For 200,000 years, humans lived in small hunter-gatherer bands. Strong men were better hunters and had more wives and children.
About 10,000 years ago, humans started living in tribes and chiefdoms. The murder rate increased from 2% to 5–10% of all deaths. Women mated with warriors who could protect them and their children. For example, the Yanomamö Indians live in the Amazon rainforest and 44% of males have helped kill someone. Killers have an average of 5 children versus 1.6 for non-killers.
Women like bad boys. I suspect that’s because their inner cavewoman knows Doormat Man would become Sabertooth Tiger Lunch in short order.
What women want
In modern times, the murder rate is 6% in Mexico, but only 0.7% in the United States and 0.1% in Western Europe. However, most women are still sexually attracted to men with high status and high testosterone.
To become a high-status man, it helps to be:
Most men who ever lived did not have descendants who are alive today. Their lines were dead ends. Hence it was necessary to take chances, try new things, be creative, explore other possibilities.
On average, men have 15X more testosterone than women. High testosterone affects men’s minds and bodies:
Cooperation against others
Risk-taking and impulsivity
Strength and height
Square jaw and strong brow
Facial hair and deep voice
The heroes of romance novels often seem like members of a more evolved species. They are natural leaders, rich, powerful, and well-connected. Their minds are intelligent and savvy, though they are reticent about their abilities and hide their inner demons. Despite the fact that they are a 5-star general or lord of southern England, they hide a troubled and tempestuous soul that can only be healed by the magical balm of a woman’s love.
My fair lady
Across cultures, most men are sexually attracted to young, thin women with high estrogen because they are more fertile.
Specifically, women are at peak fertility from ages 20 to 24. Fertility is 6% lower from 25 to 29; 14% from 30 to 34; and 31% from 35 to 39. Risk of infertility is higher in women who are underweight (13%) or obese (250%). And high-estrogen women are 2–3X more likely to get pregnant.
On average, premenopausal women have 5X more estrogen than men. High estrogen affects women’s minds and bodies:
Desire for children
Large eyes, large forehead, full cheeks, small jaw, small chin, large lips
Large breasts, narrow waists, wide hips
Shorter height than men
Lighter skin than men
For example, Playboy Playmates averaged the following measurements from 1960 to 2000:
After a lecture of mine on the subject of sex differences in mate preferences, one woman suggested that I should suppress my findings because of the distress they would cause women. Women already have it bad enough in this male-dominated world, she felt, without having scientists tell them that their mating problems may be based in men’s evolved psychology. Yet suppression of this truth is unlikely to help, just as concealing the fact that people have evolved preferences for succulent, ripe fruit is unlikely to change their preferences. Railing against men for the importance they place on beauty, youth and fidelity is like railing against meat eaters because they prefer animal protein.
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the world’s oldest marketplaces. It has 4,000 shops and attracts 90 million visitors each year. Buyers and sellers haggle to get the best value for money.
Like the economic marketplace, men and women compete in the sexual marketplace. At a high level, eggs are more valuable than sperm. But at the local level, there can be large differences in supply and demand:
After World War II, the ratio of men to women in Russia plunged to 65:100. This lowered the marriage rate by 8% and increased the divorce rate by 600%.
A Syracuse University study found that football and basketball stars had 100 sexual partners, whereas lower-status rugby and lacrosse stars had 40 partners.
In China, there is an excess of 34 million men. They compete for wives by building houses and paying in-laws.
On the OkCupid dating service, the top 20% of men receive 11X more messages than the bottom. Top women receive 25X more messages.
A 20-year-old Brazilian woman auctioned her virginity for $780,000. A 24-year-old Russian man only received $3,000.
Another marketplace parallel is the tremendous variation in sexual desires. For example, researchers studied 55 million Internet searches for erotic content. The top 30 were: youth (13.54%), gay (4.70%), MILFs (4.27%), breasts (3.95%), cheating wives (3.37%), vaginas (2.82%), penises (2.41%), amateurs (2.36%), mature (2.11%), animation (2.11%), domination & submission (2.1%), incest (1.02%), lesbian (1.86%), black (1.76%), bestiality (1.66%), fat (1.62%), transsexuals (1.29%), anal sex (1.24%), nudism (1.23%), grannies (1.02%), buttocks (0.93%), voyeurs (0.88%), celebrities (0.88%), group sex (0.86%), hairy (0.73%), tattoo (0.72%), games (0.69%), fellatio (0.66%), Asian (0.61%), and skinny (0.58%).
