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Old 05-14-2016, 01:41 PM   #1
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Default Too Much Choice -- POF, OK Cupid, Tinder ...

Note: The following post is not BHM specific but I think its relevant to the BHM community.

Having too much spare time today I've been ruminating about the glut of choices we're presented with every day and how in many ways too much choice is at least as bad as too little. Go into the average supermarket to buy the fixings for dinner and you're confronted with literally thousands of choices. Ironically most are pretty poor choices. If one is fortunate enough to live near a Trader Joe's this dilemma is easily remedied.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandst...ers-monopolies


Not so easily remedied is the problem presented by the ever expanding universe of dating sites and dating apps. Some issues come to mind: These sites and apps convincingly promise that there is and always will be a never ending supply of dates. They convince people that sexual attraction can be reduced to algorithms, search terms, or a photo gallery.

However, the love lorn rely upon the promise of technology at their peril. As the saying goes time waits of no one. No amount of technology can change the fact that we become less physically attractive with each passing year (not to mention less fertile -- applies to both men and women). Perhaps more importantly, rather than helping us become more marketable in the dating world, over reliance on this technology tends to create stagnation. People seeking fit trim partners -- rather than actually participating in activities where they might meet fit people IRL -- just search of potential dates with athletic bodies. Rather than being a active participant in the local art scene people just claim to be artistic. Rather than participating in real life endeavors that are likely to result in meeting real life people who actually share their interests people get lazy and rely on the representations in profiles not know for their accuracy.

Then there is the Tinder effect. IMHO Tinder has done significant harm to male female dynamic. Using Tinder (or similar apps) pretty much any female between 18 and late middle age can hook-up with a decent looking guy. Guys fortunate enough to be traditionally good looking can of course make out great. But the downside is that encounters with greater probability of actually leading to relationships never happen. Women hook-up with guys who are very unlikely to actually date them and guys who don't make the cut are left wanting. Of course some of the guys who don't make the cut do so because of intrinsic faults -- but many are perfectly dateable. Women get used to being physical with guys who they find very attractive and become likely to find guys who are actually interested in a serious relationship with them wanting.

Taken in toto we have an elite group of guys who (at least until they age out) have an overabundance of willing women. For these "lucky" guys there is little incentive to commit to a serious relationship until they're good and ready (i.e. right before they get too old). Women can internalize unreasonable expectations. Dateable guys with ordinary looks can become bitter. The net result is an ever larger population of single people. While some people claim that single people are actually happier I have a hard time believing that -- we are after all a social species and other means of actual socialization are vanishing as well.
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Old 05-17-2016, 07:58 PM   #2
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The fundamental issues with your thesis are...
The ceiling on the limit for guys dating is way way higher than you think it is. Especially because as we "age out" we age up, and lots of women would rather have a 35 year old entrepreneur over a 25 year old intern. And Bruce Willis and George Clooney are still getting laid, too. It's not just because they're famous. Women really like attractive guys with careers. "Elite" makes sense if you're gauging solely on looks. But few girls are going to screw an "elite" guy who lives with his mom and doesn't shower. Even if the app is all about looks, real life isn't.

It's not all about Tinder. Plenty of people hook up in other places. I met my ex on Words With Friends lol. People will meet. Some will hook up. The Internet age gives you more options.

The hookup culture has always been there. It used to be you'd go to a bar and buy drinks. Now you go to an app and swipe right. It's cheaper and you don't have to smell like smoke, but there are just as many horny people as 1997.

People are ready for marriage when they are ready. If you really believe in the one person for each of us story, well, I'm sorry. I've seen 100 friends get married and the truth is, two people who are both ready for it, who find someone who is relatively complimentary to them, will date and get married. If you introduced them ten years earlier, it's not like it would have happened ten years sooner.

If you want to be not single, say that in your profile, and use a site where other people say the same thing. If you want to get laid, it's a different pitch, to a different audience. But don't mix the two together and somehow blame Tinder for someone's inability to find happiness. If the difference between you and happy you is having a partner, that's literally 0.00000000001% of the population. So go find that person and don't let the fact that most of the girls on Tinder think you have too much neck hair stand in your way. It's completely non-relevant.
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Old 05-20-2016, 01:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmac View Post
Note: The following post is not BHM specific but I think its relevant to the BHM community.

