Monday, June 29, 2009

Social Status Is Not That Important

In an egalitarian society social status is much less necessary to bed women because they are in the same social class as men. It's not a matter of survival anymore for women to chase after high-status men because the class system is much more equal. So women who chase after high-status men are essentially going for bragging rights.

By going through the effort of "displaying higher value" to lure women, you are (in a manner of speaking) soliciting prostitutes. But instead of paying for sex with money you are using status (or the promise of it).

In fact, a woman does not have significantly more attraction for a man with "high status" than a man who is simply willing to pay her for sex. The only potential advantage of having high status is that it can be a "cue" that you might have certain attractive traits worth checking out (e.g. strength of character). But by itself, social status means little in terms of generating attraction.

By playing the "value" game, you are basically orchestrating situations where women are most likely to prostitute themselves for purposes of gaining status (at least in your eyes). So what happens when she gets the status (validation), or the status runs out? The same thing that happens when a ho gets the money... next.

So by using seduction techniques such as The Mystery Method you are trying to replicate social conditions, which are now obsolete. The current social reality does not support the bubble you have created. It will eventually burst, which means you will have to constantly blow new bubbles to keep yourself in the loop.

The tendency for women to seek out relationships with men of greater social status and resources than themselves is called hypergamy. The evolutionary reason sometimes given for this is that by doing so a woman has a better chance of providing better resources for herself and her offspring, so biologically speaking such men tend to be perceived as more attractive. I can see this being more justified for poor women who would truly benefit from, say, marrying someone wealthier and of greater status than them. But for otherwise well-off women marrying up is mostly a way to boost their self-image and has less to do with "evolution at work", since their resources alone would be sufficient for herself and her offspring. But since modern western women are obsessed with gaining social status they tend to go after men who have more social status than them, because this is a good way for them to gain even more social status (or at least not lower their own status). Marrying someone of lower or even equal social status gets them nowhere socially, and is basically boring and uninteresting for most modern western women. But some people pedestalize this by saying that higher social status makes a man more attractive, and lower social status makes a man less attractive, thereby giving a pseudo-evolutionary-psychology reason why women are justified to marry up. I do think it can aid a man's attractiveness a bit to have high social status, but the main bait at work here is that it offers females the opportunity to boost their own social status (by being with him), which is why such a man will tend to attract lots of women. But attracting lots of women does not necessarily mean you are very attractive, if being in your company offers a social benefit women wouldn't otherwise have. By analogy, offering women money for sex has the same effect and will still "attract" women to you, but the reason for this is at least out in the open.

Although it is indeed true that women have an instinctive preference for men who have more resources and/or status than them (or at least personality markers associated with it), it is not clear whether this is due to a self-preservation instinct consciously acted out in order to increase their chances of survival (and that of their offspring) or because such men are more attractive (and attraction is not a conscious choice). I'm betting it's a mix of both, and a culture can either amplify this tendency or moderate it so that it's at a reasonable level. However, western culture tends to amplify this tendency in women, and consequently creates monstrous, highly entitled women who feel they "deserve it all". The same way that people are naturally wired for craving sugar, salt, and fat, these things can be harmful in excessive amounts, but because they are evolutionary "hot buttons" it is readily exploited by marketing efforts and as a result people can easily be lured in by it and engage in unhealthy levels of consumption.

However, women can consciously choose short term relationships with men they find attractive who have little or no resources to give them, because in this case getting resources is not necessary. The most important thing to conclude from this is that women can make conscious choices (just like men) to value certain things more than others based on the circumstances.

So once again I say that social status is not that important in an egalitarian society because: (1) Women have just as much access to resources as men so they don't need men to improve their chances of survival, and that of their offspring, and (2) Having strength of character at least partly satisfies the remaining reason why women seek men of status — because it's more attractive, even if you don't have the actual high social status to go with it.

Having high social status and lots of money is most important if you want to have a chance with the most spoiled entitled women who "want it all" and who are obsessed with gaining social status and living a life of luxury. In that case I say welcome to hell.

The best low maintenance strategy to bed women is to make it all about sex. Don't offer or imply any side benefits for having sex with you. This way, all she will want from you is sex (and hopefully your company too).

Here's some links which expand on the subject:

Famous men get laid because of exposure

Some women have sex to gain social status

Does social status make you more attractive?


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure whether you were thinking about evolution when you wrote that seeking high-status men was once a good strategy for women. I'm assuming that you did and that you're making a mistake in thinking about evolutionary psychology.

Humans do not choose their actions by consciously reasoning how to maximize genetic fitness. They simply do what they feel like doing and it so happens that those feelings are shaped by fitness-maximizing adaptations selected in the course of evolution. It's true that many of those adaptations are completely irrelevant or even harmless in the modern world but realizing that doesn't make them go away. So if seeking high-status men was adaptive in the ancestral environment, then modern women will also find high-status men more desirable, no matter how much time they spend thinking about evolutionary psychology.

In the third paragraph you reason that social status won't influence woman's feelings of attraction, unlike truly worthy criteria like, say, strength of character. There is absolutely no reason to expect the existence of two distinct attraction mechanisms, one optimizing for "worthy" traits like the aforementioned strength of character, and the other for evil genetic-fitness-maximizing traits like social status. There is simply sexual attraction. All adaptations influencing mate selection will work through that.

Even if you don't consider seeking high-status men as an evolutionary adaptation, you still made the same mistake in another post ("How Picky Should Women Be" was the title, I think), which definitely mentioned evolution.

Other than that, I find your blog interesting and the critique of one-sided dating mores appealing as long as it focuses on things humans can actually change with a conscious decision.

Here's an article making the same point about evolution in a rather more eloquent way.

John said...

^^^ I updated the post to make my point more clear.