Researchers concluded: “if you are a woman, then no matter what your attributes—big or skinny, A-cup or double-E, mother or grandmother—you are the sexual ideal and greatest erotic fantasy for an abundance of men. Similarly, if you are a man, no matter what your character—aggressive or pacifist, witty or stoic, rich or penniless, scarred or delicate—there are plenty of women who can fall in love with you, and if their love is reciprocated, feel intense desire for you.”
Character contributes to beauty. It fortifies a woman as her youth fades. A mode of conduct, a standard of courage, discipline, fortitude, and integrity can do a great deal to make a woman beautiful.
How can you improve your results in the sexual marketplace? Here is a system:
In general, men improve sexual market value by increasing status and masculinity. For women, it’s about being feminine and not overweight.
For sales and marketing, it’s important to create a sales funnel. At the top of the funnel are leads—people who are aware of your product. In the middle are potential customers who are actively looking to buy from you or a competitor. At the bottom are customers who are ready to buy from you today.
Overall, higher sexual market value + bigger sales funnel = higher probability of dating success. To implement this in your life, let’s dig into the details for men and women.
We can think of the number of men and women in a population as a potential mating market where the principles of supply and demand hold sway and where commitment to a relationship is influenced by the availability of partners. The rarer sex has more bargaining power and can get what they want because they are surrounded by available partners. If they aren’t pleased with a relationship they can move on to someone else.
Man in demand
Here are proven ways for men to increase sexual attractiveness:
Publicity and prestige
Tall, dark and handsome was hot. Tall, dark, and handsome with a nestled kitten? Atomic.
When women are ovulating, they prefer masculine men. At other times, they prefer kind, gentle providers. A ratio of 80% bad boy to 20% nice guy increases the odds of becoming a sexual partner.
Deep in the mind of the modern man is a simple male hunter-gatherer rule: strive to acquire power and use it to lure women who will bear heirs...Likewise, deep in the mind of a modern woman is the same basic hunter-gatherer calculator: strive to acquire a provider husband who will invest food and care in your children; strive to find a lover who can give those children first-class genes. Only if she is very lucky will they be the same man.
To help status, appearance, and behavior, here are natural ways for men to boost testosterone:
Sex with multiple women
Women want an alpha who learns to be nice to her. In other words, women want their romance heroes to be like coconuts: hard and tough on the outside, but soft and sweet on the inside. But the hero’s sweet interior can’t be available to just anyone. Only the heroine gets to crack him open. The hero is granted free reign to be a badass with everyone else, as long as he’s tender and attentive with the heroine.
To create a sales funnel, the most common ways to meet partners are: online (39%); in a bar or restaurant (27%); through friends (20%); through or as coworkers (11%); through family (7%); in primary or secondary school (5%); in college (4%); in church (4%); and through or as neighbors (3%).
Online dating is convenient, but favors men who are physically attractive. And women have an abundance of options. This causes them to seek men who are 23% more attractive than them.
An alternative is approaching women in real life. Studies found that 31% of women agreed to dates from strangers. Average-looking men had a response rate of 23% versus 57% for attractive men. Talking to unfamiliar women can be awkward and uncomfortable. But the more you do it, the better you’ll become.
On average, men desire sex more than women. For example, they send 80% of first messages for online dating. Therefore, it’s usually up to men to move things along.
Here is a 3-date process for demonstrating sexual intent and determining if a woman is interested:
1-hour first date for drinks; handshake to say goodbye
Dinner at man’s place; kiss and make out
Movie at man’s place; escalate to sex if she consents
Men tend to overestimate women’s sexual interest. It’s important to notice body language and stop immediately if there’s no consent.
When men see an attractive woman, they fantasize about sex. When women see an attractive man, they fantasize about a relationship.
About 50% of women are more open to casual sex. Predictors include younger age and higher testosterone. Like men, high testosterone affects women’s bodies, such as a larger jaw and bigger chin. The trade-off is these women are more likely to cheat or break up.
Sports stars show how everything works together. They are masculine, muscular leaders. Their testosterone is higher from winning games and sleeping with groupies. Publicity and packed stadiums create a big sales funnel. Finally, women desire men who are attractive to other women—more fans lead to more fans.
The maternal instinct leads a woman to prefer a tenth share in a first-rate man to the exclusive possession of a third-rate one.