Having too much spare time today I've been ruminating about the glut of choices we're presented with every day and how in many ways too much choice is at least as bad as too little. Go into the average supermarket to buy the fixings for dinner and you're confronted with literally thousands of choices. Ironically most are pretty poor choices. If one is fortunate enough to live near a Trader Joe's this dilemma is easily remedied.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandst...ers-monopolies


Not so easily remedied is the problem presented by the ever expanding universe of dating sites and dating apps. Some issues come to mind: These sites and apps convincingly promise that there is and always will be a never ending supply of dates. They convince people that sexual attraction can be reduced to algorithms, search terms, or a photo gallery.

However, the love lorn rely upon the promise of technology at their peril. As the saying goes time waits of no one. No amount of technology can change the fact that we become less physically attractive with each passing year (not to mention less fertile -- applies to both men and women). Perhaps more importantly, rather than helping us become more marketable in the dating world, over reliance on this technology tends to create stagnation. People seeking fit trim partners -- rather than actually participating in activities where they might meet fit people IRL -- just search of potential dates with athletic bodies. Rather than being a active participant in the local art scene people just claim to be artistic. Rather than participating in real life endeavors that are likely to result in meeting real life people who actually share their interests people get lazy and rely on the representations in profiles not know for their accuracy.

Then there is the Tinder effect. IMHO Tinder has done significant harm to male female dynamic. Using Tinder (or similar apps) pretty much any female between 18 and late middle age can hook-up with a decent looking guy. Guys fortunate enough to be traditionally good looking can of course make out great. But the downside is that encounters with greater probability of actually leading to relationships never happen. Women hook-up with guys who are very unlikely to actually date them and guys who don't make the cut are left wanting. Of course some of the guys who don't make the cut do so because of intrinsic faults -- but many are perfectly dateable. Women get used to being physical with guys who they find very attractive and become likely to find guys who are actually interested in a serious relationship with them wanting.

Taken in toto we have an elite group of guys who (at least until they age out) have an overabundance of willing women. For these "lucky" guys there is little incentive to commit to a serious relationship until they're good and ready (i.e. right before they get too old). Women can internalize unreasonable expectations. Dateable guys with ordinary looks can become bitter. The net result is an ever larger population of single people. While some people claim that single people are actually happier I have a hard time believing that -- we are after all a social species and other means of actual socialization are vanishing as well.
Just because you don't believe something or it wouldn't be true for you doesn't mean it isn't true for other people. Speaking personally, I have never, not even once, been unhappy about being single or felt like something was missing or lacking when I was. Being a relationship also doesn't make me innately happier. The same with socialisation in general actually; I have absolutely no desire to socialise with people for the sake of it and it brings me no real pleasure or benefits. Perhaps this is because I'm autistic. Perhaps not. Even if it is, then there are plenty of other autistic people out there too. Not everybody would be happier in a relationship.

Also, what's wrong with people having lots of casual sex and hook ups with people they find really attractive? Or with having really high standards? I might be wrong here, but I think that most people only want to be in a relationship with somebody they find really attractive. If anything, the standards are higher for that than for casual sex, for what I've seen.

For the record, I can think of nothing less attractive than a guy whining that he can't get dates because he 'isnt attractive enough'. I know plenty of 'ugly' guys that are flocked around by girls. The issue is very likely nothing to do with how a guy looks and everything to do with how he acts and how he presents himself. Bitter, angry people are not attractive to most of us. People who understand that a person turning them down isn't an insult, that friendship is not a consolation prize and that there are plenty of people out there that will find them attractive if they just make the first moves... these are the people that tend to be popular with friends and dates, in my experience.
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Old 05-20-2016, 03:16 PM   #4
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Not whining. According to a "sex history calculator" from slate.com I've had more partners than 93% of the men my age.

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/m...verage_or.html

My point is that our new dating market is not working particularly efficiently for most people in that limited resources (i.e. sexual partners) are not being effectively allocated.
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:30 PM   #5
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My point is that our new dating market is not working particularly efficiently for most people in that limited resources (i.e. sexual partners) are not being effectively allocated.
Historically speaking, we're the offspring of 80% of the women and 20% of the men who've ever lived. Meaning, very few men throughout time actually managed to find a partner to reproduce with. Attaining the resources to support yourself and a family, and enough to attract a mate, was very difficult to do.

It's only the post WW2 period of stability and wealth where nuclear families and the expectation that most men would start families became the norm for anyone but the privileged classes. That only happened because, in addition to the spoils of the war making the West richer, there was the G.I. Bill and so many men died in the war that competition for good jobs was thinned out a lot.

