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NancyLebovitz comments on Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics - Less Wrong

48 Post author: lukeprog 05 November 2011 11:06AM

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Comment author: NancyLebovitz 03 November 2011 04:57:41AM 22 points [-]

Why do girls say they want "nice guys" but date only "jerks"?

I find that claim bewildering because the partnered men I know aren't jerks. It could be that I'm filtering for non-jerkness, but my tentative alternate theory is that the maybe the most conspicuously attractive women prefer jerks, and the men who resent the pattern aren't noticing most women. Or possibly a preference for jerks really is common in "girls"-- not children, but women below some level of maturity (age 25? 30? whatever it takes to get tired of being mistreated?), and some men are imprinted on what they saw in high school.

For those of you who believe that women prefer jerks, what sort of behavior do you actually mean? What proportion of women are you talking about? Is there academic research to back this up? What have you seen in your social circle?

Comment author: Yvain 03 November 2011 11:22:05PM *  109 points [-]

This is a terrible debate and you should all feel bad for having it. Now let me join in.

The research on this topic is split into "completely useless" and "mostly useless". In the former category we have studies that, with a straight face, purport to show that women like nice guys by asking women to self-report on their preferences. To illuminate just how silly this is, consider the mirror case of asking men "So, do you like witty charming girls with good personalities, or supermodels with big breasts?" When this was actually done, men rated "physical attractiveness" only their 22nd most important criterion for a mate - number one was "sincerity", and number nineteen was "good manners". And yet there are no websites where you can spend $9.95 per month to stream videos of well-mannered girls asking men to please pass the salad fork, and there are no spinster apartments full of broken-hearted supermodels who just didn't have enough sincerity. So self-reports are right out.

Other-reports may be slightly less silly. Herold and Milhausen, 1999, found that 56% of university women believed that women in general were more likely to date jerks than nice guys. But although women may have less emotional investment in the issue than men, their opinions are still just opinions.

The few studies that earn the coveted accolade of "only mostly useless" are those that try to analyze actual behavior. Bogart and Fisher typify a group of studies that show that good predictors of a man's number of sexual partners include disinhibitedness, high testosterone levels, "hypermasculinity", "sensation seeking", antisocial personality, and extraversion. Meston et al typify a separate group of studies on sex and the Big Five traits when she says that "agreeableness was the most consistent predictor of behavior...disagreeable men and women were more likely to have had sexual intercourse and with a greater number of partners than agreeable men and women. Nonvirgins of both sexes were more likely to be calculating, stubborn, and arrogant in their interpersonal behavior than virgins. Neuroticism predicted sexual experience in males only; timid, unassertive men were less sexually experienced than emotionally stable men...the above findings were all statistically significant at p<.01"

These studies certainly show that jerkishness is associated with high number of sexual partners, but they're not quite a victory for the "nice guys finish last" camp for a couple of reasons. First, men seem to come off almost as bad as women do. Second, there's no reason to think that any particular "nice" woman will like jerks; many of the findings could be explained by disagreeable men hooking up with disagreeable women, disagreeing with them about things (as they do) and then breaking up and hooking up with other disagreeable women, while the agreeable people form stable pair bonds. Boom - disagreeable people showing more sexual partners than agreeable people.

I find more interesting the literature about intelligence and sexual partners. In high-schoolers, each extra IQ point increases chance of virginity by 2.7% for males and 1.7% by females. 87% of 19-year old US college students have had sex, yet only 65% of MIT graduate students have had sex. There's conflicting research about whether this reflects lower sex drive in these people or less sexual success; it's probably a combination of both. See linked article for more information.

The basic summary of the research seems to be that smart, agreeable people complaining that they have less sex than their stupid, disagreeable counterparts are probably right, and that this phenomenon occurs both in men and women but is a little more common in men.

Moving from research to my own observations, I do think there are a lot of really kind, decent, shy, nerdy men who can't find anyone who will love them because they radiate submissiveness and non-assertiveness, and women don't find this attractive. Most women do find dominant, high-testosterone people attractive, and dominance and testosterone are risk factors for jerkishness, but not at all the same thing and women can't be blamed for liking people with these admittedly attractive characteristics.

There are also a lot of really kind, decent, shy, nerdy women who can't find anyone who will love them because they're not very pretty. Men can't be blamed for liking people they find attractive either, but this is also sad.

But although these two situations are both sad, at the risk of being preachy I will say one thing. When a girl is charming and kind but not so conventionally attractive, and men avoid her, and this makes her sad...well, imagine telling her that only ugly people would think that, and since she's ugly she doesn't deserve a man, and she probably just wants to use him for his money anyway because of course ugly women can't genuinely want love in the same way anyone else would (...that would be unfair!) This would be somewhere between bullying and full on emotional abuse, the sort of thing that would earn you a special place in Hell.

Whereas when men make the same complaint, that they are nice and compassionate but not so good at projecting dominance, there is a very large contingent of people, getting quite a lot of respect and validation from the parts of society that should know better, who immediately leap out to do their best to make them feel miserable - to tell that they don't deserve a relationship, that they're probably creeps who are only in it for the sex and that if they were a real man they'd stop whining about being "entitled to sex".

EDIT: But see qualification here

Comment author: Yvain 08 November 2011 07:07:36PM *  24 points [-]

After talking to a couple of people about this, I should qualify/partially-retract the original comment.

Some people have suggested to me that the best metaphor a man can use to understand how women think about "nice guys" isn't an ugly duckling woman who gets turned down by the men she likes, but a grossly obese woman who never showers or shaves her legs, and who goes around complaining loudly to everyone she knows that men are all vapid pigs who are only interested in looks.

I would find this person annoying, and although I hope I would be kind enough not to lash out against her in quite the terms I mentioned above, I would understand the motivations of someone who did, instead of having to classify him as having some sort of weird Martian brain design that makes him a moral monster.

The obesity metaphor is especially relevant. Since there are people out there who think becoming skinny is as easy as "just eat less food", I can imagine people who think becoming socially assertive really is as easy as "just talk to people and be more confident".

For people who honestly believe those things, and there seem to be a lot of them, the obese woman and the socially awkward man would reduce to the case of the woman who never showered but constantly complained about how superficial men were to reject her over her smell - annoying and without any redeeming value.

Comment author: wedrifid 09 November 2011 08:56:16AM 24 points [-]

Some people have suggested to me that the best metaphor a man can use to understand how women think about "nice guys" isn't an ugly duckling woman who gets turned down by the men she likes, but a grossly obese woman who never showers or shaves her legs, and who goes around complaining loudly to everyone she knows that men are all vapid pigs who are only interested in looks.

That would seem to apply better if at least some (but not all) of the significant elements of gross obesity and bad hygiene were rewarded with approval and reinforced with verbal exhortations for a significant proportion of the woman's lives. So basically the metaphor is a crock. Mind you the insult would quite possibly do the recipient good to hear anyway unless they happen to be the kind of person who will reject advice that is clearly wrong without first reconstructing what the advice should have been, minus the part that is obviously nonsense.

Comment author: Oligopsony 11 November 2011 04:48:40PM 9 points [-]

This is taking the unfortunate/entitled/nice/beta/shibboleth-of-your-choice males' complaint too far at face value - i.e., that they are sexually unsuccessful on account of being kind and prosocial.

People are really bad at measuring their own levels of altruism, which is hardly surprising. Those in this cluster of peoplespace are worse than average at reading social cues and others' assessments of them, and are apt to interpret "nice" and its congnates as "particularly kind and proscial," instead of what it usually means, which is "boring, but not actively offensive enough to merit an explicitly negative description." (Consider what it usually means when you describe your mother's watercolors or the like as "nice," sans any emphatic phrasing.) Likewise, we halo bad predicates onto those whom we resent - "jerk" is the male equivalent of "slut," in this sense.

What's creepy about this group is precisely the entitled attitude on display - that they deserve to enjoy sexual relations with those on whom they crush merely for being around them and not actively offending, or indeed in some cases for doing what in other contexts would be rightly considered kind and prosocial. This transactional model of sex is, well, creepy, and quite evident if you're specifically doing {actions that would otherwise be kind and prosocial} for unrequited loves and not people in general. The complaint is accurate in that yes, their being inoffensive and helpful isn't getting them laid, but the conclusion - that if they were jerks they would get laid - reveals a fundamental confusion. (I also think the PUA types are 100% right when they say displaying confidence is key, but that it's a bit confused to treat it as relating to dominance or women's preferences specifically - if you think you suck, others will assume you're right; this is the key to all sales work, and I've known a number of decent-looking women and gay men who aren't getting laid due to a lack of self-confidence as well.)

I have sympathy for these young men in that having poor native social skills and low self-confidence sucks, and, hey, I've been there. But they're not getting any approval for this, except when they meet up for affective death-spirals.

Comment author: HughRistik 13 November 2011 10:28:04AM *  8 points [-]

This is taking the unfortunate/entitled/nice/beta/shibboleth-of-your-choice males' complaint too far at face value - i.e., that they are sexually unsuccessful on account of being kind and prosocial.

I used to believe this, but after doing some research, and further experience, I changed my mind.

First, the available research doesn't show a disadvantage of altruism, agreeableness, and prosocial tendencies for men.

I used to experience agreeableness and altruism as disadvantages. Now I experience agreeableness as sometimes a big advantage, and sometimes a moderate disadvantage. Altruism is neutral, as long as I can suppress it to normal population levels (I have excessive altruistic tendencies).

