Category Archives: Evolutionary Psychology

Intelligence and Attraction

SSM asks if women are attracted to intelligence?

My answer is probably, to a degree. Women are likely to be attracted to someone as smart or moderately smarter (about 15 IQ points or less) than themselves, as smarts are an indicator of superiority, triggering hypergamic impulses.

She also asks if so, why do STEM guys have such problems? The reason is that as the male’s superiority grows beyond a difference of about 15 (or so) IQ points, greater increases in the gap are counter-productive.

High intelligence differences make it hard for people to connect. At 30 IQ points difference it becomes very difficult for true communication to occur. The intelligent person of 130 IQ is as far removed intellectually from the average person as the average person is from the mentally handicapped. If you’ve talked with the mentally impaired, you know a true relationship is difficult, because you have to constantly dumb down your speaking; the same goes for the exceptionally intelligent and the average person.

The problem for STEM nerds arises in the differing distribution of intelligence between the sexes. While average intelligence is more or less similar, men are more variable than women: women tend to cluster around the mean of 100, while men are more likely to deviate from the mean and be exceptionally smart or exceptionally stupid. I discussed this a bit before here.

STEM people, with an average incoming IQ of about 110 are significantly more likely to be among the exceptionally intelligent.

So what happens is that your 145-point wunderkind can not communicate effectively with anyone below  115 (ie. the vast majority of woman), and would probably be most comfortable with a women with 130+. But, for every woman above 130, there are, say, 2 men above 130 because men are more highly represented at the extremes. So, not only is he completely cut off from the vast majority of women, he’s also competing against another man for a woman who he would be able to comfortably communicate with, and only one of them can get her.

From this, we can conclude that the ideal for a man on the dating market is to be in the 115-130 range. Bright, but not awkwardly so. A man in that range would be intelligent enough that most women would look up to him and respect him, but not so intelligent that he would be incapable of communicating with the majority of women. He would still likely be ‘awkward’ with many women below the average.

Once a passes beyond the 130 threshold he’s effectively cut off from half the female population and will be noticeably ‘awkward’ with the majority who are left.

After 115 IQ, increased intelligence begins to have diminishing returns. Somewhere within the 115-145 range there’s a point where intelligence actively detracts from your attractiveness with women as the increasing ‘awkwardness’ of being highly intelligent becomes more detrimental than the hypergamous benefits intelligence.

Conclusion: Intelligence is attractive to women, but past a certain point it becomes detrimental.

If you go to Roissy’s test, you will notice that he gives the range of 110-130 as being +1, 130-145 as being a 0, and 145+ as being a -1.


I would theorize from this that game is primarily the attempts of 120+ IQ men who are either in or approaching the ‘awkward’ range of intelligence and find themselves incapable of or impaired in communicating effectively with many, if not most women. By learning to mimic the relational habits of those with average intelligence, they can become successful with the average intelligence women who they would ordinarily be ‘awkward’ with. But, in the long run, they would find the average women they are now successful with to be dull, as she is either below or on the edges of his range of people he can effectively communicate with.

The Desire for Casual Sex and Relationships are not Incongruent

A new interview from Salon about men’s sexual preferences has been passed around lately. The interviewee, an Andrew Smiler, argues that men are not naturally promiscuous based on research he did for his book. Not surprisingly, Susan Walsh trumpeted this. So did Amanda Marcotte (it’s amazing how eager feminists who cry foul whenever men supposedly dictate their sexuality are to to dictate men’s sexuality to them).

Interestingly, the interviewer is one Tracy Clarke-Flory, who manospherians may remember as the former apologist for the hook-up culture who changed her mind as she began to hit the wall. Now that she no longer believes in casual sex, she now seems intent on showing men don’t like it either, because that would be convenient, wouldn’t it? There must be tons of men who are sick of the hook-up culture and just looking for The One (ie. her).

Obviously, I haven’t read Smiler’s book and don’t plan too. I’m far enough behind on my reading list already, so I hope I don’t misrepresent his arguments. If I do, he can feel free to correct me.


I’ll start with the Amazon blurb, just ’cause, then get to the interview. The book description:

In his groundbreaking new book, noted expert on teenage and adult masculine behavior Andrew Smiler debunks the myth that teenage boys and young men are barely able to control their sex drives, which may lead to destructive hyper-sexuality, unwanted pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases. Dr. Smiler? helps us recognize that the majority of boys and men do not fit this stereotype and that boys? sexual development is multi-faceted.? He also shows how this shift in attitude could help create young men who are more mature, and have better relationships with partners and friends.

