Collins has an "Evolving Economics" blog.

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115 comments:

Anonymous said...

Root word of materialistic: mater, Latin derivative of mother.

anony-mouse said...

'Evening-wear'

I can't remember the (Slate?) article that wondered where all the hot Russian women who appeared after the Communist era were during it.

Anthony said...

Conspicuous consumption doesn't have to take place via clothes. Cars and houses, or in earlier times, horses and retainers and houses/castles, serve for conspicuous consumption even more so than clothing.

Anonymous said...

Society treats men as success objects. That's not news.

Anonymous said...

Society treats men as success objects. That's not news.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Obviously, Steve, you've never spent an evening in Newport Beach.

Matt Parrott said...

The more economically mature cultures don't stop playing this game, they just get more subtle and sophisticated about it. A vast world of designer jeans, subtle subcultural signifiers, and indirect indications of wealth and social status are swirling all around us.

Post-secondary education is increasingly an elaborate social status game, with the "education" being the surface excuse for a demonstration of fitness. Posh neighborhoods are another. A man with an iPhone 5 is sending different signals than a man with a second-rate Android phone.

The consumption carries on unabated, but with more elaborate crypsis and plausible deniability. This only makes sense, as females seeking mates develop stronger defensive reactions to males who figure out that they can invest in the obvious signals without actually being financially or socially fit.

It doesn't wind down or go away. It just becomes Inconspicuous Consumption.

AlbionHistorian said...

soviet empire collapsed because of low oil prices. The russians could no longer afford to give rubles to their client states, so the client states left.

Conspicuous consumption among men especially may take second place to conspicuous display of political stances, such as pro-affirmative action stances, which signal potential mates that even though he is a white male, he is so successful and confident that he is unafraid of minority competition.

Anonymous said...

"Conspicuous consumption among men especially may take second place to conspicuous display of political stances, such as pro-affirmative action stances, which signal potential mates that even though he is a white male, he is so successful and confident that he is unafraid of minority competition."

Just signals he's a weenie. My experience is limited, but I've definitely seen women open to race realist views. Proves you're not a weenie PC kinda guy.

Steve Sailer said...

Inconspicuous consumption is, on the whole, a good thing. An iPhone works better.

Refinement of tastes is a net plus.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, Steve, you've never spent an evening in Newport Beach.

Places like Newport Beach are filled with lawyers and finance types - rent seekers who amass claims on wealth, but don't create it. They're not engineers, inventors, scientists, etc.

Anonymous said...

Maybe, except it seems like the wealthiest countries are ones where the men tend toward the drab. Wearing finery gets in the way of working hard, and the richest countries are the ones where the men work hard. In contrast, in countries where the women are out all day hoeing the yam fields while the men sit around dreaming up sexy new ways to display their sexiness, you wind up with a yam-based economy.

Exactly.

There is data showing that blacks and Hispanics spend significantly more than whites with comparable incomes on conspicuous consumption:

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_dismal_science/2008/01/cos_and_effect.html

"Economists Kerwin Charles, Erik Hurst, and Nikolai Roussanov have taken up this rather sensitive question in a recent unpublished study, "Conspicuous Consumption and Race." Using data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey for 1986-2002, they find that blacks and Hispanics indeed spend more than whites with comparable incomes on what the authors classify as "visible goods" (clothes, cars, and jewelry). A lot more, in fact—up to an additional 30 percent."

You might gin up short term economic growth statistics by jacking up spending on sneakers and rims, but a sneakers and rims based economy is not really a foundation for long-term economic growth.

Anonymous said...

Cars and houses, or in earlier times, horses and retainers and houses/castles, serve for conspicuous consumption even more so than clothing.

Yes but men would buy houses and cars after getting married, in an environment where divorce was rare and generally not very socially acceptable. I believe nobles in older times did most of their extravagant spending after getting married as well.

Anonymous said...

Before the more recent metrosexualization, what kind of male conspicuous consumption was there? Wasn't it mainly married fathers spending money on personal hobbies that repel women - golf, fishing, fixing up cars, etc.? And they were spending after they had already snagged a girl.

Anonymous said...

This paper seems to go against Thorstein Veblen's ideas:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorstein_Veblen

"Veblen is famous in the history of economic thought for combining a Darwinian evolutionary perspective with his new institutionalist approach to economic analysis. He combined sociology with economics in his masterpiece The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) where he argued that there was a basic distinction between the productiveness of "industry", run by engineers manufacturing goods, vis-a-vis the parasitism of "business" that exists only to make profits for a leisure class. The chief activity of the leisure class was "conspicuous consumption", and their economic contribution is "waste," activity that contributes nothing to productivity. The American economy was thereby made inefficient and corrupt by the businessmen, though Veblen never made that claim explicit. He believed that technological advances were the driving force behind cultural change, but, unlike many contemporaries, refused to connect change with progress."

Anonymous said...

Sexual selection via conspicuous consumption is a zero-sum game, so it's hard to see how it would drive economic growth, since instances of genuine economic growth are non-zero sum i.e. more food, goods, cheaper stuff, etc.

Anonymous said...

Absolute bullcrap.

What we know of the marriage practices of most pre-modern non-African societies is that girls had very little economic or social status in themselves and were married off - by their parents, they had little choice in the matter - as soon as they reached puberty.
In fact there was little difference between the status quo in this regard between old European societies and modern Islamic or Hindu societies, folklore and etymology are full of clues pointing to this.
It is likely that this pattern of behavior lasted the full course of time that modern human culture evolved in the neolithic to a few centuries in the past. In other words it's engrained in the same way that right-handedness is engrained.

Steve Sailer said...

"Before the more recent metrosexualization"

Outside of Manhattan, does this really exist? I walk by CBS Studios in LA, and the youngish men who work there tend to dress in jeans and a dull-colored t-shirt (gray seems to be a current favorite). Hair cuts are on the short side. The current male clothing styles seem to be as non-peacocky as imaginable (although there's far more emphasis on lifting weights than a generation ago).

Anonymous said...

The economy didn't collapse, the society did.

Steve Sailer said...

"Absolute bullcrap.What we know of the marriage practices of most pre-modern non-African societies is that girls had very little economic or social status in themselves and were married off - by their parents, they had little choice in the matter - as soon as they reached puberty."

We've got a lot of data on England in 1200-1800, conveniently assembled in Gregory Clark's book, and it shows average age of first marriage for English women to range from 24-26. Rich girls married younger, of course. As Ben Franklin pointed out in 1751, Americans could afford to marry earlier and more universally on average.