Hypotheses that reconcile this data and anecdata:

  • Prosocial tendencies are orthogonal to attractiveness
  • Prosocial tendencies have a non-linear relationships to attractiveness (e.g. it's good to be average, or maybe even a bit above average, but any higher or lower is a disadvantage
  • The relationship between prosocial tendencies and attractiveness is moderated by another variable. For instance, perhaps prosocial tendencies are an advantage for extraverted men, but a disadvantage for introverts

What's creepy about this group is precisely the entitled attitude on display - that they deserve to enjoy sexual relations with those on whom they crush merely for being around them and not actively offending, or indeed in some cases for doing what in other contexts would be rightly considered kind and prosocial.

While some people who believe they are sexually unsuccessful on account of being kind and prosocial have this attitude of entitlement, ascribing an entitlement mentality to that entire class of people is a hasty generalization. It is likely that people who believe they are sexually unsuccessful on account of being kind and prosocial with a genuine entitlement attitude are very visible (far more visible than people in that class without that attitude), and this visibility may distort estimates of their prevalence due to the availability heuristic.

Furthermore, in this context perhaps you would agree that "entitlement" is political buzzword that has not been appropriately operationalized. In some hands, it is used as expansively and unrigorously as "nice" and "jerk."

Comment author: John_D 11 October 2013 03:26:15PM 2 points [-]

I suspect that while dark triad traits are desirable to women, they aren't the only desirable traits. As you said, research shows that agreeableness and altruism also tend to be attractive, and conscientious and agreeable men tend to be better dancers, and thus more attractive. (quick google search) I suspect that there are multiple types of attractive men, or you can still possess all these traits.

Then again, it is important to know how the dark triad is measured to begin with. I am not sure if this is the actual test, but it looks legitimate. While saying disagree to all or most of the questions that measured lying and callousness, I still managed to score high on Machiavellianism and above average in Narcissism. (low on psychopathy) This also calls into question how "dark" some of these traits are, since outside of psychopathy, the other questions were related to self-esteem and a desire for influence, which isn't inherently evil, and can still coincide with agreeable and prosocial personalities.
http://www.okcupid.com/tests/the-dark-triad-test-1

Comment author: lessdazed 13 November 2011 10:39:44AM *  2 points [-]

Now I experience agreeableness as sometimes a big advantage, and sometimes a moderate disadvantage...

Hypotheses that reconcile this data and anecdata:

...The relationship between prosocial tendencies and attractiveness is moderated by another variable.

I said, which was given some implicit endorsement (I think):

That deeper truth is that it is behaviors indicating high status that are attractive. Usually these are "selfish and aggressive", not showing concern with others' standards, but conspicuous vulnerability/non high-status behavior also shows high status by ignoring opportunities to display high status with selfishness and aggression. See e.g. John Mayer.

Comment author: wedrifid 11 November 2011 06:15:37PM *  3 points [-]

This is taking the unfortunate/entitled/nice/beta/shibboleth-of-your-choice males' complaint too far at face value - i.e., that they are sexually unsuccessful on account of being kind and prosocial.

It is doing no such thing. Make no mistake - I don't conflate altruism with approval seeking niceness and I recommend "quit being a pussy" as a far more practical bite of self talk for people in the category you describe to use than the "women only like jerks" message; I'm clearly not rejecting the analogy because I'm supporting a sob story. No, what I am doing is rejecting one soldier that happens to be on the opposite extreme to the one above. Because it is a false analogy.

But they're not getting any approval for this

I don't give any approval for this either, but I don't do it out of judgement or blame. I don't give approval or sympathy because that would be counterproductive to their own goals.

Comment author: wedrifid 09 November 2011 08:46:34AM 6 points [-]

I can imagine people who think becoming socially assertive really is as easy as "just talk to people and be more confident.

And it is that easy. Just like becoming an engineer is as easy as "getting a degree and being better at math".

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 08 November 2011 08:50:42PM 8 points [-]

For what it's worth, my reflex before reading a bunch of stuff here was closer to hearing "socially awkward man who can't manage to attract women" was closer to thinking of various annoying men who have hung around me, who I find unattractive (sometimes at the skin-crawling level [1]), but who never cross a line to the point where I feel justified in telling them to go away. This can go on for years. It is no fun.

After reading these discussions, I conclude that my preconception was a case of availability bias (possibly amplified by a desire to not know how painful things are), and so I use a more abstract category.

[1] To repeat something from a previous discussion, this isn't about being physically afraid. If I were, I'd be handling things differently. It also turned out to my surprise, that at least some men have never had the experience of that sort of revulsion. It seems to me that it's not quite the same as not wanting to be around someone who just about everyone would think was overtly ugly, though women frequently agree (independently, I think) about some men being uncomfortable to be around.

It wouldn't surprise me if there are specific elements of body language or facial expression which cause that sort of revulsion, but I don't know what they are.

Comment author: wedrifid 08 November 2011 09:01:37PM 7 points [-]

but who never cross a line to the point where I feel justified in telling them to go away. This can go on for years. It is no fun.

The obvious conclusion from these premises: If you had the belief that "This could go on for years and is no fun" is a valid justification for telling someone to go away then your life would contain less 'no fun'.

Comment author: dlthomas 08 November 2011 09:08:53PM 0 points [-]

That works for the future. You have to somehow acquire that belief in the first place, and it seems like something that would be hard to learn any way but experience.

Comment author: wedrifid 08 November 2011 09:15:19PM *  6 points [-]

That works for the future.

If you find something that works for the past please let me know. That would be awesome. Kind of like timer-turner hack for relationships. You wouldn't have to guess which relationships would work, you would just automatically select a relationship that would work by virtue of all the counterfactual bad relationships being pre-empted by the techniques that work for the past!

You have to somehow acquire that belief in the first place, and it seems like something that would be hard to learn any way but experience.

Or, like with many life lessons, by having good friends, role models and mentors. They help you notice that you're making a silly mistake when you've been making it for an order of weeks not an order of years!

Comment author: dlthomas 08 November 2011 09:21:10PM 1 point [-]

Amusing, and yes, my phrasing was imprecise - I wasn't intending tautology.

My objection was that 1) she probably has already made this transition herself, and 2) telling people that this transition needs to be made is not providing much information unless they understand how to recognize such relationships, and learning to distinguish what kinds of things suck for years from those that suck right now but get awesome later is necessarily going to take years unless we convey much additional information (assuming it is sufficiently stable between people to allow communication of that information to be meaningful).

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 13 November 2011 03:01:56AM 2 points [-]

I haven't made the transition in all cases. wedrifid's advice might be useful.

I probably need to figure out where I want the line to be. It's also a complicating factor when I'm thinking "I'd enjoy this person's company if there were less of it and I wasn't feeling pressured".

Comment author: wedrifid 08 November 2011 09:27:03PM 1 point [-]

telling people that this transition needs to be made is not providing much information

I hope not. I was trying to get as close as possible to a pure deduction from the quote so as to be almost entirely impersonal.

Comment author: dlthomas 08 November 2011 09:33:18PM *  0 points [-]

Understood. It wasn't so much a complaint directed at you, as at anyone who wanted to add more details.

Edited to clarify: That is to say, the negativity of the complaint, such as it was, was directed at the situation; the communicative content of the complaint was directed at anyone, including you.

Comment author: wedrifid 08 November 2011 09:08:01PM 16 points [-]

To repeat something from a previous discussion, this isn't about being physically afraid.

My understanding is that it is an instinct intended to protect you from threats to your reproductive success, not threats to your survival. ie. I expect it to tend to encourage behaviors that will prevent pregnancy to losers more so than behaviors that prevent losers from killing you.

Comment author: cousin_it 08 November 2011 09:19:35PM 2 points [-]

Thanks a lot! Your comment made something click for me.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 08 November 2011 10:05:57PM 2 points [-]

I don't think people are highly optimized. Evolution aims for good enough, rather than best hypothetically possible, and when I say hypothetically possible, I mean hypotheses generated by people from a time when no one knows the limits of what's evolutionarily possible.

I've had the skin crawl effect from men of varying status, though I admit the average status is on the low side.

Comment author: wedrifid 09 November 2011 03:25:18AM *  12 points [-]

I don't think people are highly optimized.

Having a 'repulsion/creepiness' response to supplement an 'attraction' response seems like something to expect as an early, basic optimization. Something that would begin to be optimized before even bothering with things like human level intelligence.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 09 November 2011 08:37:59AM 4 points [-]

Has anything like the repulsion response been seen in animals?

Something I don't think I've seen discussed is that the men who set off the repulsion response seem to be pretty rare. I haven't heard of the response being studied scientifically.

If PUA helps, it might not distinguish between men who have been ignored and men who have been actively avoided.

Comment author: wedrifid 09 November 2011 09:22:30AM *  10 points [-]

If PUA helps, it might not distinguish between men who have been ignored and men who have been actively avoided.

From what I understand of the philosophy a personal development program based on PUA would be expected and intended to reduce the amount that the guy is placed in the 'ignored' category while actually increasing the 'actively avoided' category. Because being ignored is useless (and 'no fun') while being actively avoided actually just saves time. Bell curves and blue and red charts apply.

There tends to be some lessons on how to reduce 'creepiness' in general because obviously being creepy in general is going to be a hindrance to the intended goals.

Comment author: wedrifid 09 November 2011 09:28:49AM 7 points [-]

I haven't heard of the response being studied scientifically.

My brief searching for 'creepiness research' didn't turn up much either. But to be honest I don't really know where to look. :)

Comment author: Vaniver 08 November 2011 09:03:43PM 0 points [-]

It also turned out to my surprise, that at least some men have never had the experience of that sort of revulsion.

