This is Part 3 of an ongoing series concerning sexual attraction. Part 1 can be found here, and part 2 here.
In the last post on this subject, Elspeth sought clarification about the objectivity of attraction factors versus their subjectivity. I’ve attempted to cover such subjects before, but not to great success. So here is an attempt to try again.
My original argument was that the LAMPS factors are objective factors, in that each women’s evaluation of a man’s sexual attractiveness is controlled by them. However, a better way of describing them is that they are universal. They apply to all women, regardless of individual characteristics. In that sense it is objective. However, past that point there is a lot of subjectivity involved.
As a general rule, the PSALM model is the arrangement from the most to the least important attributes: Power, Status, Athleticism, Looks and Money. However, even there you will find some variation. Some women are much more focused on a man’s appearance, while others don’t really care much at all. So while generalizations are possible, they are not perfect. Subjectivity matters here.
Furthermore, inside the individual factors subjectivity can play a significant role. Looks and Athleticism are the most subjective of the 5 sets of attributes. Some women prefer men with dark hair, some with light hair. Eye color preferences vary. As do other features. However, there are still certain general masculine features in the Looks category which are almost universally preferred. This is especially the case with facial features. Height is an interesting twist to this. The general preference is for a taller man, however the exact height preferred can differ between women. The ideal range, from what I can tell, seems to be around 6’0 to 6’4. Athleticism also has some variation- some women prefer a man with a swimmer build, others prefer the lean look of a runner, while yet others prefer the bulk of a weight lifter. Yet even in this the overall preference is still towards the ideal of each particular build.
Status and Money are the most objective of the LAMPS factors. Here it is pretty safe to say that the more, the merrier. More money and a greater status are always more attractive. Status might leave more room for subjectivity, in that some positions might be seen as higher status than others for some women. But overall there tends to be a lot of conformity here.
Power is hard to analyze here. There are a lot of subjective factors when personality is concerned, yet certain things (confidence, assurance, dominance) seem to be universally attractive. I’d be curious of folks’ thoughts on this.
Our Ideals Are Not Necessarily Ideal
The Daily Mail, not normally a news source of mine, had an interesting article recently. Essentially, a survey was conducted which asked questions related to sex and attraction. An interesting result of this was that when women were asked to name the ideal female “beauty”, they gave Cameron Diaz (presumably when she was younger). Men, on the other hand, listed Kate Upton. When men were asked to give the ideal male physique, they gave Hugh Jackman, while women listed Ryan Gosling.
What I found interesting about the choice of Diaz was the mention in the article of her “slim, boyish shape.” I’ve heard a few women I know, and attractive women at that, mention that they wish they were possessed of a thinner and taller profile or body shape. I am kind of curious why women would prefer this. While I have a few ideas of my own, I would like to hear what my readers think.
As for the men, I think I understand why men picked Hugh Jackman over Ryan Gosling. Since men are primarily driven by physical appearance, they selected a high-status man who seemed to best fit the peak masculine physical look. However, as the PSALM model points out, both Power and Status are of greater significance to a man’s sexual attractiveness than his Athleticism or Looks. Which makes me wonder if Gosling is considered higher Status right now. Or perhaps, if not necessarily purely higher status, if he is considerable more desirable by women right now. Which ties into my next point.
A Short-Cut To Status
Pre-selection is a feature of female behavior wherein women find men more attractive in relation to how many other women find that man attractive. The greater the number of women who seem to be attracted to a man, the more attractive he will tend to be in female eyes. This behavior is tied to Status and is a “short-cut”, women use it to quickly and easily gauge a man’s position in the overall market.
It is a behavior that gets quite a lot of play in Game circles, as it can be truly potent in driving attraction. While I’m not really interested in their particular “trade”, the behavior has an impact in the Marriage Marketplace just as it does in the Sexual Marketplace. As more than a few Christians have attested to before in this particular section of the internet, if a man in church manages to “invoke” this female behavior it can almost completely shut out other men.
In his latest post Rollo quotes from an earlier piece by Heartiste explaining an “experiment” which relied on this phenomenon:
Basically, the guy had a few friends follow him around the mall, one guy filming him and the other two guys (I can’t tell if any of his hired guns were women) acting as his “groupies” or entourage. He goes around identifying himself as “Thomas Elliot” when people, mostly women, ask him his name. Eventually, he begins to pile up admiring and gawking female attention, which only snowballs into more female attention. Apparently, not one of these starstruck chicks thought to question if Thomas Elliot was a real celebrity. That’s the power of preselection and fame; so powerful, it can disengage a woman’s neural logic circuitry.
[For those who want the link to the original post, go to Rollo’s post- as a general rule I don’t linke to Heartiste.]
Rollo then comments on how pre-selection plays the dominant role in the insanity which we know as “teen idols”:
Preselection is a very powerful motivator of women’s hypergamous decision making process. Even the perception of fame (or even the potential for it) is a prime motivator and incentive to lock down a man who presents the hypergamous optimal ideal – a guy who satisfies the sexiness her Alpha F—s hypergamous needs require and the long term security of provisioning potential from status-confirmed Beta Bucks.
Whether this “famous” guy actually embodies this ideal is irrelevant to a woman’s Id-centric psyche. When women are younger, tweens and teens, this self-convincing is much easier since girls lack any real world experience to reference with respect to what the guy really represents. A capacity for abstract thinking is something that develops as we mature, but the desire to optimize hypergamy is a limbic, instinctual drive for girls and no amount of reasoning can compete with the fantasy of a pre-fabricated idealized Hypergamy.
They want to believe it.
[DG: I wonder if this might be the female counter-part to men pedestalizing women. Thoughts?]
Thus we have hordes of girls and young women willing to go to behavioral lengths they would never consider with the mundane men they’re familiar with in order to just brush with the possibility of that hypergamous ideal. They will literally climb over one another to realize this.
The thing is, many older women can experience this behavior as well. They tend not to be as extreme about it, but I’ve seen it expressed before. SO it definitely seems to be an innate female behavior. Perhaps experience tempers it, as Rollo implies. Or maybe a woman’s drop in SMV, and her knowledge of his, makes her realize that she doesn’t have a real chance of pulling off this kind of “coup.”
Naturally, many Game practitioners and PUAs try to find ways to capitalize on pre-selection. I’ve heard of some hiring escorts to provide the appearance of female attention. Others will use female family members or co-workers for this purpose. It can be a huge card to play, and frankly any man looking to attract women should keep it in mind. If not for his own use, but to be wary of other men using it.
What I am curious about is how, or if, this could be ethically used by Christians within the confines of a church. Assuming that you cannot, or should not use it, what steps might be taken to counter-act its effects? Or is that even really possible? From what I’ve seen, the only thing that can surmount a man with pre-selection is another man with an even greater perception of pre-selection. I invite my readers to chime in with their thoughts on this subject, and all the others broached in this post.