This post is a continuation of my series on attraction. The most recent post in the series can be found here, and the first can be found here. Today’s post is going to focus on a specific feature of female attraction, commonly referred to as “Hypergamy.” This post is by no means meant to be exhaustive- there is a lot to cover and I won’t attempt to do so in this single post.
An Inaccurate Name for an Accurate Observation
Merriam-Webster defines Hypergamy as “marriage into an equal or higher caste or social group.” For anyone familiar with how hypergamy is used in the ‘sphere, you will realize that this definition is not what most people mean when they use that particular word. In fact, it is hardly ever used in conjunction with castes or social groups. Unsurprisingly, this trips more than a few people up. Those individuals who come across this part of the ‘net, and who upon seeing the word “Hypergamy” look it up, will quickly become confused. This often leads some people (mostly but not always women) to reject any “Red Pill” concepts which are connected with hypergamy.
Here is an example of a post where a woman “rejects” hypergamy. A quick review of her post will reveal that she has a better understanding of the subject than most who come to that conclusion. She knows that it is about more than just “marrying up” to a higher social group. However, her understanding is still imperfect (more might be said about her post but I’m keeping this narrowly focused here). To help her out, and to help out anyone else whose knowledge of this area is lacking, I will (try to) explain what “Hypergamy,” as used in the ‘sphere, actually means.
The thing to understand is that hypergamy is not about “marrying up.” And by that I mean its not about marrying, and not necessarily about “up” in a social status sense. No, hypergamy is about maximization.
Hypergamy means the female drive to maximize a woman’s access to a man, or men, who can meet her demand for the best genetics, provision and protection possible.
This “drive” breaks down into two specific drives, both of which can be (and often are) independent of one another. As Rollo has explained in the past (and I’m sure he can include a post or two in the comments below as examples), women want “Good Genes” and “Good Dads.” In other words, they have a drive to mate with a man with the best perceived genes, which will be passed on to their children. And they have a drive to secure or “lock down” or get “commitment” from a man who they perceive will be the best possible “dad.” Such a man will protect and provide for a woman and her children. Arousal (or sexual attraction) is tied to “good genes”, and (non-sexual) attraction is tied to being a “good dad.” Often, attraction and a man’s skills or ability as a provider/protector are tied to his social status, but not always.
The female ideal is to get both “needs” met in the same package. Essentially, a man with (perceived) good genetics who will also stick around and care for the woman and her children. However, it is not common (at least in this day and age) to find a man with both sets of qualities. And its even rarer to find that kind of man who is free and is interested in settling down. This is where things get more complicated.
You see, women are more than willing and able to seek out different men to meet each individual “need.” In fact, I would argue that women who cannot get both in the same man will naturally employ this strategy unless they are reared not to. This strategy entails sleeping with men with (perceived) good genes, and then trying to get men who are perceived as good providers/protectors to take care of them. It is called by some “AF/BB”, or “Alpha F—s, Beta Bucks.” Potiphar’s wife, whom I mentioned in my latest Sunday Scriptures post, was likely trying to employ this strategy. Bathsheba, on the other hand, was (assuming she was trying to get David’s attention) trying to get David to carry out a “relationship coup”- that is, to remove Uriah from the picture so that she could marry David. David, after all, was an upgrade from Uriah as far as both drives were concerned.
My suspicion, which seems borne out by evidence all around us, is that women primarily focus on “good genes” when they are younger, and as they get older and have children, “good dads” take preeminence (Rollo refers to this as the Epiphany phase). This, along with some things I will explain in the next few paragraphs, will explain why a stable-hand might draw the attention that a banker doesn’t.
Now, I’ve used “perceived” at several points in the last few paragraphs because it isn’t always clear which men have “good genes” and which men would be “good dads.” Usually the latter is easier to figure out than the former. Women use various shortcuts to try and determine how well a man rates on both. The primary tool that women use to determine “Good Genes” (aka, arousal) is a man’s LAMPS/PSALM score. The higher a man ranks in LAMPS value, the more sexually attractive he is to women and the more he will arouse them. The stable-boy, who is somewhat mocked in the post linked above, is an example of a man whose LAMPS score is high, at least compared to the banker. The banker’s decent Status value helps him, but if he has a lower Power value then it doesn’t matter, ultimately. Likewise, the reference to rogues and pirates all showcase men with high LAMPS scores, primarily focused on the Power attribute. These are all men who can arouse women, and since young women are primarily looking for arousal (rather than non-sexual attraction), that is why they garner such attention.