-George Bernard Shaw
Here are proven ways for women to increase sexual attractiveness:
For example, students on a 6-week archeology expedition rated each other’s intelligence, work ethic, and physical attractiveness on the first and last day. For women, initial ratings of physical attractiveness accounted for 60% of final ratings. In contrast, men’s initial ratings accounted for only 20% of final ratings. In other words, men cared more about looks than women.
There were exceptions. For example, one woman’s physical attractiveness rating increased from 3 to 8 on a 10-point scale. Over time, men appreciated her hard work and warm personality.
For women, being lovable is the key to attracting the best mate. For men, however, it was more a matter of beating out lots of other men even to have a chance for a mate.
Like men, women can increase their sales funnel by approaching men in real life. Studies found that 37% of men agreed to dates from strangers. It’s even easier to get casual sex. When approached by average-looking women, 60% of men agreed to sex. For attractive women, the rate was 83%.
I’m probably like 160 pounds right now and I can catch a dick whenever I want, like, that’s the truth. It’s not a problem!
For women seeking marriage, there are challenges in getting men to commit:
51% of dating women prefer to be married compared with only 42% of men
78% of women want to marry a man with a steady job, but there are only 65 employed unmarried men per 100 unmarried women
By age 64, there are 62 unmarried men per 100 unmarried women
High-status, masculine men are more likely to cheat
An online dating study of 200,000 users found that women’s desirability peaked at age 21 and dropped by 50% at 31 (men peaked at 26 and dropped at 36)
Sexual economics theory depicts many romantic pairings as exchanges in which the man brings money and other resources, while the woman contributes sex. Her sexual desirability is based partly on her looks. These resources change over time in a way that is not kind to women. If a man and a woman wait 5 years, as compared to marrying now, things likely change in different directions. His salary and bank account are likely to increase over those years. Her face and body may lose some of their bloom. Hence when they revisit the marriage market, his appeal and his options will have increased, while hers have decreased.
She comes first
A survey of 53,000 Americans found that 95% of men usually orgasmed during sex versus 65% of women. To fix this gap, men should focus on women’s pleasure first, whether it’s with oral sex, fingering, or a vibrator. When women orgasm, their vaginas become lubricated and engorged. This makes sex better for both partners.
It takes time to learn what feels good for a woman. For example, researchers found that college women orgasmed in 11% of first hookups versus 67% of sex with long-term partners.
For intense female pleasure, there is a couples’ technique called “The 15-Minute Orgasm”. It involves lightly stroking the side of the clitoris for 15 minutes. You can search online for instructions and diagrams.
The male brain is designed for sexual jealousy. Men are suspicious about whom a woman has slept with and frequently press their partner on how many times she’s previously had sex; most women are savvy enough to round this number down. Likewise, the female brain is designed for emotional jealousy. Women usually push their partner to reveal how many times he’s previously been in love; men are often foolish enough to provide a figure other than zero. Ultimately, a woman wants to feel that a man loves her, and her alone, unconditionally and forever—and that none of a man’s previous women ever rose to anywhere near the same level.
In the United States, the following number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are diagnosed each year:
Chlamydia: 1.8 million
Gonorrhea: 0.6 million
Trichomonas: 0.2 million
Syphilis: 0.1 million
These bacterial and parasitic STIs are curable with antibiotics. In contrast, STIs caused by viruses are treatable, but not curable. The following number of Americans are chronically infected:
Human papillomavirus (HPV): 79 million
Genital herpes: 50 million
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): 1.2 million
In 2008, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tested homosexual and bisexual men in 21 major cities and found that 1 in 5 were infected with HIV. Over 40% were unaware of their infection.
Whatever your sexual orientation, practice safe sex and get tested regularly. And insist that your partner gets tested. Finally, the CDC recommends HPV vaccination to prevent genital warts and cervical cancer.
There is nothing safe about sex. There never will be.
Hunters and warriors
Apicella CL. (2014). Upper-body strength predicts hunting reputation and reproductive success in Hadza hunter-gatherers. Evolution Human Behavior. 35(6): 508–518.
A study of 54 male Hadza hunter-gatherers found that upper-body strength and running speed were the strongest predictors of hunting success
Upper-body strength peaked around age 30 and declined around 50
For physical characteristics, only upper-body strength and running speed predicted reproductive success
90.1% of Hadza men said the brain was more important than the body for hunting success
When asked to freely name the body part most important for being a good hunter, the most common answer was heart or spirit (39.62%), followed by arms (26.41%)
Marlowe FM. (2004). Mate preferences among Hadza hunter-gatherers. Hum Nat. 15(4): 365–376.