I haven't experienced revulsion I would describe as 'skin-crawling', but I have experienced my scrotum shriveling up. This might be an idiom / physiological experience issue rather than a difference in life experience.

Comment author: [deleted] 25 March 2012 11:20:34AM 2 points [-]

Since there are people out there who think becoming skinny is as easy as "just eat less food"

Becoming skinny is as easy as "just eat less food" -- as someone once pointed out, were there many plump fellows among the Auschwitz inmates liberated by the Allies? The problem is that for some people just eating less food is itself not terribly easy.

Comment author: Risto_Saarelma 25 March 2012 04:12:47PM 0 points [-]

There's also the thing that while thermodynamics says you can't stay fat and maintain a body temperature while taking in sufficiently few calories, there isn't a law of physics that says your body must start losing fat in that situation instead of just getting very sick and eventually dying. The skinny people who walked out of Auschwitz didn't include the people who had died of sickness during internment.

Comment author: [deleted] 25 March 2012 08:43:08PM 0 points [-]

“there isn't a law of physics” all right, but for evolutionary reasons I'd expect that for all except a non-sizeable fraction of people, the minimum weight below which they would die from starvation (or even the minimum weight below which they would stop being fertile) would be way below the maximum weight above which their obesity would turn potential sexual partners off. (And if this isn't the case, that would mean that today's fucked-up beauty standards --mostly due to the preponderance of very skinny models in the media IMO-- are by far even more fucked up than I thought.)

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 09 November 2011 06:08:46AM 4 points [-]

I can imagine people who think becoming socially assertive really is as easy as "just talk to people and be more confident".

There's a community of men how are in fact to find effective ways to be socially assertive in a way that's attractive to women, it's called PUA.

Comment author: MixedNuts 11 November 2011 07:07:28AM *  0 points [-]

The obvious strategy for this woman seems to be to look specifically for men who don't care much about looks and hygiene. (Also, you're a bad person for saying a woman who doesn't shave her legs is gross.) Melissa McEwan is fat and doesn't shave her legs (though as far as I know she has good hygiene), and that works out just fine because the people she's interested in prefer, or at least don't strongly disprefer, that.

On the other hand, those compassionate betas (at least those we hear complaining) seem to only pursue the (admittedly common) type of women who care strongly about status. There are obvious reasons for that (it correlates with being conventionally attractive), but it does seem like they're shooting themselves in the foot. If people who prefer your type have to throw themselves at you before you notice them, you're doing it wrong.

Edit: I don't understand the downvotes. wedrifid's objection is true, but it wasn't my main point. Is it because I'm telling people to hit on people who aren't their first choice? Or is it the "how dare you want the same characteristics everyone wants" undertones? Or did I just plain miss Yvain's point?

Comment author: Yvain 11 November 2011 04:28:45PM *  9 points [-]

I voted you down for saying "Also, you're a bad person for saying a woman who doesn't shave her legs is gross" when I never said anything of the sort. Maybe you misunderstood the term "grossly obese" (which uses 'gross' in the sense of 'large')? I don't know.

Even if I had said that, there would have to be a nicer way to correct it.

Comment author: MixedNuts 11 November 2011 04:39:39PM 0 points [-]

No, just the description that is intended to make people go "Ew, undateable" (obesity, poor hygiene), as opposed to "Aw, poor girl, those guys are so shallow" (ugly duckling).

But... but... how come I don't get to say that, when you get to say "This is a terrible debate and you should all feel bad for having it."? (Because you're freaking Yvain. Also because you have some concept of tact.)

Comment author: Yvain 11 November 2011 05:07:36PM 8 points [-]

Again, where did I say that it was "gross"?

I said it would make it harder for the woman to get dates with men, but is that really in doubt? Do you need me to find statistics showing that (American) men in general rate women who don't shave their legs as less attractive? And I was using it as an example of something that shouldn't matter, but does.

You don't get to say that because 90% of people who used it in the context you did would be using it seriously, and because accusing someone of being a bad person for being sexist is more of a trigger point than accusing someone of having a bad debate.

Comment author: dlthomas 11 November 2011 05:18:38PM *  7 points [-]

When you give a list of three attributes, people tend assume the salient features are common for all three or different for all three. The attributes you gave were obese, poor hygiene, and unshaved. Two of these, obese and poor hygiene, are problematic for reasons other than simple lack of social acceptance, and people thus feel more confident calling them "gross" - for which they were also primed by your use of the term in it's other sense.

As I see it: no, you didn't say it, but I completely understand why they heard it.

Comment author: MixedNuts 11 November 2011 05:23:34PM 2 points [-]

90% of people who used it in the context you did would be using it seriously

Uh. Okay. I guess I far underestimated the proportion of people who would seriously call you a bad person on LW. My bad.

Comment author: wedrifid 11 November 2011 06:27:47PM *  3 points [-]

For what it is worth I appreciated the tongue in cheek nature of your call and only object to the 'being wrong about what what Yvain said' part, not the 'bad' part. I can't help you in finding an explanation on how you managed to get to -4. Perhaps you could edit that one part out and see if you get back up to 0? People often seem to approve of retraction-edits.

Comment author: Yvain 12 November 2011 02:35:37AM 0 points [-]

Oh, fine. Maybe I'm just oversensitive. Downvote revoked.

Comment author: Oligopsony 11 November 2011 04:51:15PM 2 points [-]

Because this is a terrible debate, and we should all feel bad for having it. (I say this, like Yvain did originally, as a moth who knows it is drawn to the flame.)

Comment author: Desrtopa 11 November 2011 01:55:06PM *  7 points [-]

Edit: I don't understand the downvotes. wedrifid's objection is true, but it wasn't my main point. Is it because I'm telling people to hit on people who aren't their first choice? Or is it the "how dare you want the same characteristics everyone wants" undertones? Or did I just plain miss Yvain's point?

I would say you missed his point. The description was meant to be analogous to the sort of men who're held up as having entitlement complexes. If she doesn't meet many men's preferences, her dating prospects are going to be slim, and she can try to seek out men whose preferences she meets, or try to change aspects of herself which will allow her to meet more men's preferences, or, yes, she can complain about it and rail against men for having the preferences they have, but the last one is unproductive and insulting so it's no wonder if people take a dim view of it.

Since the woman is being rejected by people whose preferences she doesn't meet, and complaining about it, there is no "on the other hand" relative to the men who're complaining about their lack of success with women whose preferences they don't meet, they're behaving in the same way. You seem to be arguing that the men are more socially blameworthy (because they are shooting themselves in the foot) for not engaging in the behavior which you say the obese woman should be engaging in. But in the context of the analogy, she isn't doing those things.

Also, Yvain didn't even come up with the analogy, it was related to him by people who didn't think that his previous analogy (the ugly duckling woman being rejected by men) was appropriately descriptive. So saying something like "Also, you're a bad person for saying a woman who doesn't shave her legs is gross" sends a doubly negative signal, first for parsing his statement in a disingenuous way, and second for holding Yvain accountable for the opinions of other people he's relating to us. Unless you were obviously joking, I would have downvoted for that alone, even if as you say it isn't the main point, unless the rest of the comment was exceptional.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 13 November 2011 03:09:01AM 4 points [-]

I think part of the situation is that both the very fat woman and the shy man feel rightly that they're on the receiving end of a hostile conspiracy.

It isn't just that people are spontaneously unattracted to them, it's that there's a lot of public material which portrays people like them (and perhaps especially in the case of the very fat woman) anyone who's attracted to them as objects of mockery.

Thinking about the dominance thing.... there are heterosexual couples (actually, now that I think about it, the examples I know best are poly) where the woman is dominant.

If a man is temperamentally in the not-dominant to submissive range, would looking for a compatible dominant woman be a good strategy?

Comment author: [deleted] 13 November 2011 03:26:10AM 7 points [-]

If a man is temperamentally in the not-dominant to submissive range, would looking for a compatible dominant woman be a good strategy?

There are many more submissive men than there are dominant women. On top of that, in the poly community I seem to have noticed a pattern where dominant women end up primaries with even more dominant men (with both taking more submissive people as secondaries, etc).

So the prospects for a submissive male can be slim.

Comment author: MixedNuts 11 November 2011 02:08:08PM 2 points [-]

Thanks!

Comment author: wedrifid 11 November 2011 08:11:38AM *  3 points [-]

Also, you're a bad person for saying a woman who doesn't shave her legs is gross.

That meaning is very different to saying "grossly obese" in the same sentence as never showering or shaving her legs. At worst Yvain could be bad for saying that people who are very, very, overweight is gross - and even then it wouldn't be somewhat of a distortion.

Writing simply 'obese' would be an underspecification. For example the only time I have ever qualified as officially 'obese' was when I was body building aggressively - which is an entirely different thing.

Comment author: pwno 08 November 2011 08:47:46PM 1 point [-]

Right, but more specifically, the annoying parts are their denial of the problem and reluctance to improve. We'd all be a lot more sympathetic otherwise.

Comment author: wedrifid 09 November 2011 09:05:45AM 1 point [-]

Right, but more specifically, the annoying parts are their denial of the problem and reluctance to improve. We'd all be a lot more sympathetic otherwise.

On average people in that category get more than enough sympathy (mind you it probably varies a lot in degree and sincerity). More sympathy would tend to be a toxic influence from the perspective of trying to meet their unmet goals. Far better to empathize but show no sympathy whatsoever.

Comment author: pwno 27 November 2011 07:42:38PM 1 point [-]

I think that category of people are considered low status on average, and thus, not met with much sympathy. Maybe they have a small circle of people enabling their bad habits, but I suspect the strongest force is rationalization.

