Considering that we want to eliminate any gaps between the genders, why are educated women limited to educated men of their own ages? Why not increase the pool like men do: go for more younger, possibly less educated men (as the article implies for men)?
> As men age, they desire women who are increasingly younger than they are. Intelligent, educated women may go for a less accomplished partner for a casual fling, but for a committed partner they typically want mates their own age or a few years older, and at least as educated and career-driven.
If men can increase their pool size, why not women?
Women can, it is just they don't want to due to what the majority express as desirable characteristics. It is a sad state of affairs that make both men and women worse off. I know several women in their mid-thirties who adamantly refuse to consider long term partnership with perceived low status males (along lines of status, power, wealth and education).
The main issue they seem to run into is this. The small pool of highly educated, high status and wealthy men are essentially at the top of the sexual marketplace. Considering the purchasing power (excuse the term, but it makes sense) these men have, they tend to optimise for traits many men find desirable.
Finding an "equal" man in your mid-thirties as a women is very hard. Funnily enough, polygamy in societies partly resolves this distribution problem for women. The problems it causes amongst a perpetually single mass of men are catastrophic however.
Interesting. I'd have assumed that finding an 'equal' man is pretty simple, but moving up the social ladder by marrying up is what is getting harder and harder as the pool of men 'higher' than women is shrinking while simultaneously women themselves are moving up on their own.
Finding an "equal" woman in your mid-thirties as a man who doesn't want to date down in terms of education, status, wealth, or mental health is just as difficult.
I went through the wringer with someone who has Borderline Personality Disorder with significant narcissistic and sociopathic traits. I can't imagine a future relationship possibly being any worse, short of a pregnancy being involved (or another person with BPD). I was shaken up for a few months, but I'm over it now. She would blame many of her negative traits and behaviors (that, from my understanding and conversations with her mom, had been a part of her personality from an early age) on past lovers, as if they were the ones responsible for damaging her. I'm sure she brought me up to the next guy(s) as well. How dare I try to get her into therapy? All she ever did was love me, after all.
BPD, narcissistic and sociopathic traits all derived or perhaps exasperated by significant and truly awful childhood trauma.
Had me in an awful state for a year. Being introduced to intermittent reinforcement by my therapist was the moment that the penny dropped and I started to relinquish my feelings of loss and guilt.
If you'd like to contact me direct to discuss any of the below, feel free. My e-mail is
jonathon at jdtay .com
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I'd be happy to.
The following articles went a lot way to assist me in getting out of an incredibly toxic, abusive relationship. If you're anything like where I was at, the addictive qualities of an abuser will leave you with manic highs and lows. It's a manipulation tactic, you and the relationship you had were nothing special. You were seduced and it's a trait shared by most people in abused relationships in every sense.
Once I realised I was being spent and manipulated and I wasn't in anyway in love, I was just being led astray. My healing process started almost immediately and the strength I never could find to finally escape from my abuser came quickly and efficiently. This isn't to say it was easy. Withdrawal symptoms are very fucking real.
Realising it's not love that you're walking away from, it's something much more sinister and primal than that. You'll find strength and self esteem to start putting yourself first. It's also at this point that you'll start to notice just how horrid the experience was and it's here that I must encourage you to seek professional help if you are not already. You'll be tearing down walls that a professional will need to help you rebuild and unpack.
In another note. If you're like me and you're a man leaving an abusive relationship with a woman. You may find it distressing that almost every article you find online was written in the angle or perspective of a female victim and a male perpetrator.
Undoubtedly this is statistically going to be the most likely scenario in most abusive relationship though I personally believe from my experiences and those of my closest family and friends. That this statistic is less weighted in favor of male abusers than you'd suspect.
The number of articles written in a light to support and assist men who've escaped emotional abusive relationships is shockingly sparse and I was hurt that there was such little content for me to personally relate to.
Both sites, Out of the Fog (i) and Psychopaths and Love (ii) have a lot of great content. Word of warning though. Psychopaths and Love's website is a piece of shit. But the content is relateable.
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"Intermittent Reinforcement - Intermittent Reinforcement is when rules, rewards or personal boundaries are handed out or enforced inconsistently and occasionally. This usually encourages another person to keep pushing until they get what they want from you without changing their own behavior."
