The ethology of attraction to bad boys

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The ethology of attraction to bad boys

Postby Reverend Henry Kane » Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:34 am

The ethology of attraction to bad boys

It was not only the natural selection that favored warlike men, but also the sexual selection. In archaic times, the combative behavior implied not only chances of survival, but also a more significant reproductive success. Women’s preferences for combative individuals have evolved in parallel with men’s aggressiveness. Numerous studies have shown that women manifest a higher sexual attraction towards men with a warlike reputation, towards leaders and military men. In some societies, military men who are dressed up in their uniforms are being perceived as having a sex-appeal that is superior to those who wear simple clothes [Schreiber, Van Vugt, 2008].

The women’s predilection for warriors and the military uniform’s sex-appeal represent a reminiscence of women’s ancestral preferences for men with high social status (resource owners); from times when the hierarchical position was directly associated with warlike abilities and aggressive behavior. From then, the symbol of the warlike man, who is in control and who has a combative and imposing behavior, is part of a strategy that favors men in their relationships with the opposite sex [Hardy, Van Vugt, 2006]. There are other consequences of the admiration of the masculine force, which marks the psychology of the sexual relationships of our times.

It is well known that young men who behave modestly and seem agreeable, selfless and shy are disadvantaged as regarding sexual relationships. On the contrary, those who are manipulative, arrogant, cunning, overconfident, who play hypermasculine roles, enjoy a higher number of sexual experiences with more partners [1]. These effects are due not only to the gumption with which these men act, but also to the fact that women prefer this kind of men, with a more imposing behavior. Different studies have shown that the skillful men who have a dominant status and an assertive character are more attractive for women that those who are submissive and shy [Sadalla et al., 1987; Burger, Cosby, 1999].

At the same time, men get a higher prestige and are more attractive for women when they manifest their dominant character and their hostility towards the rivals (for example, towards the members of an opposing sport team) and not towards their colleagues or the persons who are nearby. As regarding a lasting romantic relationship or marriage, the interpersonal aggressiveness, unleashed by a man, could diminish the women’s interest (they being afraid of getting aggressively dominated) [Snyder et al., 2008]. Therefore, the assertive domination is favorable for conquests and courtship strategies for short periods of time, while the prestige (usually associated with social status and richness, but which can also include a prosocial behavior, empathy, intelligence, generosity) is going to have a long-lasting impact [2].

However, overall, in the course of humans’ evolution, the dominant individuals have been favored within the reproductive competition, one being able to find even today large categories of women who prefer “alpha males”, with an assertive and sexist approach [3] [Hall, Canterberry, 2011]. Thus, many women who consider themselves attractive prefer men with a deeper, more masculine and dominant voice [Vukovic et al., 2008, 2010]. Also, the guys with more masculine faces are preferred, them being associated with a greater physical strength therefore, with better genes [Little et al., 2011]. And, the more difficult and unstable the living conditions are, the more emphasized are these preferences [DeBruine et al., 2011]; in regions were the epidemic situation is more dangerous, where the population is more vulnerable to diseases, men with masculine facial traits are more attractive to women than those with womanish faces, due to the fact that masculinity correlates with testosterone and with high resistance to infections [4].

The studies which were based on the scanning of women’s brains have shown that they are sexually attracted by those male faces that inspire both fear and danger [5]. It’s interesting the fact that women are attracted by the masculine smell, by the dominant behavior and by imposing physical traits especially during the period of maximum fertility of their menstrual cycle [Little et al., 2007]. This speaks about women’s unconscious and instinctual predilection towards dominant and virile men.

The staggering case from a prison in Baltimore, where four female guards fell pregnant to same inmate, a gang leader named Tavon White, illustrated, even in anecdotal form, the phenomenon of woman attraction for dominant men [6]. But let’s remember how many convicted killers (like Charles Manson) capture the hearts of law-abiding women, being assaulted with love letters and other signs of adoration while sitting in prison [7].

That is why perhaps we should not be much surprised to find that most dreaded terrorist in the world, Osama bin Laden, was considerd sexy and not a few women had testified that they had fantasies with him. For some women, he was perceived as The Original Caveman, raw, brave, basic. Other women fall for bin Laden’s supposed sensitive side, his spirituality, the mystery surrounding it, his ideological fighting.

