Starting over a month ago Rollo Tomassi over at The Rational Male began a series of posts he called “Preventive Medicine.” The series revolved around understanding how hypergamy and other aspects of female behavior manifested themselves during different parts of a woman’s life. His goal was to educate men about how women acted during different parts of their life, and how to respond accordingly. As he explained in the first post in the series:
What I’ve constructed is a loose and generalized chronology of how women effect their hypergamy over the course of typical woman’s life between the ages of 15 and 50. I’m fully prepared for the same outcries of generalizations and NAWALT that the infamous SMV graph inspired, but understand this, before any woman or femen comes up with those predictable objections, this is an outline; variables like culture, ethnicity, moralism, socio-economic status and outlying circumstance are all factors to consider when evaluating the motivations of any woman. This timeline however is intended as a roadmap to follow to get a better understanding of what motivates women at particular phases of their lives and hopefully help men to better prepare themselves for the strategies women will use to optimize hypergamy during those phases.
To help his readers understand his posts Rollo created a new chart or outline which provides a visualization of the different stages/concepts that he explains throughout the posts. I’ve always been a big fan of Rollo’s various charts, most especially his famous/infamous SMV graph which I’m sure most of my readers are familiar with:
His new chart is also valuable, especially when paired with the SMV chart above. Here is is:
I suggest that my readers open it in a separate window so they can read it clearly, as it is quite detailed. In my opinion it is the most valuable contribution he provides in his series, although I suspect many readers will find some value in the other parts as well. In line with this, most of my post today will focus on this chart and the ideas its presents. The next section will include some of my observations of the chart and its surrounding subjects, along with some critiques and suggestions. The third and final section will cover ideas and thoughts that derive from the chart, Rollo’s posts and what I’ve commented on.
Overall I tend to think that Rollo was spot-on in terms of assigning the various stages to the proper age points for women.
One suggestion that I would make is that there should be a marker at the beginning of the “Teen Stage”, as there is a major transition point (at least in the US) when women enter high school. Its been many years since I was at high school, but I can still remember the effect entering HS had on women. This would also suggest an expansion of the teen bracket from 15-18 to 14-18, which encompasses the high school years.
Also, I would slightly tweak the “Break” bracket. First off, I think it is a bit long. Two years is probably too much, from what I observed it was closer to one year. For those entering college the “freshness” of it all usually didn’t even last one year, often it was just the first semester/quarter, but for the sake of generality lets keep it at one year.
Perhaps my biggest disagreement with Rollo centers around the various attributes or factors that women focus on during their lives. That is the lower part of the chart. Rollo has women begin by being drawn to Physicality at first. Then, starting at age 25 or so, they include Status as something they consider. Finally, starting around age 30, Affluence and Provisioning start to enter their matrix. Translating these terms into my APE or LAMPS/PSALM analysis, you get Looks and Appearance first, then Status, and then Money. Power/Personality is not factored into Rollo’s chart (or is assumed, impossible to tell which).
While I would agree that certain factors might become more or less important over a woman’s life, I don’t think that they develop in the manner that this chart indicates. I maintain that the LAMPS/PSALM attributes are always “present” and important. This is something that I believe can be observed in women even in the beginning stages of this chart.
For example, take Status. Even in high school those young men who had higher status usually had better success with women. That might be limited to being captain of the football team, but it gave them something of an extra edge. The reason why it isn’t noticed as much, and why Appearance seems to override is because in high school most Status markers are also associated with Athleticism. This continues onward into college as well, where athletics is still higher status than nearly any other endeavor. However, once outside of the (undergraduate) college context, other Status markers start to come into play, like in the workplace or social circles that develop. In addition, as women get older, and leave the college context, they come into more contact with men whose primary attractive attribute is Status. This time period happens to match when Status becomes a factor on Rollo’s chart.
For those uncertain about my arguments above, keep in mind how young women are drawn to famous stars, especially music stars. While movie stars often have Looks, the same isn’t always true for musicians. Often they will have only Status going for them- as more than a few are anything but handsome. And yet they are incredibly attractive to women, even young ones. Hence, Status always matters.
Rollo merges Affluence and Provisioning together, which is an interesting choice. In a way they are a breakdown of the Money trait into two components: the wealth someone has on hand now, and their ability to provide in the future. Either way though, I think that Rollo is incorrect to consider it only relevant at the 30 year mark or so. Women do care about wealth before then, and wealthy men are definitely more attractive than their otherwise identical counterparts. The thing is that they rarely encounter such men when younger. But even then you can still see Money as something women find attractive. I can recall even back in high school that the handful of guys with wealthy parents always had a bit of an edge. It also was present in college, although got mixed up with Status because they were often part of the same frats or other circles.
