Never mind the details, just suffice it to say he's too passive to 'capitalize' on his opportunities. He's also a kind and sensitive person who I'm sure will do well in life. He's distraught over still being innocent, which bothers me. I tried to console him by letting him know that if I could turn back time, I still would be. Ideally, so would my wife. That way we'd have a special bond, a connection each would have to the other unique from either of our relationships with anyone else in the world. In response, he said such a situation is too rare among his generation for that to be realistic (I wanted to further console him by letting him know it's actually rarer among my generation than his, but he's only in high school and wasn't in the mood for me to be captious).
I dispense the anecdote because despite his concern that he'll never get any action, I suspect he'll end up having more kids than most of the other caddish guys who are currently after his former girl. I suspected the same, more generally, when I posted skeptically on a study which some insinuated to be evidence that girls find bad boys more attractive than they do good guys. It disturbed me to think that my ideal might be losing out, as old-fashioned as media portrayals of it suggest.
Fortunately, it's not going the way of the landline phone. Using GSS, I looked at the average number of children a man has and compared it with the number of female partners he's had from the age of 18 onward. Men who have only had one partner are the most fecund:
The GSS cuts off at eight children ("eight or more"). I treated men in this category as though they'd had exactly eight kids. Men with a single partner are the most likely of all groups to belong to it, so the previous table actually makes them look slightly less fertile relative to the others than is actually the case.
As the number of partners increases, the number of procreations decreases. Taking the average number of chidren for each group of men (those who've had one partner, those who've had two partners, etc) and comparing it with the number of partners each group has had yields an inverse correlation of .57 (p=.02).
A graphical representation of the data follow:
Green-on-up indicates replenishment or better. Nearly two-thirds of men who are committed to a single woman have popped out two or more children. For the contemporary Genghis Khans, fewer than half have pulled it off. While only one-quarter of committed men have not bore a child, one-third of the Khan's have failed to do so. Lifelong monogamy may have been 'selected' against in the past, but it is being selected for today.
I stand by my previous assertion that assuming because bad boys have more sexual partners they must be more attractive to women is a big leap. Perhaps the single most important factor in determining how many sexual partners a man has is knowing how many he wants to have. And it's the responsible, family man-types who want to have (or are at least content having) fewer partners and more kids.
In addition to this demonstration that men who find the one and stick with her are leaving more offspring than skirt chasers are, GNXP's Jason Malloy has shown that law-abiding men are also more fecund than those who get in trouble with the law are. He needs to move some of these insights from the comments section of various blogs to the main thread of GNXP:
"Anecdotally, it appears that your average psychopath, gang member, or convicted felon gets himself way further into the gene pool than the average salaryman."So it appears that if the bad boy traits were ever selected for, they're not being selected for any longer.
The GSS asks respondents if they have ever been picked up or charged by police. According to the GSS, those who answer 'yes' average 1.73 kids, those who answer 'no' average 2.20 kids. Law-abiding men leave more children.
Finally, the insistence on an alpha-beta dichotomy strikes me as stupid. Is there anything empirical that actually backs up such a characterization? What man doesn't play the alpha role when he is able to and the beta role when he realizes he is unable to? I play basketball in a rough area of Independence. You better believe I'm Mr. Alpha there. When I'm dealing with my boss, I'm usually in beta mode. If I'm able to dominate the situation, or it's necessary to at least try to, I'm in alpha-mode. If it's harmful to do so, I'm obsequious. To be otherwise would be self-immolating.
The challenge is figuring out when to take charge and when to take orders. Perhaps conscietiousness would be a better measure of what the alpha-beta dichotomy is after?