Men floundering, women most affected
This is a wicked problem when viewed from a societal scale. So much of one's view of the opposite sex can be driven by emotional hurt and personal resentment toward a specific one or a few individuals. I assume that when a young woman is repeatedly used for sex and discarded that her perception of "what men are like" will inevitably make it hard for her to trust/bond. (With a similar dynamic for young men who have a handful of bad experiences with women.)
I don't believe it was addressed in this piece, but the general desire of women for men the same age or older is also relevant. I've read elsewhere that the supply and demand dynamics on Tinder and other dating sites become so unbalanced for moderately successful men (even nerdy types) in their early-30s that there are dozens of women trying to "catch" them. This makes it even less likely that they settle down just when their options are increasing. And attractive, smart, caring women who want to get married arrive at age 30 and find that the 40:60 ratio from college has turned into 10:90 when an "eligible" man means 30+, still single, educated, high salary, tall, etc.
Perhaps there is a way out as it becomes apparent that dating in the age of Tinder/social media has made both women and men miserable. I can see opting out of Tinder, etc. becoming high status for young women. It's hard for me to imagine it becoming high status for most young men, except for those in serious relationship with a woman who is seen as a great "catch" by other men.
I went to a prestigious university, and when we were first dating, my now-husband told me point blank “I don’t have a degree, and you need to decide if that’s important to you. I’m not talking about it anymore.”
I found it pretty jarring at the time, but it was the first time I had to actually confront why I’d assumed that I could only marry someone with an education similar to mine. Ultimately all of those reasons were pretty shallow, and I was able to move past them.
Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if he hadn’t been willing to confront me like that. I’d probably still be unmarried and constantly complaining about how there are no good men out there.
In the study by the U of British Columbia sociologist finding women marred to less educated men who earn more... I wonder how many of those women were able to gain more education *because* they married men who could afford to support them in that endeavor.
"Interestingly, women at colleges where women are more numerous trust men less."
In my opinion this happens when women are too numerous. Many are not considered as dating material, grow angry and distrustful of men (because it can't possibly be them-accoording to their "sisters." Voila! You now have a man hating society filled with feminists and men who agree with them.
BTW, those guys who figured out how to get a research grant involving looking at lots of sexy selfies are clever lads. Best of both worlds.
Very thought provoking. I used to be in the video game + porn + arrogantly entitled crowd, and it was not for me.
“people may be less willing to work at any given wage” this is a concept I struggle to wrap my mind around.
The participants in the study are young, and you note their feelings may change in middle age. They’re living with relatives now, surely there will come a point where they must work to survive? Can this entire group sponge off their families for their entire lives? are we at a point in society where people don’t need to work to get their basic needs met? My understanding is that welfare programs provide barley enough for substance, so how is it there’s is this giant group of ppl who don’t have to work to survive?
As an outsider the dating world seems like a bleak hell scape. I have some super woke family and they show me ‘offensive’ wrongthink men on dating apps have put in their text and email exchanges which leads to them ending conversations with men and dating no one. I often think after reading the exchanges - that is not offensive and It’s not surprising these women are single. It’s like they’re looking for any excuse to eviscerate men and say there is no one out there. To be clear everyone should have standards but what I’m seeing is ridiculous.
Also the rise in polyamory I would be interested in reading more articles on it and how this trend is impacting men and women.
I recently went to a concert and met a 25-year-old woman who was there with a 38-year-old man. He left to go buy drinks, and she immediately told everyone around her that she met him at an NFL house party and agreed to go out with him because he owned a vintage truck that to her, signaled his wealth. “I was totally wrong about him,” she said, “but now we’ve been dating a couple of months so I don’t know.”
During the evening the guy got totally smashed, went into the women’s bathroom to look for her, and they ended up getting in a shouting match at the concert and he left. She went after him, but all of us knew how much she loved the band and we convinced her to stay for the set, and hopefully convinced her to break-up.