I do think that Rollo was on the right track by separating Money into Affluence and Provisioning though. This is because when you consider it Affluence is of greater value/influence when a woman is younger, and Provisioning more important when she is older. A younger woman, who is less likely to have children, or, in this culture anyways, feel the immediate need for them, will probably be more entranced by the pull of immediately available capital. It means more fun. But for a woman with children, or a somewhat older woman who feels the urge of biology pressing down upon her, well, the ability of a man to provide resources in the future has some pull. In this sense, Affluence is more likely the major driver of Money in the LAMPS/PSALM model as an attraction component, while Provisioning is something else. It is more likely to be a “Beta” trait, or comfort trait, or something that women value as a desirable trait.
One suspicion that I have is that Money is the weakest of the LAMPS/PSALM attributes right now because of the overall affluence of our society. Here in the West, starvation is next to unheard of. Very few live in the abject poverty that was the norm for most of our history. Since resources aren’t scarce as they were before, women don’t feel compelled to seek them from a man like they have in the past. Hence, its overall lowered value.
Something that I had noted in one of Rollo’s posts was that a whole industry has seemingly developed to “support” women who follow this lifeplan. In fact, each “stage” has its own particular set of supporting cultural institutions. Think magazines, TV shows, websites, the works. Women start with magazines like 16 and move on up to Cosmo and the like. Shows on the Disney channel supporting “You Go Guuurrrrllll” messages are replaced by Girls which eventually are replaced by other shows. For example, the show Sex and the City seems to me to have been designed especially for women in the Development and Redevelopment stages of their life.
What I’m curious about is whether the development of this industry was a case of supply meeting demand, or whether the industry itself has helped shaped how this “life-cycle” has turned out. I suspect that there is a little bit of both at play. Also, if I had to guess, I would say that this cycle is also a logical manifestation of how various impulses and triggers play out in the female mind, all depending on age and station in life, in combination with the present environment. That would explain the universality of much of it. Of course, not everyone follows this path, but enough do that it cannot be coincidence. I wonder if attacking/undermining that support structure would translate towards undermining this chronology. Part of me thinks it would have to help.
Another one of the things that struck me about this timeline is that it applies, with only minor correction, to Christian women as well as secular ones. Or at least to Churchian women. I know because have seen, and see, it in action. For the more virtuous ones, you can replace “Party Years” with Mission work, or the like. But many of the same behaviors or stages manifest themselves in most women (at least, American ones) irrespective of their beliefs. Just like their secular sisters, the wiser ones will pursue marriage quicker, but plenty will follow the script laid out by Rollo.
The only exceptions being those women from especially traditional/conservative backgrounds. I know a number of women growing up who didn’t follow this particular path, and pretty much all of them were religious. But they were a small minority, and none of them really came from one of those kind of backgrounds. In fact, most of those who married early (which seems the most obvious early break with this path) were those who had high-school sweethearts that they married right out of college. One thing I have noticed is that nearly all have put off having children, although I’m not sure if that is because of finances or because they want to be free to live their lives as much as possible.
It really is a sad state of affairs when the general life path of Christians isn’t any different from that of secular individuals or those who belong to other faiths. We are called to not conform to the world, but that is what nearly all of us have done these days. Our lives are little different from those who don’t share the faith, except perhaps for different schedules on Sunday. Now that I can see it all so clearly, it is incredibly disheartening.
One last thing that interests me is what the male equivalent of this chart would be like. One difference I would foresee would be the replacing of the first Security stage with the Development stage, which would move up. The second Security stage would simply disappear. This is because men don’t have a need for security in the manner that women have it. Redevelopment would likely fold into the first Development. If anything, I think that there would be far more variation for men in how a chronology would work. A number of different factors would be responsible for this:
- The industry that is centered around reaffirming women in their life journey doesn’t exactly have a male counter-part. In many ways part of the industry is geared towards suppressing the male equivalent.
- Given the different percentages of men versus women who are considered attractive, whether a man has success with women or not would have a huge impact. Because of the nature of male SMV, some men might not have early Party Years, but gain them later. Others might never have them. And others could have them for a very long time indeed, like many PUAs seem inclined towards
- As alluded to above, because male SMV follows a different pattern, it gives (most) men more options later on in their lives than women experience. This, plus the experiences they have gained along the way will produce more divergences in outcome.
I suspect that any male chronology is heavily influenced by whatever the prevailing female model is like. Men are highly responsive to female behaviors, and will shift ours to adapt to any changes that women make. They aren’t always good shifts, but that is just how we act. Also worth pointing out is that the chronology for Christian men also tracks fairly close to that of secular men as well. Some of this is due to the female model for Christian women being nearly identical. But the same kind of pressures to conform are also present as well for Christian men.
And that concludes this post. Given the direction shift in my blog, I’m not sure when this new chart will show up next here. Until then, I think it is another valuable tool that can help men understand how most women act, depending on what stage of their life they are on. To echo Rollo, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so best to know this all beforehand.