The English used celibacy until a certain economic level had been achieved as a means of population control, which is why the English got out of the worst of the Maltusian trap by the middle ages. The kind of Chinese population bubbles and busts didn't happen in England because of late marriage.

This also led to love marriages, with young adults choosing their mates. Shakespeare's audience in the 1590s was on the side of Romeo and Juliet, not of their parents.



Anonymous said...

Veblen discusses how drab, bland, rustic are a higher form of display. he goes on about religious functionaries wearing garish apparel. but says the pope wears all-white etc.

Also display by proxy is important. an aristocrat does not wear livery.

a rich husband wears a tux whereas his wife wears an evening dress.

Anonymous said...

"while the men sit around dreaming up sexy new ways to display their sexiness"

Please Steve, don´t start channeling Whiskey. It´s not worth it, you´re better than that!

Anonymous said...

Also Veblen correctly identified time-consuming sports, learning foreign languages, ever-higher education, knowing intricate details of arcane artistic or philosophical subjects (being a SWPL?) are all a form of conspicuous consumption, the consumption of leisure itself.

Anonymous said...

Steve,
look at the evidence of language. 'Daughter' means 'milkmaid', and is the same in many diverse Indo-European languages.'Son', means the 'the one who is begotten' hence the idea of value and continuity.
'Wedding' is from 'wed' meaning a pledge of money.

Simon in London said...

Men in northern European societies seem to demonstrate attractiveness to long-term mates (marriage) not by conspicuous displays of consumption of wealth, but by demonstrating ability to *produce* wealth. A job. A University degree. A driving license & car (especially in America).

So I think the article is actually over-complicating it. For long-term mating, women choose the men who look like good providers. So men produce wealth in order to show that they can produce wealth. Displaying excessive personal consumption of wealth actually gets in the way of that; the woman does not want to share in enormous credit-card debts.

Anonymous said...

Or within a country, which occupation sees the most extreme male conspicuous consumption for purposes of sexual display? Right: pimpin'. But that doesn't seem like a real wealth-creator of an industry.


Sort of like most of our financial industry.


Conversely, I have this theory that the collapse of the Soviet economy had to do with the lack of opportunities for female conspicuous consumption, which left men with little to work for.


Sounds pretty unlikely.

Marlowe said...

Mr. Sailer's theory of Soviet collapse reminds me of a mention by George Orwell somewhere in his work of a White Russian emigre's remark on socialism: You can tell something is wrong with it by looking at its women.

17th/18th century aristocrats dressed fancy. Louis the Sun King, Versailles, the Stuarts.

DailyKenn.com said...

Apparently the term 'conspicuous consumption' has replaced 'high maintenance'.

Potatoes said...

I think this may hold among teens who are basically signaling their family's wealth, but among adults you're right, it doesn't seem to hold with the middle class.


I've worked at a number of places, and it seems like the janitors and maintenance workers are the ones who buy the large SUVs and F1 pickups whereas the mid-level guys making 3x as much drive around in 5-10 yr old Corollas and Civics.

Given the spike in teen pregnancies, and the fecundity of the lower classes, there may be some truth to it, but unless you're trolling for females on the left side of the bell curve, its hardly a behavior to emulate.

Ted's pajamas said...

"The more economically mature cultures don't stop playing this game, they just get more subtle and sophisticated about it. A vast world of designer jeans..."

Maybe among the dominant community in San Francisco, but among the bulk of males across the US, there's not too much interest in designer jeans and the like...

Anonymous said...


Maybe among the dominant community in San Francisco, but among the bulk of males across the US, there's not too much interest in designer jeans and the like...



Among young men who are competing for the top 10% of girls, there probably is.

Elli said...

Anonymous, where do you find that "daughter" = "milkmaid"? All the sources I see say the origin is lost. It doesn't relate to to milk, cow or goat.

Jokah Macpherson said...

Pimping, I suppose, would fall under Half Sigma's "Value Transference" category. That's points off Tom Cruise's free enterprise project.

Svigor said...

Totally off-topic and out of left field, but I was just listening to Licensed to Ill and realized that 3 Jewish kids from Brooklyn invented gangsta rap. Somebody should call Thomas Sowell.

Anonymous said...


Inconspicuous consumption is, on the whole, a good thing. An iPhone works better.


I can't decide whether buying an iPhone is status signalling (I am cool, just like all those other iPhone owning wankers), or an example of conspicuous consumption (I can afford over priced shit, just like all those other wankers.)

Svigor said...

Conspicuous consumption among men especially may take second place to conspicuous display of political stances, such as pro-affirmative action stances, which signal potential mates that even though he is a white male, he is so successful and confident that he is unafraid of minority competition.

Right, being a conformist signals bravery and confidence.

Anonymous said...

http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/node/4630/full

Anonymous said...

http://www.wilsonquarterly.com/article.cfm?AID=2199

Anonymous said...

Hey Yo!! You still rag'n on how General Petreaus dresses, Yo. That man delivered victory after victory to this prideful nation and deserves to dress any way he wants.

Volksverhetzer said...

"look at the evidence of language. 'Daughter' means 'milkmaid', and is the same in many diverse Indo-European languages.'Son', means the 'the one who is begotten' hence the idea of value and continuity.
'Wedding' is from 'wed' meaning a pledge of money."

I doubt all of this, as there are no written proof of the words daughter, son, brother, mother having meant anything else than daughter,son, brother, mother, father.

Anything that goes behind this, needs undocumented languages like Proto-norse, indo-european etc.

Also from the sagas, and medieval history, there is no indication that women were of low value, as they were supposed to rule the houses on the farm, while the "house-bound", was supposed to handle everything outside the house. The mans ceremonial tool was a sword, while it was keys for the women.

I battles, wise women tagged along, and were used treat injuries. The richest viking ship burial, is of a woman, and the largest burial mounds in Uppsala, was of women as well.

That quality women have been of low value, is not something you find in Nordic history anyway.

Kylie said...

"Conspicuous consumption doesn't have to take place via clothes. Cars and houses, or in earlier times, horses and retainers and houses/castles, serve for conspicuous consumption even more so than clothing."

Exactly. When reading "Barchester Towers", I noticed how much was made of whether or not a family had a carriage. Then it dawned in me that only those who could afford the carriage, the horses, the gear, etc. could afford to have one. It really was quite an expense, and a signifier of status, especially in a time when the vast majority of people walked everywhere.

We watch movies set in the 19th century and nearly everyone but outright peasants is seen riding in a carriage or at least on a horse but that was rarer than we realize.