Comment author: gwern 04 November 2011 12:44:21AM 12 points [-]

Relevant: the Dark Triad and short-term mating.

Comment author: FiftyTwo 12 November 2011 05:19:06PM *  3 points [-]

This is a terrible debate and you should all feel bad for having it. Now let me join in.

I suspect a large number of upvotes were purely for this line. I approve.

Comment author: hairyfigment 04 November 2011 05:31:30PM 1 point [-]

I agree as far as this goes. But remember that we don't chiefly want to prevent people calling women ugly. We chiefly want to prevent this, because we think it increases actual rape. (The cited research does not establish this with any clarity, but it does establish that you left out another potential distorting factor.)

Would you actually feel surprised if you found out the belief that women only date jerks causally increases talk of rape fantasies, and that this increases rape? What about the belief that a simple and general method will allow guys to have sex with the women they desire?

Comment author: [deleted] 04 November 2011 09:01:58PM 18 points [-]

I think the causation may be going the other way: it's that men who are willing to rape are more likely to enjoy rape jokes, not that men who read rape jokes thereby become more willing to rape.

Comment author: Oligopsony 04 November 2011 10:54:28PM 11 points [-]

Another theory I've heard (although not one relevant to this particular study, except maybe in an ecological sense) is that rape jokes signal to predators that non-predatory men aren't going to socially punish them.

Comment author: Emile 05 November 2011 12:51:18PM 4 points [-]

Very plausible, similar things could be said of racist jokes.

I can't think of a negative interpretation of blonde jokes though.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 05 November 2011 02:02:48PM 8 points [-]

Do you mean negative interpretations in general, or that particular sort of negative interpretation?

I would think ill of someone who told blonde jokes, especially if they told a bunch of them. To my mind, anyone who gives a lot of time to blonde jokes is probably making themselves less able to see intelligence in blonde women. I haven't tested this belief, I'm just going on plausibility.

Comment author: wedrifid 06 November 2011 11:55:38AM 5 points [-]

I agree as far as this goes. But remember that we don't chiefly want to prevent people calling women ugly. We chiefly want to prevent this, because we think it increases actual rape.

Is the 'we' royal, referring to some specific group you are a part of or a normative presumption that I, and the people in some group of which I am a part all must have this attitude? Because for my part I am perfectly ok with being outraged at insulting women by calling them ugly for its own sake and not due to any belief in some complicated causal chain whereby talking about ugliness causes rape and the torture of puppies.

Would you actually feel surprised if you found out the belief that women only date jerks causally increases talk of rape fantasies, and that this increases rape?

I would be somewhat skeptical, read the details of such a study closely and in particular look at the degree of the purported effect as well as the significance. I would be equally as surprised to find that belief that women only dated jerks reduced incidence of rape due to the other obvious causal chain (involving reducing sexual frustration by identifying and implementing those elements of 'jerkiness' that are effective).

Comment author: thomblake 03 November 2011 11:38:18PM 0 points [-]

And yet there are no websites where you can spend $9.95 per month to stream videos of well-mannered girls asking men to please pass the salad fork

I don't believe people pay money for those websites in hopes of mating with the videos.

Imagine the mirror situation: telling a woman who complains about being judged on her looks that only ugly people would say that

That's not quite analogous, given that what one complains about does have bearing on whether someone is actually "nice" and not so much bearing on whether someone is actually "ugly".

Comment author: Desrtopa 04 November 2011 04:51:31AM 3 points [-]

That's not quite analogous, given that what one complains about does have bearing on whether someone is actually "nice" and not so much bearing on whether someone is actually "ugly".

I agree that it's not perfectly analogous. Nevertheless, more times than I care to keep track of I have witnessed people lambasting men who complain about lack of relationship success because they pattern match to the Heartless Bitches International construct. They see the black hair and hide the ketchup.

Comment author: Zeb 03 November 2011 02:45:51PM *  29 points [-]

Unfortunately I can't provide sources at the moment (Luke probably can), but I have seen research both sociological and anthropological showing that women and female higher primates in general have a tendency to try to mate with multiple dominate highly masculine males, sometimes secretly, while they tend to have long term pairings with less dominate, less masculine males. The theory is that the genes of the more masculine men lead to more fecund offspring, while the parenting of the less masculine men leads to higher offspring survival. In society this works out to women dating more masculine men (and testosterone is of course linked to the aggressiveness and risk taking we associate with "bad boys") prior to marriage, and then marrying less masculine men (nice guys). And if they cheat, they tend to cheat with "bad boys" and have their "nice guys" raise those kids.

EDIT: For pure anecdote, I am a nice guy (I think) who always complained about the "bad boy" thing, and now I am raising a step-daughter from my wife's youthful short term relationship with a guy everyone would still call a "bad boy." My wife is winning at natural selection! As is that jerk :(

Comment author: [deleted] 04 November 2011 10:06:34AM *  16 points [-]

If it makes you feel better all sorts of unpleasant people are currently winning at natural selection (no offence intended to any LWer with many children or your wife).

Comment author: Desrtopa 07 November 2011 03:14:50AM 10 points [-]

If it makes you feel better all sorts of unpleasant people are currently winning at natural selection

I have a hard time understanding how this would make anyone feel better.

Comment author: wedrifid 07 November 2011 03:34:49AM 11 points [-]

I have a hard time understanding how this would make anyone feel better.

Suffering is often ameliorated somewhat by knowing you are not alone in your situation.

Comment author: Strange7 26 August 2012 08:51:21AM 2 points [-]

It can also be made worse by knowing that the suffering is a direct and inevitable result of forces they cannot plausibly alter.

Comment author: JQuinton 18 November 2011 08:45:26PM 9 points [-]
Comment author: DoubleReed 07 November 2011 08:59:02PM 7 points [-]

That reminds me of that game that girls sometimes play "Given three choices of guys, which would you sleep with, date, or marry?"

Comment author: Insert_Idionym_Here 07 November 2011 09:11:43PM 7 points [-]

Guys play it too.

Comment author: pedanterrific 07 November 2011 09:15:56PM 4 points [-]

The criteria are a little different, though.

Comment author: FiftyTwo 14 November 2011 06:04:22PM 2 points [-]

I've played it in mixed groups, its generally about perceived personality features rather than subjective attractiveness.

Comment author: pedanterrific 14 November 2011 06:27:32PM 8 points [-]

mixed groups

I wouldn't expect this to be a recipe for honesty.

Comment author: JoshuaZ 14 November 2011 07:17:01PM *  2 points [-]

I would expect this sort of game to have difficult honesty issues even when it is a single gender. For example, if some individual has a fetish that is in some way connected to one of the individuals (say for example a celebrity that frequently wears some sort of clothing, or only one of the three falls into a racial group they have a fetish for) how likely is it that someone is going to be honest about that motivation.

That said, I agree that mixed groups will likely have more severe honesty issues.

Comment author: FiftyTwo 16 November 2011 07:20:05PM 1 point [-]

I've never treated the game as a data collection exercise. IT is more suited to social bonding and conversation stimulation.

For more statistically useful data okcupid has done studies, as have hotornot and its various imitators.

Comment author: [deleted] 16 January 2012 06:19:20AM 1 point [-]

For pure anecdote, I am a nice guy (I think) who always complained about the "bad boy" thing, and now I am raising a step-daughter from my wife's youthful short term relationship with a guy everyone would still call a "bad boy." My wife is winning at natural selection! As is that jerk :(

Reading this anecdote made me wonder if it would be possible for a group of rational "nice guys" to cooperate with each other, refusing relationships with and shunning women who had previously been involved with and fathered children by "bad boys" even though each one of them would have to sacrifice the benefit they would individually get from entering into such a relationship. The idea being to make having a later father care for a baby sired by a jerk not a viable strategy for women, thus incentivizing them away from that behavior.

(I also thought about what would happen if nice guys switched to a jerk strategy until they were ready to settle down and then switched back, since that mixed strategy appeared to dominate either pure strategy, but then I realized that that would reduce the number of childless women for guys to marry, thus leading to a tragedy of the commons.)

Comment author: wedrifid 16 January 2012 06:27:59AM 9 points [-]

Reading this anecdote made me wonder if it would be possible for a group of rational "nice guys" to cooperate with each other, refusing relationships with and shunning women who had previously been involved with and fathered children by "bad boys" even though each one of them would have to sacrifice the benefit they would individually get from entering into such a relationship. The idea being to make having a later father care for a baby sired by a jerk not a viable strategy for women, thus incentivizing them away from that behavior.

Roughly speaking you seem to be describing the norm for a lot of historical civilisations that I'm familiar with. The consequences for siring bastard children by bad boys is far lower now than it often has been.

Comment author: Blueberry 25 March 2012 08:24:39AM 0 points [-]

The origins of the madonna/whore complex?

Comment author: Blueberry 25 March 2012 08:10:04AM 1 point [-]

Why would you do that? Have you thought about killing the step-daughter or something of that nature? (People, please don't reflexively downvote that suggestion.)

Comment author: wedrifid 25 March 2012 08:16:20AM 3 points [-]

(People, please don't reflexively downvote that suggestion.)

Wait... you mean it as a suggestion, not a query?

Comment author: Blueberry 25 March 2012 08:23:58AM 2 points [-]

That made me laugh hysterically for no good reason. Oh, LW and wedrifid, how I missed ye.

No, I'm not literally suggesting murder. But it's what most animals would do.

Comment author: [deleted] 04 November 2011 09:57:30AM *  7 points [-]

For those of you who believe that women prefer jerks, what sort of behavior do you actually mean? What proportion of women are you talking about? Is there academic research to back this up? What have you seen in your social circle?

