The Role of Evolution

Practical Female Psychology for the Practical Man - David Clare, Joseph South, Franco 2008

The Role of Evolution

Whatever is done from love always occurs beyond good and evil.

Beyond Good and Evil, Friedrich Nietzsche

Darwin proposed that evolution proceeded by both natural selection and sexual selection. The tenets of natural selection have been exhaustively studied for more than a century, and we assume the reader has at least a passing acquaintance with this subject. In contrast, the formal study of evolution driven by sexual selection, especially in humans, has been virtually ignored, possibly due to social prudery with respect to the subject of sex. Sex is a messy business after all. The result of such research could be personally unsettling and socially risky.

Nevertheless, the problem of “sex” remains.

Why sex evolved is especially problematic.1 It turns out that attempting to explain mating behavior simply by means of survival is too naive, resulting in theories showing that asexual reproduction is more advantageous. Clearly, such theories are in error! Thus Darwin’s distinction between natural selection and sexual selection must be reconsidered.

Our interest in the “why” of sex results from curiosity, whether or not our experience and observation of the courtship and mating behavior of a wide variety of women support the tenets of evolutionary psychology in general, and sexual selection in particular.

Furthermore, we see no hard distinction between the biological and the psychological aspects of the human being, but we consider them both as expressions of a whole. If you, the reader, are mystified in the matter of female relationships, some of the material we present in this book may seem to you to be very far from reality. However, when you observe the principles in action, you will begin to understand that female behavior and female psychology are both perfectly understandable.

This chapter will help you to understand some of the foundational psychological principles upon which male-female relationships are played out on a more biological and behavioral level in real life. These principles help explain a wide range of female behavior we discuss through the book. We’ll start with sexual selection, then discuss evolutionary psychology, and close with some important points about altruism and selfishness as defined from an evolutionary perspective.

1The “how” of sex, that swapping of genetic material, is well-understood.

Sexual Selection

Selection refers to heritable traits that remain in — and have spread through — a population, because those traits served to increase the rate of reproduction of the organisms embodying those traits. Heritability refers to genetically-determined traits, which vary in their expression within a population. For example, we will refer to the female’s manipulative skills, her degree of sexual desire, her mate-selecting skills, and so on. Variation refers to a state in which there exists a variety of genetically determined traits within a population.

Sexual Selection can be divided into two main categories: intersexual selection, representing choices made with the opposite sex, and intra-sexual selection, representing choices made with respect to competition with the same sex.

Inter-sexual selection refers to the traits that one sex generally prefers in the opposite sex, such as leadership qualities, big muscles, impudence, aggressive behavior, and so on. (See Chapter 19, “Male Qualities Attractive to Women” for some practical tips on how to cultivate some of these key attributes within yourself). For example, a woman of a lower social level can easily identify survival with the skills for physical work at home, and she therefore may prefer a man who posesses good skills for physical labour. A woman of a higher social level, on the other hand, may identify survival more with leadership qualities and impudence, and therefore may prefer a man who is able to put himself in the position of being the leader of other men.

Intra-sexual selection refers to competition occurring among the members of the same sex for mating access to the opposite sex. For example, it has been observed that a woman’s sexual arousal can increase when she becomes aware that she is in the presence of a man who is sexually attractive to women in general. In other words, men who are successful with women tend to naturally attract more women to them merely as a result of their being attractive to other women. What is happening in this case is that the female evolutionary system has detected the man as being fitter for survival, and the female consequently reacts with increased sexual desire.

Evolutionary Psychology

Evolutionary psychology proposes that the human brain comprises many functional mechanisms called “psychological adaptations” or “evolved cognitive mechanisms,” all evolving from natural or sexual selection. Some examples include: language acquisition modules, incest avoidance mechanisms, cheater detection mechanisms, intelligence and sex-specific mating preferences, foraging mechanisms, alliance-tracking mechanisms, agent detection mechanisms, and so on. We won’t get into too much detail about each of those mechanisms, and will limit our discussion to:

• female sexuality and female emotional life, and

• female reproductive mechanisms from the point of view of sexual selection.

In general, evolutionary psychology asserts that many universal behaviors and aspects of society result from evolutionary adaptations. Such behaviors are studied to determine whether they are preserved in evolution as being useful to survival, or deleted for not being useful. For example, when we refer to females with high sexual drive or to females with low sexual drive, we are referring to sub-groups of women whose baseline sexual drive has evolved differently, depending on different survival needs and behaviors.

Within the framework of evolutionary psychology, a woman with a high sex drive is more prone to get impregnated by different men, which shifts her focus from the care of one child to the care of many children. Depending on her behavior with respect to social norms, such a woman may be labeled “promiscuous” or worse, “slutty.” A woman with a low sex drive is less prone to be impregnated by many different men. Her focus is more on the care of fewer children than on her being impregnated by many men. Again, depending on her behavior, such a woman may be labeled “cold,” or “frigid.” Both high sex drive and low sex drive females are useful to nature for different reasons. In the first case, wider genetic variety results. In the second case, greater genetic survivability results.

Interestingly, these natural differences have been distorted by men, in an attempt to understand them and to cope with the fear caused by them. We believe that male cognitive distortion of these natural feminine traits is the reason for such beliefs within our modern population as the “Madonna/whore complex,” which we discuss extensively later in the book, along with many other examples such as the so-called “last-minute resistance” and “anti-slut defense.”