By the way, "Barchester Towers" is quite funny in a Sailerish sort of way.

heartiste said...

"So men produce wealth in order to show that they can produce wealth."

Hm. Maybe, but sounds a bit tautological in the unilluminating sense. Are women turned on by the idea of wealth in the future or wealth right now in the present? I say it's asking the wrong question. Women are turned on by the alpha traits that men who can produce wealth typically display. These traits can be mimicked.

Apropos of something, here's a study which found that women got aroused by the sound of exotic sports cars. The economy car did nothing for them.

http://www.geekologie.com/2008/09/study-sports-cars-really-do-tu.php

So conspicuous consumption would seem to have some mating value.

"Displaying excessive personal consumption of wealth actually gets in the way of that; the woman does not want to share in enormous credit-card debts."

She has her own massive cc debt which she can conveniently unload on her future husband.

Anyhow, I suspect there is a nontrivial amount of racial difference, and perhaps some class difference, in how a group's women react to ostentatious male displays of wealth, social status and peacocking. Rushton's rule of 3 comes to mind. But one thing is rarely violated: the ur-directive of female hypergamy.

Anonymous said...

soviet empire collapsed because of low oil prices. The russians could no longer afford to give rubles to their client states, so the client states left.

Wouldn't have happened in the 1950s, regardless of oil prices.

Cennbeorc

Anonymous said...

Yes but men would buy houses and cars after getting married, in an environment where divorce was rare and generally not very socially acceptable. I believe nobles in older times did most of their extravagant spending after getting married as well.

Irrelevant, because people thought dynastically. A rising man would acquire a castle etc. so that his sons and daughters could marry into high-status families.

Cennbeorc

Kylie said...

"We've got a lot of data on England in 1200-1800, conveniently assembled in Gregory Clark's book, and it shows average age of first marriage for English women to range from 24-26. Rich girls married younger, of course."

I think the rich also had shorter engagements. That was a wealth and status signifier as it indicated they didn't have to postpone marriage while they saved up money. In "The Go-Between", the affluent schoolboy explains to his middle-class friend how being engaged varies by class, "In the case of grooms, gardeners, skivvies, and suchlike scum, it may go on forever. With people like ourselves it generally doesn't go on very long."

Dahlia said...

"Conversely, I have this theory that the collapse of the Soviet economy had to do with the lack of opportunities for female conspicuous consumption, which left men with little to work for."

I don't know if this is true, but this is why I read you!

A counterpoint, Steve: I have it on good authority from male country singers that women do NOT like rich men and prefer blue-collar men. Conway Twitty sang of a rich woman donning tight fitting jeans and heading to the bar alone to be around "real" people; Waylon in "Luckenbach, Texas" said wealth was hurting his relationship, and Toby Keith in "How Do You Like Me Now" said one woman's man working hard and being rich made her CRY! These are just off the top of my head.

LOL!!

Volksverhetzer said...

I kind of like that Veblen said that his "uneducated" father, was the smartest person he knew.

As his father was a master carpenter, a farmer and managed to get Veblen interested in academia, Veblen jr might even be telling the truth.

That both carpentry and farming are fairly high status jobs in Norway, could also explain why Vebleb's father chose these occupations when he came to the USA, rather than go for something more conspicuous, even if had the mental capacity to do so.

Anonymous said...

"lIKE MOST YANKEE WOMEN, ALL YOU ARE GOOD FOR IS ORDERING IN RESTAURANTS AND SPENDING YOUR MAN'S MONEY."

- BAI MEI, KUNG FU GRANDMASTER, TO BEATRIX KIDDO, IN THE FILM "KILL BILL 2", LAYINF THE SMACK DOWN ON AMERICAN WOMENHOOD(OR LACK THEREOF).

diana said...

"Maybe, except it seems like the wealthiest countries are ones where the men tend toward the drab. Wearing finery gets in the way of working hard, and the richest countries are the ones where the men work hard."

Sometimes, Steve, you say the most surprising DENSE things.

Conspicuous consumption can be defined in many ways. It's not defined by how much bling you wear.

First consumption item: an expensive wife. Ya think you get a Melissa Gates or that gal who married Jobs for cheap? It costs a whole lotta spending money to get a high class white gal like that.

Second consumption item: an expensive house. (Jobs was very unusual in that regard.)

Third.....to infinity consumption items: expensive toys. This can take the form of sports teams, private jets, trophy wives, trophy eggs and wombs if they are gay, plastic surgeries to remain youthful looking, expensive cars, boats, audio equipment, you name it.

Just because they dress drab doesn't mean they live drab.

Anonymous said...

The current male clothing styles seem to be as non-peacocky as imaginable


In fact, the current male clothing styles seem to be specifically intended to look drab and shapeless. I can't recall an era when men dressed so badly.

Somehow the idea has gotten around that to look good is to look gay.

Anonymous said...

Wearing finery gets in the way of working hard

Because it's so difficult to sit at your desk in nice clothes? Those guys in the sneakers, baggy pants and baggy sweatshirts don't dress that way because it's practical for toiling in the fields all day.

Anonymous said...

in countries where the women are out all day hoeing the yam fields while the men sit around dreaming up sexy new ways to display their sexiness, you wind up with a yam-based economy.


I see where you're going with that. I hate to bust your '70's era bubble, but most young black men in America dress like slobs. Arguably the trend for young white men to dress like slobs started among blacks and then spread to the wider population.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with the article cited either, but it seems like for the HBD crowd there are only two ways: either you're West Africa with "sexy" men (?) and women who do the farming, or you're *modern* north European with technological nerds and shopkeepers. But when I look at English Renaissance costumes for men, or at Italian armor, I see flash and sexiness. Somehow lost in all this HBD 2500 years or more of pre-modern European history where men wore finery, were sexy and flashy, and considered working hard to be for dolts. And it's not just Meds by the way; here's what Tacitus said about the ancient Germans:

"Nor are they as easily persuaded to plough the earth and to wait for the year's produce as to challenge an enemy and earn the honour of wounds. Nay, they actually think it tame and stupid to acquire by the sweat of toil what they might win by their blood."

I don't see the "north European" model HBD'ers talk about when I look at Vikings either. Greek geographers tended to describe north Euros and blacks in similar ways, uncivilized, barbaric and violent, etc.

Anonymous said...