From what I understand Dark triad traits have been shown to be sexually attractive.

Edit: Damn you gwern! :)

Comment author: thomblake 03 November 2011 04:08:20PM 25 points [-]

the men who resent the pattern aren't noticing most women

Seems most plausible to me.

I have had several friends who went to bars to meet women, and then were disappointed that the only women they met were the ones who enjoyed going to bars.

People think/do strange things.

Comment author: sixes_and_sevens 03 November 2011 12:24:47PM 19 points [-]

A few bullet-points on what I see as the likely contributing factors to the "women prefer jerks" meme:

  • Romantic relationships often expose you to the worst of what people are capable of, and often end in unpleasant circumstances. If you ask someone about their most recent ex, they'll probably have more nasty stories than nice ones to tell about them.

  • If the competition for the object of my affections is charming and confident, I'm going to say he's manipulative and arrogant.

  • Making poor decisions about people you're attracted to, and systematically overlooking your partner's negative qualities, are well-established behaviour patterns in both sexes.

  • Romantic underdogs feel like they bend over backwards to be noticed by women, whereas romantically successful men seem by comparison to put in relatively little work to achieve the same goal. This perceived effort is conflated with caring or worthiness.

It strikes me that the nice-guy/jerk idiom has an analogue in the Madonna/Whore dichotomy. I was going to comment on how I'd never seen mention of this in any of the numerous feminist treatments of "nice guy syndrome" I've seen, but a cursory Google suggests it's not a new idea.

Comment author: Vladimir_M 05 November 2011 10:37:34PM *  20 points [-]

For those of you who believe that women prefer jerks, what sort of behavior do you actually mean?

An accurate analysis of this issue would require unpacking the cluster of traits implied by the word "jerk," and then dividing them into several categories:

  • Traits that are indeed actively attractive to women, or some subset thereof.

  • Traits that are neutral per se, but have a positive correlation with others that are attractive, or negative correlation with others that are unattractive.

  • Traits that are unattractive, but easily overshadowed by other less obvious (or less mentionable) traits, which produces striking but misleading examples where it looks like the "jerk" traits are in fact the attractive ones.

This is further complicated by the fact that behaviors and attitudes seemingly identical to a side-observer (especially a male one) can in fact be perceived radically differently depending on subtle details, or even just on the context. This makes it easy to answer accurate observations with jeering and purported reductio ad absurdum in a rhetorically effective way.

What proportion of women are you talking about?

This question further complicates the issue. Different types of above listed traits can elicit different reactions from various categories of women. However, even just to outline these categories clearly and explicitly, one must trample on various sensibilities one is expected to respect in polite society nowadays.

Comment author: HughRistik 13 November 2011 11:03:42AM *  14 points [-]

and then dividing them into several categories:

Traits that are indeed actively attractive to women, or some subset thereof.

Traits that are neutral per se, but have a positive correlation with others that are attractive, or negative correlation with others that are unattractive.

Traits that are unattractive, but easily overshadowed by other less obvious (or less mentionable) traits, which produces striking but misleading examples where it looks like the "jerk" traits are in fact the attractive ones.

Here's a couple more:

  • Traits that are neutral or unattractive, but help people in their mating interaction during one-on-one interaction with a potential partner (e.g. initiation or receptiveness).

  • Traits that are neutral or unattractive, but help people compete with others of their same gender

In sexual selection, there is a difference between intersexual choice, and intrasexual competition. "Women go for jerks" or "nice guys finish last" might not be a primarily a claim about the traits that women are attracted to; rather, it could be a claim about the traits necessary to initiate with women and compete with other men. All this stuff partially overlaps, but there are differences.

For example, pushing past competition on a crowded dance floor, dealing with competitors interrupting you, or making a physical advance on a potential mate may require a slightly different balance of traits (e.g. more assertiveness or even aggression) than what is necessary to attract mates.

Specifically, I would suggest that the male initiator script along with male-male competition jacks up the necessary amount of "jerk" traits beyond what women are actually attracted to. This hypothesis could help explain why people have trouble seeing eye-to-eye on this issue.

Comment author: [deleted] 13 November 2011 08:14:41PM 7 points [-]

IOW the reason jerks are more successful might be that they cockblock other guys. It makes perfect sense to me and, in retrospect, I'm surprised that it took so long for someone to hypothesise this.

Comment author: RomanDavis 06 November 2011 05:05:10AM 14 points [-]

I wish you'd just spit out whatever unPC stuff you thinks going on, even if it was rot13'd or only PM'd to people who volunteered to read it out of curiosity.

Comment author: jsalvatier 08 November 2011 05:16:27AM 1 point [-]

Ditto, though I would phrase it differently.

Vlad_M says a number of things which are unintuitive to me, but without more details it's hard for me to judge why the conflict exists.

Comment author: Vladimir_M 08 November 2011 06:07:28AM 0 points [-]

In this case at least the potential for conflict should be quite obvious from what I wrote. What exactly do you find unintuitive in my above comment?

Comment author: jsalvatier 06 November 2011 04:53:43AM 1 point [-]

I wish this kind of comment were more common.

Comment author: [deleted] 07 November 2011 04:04:30PM *  1 point [-]

An accurate analysis of this issue would require unpacking the cluster of traits implied by the word "jerk," and then dividing them into several categories:

Doesn't that imply that the claim "women claim to want nice guys, but prefer to date jerks" should be downrated in emphasis and considered factually suspect until an accurate jerk-model can be constructed, and we can simply go look for the actual prevalence of what we now agree are jerks and their success at attracting women, as opposed to nice guys?

Come to that, don't we need a coherent nice-guy model as well? Or are they equivalent to a control; ie, "not jerks" = "nice guys?" And how useful does that render the resulting model?

Comment author: Prismattic 08 November 2011 02:42:47AM 10 points [-]

(Caveats: Small N, college-age subjects, and WEIRD) Believe it or not, someone actually tried to test the jerk theory empirically and found support for it

Hat tip: Eric Barker.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 08 November 2011 07:36:42AM 13 points [-]

Another caveat is surrogate behavior-- what's tested is which photographs women chose, not which men.

It's occurring to me that part of what annoys me about the "women prefer jerks" meme is the implication that women are distinctively irrational. There are men who chose women who mistreat them, sometimes one such woman after another, but I've never heard anyone say "men prefer bitches".

Just on the notion level, but I've wondered whether some women (especially young women) choose bad news men for the same reason that some men (especially young men) ride motorcycles-- risk and excitement. From what I've heard, one of the reasons women chose difficult men is the hope of being able to change them.

Another possibility is availability bias-- the stereotype is the woman who spends years complaining about the awful men in her life to a patient male friend who's wondering why she never chooses him. Women who are happy with their relationships aren't going to do as nearly as much complaining about them, and probably aren't going to be talking in comparable detail about how good the relationship is.

Comment author: Jayson_Virissimo 10 November 2011 11:18:03AM *  13 points [-]

There are men who chose women who mistreat them, sometimes one such woman after another, but I've never heard anyone say "men prefer bitches".

There, now you have. According to the Amazon Best Sellers Rank, it is currently ranked #560 overall in the Books category, #1 in Dating , #2 in Mate Seeking, and #4 in Love & Romance. Surely the idea isn't unheard of.

Comment author: shokwave 08 November 2011 09:01:31AM 7 points [-]

I've never heard anyone say "men prefer bitches"

Partially this is because men are less often the one whose preference is at the center of the relationship (the standard cultural trope is a man pursues a woman, attempting to make her prefer him) and so there is less scrutiny of men's preference by both parties, and much more scrutiny of women's preference by men (in order to understand better how to make a woman prefer him).

Partially this is also because male attraction is determined less strongly by personality, and the "bitch/jerk" adjective is about personality.

Comment author: HughRistik 13 November 2011 11:11:30AM 5 points [-]

There are men who chose women who mistreat them, sometimes one such woman after another, but I've never heard anyone say "men prefer bitches".

I think the hypothesis would be that women choose men who are "jerks" partly because they are jerks, while men choose women who are "jerks" because they just don't care so much about personality traits, and/or despite those women being jerks.

Examining this hypothesis would require an operationalization of "jerk."

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 13 November 2011 02:40:16PM 0 points [-]

Examining this hypothesis would require an operationalization of "jerk."

Wouldn't it, though? I wish that would happen, and I wonder why at least a sketch of a definition hasn't emerged yet.

Comment author: lessdazed 13 November 2011 03:05:55PM 0 points [-]

Does this count? I think there are more too.

Comment author: wedrifid 13 November 2011 02:44:28PM 0 points [-]

I wish that would happen, and I wonder why at least a sketch of a definition hasn't emerged yet.

I'm almost certain that at least one has.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 13 November 2011 04:10:57PM 0 points [-]

I saw a list of possible meanings somewhere in this discussion, but I don't remember a follow-up of what particular people have in mind.

Comment author: wedrifid 08 November 2011 08:08:44AM *  5 points [-]

but I've never heard anyone say "men prefer bitches".

Really? That belief isn't all that uncommon, and for reasons somewhat similar to the 'jerk' idea. Mind you the (overwhelmingly justified) belief that men are less picky than women when it comes to their mate selection makes such beliefs less emphasised.

Comment author: MixedNuts 08 November 2011 08:05:30AM 6 points [-]

Isn't there a stereotype whereby men prefer women who play by The Rules, which apparently consist of guidelines for emotional manipulation? That counts as bitchy in my book.