For Hadza hunter-gatherers, males contribute 43% of daily calories, but this increases to 50% for married couples, and 65% for those with nursing infants
Median age at first marriage is 21 for men and 17 for women
20% stay married to the same person for life
Men who are better hunters have more children and younger wives
A survey of 85 Hadza found that men valued fertility more than women, and women valued intelligence more than men
Women placed great importance on men’s foraging, and both sexes valued character
Wood BM, Marlowe FW. (2013). Household and kin provisioning by Hadza men. Hum Nat. 24(3): 280–317.
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In primates, lethal violence is 1.8–2.3% of all deaths
Paleolithic lethal violence in hunter-gatherer bands was 2.0% of all deaths
About 10,000 years ago, humans started living in tribes and chiefdoms, and lethal violence increased to 5–10% of all deaths
Chagnon NA. (1988). Life histories, blood revenge, and warfare in a tribal population. Science. 239(4843): 985–992.
Studies of the Yanomamö Indians of Amazonas show that 44% of adult males have participated in killing someone, and 30% of adult male deaths are due to violence
Killers have an average of 4.91 children vs. 1.59 for non-killers
Headmen of villages are usually polygynous and may have up to a dozen wives over a lifetime
What women want
Roser M, Ritchie H. (2019, December). Homicides. Our World Data. https://ourworldindata.org/homicides#the-global-distribution-of-homicides
Homicide rate is 0.1% in Western Europe, 0.7% in the United States, 6% in Mexico, and 8% in Venezuela
Von Rueden CR, Jaeggi AV. (2016). Men’s status and reproductive success in 33 nonindustrial societies: Effects of subsistence, marriage system, and reproductive strategy. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 113(39): 10824–10829.
A meta-analysis of 46 studies from 33 nonindustrial societies found that male status increased reproductive success (effect size = 0.19)
Male status increased surviving offspring in societies that were polygynous (effect size = 0.30) and monogamous (effect size = 0.20)
In monogamous societies, male status was associated with wife quality (effect size = 0.15), but not in polygynous societies
Lidborg LH, Cross CP, Boothroyd LG. (2020). Does masculinity really matter? A meta-analysis of the relationships between sexually dimorphic traits in men and mating/reproduction. bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.03.06.980896
A meta-analysis of 96 studies with 177,044 participants found that strength/muscularity was the strongest and only consistent predictor of both mating and reproduction (effect size = 0.13)
Mating was also predicted by voice pitch (effect size = 0.13), testosterone level (effect size = 0.09), and height (effect size = 0.06)
Facial masculinity did not significantly predict mating or reproduction (effect size = 0.08)
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A meta-analysis of 11 studies with 3,507 participants found that emotional intelligence was associated with authentic leadership (effect size = 0.49)
Authentic leaders are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and understand their emotions
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A meta-analysis of 73 samples found that leadership was associated with extraversion (effect size = 0.31), conscientiousness (effect size = 0.28), and openness to experience (effect size = 0.24)
Leadership was inversely correlated with neuroticism (effect size = -0.24)
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Geniole SN et al. (2020). Is testosterone linked to human aggression? A meta-analytic examination of the relationship between baseline, dynamic, and manipulated testosterone on human aggression. Horm Behav. 123: 104644.
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A study of 31 hunter-gatherer societies found that 64% fought wars every 2 years
The male warrior hypothesis suggests that men evolved to form coalitions for aggressively acquiring or protecting reproductive resources
Consistent with this hypothesis, studies have shown that men are more prejudiced against outgroups, prefer social hierarchies, are motivated to support one’s ingroup, and are predisposed to aggression against outgroups
Kurath J, Mata R. (2018). Individual differences in risk taking and endogeneous levels of testosterone, estradiol, and cortisol: A systematic literature search and three independent meta-analyses. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 90: 428–446.
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A meta-analysis of 20 studies found that testosterone administration increased upper body strength (effect size = 0.26), functional performance (effect size = 0.20), and lower body strength (effect size = 0.12)
Zaidi AA et al. (2019). Facial masculinity does not appear to be a condition-dependent male ornament and does not reflect MHC heterozygosity in humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 116(5): 1633–1638.
Marcinkowska UM et al. (2019). Women’s preferences for men’s facial masculinity are strongest under favorable ecological conditions. Sci Rep. 9(1): 3387.