I’ll ignore the weird punctuation, but notice how not having casual sex is somehow more “mature” and “better.” Now, as a reactionary Christian, I think casual sex is a sin and that marriage is better for society, but to anyone who does not have a reactionary Christians pre-suppositions regarding sex and marriage, judging free life choices as more mature or better is just silly. Either sex is reserved for marriage or it is a free lifestyle choice. From the interview is seem unlikely that Smiler is one of the “religious guys”.

There is no moral difference between a casual hook-up, a short-term relationship, or a long-term, non-marriage, relationship. All are simply life-style chocies, none are more mature and certainly none are “better” (however better may be defined absent strong pre-suppositions on the spiritual and societal value of sex).

Here are the “4 Ways the Casanova Stereotype Is Incorrect” according to the book as per the Amazon editorial review:

Most guys want only a few partners
Anonymous surveys of undergraduates tell us that about 25% of young men want 2 or more partners in the next 30 days; that means 75% of guys want 0 or 1 partners during that time. If all – or even most – guys are Casanovas, many more should tell us they want multiple partners in the next 30 days.

This is obviously stupid. A full quarter of guys want 2+ different partners in the next month (if extended to a year, that would be 24+). This tells us is that 25% of guys do fit the “Casanova Stereotype” (to a degree).

Three quarters want 0-1. This tells us nothing. A man wanting one partner in the next month time horizon is meaningless; maybe he’s busy, maybe he likes STR’s rather than ONS’, maybe more than one is a pain in the ass (or expensive), maybe he’s tired. Who knows? It’s meaningless.

As for those wanting zero partners in the next month, are they asexual? Probably not, it just means that in a short time frame, they decided the cost is not worth the potential benefits.

All we really learned is that at least 25% of guys want a lot of partners.

Most guys have only a few partners
In studies that ask young men to describe their sexual behavior, about 15% of guys say they had 3 or more partners in the last 12 months and only about 5% of guys say they’ve had 3 or more partners each of the last 3 years. Together, these numbers tell us few guys actually live like Casanovas.

Any idiot can tell you is and ought are not the same thing. Just because 80-85% of guys have <2 partners does not mean that they only want <2 partners. There are a lot of variables (particularly the one where most men are not overly successful with women).

Most guys do want relationships
According to the stereotype, guys only want sex and aren’t interested in relationships. If it’s difficult to get your son to clean his room, how difficult must it be to get him to date when he supposedly doesn’t want to? Real life says that most guys choose relationships and enjoy them. In fact, about 90% of guys will get married at least once.

Mmm-hmmm… Again: is and ought. Not all men can be Hugh Hefner.

Also, relationships and sex are not the same drives, but sex is intrinsic to relationships. Men could (and do) want both relationships and casual sex.

Puberty is not only about sex
Puberty includes sexual development as well as other aspects of physical development like increased height and broadening of the shoulders that help distinguish men from boys. Puberty is one change among many for adolescents: changes in the way they think and understand the world, new concerns about personal identity, and a shift away from parents towards friends. Sexual development is just one part of growing up; it’s influenced by and influences each of those other changes.

Completely irrelevant to a discussion of the “Casanova Stereotype”.

So, so far, it seems his logic is faulty,  his grasp of statistics shaky, and his philosophy defective, but this was just the Amazon book blurb.


Let’s check the interview.

This stereotype “tells us that guys are primarily interested in sex, not relationships,” he writes. “This contributes to the notion that guys are emotional clods who are incapable of connecting with their partners because, hey, they’re just guys, and guys are only interested in sex. “ The result is the belief that “guys shouldn’t be expected to achieve any type of ‘real’ emotional intimacy with their partners.”

This is idiotic. It’s not a dichotomy. Even when they are interested in relationships, sex is a major component of a relationship. They are interested in both, to varying degrees on a personal basis.

If Casanova-style promiscuity is men’s naturally evolved state, then why do most men want no more than one partner?

My guess, they have some understanding of their market value and act accordingly.

All of the research that we have show that it’s only a minority of guys who have multiple partners per year, and I typically talk about this as three partners a year because that’s the Casanova average.

Here we go: again, mistaking is and ought. Desire does not necessitate ability.