Also, can someone explain the "patient male friend" part of stereotype? I think it's one of these cases:

  • Nice Guy never expresses interest; Woman assumes he's happy with friendship, including his role as confidant. He wonders why she never chooses him... because he assumes telepathy on her part?
  • Nice Guy hits on Woman repeatedly despite constant rejections on her part. She keeps having him as a friend and telling him about her relationships... because she can't get a male friend who's genuinely happy with that?
  • Nice Guy expresses interest, gets rejected. He genuinely wants the friendship but doesn't ask "please don't tell me about your relationships while I'm carrying a torch for you"... because he doesn't know how to do that without sinking the friendship as well?
  • Nice Guy expresses interest, gets rejected. He won't be satisfied with the friendship but doesn't walk away... because he hopes Woman will magically change her mind?
Comment author: NancyLebovitz 08 November 2011 04:32:31PM 3 points [-]

It occurs to me that a common factor might be that the two of them are both highly pessimistic about relationships-- neither of them is looking for someone they can be happy with.

Comment author: shokwave 08 November 2011 09:02:53AM 0 points [-]

It is all of those cases, except it is also stipulated that the description must be cast in a more positive light.

Comment author: CharlieSheen 04 November 2011 09:46:39AM *  15 points [-]

(age 25? 30? whatever it takes to get tired of being mistreated?),

Whatever age it takes to get past peak attractiveness and fertility.

Comment author: [deleted] 04 November 2011 10:14:52AM 5 points [-]
Comment author: MixedNuts 08 November 2011 01:15:00PM 11 points [-]

I remember as an high school kid PUA seemed sensible. (I had a nerdy straight male friend into it, and no personal interest since if I wanted to get laid I could use boobies.) I mostly took home "People, especially women, dig confidence, and will chase rather than be chased. 'Bitches ain't shit' is therefore a desirable mindset.".

And then just today I looked into it again, starting with the Dating market value test for women. I had trouble believing it was serious. Not because I'm supposed to want sex with hot women and nothing else, but because their idea of "hot women" isn't hot at all. Why would I ever want that?

I get that liking androgyny and brains and being neutral to fat and small breasts are rather idiosyncratic traits. But what kind of guy wants a girl just old enough to legally consent who never swears, dresses sexy and fashionable without actually caring about it, same for sports, and has the exact three kinds of sex they show in cookie-cutter porn? That's not a person. That's what you get if you ask RealDoll's research department for a toy that reconciles your horror of sluts with your hatred of prudes.

...also, the hot photo is supposed to be the one on the left, right?

Comment author: pjeby 11 November 2011 01:14:30AM 9 points [-]

And then just today I looked into it again, starting with the Dating market value test for women. I had trouble believing it was serious.

That's because it's a "blue line" test. At the beginning, it explicitly points out it's orienting on averages, and defining market value in terms of breadth of appeal. It doesn't mean lots of people will like a high scorer, it means lots of people won't rule out the high scorer.

In other words, the person who scores perfectly on this test will probably not be hideously offensive to anyone -- which means they don't get ruled out early in the selection process. But a low score just means they're more likely to need a "red line" strategy, aiming at strong appeal to a narrower audience, at the cost of turning more people off. (i.e., emphasizing one's supposed "defects" would attract people who like those qualities, while turning away more of those who don't)

(Ugh. I can't believe I'm defending that misogynist a*hole, but I don't see anything wrong with the test itself, just the conclusions/connotations being drawn from it.)

Comment author: Barry_Cotter 11 November 2011 12:40:15AM 3 points [-]

what kind of guy wants a girl just old enough to legally consent who never swears, dresses sexy and fashionable without actually caring about it, same for sports, and has the exact three kinds of sex they show in cookie-cutter porn?

An exaggeration of a real , very common type. The better the description fits the less common the type. Practically no one who reads this site would fall in that category (I think/hope) if only because boring people are boring.

Comment author: [deleted] 08 November 2011 01:17:25PM 2 points [-]

...also, the hot photo is supposed to be the one on the left, right?

Yes.

Comment author: Paradrop 08 November 2011 12:44:11PM 7 points [-]

I will respect properly written articles on almost any subject. Not these.

One thing I demand from authors claiming to be supported by "science" is that they won't make me stop thinking in mid read. The articles behind these links do not respect the reader's opinion. Instead of making you think, they seek to shock, trump and convince. I've seen this style and these patterns before in articles about climate denial, xenophobia and religious fundamentalists. (Seriously, a lifestyle article is not a valid citation.)

I'm not saying the author has not done his fair share of reading. I'm saying he should stop waving the "this is science"-sign with one hand and be clubbing down his readers with the other.

Comment author: wedrifid 08 November 2011 01:12:13PM 1 point [-]

One thing I demand from authors claiming to be supported by "science" is that they won't make me stop thinking in mid read.

The latter trait doesn't seem all that closely linked to 'science'. It is a quality of good authorship not science.

Comment author: taryneast 05 November 2011 09:39:31AM 5 points [-]

While it's definitely interesting to point out the correlation between egg-bank and attractiveness, I have to say that my god but that site is chauvanistic! Apparently, after "hitting the wall" a woman is "sexually worthless" o_O I do not agree.

Comment author: taryneast 06 November 2011 11:58:37AM 5 points [-]

Hmmm - my comment has been quite severely downvoted. Quite interesting. I'd like to know why.

perhaps I should point out the obvious mind projection fallacy inherent in the "sexually worthless" comment, instead of leaving it as an exercise to the reader... ?

After all, he didn't say "Due to my own personal predilections, i find that a woman over the age of 40 is no longer at all sexually attractive for me", but instead made his value judgment and considers it to be some kind of inherent value of the woman (ie value == 0) completely oblivious to the fact that other men (and possibly women) may have a different value-judgment of that woman.

I disagree with his assessment because her worth is not 0... just his own personal map-value for that woman.

Comment author: [deleted] 06 November 2011 12:14:26PM *  9 points [-]

I don't take Roissy all that seriously but have read quite a bit of his stuff. I've never understood him as comparing women's value as people, but rather their sexual value or dating value from the perspective of the (sort of) median man.

The sexual value is something determined by "the sexual marketplace". Sure some people like the less likeable, but they are pretty rare and thus on average the person with these traits will need to be less picky, since she/he runs into those interested in them less often.

Comment author: HughRistik 13 November 2011 10:42:02AM 4 points [-]

While mean sexual value is an important concept, as lukeprog points out with my graph, sometimes it is not relevant. The relevant metric of success in attracting people is something like "being over a cutoff of attractiveness for a subset of the population that you desire and that you can find, and where you don't face a punishing gender ratio in that niche."

For instance, regardless of your average attractiveness, you could be doing great even if 0.1% of the population is attracted to you, as long as (a) you know how to find them, (b) they fit your criteria, and (c) there isn't an oversaturation of people like you that you're competing with.

Comment author: taryneast 06 November 2011 06:19:54PM 11 points [-]

but rather their sexual value or dating value from the perspective of the (sort of) median man.

Yep, I can understand that. though his phraseology is very clearly as though it is an inherent value of her worth as a (sexual) person... which is what I found so unappetising.

I also disagree with his valuation. I know from... well knowing 40 YO women (and older), that they do indeed suffer from diminished sexual appeal - but certainly nowhere near zero. 40YOlds get it on all the time... therefore his valuation is wrong. It is limited by his own personal perspective - and that of the average young-ish man who is himself high up on the "sexual appeal" rating.

I can definitely understand that for a man who can "get anybody" - that they would try almost exclusively for younger women, and that therefore an older woman would hold no sex appeal for them... but for anybody not an alpha male... (especially 40-50YO average men), a 40YO woman would still hold some interest.

Her "value" on the marketplace is not zero.

Comment author: lessdazed 06 November 2011 05:47:10PM 2 points [-]

perhaps I should point out the obvious mind projection fallacy inherent in the "sexually worthless" comment, instead of leaving it as an exercise to the reader... ?

It depends. Was the context marketplace value or value to the individual who most values that person sexually? Ifthe latter, it was the MPF. If the former (which it implicitly probably was there), then I don't think marketplace valuations necessarily fail in that way.

They can still be wrong valuations.

Comment author: taryneast 06 November 2011 06:29:46PM 4 points [-]

I got the sense that he was actually using his personal valuation, and passing it off as a marketplace-valuation. His references to studies felt like he was trying to find facts to fit his own valuations. However - I'll freely admit that I have not read his stuff widely. This is one of those websites where I decided it would not be a good idea for me to keep going as it simply continued to fuel my anger. It was more rational simply to stop reading.

Comment author: Oligopsony 06 November 2011 12:55:26PM 2 points [-]

Hmmm - my comment has been quite severely downvoted. Quite interesting. I'd like to know why.

It's not the content of what you said (though, given the topic we're on, people are getting offended, this being one of the things LessWrong can't really discuss without exploding and drawing battle lines) but the way in which you said it; your online habitus automatically marks you as an outsider. Lurk a bit more and you'll get an idea of how to phrase things.

Comment author: taryneast 06 November 2011 06:26:40PM 5 points [-]

Thank you for responding. :)

Firstly - can you define "online habitus" in this context? the dictionary gives me "physical characteristics", but I'm not sure exactly how that relates here, but I've taken a stab at it:

ie that it was the emotive content of my comment that was objected to. I', surprised that the reaction against my personal expression of shock was disliked so much so that I was downvoted. Surely rational people are allowed to be offended too? :)

Am I allowed to personally respond to a site that objectifies women and rates their value as objects (and values them at literally zero) in a way that shows that I do not agree?

How should I have expressed my reaction in a way that would not have offended?

