18 November 2008

Love in a Time of Psychological Neoteny

Perpetual adolescents walking around in the bodies of adults. That is a fair description of today's twenty-something generation and beyond. What is the dating scene like for these child-men and child-women? Cold, bleak, and apt to last the rest of their lives . . .
The woman may be hoping for a hookup, but she may also be looking for a husband, a co-parent, a sperm donor, a relationship, a threesome, or a temporary place to live. She may want one thing in November and another by Christmas. “I’ve gone through phases in my life where I bounce between serial monogamy, Very Serious Relationships and extremely casual sex,” writes Megan Carpentier on Jezebel, a popular website for young women. “I’ve slept next to guys on the first date, had sex on the first date, allowed no more than a cheek kiss, dispensed with the date-concept altogether after kissing the guy on the way to his car, fucked a couple of close friends and, more rarely, slept with a guy I didn’t care if I ever saw again.” Okay, wonders the ordinary guy with only middling psychic powers, which is it tonight?

In fact, young men face a bewildering multiplicity of female expectations and desire. Some women are comfortable asking, “What’s your name again?” when they look across the pillow in the morning. But plenty of others are looking for Mr. Darcy.

....“Women seemingly have decided that they want it all (and deserve it, too),” Kevin from Ann Arbor writes. “They want to compete equally, and have the privileges of their mother’s generation. They want the executive position, AND the ability to stay home with children and come back into the workplace at or beyond the position at which they left. They want the bad boy and the metrosexual.”

...The main reason that young educated adults are increasingly marrying in their late twenties and thirties is that women are pursuing education and careers, but ironically, the delay works to men’s advantage. Once they get past their awkward late teens and early twenties, men begin to lose their metaphorical baby fat. They’re making more money, the pool of available women has grown, and they have more confidence. “I could get a woman now, but when I’m 30 or 35 I could do better,” Bryson, an otherwise nice-guy 24-year-old from D.C., tells me.

...Forty years after they threw off the feminine mystique, women continue to prefer bigger, stronger, richer men, at least as husbands. They almost always marry men who are taller than they are, men who are several years older than they are (though the age difference has declined in recent decades), and men who earn more than they do (though that number, too, has declined a bit). Most of the women interviewed by Jillian Straus say that they’re looking for a man who can be the primary breadwinner. A June 2008 New Scientist article reports on two studies that even suggest that women are biologically attracted to “jerks”; researchers speculate that narcissistic, risk-taking men had an evolutionary advantage. _CityJournal_via_Instapundit
It is largely about sex. But it is also about companionship, nesting, children, responsibility, and personal integrity. The latter items seem to have gotten lost in the post-modern shuffle.

Things are not likely to get any better, as the multi-year Obama depression sets in and deepens. Bad economic times tend to bring out the worst in large numbers of people--the people who set the cultural tone among them. Nothing that young women learn in their women's studies classes has prepared them for the bad economic times to come. In fact, modern feminism is a parasitic ideology bred for affluent times, to mooch off a thriving economy. When economic times go south, parasitic feminism becomes an obvious drain on the well-being of society, standing out like sore chancres.

Psychological neotenates are adults stuck in perpetual adolescent incompetence. When your breeding population is mired in such a state, while immersed in a totally clueless culture run by a pathological narcissist-elect, clearer-headed individuals had best spur themselves to make contingency plans.

Update: Blogger Dennis Mangan points to Roissy's treatment of the same article, "Love In The Time Of Game". Roissy presents a good example of the evolving male attitude that Hymowitz is writing about. If radical feminist culture has bred a dating world of terminal contradictions and miscues, the evolving male reaction to feminist dating chaos may be far more Darwinian than feminists--and even Hymowitz--are reckoning.

Of course, none of that does anything to guide humans closer to the next level. Those who are working on that particular problem will need to ignore the background noise as best they can.

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Blogger Prerona said...

i;m a woman, but i agree with you on a lot of this. but the main point is, now whats to be done?

Tuesday, 18 November, 2008  
Blogger al fin said...

Just as male sexual behaviour reflects female expectations, so is the reverse true. But both males and females respond to popular culture in the form of television, movies, music, videogames, youtube, phone/email/texting/twitter/chat/forums/blogs etc. as well as various influences such as parents, teachers, other role models etc.

The process is dynamic and subject to fads, fashions, and trends.

The youth who are exposed to timeless and transcendent ideas and ideals during their formative years are luckier than most, in the sense that they can choose the ideals that best typify their inner selves. The lucky youths are also the ones who are taught a wide array of practical skills and competencies before the critical windows close. This gives them earned confidence rather than faux self-esteem that is plastered over so many of the unlucky ones.

If you follow the postings under the labels "Psychological Neoteny" and "Competence" you can see the bare early framework of some ideas I am looking at in response to your question.

Tuesday, 18 November, 2008  
Blogger Dennis Mangan said...

Have you read Roissy's take on this? He hits it out of the park.

Wednesday, 19 November, 2008  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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