"The personality disordered individual is often aware that he or she lacks appropriate self-control and that their abusive behavior is less than satisfactory in the eyes of the Non-PD. They may fear that their behavior will result in negative consequences, increased conflict, loss of trust and respect or even loss of the relationship. They often want to make amends and wish for a better result. However, most prefer not to confront the root of the problem and want to avoid the unattractive prospect of endless psycho-analysis, admitting their failings, being treated like a problem, being forced to take medications, being regarded as someone who has a "mental problem". So they straddle the line of acceptability, trying to maintain the status quo, occasionally trying to "make up for it" when they perceive they may have crossed the line. Once in a while, the Non-PD may blow a fuse and put their foot down or threaten to leave, but it is typically short-lived. Like the person who builds a house in the flood zone, they hope they can "ride out" the occasional storm and get what they want without having to change."
The following article I found slightly less helpful. The language is uses is both emotive and inflamed. There are a lot of shared behaviors that can be both from some one with Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personal Disorder, a psychopath, sociopath or some one with deep, horrific trauma. It's important not to start labeling your abuser. You'll get it very wrong unless your a professional in this field. Instead just recognise the behaviors as being unhelpful and leave it at that.
This article (and almost the entire site) is purely targeted towards those who have been in relationships who are either sociopathic or psychopathic so do take this into account. It's also exclusively written from the perspective of a female victim which quite often left me with a poor taste in my mouth.
All the same, you'll find the analogies and the methods that are outlined to be familiar.
"There is nothing like the elation and bliss of new love. Especially when you believed you had found ‘the one.’ That took it to another level. You may have felt you never really knew what love was before. You were probably infused with incredible joy and happiness. You finally found what you were searching for, and it was even better than you ever imagined.
And then one day something unexpected happened. You got a queasy feeling that you couldn’t shake. You sensed deep in your gut that he or she was pulling away. Your heart sank and your stomach clenched with fear.
In the process of the psychopathic bond, the moment when the joy at finding love turns into the fear of losing it is called the ‘manipulative shift.’ When that happens, the psychopath takes control. This is when the devaluation stage begins.
Fear takes away our ability to think clearly. It’s an intensely powerful and uncomfortable emotion, and we want it to go away. In this case, fear was caused by the threat of losing our (supposedly) wonderful relationship. When we see someone as being the one who can take our fear away, we will give them just about anything. In this situation, hat would be the very person who caused it in the first place — the psychopath. He or she took our fear away by becoming attentive and loving again. If we asked him if something was wrong he told us that we were imagining things, or he blamed us, or made up some excuse, for his lapses"
Lowering standards aside, this attitude alone would be off-putting for most men, high-status ones especially. What do they bring to the table? Certainly humility isn't one of them.
Men aren't better of course, we have other impractical (but evolutionarily significant) biases, needless to say.
Unreasonable, non-reciprocal selfishness compared to value offered (ie sanity, health, intelligence, etc.) isn't worth arguing with. Plus, gold-diggers feel entitled to "their half" in community property states.
For dudes looking for life-partners (sans marriage), look at other countries and college towns. If you just want to get laid, pay for it... it's much cheaper and simpler. If you want to make more money, find a decent woman whom is supportive, honest and fun and isn't divorce-oriented, one-side relationship-lazy or has a wandering eye.
For dudettes for the same, they ought to sex/relationship tourism or relocate to male-heavy ratio places like the SF Bay Area.
For both, don't get married or have kids, except after long-term stability.
Biologically and evolutionarily speaking, men want younger and more fertile women to mate with. Women want established males ( their age or older ) to mate with.
> Why not increase the pool like men do: go for more younger, possibly less educated men (as the article implies for men)?
As I stated earlier because men want younger women and women want established males.
2. I have trouble with the blanket statement that women "want established males" "biologically and evolutionarily speaking." We live in a society. Peoples' behavior in a society is not some mystery that can only be deciphered by looking at chimpanzees. Our society has some very messed up rules about who gets to have the most power. People respond to and strategize around their current reality. If that reality were to change -- like, if we had free childcare or 4 years paid maternity leave, or some other radical shift -- many of these calculations would "magically" fall away.
It's true that more women want this than men, certainly in the U.S., but you can't say the concerns "just aren't there for men" -- already in this thread there are men saying they want to be stay-at-home dads.
> they certainly have a poor track record, historically
Evolution: a biological explanation for a social phenomena with a poor track record, historically
It is somewhat moot, however, as my comment is mostly about contemporary mores regarding the use of biological explanations (or 'explanations'), though perhaps I was not explicit enough. I don't know enough to have a definite opinion as to whether, or to what extent, biological explanations apply in this case.
Also, for status in social circles.
As always with social problems, no easy solution is in sight.
