Sunday, September 27, 2009

Conceptualizing the Real Man

The Inductivist suggests two contrasting images of a Real Man, broadly defined as representing the apotheosis of alphahood. He favors Gary Cooper's character Will Kane in High Noon and assigns Family Guy's Quagmire to Roissy's followers.

The use of those two characters as competing Real Man iconic images is not something a PUA is going to agree to. Kane is a bona fide BAMF, willing to let his woman leave him for the opportunity to face down four men out to kill him, alone. He does offer himself to suffer in her place--a beta indicator--but he's far from what Roissy would call a herb.

Quagmire is a sex fiend (and sex offender) who is generally unsuccessful and shamelessly desperate in his attempts to indiscriminately pick up anything with the right kind of orifice, despite his affluence and occupational prestige as an airline pilot. He's closer to George Sodini than James Bond.

A fairer contrast can be made by considering a couple of characters from Mike Judge's King of the Hill series. Hank Hill is the quintessential football coach-type Real Man. He follows his instincts instead of going along to get along, tries to learn from his mistakes with humility and come to terms with the consequences of his personal failings, loves his lawn and his dog, and naturally fits into the traditional patriarchal role of the monogamous married man. While he doesn't seek out confrontation, he's not hesitant to put on the knucks when honor, duty, or rectitude requires it ("I'm gonna kick your ass!"). He encourages Bobby to become the same kind of Real Man he is, but accepts his son for who he is.

Boomhauer is the PUA's Real Man**. Despite apparently being out of work*, he perpetually jumps from one short-term relationship to another with relatively desirable women. He clearly has a healthy libido, but he's not a pervert like Quagmire. He's the show's most cultured character, a skilled mechanic, surfer, and artist. While he has no desire to burden himself with other people's problems, he is personally responsible. He refuses to encourage Dale's asinine antics or Bill's moping sissiness, treating both men with disdainful aloofness.

* In the series finale he is revealed to be a Texas Ranger, but given the inordinate amount of downtime he was portrayed as having throughout the life of the show, it's not very satisfying.

** An argument can be made that Hank's father, Cotton, is an even better pick than Boomhauer. With a penchant for stretching the truth to its limits so as to portray himself in the best light possible, he is uncompromisingly self-assured. He had at least one extramarital affair resulting in the birth of Hank's half-brother. Despite being a crippled, beady-eyed misogynist, when age starts to take its toll on his first wife's appearance, Cotton leaves her for a hottie who is the same age as his son, Hank, is. He's an animated John McCain.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Married men get it once a week on average

++Addition++In the comments, Roissy writes:
There is likely a significant cohort of married men not getting any nookie at
all and a smaller minority of rabid sex fiends banging their hot wives four
times a day. Skew happens.
He asserts that the GSS should be "taken with a grain of salt" when it comes to human sexual behavior. That's his prerogative, but for those who put more stake in large scale data than in anecdote, fewer than 1% of married men aged 22-36 report being in sexless marriages (no activity over the last year). Roissy's probably correct in assuming that the married man who has sex nearly 30 times a week (4 times a day) is even rarer than that. The best we can do with the GSS is observe that one in ten (9.6%) report having sex four or more times per week.

---

Recently, Roissy wrote:
Married! This is what an equalist concept of relationships earns a man — crossed arms and clamped pussies.
In aggregate, of course, married men get more sex than unmarried men do. But that's because the latter category is dragged down by men who are unattractive or uninterested in women.

What about those guys who are able to successfully play the field? In addition to variety, do they also enjoy greater frequency? Among those aged 22-36, sexual frequency* for married men (4.15) is marginally higher than it is for unmarried men who have racked up double-digit counts (4.10).

Getting married will tend to net you about the same amount of snatch time as a go getter gets. The treasure chest won't be clamped shut, though your prize won't glitter as much.

GSS variables used: YEAR(2000-2008), AGE(22-36), SEX(1), MARITAL(1)(2-5), NUMWOMEN(10-250)

* Responses are by range for sexual activity over the past 12 months, from no sex at all on the low end (corresponding to a 0), to 4+ times per week on the high end (corresponding to a 6).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Where to get the most bang for your buck (updated)

Three years ago, I presented a listing of countries by how much purchasing power an American would have in each of them if he liquidated his domestic assets and made the new place home. It remains one of the top posts for bringing people in from search engines and I have received frequent email requests for it to be updated. It's worthy enough an endeavor since, uh, something or another went down between 2006 and 2009 (or, more accurately, between 2005 and 2008, the years in which the respective data sets were gathered).