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 06 November 2011 08:41:30PM *  5 points [-]

Am I allowed to personally respond to a site that objectifies women and rates their value as objects (and values them at literally zero) in a way that shows that I do not agree?

First of all, let me say I didn't downvote you. Or upvote you either.

Secondly, there's some confusion of terminology here.

a) There's "agreement" in the sense of shared beliefs about the state of the world. (Epistemological agreement - ("is" statements)
b) There's "agreement" in the sense of shared beliefs about how the world should be. (Moral agreement - "ought" statements)
c) There's "agreement" in the sense of shared preferences. (Agreement in taste - "like" statements)

(a)s have objective truth value.
(c)s are subjective.
(b)s have people always debate about their objectivity/subjectivity thereof.

Now the three types aren't always clearly distinct. If someone makes a statement about "attractiveness" it's both a (c) statement about preferences, but it may also be a statement about what real-life people like on average -- in which case it can be an (a) statement about the distribution of preferences in a population, which has a truth value.

So, if someone calls someone else "sexually worthless", and you say you don't agree -- do you mean that you simply have different preferences -- are you making a (c) statement? That you believe his statement factually false -- you're making an (a) statement about the distribution of attraction feelings towards such women in the real world?

Or do you mean that you consider it MORALLY WRONG for him to speak and behave in such a rude way?

If the last of these, then "I morally object to such an attitude" is obviously a clearer way of talking about your objection rather than "I do not agree" which is vague and imprecise.

Comment author: lessdazed 06 November 2011 07:24:23PM *  17 points [-]

that site is chauvanistic

I upvoted your original comment but I disfavored this statement because it sounded like arguing against something by saying something other than "it isn't true".

If someone tells me "Japanese-Americans have average IQs 70 points higher than Korean-Americans," I don't have to try and refute that by saying "that's racist," because I have available the refutation "that's false". When I want to disfavor or shun a true idea that's unpopular, and can't say "that's false," I will have to say something else, such as "that's racist". Observers should notice when I do that, and estimate depending on the context how likely I was to respond with a negation like that had it been available.

Comment author: christina 06 November 2011 08:13:13PM *  4 points [-]

Factual incorrectness is not the only objection a person could have to something. In many cases, people present what they believe to be the facts and then give their response to those facts. For example, someone says that Amy is 80 years old. They could then decide:

1.) Amy should be treated with unquestioning respect--they want to live in a society that respects their elders.

2.) Suggest that Amy should treat her children with unquestioning respect since they will have to take care of her.

3.) Say that Amy should be accorded respect, but not unquestioning respect because their preference is to treat others in an egalitarian way.

4.) Any number of other things.

You could then have objections to either the fact they stated (if it is not true), or to preferences they stated (if yours differ), or to both. Preferences can reference facts, especially if they are contingent on facts to achieve other, more central, preferences. And so sometimes you can use facts to show that someone's preferences are not in accordance with their core preferences. But a person's core preferences only convey a fact about the person holding them, not a fact about the world. The world has no preference about what happens to us. Only we do.

Comment author: lessdazed 07 November 2011 05:48:41AM 1 point [-]

But a person's core preferences only convey a fact about the person holding them, not a fact about the world.

That's why people usually use other things to object with if they are available. I don't object to a critic's value judgement that an opinion is bad if spread, but the most convenient way for the critic to encourage me to disfavor the opinion is to convince me it is false. If the critic does something else, perhaps that is because the truth of the opinion is not contested.

Comment author: Alicorn 06 November 2011 07:33:40PM 1 point [-]

You don't think it's acceptable to argue against things by saying various forms of "it has bad consequences"?

Comment author: TheOtherDave 06 November 2011 07:43:43PM 10 points [-]

Not to speak for lessdazed, but what I understood them to be saying is that when I argue against a proposition P solely by pointing to the consequences of believing P, I am implicitly asserting the truth of P. I would agree with that.

I would say further that it's best not to implicitly assert the truth of false propositions, given a choice.

It follows that it's better for me to say "P is false, and also has bad consequences" than to say "P has bad consequences."

Comment author: lessdazed 06 November 2011 07:40:30PM *  5 points [-]

That wasn't how I saw the context here, because of the statement "I do not agree". Also, no consequences were enumerated. "I agree with the facts as stated, but think phrasing them this way has bad consequences," is a fine way to argue against a presentation of ideas.

I am very suspicious of obscuring truth in the name of positive consequences, of applying only or mostly first-order idea utilitarianism.

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 06 November 2011 08:43:48PM 5 points [-]

It's perfectly fine, for me at least, but I prefer moral objections to be specified more clearly than "I do not agree", which seem more appropriate for the disputing of factual statements. I discuss this in further detail in a comment of mine above.

Comment author: [deleted] 05 November 2011 10:15:56AM *  2 points [-]

I have to say that my god but that site is chauvanistic!

You haven't heard of Roissy before have you?

Comment author: [deleted] 06 November 2011 10:57:01AM *  2 points [-]

This dosen't deserve down votes. Roissy's style (aesthetically pleasing but quite outrageous) and persona are hard to stomach (at first?).

Comment author: JoshuaZ 06 November 2011 07:01:31PM 10 points [-]

at first.

Um, for many people (e.g. me) , it is hard to stomach at all, and I'm a het male, the sort of entity he is nominally writing for. The reason for this is simple: at a certain point style does reflect substance, and moreover, Sapir-Worf issues come into play.

Comment author: MixedNuts 16 November 2011 01:35:42AM 9 points [-]

Sometimes the persona comes across as fake and bizarre. Take this article on frame control. It's completely reasonable, and meshes well with what you'd read here or in books on social skills. Then he lazily throws in

Remember, girls don’t operate in a logical universe; they abide their emotions first and foremost.

and continues talking about framing, having reminded his readership that bitches be crazy. Maybe the equivalents reminders on LW ("Remember, humans don't operate in a logical universe; we abide by our biased emotions first and foremost") and social skills books ("Remember, humans don't operate in a logical universe; we abide by our emotions first and foremost, and that makes us wonderful beings because rationality means Spock") sound as artificial when you're not used to them?

Comment author: MichaelVassar 16 November 2011 01:03:27AM 1 point [-]

Agreed. There's a sense of futility in life there that doesn't really have an upside, or even a non-downside

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 06 November 2011 10:59:11PM 7 points [-]

Forever.. Ok, probability one minus epsilon.

I see the "just jealous" claim as equivalent to A attempting to lower B's status, and when B says they don't like it, A says "you just don't like having your status lowered, so your point should be ignored".

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 13 November 2011 03:12:05AM 2 points [-]

Why did you link to Roissy rather than laying out his argument in more neutral terms?

Comment author: [deleted] 13 November 2011 10:50:52PM *  4 points [-]

Whatever age it takes to get past peak attractiveness and fertility.

The comment was clearly something user CharlieSheen picked up from Roissy.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 03 November 2011 07:42:57PM 14 points [-]

Now, admittedly I haven't seen a whole lot of evidence in this area, but I've seen some, and I couldn't name a single woman I know personally who has ever, in my presence or by report that I've heard, gone for a jerk.

Perhaps this behavior is less common among women who would rather have a 15% chance of $1,000,000 than a certainty of $500 (because most random women I've tested choose the certain $500, but every single woman in our community that I've asked, regardless of math level or wealth level or economic literacy or their performance on the Cognitive Reflection Test, takes the 15% chance of $1M.)

Or maybe "jerk" is being used in some sense other than what I associate it with, i.e., wearing motorcycle jackets, rather than not caring about who else you hurt.

Comment author: lionhearted 06 November 2011 12:58:16AM 7 points [-]

Perhaps this behavior is less common among women who would rather have a 15% chance of $1,000,000 than a certainty of $500 (because most random women I've tested choose the certain $500, but every single woman in our community that I've asked, regardless of math level or wealth level or economic literacy or their performance on the Cognitive Reflection Test, takes the 15% chance of $1M.)

Whoa. A majority of people choose $500 in EV instead of $150,000?

That's scary. Have you written about this before? If not, care to give us rough numbers of how many people you've talked to about it? That blows my mind that a majority of people wouldn't get it when it's so far apart.

Comment author: Zack_M_Davis 08 November 2011 06:10:37PM 5 points [-]

Have you written about this before? If not, care to give us rough numbers of how many people you've talked to about it?

Consider item g in the first chart on page 10 of "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making" by Shane Fredrick. In this study, 31% of subjects with low scores on a "cognitive reflection test" took the 15% chance of the million dollars, whereas 60% of high-scoring subjects did. The p-value was less than 0.0001.

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 06 November 2011 04:38:37AM 9 points [-]

Keep in mind that utility isn't linear in money.

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 06 November 2011 04:46:48AM *  15 points [-]

No, but I doubt it's so non-linear for most people that it remotely justifies such a choice.

If someone e.g. urgently needs a life-saving surgery that requires 500$, then they may be justified to choose a certainty of $500 over a 15% probability of a million dollars. But outside such made-up scenarios, I very seriously doubt it.

Comment author: DanielVarga 06 November 2011 04:55:08PM 1 point [-]

Obviously, I agree. But let me ask: for what values of X would you choose X$ with 15% chance instead of 1,000,000,000$ with 100% chance?

A quite extreme, but still somewhat defensible theoretical assumption is that utility is logarithmic in money. I once heard Bernoulli already worked with this assumption, many hundred years before Neumann-Morgenstern, and it is probably not so silly to assume this near the power-law tail of the wealth distribution. Not that I think it means anything, but from this admittedly extreme starting point, we get that lg(500) = 2.7 is three times as useful as 0.15*lg(1000000) = 0.9.