It’s actually a minority of guys who want multiple short-term partners — that even comes up in the evolutionary research.

We’ve already dealt with this. Unless he has better evidence in his book than the evidence he used for his blurb (which would seem unlikely to me; wouldn’t you put your best bit of support out there) you can not draw this conclusion.

It made it out of scientific circles and into popular culture in the 1980s as sociobiology, and parts of it got recreated as evolutionary psychology in the 1990s. So it’s gotten a lot of press attention as a new theory. Another part is it really caught on because it gives us essentially a simple answer to a difficult question and, for whatever reason, we here in the U.S., if not in many other places, really like those simple answers to difficult questions.

Obviously, he’s not boned up on either his history or religion. Spreading the seed goes far older than that. King David had many wives and still slept with Bathsheba. Solomon had 700 wives, and 300 concubines to boot. I’m sure other ancient faiths/traditions have their own stories of men engaging in mass copulation. Ghengis Khan had untold partners. I could go on ad infinitum, but why? Polygamy is ancient. Men spreading their seed across numerous partners is ancient and precedes 1980’s popular culture by millenia.

In mainstream media we’ve had all of this stuff on TV since the 1970s that really promotes this idea of promiscuous young men. The history, as far as I can tell, really starts with Fonzie on “Happy Days” and “Hawkeye” Pierce on “M*A*S*H.” And it continues with guys like Sam Malone on “Cheers” and Charlie Sheen’s character on “Two and a Half Men” and Barney on “How I Met Your Mother.” For several years now we’ve had so-called good guys who were also promiscuous. If you looked at TV and movies from the ’50s and ’60s, the promiscuous guys were always very clearly the bad example.

That sounds almost socially conservative of him. Interesting how at one point society discouraged anti-social behaviour.

If you look at the public health research tracking things like unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, that research typically shows about 15 percent of guys have three or more partners in any given 12-month span. If you follow those guys over time the number of guys who have three or more partners a year for as long as three years, that drops to about 5 percent. So there are definitely some guys out there who are doing it — but it’s really a small percentage of guys. By contrast, if you look at guys who are very religious, that’s about 15 percent of guys, and most of them really are devoutly religious, really dedicated to their partner. There’s way more of that than guys that are having three partners per year for three years.

Again, he implies desire necessitates capability.

Also, no offence to religious guys, but abstaining is more attainable, though not necessarily easier, than 3+ partners a year.

Let me go back to the religious guys for a minute. They will often talk about dating as courting and using this model that comes to us from the 1950s: you met someone you were interested in, you asked them out on a first date and then a second date, and there was this fairly clear understanding of what type of physical behavior was supposed to happen.
…But what most young men and young women are experiencing today is that we’ve gotten away from that script.

I will insert here a sad lament for the good ol’ days.

What most guys seek, and this seems to be regardless of sexual orientation or age, they’re looking for people whose company they enjoy. People who appreciate them for who they are. We know that a couple tends to be similar in age. More often than not folks match on ethnicity, political orientation and religiosity. The thing that ultimate grounds it are personality match, similar sense of humor, similar tastes in music, TV and movies, similar activities, because you want to be able to do things with your sweetie and you want someone who gets you.

What does this have to do with sex though?

There is a distinction between a man’s lust drive and his love drive. All these are what a man looks for in love; none have to do with sex.

What we know is that most guys do get into relationships, they enjoy relationships, they do a lot of things in relationships that are not about sex and they’re not doing them just to put up with them in order to get sex. Guys get something out of relationships; they like relationships. If you add in the fact that average age of first marriage is something like 28 for guys, a lot of guys have the sense that this girl they’re starting to date at 17 or 19 or 21 probably isn’t going to be the one — and yet they are choosing to date. They could easily choose to just hook up — or instead of spending that money in a bar you could get a prostitute — but they’re consistently choosing to be in relationships.

Again, I ask, what does that have to do with sex?


From this interview we can see his reasoning is based aroundthree major mistakes:

1) He assumes that men are getting exactly as much sex as they desire in the way they desire. He completely discounts that for most men, they do not get anywhere near the amount of sex they desire in the way they desire it. This false assumption is especially bitter given M3’s confession earlier this week.

Men are not women. We can not just walk into a bar, say “let’s have sex” and receive it. I can understand this kind of solipsism from females and feminists, but Smiler should know better.