The methodology is simple. At the official exchange rate with the US, each country's GDP is compared to the CIA's best estimate of each country's respective GDP in terms of purchasing power parity. Currency fluctuations, regional differences within nations, and the inherent problems in creating a (sometimes hypothetical) basket of items to be purchased comparatively (postnatal infant care in Angola is cheap, but there are obviously qualititative differences to the caliber of care available in Singapore), do not lead to exact cost-of-living comparisons, but they do provide a nice way to compare generally how far your dollars will go in different parts of the world.

The greater the exchange rate (all data is in US dollars at the GDP level) compared to purchasing power parity, the more stuff you'll be able to buy with the dollars exchanged in the foreign country under examination. Conceptually, imagine you can get $10 Eagle for $1 US. In Eagleland, a skip sandwich only costs $2 Eagle. It costs $1 US at home. So for your US dollar, you can buy one skip sandwich in the US (costing $1 US), or you can exchange your US dollar for $10 Eagle and buy five skip sandwiches (costing $2 Eagle a piece) in Eagleland. Sweet! Except Eagleland probably trades what it offers in cheap goods (and services) with things like rampant poverty, political instability, and underdevelopment.

The ideal runaway spot is a place that is simultaneously modern and allows you to live like a king. What follows is a rank order listing of countries by exchange rate-PPP ratio as a percentile for which 2008 data and estimates are available. A value over 100% means your dollars will go further than they will in the US; a value under 100% means they won't go as far they will at home.