4,483 heterosexual women from 34 countries rated photographs of 20 Caucasian men’s faces
Women preferred more masculine-looking men in countries with higher sociosexuality and higher indices of national health and human development
Men’s secondary sexual traits appear during puberty and include square jaw, strong brow, midface robustness, muscular physique, facial hair, and deep voice
Dixson BJW et al. (2016). The masculinity paradox: facial masculinity and beardedness interact to determine women’s ratings of men’s facial attractiveness. J Evol Biol. 29(11): 2311–2320.
During puberty, testosterone causes development of masculine characteristics such as strong brow, thicker jaw, longer face, facial hair, and physical strength
Bearded and stubbled men are rated as older, more masculine, and more socially dominant than clean-shaven men
Schild C et al. (2020). Linking human male vocal parameters to perceptions, body morphology, strength and hormonal profiles in contexts of sexual selection. Sci Rep. 10: 21296.
240 men and women rated vocal attractiveness of 160 men
A deep voice was associated with attractiveness for short- and long-term mating (effect size = 0.82)
A meta-analysis of 3 studies with 279 participants found that testosterone was associated with a deep voice (effect size = 0.23), but not in men with high stress cortisol levels
My fair lady
Lipson SF, Ellison PT. (1996). Comparison of salivary steroid profiles in naturally occurring conception and non-conception cycles. Hum Reprod. 11(10): 2090–2096.
A 1-year prospective study of 24 healthy women found that mid-follicular estrogen concentrations were higher in conception vs. non-conception cycles (12.6 vs. 8.5 pmol/L)
The probability of conception was <10% at the lowest values and rose to 50% at the highest values
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Compared with women aged 20 to 24, fertility was 6% lower from 25 to 29; 14% from 30 to 34; and 31% from 35 to 39
Male fertility from 50 to 54 was 73% lower compared to early 20s
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A study of 33,159 women found that being underweight (BMI <18.5) at age 20 was associated with 13% higher risk of nulligravidity or nulliparity
Obesity (BMI ≥32.5) at age 20 was associated with 250% higher risk compared with BMI between 20 to 24.9
Jasieńska G et al. (2004). Large breasts and narrow waists indicate high reproductive potential in women. Proc Biol Sci. 271(1545): 1213–1217.
A study of 119 women found that women with large breasts and narrow waists had 26% higher estrogen levels, including 37% higher mid-cycle levels
This corresponded to a 2–3X higher probability of conception
Estradiol blood test. (2019, June 30). UCSF Health. https://www.ucsfhealth.org/medical-tests/003711
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Smith MJL et al. (2012). Maternal tendencies in women are associated with estrogen levels and facial femininity. Horm Behav. 61(1): 12–6.
Women with more feminine waist-to-hip ratios have more feminine personality traits
Women with lower testosterone levels report less masculine personality traits, have more traditionally feminine jobs, and achieve lower status in the workplace
Women with lower salivary testosterone report higher maternal tendencies
Women with higher estrogen have larger breasts, hourglass figures, and more feminine faces
A study of 25 women found that those with higher estrogen desired more children (effect size = 0.44)
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A study of Americans, Brazilians, Russians, and Ache Indians found that neotenous female faces (large eyes, large foreheads, small jaw, small nose) were rated most attractive
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Estrogenized female faces are rated as more attractive (narrow lower jaw, large lips, prominent cheekbones, short chin)
High testosterone in men causes growth of lower face, jaw, cheekbones, and brow ridges
Banai IP. (2017). Voice in different phases of menstrual cycle among naturally cycling women and users of hormonal contraceptives. PLoS One. 12(8): e0183462.
Women with higher-pitched voices are rated as more attractive, younger, and more feminine
A study of 44 women found they had higher vocal pitch during the fertile phase of their cycles
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In all human groups, males tend to be darker skinned than females due to differences in prenatal and adult estrogen
Women’s skin lightens at puberty, whereas men’s skin becomes darker
Lobmaier JS et al. (2018). The scent of attractiveness: levels of reproductive hormones explain individual differences in women’s body odour. Proc Biol Sci. 285(1886): 20181520.
