From the original article on October 30, 2020, by Julius Branson.
Few questions are as important as the following: what selection pressures are humans facing, and are they eugenic or dysgenic? In other words, are we evolving or devolving? Of central importance to this question is the practice of human reproduction: children are produced when a man fucks a woman. The genes that lead to fucking, therefore, are the genes that are being selected for. So what genes are these? Who gets laid?
It does not suffice to use anecdotes. In large distributions, there are many outliers. Therefore let us approach this topic scientifically; no dudebro philosophy about game and muscles and whatever else here. Men are hardly unified on what they think their anecdotes signify: a few hopeful men say it’s all about game, while others, more pessimistic, say it’s the face, and yet more say muscles, and others money, et cetera ad infinitum.
Let us phrase the question scientifically: what factors explain what proportion of the variance of male romantic success? This question implies that the club scene will not be analyzed. Women may choose differently for one night stands than they will for a reproductive partner.
Looking into the scientific literature on this question is quite frustrating. Frankly, it’s quite bad and I have only been able to unearth a few studies that offer only hesitant, partial answers. Yet the available evidence does allow a few important facts to be clear, and with sufficient reasoning other facts may be inferred.
One high quality study was published in 2017 (Fugere et al.), and asked women to rate men based on a photo and one of three descriptions of three traits each that were intended to be highly desirable, desirable, or less desirable. The women gave ratings for physical attractiveness, behavioral desirability, and dating desirability. It was found using multiple linear regression analysis (MLR) that sr2 was 0.55 for physical attractiveness and 0.20 for personality rating. This means those two ratings alone accounted for 75% of the variance in dating desirability scores and that physical attractiveness accounted for 55% of that variance by itself, or, in other words, it accounted for 55% of the variance after factoring out its covariance with personality score. One interesting thing to note is that the researchers also asked the same thing to the mothers of the women and found that physical attractiveness accounted for about 33% of the variance, and personality accounted for about 40% of the variance in regards to how much the mothers desired their daughter to date the given man. It can therefore be inferred, at least according to this study, that in days when parents had a significantly greater say in who their daughter would marry, reputation mattered much more than looks.
And let me comment on the word I used in the last sentence: reputation. That is precisely what the women and mothers were rating. This is, in essence, a component of social status, and not direct behavior or “game” ability, and this is further evidenced by the fact that the men were described using reputation words — “trustworthy,” not “interesting,” “mature,” not “easy to get along with”. They were described in ways that communities view people, not in ways that are merely meant to bring to mind the way the man will treat the woman. So, being generous, we can say that direct behavior might account for the missing variance, and maybe a small part of the reputation variance, implying that variance explained by direct behavior might be as high as 30% but no higher. On the other hand, it could still conceivably be as low as 0% based on the evidence so far.
What do other studies show? One type of attraction study seems to indicate that attraction has little to do with direct behavior, or, in other words, the personality that the woman experiences. These studies typically simulate dating in a controlled fashion and ask the participants the degree to which they would like to go on another date with whoever they met. One study published in 1966 found “The correlation between liking of the date and evaluation of the date’s physical attractiveness is .78 for male subjects and .69 for female subjects” (Walster et al. 1966). The subjects’ looks were rapidly rated by four random raters, meaning that it is unlikely that the ratings were inflated or deflated by personality. R2 for women, then, is about 0.5, which means that about 50% of the variance in female desire to see the male date again can be explained by the male’s physicality alone. This is obviously in line with the findings of the 2017 study, indicating that the 1966 result has been independently replicated half a century later. The 1966 study also gave personality tests to the subjects: masculinity correlated with the female wanting to see the male again at r = 0.12, extroversion at r = 0.10, good manners at r = .12, and “self-acceptance” (confidence) at r = .14. In other words, variance in being a super-wacky extrovert, having good manners, acting “masculine”, and being confident account for essentially none of the variance of whether or not the male is wanted by the female again. The study concluded that out of the metrics they scored, only physical attractiveness predicted the women wanting to see the men again.
