Showing posts with label Alphas and Betas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alphas and Betas. Show all posts

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Agreeableness and marital status among men

According to the Game theory of male/female relations (correct me if I'm wrong), women tend to control whether a relationship is made or continued, and her decision depends on the guy's alpha-ness. She won't want to be in a relationship if the guy is too agreeable. If this is so, I would expect disagreeable men to be more likely than cooperative men to be married. The MIDUS study measured Big Five personality traits and asked about marital status. I dichotmized this variable into married (1) and not married (0).  I looked at the relationship between the agreeableness scale and being married, and included age in the model as a control:

Logistic regression coefficients (sample = 1,788)

Age .01*
Agreeableness -.04

*statistically significant

Older men are more likely to be married, but being an agreeable guy doesn't hurt one's chance of marriage at all.

I suspect that the Game perspective is flawed by oversimplifying. As we learn from evolutionary psychology, women tend to look at men from two different perspectives: as short-term and long-term partners. They tend to be more attracted to the Alpha for short-term relationships but focus more on the Beta for marriage. Betas are at a disadvantage if they just want to get laid, but their cooperativeness does not appear to keep them out of long-term relationships. (Nor are they more likely to lose a wife through separation and divorce: the mean agreeableness scores for married, separated, and divorced men do not differ.)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Gotta like that oxytocin

Fellow Betas, I think I may have discovered how it is that women developed stronger and deeper feelings for me over time, the opposite of how I expected it would work. From pages 70 and 71 of Why Women Have Sex:
Diane Witt, a researcher at Binghamton University, proposes that the release of oxytocin can be classically conditioned to the sight of certain people. Recall the Nobel Prize-winning Russian scientist Pavlov and his dogs. Dogs salivate when they are exposed to food--it plays an important role in the digestive process. Pavlov began ringing the bell every time he fed his dogs, and after a while the sound of the bell alone caused the dogs to salivate. The dogs had been classically conditioned to salivate at the sound of a bell. Witt believes that, in a similar way, oxytocin can be classically conditioned to be released by the brain with exposure to certain partners. 

For example, a woman meets someone and on the first date she decides he doesn't match up to her ideal--Clint Eastwood--but he's still acceptable enough to date a few more times. Eventually she decides to have sex with him--and oxytocin is released, so she experiences that "oohhh so good" feeling. After having repeated sex, and oxytocin releases, with the same man, she forms a conditioned association. Pretty soon, just seeing the guy can cause her brain to release oxytocin--without even having sex. Suddenly "Mr. Acceptable Enough" becomes "Mr. Can't Live Without."  Some researchers believe that prolonged attachment with a given person actually causes chronically high levels of oxytocin and its close hormonal relative vasopressin, which could feasibly help maintain long-term relationship bonds between women and men.

 Problem is, you have to be acceptable in the first place.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Occupation and lifetime sex partners

Here'a a table of the median lifetime sex partners for the occupations with at least 100 GSS sampled white men. I use median since the mean is completely thrown off by the small number of men with dozens and dozens of partners. Keep in mind that the overall mean for white men is about 6.

Managers, salesmen, and those with muscular jobs are toward the top (although supervisors and proprietors, sales occupations is an anomaly) and computer geeks, low status janitors, and farmers are at the bottom. I suspect farmers are more traditional and marry early.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mean number of offspring for Alphas and Betas

Following Thursday's suggestion, I calculated mean number of children for Alphas and Betas at different IQ intervals. The sample includes white men ages 30-59 from the 1990s and this decade (in order to maximize N). Betas of various intelligence levels are fairly similar in their family size. Mean number of offspring, however, drops more steeply among Alphas as IQ rises. Evidently, the dumb guys and their partners have sex more recklessly.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Alpha and Beta IQs

Here are the IQ percent distributions for Alphas and Betas. I widened the age range to 25-59 and the period to the 1990s and this decade to maximize N since I couldn't detect differences with a smaller sample. It still seems the two groups don't really differ in terms of intelligence. (It looks like there might be a few more retarded and really dumb as opposed to just plain dumb Betas).

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Alphas, Betas, and Marital Status

The table lists the percent distribution for Alphas (20-700 lifetime sex partners) and Betas (1-2 partners) based on GSS data. I'm using the same age, race, and period: whites in this decade ages 30-39. You can see that Betas are much more likely to be married, while Alphas are more likely to have never married. No surprise there.

But look at the divorced and separated statistics. I thought that any woman who could catch a Real Man would never let him go, no matter what, while married women with squishy Betas would throw them over for even a smile from Mr. Testosterone. The percent of divorced Alphas is eight times that of Betas.

These facts are consistent with my view that while some women like the idea of a roll in the hay with Studly, on a day-to-day basis they want a man who treats them well. Women like attention, consideration, thoughtfulness, responsibility, and generosity. If she gets treated like dirt, she's eventually going to move on, no matter how sexy the guy is.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

More on Alphas and Betas: Let's compare these two groups. Keep in mind that I'm defining them as guys with twenty or more lifetime sex partners and those with one or two, and I'm focusing on white thirty-somethings from this decade:

Alphas are a bit smarter, but are less educated. They earn substantially more, but have less prestigious jobs. They are less likely have a religion, they attend services much less often, and they are less politically conservative.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Median number of sexual partners: Feminist X makes a good point that we shouldn't assume that a given number of sexual partners now and in the past measures the same trait. The same guy who had two partners in the past might have 20 partners now.

My earlier analysis only covers the past three decades, so I think the period is short enough to assume that we're measuring the same thing in each of the three decades (80s, 90s, 00s). But it's always better to check.

The mean number of sex partners for white men ages 30 to 39 looks like it hasn't changed much since 1980, but the mean is a poor statistic to use because it is very sensitive to the handful of guys with many, many partners. The median is much better: it was seven partners in the 80s and 90s, and it's six in this decade. Cultural conditions don't seem to have changed much.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Alphas and Betas

Alphas, N =360

Betas, N = 384

These graphs show the trends in number of offspring over the past three decades for white men ages 30-39 having a lifetime total of 20-700 sexual partners (Alphas) and those with only one or two (Betas). There are only about 30 cases for each group in the 1980s, so we should pay more attention to the last two decades. First, it's clear that Alphas were more likely to be childless prior to this decade, but the gap has almost disappeared. Now, Alphas are more likely than Betas to have one kid but less likely to have two. Twenty-percent of both groups have three or more.

If we look at means instead, we get:

Mean number of children

1980s 1.11
1990s 1.03
This decade 1.23

1980s 1.64
1990s 1.66
This decade 1.44

The story is similar here. Betas average more kids, but the gap is narrowing. Standard deviations (not shown) are increasing for both groups too, indicating greater variation in this decade.

So the two groups are converging: more Betas are now childless, while Alphas are reproducing at greater numbers. It looks like fewer Betas are able to find a partner now, and perhaps women are becoming more willing to have an Alpha's baby. Single motherhood is becoming more common and acceptable for whites, so women might be more willing to risk having a baby with an unreliable man.

Predictions are a very dicey business, and Alphas are still less prolific, but if current trends continue, Alphas could surpass Betas in the baby race.