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After World War II, the ratio of men to women in Russia was 65:100
Scarcity of men caused the marriage rate to decrease by 8%; nonmarital births to increase from 43 to 68 per 1,000; and the divorce rate to increase from 1.4 to 8.8 per 1,000
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A survey of 288 college students found that men with the most sexual partners were star athletes, fraternity leaders, and other high-status men
Basketball and football stars had over 100 sex partners, whereas rugby and lacrosse stars had over 40 partners
33% of stars had girlfriends, but discreetly cheated on them
Some stars were concerned about risks of rape allegations, political incorrectness, paternity claims, and disease, and they avoided random hookups in favor of harems of 10–20 women
8 nonathletes became upperclassmen in fraternities and their new high status enabled hookups with multiple younger women
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On the OkCupid dating website, the top 20% of men received 11X more messages than the bottom 20%
Top women received 25X more messages
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Man in demand
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A study of 144 speed-dates found that postural expansiveness increased attraction (each one-unit increase raised odds of a “yes” response by 76%)
For men, 87% of “yes” responses were for an expansive profile vs. 53% for women
A second study of 3,000 ratings of 6 profiles found that postural expansiveness increased odds of a “yes” response by 27%
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10 healthy young men slept 8 hours per night for 7 nights, followed by 5 hours per night for 8 nights
Testosterone decreased by 10–15%
Geniole SN et al. (2017). Effects of competition outcome on testosterone concentrations in humans: An updated meta-analysis. Horm Behav. 92: 37–50.
A meta-analysis of 60 effect sizes and >2,500 participants found that winners of competitions increased testosterone relative to losers (effect size = 0.20)
The effect was strongest for studies conducted outside the lab (effect size = 0.43)
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Escasa MJ, Casey JF, Gray PB. (2011). Salivary testosterone levels in men at a U.S. sex club. Arch Sex Behav. 40(5): 921–926.
Researchers measured testosterone levels of 44 men who visited a sex club
Men who participated in sex acts increased testosterone by 72% vs. 11% for observers
A man who watched his wife have sex with multiple men before he had sex with her had a decrease in testosterone of 24%
A man who had sex with 3 women had an increase of 109%
van Anders SM, Hamilton LD, Watson NV. (2007). Multiple partners are associated with higher testosterone in North American men and women. Horm Behav. 51(3): 454–459.
Dating for men
Rosenfeld MJ, Thomas RJ, Hausen S. (2019). Disintermediating your friends: How online dating in the United States displaces other ways of meeting. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 116(36): 17753–17758.
Asendorpf JB, Penke L, Back MD. (2011). From dating to mating and relating: Predictors of initial and long-term outcomes of speed-dating in a community sample. Eur J Pers. 25: 16–30.
A 1-year speed-dating study with 382 participants found that men and women based their choices mainly on partners’ physical attractiveness, although women were also interested in education and income
Choosiness increased with age in men (45% acceptance rate decreased to 30%), and decreased with age in women (30% acceptance rate increased to 35%)
Across speed-dates, probabilities were 6% for a sexual encounter and 4% for a romantic relationship
Lenton AP, Francesconi M. (2010). How humans cognitively manage an abundance of mate options.
Psychol Sci. 21(4): 528–533.
A study of 1,868 women and 1,870 men across 84 speed-dating events found that when faced with abundant choice, choosers paid less attention to characteristics requiring more time to evaluate (e.g., occupational status and educational attainment) and more attention to characteristics that could be assessed quickly (e.g., height and weight)
Bruch EE, Newman MEJ. (2018). Aspirational pursuit of mates in online dating markets. Sci Adv. 4(8): eaap9815.
A study of 186,935 users of a free online dating site found that men and women sent messages to people who were 26% and 23% more attractive than them, respectively
>80% of first messages were from men
Women’s average reply rate was <20%
Baranowski AM, Hecht H. (2015). Gender differences and similarities in receptivity to sexual invitations: Effects of location and risk perception. Arch Sex Behav. 44(8): 2257–2265.
Guéguen N. (2011). Effects of solicitor sex and attractiveness on receptivity to sexual offers: A field study. Arch Sex Behav. 40(5): 915–919.
In France, males of average vs. high attractiveness approached 120 females and asked: “Will you come to my apartment and have a drink?” or “Would you go to bed with me?”
For average men, women agreed to drinks (23%) and sex (0%)
For attractive men, women agreed to drinks (57%) and sex (3%)
Petersen JL, Hyde JS. (2010). A meta-analytic review of research on gender differences in sexuality, 1993-2007. Psychol Bull. 136(1): 21–38.