1. East Timor -- 505.0%
2. Kiribati -- 423.0%
3. Burundi -- 282.2%
4. Gambia -- 281.2%
5. Malawi -- 276.7%
6. Egypt -- 273.6%
7. Bangaldesh -- 273.4%
8. India -- 272.5%
9. Uganda -- 271.0%
10. Vietnam -- 269.1%
11. Ethiopia -- 268.0%
12. Eritrea -- 266.7%
13. Laos -- 265.8%
14. Nicaragua -- 264.4%
15. Guyana -- 262.5%
16. Bhutan -- 257.6%
17. Uzbekistan -- 256.7%
18. Tajikistan -- 256.3%
19. Pakistan -- 255.0%
20. Cambodia -- 249.9%
21. Bolivia -- 248.5%
22. Nepal -- 244.7%
23. Iran -- 244.1%
24. Honduras -- 238.6%
25. Guinea -- 233.4%
26. Sri Lanka -- 232.0%
27. Kyrgyzstan -- 229.9%
28. Solomon Islands -- 227.9%
29. Burkina Faso -- 219.9%
30. Sierra Leone -- 219.2%
31. Tanzania -- 218.4%
32. Rwanda -- 217.7%
33. Madagascar -- 217.5%
34. Tonga -- 212.8%
35. Somalia -- 212.5%
36. Ghana -- 212.2%
37. Seychelles -- 205.6%
38. Ecuador -- 204.9%
39. Yemen -- 203.6%
40. Kenya -- 203.4%
41. Lesotho -- 203.3%
42. Burma -- 202.8%
43. Tunisia -- 202.5%
44. Botswana -- 201.0%
45. Swaziland -- 200.6%
46. Thailand -- 200.4%
47. Mauritania -- 199.6%
48. Cuba -- 197.8%
49. Dominica -- 197.7%
50. El Salvador -- 197.2%
51. Macedonia -- 196.3%
52. Mozambique -- 196.2%
53. Guinea-Bissau -- 196.1%
54. Samoa -- 195.3%
55. Peru -- 193.8%
56. Djibouti -- 192.0%
57. Belarus -- 189.3%
58. Ukraine -- 189.1%
59. Chad -- 189.0%
60. Philippines -- 188.3%
61. Niger -- 186.7%
62. Benin -- 184.9%
63. Afghanistan -- 184.7%
64. Cameroon -- 184.0%
65. Belize -- 183.6%
66. Liberia -- 182.5%
67. Grenada -- 181.7%
68. Taiwan -- 181.4%
69. China -- 181.1%
70. Paraguay -- 180.4%
71. Syria -- 180.3%
72. Bulgaria -- 180.3%
73. Mongolia -- 180.2%
74. Indonesia -- 178.7%
75. Dem. Rep. of the Congo -- 178.1%
76. Saint Vincent and Grenadines -- 178.0%
77. South Africa -- 177.1%
78. Togo -- 177.1%
79. Guatemala -- 176.0%
80. Argentina -- 175.8%
81. Mauritius -- 174.8%
82. Moldova -- 174.2%
83. Saint Lucia -- 173.5%
84. Malaysia -- 173.0%
85. Vanuatu -- 172.5%
86. Dominican Republic -- 171.1%
87. Albania -- 168.3%
88. Panama -- 168.2%
89. Azerbaijan -- 167.3%
90. Georgia -- 167.1%
91. Mali -- 166.1%
92. Haiti -- 165.4%
93. Senegal -- 164.6%
94. Colombia -- 164.3%
95. Papua New Guina -- 163.2%
96. Costa Rica -- 162.0%
97. Bosnia -- 160.8%
98. Serbia -- 160.5%
99. Central African Republic -- 160.1%
100. Morocco -- 158.1%
101. Jordan -- 157.8%
102. Armenia -- 157.3%
103. Sao Tome -- 157.1%
104. Nambia -- 156.7%
105. Nigeria -- 156.4%
106. Lebanon -- 152.2%
107. Sudan -- 152.1%
108. Barbados -- 147.3%
109. Algeria -- 145.8%
110. Gabon -- 145.4%
111. Jamaica -- 145.2%
112. Chile -- 144.2%
113. Cote d'Ivoire -- 144.0%
114. Mexico -- 143.7%
115. Suriname -- 142.6%
116. Rep. of the Congo --142.5%
117. Hong Kong -- 142.2%
118. Montenegro -- 142.2%
119. Comoros -- 141.2%
120. South Korea -- 141.0%
121. Brunei -- 139.2%
122. Maldives -- 136.3%
123. Romania -- 135.9%
124. Russia -- 135.1%
125. Lithuania -- 133.9%
126. Uruguay -- 133.8%
127. Kazakhstan -- 133.0%
128. Angola -- 132.3%
129. Singapore -- 130.5%
130. Slovenia -- 130.0%
131. Oman -- 127.4%
132. Poland -- 127.0%
133. Brazil -- 126.7%
134. Bahrain -- 126.3%
135. Hungary -- 125.8%
136. Slovakia -- 125.3%
137. Equatorial Guinea -- 123.9%
138. Turkey -- 123.8%
139. Zambia -- 122.2%
140. Czech Republic -- 122.2%
141. Bahamas -- 121.8%
142. Saudi Arabia -- 119.7%
143. Malta -- 119.5%
144. Croatia -- 118.8%
145. Estonia -- 118.0%
146. Trinidad and Tobago -- 116.9%
147. Iraq -- 114.3%
148. Latvia -- 114.1%
149. Venezuela -- 111.9%
150. Turkmenistan -- 100.6%
151. Israel -- 99.8%
152. Fiji -- 99.7%
153. Portugal -- 96.7%
154. Greece -- 95.9%
155. Cape Verde -- 94.4%
156. Kuwait -- 94.3%
157. Cyprus -- 91.0%
158. New Zealand -- 90.8%
159. Qatar -- 89.3%
160. Libya -- 88.7%
161. Japan -- 87.9%
162. Spain -- 87.0%
163. Canada -- 86.0%
164. Liechtenstein -- 83.3%
165. Great Britain -- 83.2%
166. Marshall Islands -- 82.6%
167. Macau -- 82.3%
168. Germany -- 79.6%
169. Austria -- 79.3%
170. Australia -- 79.1%
171. Italy -- 78.8%
172. The Netherlands -- 77.3%
173. Belgium -- 76.9%
174. France -- 74.2%
175. Iceland -- 72.4%
176. Luxembourg -- 71.6%
177. Sweden -- 71.0%
178. United Arab Emirates -- 70.9%
179. Finland -- 70.6%
180. Ireland -- 68.9%
181. Switzerland -- 64.3%
182. Norway -- 60.4%
183. Denmark -- 59.4%
184. Zimbabwe -- 18.2% [!]

When I did the same analysis three years ago, Zimbabwe came out as the second best spot to stretch US dollars to their purchasing power limits. Using CIA statistics this time around places it at the very bottom, beating out places like Denmark, Norway, and Switzerland for the most prohibitively expensive place to move to. After suffering tragically absurd levels--midway through 2008, $25 billion would buy you an orange--of inflation for most of its post-independence history, Zimbabwe indefinitely suspended its currency. Foreign currencies are now used in its stead. The CIA factbook noted the following in reporting Zimbabwean GDP at the US exchange rate in 2008:
Hyperinflation and the plunging value of the Zimbabwean dollar makes Zimbabwe's GDP at the official exchange rate a highly inaccurate statistic.
It is the only country for which such a disclaimer is added, and as such, Zimbabwe's placement in this list should be disregarded entirely.

One thing that jumps out immediately in comparing the updated list to that of three years ago is how far the purchasing power of the US economy has fallen relative to that of the rest of the world. The average country dropped 92 percentage points from then to now--that is, for a country where the purchasing power of a US dollar was 300% of the US dollar's official exchange rate with that country three years ago, it is now only 208% (no population adjustments made, but the trend is obvious even without doing so).

