Roosh V, a pick-up artist, and one of the foremost voices in the “manosphere” – especially its reactionary wing, has been getting some attention lately. This past evening, ABC’s 20/20 featured an exposé into the “manosphere”, the world of men who make an effort to improve their romantic/sexual success with women and discuss their frustrations with such.
The “manosphere”/”Game” world overlaps to a degree with the HBD-sphere. Many of its adherents and key voices are individuals with reactionary/paleoconservative ideology (one which I – as a fairly unique Left-leaning HBD’er – do not share), as is the case with the overarching community that includes HBD. And like the HBD-sphere, it has its own conventional wisdom that may not necessarily adhere to facts. RooshV recently posted a list of “Community beliefs”, encapsulating some of this community wisdom in one place. In this post I will do a quick analysis of these beliefs to see how well they hold up to the facts.
Here are the stated “Community Beliefs.” Let’s break them down one by one:
1. Men and women are genetically different, both physically and mentally. Sex roles evolved in all animals. Humans are not exempt.
True. Indeed, that men and women are genetically different is in fact tautological: it is this genetic difference (XY vs. XX chromosomes) that defines male vs. female. But, in the sense that this genetic difference entails biological mental differences, this is correct (see my page HBD Fundamentals: On biological sex differences).
2. Women are sluts if they sleep around, but men are not. This fact is due to the biological differences in gender.
True with caveats. As Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, John Edwards, and Arnold Schwarzenegger could tell you, it’s not like our society gives a pass to philandering men. That said, promiscuous women are looked down upon more than promiscuous men for one simple reason: paternal uncertainty. Unlike women, men have no way (prior to DNA testing, anyway) to guarantee that a child they have putatively fathered is in fact theirs. Human males invest in their children, but any investment in a non-biological child is wasted, evolutionarily. As such, female fidelity became a valued trait, since it increases the chances that any children born to a woman’s mate are in fact biologically his.
3. Men will opt out of monogamy and reproduction if there are no incentives to engage in them.
Muddled. In the absolute sense (all men), it’s clearly nonsense. In the particular sense (some men), it’s unclear. For one, which men? How big a fraction of all men are we talking about? In which societies (“different peoples is different”)? But the most confused bit the claim “no incentives.” What would it mean for men to have “no incentives” to engage in monogamy or reproduction? Are biological drives not incentives? Men are continuing to marry and have children. Indeed, the most monogamous men may be having the most children.
If taken in the weaker sense, that some men will forgo monogamous mating if given the option, this may be partially true. We do have some evidence that effective sex ratios impact male/female mating behavior. Particularly, when there is an excess of single females relative to single men, men become less likely to commit and exhibit greater preference for short-term mating. Females may adjust their behaviors accordingly, as perhaps Latvian women have.
4. Past traditions and rituals that evolved alongside humanity served a net benefit to the family unit.
Muddled. Whose traditions and whose family units are we talking about?
Even if we restrict ourselves to Europe and the Near East, a whole slew of “family units” and accompanying traditions evolved:
As documented by Emmanuel Todd (discussed further by HBD Chick and by Craig Willy), even in fairly recent history, humans have invented all sorts of family arrangements. Each may have been a response to the circumstances each group faced in their various environs, or they may be a reflection of the underlying traits of these peoples, or both. As we can see, what constitutes the “family unit” has varied greatly across various human societies.
5. Testosterone is [one of] the biological cause[s] for masculinity. Environmental changes that reduce the hormone’s concentration in men will cause them to be weaker and more feminine.
True, as corrected. While testosterone is the most well-known and arguably primary androgen, it’s not the only one nor is it the only one which is important. The other androgens, which “are of equal importance in male development,” include:
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
- Androstenedione (Andro)
- Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
Testosterone, or even the other androgens, aren’t quite the “things” that makes males male. Testosterone is found in women, for example. Further, while testosterone levels do indeed fluctuate in men in response to the environment, and while testosterone supplementation does alter male behavior, male-typical behavior cannot be simply reduced to the presence of testosterone. Giving a woman testosterone or other androgens will affect her behavior, but it won’t be enough to turn her into a man (see belief #1).
6. A woman’s [mate] value is mainly determined by her fertility and beauty. A man’s [mate] value is mainly determined by his resources, intellect, and character.
True (as corrected) with caveats. First, even when corrected, it’s an oversimplification. “Mainly” is too strong of a word. Health is an important quality in both sexes. Intelligence is valuable for women as well men, as is a woman’s character (particularly her fidelity – see belief #2).
7. Elimination of traditional gender roles and the promotion of unlimited mating choice in women unleashes their promiscuity and other negative behaviors that block family formation.
Sort of. As discussed in the posts by Peter Frost linked under belief #3, unbalanced sex ratios can often lead to later marriage and more preference towards short-term mating. To the extent that this now occurs, we like to think that this is a modern phenomenon. But, as M.G. once discussed, a similar period occurred in America before – incidentally during of a time of great societal inequality and national strife in the turbulent Interwar years.
Further still, despite the loosening of sexual mores, as Frost noted, there are racial constraints on how much it can change. Despite whatever prevailing trends, family formation is going to remain the norm among slower life-history groups, like Europeans. Family formation may be less common among say Blacks, who have traditionally had unstable polygynous pairings.
8. Socialism, feminism, and cultural Marxism cause societies to decline because they destroy the family unit, decrease the fertility rate, and require large entitlements that impoverish the state.
The countries with the most “socialist” policies in place also have the highest fertility rates. Now before any of you criticize the NW Euro fertility rates being driven by non-European immigrants, in all the more fecund NW Euro countries, native fertility rates are 1.7 children/child-bearing woman or higher. Fertility rates are lower – indeed much lower – in the less feminist, less socialist Southern and Eastern European countries.
Even the other aspect of fertility that (rightly) concerns people – eugenic fertility – may be best achieved with “socialist” policies (as I’ve previously explained). These include programs to help working mothers, such as state supported day care and paid maternity leave. (Though of course, even these cannot completely compensate for basic effective cost of living – which, in the developed world, is the main driver of fertility rates.) Many in the right-wing corners of the manosphere wish for a return to the pre-sexual revolution days. That is simply not going to happen. Women in the West aren’t going to completely abandon education and careers – that’s here to stay. The best ways to encourage eugenic fertility is to reduce the conflict between education/work and family for high-IQ women. I will take up this issue again in a future post.
As with the HBD community, the manosphere circulates truths not necessarily known to the mainstream world, but it also propagates a fair amount of rubbish. As I do with HBD and the human sciences in general, I try to seek out the truth of the matter, and set the record straight whenever I can.
Some food for thought: