Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fatherhood is more than sperm donation

From a man contemplating whether or not it's possible to be both an alpha male and a genetic dead end comes a hypothetical thought experiment designed to show that procreation per se isn't the end all, be all of male fulfillment:
The two choices are guaranteed to fill the gene pool with five cherubic apples of your eye.

The choice which leaves you more satisfied, more personally fulfilled and brimming with positive feelings of high self-worth, is

a. creating a legacy through a sperm bank, or

b. creating a legacy through sex with your wives?


Remember, hypothetically both choices result in the same number and same quality of offspring issuing from your seeding shaft. If the old skoolers who claim that children are the crux and the crucible of alpha maleness are right, either choice should result in very strong feelings of self-regard and confidence, two undeniably intrinsic traits of the alpha male with which no one but a deranged feminist (but I repeat myself) would object.

And yet, I predict there are very few men who would consider choice (a) as ego-affirming and confidence-inspiring as choice (b). In fact, I bet a lot of donating men leave sperm banks feeling oddly morose. 
The reason for my prediction is that the anti-game trad-cons are incorrect in their assessment of what constitutes alpha maleness. It is not the children or the genetic legacy per se that swells men’s souls with alpha sweetness; it is the sex with feminine, willing women which does the trick. 
The sex is the prime directive and the origin source of alpha male nourishment.
For men, at least as far as self-assessment is concerned, happiness is substantially associated with youth, marriage, high social status, and religious piety, less so with educational attainment, political conservatism, and having children, and not at all with intelligence or number of sexual encounters.

But the quant angle isn't one I want to take in offering a suggestion to the king here. The manosphere has moved away from being a distinctly data free zone over the last couple of years, but statistical significance and empirical evaluation are still little more than supplements to be employed when useful and ignored when potentially problematic.

Instead, allow me to merely point out that Roissy's post entirely ignores the nurturing instinct and comes up lacking because of it. Though presumably stronger in beta males than in alpha males (and of course stronger in women than men), it characterizes nearly all heterosexual men to varying extents. Creating a legacy through a sperm bank is a path completely devoid of any nurturing. Even if instead of ejaculating into a cup, donors got to blow a load into a warm, supple sexbot, the latter option would probably still win out. Fatherhood isn't exclusively just a chore for chump. There is more than social convention and the force of law that compel most men to have some level of involvement in the upbringing of their progeny.


Razib said...

one word: breed!

(i'm working on #2)

bdoran said...

Someday we will be seen as the first society to actually go utterly mad.

Jokah Macpherson said...

Raising children may be great and all, but I for one refuse to become a father until after I've had sex.

Anonymous said...


I seriously doubt we'd be considered the "first" society to do so...

Maya said...


You deserve to have your life's events unfold in that order, Sir. Not only that, but I think that anyone deserves, at least, 8.5 months grace period between losing his or her virginity and having to face parenthood. At least.

Maya said...


Thanks for sharing. Don't forget to wash your hands.

J said...


Razib and you are sharing it...?

silly girl said...

Consider the personality that doesn't want to parent. Is that the psychological profile we want more of? No offense to those who are annoyed by kids because heck, everyone is annoyed by kids at some point. But it seems like we really shouldn't want tons more people averse to healthy normal relationships like marriage and parenting. Yes, modern tech does allow a better survival ratio of kids, mercifully, as well as better enabling would be parents to space and time pregnancies so as to have more fun with fewer children. But we should be able to get back to the pattern we had earlier in our American experience where well to do intelligent people were able to produce net growth among the intelligent conscientious population rather than the current nose dive. All the dire predictions of the liberals can come true with enough idiots to force the smart to crack down on them. It would be far better to help the modest and low performing folks to lower their birthrate to somewhere around a 1.0 tfr, as well as start encouraging the higher performing to get theirs up to 2.0.

Anyway, back to the alpha thing. Think of Michelle Duggar. Whatever her faults, she has a sweet personality. I don't see the harm it that being reproduced 15-20 times. Sweet beats surly if you asked me.

Great post, AE.

Anonymous said...

What "roissy" (and you) are ignoring s is that it's possible to care about something ( and someone) other than yourself without being beta, lame, gay, etc.

What "roissy" (and you) also ignore is that putting someone else's needs above yours isn't about weakness, it's about being strong enough, capable enough, and willing enough to do so. Wether you are talking about joining the army or being a father.

Using a sperm bank involves lots of the people who raise the child.

Parents get a very low return on investment...the Monet usually flows one direction, and the term is usual hover 20 you really think parents ( who deserve to be called parents) treat their kids the way they do out of a desire to nuture?