Money from America isn't going nearly as far as it did even three years ago. We are experiencing an adjustment in our standard of living that is placing the US more in line with other 'developed' nations given the realities of our demographic composition. A couple of quiz questions for perspective: Which company has the highest market cap in the world? It's not Exxon-Mobil, Microsoft, Walmart, or GE. It's PetroChina. Which union has the largest economy in the world? Before the recession, it was the US, but today that honor goes to the EU.

Kiribati is the only "country"--it's composed of 33 separate islands--among the top 25 that I am fancifully able to consider as a prospective home*. Keep toiling away in the salt mines for another decade and then settle on one of the atolls, find work in the local service industry to keep my hands from idling, and soak up the South Pacific sun. Paradise. It's a self-sustaining plan for the future, if nothing else. But what suppine slothfulness, quitting life in your thirties! If peak oil pessimism, an inverted age pyramid, and demographic decay cause the US economy to implode, it's something I could do with a pretty clear conscience.

Although it has become more costly with the recession, Taiwan remains the first-world's least expensive destination (Hong Kong, the next cheapest, is probably more holistically attractive, since it's easier to function as an Anglophone there than in Taiwan). Among Western European nations, Malta is the best deal. Portugal is the runner-up, but even the Iberian Peninsula will set an American back monetarily--in every country in Western Europe save Malta, exchanging your dollars for Euros (or kronas or pounds or whatever) will result in diminished purchasing power relative to what is enjoyed stateside.

For the obscure avatar in Earthbound who asserted that if he found a $1 million diamond, he'd sell it and then go live the high life in Japan, he'll be able to buy $16,000 more worth of stuff as a reward for sitting on the gem over the last three years. Unlike most of Western Europe, which has become even more expensive than before, Japan is marginally more affordable than it had been.

* Unless I follow the dreamy aspiration of working for a sub-Sahara African government's anti-poaching unit, perhaps for the Zambia Wildlife Authority. My US earnings will carry me pretty far anywhere on the continent south of the desert.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Alpha and beta subsets, as illustrated by words alone

Not willing to put up with her capriciousness (she cancelled on me twice in two weeks), I cut things off with my girlfriend of several months the week before last. Time isn't standing still, though, so there is no time to lose.

To illustrate the conception of alphaness I'm working under in attempting to gauge it, I'll pull from very recent personal experience. The first block of communication is pretty beta. It's all text--the less urgent the response required, the more humble and thoughtful I'm able to be.

My new primary focus is "dream girl". She just turned eighteen and is enrolled in an online, accredited high school completion program so she can work during the day (this girl has already grown up too fast and wants to speed up the process even more).

Last week, I happen to run into her at a restaurant near her house (that I know she regularly goes to on her lunch break, the time of which I know, as well as that she's working today) as I'm getting lunch. I'm alone and dressed business formal, something she's not accustomed to seeing me in. We eat together, but quickly because I need to get a haircut before meeting someone at one. I relentlessly tease her in a playful way, par for my course. She hugs me twice.

Afterwards, I go to get a haircut and get gas in the same shopping center. By chance (for real this time) I run into her again as she's airing up her tires. I return her favors, for the my first time ever with her, it's a full body lift (where I lean backwards and in so doing lift her off her feet). In the past she's complained about how I always push her away whenever she embraces me. Rather than say "duh, I don't want to get arrested", I've said "just giving my self-control a chance". She said my haircut made me look handsome.

AE being "beta":

(Tuesday, as I leave after seeing her for the second time)

DG: You really did look rather handsome. ;)

AE: I try to be when you're around.

DG: Three hugs. :) That never happens. Must be my lucky day. :)

AE: Seeing you on two separate occasions. It's somebody's lucky day, anyway.

DG: Awhh. :)

(Wednesday, starting at 10:30pm)

DG: Audacious!! I miss you already. :(

AE: Out of sight but on your mind--there is no place I'd rather be.

DG: You wouldn't rather be both?!?!

AE: Ha, I realized you might take it that way after sending. You don't miss a thing, dreamgirl. I meant on your mind, period, of course.

DG: Oh, well you're always on my mind. :) That's a given.

AE: I'll draw on that whenever I need inspiration. Sweet dreams, sweet lady.

DG: Of course, darling. Of you. ;) Good night, handsome.

AE: :)

(Fifteen minutes or so pass. I'm now in bed)

DG: My status is for you, sir.

I hop on the computer and check facebook. Her status reads: "caught by a wave, my back to the ocean. it knocks me off my feet, and just as i find my footing, here you come again. dreamgirl, dreamgirl, dreamgirl..." only one can understand. :)

AE: So is mine, madam.

DG: You don't have one!

AE: Au contrare. Look again.