Men can't always get what they want, either, but nobody writes articles about how that's a crisis.
Do these people actually exist anymore? What kind of man is really going to pass on an otherwise suitable partner just because she's more educated and makes more money than him? I can't imagine a single person I know thinking something along the lines of "yeah, she's great, but she makes more money than me, it won't work".
3 of my friends make more than their boyfriends. 2 of my friends make less than their girlfriends/wives. I sure wouldn't mind.
It's easy to say I wouldn't mind, but I haven't faced the situation. In fact, I hope I wouldn't have to.
>We found that wives who believed they held higher status positions than their husbands were indeed more likely to experience feelings of resentfulness or embarrassment, feeling that their status was decreased by their husbands’ lower status position, which in turn had a negative impact on their marital satisfaction — and even increased the likelihood that they were thinking about divorce. Husbands, however, were unaffected by their wives’ status spillover feelings: They only experienced greater marital dissatisfaction and thoughts about divorce if their wives’ were outwardly unhappy with their relationship.
It's good to see it recognized however.
Because it takes women thousands of times longer to produce a child than men. It's just game theory.
Keep in mind also that the average woman doesn't have any magical ability to figure out which men will be successful in advance, otherwise all the top venture capitalists, producers, publishers, etc. would be women.
In other words most women would prefer to stay alone forever rather than marry a man who they consider suboptimal.
Add to the equation the "mating standards" that are overblown by Hollywood and social media and the picture of dating market becomes even darker.
I believe this exact mechanism (also aggravated by social media) is responsible for the decline of fertility rate below the reproduction level in countries with well educated population.
Which is, according to him, something entirely different then dudes being single in Sillicon Valley where is surplus of males. Because, again, according to him, these dudes can find one night stands and care more about those anyway and thus everything is cool there.
I have definitely noticed the happiest people I know, in terms of romance, found their life partner in college.
Definitely. I am almost 30, and I started dating extremely late (26). I'm happy with who I'm with right now, but I envy people who met their significant others in their teens or early 20s. They were able to grow together throughout early adulthood. I had to go through it all alone. I will do everything possible to make it so that my kids don't have to experience the same thing.
That's a double-edged sword. Sometimes people grow apart.
Well, the argument here should be:
Men don't find education and accomplishment as attractive as women do - they find youth and beauty important also.
Therefore, in order to attract a mate, logically women should try to attract a mate when they're younger, and try to improve the way they look. They should not be trying to get more educated or accomplish more in their careers.
They can of course do whatever they want, but I have very little sympathy for people who recognize how reality is and don't try to act in ways that will optimize the probability of the outcome they want.
Can you explain this to me? You can earn 20 years a lawyers salary by finding a high-earning man in a bar? Sure, I can do the same with lottery tickets..
So, US$60K per month for more than 20 years is about US$15 million. Not a bad return on one night in a bar (considering you can pay nannies to raise the kid and the spouse gets stuck for that cost too). Of course, it has to be the right (read rich enough) guy...
Of course, most child support may not be in that range, but it can still be substantial, and so more than a successful lawyer earns in 20 years of hard work and study after repaying expensive student loans.
Another quote from there may help clarify (obviously I am not endorsing this heartless gold digger strategy even if what this lawyer says may be true economically): "A divorce litigator put it a little more simply: "There is no reason for a woman to go to medical school. If she wants to have the spending power of a doctor she can just have sex with three doctors." (see the Wisconsin chapter for how the arithmetic works out) In some states, though not Wisconsin, a plaintiff's own earnings or earning potential can reduce the potential profits from child support. "A degree in poetry is a lot better than a degree in medicine when you're a child support plaintiff," observed one litigator, and added "for a woman with a functioning reproductive system, the decision to attend college and work is seldom an economically rational one in the United States.""
Is it that hard to to imagine three high-earning young male Googlers ending up in such a situation of supporting one woman with a combined Google-level salary in child support?
Perhaps another reason for a basic income (one which includes payment for children) is to change the divisive nature of child support litigation?
By the way, some related comedy from the 1960s (not quite the same idea but in that direction):
"Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell"
"[Gina Lollobrigida] plays the mother of the lovely Janet Margolin, whose American soldier father was supposedly killed during World War II [or so she was told]. The thing is, Gina isn't sure who the father was, since she was friendly with three soldiers at the time, (played by Peter Lawford, Phil Silvers and Telly Savalas), and all are very much alive. Each of the three thinks he is the father and has been financially supporting the girl in secret for over 20 years. Trouble and hilarity ensue when the three men and their wives return to the Italian village for an Army reunion, and Gina has to juggle all six of them while keeping her daughter from finding out the truth."