Something else tied to all of this is the behavior of “trading up.” This is a natural outgrowth of the drive to maximize access to “good genes” and “good dad” in a man. If a better man is found, then women will subconsciously want to “trade up.” That they don’t all the time is because of a number of factions: socializing, a sense of morality, a lack of opportunity and social penalties. Investing in a man over time can also reduce this likelihood. Remove these and women will often leap at a chance to trade up. Only, their idea of trading up may vary, depending on what particular drive they are trying to maximize at the time. Also, their perceptions of what constitutes “higher value” may not always be crystal clear.
One additional note: hypergamy is one drive among many that women possess. Albeit a powerful drive. But for women who are raised properly, its nastier effects can be limited, or even controlled. Unfortunately this is no longer the case for most modern women.
Hopefully this provided at least a half-way understandable explanation of hypergamy, as it is used by people in the ‘sphere. It is an inaccurate use of a word, that much I will grant. A better term needs to be invented, I think, to really encompass everything that falls under this umbrella. But until then hypergamy remains an inaccurate name for an accurate observation of female behavior.
Good Enough v. The Best
As mentioned above, hypergamy is about maximization and a desire for the best. Its arousal component means that a woman will be drawn, sexually, to the men around her who she perceives as meeting her drive’s demand for “good genes.” More specifically, she will be drawn to the best among them- those men with the highest LAMPS values. However, this isn’t the only behavior in play.
Women also have what is called an “Attraction floor,” which is a point below which they won’t consider a man as a viable sexual partner. This means that in a population where none of the men are above this point, women won’t be able to satisfy their “good genes” hypergasmic impulse (that one never gets old). If they do pick a man, it won’t be based on arousal. Rather, it will be based on his being perceived as a “good dad” candidate, aka, (non-sexual) attraction. There is no guarantee that they will pick such men; some women would rather do without (just as some men will choose to do without if they can’t find any candidates they consider acceptable/worthy).
What this means for a man is that he needs to make sure that he isn’t simply the best. He also needs to be sure that he is above a woman’s attraction floor. The problem is that there is no clear indication where this floor is. The fluid nature of the LAMPS model makes it difficult to pinpoint values. Furthermore, each women values each attribute somewhat differently, and also has her own floor for that matter. All of which makes it next to impossible to know where this floor is. It is much easier, on the other hand, to know where it isn’t. If a man arouses a woman, he is above the floor. If he doesn’t, then he is likely below it. Consequently, a man should always endeavor to build his LAMPS values as high as possible, to ensure that he is not only the best, but that he is good enough as well.
One subject that comes up from time to time around these parts is Toxic Hypergamy. This refers to the notion that some women’s hypergamy “filter” has become so warped that they can no longer (realistically) meet it their hypergamic requirements. In other words, what they find acceptable or worthy in a man is at such a high level so as to be unattainable by all but a few men (or in extreme cases no man alive could ever be acceptable). Naturally enough, there aren’t enough of these men to go around. And often such men won’t have anything to do with women exhibiting this behavior. Further, the women who have this often aren’t high enough value themselves to justify having such standards. In many (most?) instances they are often quite bad at estimating their own SMV.
Toxic Hypergamy seems to be especially prevalent in Christian circles. More than a few posters and commenters around these parts can attest to personal stories of Western Christian women who demonstrated this particular condition. EAPs, or Entitled American Princesses, often have Toxic Hypergamy, and can turn down countless men while they wait for a “worthy” man to show up. This has only exacerbated the problems inherent in the American Church.
What I find interesting about this phenomenon is that it serves as further demonstration that a woman’s hypergamy can be influenced by her surroundings and by how she was raised. In the present age this is a cause of sorrow. But at the same time there is some hope for the future. Parents who raise their daughters right, either now or in the future, can account for this and hopefully take steps to help their daughters rein in their hypergamic instincts.
A Debased Currency
Rollo’s post Loyalty & Hypergamy is an article that I think some of my male readers would find illuminating (I guess women might find it interesting, but it is less likely to be illuminating for them, and would be a difficult read). It delves a bit into the concept of loyalty and how that intersects a bit with hypergamy.