Friday, April 13, 2012

Hypergamy in Multiple Dimensions: So Many Bare Branches

Writing this particular post is difficult for me.  In contrast to the subject in
I was, and remain, very fond of all three of the individuals involved, although geographical distance and basic prudence keep my communication with them very infrequent.
But they all three illustrate an important point, which I'll try my best to make.

I've always had a strong preference for smart girls, and these three are all very smart.  Not a single one has a single child though, which is something that makes me sad.
The first, let's call her woman A, makes me the least sad.  When she was in her early 20s, she would have rated around the 55th or so percentile in terms of attractiveness for women her age (which today would unfortunately equate to around the 70th percentile because obesity among women has increased so much since the late 80s and early 90s).  She's a very smart girl, about three sigmas, and fairly neurotypical as well.  She had no significant mental instability or physical dysfunction and a fairly decent level of non-neurotypical tolerance.  She got married to a fellow PhD in her area of research and has done pretty well for herself.  But she has no children, and she's a bit older than I am.

The next, keeping with convention we'll call her woman B, is probably the smartest woman I've met.  She's 4 sigma, direct observation over extended periods of time as well as psychometrics confirm this fact.  Back in her early 20s, she would have rated around the 45th to 50th percentile in terms of looks, but the fact that she was close to (actually about 5 pounds shy of) her ideal weight would push her into the 60th percentiles today.  She was also miles and miles from neurotypical---probably less so than I am, and her emulation capability wasn't very good at the time.  This likely accounts for the fact that most of her friends were guys in those days---men are satisfied with a far coarser emulation of neurotypical than are women.  Long term matchmaking prospects for her were pretty tough, and she never married and never had children.  A common thread with her was non-neurotypical boyfriends that she'd keep for a year or so which would, with the improved confidence and status gained from having their first real relationship, trade her in for a prettier girl.  The SMP and the junior version of the MMP---call it the long term relationship marketplace, is incredibly brutal that way.  Raise a man's status by 10 percentiles or so, by making him less inept in male-female relationships, and he'll often/usually go looking for a hotter girlfriend.  Most of the time he won't even realise that this is what he's doing.

The last is one I find genuinely tragic.  Woman C was a three sigma neurotypical, like Woman A, who was her best friend.  But Woman C is a rare creature---she is a self-aware neurotypical.  Yes, she has a rationalisation hamster, but that fell beast is bound in adamantine chains.  Somewhat stereotypically, she's also a writer and poet, and, in my judgment, one that doesn't suck (for those less familiar with my style, that is high praise).  She was a very pretty girl in her early 20s---around 75th percentile as I'd reckon it by the standards of the late 80s/early 90s, which would equate to 90-95 percentile by today's standards.  Like woman A, she had no psychological or mental instability and, as I mentioned before, she was and is self-aware.  Hypergamy in multiple dimensions hit her HARD though, especially as the distribution of attractiveness changed in her 20s and early 30s.  You see, a long term match for her when she was close to the 75th percentile was fairly doable, in fact I can easily see several scenarios that might have easily come to pass that would have made that happen.  But a low 90s match in her position would have required some Divine intervention (which yes, I do believe happens, just not often enough for most people to hope for it as plan A).  Consider:
She's going to want a man at least as smart as she is and he's going to have to be 90-95 percentile in status as reckoned by other women.  Let's look at the options

3 sigma neurotypical or non-neurotypical with relatively effortless flawless emulation capability
First off, this is rare.  Second, all of the men I know in this category are really high status---i.e. higher than 95th percentile.

I'm sure that the 4 sigma neurotypical must exist, but I've never met him or her.

I've also never met a 4 sigma non-neurotypical with an effortless flawless emulation capability---effortless but not flawless, yes, or highly energy-intensive but flawless, yes again.  But I've never seen both in the same package---maybe I'll get there myself by the time I'm 60 or 70.
In my experience, I've never seen someone in this category in that status range----80s yes, what VoxDay would call a beta or Roissy would call a 'greater beta'--I know several of them.

So she's trying to thread a very difficult needle, and never quite managed it.  The world did not and likely will never receive any children of hers.  It will have to content itself with her books and poems.