2) He incorrectly implies that sex drives and relationship drives are the same in some parts of the interview, but, somehow, at the same time implies an artificial dichotomy a man’s desire for sex and his desire for a relationship. Somehow he jumps between these two mutually contradictory unspoken pre-suppositions.

They are two are different desires and can not be mistaken for each other, but at the same same time they are not mutually exclusive. Just because a man desires a relationship does not mean that he does not desire meaningless sex at the same time. As well, a desire for sex is an intrinsic part of a desire for a relationship.

3) He does not seem to recognize the distinction between a man’s “desires” and his “wants”. A healthy young man typically “desires” to sex anything youngish within proximity having two legs, two breasts, a vagina, and a decent hip-to-waist ratio.

He does not always “want” to sex said young thing because of the potential consequences. He could go to jail for rape if he followed his desire through without consent (or if she was a little too young), he could be charged with sexual harassment if he expressed said desire inappropriately, the maxim “don’t stick your dick in crazy” always applies, he could have a fear of knocking her up or STD’s, he could have religious or moral objections, he could just decide it’s not worth the effort, etc. The reasons he may not want what he desires are endless. Men don’t always “want” what they “desire” because often the cost of what they desire is higher than the benefits.

Evolutionary psychology explanations would typically deal primarily with desires. Freudian psychology (id, ego, & superego), sociology, and economics would handle how “desire” is is expressed in “want”. You can not apply the superego outcomes to determine the full range of the desires of the id.


Now, there is some interesting information in all this and there are probably some interesting conclusions that can be drawn.

But what it does not show is that “Guys don’t want casual sex!” or “Men Want Sex with Girlfriends, Not Randoms“.

All it shows is that a lot of people do not understand the difference between what someone may want and what someone actually receives.


So, for all those who are confused I’ll explain what men want:

Men desire both relationships and sex at the same time concurrently. The exact amount of each desired will differ between individual men, but what most men would ideally desire is both, but not with the same people.

The ideal sexual situation for most males (morality/religion aside) would be a single life partner to love, make home with, and, possibly, sire children with and a side harem of dozens of women for sex and fun.

Obviously, this is impossible for all but the most sought after men. We can’t all be King Solomon.

We can’t all have both a doting wife and a string of sexy, low-maintenance mistresses, the wife would get upset and the mistresses would demand more.

So we compromise.

Being unable to fulfill the mating strategies of both promiscuity and marriage, each individual man will choose a strategy based on their personal preferences between the two mating strategies and their perceived value on the sexual marketplace.

Some men on one moral extreme (the “religious guys”) will go for the best women they think they can get, scoop her up, and marry her. Some men of high sexual value and the other moral extreme (the “Casanova Stereotype”) will sleep around with as many gals as they can (some men of low sexual value will try to be Casanova’s and fail). Some men (the “losers”) will never find a woman and will masturbate in their Real Doll.

Most men do not belong to one of these extremes of sexual morality and value, but rather are somewhere in the middle. In our current mating market, they will adopt a middling strategy. They will go through a number of relationships (based on their market value and preferences) which provide sex and companionship without commitment so they can still try diversity if/when they get bored of their current partner. Between these relationships, they will try to get occasionally lucky with casual hook-ups. Then at some point, they will decide they can’t get better than what they have and marry off. After marrying, depending on their morality, they may get some casual sex on the side.

Men desire both casual sex and relationship concurrently. It is not a dichotomy and they are not mutually exclusive.

It’s all Related

The Captain has a post up where he argues economics and the manosphere are one and the same.

I agree, but would go further.

All the fights we in the manosphere/alt-right/traditionalist blogosphere pick are the same fight. Free-market economics, anti-feminism, traditional marriage, game, human bio-diversity, opposition to public schooling, gun freedoms, IQ, the paleo diet, anti-environmentalism, anti-internationalism, anti-egalitarianism, etc. are all facets of the same thing: the fight against government-backed unreality.


The fundamental truth underlying human existence is evolutionary biology/psychology and/or man’s fallen nature, which are essentially the same for all practical purposes. Humans were evolved or created to have a genetic structure which expresses itself in certain drives, abilities, and proclivities which we refer to as human nature and these will express themselves differently in people of varied genetic structure. Human nature can be, to some limited extent, controlled and directed by society and environment.