Another study from 2009 (Luo & Zhang) replicated these findings again. This study had the participants fill out tests to measure personality and then had them participate in a speed-dating event where each male met ten females and vice versa. Physique was pre-rated by each researcher with high reliability (intercorrelation = 0.86). These pre-rated scores correlated at r=0.88 (r2 = 0.77) with the extent to which the female wanted to see the male again after the date. Men were allowed to seduce, display IDGAF and abundance attitudes, and generally mog for five minutes. Still, “interest in sport activities” (r = 0.48, r2 = 0.23), which probably covaries with the physique pre-ratings (as I will explain), and physique were the only predictive variables. Big 5 traits correlated at most at r = 0.26 but were not statistically significant (p < 5%). One interesting thing to note is that the sample consisted of college students with an average age of 19; Interest in sports might have functioned as a serious reflector of status since women generally cannot yet gauge status based on jobs and money when it comes to 19 year old college students. Fresh out of high school, they were likely still influenced by propaganda that designates the sports players as high-status and popular.
As far as I have found, these studies are the cream of the crop when it comes to those which attempt to estimate the factors that predict male romantic success. Despite the field being quite barren, conclusions can still be drawn, considering that all of the studies have more than adequate statistical power and each agrees with one another. Physical attractiveness matters the most: each study estimates its predictive power at at least half of the variance. Status matters, but less than physique. Direct behavior, or personality, explains little to none of the variance. This does not mean that a 5/10 trainwreck, anxious autist couldn’t get more girls if he somehow improved his social skills, but it indicates that game-ish behaviors don’t work or are at least extremely rare within the samples. It does show that more natural differences in personality traits, ranging from extroversion to confidence, matter very little. Given that much of game consists of essentially telling guys to be more extroverted and confident, these studies suggest that that aspect of game is nonsense.
Based on these results, I predict that if I were to run my ideal experiment and find how much variance physique, direct behavior, and status explain, I would see about 60%, 5%, and 35% respectively. Let us then apply the knowledge of this educated estimation on a number of hypothetical cases. Case 1: a man who is 5’8” with a 50th percentile face and a typical, skinnyfat body shape. He is somewhat introverted and has a few close friends, and is in university. He comes to me for my sage-like wisdom and asks, “O, wise one, what shall acquireth me the womb?” There are only two questions to ask him: “are you autistic?” and “do you have social anxiety?”. When he answers no to both, I give him my knowledge: “do thou worketh out and build thy muscle, and go on and gaineth thou status. Then the womb shall be for thee.” If his direct behavior is not an absolute trainwreck, if he is not a terrible autist, then no amount of confidence-game will help him. He already has sufficient confidence: if he didn’t, the variance in direct behavior would explain more of the variance in romantic success because a large number of men would be capitalizing off this easy “biohack”. Women don’t like him because he’s an overall 4/10 physically and has no status because he has few friends, no fame, and no money. Approaching 100 random women will most likely net 99 to 100 rejections by his looks alone. The ugly girls that go on one date with him will friendzone him when they find out he doesn’t like sports and he has 2 friends. And so Case 1 goes on, gets ripped, and makes some more friends and some notoriety and finally he finds a woman. Case 2: a 6’2” man who has been working out for a year and has something to show for it, with an average to above average face, approaches and says, trembling, “What do I do? I have been following the advice you gave Case 1 for a year and still I have no girlfriend.” I ask my questions, and he responds, “I-I have a lot of confidence issues and a lot of social anxiety with women.” He makes no eye contact and his voice is monotone. I tell him, “you are the one who is so rare that you do not even register in the variance in direct behavior in my studies of wisdom. You need to cure your autism, learn to make eye contact and stop turning off girls who would otherwise be into you by physically trembling when you approach them.” Later that night, he bangs 3 girls from the club because he took Xannies to control his shaking and MDMA to cure his autism. Finally, case three: the ghost of Elliot Rodger comes up from hell and asks me why no girls wanted him. I say to him: “You are physically a 4/10. You are an extreme malet who is half asian AND you have no status and who knows how autistic you were in your interaction with people. Surprisingly, despite constant propaganda telling them to race-mix, the innate urge against it is so strong that 90-95% of women date within their race, and if they do race-mix, you better know it’s a rich white male or at least a ripped black gangster with a BBC. It’s not a skinny, manlet happa. She can find a white manlet if that’s her thing.” He proclaims “Blackpilled Again!” as he descends back into hell.