Really, the present sexual marketplace is returning closer to what it's always been, except maybe worse since it will probably overshoot. Historically, mortality rates for men were higher. Many died at sea seeking their fortune, or at the bottom of a mine, or in war. In the relative stability and peace of the modern age, they're competing for jobs against not only the increased number of all the other men, but with women as well.

Expect marriage rates to continue dropping until there's some trend or event that cuts down on the male population and/or creates tons and tons of new jobs and status opportunities for men.
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:39 PM   #6
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creates tons and tons of new jobs and status opportunities for men.
At this point I doubt that the jobs and status opportunities would even matter since women are becoming more capable of holding the jobs and status themselves. I don't see that reversing unless maybe some blatant sexist were elected to like the presidency of the united states but that's not really possible. Right?
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:55 PM   #7
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At this point I doubt that the jobs and status opportunities would even matter since women are becoming more capable of holding the jobs and status themselves.
Obviously, it would have to be opportunities just for men. Like the G.I. Bill that helped unprecedented numbers of men attend college, start businesses, etc.

Quote:
I don't see that reversing unless maybe some blatant sexist were elected to like the presidency of the united states but that's not really possible. Right?
I'm not going to call a presidency, and I'm even less qualified to talk about Hegelian Dialectics re: gender roles.
But I wonder though, what's stronger: women's need for self actualization through career or their biological drive to start a family. That's a question they've been wrestling with themselves for the past 50 years.
http://www.nber.org/papers/w14969
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:01 PM   #8
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Obviously, it would have to be opportunities just for men. Like the G.I. Bill that helped unprecedented numbers of men attend college, start businesses, etc.

I'm not going to call a presidency, and I'm even less qualified to talk about Hegelian Dialectics re: gender roles.

Even the GI bill and all the vet benefits are available to women. Currently the discussion is whether to eliminate the draft (which men still register for) or to have women register for the draft as well.
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:11 PM   #9
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I am not sure I understand your base premise. Is your issue that chauvinistic characteristics are now being displayed by the fairer sex? Or that you think people are unhappy being single? Is it get off the phone and go beat the streets?

If the former, all I can say is in the words of Louis CK - "no one dates down, they always date up or across". That isn't a new concept. And I agree with Tankyguy; most males in most species never get to mate. Even social animals like Stallions form brotherhood bands; but the majority of them never get to mount a filly even once. Besides which, no female I know uses Tinder or other apps to meet 'the one'. Those are basically fuck buddy sites. Most women I know generally meet "the one" through friends of friends, or meet up through a common interest like Dims or Anime or what have you.

If the later; marriage is a social construct and has very little to do with bonds. The majority of people in 'asia' still marry based on economic, status, or political reasons. The idea that marriage was a prerequisite for happiness is enforced by religion, and was a gate to having children. But as a species we are overcrowded. The biological response to overcrowding is generally to have less offspring...unless things like religion tell you to have 6 kids. I don't think the world is exactly jonesing for more kids.

And your idea of what a social species is also seems odd to me. Most married couples actually socialize much less when they are married or have children, because their focus turns into the core family unit. Socialization is, in today's society, the domain of the single. What do you define as social behaviour?

I think you are projecting your own believies and emotions on others when you say "while some people claim that single people are actually happier I have a hard time believing that..." After a while of reading your posts, I get the impression that your time being single was not very palatable, that you struggled with people accepting your preferences - and that you are at least proud of your wife. I get the impression you found dating a chore, marrying a relief, and that you feel others must feel the same way.

And if that is true, I can't say I personally disagree with preferring marriage. To be honest, from a very young age I knew I wanted a monogamous relationship with a steady older guy, and when I got my man, it was what I wanted...but that doesn't mean that I don't see how some of my stridently independent friends prefer a looser relationship that does not impinge on their life, limit their freedom, or cause them pain.
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:16 PM   #10
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Currently the discussion is whether to eliminate the draft (which men still register for) or to have women register for the draft as well.
I think the realistic conclusion that discussion ends with will be the fact that women can guide robotic drones was well as men can and we really don't need to pull people from the general population for that.

[edited to add a missing 'be']
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:39 PM   #11
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I think the realistic conclusion that discussion ends with will the fact that women can guide robotic drones was well as men can and we really don't need to pull people from the general population for that.
There is a joke about women drivers that I am not going to make.
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:04 PM   #12
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Historically speaking, we're the offspring of 80% of the women and 20% of the men who've ever lived. Meaning, very few men throughout time actually managed to find a partner to reproduce with. Attaining the resources to support yourself and a family, and enough to attract a mate, was very difficult to do.