More from Tacitus on the ancient Germans:

"Whenever they are not fighting, they pass much of their time in the chase, and still more in idleness, giving themselves up to sleep and to feasting, the bravest and the most warlike doing nothing, and surrendering the management of the household, of the home, and of the land, to the women, the old men, and all the weakest members of the family. They themselves lie buried in sloth, a strange combination in their nature that the same men should be so fond of idleness, so averse to peace. It is the custom of the states to bestow by voluntary and individual contribution on the chiefs a present of cattle or of grain, which, while accepted as a compliment, supplies their wants. They are particularly delighted by gifts from neighbouring tribes, which are sent not only by individuals but also by the state, such as choice steeds, heavy armour, trappings, and neck-chains. We have now taught them to acccept money also."

Hard-working, unsexy technological nerds! HBD!

Anonymous said...

Are degrees from name brand universities conspicuous consumption?

Anonymous said...

"Sexual Selection, Conspicuous Consumption and Economic Growth"


How about this instead:

"Sexual Selection, Conspicuous Productivity and Economic Growth"


As the other commenter noted, women want producers not consumers for goodness sake.

My mother used to say of men, "A man is to produce. If you want entertainment, go to the movies."

Paul Mendez said...

The Natural History of the Rich: A Field Guide by Richard Conniff.

"Conniff also points out that the softer side of domination is that of association. The rich know that "you are who you know." One must make friends shrewdly, cultivate allies, go to the right schools, live in the right neighborhoods, give to socially desirable charities, throw parties and invite all the right people. For humans, social intelligence is as important for survival as navigational skills are for arctic turns. Knowing the right people, places, pleasures - the sorts of things a rich person should know - is the only reliable badge of admission among the rich. And realize that the rich aren't out to impress the masses - the rich want to impress other rich people, not those far down the pecking order. Wanting to impress the masses is like a peacock wanting to impress a dog."

jody said...

yeah i have noticed the relaxed dress code as time goes forward, especially for the very rich. billionaires now regularly just wear a t-shirt and jeans pretty much everywhere. they'll wear a jacket and tie if a particular event or venue calls for it, but that's about it. they don't get dressed up every day. they're too busy working.

sometimes i go eat at 100 dollar a person restaurants and even in most of those, the dress code has been relaxed. if you can pay, they're fine with you coming in a golf shirt or t-shirt.

i'm not sure if this emanates from the west coast, where the dress code for business attire has been relaxed to the point of almost having no regulations on what you can wear, but there's certainly an inverse relationship now with respect to how much money you are wielding and how acceptable it is for you to wear t-shirts everywhere.

you're not allowed to be obnoxious, but as long as you have the money and act like a civilized gent, you can get away without wearing a suit in a lot of places today.

jody said...

"A vast world of designer jeans, subtle subcultural signifiers, and indirect indications of wealth and social status are swirling all around us."

well, now they mainly use cars, and expensive watches, to denote their wealth or status. funny, since a cell phone is more accurate than a watch, and they always have a cell phone on them too.

the cell phone itself has become a status symbol for some people, who need to have the latest and greatest.

i understand the car thing, but the big shiny wristwatch thing, i'm baffled by that. who wants to carry around that hunk of metal all day.

then again, i'm a gun nut, and have considering carrying a handgun concealed. just as many people would wonder why on earth would somebody carry around a 2 pound chunk of polymer and steel that can accidentally kill you or somebody else.

Anonymous said...

Have you been following baseball lately, Steve?

A-Rod has been terrible. I guess he was only good before because he was on the juice.

Whiskey said...

We have an abundance of evidence from Muslim sources (by Bernard Lewis, "Muslim Discovery of Europe") how Muslim ambassadors were shocked and appalled at how European society treated its women -- far better than they. One incident sticks out, the Austrian Emperor stopped his horse in the street and doffed his hat to ladies crossing the street. The Ambassadors were scandalized, a Muslim man would have rode them down.

Tacitus in "Germania" (available free at Project Gutenberg) comments on the marriage patterns of Germans, they were fairly enlightened, with women having some choice in the matter. This was the experience of Roman observers re the Celts in Gaul and Britain. The Medieval "Romantic Love" ballads of which many are extant, reveal a pattern of individual choice conflicting with social pressures; that sort of thing is completely absent in Chinese, or Hindu, or ME societies.

What helped break out European societies from the Dark Ages poverty trap was the nature of its women: free to choose, working in and out of the home, but without a big state (like Pharaonic Egypt) or massive kin-networks to pick up the slack if a wrong choice was made. Thus the intense emphasis in Jane Austen's novels of making the correct choice instead of a disastrous wrong one. Since it was a lifetime choice, current sexiness had to be balanced against probable male success and dutifulness. Which won out (along with a willingness to upend social structures by adopting advantageous technology) over more traditional hunter-gatherer male sexiness of Africa or the patriarchal rigidness of Islamic society.

ATBOTL said...

"I can't remember the (Slate?) article that wondered where all the hot Russian women who appeared after the Communist era were during it."

It was common knowledge during the cold war that Russian women were hot.

Anonymous said...

An increase in the influence of women in public life has often been associated with na-tional decline. The later Romans complained that, although Rome ruled the world, women ruled Rome. In the tenth century, a similar
tendency was observable in the Arab Empire, the women demanding admission to the professions hitherto monopolised by men.
‘What,’ wrote the contemporary historian, Ibn Bessam, ‘have the professions of clerk, tax-collector or preacher to do with women?
These occupations have always been limited to men alone.’ Many women practised law, while others obtained posts as university professors. There was an agitation for the appointment of female judges, which, however, does not appear to have succeeded.
Soon after this period, government and public order collapsed, and foreign invaders overran the country. The resulting increase
in confusion and violence made it unsafe for women to move unescorted in the streets,
with the result that this feminist movement collapsed.
The disorders following the military take-over in 861, and the loss of the empire, had played havoc with the economy. At such a
moment, it might have been expected that everyone would redouble their efforts to save
the country from bankruptcy, but nothing of the kind occurred. Instead, at this moment of
declining trade and financial stringency, the people of Baghdad introduced a five-day
week.
When I first read these contemporary descriptions of tenth-century Baghdad, I could scarcely believe my eyes. I told myself
that this must be a joke! The descriptions might have been taken out of The Times today. The resemblance of all the details was
especially breathtaking—the break-up of the empire, the abandonment of sexual morality,
the ‘pop’ singers with their guitars, the entry of women into the professions, the five-day week. I would not venture to attempt an explanation! There are so many mysteries about human life which are far beyond our comprehension.

-Sir John Glubb

Camlost said...

First consumption item: an expensive wife. Ya think you get a Melissa Gates or that gal who married Jobs for cheap? It costs a whole lotta spending money to get a high class white gal like that.