*I am going to justify the obvious: female physical preferences are dysgenic. You already knew this if your IQ is above 120, but nowhere have I seen this formally argued for. In fact, it is rather common for people to imply that selecting for muscles is eugenic. They are quite wrong.*
“By the age of 19, 80% of US males and 75% of women have lost their virginity, and 87% of college students have had sex. But this number appears to be much lower at elite colleges. Only 56% of Princeton undergraduates have had intercourse. At Harvard 59% of the undergraduates are non-virgins, and at MIT, only a slight majority, 51%, have had intercourse. Further, only 65% of MIT graduate students have had sex.” (Malloy 2007 [actually a well cited blogpost!])
It has been clear since at least The Bell Curve that IQ is being selected against. The proposed causes for this phenomenon range from welfare checks to those with higher IQs acting more responsible. One overlooked cause is female mate preference: women care greatly about their partners physicality, and their physical preferences select against IQ and Need-For-Cognition (NFC). This is not to some great benefit in some other trait: outside of their preferences against the obese and the horrifically diseased, female physical preferences are stuck in 9000 BC. In other words, the trait they are selecting for is strength. Health is neutral or selected against, and intellect is certainly selected against due to the outdated, innate preferences of women.
In order to analyze the dysgenic effect of female physical preference, it would be helpful to know what exactly they are selecting for. One study indicates that, more so than height and facial attractiveness, women appreciate large muscles (Frederick & Haselton 2007). However, it is not necessary to derive a predictive model for physical attractiveness in men which assigns a percent of the variance explained to each trait, nor is it likely possible at the moment based on the current level of data. The reason why it is not necessary is because studies have already shown what factors women find physically attractive, and each can be shown to be dysgenic to some extent. These factors are, essentially, muscle mass, height, and facial masculinity.
Having large muscles negatively correlated with intelligence and intellectual attitude. Having a higher Need for Cognition (NFC), or tendency to think deeply, strongly predicts spending less time in the gym compared to those with low to average NFC (McElroy et al. 2016). Furthermore, time spent in the gym moderately, negatively correlates with IQ (Killgore 2012). Although some research indicates that muscle strength is linked to a longer life, this is likely flawed data due to obese subjects and the fact that most of it is collected on elderly people. Of course stronger elderly people are healthier, but why are they stronger? It could be because they have not degenerated as much due to their genes. Even if it were to be accepted that strength correlates with health, the net effect of selecting for the visibly strong over non-obese, average men is still dysgenic because it selects against IQ. Furthermore, high IQ men that are selected against due to outdated female preferences are likely as healthy or healthier than resistance trainers because IQ is associated with longevity (Arden et al. 2016), despite the fact that men with higher IQs exercise less.
Next is the face. Facial attractiveness in men is associated with “perceived health” but not with real measures of health and virility (Foo et al. 2017). It is largely thought that women are attracted to faces of higher testosterone men — there is a negative or neutral correlation of testosterone with immune response (Taneja 2018). Testosterone is also negatively associated with longevity (Min et al. 2012). Finally, there is no association between IQ and facial attractiveness on the genetic level according to twin data (Mitchem 2015).
As for height: women like taller men and taller men are less healthy (Samaras & Elrick 2002). A taller man in 9000 BC, however, is more likely to beat an equally healthy manlet in a fight. In 2020, the manlet will just pull a gun and the taller man will die.