Up until sometime in the 18th century, this view of human nature (with some variation and minus the genetics) was well-accepted. This began to change when Rousseau argued that human nature was heavily malleable and Marx argued that human nature did not exist. The rejection of human nature became increasingly accepted in certain circles, until the 1960’s and 1970’s, when the long march through culture triumphed. Progressive ideology was wholly taken over by those denying the existence human nature and over the next few decades this progressivism became the dominant ideology of the West.

Under this ideology, human nature does not exist, rather man’s nature is determined primarily or solely by the social environment. Man could be perfected through better social institutions, particularly the state. So, the progressivists began to expand the state to

Meanwhile, traditional social institutions, such as the church, family, the nation, etc. were seen to be hindering the perfection of man. They either needed to be co-opted (as the mainline liberal churches were) or destroyed (as the traditional has been).

The elites with political and financial power, realized the power they could gain by expanding the state and jumped on the progressivist band-wagon whole hog. Other groups, such as environmentalists, whose ideology depended on state control, joined the progressivist band-wagon.

The left, which traditionally had been hostile to the state, became the vehicle of the state. Various interests, many diametrically opposed, rallied around the cause of the state to expand thier interests and power. It is now to the point where the original goals are barely more than smoke-screens to justify furthered expansion of the state.

Meanwhile, conservatives, who work to preserve current reality, are generally busy fighting to defend the progressivism that has already been put in place. They are softer progressivists unable and unwilling to fight the underlying progressivism of society.


That leaves the manosphere, the alt-right, and other such fringe movements to fight against progressivism on their own, and everything they fight comes from the belief in either the denial of human nature and the desire to perfect humanity or the expansion of the state.

Feminism is predicated on the belief they are no real psychological differences between the sexes that could lead to different outcomes.

Game is the application of insights from evolutionary psychology to sexual, to counteract advice stemming from the denial of psychological differences between the sexes.

The destruction of traditional marriage and family comes from the desire for perfectibility.

The public education system is the most direct attempt to remake man in man’s image, the glorification of the state through learned helplessness, and the agitprop to sustain the beliefs in the perfectibility of man.

The denial of HBD and IQ and egalitarianism is necessary to believe in the perfectibility of man and the denial of human nature.

Modern environmentalism (as opposed to traditional conservationism) is a justification for the expansion of the state and the international bureaucracy.

Internationalism is the expansion of the state through the creation of new super-states.

Keynesian economics is an ideological tool to justify the expansion of the state.

It is all the same.


Of course, as science develop, it becomes increasingly clear that the existence of an intrinsic human nature is very much a reality.The shibboleths of egalitarianism, feminism, and the like become increasingly unsupportable.

As economic evidence piles up from the former Soviet Union, from Germany, from Korea, from Estonia, from Europe, from the US, from Canada, etc. it becomes increasingly clear that statism is bad for society. Thus support for communism become support for socialism, socialism become progressivism, progressivism become keynesianism. Each ideological change cedes more intellectual capital to the free market, but the centrality of the worship of the state remains.

As the schools continue to fail, the perfectibility of man becomes increasingly far away. As the traditional family fails and the problems of divorce and single-parenthood become clear, the function of traditional institutions become increasingly transparent.

The state has propped the ailing progressivist structure up, but as the state goes increasingly bankrupt, there will be no fallback.

The structure of lies is failing and the manosphere, alt-right, etc. are there to prevent, ameliorate, or simply explain the collapse. At the very least, we help others who wish to see, see and benefit for themselves.


Why is the manosphere involved?

Because, the single most dangerous organism the world has produced is the single young adult male. The best way to control society is to control and destroy the male. If not restrained, males could overthrow the balance of society and destroy the edifice of lies that has been erected.

Of course, this restraining has negative impacts on males. As well, to the consternation of females, leftists, and conservatives, men respond to the incentives of such a structure in a logical way.

The manosphere is involved because males are the major target of the progressivist campaign. They are also the major losers in this campaign.


The problem is, too many, in the manosphere and in allied blogospheres, only focus on a single factor facing us. The red pill is not a single factor, picking and choosing too focus on a single factor, while ignoring the others misses the larger picture.

Game is only a stop-gap and MGTOWs have abandoned the fight entirely, we need more. Focusing only on economics,as many libertarians are apt, misses the underlying culture that allow a free market to function. Conservatism that buys into feminism only works to undermine what conservatives supposedly stand for. Big government conservatives who focus on culture, but ignore the free market, only undermine the culture; you can have society or the state, not both. Those who ignore the public education system or simply avoid children, hand the future to the progressivists.