My fb status now reads: I mean to tell you all the things I've been thinking deep inside my friend. With each moment, the more I adore you.

DG: Awh. :) You're QUITE adorable.

AE: True. But I'm still a distant second to the princess of adorability (you expected some awkwardness [inside joke] soon, I know) :)

DG: Sweet dreams (for real this time.) :) Now to bed with you.

(Thursday after practice I get on facebook to loaf around socially. It's rapid fire here, plus I'm still wound up, so I'm trending a lot more "alpha")

DG: Come here often? :)

Her status is now lyrics to a song about leaving for a place where palm trees grow or something. I finish commenting on it right after she messages me: "Booked two tickets on Delta, Hawaii-bound. Leaving monday morning, early. We'll arrive on the main island and then ferry to Laysan. It's a mile round, sparsely populated, lots of sand, more than a few seals and sea turtles. Pack your bags."

AE: I know you'd skuttle everything next week if I was being serious.

DG: In a heartbeat [she makes a heart, but as an emoticon--it screws with blogger's code to do it here]

AE: After getting out of the shower this morning I was making eggs and listening to Dreamgirl, imagining myself with Boyd's physique (Julia Roberts stares at him in the kitchen). It was the shit.

DG: That means... I'M JULIA ROBERTS!! I love Steel Magnolias, sleeping with the enemy, My best friend's wedding, Runaway bride.

DG: I didn't realize how much I love her.

AE: Maybe it's suggestive. I didn't realize how much I like the song until recently ;)

DG: Maybe :)

DG: I'm watching the video for the first time now.

AE: Dave looking up at the movie screen in awe. If I wasn't already Boyd, that would be me.

DG: haha, yeah you really look like boyd alright! [at 3:05 in the video]

AE: Obviously I didn't mean skin pigmentation.

DG: :P

AE: The shirts I wear hide a lot. I'm a modest guy.

DG: haha and I'm a daddy's girl [she hasn't seen her dad since she was two--I'm at a loss on responding here, so I just keep quiet and hope she'll move on, which she does]

DG: I'm listening to crash into me now :)

AE: I'm the king of the castle. You know what that makes you.

DG: oh i'm the dirty rascal am i?

AE: You obviously can't be king.

DG: Trying to hold me down. Typical male.

DG: Just kidding! :)

AE: When they play it live, they add "I will be your dixie chicken, if you'll be my tennessee lamb, and we can walk together, down in dixieland." I want to fly so I'm the chicken.

DG: You don't want me to fly? YOU'RE the one who needs to be grounded.

AE: What are you talking about? We're going to be 15000 feet over the Pacific in three days.

DG: :) awh if only

DG: WAIT, chickens can't fly. they can only flutter a few feet!

AE: That's all it'll take to fly up on your back and get tangled up in your wool.

DG: I want to be the chicken and the king :)

AE: Fine. The greedy king will eat the chicken and the rascal will ride in on the lamb to take the castle by force. Looks like you're my servant ;)

DG: what if i'm the king AND the lamb?

AE: Then I'm calling reinforcements. [I make like 30 shark emoticons] Now you're fucked.

DG: JAWS! SAVE ME!!

AE: Sorry, this is the only way you'll learn.

DG: Pleeeeeease ;)

AE: I would slay jaws and a dragon at the same time to save the princess on those river rocks though. [One of her profile pictures]

DG: that is an awesome picture.

AE: In the literal sense of the word.

DG: "Awe inspiring"

DG: haha, you're a creeper

AE: Right.

AE: lol damn timing. I meant that about the awe inspiring.

DG: haha i know

AE: With that affront, I'm going to bed. Sweet dreams.

DG: Boi noite :) :) :)

---

If you're still with me, here's the picture I was referring to:


Putting alphaness in context

In the previous post where a GSS question measuring how willing male respondents were to suffer in the stead of a lover was used as a proxy for alphaness, Jason Malloy exploded in the discussion thread (to reiterate, everything he writes is worth reading, so do so if you have not yet to). Both he and n/a of RHE Notes take issue with the characterization of black men skewing more alpha than white men do. Jason writes:

The "Alpha" label seems to be applied primarily (in Internet parlance) to men who have promiscuous sex with many attractive women, or simply to men with high mate value.

This is where you are running into trouble AE. Black men in America are not "Alphas". They do not have superior mate value, or have sex with the most attractive women. But they are cads compared with white, Asian or Hispanic guys.
They put the most effort into mating effort over paternal investment.
And n/a:
The key defining characteristic of the "alpha male" is either:

(1) high social status, or
(2) high attractiveness to women.

