Monday, December 26, 2011

Nihilistic Manosphere

In an argument with Ferd, OneSTDV characterizes the so-called Manosphere as nihilistic. Well, the GSS offers some insight into nihilism, so let's look at what it has to tell us.

The following tables display mean nihilism scores from the years 1998 and 2008, computed by taking participant responses to the 5-point scaled GSS item on perceived lack of purpose in life and inverting the averages for ease of reader comprehension. The higher the score, the more nihilistic the group is. One standard deviation is .76 points on the nihilism scale.

First, among men in their forties or older (who have thus had ample time to get married if they desired to do so) who are married (or widowed) and those who have either divorced or never married in the first place:

Marital status

About one-fourth of one standard deviation's difference, equivalent to the nihilism gap between the middle class and the underclass.

Some of those guys are inevitably unmarried not because they willingly choose to be flying solo but because they don't really have a choice, though. Some guys are just too unattractive to women to ever land one. C'est la vie.

So, consider the same by the number of lifetime notches in the belt, again aged 40+:

# of women

Those with one lifetime partner or whose lives have been characterized serial but long-term monogamous relationships are a little less nihilistic than the club hoppers are, but the men who don't (or can't) get any at all clearly are the ones who feel tend to feel that life does not serve much of a purpose.

This doesn't disprove One's assertion, of course--I'd guess a significant chunk of the Manosphere is comprised of bitter men who've faced unending frustration in their relationships (or lack thereof) with the ladies.

GSS variables used: NIHILISM, NUMWOMEN(0)(1)(2-5)(6-10)(11-20)(21-500), SEX(1), AGE(40-89)


Basil Ransom said...

"Some guys are just too unattractive to women to ever land one."

No, they're too unattractive to land one *they'd want.* Women can be losers too.

It's like a chemical reaction, where the activation energy is too high. Maybe a pair of 2s should pair up, as neither can find a willing 3+. But they'd rather be single than commit to a 2.

IHTG said...

I wonder what percentage of those virgins are men of the cloth. Do you think an appreciable percentage of the world's male virgins are celibate by oath? Or are the overwhelming majority of them miserable omegas?

ironrailsironweights said...

As the GSS query is "NUMWOMEN," it's likely that some of the no-lifetime-partners respondents are gay. Quite possibly most of them. Nihilism might therefore be a gay characteristic rather than a loser-male characteristic.


Audacious Epigone said...


True, and not at all an insignificant point.


Not sure if there's a way to measure that by way of the GSS, but based on the high nihilism score of straight virgins (see below), I'm going to guess the number is small, since the pious tend to be the less nihilistic than the rest of the population.


Duh! That was an obvious oversight on my part. Of the men aged 40-89 who reported never having sex with a woman, 37% did report having at least one male partner.

The nihilism score for gays (and the sample size is small here, at 30): 1.79. For the straight virgins (or gays who never got any, I guess): 1.95 (slightly more nihilistic than shown in the original post).

It's not too surprising that gays look a lot like hypersexual hetero guys on nihilism scale.

ironrailsironweights said...

So who are the men who make it to age 40 without ever having had sex with women? We now know that 37% of them are gay. Catholic priests and monks wouldn't account for more than a very small percentage. Seriously disabled men? That might help account for the nihilism of no-sex men, as a man who's too disabled for sex probably isn't too happy about his life.


Audacious Epigone said...


We're talking about 2% of the adult male population, a 2% that includes the infirm and the religiously celibate. There probably aren't many Andy Stitzers out there.