Nice Guys vs Jerks in Female Attraction, Scientific Evidence and Cultural Stigmas

As part of my research requirements for psychology, I've been spending many hours writing up a meta analysis (study of past compiled research) on the nice guy stereotype, and I thought this would be a good place to share it. I'll briefly summarize the validity of certain cultural stigmas as well as clarify what the science on the matter actually is. Keep in mind, what I am presenting is not opinion-based nor opinion-oriented, it is a citation and explanation of various research conducted under the scientific method. When you see a name and a date, ie: "(Darwin, 1871)", that is me citing a source.

 

"Nice guys finish last," is the expression often used to describe a woman's tendency to be attracted more to a jerk than a nice guy. From anecdotal experience, it can seem to be the case.

So, is it true? Yes, but that also depends on how you define nice guys and their competitors, whether they be described as alpha males, jerks, or aggressive men. It has indeed been shown that males who have passive admiration for females are seen as less attractive (McDaniel 1985), but it is also true that empathy and respectfulness, when isolated as variables, do tend to be seen as slightly attractive to women (Ubaniak 2003).

This is the case because it isn't an alpha male's callousness that females find attractive on a primal level, it is the man's ability to provide (Buss 1989). It is a common belief that women are biologically wired to seek out aggressive males, however, this is claim is only correlational, not causative; it explains the motivation for a certain action to be associated with the desire of a certain behavior rather than what the desired goal of the seeking might with a set of behaviors, hence the claim cannot be considered fully scientifically valid within context. In terms of means and ends, mate selection all boils down to two things: fertility and ability to survive (Darwin 1871). In humans, the latter means prior mentioned resource acquisition capabilities, ie: 'can this man provide enough to support the family?'

This goes back to the concept of the alpha male. Although the alpha male is typically thought of the male that is most aggressive, its definition is more that of functional behavior, and that function of the alpha is to be the one who can best look after the rest of the group. Keep in mind, that this is not a static characteristic in individuals, but can be more effectively implemented in different skill sets, ie: the doctor can heal the sick and the soldier can protect the group. The aggressive trait commonly associated with alphas is due to a display of primary skill sets, meaning that aggressive behavior is an active assertion of ability. Think of it like the music performer who gains all the attention while the composer gets less.

What this means for nice guys is the fact they they do not display their abilities as much makes them less interesting. It should also be noted, that in regards to confidence, people who are more physically attractive tend to develop more confidence (Campbell 1986), hence many nice guys may not be as physically attractive, further lending to their disposition in female attraction.

In terms of what qualifies a man for ability to gather resource, social hierarchies also play a huge role in people's perceptions of what indicates success. Although we naturally create hierarchies of every entity, the qualifications for status in those hierarchies is largely socially determined. A man who expresses himself as emotional and smitten over a woman may come across as looking pathetic and vulnerable, while the jerk who acts dismissively may come across as one who does not need the woman, giving the implication that he could be with other women should he desire. Something to note, however, is that, in modern society, men having more sexual partners is not a significant factor in attraction (Herold 1999).

Let's not also neglect the gender roles associated with women. Although, in western society, women, minus their gender constructs, are just as able to satisfy most occupations (however, men do have better spacial awareness and upper body strength, but women have better ability to assess the emotional state of others from a more active facial recognition system in the brain [citation needed, but I guarantee is true]). So, western society is still implementing these gender roles despite lack of potential, increased, befit from resource gathering females. If this were not the case, then certain roles might be reversed, like males seeking out the alpha female who can best provide for the family. From a utilitarian perspective, however, the male and the female in a relationship would both act as alphas in contexts which best utilize the skills of both, thus maximizing resource acquisition on both ends.

 

...

 

TL;DR/ in conclusion: yes, females are inherently attracted to the alpha male, but the alpha male is the one who can best provide, not the most disrespectful.

Tags: alpha, guys, jerks, nice, women

Views: 1444

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

"A man who...  ...should he desire." I think there is even more going on there. A man who seems smitten over a woman can make the woman feel good about herself. So good in fact, she get's the feeling she can do better than this guy, because she feel secure about herself. A guy who pays her attention, but also lets her know she's not 'all that' may make her feel that she NEEDS someone because she's not secure. 

