Across the manosphere, hypergamy is an oft-discussed meme. Based on my informal mental count, it’s second only to feminism as a catch-all explanation for dysfunctional female behavior. “Hypergamy unleashed” is a typical response to stories of the college hookup scene, harems, endless serial monogamy, the 80:20 sexual pyramid, apocryphal “rainbow parties” and other sexual dynamics driven by the use and misuse of women’s status as sexual gatekeepers.
While I agree the concept is an important one, I fear we’re getting away from a bounded definition, and thus hurting our ability to use it to describe and discuss the SMP. Hopefully this post will spark some discussion.
I see “hypergamy” used to reference three typical situations:
- The desire of women for a partner of higher social status than her and the alleged inability of most women to feel attraction to a mate she perceives as lower or equal in social status. (To this point, the role of media culture in teaching women to find most men unworthy and unattractive is a huge problem.)
- The instinctual desire for a woman to mate with the highest-status man she possibly can. (In my mind, this is no different from a man’s desire to mate with the hottest woman he can seduce.)
- The alleged tendency of women to “trade up” in the SMP, in violation of social mores if need be (this would include dumping your beta date when the quarterback asks you to prom, and more nasty things like frivolous divorce, cuckolding and paternity fraud). Dalrock has made such “choice addiction,” and fantasies thereof, a regular discussion item at his blog.
Female hypergamy is often paralleled to the male desire for sexual variety. What’s interesting about that parallel is that doesn’t tell you what women actually find attractive, it simply relays the female Body Agenda and unconscious mating strategy. That men find long hair and hips attractive is a non sequitur to the fact that the male hindbrain is optimized to find many women attractive so as to motivate him to be sexually ready to “spread the seed” when the opportunity presents itself. Likewise, the hypergamy strategy doesn’t tell you how a woman’s brain evaluates status, it simply says that given the choice, she should choose the higher-status male, and choose him exclusively.
Another way of saying this in a way a systems designer might put it: there’s two independent pieces of hardware – one evaluates attraction, and one decides who to mate with. The male decision algorithm will decide on multiple women at the same time if possible; the female algorithm will seek the most attractive man, to the exclusion of other suitors.