We need to swallow the red pill whole if we are to win, not just a few parts of it.

Evolutionary Psychology, Politics, and Bad Science

Came across a Slate XX article from last week on evolutionary psychology.

The article essentially boils down to: evolutionary psychology research that supports my preconceived biases is good, evolutionary psychology that argues against my ideology is bad.

The article starts with the author complaining about evo-psych, leading into this:

There’s nothing inherently wrong with evolutionary psychology—our thoughts and behaviors have been shaped by millions of years of hominid evolutionary history, and it’s worth studying how natural selection acted on traits that we still express today. But too often, evolutionary psychology is a force for social conservatism.

The reason evolutionary psychology is usually a force for social conservatism, is because social conservatism is the inherited wisdom of thousands of years of adaptation by human society to biological reality.

Evolutionary psychology will inherently be socially conservative, because (true*) social conservatism is inherently about man controlling its biological nature so society can function. (Religious conservatives will refer to man’s “fallen nature” and political philosophers will refer to the “state of nature”, which are the same thing for all practical purposes).

Left-liberalism (from which most of feminism springs) is not about managing the biology of man, it is about using reason and/or morality to overcome the “state of nature” for the benefit of all.

Left-liberalism usually derives from either (or a combination of) Rousseau’s amoral, self-interested, animal-like state of nature or from Marxian ideology where human nature does not exist as a fundamental concept, but comes from social relations and man’s relations to his work. (Conservatives usually work off Hobbes’ violent and warlike state of nature; libertarians and classical liberals generally work off Locke’s  anarchic, fully free state of nature and of war.)

From the Rousseauian state of nature, men come together in cooperation and submit to the general will as designed through a social contract for mutual benefit. By uniting under the social contract a man can be ennobled, and his corruption comes only through failures of the social contract. By bettering the social contract, man may be further ennobled. Under a human nature based on social relations, the improvement of social and economic conditions will lead to an improvement in human nature and behaviour.

Left-liberal thought is essentially about the perfectibility of man through changing social conditions so he can better himself beyond the limitations of human nature.

In social conservative thought man cannot be perfected and will always be controlled by his human nature. His nature can only be constrained by social instructions, but never altered.

This is the essential and primary difference between the two ideologies.

This is political theory 101. If our education system even remotely resembled a traditional classical liberal education, the author would know this.

If she knew this, she would not be arguing against evolutionary psychology (when it supports social conservatism) or for it (when it supports feminist ideology). She would know that her ideology is one where social and economic relations are shaped through cooperation (the general will ) to create a society based on the common good, overcoming the limitations of man in a state of nature.

Know this: evolutionary psychology will always support (true*) social conservatism, because social conservatism is simply the attempt to control the state of nature so society can function.

To the liberal or leftist, this should not matter. Whatever evolutionary psychology will say, it can neither support nor discredit left-liberalism, because left-liberal ideology exists independently of human nature. It exists as an ideology of social relationships overcoming the limitations of human nature (or it simply rejects human nature, and therefore evolutionary psychology outright).

The only way evolutionary psychology can matter, at all, to left-liberal ideology is if it eliminates the possibility that changing social relations can possibly be used to improve mankind’s lot. If this occurs, the entirety of liberal-leftism will be intellectually unsustainable and void of any claim to truth.

In other words, the only way evolutionary psychology can have any impact on the truth claims of left-liberalism is to entirely overthrow it.

By even considering evolutionary psychology’s impact on the truth of ideology, the author is fundamentally undermining her own.


Researchers identify a pattern of behavior, usually some stereotypical sex difference (in part because it’s easy to measure whether men and women score differently on a standardized test), construct a scenario in which that behavior would have been adaptive in the distant past, and say the behavior is therefore evolutionarily selected and encoded in our genes.

It’s tricky to disprove the notion that some human trait is the result of evolution. The logic is circular: if some trait exists, it must not have been fatal to our ancestors and it may have helped them reproduce. To critique a claim of evolutionary privilege, you have to show that the trait has no genetic component and therefore can’t be inherited, or demonstrate that the trait is instilled by culture, not necessarily biology.

Partially correct: it’s impossible to disprove the notion that some human trait is the result of evolution (if it’s genetic in origin).