Huh?

Melinda Gates is hardly a trophy wife in any sense of the word.

Matthew said...

"It was common knowledge during the cold war that Russian women were hot."

Elton John, pretending to be straight, knew it.

Five Daarstens said...

Off Topic:
BBC podcast with Jonathan Haidt.

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/analysis/analysis_20120917-2100b.mp3

Anonymous said...

I think mens clothing refutes the often made suggestion that women's clothes are designed by gay men for mannish women.

If gay clothes designers had so much power, don't you think that they'd get men to dress better?

Anonyia said...

"What we know of the marriage practices of most pre-modern non-African societies is that girls had very little economic or social status in themselves and were married off - by their parents, they had little choice in the matter - as soon as they reached puberty."

Not true everywhere. Northern European women usually married in their late teens or early twenties. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hajnal_line

Anonymous said...

Tacitus in "Germania" (available free at Project Gutenberg) comments on the marriage patterns of Germans, they were fairly enlightened, with women having some choice in the matter. This was the experience of Roman observers re the Celts in Gaul and Britain. The Medieval "Romantic Love" ballads of which many are extant, reveal a pattern of individual choice conflicting with social pressures; that sort of thing is completely absent in Chinese, or Hindu, or ME societies.

Not true. The "Butterfly Lovers" is an ancient Chinese folk tale about romantic love against parental/societal wishes that is famous in China and is known and cherished there. And there are other similar folktales and legends there.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_Lovers

Emmanuel Goldstein said...

Right, being a conformist signals bravery and confidence.

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
CONFORMITY IS BRAVERY

Maya said...

Steve,

Different types of feathers attract different birds.

Jewlery, brand names and flashy cars is how the second world and first world men of lower classes appeal to their womenfolk.

Scandinavians and middle class American men must dress simply specifically to distance themselves from their immediate inferiors.
But they have peacock feathers too- geeky hobbies. That's what the SWPL obsession with playing obscure musical instruments, speaking less commonly taught languages, music snobbery, and hunt for the authentic are all about.

Of course, just as a female eagle isn't impressed with a peacock's feathers, a guido or a Brighton Beach chick is rarely impressed with a geek. And a daughter of two college professors is likely to be repulsed by a dimond encrusted watch on a man for the same reason.

Maya said...

"Not true everywhere. Northern European women usually married in their late teens or early twenties."

Northern European girls used to reach puberty much, MUCH later than women in warmer climates.

Sword said...

The thing about pimps:

Who would a pimp have to impress upon?

Customers/Johns? The pimp tries to stay out of their sight, and I strongly doubt that they would choose girls based on the pimp´s clothing/attire

Girls? What for? Could he not simply demand free service?

Cops? What point is there to make them notice the pimp even more?

No, there must be some other explanation.

Jason said...

Thanks for linking to our article.

On the consumption/productivity issue noted by a few commenters, our central point is that to consume conspicuously, you have to do something to acquire the resources - i.e. something productive, and someone needs to produce the good for conspicuous consumption, which also tends to be productive.

On the question of male/female conspicuous consumption, female conspicuous consumption is often also conspicuous consumption on behalf of the male. And while that consumption is going on, he is often doing something very productive.

Maya said...

"It was common knowledge during the cold war that Russian women were hot."

Jebus H. Christ! I chuckle every time someone declares that part of the world to be some sort of a magic well of female beauty.

I love that stereotype, for obvious reasons, but, honestly- it's bullshit.

When we first immigrated to America, everyone in my family was similarly struck with how many real Americans (as my brother called them) had attractive faces.

Then, we went on vacation to Europe one summer, rented a car and drove from country to country. When we reached the south of Germany, my dad said something like, "Oh, so that's why the American girls are so pretty. It's because they are really German." (We settled in Illinois, vacationed mostly in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota and went to college all over the Midwest as well, so that was our point of reference for "real" Americans.) My brothers both agreed that the facial features around us looked indeed familiar, and that the girls were the pretties they've seen in Europe thus far.

And as far as bodies go, yeah, the first world has had a long head start on the obesity epidemic. But don't you worry. Both Eastern Europe and East Asia are catching up in terms of fatness (espesially in children), and they are catching up hard.

One last thing. Employers outside of the first world can openly hire women (and often men too) based on appearance. They also care about their national image a lot more than the US or France or Canada, so the girls hired to interact with foreigners in any capacity are basically required to be hot. So your impressions as a visitting foreigner are likely to be skewed.

diana said...

@Camlost, "Melinda Gates is hardly a trophy wife in any sense of the word."

I didn't say she's the trophy wife. She's the first wife. First wife isn't the trophy wife, 2nd (and 3rd....etc.) are the trophy wives.

I did say that a classy first wive is an expensive acquisition. No matter what you think of MGates, she cost a lot to produce.

You HBD guys are absolute dolts.

Marquis de Sade said...

It costs a whole lotta spending money to get a high class white gal like that.

And don't you dare treat her as an object!

Anonymous said...

"Huh?

Melinda Gates is hardly a trophy wife in any sense of the word."

It's inexplicable to the lonely, seething men who make up a large chunk of the HBD-sphere readership that a high status man would marry a woman for companionship, intellectual compatibility, or any reason other than physical hotness and fertility. You see it in all the sneering at super-successful Mark Zuckerberg marrying the pleasant but ordinary-looking gal he's been with since he was an undergrad.

I

pat said...

Is it just a cooincidence that Thorsten Veblen - the creator of the phrase and theory of 'conspicuous consumption' was sexually attractive?

Veblen himslf was odd looking. He was not in any sense conventionally handsome but apparently he was like catnip to women. Contemporaries remarked on it but no one could quite explain it.

Albertosaurus

pat said...

Is it just a cooincidence that Thorsten Veblen - the creator of the phrase and theory of 'conspicuous consumption' was sexually attractive?

Veblen himslf was odd looking. He was not in any sense conventionally handsome but apparently he was like catnip to women. Contemporaries remarked on it but no one could quite explain it.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

On the consumption/productivity issue noted by a few commenters, our central point is that to consume conspicuously, you have to do something to acquire the resources - i.e. something productive, and someone needs to produce the good for conspicuous consumption, which also tends to be productive.

You don't need to do something productive though. Conspicuous consumption is a zero-sum game. You just need to have more than the other guy, and that's just relative.

Anonymous said...

to consume conspicuously, you have to do something to acquire the resources - i.e. something productive, and someone needs to produce the good for conspicuous consumption, which also tends to be productive.

