I just read an excellent article over on the free thought online magazine Quillitte about how the new dating economy creates differing levels of inequalities between men and women, with (no surprise) men having more inequality than women. In other words, male attraction to females is much more spread out based on women’s appearances, whereas female attraction to males is much more concentrated to the top fifth of attractive men.
Applying the Gini coefficient to men and women using the number of swipes on dating apps like tinder, the Gini coefficient of males is 0.542, whereas it’s a much more egalitarian 0.324 for females. Towards the very end of the article the author, Bradford Tuckfield, makes a slight critique of the progressives who cheer on the end of religion (which would include people like me) in how they’re reacting in apparent dismay to the unintended consequences that come along with shattering traditional institutions of sexual regulation, like marriage and monogamy, usually grounded in the authority of the church:
The result of these cultural changes is that the highly unequal social structures of the prehistoric savanna homo sapiens are reasserting themselves, and with them the dissatisfactions of the unattractive “sexually underprivileged” majority are coming back. It is ironic that the progressives who cheer on the decline of religion and the weakening of “outdated” institutions like monogamy are actually acting as the ultimate reactionaries, returning us to the oldest and most barbaric, unequal animal social structures that have ever existed. In this case it is the conservatives who are cheering for the progressive ideal of “sexual income redistribution” through a novel invention: monogamy.
If you read this blog, you know I take strong comfort responding to criticism of secularism and atheism. But this is a new one for me I haven’t considered. The dismantling of religion and the values it stands for comes with the unintended consequences of what a free market dating landscape looks like, where the bottom 80 percent of men who are largely unattractive to the majority of women end up struggling in the dating economy in a manner similar to how the bottom 80 percent of people in our economy are. This phenomena gives rise to the “incels” — the involuntary celibates, who for various reasons haven’t been able to secure any success in the free market dating economy, and who often yearn for the “enforced monogamy” of the past.
This got me thinking. I’m not a fan on marriage, though I wouldn’t argue that no one should get married. I think for many people — perhaps a majority — marriage is the best option for them. Most people are naturally monogamous and prefer to have one long term romantic partner in their life. A minority of people are naturally polyamorous, or are serial daters who prefer frequent, short term, mostly sexual, relationships. Marriage is declining, especially among the poor, and this is due to a variety of reason I won’t dive deep into here. But am I unknowingly championing the fall of the dating and sexual realities of the bottom 80 percent of men? I might be, and I’m not crazy about that reality because I might be in the bottom 80 percent of men in terms of attraction. So what should I do? Well, I don’t have all the answers now, so I might have to write another blog post about that in the future.