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The Underlying Drivers for Sexual Economics

Looking at the history of social exchanges, sexual economics and mate selection criteria can help give context for current insights into human mating behavior and the rise of the incel.

cartoon couple kissing
It’s not all about love

Men and women are different and the biggest gender difference between men and women goes back to how we reproduce.

Female humans are required to gestate for 9 months, go through a painful birthing process and (in most cases) child rear for 18 years.

While male humans simply need to ejaculate.

This is by far the most glaring inequality between the sexes.

Modern society has tried to make male humans more accountable for their role in all this, but we have about 2 million years of evolution since the first “homo” appeared and about 300,000 years of evolution as sapiens (our current form).

Homo Erectus
Homo Erectus

Throughout most of human history, males would try to spread their seed as much as possible and often walk away. Impregnating as many females as they could ensured the survival of their genetics – the primary driver of all species. 

It’s only in a relatively short time (in comparison to human history) that men were expected to be fathers after getting a woman pregnant.

Though we can of course see many examples of present and caring fathers throughout all stages of history, it wasn’t necessarily the norm. 

As a result, female homos had to develop mechanisms for qualifying which male to mate with from both a perspective of healthy genetics (to ensure healthy offspring) and pair bonding/fathering (to ensure enough protection/resources/help in ensuring the child’s survival). Females did not want to be left alone with the responsibilities of the child. 

Males on the other hand were quite naturally programmed to mate with as many females as possible to ensure the passing on of their genetics.

As female mate selection criteria advanced, males became more competitive with each other for females (scarcity).

Males then had to develop sexual strategies to ensure they could have access to the best females, which included healthier genetics (one example is through physical strength / security), resource accumulation (food, shelter) and social skills (leadership, status in community, fathering). 

The evolution of sexual strategies helped early human societies organize and cooperate better. It also meant that some males were not allowed access to females when they were not competitive enough amongst other more desirable males.

One could call them the first “incels”.

All of this has evolved into our present day situation which has been totally thrown for a loop with things like birth control, shifting societal norms, media and a whole host of other things that are making this process incredibly complex, dynamic and messing with our biology – still it’s hard to just throw away millions of years of evolution in a few short centuries.

Most humans are unaware of how much their own physiology is at play. We are more intelligent hairless apes who unfortunately have incredible hubris and ego.

The rise of groups like the self proclaimed incels or involuntary celibates in contemporary media, showcases a fundamental lack of understanding by this group of males who have self selected out of the sexual arena. These are men who are choosing not to compete.

Incels
Incels

The solution is for these groups is to provide a better product, or become the type of man women desire to be with.

That takes work and most of these men are choosing to be alone rather than put the work in to become a better man.

In previous eras, they would simply be the Omega and left to die off alone, serving a small function within the group.

Today, they can be a dangerous:

Incel, the misogynist ideology that inspired the deadly Toronto attack, explained

Elliot Rodger: How misogynist killer became ‘incel hero’

Sadly, there is no societal solution to this. Some have suggested societal norms need to fit towards enforced monogamy or “looks matching” but that goes against millions of years of evolution.

We are designed and programmed to “mate up” or select the best mate possible for ourselves.

In smaller hunter gather tribes this was easier, your world was maybe 50 to 100 potential mating partners and a natural equilibrium was much simpler to reach.

With social media, entertainment and all forms of media displaying much higher standards of beauty than what most people experience in their daily life both men and women have the potential to become warped regarding their mate selection.

If you see beautiful people all the time in the media and in your daily world you do not, it is easy to see why incels or other groups set their standard for something quite unattainable as opposed to finding some one in their surroundings.

Indeed the game has changed. For those at the higher end of human sexual market value, they have a larger pool of mating options due to the higher number of readily available potential partners garnered through social media.

For those at the lower end it is a sadder story, because throughout history their lower status was not so obvious.

What is the solution?

It’s a hard one. Hard because humans are unlikely to change how we are organized in the current day, in fact, if anything it will increase the action of hypergamy. This falls perfectly in line with our prime drivers.

The answer for incels is to first improve their product and second to set more realistic expectations. It also wouldn’t hurt to stop seeking beauty in the digital world.

Yet, that requires a tremendous amount of effort and commitment from a group notorious for deflecting the blame onto others and totally avoiding any personal responsibility.

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