You don't necessarily need to do something productive to acquire resources, and once you have resources, you don't need to share those resources with others to develop new goods for conspicuous consumption. You can already win the conspicuous consumption game by buying up the conspicuous consumption goods that already exist.

unix said...

"Absolute bullcrap.What we know of the marriage practices of most pre-modern non-African societies is that girls had very little economic or social status in themselves and were married off - by their parents, they had little choice in the matter - as soon as they reached puberty."

The average age for first marriage in France was in the 20s. Only royalty married very young, for political purposes. Mortality was such that you had to get the job done or the prospective mate might not be around later.
Most of Europe has not been known for early marriages, or for arranged ones, though both were practiced, but were not customary, especially in England.

Cooter said...

"Maybe among the dominant community in San Francisco, but among the bulk of males across the US, there's not too much interest in designer jeans and the like...


Among young men who are competing for the top 10% of girls, there probably is."



-If by girl, you mean ladyboy, then you're probably right. For the rest of American guys, they tend to think of designer pants the same way one of my friend's dad described them- 'Italian fag pants'...

teller said...

"the entry of women into the professions, the five-day week. I would not venture to attempt an explanation! There are so many mysteries about human life which are far beyond our comprehension."

Birth control is not beyond anyone's comprehension. Female ambition in the outside world is directly correlated. The more opportunities for women, the fewer babies. Men tend to appreciate that too. Generally. The highest birth rates and probably highest cult of virginity these days is in places like Palestinian refugee camps.

Of course there have always been women of accomplishment. In the 19th century, some of the most admired calligraphers in Persia were women. One their greatest poets, Tahireh, was also one of their most admired expounders of theology until she went over to the "heretic" Baha'is (who taught equality of edcuation and opportunity for women-this was 1850 Iran.) Islam in its early days produced many people of science and learning, and many were women. It was during Islam's highest days, not its lowest, that many women were making their mark. Then gradually they disappeared behind the veil (not much worn in the earlier days.)
Bound footed Chinese women of the 14th-early 20th centuries, read of the greatest days of Chinese history, where the women were natural footed and were often warriors. Mixture of myth and fact, but actually true to an extent. In the early days, "a beautiful girl of 14, laden with gold, could walk freely in the highway and market, unmolested." (in Indian literature.) Similar stories among the Hindus.
So actually, I think you're theory is sort of ass-backwards. While there were certainly changes in societies through the centuries, some more developed, some less, few would disagree that the past 150 years have reconfigured the motherboard to something unprecedented in recorded history. And I do mean recorded.
"

hyperhystorian said...

Perhaps conspicuous consumption is more class-based than racial or whatever. The old values of the WASPs of a higher class included the notion that wealth must be obscured, not flaunted. Upper class WASPs often lived in smaller, sometimes shabbier homes filled with books, classical music, lovely artwork and sculpture and family antiques or heirlooms. Such a life "told" more than "showed."

Those were the values with which many of us were raised. These values are still being passed on ... quietly and without fanfare.

Anonymous said...

On the consumption/productivity issue noted by a few commenters, our central point is that to consume conspicuously, you have to do something to acquire the resources - i.e. something productive, and someone needs to produce the good for conspicuous consumption, which also tends to be productive.

Since the data suggests that blacks and Hispanics spend significantly more than whites with comparable incomes on conspicuous consumption, are you prepared to argue that blacks and Hispanics are more productive than whites with comparable incomes?

Anonymous said...

Upper class WASPs often lived in smaller, sometimes shabbier homes filled with books, classical music, lovely artwork and sculpture and family antiques or heirlooms. Such a life "told" more than "showed."

The old upper class WASPs weren't really into classical music or fancy art.

Anonymous said...

The current male clothing styles seem to be as non-peacocky as imaginable (although there's far more emphasis on lifting weights than a generation ago).

Weight lifting has increased, but I wonder if it will start decreasing among straight guys since lots of gays are increasingly into weight lifting per their body obsession. Weight lifting is increasingly becoming associated with gays and their body obsession/worship, so straight guys might start fleeing it like they did with theater and other things in the past.

Simon in London said...

heartiste:
"She has her own massive cc debt which she can conveniently unload on her future husband.

Anyhow, I suspect there is a nontrivial amount of racial difference, and perhaps some class difference, in how a group's women react to ostentatious male displays of wealth, social status and peacocking."

1) Not all women have massive credit card debts; that would tend to signal that they're either low-class or Carrie-Bradshaw types (I guess you deal mostly with the latter). The majority of the population centred on the white lower middle class remains pretty debt averse IME.

2) I definitely agree about racial and class differences. I also don't dispute that women can be turned on by ostentatious displays of wealth such as the exotic sports car. But when looking for long-term partners (not casual sex) lower middle class and above women in northern European cultures go more for demonstrated income-production ability than for income-consumption markers. A flashy sports car can be a positive turn-off when looking for a husband.

Simon in London said...

heartiste:
"But one thing is rarely violated: the ur-directive of female hypergamy."

True, but among normal people this seems to involve single, lower-status women having affairs with older, higher-status married men. Among the people I know, about 3/4 of the adultery fits that profile, with only about 1/4 being a married woman having an affair with a man - a married man, of course.

These are all whites of northern-European descent.

Anonymous said...

" It was common knowledge during the cold war that Russian women were hot."

It is common knowledge in middle east for centuries.

One of Suleiman the Magnificient's wives was a Ukranian slave girl.
Until mid 19th century there was a slave market in Istanbul but no cotton plantations.

Anonymous said...

"Of course there have always been women of accomplishment. "

especially during periods of mediocrity.

"Bound footed Chinese women of the 14th-early 20th centuries, read of the greatest days of Chinese history, where the women were natural footed and were often warriors."

easy there tiger, next you'd be singing about mono-boobed amazons. As for bounded feet, it was more like mother continuing FGM, and today's women wearing heels and blaming patriarchy for it.

here's the description of Tang Dynasty, the time during which women were free and not submissive and The Empress Wu Zeitan.

http://www.chinavoc.com/history/tang/women.htm

http://www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/history/tang/

Song succeeded and that's where you get bounded feet women.

Anonymous said...

Women are turned on by the alpha traits that men who can produce wealth typically display.


"Men who produce wealth" do not have "alpha traits", as a rule. Except in the tautological sense.

"Bill Gates, alpha male" is a rather farcical concept.


one thing is rarely violated: the ur-directive of female hypergamy

That's a human ur-directive, not just a female one. Unless you're under the quaint impression that men do not seek to marry women who are "of higher looks, socioeconomic, caste or status" than themselves.