A meta-analysis of 730 studies with 1,419,807 participants found that men were more likely than women to engage in pornography use (effect size = 0.63), masturbation (effect size = 0.53), casual sex (effect size = 0.38), and extra-marital sex (effect size = 0.33)
La France BH et al. (2009). Social–sexual interactions? Meta-analyses of sex differences in perceptions of flirtatiousness, seductiveness, and promiscuousness. Communication Monographs. 76(3): 263–285.
Wlodarski R, Manning J, Dunbar RIM. (2015). Stay or stray? Evidence for alternative mating strategy phenotypes in both men and women. Biol Lett. 11(2): 20140977.
A study of 1,909 participants found that unrestricted sociosexuality was higher in males (62%) than females (50%)
The 50% of unrestricted females had higher promiscuity scores than the 38% of restricted males
Campbell L et al. (2009). The association between men’s ratings of women as desirable long-term mates and individual differences in women’s sexual attitudes and behaviors. Personality Individual Differences. 46(4): 509–513.
142 men rated faces of 140 women
Women with more masculine faces were rated as less desirable long-term mates (effect size = 0.56)
Other studies found that higher testosterone was associated with more unrestricted sociosexuality in women
Bártová K et al. (2020). Femininity in men and masculinity in women is positively related to sociosexuality. Personality Individual Differences. 152(1): 109575.
Gouda-Vossos A et al. (2018). Mate choice copying in humans: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Adaptive Human Behavior Physiology. 4: 364–386.
Wang G et al. (2015). The relationship of female physical attractiveness to body fatness. PeerJ. 3: e1155.
1,327 participants from Austria, Lithuania, U.K., China, Iran, Mauritius, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and Senegal rated attractiveness of 21 female images
In all populations, lower BMI was more attractive
An analysis of previous studies found that maximal physical attractiveness occurred at a BMI between 18.4 to 21.4
Mondragón-Ceballos R et al. (2015). Waist-to-Hip Ratio, but not Body Mass Index, is associated with testosterone and estradiol concentrations in young women. Int J Endocrinol. 2015: 654046.
A study of 187 young women found that estrogen levels were significantly correlated with low Waist-to-Hip Ratio (WHR)
High estrogen maintains a low WHR by regulating fat accumulation in buttocks, hips, thighs, and bosom
Guéguen N, Jacob C. (2011). Enhanced female attractiveness with use of cosmetics and male tipping behavior in restaurants. J Cosmet Sci. 62(3): 283–290.
Guéguen N. (2008). The effects of women’s cosmetics on men’s approach: An evaluation in a bar. North American Journal Psychology. 10(1): 221–228.
Prantl L, Gründl M. (2011). Males prefer a larger bust size in women than females themselves: an experimental study on female bodily attractiveness with varying weight, bust size, waist width, hip width, and leg length independently. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 35(5): 693–702.
34,015 participants rated attractiveness of 243 morphed images of the same woman
For bust size, men’s preferences were: small (9.8%), medium (50%), large (40%)
For weight, men’s preferences were: underweight (39%), normal (52%), overweight (9.8%)
For leg length, men’s preferences were: normal (11%), long (37%), very long (52%)
Guéguen N. (2007). Women’s bust size and men’s courtship solicitation. Body Image. 4(4): 386–390.
An average-looking 20-year-old woman sat in a bar while wearing A-, B-, or C-cup padded bras
She was approached by the following number of men: A-cup: 18, B-cup: 28, C-cup: 60
Mesko N, Bereczkei T. (2004). Hairstyle as an adaptive means of displaying phenotypic quality. Hum Nat. 15(3): 251–270.
Miller G, Tybur JM, Jordan BD. (2007). Ovulatory cycle effects on tip earnings by lap dancers: economic evidence for human estrus? Evolution Human Behavior. 28(6): 375–381.
A study of 18 exotic dancers giving 5,300 lap dances found that normal-cycling dancers earned $335 per 5-hour shift during estrus, $260 during the luteal phase, and $185 during menstruation
Dancers using oral contraception showed no estrus earnings peak
Birnbaum GE et al. (2014). Why do men prefer nice women? Gender typicality mediates the effect of responsiveness on perceived attractiveness in initial acquaintanceships. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 40(10): 1341–1353.
A study with 112 male and female college students found that female responsiveness increased male ratings of femininity (effect size = 0.78) and attractiveness (effect size = 0.26)
A second study with 79 women and 82 men found similar results
Tracy JL, Beall AT. (2011). Happy guys finish last: the impact of emotion expressions on sexual attraction. Emotion. 11(6): 1379–1387.