As I previously wrote, physicality seems to explain more than half of the variance in male romantic success. Not only is physical attractiveness largely irrelevant to fitness in 2020, it is at least slightly unfit given its negative correlation with intelligence and need for cognition. Many healthy men are getting cheated out of children because in the eyes of women they are 4/10s, when in the reality of 2020 they are no less fit than an “attractive” man. Despite their face and their stature, they will probably live healthily to a ripe old age and they are more likely to have a higher IQ than an “attractive” man.
The solution is to enact what made Europe great from the beginning: enforced monogamy. Make average looking women settle for average looking men again. This model is both historically standard and has the benefit of not selecting against the high IQ like the fornication model of 2020 does.
I won’t say much on status and its dysgenic effects other than surveyed women say they actively prefer dumber guys than they could other get. More specifically, when offered a choice between a 99th percentile IQ and a 90th percentile IQ man, they choose the latter. With other traits, such as kindness, they pick 99th percentile: as much as they can get.
The reason for this is probably found in anti-intelligence propaganda like the nonexistent archetype of the “nerd”. Regardless, the only thing that saves high IQ men is money, but they’re often old if they get enough of it at all, and end up with a settled down 30 year old fresh off the cock carousel.
IQ goes down every year, and women are to blame, at least in part. They choose every day to reproduce with dumber men due to their superior physique or status instead of reproducing with otherwise average high IQ men. This effect is dysgenic and female preference should be disregarded insofar as is required to correct the direction of our evolution.
Arden, R., Luciano, M., Deary, I. J., Reynolds, C. A., Pedersen, N. L., Plassman, B. L., … & Visscher, P. M. (2016). The association between intelligence and lifespan is mostly genetic. International Journal of Epidemiology, 45(1), 178-185. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4795559/
El-Kholy, T., & Elsayed, E. (2015). Association of physical activity and health status with intelligence quotient of high school students in Jeddah. Journal of physical therapy science, 27(7), 2039-2043. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4540813/
Foo, Y. Z., Simmons, L. W., & Rhodes, G. (2017). Predictors of facial attractiveness and health in humans. Scientific Reports, 7, 39731. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5290736/
Frederick, D. A., & Haselton, M. G. (2007). Why is muscularity sexy? Tests of the fitness indicator hypothesis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33(8), 1167-1183. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167207303022
Fugère, M. A., Chabot, C., Doucette, K., & Cousins, A. J. (2017). The importance of physical attractiveness to the mate choices of women and their mothers. Evolutionary Psychological Science, 3(3), 243-252. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40806-017-0092-x#citeas
Killgore, W. D., & Schwab, Z. J. (2012). Sex differences in the association between physical exercise and IQ. Perceptual and motor skills, 115(2), 605-617. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.2466/06.10.50.PMS.115.5.605-617
Luo, S., & Zhang, G. (2009). What leads to romantic attraction: Similarity, reciprocity, security, or beauty? Evidence from a speed‐dating study. Journal of personality, 77(4), 933-964. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19558447/
Malloy, J. (2007). Intercourse and intelligence. Gene Expression. http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2007/04/intercourse-and-intelligence.php
McElroy, T., Dickinson, D. L., Stroh, N., & Dickinson, C. A. (2016). The physical sacrifice of thinking: Investigating the relationship between thinking and physical activity in everyday life. Journal of health psychology, 21(8), 1750-1757. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1359105314565827
Min, K. J., Lee, C. K., & Park, H. N. (2012). The lifespan of Korean eunuchs. Current Biology, 22(18), R792-R793. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/231224284_The_lifespan_of_Korean_eunuchs
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Samaras, T. T., & Elrick, H. (2002). Height, body size, and longevity: is smaller better for the humanbody?. Western journal of medicine, 176(3), 206. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1071721/
Taneja, V. (2018). Sex hormones determine immune response. Frontiers in immunology, 9, 1931. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6119719/
Walster, E., Aronson, V., Abrahams, D., & Rottman, L. (1966). Importance of physical attractiveness in dating behavior. Journal of personality and social psychology, 4(5), 508. https://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/2005-11095-001.pdf
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