Anonymous said...

"Wu Zetian was very tolerant of different opinions emanating from her subordinates. Xu Yougong was the official in charge of the judiciary, but would often confront the empress with his dissatisfaction at some of the court verdicts. On one occasion, Wu Zetian became so incensed that she issued an order to behead Xu, but just as the execution was about to start, she pardoned him, instead demoting him to a commoner. When her anger had abated, she continued to solicit Xu's opinion, and reinstated him as head of the judiciary."

mmkay!

Anonymous said...

"But one thing is rarely violated: the ur-directive of female hypergamy."

True, but among normal people this seems to involve single, lower-status women having affairs with older, higher-status married men.



That is not hypergamy, which is defined as "marriage into an equal or higher caste or social group".

theo the kraut said...

ot, @steve

cringely/cis.org on h-1B visa abuse by IBM:

cringely.com

JSM said...

"It was common knowledge during the cold war that Russian women were hot"

It was? I had the stereotype in my head (having grown up during the Cold War) of Russian women wearing babushkas and towing big asses.

I remember when Gorbachev came to visit Reagan (at the tail end of the Cold War) how delightfully surprised all the TV commentators were at the lovely Raisa. (Even to the extent of accusing Nancy of being jealous.)

heartiste said...

it:
""Bill Gates, alpha male" is a rather farcical concept."

that's why i said "typically". men who are ambitious and skilled at swimming with sharks tend to share common characteristics and demeanors which women naturally gravitate toward, because evolutionarily men who possessed those traits were good bets to beget alpha sons like themselves and to become excellent resource hogs for their families.

"That's a human ur-directive, not just a female one."

the hypergamous impulse is more strongly expressed in women.

"Unless you're under the quaint impression that men do not seek to marry women who are "of higher looks, socioeconomic, caste or status" than themselves."

men with options do not seek to marry women who are of higher social or economic status than themselves. if anything, men seek to avoid higher ses women than themselves for anything more than flings. what planet do you live on?

David Davenport said...

On the consumption/productivity issue noted by a few commenters, our central point is that to consume conspicuously, you have to do something to acquire the resources

Nah, just put the smart phone on the credit card and buy or lease your BMW with the minimum down payment allowed.

( Car salesmen call "down payment" the down stroke." )

- i.e. something productive, and someone needs to produce the good for conspicuous consumption, which also tends to be productive.

The productive someone supplying konsumer produkt may be in another country.

Anonymous said...



Weight lifting has increased, but I wonder if it will start decreasing among straight guys since lots of gays are increasingly into weight lifting per their body obsession. Weight lifting is increasingly becoming associated with gays and their body obsession/worship, so straight guys might start fleeing it like they did with theater and other things in the past.


Not likely because there are actually very few gays.

Only about 1% are gay.

So even if gays like body building two or three times as much as straight guys, that still means there will only be 3 out of a hundred guys at the gym who would be gay. Also, gays might tend to frequent only a few gyms that happen to be sort of the gay gyms making it even less likely that the gays would be at your gym.

Anonymous said...

Too many people are looking for some sort of "Superman Gene", and think that IQ is it. It isn't, and no such gene exists. High IQ, although usually indicative of good genetic and nutritional health, comes with its own price tags. High energy plus moderate IQ is a better predicator of wealth and success, especially in Western societies.

teller said...

"easy there tiger, next you'd be singing about mono-boobed amazons. As for bounded feet, it was more like mother continuing FGM, and today's women wearing heels and blaming patriarchy for it."

Don't you tiger me, Anonymous. I wasn't feeling any passion about the whole thing, just pointing out a few observations, taken from memoires and other writings of Chinese women themselves. I'm not blaming "patriarchy." All women had to do to stop that stupid custom, was stop it. Once men realized that big footed women were just as good at you know what, all would have been forgiven, big feet and all.

ben tillman said...

"Conspicuous consumption among men especially may take second place to conspicuous display of political stances, such as pro-affirmative action stances, which signal potential mates that even though he is a white male, he is so successful and confident that he is unafraid of minority competition."

It would similarly signal that he doesn't care about his family, which is the biggest turnoff imaginable.

ATBOTL said...

"The old upper class WASPs weren't really into classical music or fancy art."

Who do you think founded all the Symphonies and Museums?

Anonymous said...

"Don't you tiger me, Anonymous. I wasn't feeling any passion about the whole thing"

control your stupidity was all I meant.

ben tillman said...

It's inexplicable to the lonely, seething men who make up a large chunk of the HBD-sphere readership that a high status man would marry a woman for companionship, intellectual compatibility, or any reason other than physical hotness and fertility.

I thought it was generally understood that he married her because that's what SHE wanted.

Anonymous said...

Who do you think founded all the Symphonies and Museums?

A lot of them were established by arrivistes and nouveaux-riches, not upper-class WASPs per se. The upper-class WASPs weren't into classical music and fancy art as much as upper-class Europeans or arrivistes/nouveaux-riches were. Founding symphonies and museums was often a way for new money (who had money but not an upper-class family background and ancestry) to try to establish themselves. Examples would be people like Carnegie or Rockefeller, who were from lower class backgrounds. Someone like a Boston Brahmin, with an established lineage and upper-class background, didn't have to do since their class was their birthright.

Anonymous said...

Political correctness and affirmative action are white Good-Guy-Badges gone way out of control. Like all Good-Guy-Badges, they signal that the wearer has so little self-esteem that he must flagellate himself to gain social approval. I have more respect for someone who puts self and family first no matter how much of an SOB it make him seem.

Volksverhetzer said...

"Veblen himslf was odd looking. He was not in any sense conventionally handsome but apparently he was like catnip to women. Contemporaries remarked on it but no one could quite explain it."

I can find only a few images of him, and the ones of the younger Veblen, seems to show a handsome man. He was also tall and muscular, and don't seem to have cared much of what people that did not know him, thought of him.

He must also have been a likable fellow, as people seem to have helped him willingly all his life.

When one is reading about Veblen, it is important to know that the most famous biography was written by a young Jew called Dorfman, who basically wrote a pack of lies.

"In light of these manifest deficiencies, as we have noted in our earlier research, it is quite remarkable "that for the past sixty years virtually all scholars writing on Veblen have deferred to a single biographer, Joseph Dorfman, for perspective on Veblen's life and personality." (The lesson to be learned from this, observes Edgell, "is not that Dorfman blazed a false trail, but that so many others followed it uncritically."9) Even more remarkable, in our view, is the failure of interested scholars to critique Dorfman's 1934 volume as the genre it purports to be.

