A few weeks back, on my Questions or Suggestions page, commenter Nathan asked these questions:
“Is Girl-Game just the female equivalent of being the “Nice Guy?” If so, then why do we praise Girl-Game as a positive virtue while chastising being a “Nice Guy” as a negative vice?”
He then added this:
I’m not suggesting being a “Nice Guy” is a good thing, but then why do we praise women for doing basically the same thing.
Sorry for taking so long to get back to you Nathan, hopefully this post will make up for that somewhat. I will begin by repeating (in a cleaned up format) what I said in reply to your original comment:
Men and women are very different, so what works for one may not work for the other, and vice versa.
As for a longer answer, Vox at AlphaGame has a post up linking to this study. Some snippets:
Scientifically, nice (heterosexual) guys might actually finish last. A study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin recently found that while men were attracted to nice-seeming women upon meeting them, women did not feel the same way about men. Researchers from the University of Rochester, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya in Israel investigated a possible mechanism explaining why women and men differ in their sexual reactions with receptive opposite-sex strangers.
In the first of three studies, researchers explored whether women or men perceived a receptive opposite-sex stranger as sexually desirable and, if so, whether that “responsive” quality registered as overtly feminine or masculine. The researchers found that men who perceived possible female partners as responsive found them to be “more feminine and more attractive.” Past research suggests that physical cues of femininity stimulate sexual attraction because they suggest higher estrogen levels, better overall mate quality and solid reproductive health.
On the other hand, women didn’t necessarily perceive a responsive man as less masculine, but they also did not find a responsive man more attractive. What’s more, when women perceived their male partner to be responsive, they were less attracted to the man.
In other words, it appeared that in an initial encounter men liked nice ladies; women thought nice guys were kind of lame.
There is plenty more, I suggest everyone read the whole thing. Here is what Vox had to say on the matter:
Men find nice women to be attractive. Women don’t find nice men to be attractive. The Masters of Game have been observing this for years; science is finally beginning to test some of the Game hypotheses, and unsurprisingly, are confirming them. It’s very simple. Being nice to an attractive woman is a display of low value. Being a jerk to an attractive woman is a display of high value. Women are drawn to DHV and repulsed by DLV. Because hypergamy.
Nice does not work for men. It just doesn’t. At the very best it does nothing positive, and at the worst will torpedo a man’s chances with a woman. Being perceived as “nice” lowers a man’s perceived Masculine Power in the eyes of women, rendering him less attractive.
But the opposite is not the case- nice can and does work for women. I wouldn’t exactly say that a nice woman is more attractive, but I would say that she is more desirable. So it won’t be a huge help (although it cannot hurt) to a woman who has otherwise lost the genetic lottery, but for even an average woman it can make a significant difference. This is because men tend to classify women above their attraction floor into two categories: women who are to be used and then discarded, and women who are to be possessed and kept. Begin nice as a woman, in fact “Girl Game” in particular, is all about being perceived in that latter category.
So, in summary, being nice is a bad move for men and a good move for women. It makes a man less attractive and makes a woman more desirable. Women are “praised” for pursuing “Girl Game” because it works for them- we praise success, not failure, which is all that “Nice Guy Game” ever entails.