Altruism and Selfishness

Many men, especially men who have become emasculated by women, fail to understand the real evolutionary meaning of female altruism and/or selfishness, which truly depends on the circumstances. They fail to see it as a continuously changing process that occurs within the same woman, and instead they tend view it in a more static and conflictual way. We believe that under the influence of the Madonna/whore complex, men stereotypically categorize women into rigid categories of altruistic or selfish. This is understandable, because some of the mechanisms which are useful to the continuation of life and the fitness of the species are often very immoral and shocking when seen from the point of view of the individual. But this is the way it is.

Usually, women are naturally altruistic towards their children, and to a lesser extent, close family members. But what about a woman’s interactions with men that she has romantic or sexual relationships with? Should you be expecting mercy or altruism towards you from your female romantic partners? Perhaps, perhaps not. Our belief is that it’s never appropriate for a man to expect altruism from a woman, only to appreciate a woman’s altruism when she provides it.

Men who become physically unfit in relationships learn very quickly that many woman have no compunction against kicking a man while he is down. As David says, she needs to feel that he is the same strong bastard she was initially attracted to, even when he is sick-in-bed with the flu. This is a purely selfish response from the woman for evaluating — on an emotional level — the man’s continued fitness.

Consider the predicament suffered by the physically large, menacing Icelandic berserker Egil Skallagrimson. The onset of ill health (probably Paget’s disease2) gradually rendered him deaf, blind and subject to migraines, whence, as the saga tells us, he was ridiculed by the women of his household, the same women he protected and provided for in his younger, healthier days!3

Egil, after moving in with his son-in-law, Grim, at Mosfell, was walking outside one day when he stumbled and fell. Some of the women who saw this laughed:

“You’re really finished, now, Egil,” they said, “when you fall without being pushed.”

“The women didn’t laugh so much when we were younger,” said Grim.

It’s to Egil’s credit he eventually expired of old age, rather than the treachery or mischief rampant in Iceland during the periods of the sagas.

Among humans, altruism can be observed when comparing a woman from a more traditional, patriarchal country, to a woman from a more politically-correct, industrialized country. A woman of a traditional patriarchal country will be more motivated in terms of altruistic behavior towards her husband (that is, the family’s Provider) because the role of family and patriarchy is still seen as much more important in those countries. In fact, supporting her man by sacrificing herself will increase the likelihood of spreading her own genes to her children.

This altruistic effect is virtually lost in politically-correct western countries, such that a woman’s motivation for altruistic behavior towards her husband (Provider) may be almost nonexistent, or will be limited to a short period of time between getting pregnant to the early years of the infant’s upbringing. Selfishness emerges when the woman can induce a man to pay for the children without impinging on her freedom, via the state-sanctioned mechanism of child support. This selfishness provides the woman with material support for children by one man, while allowing her to become impregnated by another man, with little or no material or social risk to herself.

In short, evolutionarily-derived altruism and selfishness both have clear reproductive advantages, depending on the woman’s material and social circumstances. A practical man will keep these notions in mind when arranging his affairs with the woman or women in his life.


3The Sagas of Icelanders

Practical Advice

It’s not mandatory to accept all of the tenets of evolutionary psychology in order to be successful with women. However, such a study will broaden your understanding of why females think and act the way that they do. Three books we have found very helpful are Matt Ridley’s The Red Queen, Robin Baker’s Sperm Wars and Geoffrey Miller’s The Mating Mind. Each of these books are written by an expert in their field; brief reviews of each follow, below.

One of the defining books on the evolution of sexuality is The Red Queen by Ridley [1]. The author puts forth several theories as to why men feel compelled to ask a woman’s hand in marriage and how we get our concepts of physical beauty, among many others. Ridley also presents a convincing array of statistics which seem to prove that a woman is more likely to be impregnated during an illicit affair than she is with her husband or long-term boyfriend. The Red Queen is fun read, and Ridley wrote it in an easily-accessible style that anyone new to the field of evolutionary psychology can readily grasp and enjoy. We therefore highly recommend The Red Queen to help round out your education.

Baker’s Sperm Wars [2] is another extremely interesting book examining human reproductive strategy. Baker makes a case based on evolutionary biology that human males and females exhibit a wide range of sexual behavior as an evolutionary response for widening the gene pool. His treatment is explicit — at times graphic — in it’s description of mating strategies, and he pulls no punches with respect to controversial topics, or even criminal behavior on the part of either males or females. As troubling as many of the behaviors Baker documents are, we find that fitting such behaviors into a rational and naturally evolved framework is extremely helpful for guiding our interactions with women (and men).

Miller, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics and at UCLA, proposes in The Mating Mind [3] that a large portion of the human brain evolved into a Courtship Mind (the “mating mind”). This explains why many genetic traits such as talents for music, or mathematics, or mechanics — which have very poor value from the point of view of natural selection — have evolved in our species. Miller maintains that both sexes have evolved many significant ways of displaying fitness via expression of creative intelligence, such as storytelling, poetry, art, music, sport, dance, humour, kindness and leadership. That such traits not strictly connected with survival is problematic in other theories.

As we wrote in the introduction, this book is not intended to be a scientific textbook. Our main goals are to entertain and inform, and hopefully inspire men to action in creating the relationships that they desire with women. The interpretations given to the scientific literature cited are purely subjective and constitute the authors’ own experiences with a wide variety of women and their interpretations of the studies. The validity of our interpretations should be confirmed or negated by concretely testing them in the field of male-female relationships.

Our experience, however, is our own. We’re positive that if men test our theories within the realm of everyday experience with women, they will find them to be extremely practical. We encourage you to maintain an open mind, to read the books reviewed above, and to read more on this topic from the variety of sources found in the bibliography.