Osamaphily was observed not only among women in the Middle East, but also among women in Western countries, among American women, for whom Osama ought to be an enemy. According to Justin Frank, a professor of psychiatry at George Washington Medical Center, women turned on by bin Laden might have had rocky relationships with their fathers. Other specialists invoke strange attraction of women for tough guys, for misogynists, especially if they appear on TV and are somewhat popular [8].

In fact, the sex appeal of Osama bin Laden was more widespread than we could have imagined. A survey conducted in 2012 in the UK showed that… 47% of women felt a ‘strong’ or ‘quite strong’ attraction towards Bin Laden (the same poll showed that only 23% said the same about their husbands). After the physical elimination of Osama bin Laden, many psychiatrists in London were besieged on the phone by desperate women, wanting to express their attraction to Al Qaeda leader. This bizarre obsession was strange to see amongst housewives and respectable, educated women. The experts called it Osamour syndrome, and the phenomenon, largely remains inexplicable [9].

From an evolutionary point of view, we are dealing with an instinctive inclination that comes from archaic times when males inherited and, in turn, transmitted genes connected with aggressive and dominant behaviour, who provide a sexual success, and women properly, had inherited preference for such type of males. Masculine aggressive character has evolved in parallel with feminine attraction for such a character. Effects of that archaic sexual selection are still strong today.

In psychology, the term of Dark Triad is used to characterize the traits of a certain category of men who have the tendency to act violently and dominantly. The Dark Triad includes three sub-clinical traits: narcissism, machiavellianism and psychopathy. These men are complacent, selfish and overconfident; they manipulate and exploit others without any scruples; they are impulsive and lacking empathy; they are impudent and possessive in their sexual relationship; they have sadistic inclinations. In an apparently paradoxically way, many women adore such types of men [10] [Carter et al., 2014]. In fact, some women have fantasies about brutal sexual relationships, including rapes; these fantasies represent an unconscious expression of women to be sexually desirable, their wish to be possessed by men [11], [12].

It is believed that the international success of the erotic novel “50 shades of Grey” by E. L. James is mostly due to the fact that it succeeds in exploring the erotic fantasies of women who are desirous of unconventional sexual relationships with sadistic elements [13]. By the way, it has been found out that numerous young female readers of this book are being influenced by the messages that are being transmitted by this book; they adopt an unhealthy lifestyle, some of them are more predisposed to drink alcohol and to manifest a more promiscuous behavior (they are looking for more sexual adventures) [Bonomi et al., 2014].

If we analyze the things through the prisms of human ethology and evolutionary psychology, we understand that the attraction to bad boys, who have the traits from the Dark Triad, is explained by the fact that they are being associated with warrior qualities. Those who have such personal traits are also favored in hierarchical struggles and they usually reach the top of the pyramid of power.

Therefore we understand that the natural selection has favored the formation of some masculine warlike traits that favored, in each generation, the ones who were more combative and who had an assertive character, because those were able to acquire more women, but it also has favored the women who preferred the warlike men, because they were able to gain access to more resources. A mutual strengthening of the respective strategies took place on a genetic level and they became typical for the human ethology. Maybe it is the instinctual predilection for tough and combative men that makes women not to leave their violent husbands and that explains their fantasies with forced sex [14].

There are testimonies of rape’s victims in which the victims affirm that they had orgasm during the imposed sexual acts (different sources indicate a different rate that varies between 5%-10% and 50% of women who admitted having had orgasmic states) [15]. A study of 611 hospitalized women, which was made in Toronto, Canada, showed that almost 43% of them have been abused both physically and especially verbally at home in the last year, but more than half of them (54%) have declared that they would stay with their abusing husbands. The invoked motive is the feeling of safety that these women have when they are near their husbands [Panchanadeswaran et al., 2010]. All these considerations should make us look more profound at phenomenon of violence in general.

Sources:

Photo: Scarface / http://wallpapers.brothersoft.com/scarface-69675.html

1. Do women who really enjoy sex prefer “bad boys”? // by Eric Barker. Bakadesuyo. January 18, 2012 / http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2012/01/do-wo ... -bad-boys/
2. The Myth of the Alpha Male // by Scott Barry Kaufman. The Art of Manliness. July 7, 2014 / http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/07/0 ... lpha-male/
3. The Allure of Aggressive Men. A new study illuminates why women can find combativeness attractive // by Vinita Mehta. Psychology Today. May 28, 2013 / http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hea ... essive-men
4. Why Women Don’t Want Macho Men. New research suggests that women from countries with healthier populations prefer more feminine-looking men // by Jena Pincott. The Wall Street Journal. March 27, 2010 / http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/
5. Are dangerous men more attractive men? // by Eric Barker. Bakadesuyo. June 11, 2012 / http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2012/06/are-d ... ctive-men/
6. Four female guards fell pregnant to same inmate in one American prison // by Rob Waugh. Metro.co.uk. Tuesday 25 Nov 2014 / http://metro.co.uk/2014/11/25/four-fema ... n-4962174/
7. ‘I am Charles Manson’s wife’ // by Ted Rowlands. CNN. November 18, 2014 / http://edition.cnn.com/2014/08/09/justi ... nson-wife/
8. Osama bin Laden: Sex Symbol? // by David Wallis. National Post. December 29, 200 / http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/fr/598584/posts
9. Osama Bin Laden: The Sex Symbol // by Geraint Anderson. Sabotage Times. 4 November 2012 / http://sabotagetimes.com/people/osama-b ... ex-symbol/
10. Dark triad // http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_triad
11. Why Am I Turned On By Rape Fantasies? // by Justin Lehmiller. Lehmiller.com. April 18, 2014 / http://www.lehmiller.com/blog/2014/4/18 ... -fantasies
12. Don’t Call Them “Rape Fantasies”. Women: Ever had exciting fantasies of being sexually “devoured” by a stranger? // by Leon F. Seltzer. Psychology Today. November 5, 2014 / http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evo ... -fantasies
13. What 50 Shades of Grey Tells Us About the Nature of Female Fantasy // by Susan Walsh. Hooking up Smart. April 9, 2012 / http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2012/04/0 ... e-fantasy/
14. Rape fantasy // http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_fantasy
15. What Science Says About Arousal During Rape. Yes, orgasms can happen to rape victims // by Jenny Morber. Popular Science. 05.30.2013 / http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2 ... f=obinsite

• Bonomi A.E., Nemeth J.M., Altenburger L.E., Anderson M.L., Snyder A., Dotto I. Fiction or Not? Fifty Shades is Associated with Health Risks in Adolescent and Young Adult Females // Journal of Women’s Health. Online Ahead of Print: August 21, 2014. doi:10.1089/jwh.2014.4782.
• Burger J.M., Cosby M. Do Women Prefer Dominant Men? The Case of the Missing Control Condition // Journal of Research in Personality. Vol. 33. 1999. P. 358-368.
• Carter G.L., Campbell A.C., Muncer S. The Dark Triad personality: Attractiveness to women // Personality and Individual Differences. Vol. 56. January 2014. P. 57-61.
• DeBruine L.M., Jones B.C., Little A.C., Crawford J.R., Welling L.L.M. Further evidence for regional variation in women’s masculinity preferences // Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. Vol. 278(1707). 2011. P. 813-814.
• Hall J.A., Canterberry M. Sexism and Assertive Courtship Strategies // Sex Roles. Vol. 65. 2011. P. 840-853.
• Hardy C.L., Van Vugt M. Nice guys finish first: The competitive altruism hypothesis // Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32. 2006. P. 1402-1413.
• Little A.C., Jones B.C., Burriss R.P. Preferences for masculinity in male bodies change across the menstrual cycle // Hormones and Behavior. Vol. 52. 2007. P. 633-639.
• Little A.C., Jones B.C., DeBruine L.M. Facial attractiveness: evolutionary based research // Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B. Vol. 366, no. 1571. 12 June 2011. P. 1638-1659.
• Panchanadeswaran S., Ting L., Burke J.G., O’Campo P., McDonnell K.A., Gielen A.C. Profiling Abusive Men Based on Women’s Self-Reports: Findings From a Sample of Urban Low-Income Minority Women // Violence Against Women. Vol. 16 (3). 2010. P. 313-327.
• Sadalla E.K., Kenrick D.T., Vershure B. Dominance and heterosexual attraction // Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Vol. 52(4). Apr 1987. P. 730-738.
• Schreiber P., Van Vugt M. I love the man in the uniform: Why women prefer male warriors. Unpublished Manuscript: University of Kent. 2008.
• Snyder J.K., Kirkpatrick L.A., Clark Barrett H. The dominance dilemma: Do women really prefer dominant mates? // Personal Relationships. Vol. 15 (4). 2008. P. 425-444.
• Vukovic J., Feinberg D.R., Jones B.C., DeBruine L.M., Welling L.L.M., Little A.C., Smith F.G. Self-rated attractiveness predicts individual differences in women’s preferences for masculine men’s voices // Personality and Individual Differences. Vol. 45, Issue 6. October 2008. P. 451-456.
• Vukovic J., Jonesa B.C., DeBruine L., Feinbergb D.R., Smitha F.G., Littlec A.C., Wellinga L.L.M., Maina J. Women’s own voice pitch predicts their preferences for masculinity in men’s voices // Behavioral Ecology. Vol. 21 (4). 2010. P. 767-772.