So here we have it, three very smart women, one marriage, absolutely zero children.  Unfortunately, this isn't all that uncommon a story for women in this range.  I shudder to calculate a TFR for women at or above the 3rd sigma.

Update (regarding commenter KK):
For an look at the distribution of weight for women with fairly recent data
Note especially the percentiles,  presently the 50th percentile woman in her 20s is north of 25 BMI.  21 BMI is, IMO ideal (interestingly enough, women agree that BMI 20-22 is optimal for women).  While there are a few women out there who have BMI >25 that can give a plain Jane at BMI 21 a run for her money, that number is vanishingly small (and many of them work as figure models for plus sizes).


KK said...

"I shudder to calculate a TFR for women at or above the 3rd sigma."

A few points:

* I don't think the high end of feminine beauty has degraded that much in 20 years as you make it seem like (75th percentile in the 80's --> 95th now).

* This is a good and seldom-made point: "boyfriends that she'd keep for a year or so which would, with the improved confidence and status gained from having their first real relationship, trade her in for a prettier girl.". From the point of view of someone who's been there and done that, this is correct. The value of an inexperienced man rises that immediate moment he secures his first real relationship. If you want to make a rational case for a young woman that a 'nice guy' can be a bad bet (or at least requires additional considerations), here it is.

Jehu said...

My estimate is that in the late 80s, around 20% of women were 'invisible' due to weight or such issues. Right now it is nearly 50%. 90-95 is just what you'd call pretty, maybe very pretty---that just means that if you grabbed 20 random girls her age, she's likely to be number 2 or 3 in that set.
I certainly do agree that in the top 2% or so, there's been no degradation to speak of---in fact you could argue that it may have improved a bit.
The flip analog to what I described is when you have a girlfriend that starts out overweight and upgrades by losing weight.

KK said...

Yes, I understand your reasoning and you seem... hm, detached enough (in a positive way!) to actually take all the invisible girls into account, which is quite rare since, well, they're invisible for a reason. Due to subjectivity, the actual percentiles are impossible to measure but I'll take your word that the change has been severe.

The flip analogue misses one important point: the boy gets status points just with the very act of starting to date with someone. The girl's weight is independent of that.

Jehu said...

KK---I attached a link to the original posts regarding the present level of weight among American women. It's up in the body of the original post as an update.
Detached is a pretty good word for it, it is really hard to actually be invisible to me--probably a result of my threat assessment 'software' running nearly continuously. This results in more people asking me for directions or homeless people attempting to strike up a conversation than I'm actually comfortable with though.
You're right that the guy gets the status lift quicker---he gets an immediate status lift that is temporary (he has dated woman X), and the permanent status boost (he managed to have a relationship for x amount of time). A woman losing weight usually takes a lot longer than that. In the case of woman B, there was no margin in it for her, as she was already of ideal weight. She has aged very well though.

Matthew said...

Imagine the problems their daughters would have had if they had found mates.

Matthew said...

Does this suggest that female intelligence is an adaptational dead-end?

Jehu said...

As someone who is looking to the future and wants appropriate wives for my sons and grandsons, it's not terribly encouraging. I suspect that TFR is less bleak down in the 2 sigma region for women.
What follows is speculation on each of the 3. Given that I dated one for a couple of years and the other two were close friends, the probability that I'm on target is good, but not certain.
Woman A was raised to look at her career as her defining attribute, and she's done very well there. Blame the culture as a whole there, and academia if you like.
Woman B is an odd duck and probably is what you describe as an adaptational dead end. I still wish she'd found a suitable husband and had a family, but the blame can't be meaningfully laid at the feet of the culture.
Woman C's big problem is that the massive surge in obesity effectively priced her out of the market for most of her appropriate matches. She had a window of opportunity in her early 20s right after college but it slammed shut fairly quickly with her shopping in a vastly smaller marriage marketplace and the perverse pricing alluded to earlier. Keep the weight distribution around that of the late 80s and she'd probably have been married off to a high-functioning geek in the 80th percentiles in status.

Alrenous said...

That fits so well.

While the idea that men are threatened by smart women is probably comforting to those smart women, need I list all the events better matched by the reverse, women hypergamously rejecting the men?