You are attempting to show black males possess certain mental traits supposedly associated with "alphaness", but we can directly observe:

(1) Black men have lower social status than white men.
(2) Black men are less attractive to white women (that is, the majority of women in the U.S.) than white men.

Therefore, black men obviously can't be more "alpha" than white men in any meaningful sense.
I am working under the assumption that possessing alphaness and possessing game are basically the same thing. Part of this is unmalleable for all practical purposes (facial symmetry and features, hair quality, height, voice inflection), part is malleable over the relatively long-term (upper body muscle mass, socioeconomic status, social prestige), and part is potentially alterable immediately (hygiene, dress, body language, word choice). While personality mostly falls in the first category, Roissy's intellectual work flourishes on the presumption that it's possible for men to train themselves to put forth a more attractive persona by saying, doing, and thinking in a manner similiar to what is suggested in his posts (to put a Big 5 spin on it, specific ways of lowering agreeableness and increasing extraversion and stability are offered).

I agree that all of the variables above enter into the attractiveness equation, and that the tactics Roissy describes to optimize the immediately alterable category positively effect the resulting value, at least for short-term hookups and probably in general. My skepticism is over the presumed degree of value added. Humans have experienced hundreds of thousands of years of sexual selection pressures for acute perception of genuine attractiveness. It's not easy to fake. Most betas won't be able to act like alphas, and to the extent they do, will experience cognitive dissonance and social discomfort. I find flummoxing the argument that game, pickup artistry, and the alpha/beta dichotomy serve the cause of more HBD realism--their effectiveness is much more credulous under blank slatism.

The alphaness I've attempted to gauge in the two previous posts, however, is really just a subset of overall male attractiveness--the subset of attributes that are immediately alterable. If black men are relatively stronger here than white men are--and I think that is the case--that they are less attractive in totality is not the point. To measure this alpha subset, we ideally need to control for everything else (intelligence, wealth, physical attractiveness, social prestige, etc).

Operating on the framework Jason utilizes, the question is over who has a relative advantage in the immediately alterable subset--who treats women the most like Roissy and other PUAs do?--not who has an absolute advantage in attractiveness to females. I am not aware of anyone arguing that being a standard deviation below the average height, being overweight, having emaciated arms, being impoverished, having an unskilled job, or having a contorted face is more attractive than each of these attribute's opposites are. It's the stuff that any guy is theoretically able to change--what he says, how he responds to what she says, the amount of confidence and decisiveness he exudes--that is at issue.

The problem here is that there are apparently not any useful ways of quantifiably measuring this alpha subset ceteris paribus. We can look at things like sexual behaviors and changes in sexual behavior over time to empirically delegitimize the hysteria over putatively wildly changing sexual norms occuring at a societal level or to compare various groups of people, but it doesn't provide a window into perceived level of attractiveness, or how certain behaviors increase or decrease it. This allows Roissy to potentially oversell* his advice--it's all based on anecdote and is empirically unverifiable. This program really works! Jarid was out of work but now he makes $40,000 a month working two hours a day from the comfort of his own home!

* I'm aware of the irony in this word choice, since Roissy produces without compensation. My purpose is not to impugn him or his motives, which, strange though it may sound, seem to be altruistic (how that fits into being the ultimate alpha is another subject!)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Black men out alpha white guys?

Whether or not blacks are more alpha than non-blacks are (with Asians as the most beta and whites and Hispanics in between) is a perennial topic that crops up across the game-oriented sections of the blogosphere. As previously written, I'm inclined to think they tend to be, based on higher levels of extramarital sexual activity, higher numbers of sexual partners, and consistently higher levels of reported self-confidence among blacks than among other non-black groups, as well as regular personal experience. Further, hip hop celebrates alpha traits more than other genres of music do. Of course, that's not the only take, as n/a has demonstrated here in previous comment threads (others have taken issue with my contention that hip-hop is King Alpha of the musical industry).

In 2004, the GSS asked a good proxy question for determining which side of the alpha/beta line respondents fall on. In the following table, those who agreed strongly with the statement that they would rather personally suffer than have a lover suffer are classified as betas, while those who responded otherwise are classified as alphas:

RaceAlphasBetas
White (n = 502) 28.0%72.0%
Black (n = 52)42.9%57.1%
Hispanic (n = 76)36.1%63.9%

Because the question has only been posed once, the non-white samples are small. That said, the results do not surprise me. Black men are fairly close to being evenly split, while there are nearly three white betas for each white alpha. Hispanics fall in between at two betas for each alpha.

Rather than grouping all other responses (from "agree somewhat" to "disagree strongly") together, the issue can also be approached by comparing the average response by race (1 = "agree strongly", 5 = "disagree strongly). The higher the mean, the more alpha the group is:

RaceAlpha index
White1.36
Black1.72
Hispanic1.46

One standard deviation is .70 points on the index scale, placing the middling black male half a SD higher in alphaness than the average white guy, or at about the 67th percentile among white men.

