Dry science in this post – scroll down to the Conclusions if you need immediate results:
Differences in both genetics and environment call for changes in personal mating strategy. Minor variations are as numerous as the number of men on Earth, but the broadest categories divide them into strategies of the short and long term. The former strategy broadly includes low paternity investment, high rate, r-selection approaches, in which sex is committed casually with little involvement in child-rearing; the latter refers to high paternity certainty, low rate, k-selection strategies in which the potential benefits of sex are more carefully scrutinized before engagement and children are more heavily invested in after conception. Different cultures encourage or forbid certain strategies, but there is a huge degree of variability between the preferences of individuals.
Where women differ significantly from men is in the fact that their mate preferences change cyclically. Not all mammals menstruate, but all have an estrus cycle of hormonal fluctuation, whereby a woman’s mating strategy changes at different times of the month. Enough has been written about that in the past, much of it oversimplified into a man-o-model wherein women seek alphas to mate with and betas to exploit. The reality is a bit more complex. Suffice it to say, it is fair to posit that women ordinarily seek long-term mates under ordinary circumstances and revert to a short-term strategy when menstruating.
Gangestad has done a great deal of good work on this phenomenon, much of it with his colleague Randy Thornhill. In the denser material, they confirm your suspicions that fertile women are, in fact, attracted to the scent of men with low functional asymmetry. Low FA (a symmetrical body) has been proven elsewhere as the telltale sign of developmental stability, which is itself a barometer of how diligent one is about rebuffing genetic and environmental stress during development.
That fertile women are more interested in low FA during times of fertility certainly proves their interest in obtaining good sperm. Whether this equates to a concurrent interest in alpha-like behavior, as it is defined by the sphere, is up for debate. Fortunately, Gangestad offers up a study that evaluates the interests of fertile females based on behavior, and not just scent, in Women’s preferences for male behavioral displays change across the menstrual cycle.
In general, their findings are supportive of the manosphere ideology. At the period of highest “conception risk”, the women were significantly more likely to choose a short-term mate who exhibited Social Presence and Direct Intrasexual Competitiveness. Here is a list of the traits selected for and against in the female quest for SP/DIC:
Social Presence is:
Composure (Appearing laid back and unflappable)
Appearance of Athleticism (Including specifically mentioning athleticism)
Maintaining Eye Contact
NOT Self-Deprecation (Displayed self-deprecation and contradicted oneself)
NOT Downward Gaze
NOT Nice Guy Self-Presentation (Assert niceness, claim communality with interviewer, and ensure a good time)
Direct Intrasexual Competitiveness is:
Derogation of Competitors (Talking about self and putting down competitors)
Direct Intrasexual Competition (Asserting superiority and using direct approaches)
Lack of Laughing
NOT “Just Being Self”
NOT Mentioning A Nice Personality (Emphasize a good personality and being a nice guy, treating women well, and being romantic)
Science has spoken. All in all, the manosphere is largely correct in their assessment of the personality type needed to attract ovulating women. It is important to note that the study only tested the relative attractiveness of Social Presence and Direct Intrasexual Competitiveness during ovulation, and did not actually publish any data on what women are interested in the rest of the month – for the remaining three weeks, women were neutral towards SP/DIC, though they were more interested in SP/DIC men as short-term than long-term mates throughout the month. This begs the question of whether other behaviors experience spikes in preference during periods of non-ovulation, and whether those behaviors coincide with those selected against in the study. This is food for thought for anyone interested in relationships that last longer than 6 days – i.e. anything other than a ONS. Nonetheless, we are now all aware of how to conduct ourselves should we desire oceans of ovulating women interested only in a mutually-assured pump and dump.
I’ll probably post stories or quotes from my personal life that illustrate the behavior contained herein shortly.