Apparently the best mating strategy for the average is disastrously bad for the high end. This probably has significant capping effects on peak IQ.

Alrenous said...

Oh heck, is that why people keep talking to me? Last time I was on a subway, I specifically kept a look out for people starting up a chat with someone else. Got zero. Three talked to me.

Do you know the causation? Surely there must be a way to assess threats surreptitiously... Still, if people asking me directions is a sign I'm properly checking, I'll take it as a compliment. (I can only barely navigate and don't know where anything is.)

Also, psychoanalyzing bums. There's a lot of talk about idealized poor, and I like to see what actual concrete paupers are about.

Every fat young women is a tragedy and a celebration of ugliness. I'd really like to know how you can miss that beauty is better by definition. If it isn't better, it isn't beauty.

Jehu said...

Woman C would unreservedly agree with you I suspect. As I pointed out, she's self-aware. Woman A and B never breathed a word about men being 'threatened by their intellects'. Most of the guff about men being 'threatened by smart women', seems to come from the women of the Second Sigma with fairly high income levels who have physical attractiveness levels much lower than one or both of those other attributes.

Jehu said...

Making eye contact, which is pretty much necessary to run decent threat assessment software, is taken as an acknowledgement of the person's humanity (or as a threat itself, if you do it exceptionally clumsily). It's also an indication that you're paying attention. Lots of people, especially the homeless and the normally 'invisible', aren't used to that and take it as an indication that if nothing else, you're likely to be at least moderately friendly towards them.
As to how you can run said software without notice---I suspect sunglasses would help.
As to why so many women fail to avoid obesity---maybe the constant bombardment of 4-6 sigma beauties in the media has demoralized them? Most people have a truly awful 'statistics package' in their standard mental software set. Perhaps they misapprehend their position at least at some level in the SMP/MMP and hence decide not to bother? Whatever the cause, it is a national tragedy, I agree.

Alrenous said...

I will have to try the sunglasses thing.

I do usually manage to run it without making eye contact, but I do equivalent things that broadcast that I'm aware of my surroundings.

You know, that solves another issues. Most look to me like they want to be noninteractive props. If that sounds like what I mean to say... They want to be aloof from the environment. I think that's boring. I may as well hang a glowing exclamation mark above my head.

I should really just be blunt. They're trying, on purpose, to act like NPCs without any dialogue. Guys! Like, half the the point of having a shared culture is so you can have productive conversations with strangers! It is entirely possible that there could e.g. be traditional things to do in lines, as opposed to standing in dead silence, earnestly imitating statues.

But rants aside, I can certainly see the point of seeming non-interactive among strangers. Just, I could be a really high level predator, and if I decided to do that, these defences would be vulnerabilities to me.

Oh crap, that gave me an idea. I'm not sure if it's viciously evil or not. It would be very amusing.
I know what the ideal friendly conversation is supposed to go like. I could employ that on random subway strangers.

If they tried to refuse, I could use their own beliefs against them.

As I'm following a script and not trying to be genuine, I could be a better social interaction than many of them have had in months.

So I could force them into letting me pratise making them feel good. With, especially if I do it often enough, predictable, "Why can't you act like [person from subway]? For x-sakes [random subwayer] can do it!" when they get home. Are these costs worth it to train myself more in social skills and psychology?

The non-interactivity of the other travellers means I'd likely never have interference, it'd be like a 1 on 1.

Jehu said...

Make sure your threat-assessment software is working well before you try that. But you can probably refine your 'world model' some with experiments like that.

Alrenous said...

I'd say it suggets high relative intelligence is, yes.
Dimorphism is limited - hence nipples - which causes some issues for raising male intelligence and thus the cap on female intelligence.

Alrenous said...

If I actually carry this out, you want to hear how it goes?

Jehu said...

Absolutely, reporting on such experimental activities is what blog posts are for.

Aretae said...

Of the 3 smartest girls I know/previously dated (all over 3 sigma), 1 had a baby, but SIDS, gave up... one has one kid, and is pregnant with almost died giving birth to her 2nd...done now. But I have a bias towards smart, fertile girls, and not-serious about fertility was a disqualifier for my dating history.