The Scientific Fundamentalist

A look at the hard truths about human nature.

Men do everything they do in order to get laid III

Why women will always have more power than men.

Female choice

The similarity between Bill Gates, Paul McCartney, and the criminals (in fact, all men in evolutionary history) points to a very important concept in evolutionary biology:  female choice.  In all species in which the female makes greater parental investment than the male (such as humans and all other mammals), mating is a female choice; it happens when the female wants it to happen, and with whom she wants it to happen, not when and with whom the male wants it to happen.

The power of female choice becomes quite apparent in a simple thought experiment.  Imagine for a moment a society where sex and mating were entirely a male choice; individuals have sex whenever and with whomever men want, not whenever and with whomever women want.  What would happen in such a society?  Absolutely nothing, because people would never stop having sex!  There would be no civilization in such a society, because people would not do anything besides have sex.  This, incidentally, is the reason why gay men never stop having sex:  there are no women in their relationships to say no.  Sexually active straight men on average have had 16.5 sex partners since age 18; gay men have had 42.8.

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In reality, however, women do often say no to men.  (In my experience, they always do.)  This is why men throughout history have had to conquer foreign lands, win battles and wars, compose symphonies, author books, write sonnets, paint portraits and cathedral ceilings, make scientific discoveries, play in rock bands, and write new computer software, in order to impress women so that they will agree to have sex with them.  There would be no civilization, no art, no literature, no music, no Beatles, no Microsoft, if sex and mating were a male choice.  Men have built (and destroyed) civilizations in order to impress women so that they might say yes.  Women are the reason men do everything.

Once again, my personal hero Bill Maher captures the essence of female choice perfectly, when he quips:  “For a man to walk into a bar and have his choice of any woman he wants, he would have to be the ruler of the world.  For a woman to have the same power over men, she’d have to do her hair.”  In other words, any reasonably attractive young woman exercises as much power as does the (male) ruler of the world.

Put differently, every woman has the power to predict the future, while very few men do.  If a man wakes up in the morning and says to himself, “Tonight I will get laid,” the prediction will fail a vast majority of the times, unless he’s incredibly handsome.  (Most young men in fact do make this prediction every morning and go to bed alone and disappointed every night.)  If a woman -- any woman -- wakes up in the morning and says to herself, “Tonight I will get laid,” the prediction will always come true every time.  Such is the power of female choice.

 

Satoshi Kanazawa is an evolutionary psychologist at LSE and the coauthor (with the late Alan S. Miller) of Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters.

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