Directly stated, Thorstein Veblen and His America is not a biography. Not, at least, by any acceptable convention of critical inquiry. It is rather a chronicle of intellectual productivity interspersed, often arbitrarily, with biographical data--some true, some questionable, others patently false; all disconnected from anything approaching a coherent reconstruction of Veblen's life."

...

"Having accomplished the evidently heady leap from Portland, Oregon, to pre-Depression New York City and--by virtue of his exceptional faculties--gained admittance into the rarified academic circles of that singular metropolis, the young Dorfman lost, it would appear, whatever perspective he might have had on himself, his own immigrant origins, and the America of others. Manhattan became his chosen window on the world; he himself a caricature of the myopic New Yorker whose perception blurs at the Palisades. Civilization, it seems, resided in the City; savagery in the broad hinterland west of the Hudson River.

It is doubtful that Dorfman ever grasped the reality of rural America, certainly not in the years he was engaged on the Veblen project. Indeed, the scholastic hubris with which he presumes--at age 26--to instruct Andrew Veblen on the evidentiary requirements of scholarship and why he, Joseph Dorfman, had been correct in his appraisal of the Veblens' cultural and linguistic marginality (Andrew's persuasive evidence to the contrary notwithstanding) bespeaks both metropolitan parochialism and an inflated sense of self peculiar to academic novitiates."

UNEXAMINED MOMENTS IN THE LIFE OF THORSTEIN VEBLEN:
REFINING THE BIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES

By
Russell H. Bartley
Department of History
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

http://elegant-technology.com/TVbarRI.html

Martian Bachelor said...

I think way too many have fallen to the marketing pitch and drunk the auto industry's kool-aid about hot cars and cool chicks (or the other way around).

I learned at age ~9-12 that neither my sisters nor the girl playmates in my neighborhood had any interest in "slot car" racetracks, or Hot Wheels, or anything else car related.

The world of car enthusiasts is a guy's world, and this doesn't change with age. I've been hearing it since HS, by which time my interest in cars had gone dormant, and it's still ridiculous to impute a motive to car guys of just trying to "impress girls". Cars are (or can be) an end in themselves, not a means to some other end.

Lots of guys take up an interest in cars to separate them from the world of women. It's common knowledge that when one of the herd's weak stragglers does get picked off and taken down, that the first thing the wife makes him get rid of is his car.

Besides, the wimminz have all been brainwashed to NOT present themselves as gold-diggers, and to pronounce their pride at not being impressed by such things, which (they think) makes them better than all those other women, who (they think) are. AWALT. There aren't enough millionaires in existence for all the women I've known who have dissed one they claimed to have once dated. "Hypergamy"? Pfffft.

Really, people should debamboozle-ize constructivist rubbish by, like, playing anthropologist and, in this instance, going to an amateur car show or the local track, and talking with the natives.

Severn said...

the hypergamous impulse is more strongly expressed in women.

You have this habit, common to game boys, of saying some rather dubious things as if they were axiomatic.


men with options do not seek to marry women who are of higher social or economic status than themselves. if anything, men seek to avoid higher ses women than themselves for anything more than flings

Of course they do. We have no lords and ladies. Social status in our world is closely coupled to physical appearance. It's not too much to say that it is physical appearance. Men who covet tall skinny women are not doing so out of some biological imperative to seek out fertile women - they are pursuing that which is socially prized in our culture.

You can't see this because your entire mental model of the world is a closed loop made up of interlocking axioms.

Men on average have higher economic status in our culture, but women on average have higher social status. A passably attractive young woman does not need to belong to an important family or posses great wealth in her own right to be of high social status. She gets that high social status merely by being a passably attractive young woman. Most men who wish to marry her are driven by a hypergamous impulse.

Anonymous said...

Men on average have higher economic status in our culture, but women on average have higher social status.

Not so much social, but sexual. Warren Farrell said it: women may be sex objects, but men are the (economic) success objects.

heartiste said...

You have this habit, common to game boys,

you misspelled charming mofo.

of saying some rather dubious things as if they were axiomatic.

overconfidence is the very moloko plus of sexiness.

Of course they do.

marrying within one's class out of expedience or convenience or happenstance is not the same as deliberately seeking to marry a woman of higher social or economic status. fact is, most men are more comfortable, at least on a subconscious level, being the breadwinner and/or social captain in the relationship. reversing the polarity usually causes some unfortunate anhedonic blowback. look, there's a reason why stories told through the ages feature young unworldly women pining for princes, and not so much the inverse.

Men who covet tall skinny women are not doing so out of some biological imperative to seek out fertile women - they are pursuing that which is socially prized in our culture.

since when are tall, facially pretty and hourglass shaped women unattractive to men?

You can't see this because your entire mental model of the world is a closed loop made up of interlocking axioms.

this is squid ink. ad hominem. useless.

Men on average have higher economic status in our culture, but women on average have higher social status.

women have higher social status only insofar as they have higher sexual status. or: homely chicks ain't winning any popularity contests.

A passably attractive young woman does not need to belong to an important family or posses great wealth in her own right to be of high social status.

that's because she's attractive. and the upper class ugly girls get no love, btw. something which you would know if you spent some time in the cocktail party circuit. for women, it's their looks first, everything else a distant second.

She gets that high social status merely by being a passably attractive young woman.

what is this "passably" nonsense? the better looking the woman, the more in-demand she will be, with all classes of men.

Most men who wish to marry her are driven by a hypergamous impulse.

men are less discriminatory than women, because sperm is cheap. men are thus less "hypergamous" than women.

Severn said...

overconfidence is the very moloko plus of sexiness.


If you're trying to win an argument, you're better of trying to make sense than worrying about how sexy you're coming across as.


there's a reason why stories told through the ages feature young unworldly women pining for princes, and not so much the inverse.

Because men write stories and women don't?

women have higher social status only insofar as they have higher sexual status

Which, of course, they do have.

homely chicks ain't winning any popularity contests.

Sure they are. They have higher status than homely guys.


spent some time in the cocktail party circuit. for women, it's their looks first

Then it's lucky for women that the average young man finds the average young woman quite attractive.

what is this "passably" nonsense? the better looking the woman, the more in-demand she will be, with all classes of men.

The average woman between the ages of 18 and 30 is "in demand", or to say the same thing in different words, has higher status than the average man.

No amount of spinning on your part can alter that simple truth..