30 November, 2011

Chicks Dig Jerks

So, maybe I'm a bit disgruntled. Or maybe I'm just more perceptive right now. Either way, the following are some thoughts on the fairer sex that have been rolling around in my gourd for the past few weeks.

We humans are no different than any other species insofar as we have certain predispositions coded right into our DNA, thanks to evolution. I don't think that there will be much resistance to that assertion. We are predisposed to find sugars to be sweet, for instance, because they are an energy-rich source of food, and our ancestors millions of years ago who thought that such substances tasted good ate more of them, and had more energy, and had more sex. There's no controversy (among educated folk, that is) here.

Now, I will assert that one of these predispositions is that women seek mates with certain properties. We see this sort of thing all over the animal kingdom. Peahens select for mates the peacocks with the most brilliant plumage, et al. But we human males don't have bright tail feathers (I'm sad to say). So in order to understand this phenomenon, we have to understand what the underlying message is. The females don't prefer the tail feathers for their own sake; they prefer what they represent. They represent a robust male with a healthy immune system, among other things, for only such a male has the energy and resources to grow such a tail. The tail also correlates with testosterone levels.

Ah, testosterone. The most combustible chemical known to humankind. An accelerant better than any hydrocarbon in the arson of life. Testosterone may allow the peacocks to grow their bright displays, but it does other things as well. LIkewise, in humans, testosterone allows men to grow facial hair, have deep voices, and so forth (the so-called secondary sexual characteristics). And, likewise, the testosterone does more than just that in men as it does in peacocks.  

Testosterone is directly proportional, in men, with aggressiveness, competitiveness, assertiveness, violence... Your alpha-male mentality is caused, largely, by high levels of testosterone in a man's blood. Okay, no surprise there. Everyone knows that. But what does that mean?

Well, here's what I think. I think that, just a peahens are genetically predisposed to favor peacocks with the brightest and biggest tail feathers (a display of testosterone), women are largely predisposed to favor men who are aggressive, assertive, competitive, and so forth. 

Now, of course, human women are sentient and intelligent whereas the peahens are, largely, not (at least not to the same degree). Human woman are members of a society, and have evolved a frontal lobe that the peahens lack. There is a social veneer on top of the animal instincts in modern humans, and I would be wrong to ignore such a veneer. I'm not suggesting that women will always choose the most testosterone-laden mate; there are many other factors involved in a woman's choice. But I don't think that I am remiss in saying that women will be, on average, most attracted to such men, whether they choose them or not.

It is cultural. Our (Western) society tends to lionize and reward asswipes. The cutthroats get ahead time after time, and the good guy, as they say, often finishes last. It is a dog-eat-dog world out there, especially among men. Mens' social hierarchies tend to be much more stratified and rigid than womens' social hierarchies, and right there at the tops are invariably the alpha-male personalities.

Would you like an example of what I'm talking about? Well, here you go. Contemporary women thought that Marlon Brando's character from 'A Streetcar Named Desire' was one of the sexiest men they had ever seen, and fawned over him. That's right.  Even though he beats Stella, and cheats on her, women at the time found him almost irresistible. Such a hunk. I think that says a lot.

I have my own  anecdotal evidence, as well. I won't go into extreme detail, but I have personally experienced throughout my life, and have talked with many other men who have experienced throughout their lives, being passed over for somebody who is at least a tad more of a jerk. Ask any guy about how many times he's been put into what is colloquially called 'the friend zone' because they come across as nice, caring, and compassionate. They'll bear me out on this one.

So here is my cynical conclusion. If a guy wants any chance at getting a girl, he will almost certainly follow the following prescription:
1. Be aloof. It drives most girls crazy when they don't have your attention, and they will devote time and energy in getting it
2. Be unsympathetic. Don't listen to a girl's problems or desires.
3. Constantly avoid spending time with her, except when it is convenient for you and not her. I don't know why, but this works almost every time
4. Tell her that you don't care. Even if you do. Or at least, don't bring the subject up unless you absolutely have to.

That combo right there works 4 times out of 5. Men will change once they've got the girl, and then they'll be the nice guy that they probably are. But out the gate, you can't be nice. You'll lose to the tactics I described above almost every time.

In short, chicks dig jerks. But it isn't their fault.

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