GSS variables used: AGAPE1, SEX(1), RACE, HISPANIC(2-99)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Guys who (say they'll) suffer for their girls get more sex, have more kids

The percentage of male respondents who strongly agree they would rather suffer personally than have their lovers suffer in their stead, by political orientation (N = 619):

Conservative74.6%
Moderate69.9%
Liberal59.3%

Feminists, conservative guys are the most willing to take it on the chin for you. I suppose this reveals a deep chauvinism on their part for being unwilling to treat you as an equal, so audaciously putting your well-being before their own. They're probably more likely to hold the door open for you and pay for your dinner on the first date, too. Oh the patriarchy!

The question has only been posed once, in 2004, which is unfortunate since it serves as a good indicator of what side of the putative alpha-beta dichotomy a respondent finds himself on*. Being openly willing to suffer for a lover is clearly the mark of a hapless beta. If you're engaged in pumping-and-dumping, the girl is in the process of suffering for your pleasure even as the GSS question is being considered. Your answer is obvious.

However, that hapless beta is having more sex (albeit with fewer people)--sustaining a long-term relationship and getting married helps here--and leaving more children than the self-valuing alpha who looks out for number one. The frequency of sex** (N = 347), median number of partners since age 18 (N = 337), and number of children sired (N = 476) among men 30 and older, by whether or not they strongly agreed that they would prefer self-suffering to the suffering of a lover:

AlphaBeta
Sex frequency2.633.20
Women since 1865
Children1.792.07

In The Mating Mind, evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller shows kindness to be the most universally desired attribute in a prospective partner. Roissy argues that women are delusional in claiming as much and that self-confidence is what they really get wet over. For a certain subset of promiscuous clubbers, this is probably the case. The data presented above, however, suggest that in general women in fact do have a reasonably good sense of what they want in a man.

So are conservative men more beta than liberal men are? By game metrics, probably so (they are more evolutionarily successful, after all), although I would not stretch this to the point of suggesting that conservative guys are less likely to be leaders of other men. Based on personal experience I'd say that, if anything, when it comes to being the AMOG conservative men are overrepresented.

Parenthetically, both kindness and self-confidence are desirable. The question instead is one of primacy (though those of a mind similar to Roissy's might argue that kindness is actually detrimental to one's prospects for fornication). I am, though, operating under the inherent biases of the "football coach" type alpha I am.

GSS variables used: AGAPE1(1)(2-5), SEX(1), POLVIEWS(1-3)(4)(5-7), NUMWOMEN, CHILDS, SEXFREQ, AGE(30-89)

* As 69.3% of male respondents express strong agreement with the statement, I elected to amalgamate all other responses, from "somewhat agree" to "disagree strongly", in the alpha category. A 70/30 split, or about 5 betas for every 2 alphas, seems pretty reasonable for an estimate of the male population at large.

** Responses are by range for sexual activity over the past 12 months, from no sex at all on the low end (corresponding to a 0), to 4+ times per week on the high end (corresponding to a 6).

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Elementary school teachers' presidential votes match stated political leanings

Commenter James Donald is skeptical of GSS data showing that elementary school teachers are almost politically indistinguishable from the population at large (they are less moderate in their affiliations and lean slightly further to the right):
I find this data hard to believe. I think you will find that ninety percent of those self described "conservatives" vote democrat, and a good chunk of those "liberals" vote for obscure groupuscules like the greens, because they think that the democrats are conservative.
The GSS queries respondents on who they voted for in previous presidential elections. It is conceivable that at the state and local levels, where NEA campaign funding and electoral urgings are more acute, this occurs to some extent (though 90% is surely hyperbolic). But when it comes to who is occupying the White House, elementary school teachers vote close to how their political self-descriptions indicate they would.

Averaging voting behavior of the Presidential elections from 1992 to 2004 by elementary school teachers yields 50.8% supporting the Democrat, 43.8% the Republican, and 5.5% a third party candidate. Among the general electorate, 47.2% backed the Democrat, 44.2% the Republican, and 8.6% someone from a third party.

So it appears that elementary school teachers vote slightly more to the left than would be predicted by their stated personal sentiments, but not by much. It isn't difficult to imagine how teacher union 'propaganda' alone could convince a few waffly or generally apathetic teachers to vote for the Democrat because he's touted as being better for educators in this, that, and the other way, when they would've backed the Republican if paying attention.