I feel it's a combination of the two: 'smitten guy' lowers himself, and raises the woman, 'dismissive guy' lowers the woman and raises himself. 

The two things should be subtle though, because offending someone and pushing social boundaries is a trait that can not be related to the 'alpha male'. 

False Alphas; Betas trying to mimic the actions of Alphas without the natural inclination to be, or understanding the nature of, an Alpha.

Quite right, that's why books like 'the game' are full of it. Sensing the nature of someone else is a pretty strong thing I think. 'Acting' like an alpha simply doesn't cut it. 

The real danger I see in the PUA scene is they take very real, and very valid, self help techniques, and twist them for short term personal gain at the expense of long term behavioral change, without the responsibility which comes with gaining higher social standing. Lacking the natural tendencies, or the experience which comes through actual work, ultimately it's a guidebook to nowhere.

Natural inclination? Really? The notion that human females can't effectively be an alpha figure in the right context because they don't have the ingrained skill sets has no basis in scientific reality. As a matter of fact, the only significant reasons for males almost always being the alpha are the following: increased size/strength, testosterone (which leads to aggressive behavior), and social gender roles. In a modern society, a woman is perfectly capable of forgoing those aspects and emerging as an alpha.

Check yourself.

Just did a search for the research. Didn't come up with anything to support your claim. Perhaps a link to the research you are citing might validate it.

I meant, check yourself before you get your panties in a bunch over nothing and jump into a conversation half cocked making yourself look like a jackass.

Thank you for reminding me why I previously ceased to visit these forums.

Because you jump to conclusions and lash out without cause?

No, the criticism is fine. I'll look over the studies you sent me and adjust accordingly.

The reason is the inevitable antagonism and personal insults that are without need, ultimately acting as a general environment of hostility rather than constructive advisement, even if that was the original intent.

Not saying that people don't need to be given an evidence-based explanation for why their claims are unfounded, but instead thats just replaced by guys berating each other, which isn't going to solve anything.

It happens when people  jump into conversations already angered over something no one is talking about.  That's what I meant by 'check yourself'.  Neither me, nor the Dutchman said, or implied, anything about females.  But, you got all riled up over what you thought we were talking about.

I was thinking about those studies, I don't know how your Prof. will take you looking outside your field right now.  Looks like your first year?  If you're going to use the theories, you might stick more with Anthropology, since it's still within the social sciences.

My experience is 90% of your grade is based on your product being what the Prof. wants to see.  It may or may not be cross-field studies.

RSS

Latest Activity

Shane replied to Jay D's discussion How long till muscles lose "it"? in the group Exercise
"You're talking about endurance. Yeah two weeks. You lose your wind quick."
2 minutes ago
Will replied to Padre's discussion Girls in football
"Title IX is the reason colleges must spend as much on women's sports as men's.  Women are less interested in them, people are less interested in watching them, they're in some cases physically unwise (soccer and women's…"
6 minutes ago
Shane replied to Pale Horse's discussion Called It in the group The Great Debate
"If you're going to use that broad a definition then I propose Marx was a foundational author for the Austrian School."
7 minutes ago
Vendetta5885 replied to Jim's discussion book on body sculpting/beginner bodybuilding?
"The Weightlifting Encyclopedia by Arthur Dreschlerhttp://www.amazon.com/The-Weightlifting-Encyclopedia-Guide-Performance/dp/0965917924  Its a bit price at a little less than 60 bucks, but this book literally has everything in it.  "
8 minutes ago
Profile IconAdam Mueller, Will Harper , Bob Irving and 35 more joined Art of Manliness
11 minutes ago
Vendetta5885 replied to Jay D's discussion Money
"Hey Jay D, Congratulations on the gig! Thats great, not many people are getting jobs right out of college these days, so that is certainly something to be proud of.  The things that I have found to work best for saving: 1) Don't eat out,…"
12 minutes ago
Andy Bernard-Moulin updated their profile
12 minutes ago
James Sullivan replied to Padre's discussion Girls in football
"Doesn't matter to me as long as the standards are the same. If a woman can throw better than an NFL QB, let her rip. Besides, I think I might attend a few Lingerie Football League games next season. Those women hit hard!"
33 minutes ago

© 2015   Created by Brett McKay.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service