...
Yes this is the natural, as in red in tooth and claw, system. Natural though it may be its not a system that maximizes economic utility or the social stability upon which high standards of living are based.
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:20 PM   #13
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... The biological response to overcrowding is generally to have less offspring...
Yes, provided that the species in question is a k-selection species (i.e. one that invests heavily in a limited number of offspring). However, r-selection species just keep on reproducing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R/K_selection_theory


In Homo sapiens culture determines strategy. Thus, many groups without the resources to practice a k-selection strategy gravitate to the alternative and continue to have large numbers of offspring.
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:46 PM   #14
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My drone skillz r the best, especially when i put on makeup while operating it.

....BM, did you just really quote Wikipedia as your source?
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:29 PM   #15
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Yes, provided that the species in question is a k-selection species (i.e. one that invests heavily in a limited number of offspring). However, r-selection species just keep on reproducing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R/K_selection_theory


In Homo sapiens culture determines strategy. Thus, many groups without the resources to practice a k-selection strategy gravitate to the alternative and continue to have large numbers of offspring.
Humans are, as a specie, K selected. Biologically we are incapable of reproducing at a number/rate that would allow R selection pressures to apply. That said, K-R selection is more of a scale than two set points and I'm not denying that specific populations can slide around a little depending on circumstances. But regardless of that, humans are not capable of producing hundreds of offspring per individual at once and said offspring don't tend to survive if just left to themselves without additional parental investment rather than the parents focusing on just creating more children. Even during periods of very low resources - such as the beginning of the farming revolution - where it was vital to reproduce a lot to have many more hands to support the family unit, the amount of resources invested into individual children to make them survive vs the speed of reproduction in human females means as a specie, we don't even get close to being R selected rather than K selected. Carrying capacity is always the limit as opposed to rate of reproduction in humans.

(Sorry, rambling. Just so happens to be a zoological theory and therefore my specialty and I get very excited when it comes up in conversation.)
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Old 05-21-2016, 12:04 AM   #16
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Default ^Interesting commentary & ideas, everyone...

Otherwise, I would just offer:

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"....BM, did you just really quote Wikipedia as your source? "
I don't think it's so bad to cite Wiki in this context. I actually love Wikipedia, for this very reason, of how it makes this kind of stuff so much more accessible for this current generation, and so, therefore, kind of easy to take for granted.
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Old 05-21-2016, 09:42 AM   #17
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At this point I doubt that the jobs and status opportunities would even matter since women are becoming more capable of holding the jobs and status themselves. ...
Assortative mating comes into play:


IN “MAD MEN”, a series about the advertising industry in the 1960s, women are underpaid, sexually harassed and left with the kids while their husbands drunkenly philander. Sexual equality was a distant dream in those days. But when Don Draper, the show’s star, dumps the brainy consultant he has been dating and marries his secretary, he strikes a blow for equality of household income.

Nowadays, successful men are more likely to marry successful women. This is a good thing. It reflects the fact that there are more high-flying women. Male doctors in the 1960s married nurses because there were few female doctors. Now there are plenty. Yet assortative mating (the tendency of similar people to marry each other) aggravates inequality between households—two married lawyers are much richer than a single mother who stacks shelves. ...

The wage gap between highly and barely educated workers has grown, but that could in theory have been offset by the fact that more women now go to college and get good jobs. Had spouses chosen each other at random, many well-paid women would have married ill-paid men and vice versa. Workers would have become more unequal, but households would not. ...

But in reality the highly educated increasingly married each other. ...


http://www.economist.com/news/united...sex-brains-and
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Old 05-21-2016, 10:51 AM   #18
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Assortative mating comes into play:


IN “MAD MEN”, a series about the advertising industry in the 1960s, women are underpaid, sexually harassed and left with the kids while their husbands drunkenly philander. Sexual equality was a distant dream in those days. But when Don Draper, the show’s star, dumps the brainy consultant he has been dating and marries his secretary, he strikes a blow for equality of household income.

Nowadays, successful men are more likely to marry successful women. This is a good thing. It reflects the fact that there are more high-flying women. Male doctors in the 1960s married nurses because there were few female doctors. Now there are plenty. Yet assortative mating (the tendency of similar people to marry each other) aggravates inequality between households—two married lawyers are much richer than a single mother who stacks shelves. ...