I think women look for financial security above all else in selecting a partner. Education is an obvious indicator that a man will most likely be financially well-off, but for those who exist outside the realm of academia, a vintage truck may work as a substitute.
Sex ratios are a key driver of human history, mostly expressed in wars. War itself is a product of sex difference and ratio. Historians at conferences centuries hence will conclude pornography altered human males in profoundly negative ways, especially for women.
For all those men interpreting this as women having some deep biological urge to be hypergamous, i.e. mate with men who have high status/earnings, please explain the following facts.
Historically and cross-culturally, women never live as free individuals, they live imbedded in families.
In patriarchal societies, those families tend to be obsessed with controlling the sexuality of their daughters because it is dangerous to the family's material interests.
Once the girl reaches puberty, she is kept under close surveillance, often with chaperones or in purdah, cannot go out alone, etc.
Why? Because the silly girl is likely to be the victim of her hormones and run off with some young ne'er-do-well rather than the sensible choice, i.e. the older, well-off man their parents chose for her and who will give her and her family financial security and social status.
And all societies have stories about the immature, rebellious, boy-crazy teenager who "followed her heart" ran off with that young guy against her parents' wishes and was either abandoned or lived a poor life with him.
And keeps trying to impress on young girls the importance of being obedient and responsible and sensible, i.e. following her head rather than her heart, because marriage isn't about "love".
Most girls do end up following their parents' and society's wishes, and have those arranged marriages, and, we are told, that "works well" and she "comes to love him" eventually.
In more modern and individualistic cultures without arranged marriages, those pressures still exist in a different form.
It is only very recently that women have had the financial independence to be able to consider "following their hearts" rather than their heads in love and marriage, and that complicates things.
but there is still often a conflict between head and heart, the ideal being to "have your cake and eat it too", i.e. a soulmate who is also a financially responsible partner.
Great rework of a classic article. As a student of human nature, do you think it's inevitable that the highest status men will always be polyamorous? I think of the classic Chris Rock "a man is exactly as faithful as his options" bit. Most of my friends are happily married, but we have one buddy who has always been the best with girls, who has never settled down and continues to date around. The rest of us joke that our marriages only work because we have less game and don't have as many tempting options as him.
Not sure what percent of the dating population are in the trades with degrees and eductation therein but you failed to mention this sector of the dating game. Why not.
I wonder how much of the problem is not that women have more educational credentials, it's that they haven't really learned much. College is ground zero for a lot of what's wrong with America.
In the narrow case, one can talk about gender studies programs that don't teach about the biology of sex, but in the broader case, one can talk about people who have graduate degrees but have never been required to learn anything about history, civics, finance, physics, ethics, etc. etc.
Speaking as someone who is back in school for yet another graduate degree, I can say that possessing this degree is not something that I would consider a positive in evaluating someone's merit as a potential partner.
I predict a lot more affairs in the future..as educated women will have incentives to comported with partnered females for their males. I also had t considered that hookup culture might be a female concession to a lvl of partners vs. a liberation from the necessity of being in a relationship with an asshole until you could find a respectful sex partner.
The only optimistic way I see this going is for women to start getting, for lack of a bette word, trophy husbands and look for good fathers. There is one stay at home Dad at the local public well off elementary on the PTA and the family definitely has status. In my circle they are rare enough I've only met two, but a stay at home dad seems like the ultimate status item. If that belief gets more normalised I think a lot of women will be happier.
From the "significance" section of the last study cited, about sexy selfies: "Female sexualization is increasing, and scholars are divided on whether this trend reflects a form of gendered oppression or an expression of female competitiveness.." One sentence later, "We found no association with gender oppression." Shocking, I know.
They want a different answer to be true, and cannot endure the answers.
Razib interviewed Dr. Tania Reynolds this fall, and I recommend the podcast. In fact, the Reynolds/Henderson combo was a lot of the foundation for my October series on Tinder ecouraging what might loosely be called polygamies.