GSS variables used: ISCO88(2331), PRES92, PRES96, PRES00, PRES04

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Elementary school teachers lean slightly to the right

President Obama's address to the nation's school children this Tuesday is unlikely to contain anything provocative, especially given the sharp criticism it has drawn. This gem from the Department of Education, intended to serve as companion list of classroom activities to accompany the speech, illustrates why the reaction has been so negative:
Teachers can extend learning by having students...

  • Write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president. These would be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals.
Obama's astute political move will be to offer saccharin encouragement to study hard, eat healthily, exercise regularly, etc, and then let the pols and pundits sympathetic to him ridicule those who protested for being hysterical nuts.

My reaction to this was that it is understandable why even so bland an insertion of Obama into elementary schools would be resisted by most people somewhere on the right side of the political spectrum. Even if the content of the address was ideologically unobjectionable in its entirety, getting teachers to lead classroom "discussions" revolving around contemporary politics would often result in an injection of their own personal views, putatively to the left of the larger public.

In turning to the GSS to gauge the political orientation of elementary school teachers, I expected to find evidence backing up this line of reasoning, based on surveys finding university academics to be overwhelmingly leftist (in addition to ample personal experience in college) and the surefire backing of Democratic political candidates by the NEA in virtually every election it involves itself in.

However, primary school teachers are far less politically distinguishable from the rest of the country than I assumed they were. The following table shows the partisan and political distributions of elementary school teachers (n = 304), college and university instructors (n = 105), and the country as a whole. For contemporary relevancy, only responses from 2000 onward are included:

LibModerateConxDemIndepRep
Elementary teachers26.3%37.2%36.6%x42.4%13.2%44.4%
College/university59.2%23.8%17.1%x64.1%12.6%23.4%
US population25.9%38.9%35.2%x44.1%19.9%35.9%

Primary school "teaching professionals" are less likely to fence sit than the broader public is. This comes as little surprise, as the estimated average IQ for elementary school teachers in the US is 107.4, nearly ten points higher than that of US residents as a whole, and moderates tend to be less intelligent than liberals and conservatives are. College and university instructors (estimated average IQ of at least 114.6 and very possibly half a standard deviation higher) further underscore this tendency. But unlike university instructors, elementary school teachers do not deviate much politically from the broader public.

Both measures of political persuasion are on a 7 point scale. Another way to gauge where elementary school teachers are relative to the broader population is to look at the mean value for each, where 1 is extremely liberal/Democratic, 4 is perfectly centrist, and 7 is extremely conservative/Republican. By partisan identification, the mean for elementary school teachers is 4.00, compared to 3.83 for the entire population (3.05 for college/university instructors). For political orientation, teachers average 4.20, to 4.15 for the whole country (3.10 for those teaching in colleges/universities). Again, elementary school teachers are quite similar to the general public and are actually marginally more right-leaning than the rest of the country is.

Parenthetically, I still empathize with those who oppose young children being subjected to directed messages from the President in a school setting, despite finding those who teach them to be more politically balanced than I expected.

GSS variables used: ISCO88(2310)(2331), POLVIEWS, PARTYID(0-6), YEAR(2000-2008)

Friday, September 04, 2009

Doing bad by doing good

My company just concluded our annual week long drive to encourage employees to donate to our chosen corporate charity. The video presentation is pure SWPL--a plump, golden-toothed black woman in her early thirties thanking the organization for providing her with the training to become a CNA, a white guy who can't have children acting as big brother to a black kid who loves to read ("We read the same book at the same time so we can talk about it together. 'Hey big bro, did you like what happened in chapter nine?' 'Dude, I'm only on chapter two!'"*), and an older white couple--the husband a retired CEO--volunteering at a health clinic. The narrator then informs viewers that each dollar donated is turned into $1.50 through dispersion. We're told the average homeless person nationwide is nine years old, not 29 years old, and usually under the care of an impoverished single mother.

The big brother must not have any nephews or second cousins. Instead of playing receptionist, the CEO could've added a lot more value by working another couple of months and donating his income to the charity than he will greeting and signing in clients for the next twenty years. But as Geoffrey Miller argues in The Mating Mind, human morality has likely undergone sexual selection pressures that make the act of volunteering itself more desirable than providing maximal utility for the entity being voluteered for.

With a multiplier similar to what we get with economic stimulus packages from the federal government, we should donate everything we have on condition of receiving back our original donations in the future, after they've spawned 50% of their original value for the charity. There would be no greater cause than perpetuating the culture and genetics of deadbeat men and dumb, reckless women!

I wish we'd adopt Project Prevention instead. We might actually make things better that way, instead of making them worse.

* Blacks make infrequent use of the word "dude". When a SWPL uses it around blacks, it's usually in a lame attempt to look at home in a situation that is actually quite foreign.