The wage gap between highly and barely educated workers has grown, but that could in theory have been offset by the fact that more women now go to college and get good jobs. Had spouses chosen each other at random, many well-paid women would have married ill-paid men and vice versa. Workers would have become more unequal, but households would not. ...

But in reality the highly educated increasingly married each other. ...


http://www.economist.com/news/united...sex-brains-and
Exacerbating this problem is the fact that not only are more women graduating with degrees, fewer men are. The percent of men getting a Bachelor's or better had been in decline since the mid 1970's and the percent of women has been rising. IIRC, around 1992 was when the crossover happened and there was a brief moment of parity. If the trend continues at the same rate, the last man will graduate from college in 2065. This... probably wont actually happen. Some kind of crash is bound to upset or at least slow the trend, but it gives you an idea where things could be headed. Having a few generations of frustrated, unemployed/undereducated men sitting around with little chance to ever start a family is not the best for a stable society. Either way, something will give out.
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Old 05-21-2016, 11:06 AM   #19
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Crash? No, it will just hit a point of stasis and eventually it will shift again when things change (cost of college etc...)

I don't see a problem with any of this, it's human nature. As far as causes of economic inequality I would put people marrying within their own income bracket about as low as you can get and the parity between partners probably makes things more stable in the relationship.

The only real difference is we are moving away from an inherent power differential favoring males in relationships.

At least you're not a single male in China. Those dudes are screwed, the one child policy plus the cultural preference for male children led to a generation where men outnumber women significantly.
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Old 05-21-2016, 01:24 PM   #20
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... Having a few generations of frustrated, unemployed/undereducated men sitting around with little chance to ever start a family is not the best for a stable society. Either way, something will give out.
Yes!!! Exactly!!!

Promise frustrated men seventy two virgins or a wall to keep out their supposed enemies and there's no telling what some of them will do.
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Old 05-21-2016, 01:41 PM   #21
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... no female I know uses Tinder or other apps to meet 'the one'. Those are basically fuck buddy sites. ...

Yes, but it is the rise of the "fuck buddy" that is having social impacts. We're a social species that uses sexual interaction to reinforce social bonds. Serial monogamy or casual dating likely strengthen social bonds. However, if women just hookup with the best looking guy available most men are shut out. This ineffective allocation of sexual resources undermines society.
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Old 05-21-2016, 02:24 PM   #22
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However, if women just hookup with the best looking guy available most men are shut out. This ineffective allocation of sexual resources undermines society.
Then, if they end up having a kid by this guy and he doesn't stick around, the partial cost of supporting the kid is offloaded onto the rest of society via taxes. The guys who aren't getting any end up footing the bill for someone else getting to spread their genes around and you start to see why they're getting so angry at the status quo.
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Old 05-21-2016, 02:56 PM   #23
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However, if women just hookup with the best looking guy available most men are shut out. This ineffective allocation of sexual resources undermines society.
I really can't see this as a problem and I'm guessing a lot of women would take issue with considering their vaginas a resource to be allocated.

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Then, if they end up having a kid by this guy and he doesn't stick around, the partial cost of supporting the kid is offloaded onto the rest of society via taxes. The guys who aren't getting any end up footing the bill for someone else getting to spread their genes around and you start to see why they're getting so angry at the status quo.
Sorry, I don't really think the single parent household issue has anything to do with tinder and this is striking me as unsubstantiated and misdirected bitterness.
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Old 05-21-2016, 05:20 PM   #24
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I really can't see this as a problem and I'm guessing a lot of women would take issue with considering their vaginas a resource to be allocated.

...

I've been accused of being less than romantic. However, want I'm advocating is pairbond coupling -- a society where the large majority of people pair off. My cold hard calculus actually supports and provides a foundation for the romantic stuff.

But, if women insist on entering sexual relationships with only the best looking guys the result is that most guys are shut out all together and most women get nothing more than a spot in the rotation. Everybody involved must learn that we all need to settle -- that we cannot have it all. Again not too romantic -- but reality seldom is.
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Old 05-21-2016, 09:37 PM   #25
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Otherwise, I would just offer:

I don't think it's so bad to cite Wiki in this context. I actually love Wikipedia, for this very reason, of how it makes this kind of stuff so much more accessible for this current generation, and so, therefore, kind of easy to take for granted.
You can't cite it for a research paper, but linking to it is often a good way to provide an overview of a topic that your audience may be unfamiliar with, rather than dropping a wall of text into the middle of what might otherwise be a fairly brief comment.
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