Comment author: Luke_A_Somers 06 November 2011 08:02:17PM *  7 points [-]

That assumes someone who initially has $1, and in that case it's certainly true. If on the other hand you initially have, say, $10k...

log(10.5k) - log(10k) ≈ 0.02

0.15 * (log(1.01M) - log(10k)) ≈ 0.3

The crossover point based on this system is $191. Less than that, and you do better with $500. More than that, and you'd try for the million.

Comment author: jimmy 07 November 2011 07:14:00PM *  1 point [-]

That's not quite right in practice either. Even if you took all my money, I'd still take the 15% chance at $1M and maybe sell a 15% chance of $5k for $500.

Or if that is somehow not allowed, then I'd run into a bit of debt until my next pay check. Even if I really was spending all the money I make and averaging $0, $500 is a mere blip in the noise, not a factor of infinity more money.

It makes more sense to look at the total money in over whatever time scale you plan for.

Comment author: Luke_A_Somers 08 November 2011 02:27:01PM *  0 points [-]

Yeah, the prospect of other incomes makes a big difference. I neglected to include a requirement that the initial amount, whichever value it takes, is as much as you can come up with before you'll be needing money again.

Comment author: Michael_Sullivan 27 November 2011 04:37:34AM 0 points [-]

The present value of my expected future income stream from normal labor, plus my current estimated net worth is what I use when I do these calculations for myself as a business owner considering highly risky investments.

For most people with decent social capital (almost anyone middle class in a rich country), the minimum base number in typical situations should be something >200kUS$ even for those near bankruptcy.

Obviously, this does not cover non-typical situations involving extremely important time-sensitive opportunities requiring more cash than you can raise on short notice (such as the classic life-saving medical treatment required).

Comment author: DanielVarga 06 November 2011 09:24:41PM 0 points [-]

Very true, thanks, I missed that. Obviously I am not an economist. Maybe Eliezer has only ever asked the question from people having less than 191 dollars.

Comment author: HughRistik 10 November 2011 01:41:19AM *  2 points [-]

Many people are in debt. If you are, then your net worth is less than $191.

Comment author: wedrifid 10 November 2011 12:26:09PM *  0 points [-]

Why would people downvote this? Isn't it both correct and obvious? It also has fairly significant implication as to the extent of the applicability of the simplified model.

Comment author: Luke_A_Somers 08 November 2011 02:29:46PM 0 points [-]

The math works out that he's in contact with people with more than $191 - and that makes sense.

Comment author: DanielVarga 08 November 2011 10:09:07PM 0 points [-]

I meant the "random women" he was talking about.

Comment author: dbaupp 06 November 2011 01:22:03AM 3 points [-]

I would suggest that it is very easy to concentrate on the 85% chance of getting nothing, and so ignore the difference in EV.

Comment author: lionhearted 06 November 2011 01:42:29AM 3 points [-]

Indeed yeah. But we're not talking $500 vs. $900, we're talking orders of magnitude...

Comment author: Desrtopa 03 November 2011 07:56:19PM 12 points [-]

Now, admittedly I haven't seen a whole lot of evidence in this area, but I've seen some, and I couldn't name a single woman I know personally who has ever, in my presence or by report that I've heard, gone for a jerk.

I could name a fair number (in the "doesn't care about hurting others" sense, not the "wears motorcycle jackets" sense,) but none of them have been girls or women I would want to date me instead.

I suspect that the perceived trend owes a lot to a horns effect that guys build up around other guys who're dating girls they want to be dating.

Comment author: [deleted] 03 November 2011 08:43:27PM 2 points [-]

Was this downvoted because someone is just downvoting every single comment on this subthread because they don't like the idea of this topic being discussed here? Because I can't see anything wrong in Desrtopa's comment.

Comment author: [deleted] 04 November 2011 08:34:22PM *  1 point [-]

because most random women I've tested choose the certain $500, but every single woman in our community that I've asked, regardless of math level or wealth level or economic literacy or their performance on the Cognitive Reflection Test, takes the 15% chance of $1M.

Well, that doesn't surprise me but I don't think it's got that much to do with personality: I'd think that a person struggling to make ends meet would be a lot more likely to choose the sure $500 than a reasonably wealthy person, and I don't think there are many of the former kind among people who have enough spare time to read LessWrong, whereas there are lots of them among random people in the streets (at least in 2011 -- there probably were fewer in the 1980s, and more in the 1930s).

Comment author: lessdazed 05 November 2011 02:57:29AM *  6 points [-]

As a substantial portion of the population doesn't play the game of thought experiments very well, it would be worthwhile to ask a second, unrelated thought-experiment question. Anyone who says something like "But a fat man wouldn't weigh enough to stop a trolley!" or "You can't keep a violinist alive by connecting them to a person!" and also doesn't ask something like "Can I have investors bet on whether or not I will receive the $1M?" is just stupid.

Comment author: [deleted] 05 November 2011 11:04:05AM *  2 points [-]

Well, it just didn't occur to me that I could make such a bet.

(Or even, I might sell the lottery ticket with an auction: someone richer than me (who would assign roughly the same utility as me to $1M but much less utility than me to smaller amounts such as $500) might buy it for a lot more money.)

Comment author: lessdazed 05 November 2011 01:25:32PM 4 points [-]

If it wouldn't have seemed to you like a decisive refutation that a fat man might not be able stop a trolley, then you're not stupid, and didn't immediately think of auctioning off the ticket because you understand how these things are supposed to work.

Comment author: [deleted] 06 November 2011 06:17:36PM 3 points [-]

Well, I sometimes do think about non-LPCW answers to hypothetical dilemmas (though I don't say them aloud), but in this case I didn't even think of it. (I feel like my inclination to come up with non-LPCW answers is a function of the scenario's plausibility, but not a monotonic one.)

Comment author: JulianMorrison 20 December 2011 11:13:33AM -1 points [-]

I have a suspicion that this "effect" is exaggerated by the stickiness of abusive relationships - once a woman, by ill luck or trickery, does fall into a relationship with a jerk, she may find it difficult, even difficult in the sense of "serious physical danger", to shake permanently loose of it. The emotional reaction of "why would a woman go with that guy? he's such a jerk" is ignorance of how abuse works and "because she likes jerks" is a hypothesis being privileged because it reduces the feeling of dissonance.

Comment author: CronoDAS 11 November 2011 12:48:19AM 0 points [-]

For what it's worth, I can name one. She was a not-too-bright high school student, but her on again, off again boyfriend had definite sociopathic tendencies...

Comment author: [deleted] 03 November 2011 10:51:48AM *  9 points [-]

Does Chapter “You Just Ask Them” in Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman count as academic research? :-)

Comment author: VNKKET 07 November 2011 02:08:38AM 2 points [-]

You got me reading that chapter.

Comment author: adamisom 04 November 2011 04:15:35AM *  4 points [-]

To quote another user, Scott H Young, "superficial would be the right word to describe most aphorisms, as being merely pointers to a more nuanced set of beliefs". So I'm sure it just has to do with the fact that of the bundle of qualities aggregately known as "jerks", some of those qualities are attractive. Check out the blog Hooking Up Smart for more nuanced stuff on the idea of nice men vs jerks.

Comment author: sam0345 09 November 2011 01:39:08AM *  1 point [-]

I find that claim bewildering because the partnered men I know aren't jerks.

That is true. Pretty much every guy I know with a partners is quite decent,

Conversely however, the guys who score one hot chick after another, who don't have a partner except in the sense that they have half a dozen partners, those guys are jerks, Max Tucker being the infamous example.

I know a guy who is a male model and a thoroughly decent, caring and loving guy, also financially quite well off and highly intelligent. People pay him money to put his face and body on their products. Women often try to pick him up on sight. But after they get to know him a bit, they don't like him nearly so much. It does look to me that he is far too nice, and could profit from a fair bit of ruthless and cynical brutality towards women. I have put this to him, but he strenuously disagrees. He does not do that well with women, though if I had women hitting on me like he does, I know what I would do.

And while those partnered men are not jerks, they don't live up to politically correct standards for not being a jerk. Stereotypical women's work is largely done by their partner. So, yes, unlike Max Tucker, they are decent people, but our standards for a decent male person differs from that standard that one pretends to.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 09 November 2011 02:56:59AM 1 point [-]

Does the male model have any women he's spontaneously interested in, or is it all women who choose him more than him especially wanting them?

I don't know the details of enough households to be sure of the housework distribution. I can think of two where the men definitely weren't doing it. One ended in divorce (mostly for other reasons), the other seems to be stable. One household where I think it's pretty equal, but I'm not sure. Statistics back up the idea that husbands typically do less housework than their wives.

Comment author: sam0345 10 November 2011 04:57:17AM *  6 points [-]

Does the male model have any women he's spontaneously interested in, or is it all women who choose him more than him especially wanting them?

He is heterosexual. I don't know if his relationships started with him hitting on the girl or the girl hitting on him. I have seen quite a few hot chicks hit on him and he brushes them off, or pretends not to notice. With his girlfriends he acts excessively needy, and respectful, as if they are very important to him. I don't act that needy, even though women never hit on me, and are frequently hitting on him.

I don't see how he can actually be needy. Girls think he is candy when they first see him. But he acts needy, leaning in to his girlfriend rather than his girlfriend leaning into him. Needy body language, even though girls somehow appear whenever he is around.

Comment author: zslastman 11 October 2013 04:08:58PM *  1 point [-]

Why does this debate always assume that the causal arrow points from being a jerk to sexual success? We know that power over others tends to make you a jerk. Sexual attractiveness is power. Thus, attractive jerks.