Discover more from Overcoming Bias
Most wives are offended to see their husbands make a direct pass at another woman in front of them. They mind less if he seems unconsciously attracted to a woman, but does not consciously act on that attraction. A wife might mind her husband buying a sports car if his conscious intention was to attract other women for short term sex, but mind less if his main conscious reason was to race. These things depend on how conscious and deliberate are his efforts to attract other women. Now consider this: It seems men are eager to visibly help heroically and financially, and to spend on visible status symbols, mainly to seek promiscuous short-term sex! Data:
Men in the mating condition … said they would spend more money on the conspicuous luxuries. … Women in the mating condition … said they would spend more time on conspicuous pro-social volunteering. … Mating-primed women … said they would spend more on generosity-signalling conspicuous spending; mating-primed men did the same. Also, mating-primed men … said they would do more heroic helping, but not more non-heroic helping. … Moreover, men who were most interested in promiscuous, short-term sexual liaisons showed the largest increase after the mating priming in both generosity-signalling conspicuous spending and in heroic benevolence. …
Only the mating-primed men showed a higher interest in the socially dominant pro-social behaviours, and this effect was carried mostly by highly promiscuous men. … High-promiscuity men were more willing to borrow fashionable clothes from a friend to impress a potential mate rather than a new boss, whereas low-promiscuity men would rather impress the boss. Women showed no difference. …
High-promiscuity men who looked at photos of eight attractive women … said they would spend more money on items such as designer sunglasses or an elaborate car stereo rather than inconspicuous products such as low-cost jeans or a toaster, … [but] this is only the case when the potential mating situation is a short-term hook-up rather than a long-term relationship. There was no shift for mating-primed low-promiscuity men or for women in either study. … Women rated a man driving a Porsche Boxster as more attractive for a short-term sexual relationship than a man driving a Honda Civic. But the Porsche did not make the man more attractive as a possible marriage partner. Men rating women were uninfluenced by the type of car she drove.
So what would happen if we all became conscious of the above behaviors being strong clues that men are in fact actively trying for promiscuous short term sex? Would such behaviors reduce, would long term relations become less exclusive, or what? Maybe we just couldn’t admit that these are strong clues?
If these clues aren’t strong enough, imagine facial expression reading software could reliably tell when men are actively trying to attract short term sex partners. How would we deal with such naked promiscuity?
Hat tip to Holden Karnofsky.