Two studies with 1,041 participants found that happiness was the most attractive female expression of emotion
On a 9-point scale, smiling increased female attractiveness from 3.9 to 5.1
Kniffin KM, Wilson DS. (2004). The effect of nonphysical traits on the perception of physical attractiveness: Three naturalistic studies. Evolution Human Behavior. 25(2): 88–101.
On a 6-week archeology expedition, 3 male and 12 female students rated each other’s intelligence, work ethic, and physical attractiveness
For women, initial ratings of physical attractiveness accounted for 62% of final ratings vs. 19% for men
Baranowski AM, Hecht H. (2015). Gender differences and similarities in receptivity to sexual invitations: Effects of location and risk perception. Arch Sex Behav. 44(8): 2257–2265.
Guéguen N. (2011). Effects of solicitor sex and attractiveness on receptivity to sexual offers: A field study. Arch Sex Behav. 40(5): 915–919.
In France, females of average vs. high attractiveness approached 120 males and asked: “Will you come to my apartment and have a drink?” or “Would you go to bed with me?”
For average women, men agreed to drinks (80%) and sex (60%)
For attractive women, men agreed to drinks (97%) and sex (83%)
Litschi A et al. (2014). Relationships in America survey. Austin Institute Study Family Culture. https://relationshipsinamerica.com/pdf/Relationships%20in%20America%202014.pdf
Wang W, Paker K. (2014, September 24). Record share of Americans have never married: As values, economics and gender patterns change. Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2014/09/24/record-share-of-americans-have-never-married/
A survey of 369 unmarried people found that 78% of women wanted to marry a man with a steady job
There are 65 employed unmarried men per 100 unmarried women
By age 64, there are 62 unmarried men per 100 unmarried women
Lammers J et al. (2011). Power increases infidelity among men and women. Psychol Sci. 22(9): 1191–1197.
Klimas C et al. (2019). Higher testosterone levels are associated with unfaithful behavior in men. Biol Psychol. 146: 107730.
Rudder C. (2010, February 16). The case for an older woman. OkTrends.
A study of 200,000 users on the OkCupid dating service found that women’s desirability peaked at age 21 and dropped by 50% at 31
Men peaked at 26 and dropped by 50% at 36
Frederick DA et al. (2017). Differences in orgasm frequency among gay, lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual men and women in a U.S. national sample. Arch Sex Behav. 47: 273–288.
Armstrong EA, England P, Fogarty ACK. (2012). Accounting for women’s orgasm and sexual enjoyment in college hookups and relationships. American Sociological Review. 77(3): 435–462.
Ferriss T. (2013, April 9). Your 15-minute orgasm. Women’s Health. https://www.womenshealthmag.com/uk/health/sexual-health/a700227/your-15-minute-orgasm/
Sagarin BJ et al. (2012). Sex differences in jealousy: a meta-analytic examination. Evolution Human Behavior. 33(6): 595–614.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Sexually transmitted disease surveillance 2018. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. DOI: 10.15620/cdc.79370.
In 2018, a total of 1,758,668 cases of Chlamydia trachomatis were reported to the CDC
There were 583,405 cases of gonorrhea and 115,045 cases of syphilis
In 2016, there were 222,000 initial visits for Trichomonas vaginalis
Routine HPV vaccination is recommended up to age 26
Han JJ et al. (2017). Prevalence of genital human papillomavirus infection and human papillomavirus vaccination rates among US adult men. JAMA Oncol. 3(6): 810–816.
In the United States, it is estimated that 79 million people are infected with HPV
HPV-6 and HPV-11 types are responsible for 90% of genital warts
Fatahzadeh M, Schwartz RA. (2007). Human herpes simplex virus infections: epidemiology, pathogenesis, symptomatology, diagnosis, and management. J Am Acad Dermatol. 57(5): 737–763.
In the United States, it is estimated that 50 million people have genital herpes
0.5 million new symptomatic cases occur each year
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Estimated HIV incidence and prevalence in the United States, 2014–2018. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report. 25(1).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). Prevalence and awareness of HIV infection among men who have sex with men – 21 cities, United States, 2008. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 59(37): 1201–1207.
In 2008, the CDC tested 8,153 homosexual and bisexual men in 21 major cities and found that 19% were infected with HIV
44% were unaware of their infection
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