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Stable Positions on the Monogamy-Hypergamy Continuum.

August 3, 2010

I noticed a paradox when reading the recent blog posts at Lost Art of Self Preservation for Women and Hooking Up Smart on Jaclyn Friedman (Not Safe For Your Lunch) and her celebration of sluttyness.

In Piece of Advice #61: Do NOT embrace your inner slut grerp argues

There are so many things I disagree with in Jaclyn Friedman’s message here, but even if you don’t, take this away: if this is what the dating pool now looks like, think of the market value a slim, chaste, not certifiably insane young woman has by her sheer scarcity.   Supply.  Demand.

As usual, it is pretty hard to argue with grerp.

But then Susan Walsh has a different take with her post titled Deconstructing the Sluthood of Jaclyn Friedman

Sexually discriminating women have every reason to withhold support from sluts. Sluts are wreaking havoc on the supply side.

Susan also makes perfect sense (as usual) arguing what appears to be the opposite position!  I find myself torn between two very smart women.  Which side to choose?

Luckily for me I don’t have to choose.  They are both right.  This is the case because they are speaking about different positions on the Monogamy-Hypergamy Continuum.

The Monogamy-Hypergamy Continuum

We all know that men are programmed to want a variety of women, as well as avoid investing in women who may not remain faithful.  So men need to either choose between high investment accompanied by a high likelihood of female fidelity, or low investment sex with a variety of women.  A third option would be to have it both ways.

On the other hand, women want to maximize the investment they receive from men as well as keep their options open to choose a better man.

The chart above depicts how this continuum likely looks for women when the contradictory wants of men and women intersect.  However, it is a bit misleading because parts of the continuum tend to be very unstable.  They might be an option available to many women for a brief period of time during social upheaval, or to a small number of women due to exceptional status.  Traditional Marriage and the options to the left of it are generally fairly stable options.   However, the options to the left of Traditional Marriage are unattractive to women for obvious reasons.  Traditional Marriage is a happy medium of the needs of both men and women, and therefore tends to be stable so long as society is ordered in such a way as to foster this.

However if society fails to offer the required structure, the only women men are generally going to be willing to marry are those who have enough moral strength to convince a man she is marriage material.  These are the women grerp is referring to.

The remaining women (the ones Susan is talking about) are likely to feel the temptation to continue moving farther to the right (more choice).  As they do so fewer and fewer men are going to see the value in offering investment (fidelity, wealth, care of offspring) in women.  As a result, a woman might shoot for Serial Marriage (2.0) and find herself pulled by competition from other women through Serial Monogamy, etc all the way down to Hooking Up (the next stable point on the continuum).  This is of course exactly what we are starting to observe.

Unfortunately for women, once a woman has moved much past Serial Monogamy her options for moving back to the left tend to evaporate.  In addition, as time erodes her beauty her opportunities tend to shrink as well.  This is perfectly illustrated by the Aging Feminist Jaclyn Friedman and her self publicized descent into Craigs List status.  Since she is no longer attractive enough to move to any point of higher male investment on the continuum, this is where she is stuck.

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Post Information
Title Stable Positions on the Monogamy-Hypergamy Continuum.
Author Dalrock
Date August 3, 2010 10:29 PM UTC (12 years ago)
Blog Dalrock
Archive Link https://theredarchive.com/blog/Dalrock/stable-positions-on-the-monogamy-hypergamy.12460
Original Link https://dalrock.wordpress.com/2010/08/03/stable-positions-on-the-monogamy-hypergamy-continuum/
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