I'm sure plenty of women have tried it with Murphy, yet it was Mel B that ended up in a relationship with him, a well-know pop artist already. "one night in a bar" is misleading if there are requirements in getting into that bar, and being successful.
How can a woman guarantee bearing the children of 3 doctors? How many men would they need to have unprotected sex with until success? If this became a popular strategy, it would be easy to exploit for sex with male contraceptives.
> change the divisive nature of child support litigation
perhaps, but not to punish the child. Of course, regulation of female reproductive rights is a can of worms too.. Maybe a male-infertility pill/device might be a better idea?..
Yep. I recognized that I was ugly, and I thought that this was the primary obstacle when it came to dating. I fixed that with surgery, and I was right.
Genome editing might take care of IQ.
The problem is the reductionism towards a "simple and easy explanation", biology is one factor as so are other sociological ones, if you keep your argument just based on (what you've called) biology 101 you aren't wrong, you are just misguided, ill-informed or being malicious.
Now that's ridiculous, why should women care about getting a mate, it's not like we have a sub-replacement birthrate or anything, or that having children later increases the chance of birth defects.
I see a dichotomy here. On one hand, we would like to have more women in the "educated" and therefore, high-income workforce. This, in turn, causes imbalance in the dating market and may force the women in the high-income bracket to make a concession(by lowering their standards, etc). On the other, we can go back to the model where men dominate the high-income workforce and many women can "marry up" when they're younger. I would pick the former than the latter any day. Equality of opportunity trumps the equality of results in my world.
Also, beyond a certain point, money just doesn't make the other person more attractive. I would rather date a caring jobless younger woman than an abusive doctor with several degrees. I make enough to pursue my dreams and leisures. Articles like this actually seem very insensitive for the men of my situation(previously poor, now making comfortably but didn't date much in 20s), as it purports that I, as a man in dating market, is worth as much as the amount of money I make. I hope that's not case for most people.
Think about it. This is a "crisis" because there aren't high-earning men that these high-earning women would allow themselves to date? It doesn't necessarily trigger schadenfreude to me, if not a profound sadness due to a nature of the "problem". As a single man of early thirties, this sort of article horrifies and saddens me. You need to find your own happiness and maybe it shouldn't depend on other people.
Jon Birger's Date-onomics(2015) discusses this phenomenon pretty astutely, if you're interested in reading further data.
Japan's population, which is shrinking, worries about an aging majority without a base of young healthy workers who can support the economy and social programs. They are trying to mend this in the medium term by encouraging more women into the workforce, but, as we see from this article, that may have the unintended consequence of exacerbating the fertility crisis even further.
> Merkel was weakened after a September election as voters angry with her decision in 2015 to open Germany’s borders to more than a million asylum seekers punished her conservatives by voting for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party
One has nothing to do with the other.
The political landscape in Germany is transforming, and has been since long before the refugee crisis. Previously typical majority constellations have gone away (and won't come back, AfD or no), and the parties are struggling to find a place in this new reality.
The failure of this round of coalition talks was due to one party not understanding that they need to be more flexible in the new political reality.
My personal suspicion is that, should it come to reelections, they would be punished for their stubbornness.
She had trouble forming a coalition because her party's share was further weakened after the vote, presumably because of 2015 migration crisis and the rise of AfD, requiring a potential partnership with 2 different parties, at different ends of the political spectrum, in addition to Merkel's.
Reuters still fails to see (or report) the forest for the trees in this instance.
> She had trouble forming a coalition because her party's share was further weakened after the vote, presumably because of 2015 migration crisis and the rise of AfD,
AfD and its initial growth predates the migration crisis (but had originally had very different political goals and actors). You're right of course, they benefited from it. But I think the lack of a far-right party in the German political spectrum was always a distortion of reality, which has now been corrected. My gut feeling is that there will always be ten-ish percent of the population who subscribe to such ideas. They've merely become politically visible now.
The fate of CDU/CSU merely repeats what SPD already suffered with Die Linke more than a decade ago: a contender further towards the political extreme, who will make previously common coalitions impossible. I've repeatedly read the claim that such a development was overdue for CDU/CSU. For that reason, it's generally assumed that AfD (and its effect on feasibility of particular coalitions) won't go away.
I further think there's an underlying issue that politics in Germany has become complacent and removed from the people, deeming it unnecessary to justify and explain their politics to the public. The rise of AfD seems to be one of the reactions, in a vague parallel to Trumpism.