To show that a trait is not a result of evolution requires that the trait is not genetically based.

If a behaviour is genetic in origin (and is not a random mutation or transcription error, such as Down’s Syndrome, or exceedingly rare/recessive, such as Tay–Sachs) it must have not have been fatal to humans prior to reproduction and, in highest likelihood, either is beneficial to reproduction or is linked to a trait that is beneficial to reproduction.

Any genetic trait is a product of evolution and therefore, evolution must have produced said genetic trait. Any genetic trait evolution produces must have been adaptive; the explanatory reason of why it is adaptive may not be correct, but it is impossible that the trait was not adaptive (or at least not harmful).

It may be somewhat circular, but, if you hold to Darwinian evolution, it is logically necessary. The only way to not accept evolutionary psychology is to deny Darwinian evolution.


You’re supposed to want someone stronger, smarter, and richer than you. Someone who would sire healthy offspring and protect them from saber-toothed cats on the Pleistocene Epoch savanna.

Not “are supposed to”: “do”.

Evolution (and evolutionary psychology) is not prescriptive, it is descriptive of the large statistical trends of human society.

Just because evolutionary psychology says that something evolved in most humans does not mean you have to follow it (although, you statistically will) and it does not mean it applies in every case (some individuals will always be genetically aberrant and display behaviours and traits outside of what is statistically normal).

This is the kind of logic used by fourth-tier intellects arguing creationism in Youtube comments (IF EVALUTIAN IS RONG, Y U NOT SUPPORT HITLER AND SURVIAL OF TEH FITIST!?! HIPOCRIT!!!… durr). How a middle-brow publication like Slate allows this kind of stupidity through is beyond me. If it was somebody from the Discovery Institute arguing like this, he’d be laughed out of the room.


The first few paragraphs of her post are complaints about what she believes to be “bad” science in evolutionary psychology. So, what does she list as the study that redeems evolutionary psychology:

And that’s why my favorite paper of the week is “Stepping Out of the Caveman’s Shadow: Nations’ Gender Gap Predicts Degree of Sex Differentiation in Mate Preferences.” Marcel Zentner and Klaudia Mitura of the University of York, U.K., asked more than 3,000 people in 10 countries what they valued in a mate. On a four-point scale, people rated the importance of various qualities: chastity, ambition, financial prospects, good looks, etc.—all identified by Buss and his likeminded peers as being qualities that only men or only women are evolutionarily predisposed to seek out.

Wonderful. A self-selected internet survey based on self-identified preferences somehow overturns all the carefully designed studies using brain scans, monitoring of biological functions, priming, and so on that support the conclusions of evolutionary psychology. That’s some good science.

The researchers used a World Economic Forum measure of gender equality to rank the 10 countries as (a) relatively gender-equal, (b) backwards but improving, or (c) screamingly sexist (my  terms, not theirs). And the results were clear: The more egalitarian the country, the less likely men and women were to value traditional qualities that Buss and co. believe to be innate. In Germany, women said they’d very much like a man who is a good housekeeper. In Finland, men were more likely than women to prefer a mate a bit smarter than themselves. In the United States, women ranked chastity as more important than men did. At the other end of the scale, in Turkey and South Korea, women wanted mates with good financial prospects and men valued good cooks.

Essentially, the survey finds that when asked about sensitive and potentially controversial topics over the internet, a self-selected group of people will give strangers the socially-approved answer. Thank you Slate for pointing out this stunning observation.

In case your sarcasm detector is malfunctioning, the study is complete and utter crap and drawing any conclusions about evolutionary biology from it is idiotic.

As the manosphere says repeatedly and consistently, look at what people do, not what they say.


So, in conclusion, this article is mostly bunk. It’s a mishmash of a person’s ignorance of her own ideological underpinnings, wishful thinking, fourth-rate logic, and a person determining “good” science based on her own ideological biases.

In other words, it’s typical feminism.


* I say true social conservatism, because a fair amount of what we call social conservatism now, is simply the repackaged liberalism of the last century. Actual social conservatives would generally be called paleo-conservatives. ie: Being against gay marriage, but believing in marriage for love does not a social conservative make, it only makes a liberal who doesn’t like homosexual marriage; to be a social conservative requires a traditional view of marriage as an economic, sexual, and (possibly) religious relationship based around the creation and raising of children.