http://socialethology.com/ethology-attraction-bad-boys
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Re: The ethology of attraction to bad boys

Postby TDG » Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:07 am

It's nothing we don't already know, but it's nice too see some research on it
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Re: The ethology of attraction to bad boys

Postby Pointerman » Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:52 pm

Well thought out and researched Reverend.
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Re: The ethology of attraction to bad boys

Postby Reverend Henry Kane » Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:12 pm

PointermanKS wrote:Well thought out and researched Reverend.


Not mine at all, I just saw it and posted it over here.
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Re: The ethology of attraction to bad boys

Postby DrunkenMaster » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:24 pm

Great find Rev , much appreciated .
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Re: The ethology of attraction to bad boys

Postby fester » Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:16 pm

Well, that explains my high school years.
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Re: The ethology of attraction to bad boys

Postby mongolking » Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:29 pm

It explains the rising role of government in all our lives.

Who's the meanest, cruelest, biggest-resource-owner of them all? Who has vast prison networks of those it has conquered and vanquished? Who commands armies of millions?

As if any individual man has a chance.

EDIT:

Sometimes I wonder why I keep coming back to sites like this, where only men speak. It's wholly related to posts like the O.P. above, where new and interesting thought is presented - thought that relates something truthful about the world, without regard to who may be listening or reading, and might not want to hear it.

I was a keener reader of fiction in my youth. There was much in the older stuff that described a world I wanted to know about, but couldn't possibly be physically there, or live long enough to see it all. So I trusted in the observations, judgment and ability to interest that good writers had a monopoly on. Literature was something I cared a great deal about.

Unfortunately, it has had almost nothing to say the last 70 years. There isn't much post 1940 that's any good.

The growing internet presence of man only spaces is at last doing for writing what this long period of stagnation has almost destroyed: it's making the written word interesting again - it's being sought after a long hiatus.

If literature has any chance of being resurrected, it will be in our spaces. There isn't the structure or order yet, but the originality is all there, the analysis of the zeitgeist is there, and the brooding resentment of a world order that holds us in contempt. There are times I may have wondered what Hemingway's Paris would have been like, or Dickens's London, or Dostoevsky's Russia, and at last I know. It was like us today.

The great writers of the future may not be commenting here often, or at all, but they will be reading us right now.
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Re: The ethology of attraction to bad boys

Postby Slade » Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:54 am

mongolking wrote:It explains the rising role of government in all our lives.

Who's the meanest, cruelest, biggest-resource-owner of them all? Who has vast prison networks of those it has conquered and vanquished? Who commands armies of millions?


And who rises to the top to rule over empires? Thugs and psychopaths.

If we analyze the things through the prisms of human ethology and evolutionary psychology, we understand that the attraction to bad boys, who have the traits from the Dark Triad, is explained by the fact that they are being associated with warrior qualities. Those who have such personal traits are also favored in hierarchical struggles and they usually reach the top of the pyramid of power.


The only difference between the thugs we elect and our captains of industry vs. the thugs in prison, is that our leaders are smarter than the gang bangers in jail.
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Re: The ethology of attraction to bad boys

Postby bob » Sat Jul 25, 2015 2:22 am

The staggering case from a prison in Baltimore, where four female guards fell pregnant to same inmate, a gang leader named Tavon White, illustrated, even in anecdotal form, the phenomenon of woman attraction for dominant men


I "love" that story. It is so amazingly illustrative of the "chicks dig jerks" phenomenon.

Heartiste has a healthy assortment of these:

https://heartiste.wordpress.com/?s=%22c ... g+jerks%22
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Re: The ethology of attraction to bad boys

Postby ubermensch » Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:52 am

Just don't be the nice guy anymore.

Sure, society feeds on the blood, sweat and tears of nice guys, so the more who stop being nice, the worse society will fare.

But since when has society given a single flying fuck about nice guys?
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