In fact I consider this the one redeeming aspect of AfD's entry to parliament: the parties suddenly find themselves forced to justify their choices. I've already observed that effect in the political discourse.
> requiring a potential partnership with 2 different parties, at different ends of the political spectrum, in addition to Merkel's.
It's worse than that: three different parties (you overlooked CSU). And CSU is in full campaing mode, as there's a state-level election in Bavaria less than a year away, and CSU is threatened with losing their 50-year absolute majority. Plus there's a battle going on for the seat of CSU chairman.
Interestingly, the two antipodes, CSU and Grüne, weren't yet ready to abort the talks, and had in fact both made painful concessions in order to attempt a coalition.
Add to it an 80 hours a week expected working schedule for professionals that makes it impossible to spend much time together and any other choice don't even make sense.
For anything else, there needs to be real relationship and time spent together etc. Which is something I don't see these articles talk about at all - they treat marriage/relationship as a technical thing that people just suddenly do without really needing to work on or spend time on.
It's wrong to characterize the pool as "unfairly" stacked against them; they could choose to date men with lower incomes or less education.
There might even be an inverse correlation - the more successful the man is (hence the more money he earns, and the more hours he works), the more he would prefer his partner to take the lion's share of childcare and house-making, and also be able to pay for it.
Ideally, of course, neither parent would have to work, but that's even more unrealistic for most of the population.
Of course all of this is readily available via bespoke services for those that can afford it. So how to we extend all the necessary services to a middle class single professional woman?
If it truly is a crisis that birth rates are falling in the developed world. And restricted immigration results in further population skew. Then taxpayers must begin the debate on subsidizing reproductive and childcare services. Because traditional "nudge" messaging and policy seems to neglect where organic demand lies: having children and career, without the necessity or social norm of marriage.
In the past, and in other cultures, this is solved by significant social pressure forcing people together.
Similar to the media - we thought that making the world more connected would make it better, but so far all we've got is more sensationalism, fake news, and cat videos. Most people ignore the "leaks".
Women will select a mate based more on looks than money, have a kid or two, then divorce him (aka "starter marriages".) Child support from the male will probably not matter for women who make enough money, but might still be a useful tool to keep the ex-hubby in line.
This is probably a simpler, if more cynical, means than freezing ova for the "perfect" man to fertilize.
And while men at the tippy-top might take a pass on divorcees with kids, for most men beyond a certain age, it's a fact of life, and frankly, we have decades of cultural brain-washing that makes such attitudes seem sexist.
In a perfect world, sure. Sadly, we are discussing reality here.
But there is an important point here. People who are in a healthy family and have dependents don’t do things like suicide bomb or go on mass shootings. Those are the acts of desperate, miserable men.
I’m not advocating nuclear families, but when I hear about the insane gender disparity in places like China, I worry.
Man HN has my mind so warped I thought this article was going to be about women and chess.
(and now I've gone and ruined it)
A single person looking to find a partner is in essence selling something: themselves. When selling anything it's important to consider the target market.
If the market isn't interested in what someone is selling there's a few options:
1) Change the product
2) Find a different market
Changing the behavior of the market is not an option because, unless it's a really really desirable product, the market isn't likely to budge.
So educated women that the article is referring could decide to not lower their standards but the risk they face is being alone.
I for one, do value these traits. If I were to choose between two equally looking girls, I would choose the smarter. On the other hand, I have a strict lower bound for appearance, and no amount of education or accomplishment can compensate for being under that threshold. We can still talk about programming though!
Because what is humanity without it's biology?
Instinct doesn't belong to the individual, it belongs to the species. And life doesn't care atoll about abstract moral principal. That's just syntactic sugar to help us manage and grow the hive given biological impulse. When we overcome a natural impulse guess what? It's a natural impulse doing that too. If we overcome all natural impulse (how?) this species is finished and are something else, certainly not "humanity" at that point.
Right now what really drives us around is 10's of thousands of years older than the beginning of writing and cities. At least.
What's wrong with that?
But at present we are behaviorally closer to monkeys even if we dress up in suits and have rules and values. Which don't (unlike what we generally conceive) have any eternal significance beyond being various versions of conventions such as "who gets to pick the lice off the alpha male first".
Point being, what we are is the reality of what we have to work with. Mating included. Puritan scolders will forever fail and life will keep right on going until the machine (if that ever happens).
Simple answer is, it's instinctual.