Recent commenter Birchwood brought up a standard argument against polygyny and brought home the fact that this blog has not addressed it. Given that it’s an argument often made, it will be addressed now.
The argument is given that we see an almost equal number of boys and girls born, therefore any arrangement of polygyny would result in a significant number of men who would not be able to marry, to the detriment of society. For this reason polygyny cannot be allowed, for it will be the trigger event that brings about the beta apocalypse in which the betas (low deltas, gammas and omegas) rise up against society because of their anger over not getting a wife as they deserve.
The argument is as false as its assumptions and more of a fear-fueled fantasy than an argument. I will start by quoting Sir Richard Francis Burton (pictured above) in his comments to the Anthropological Society of London, published in Volume II in 1864. It should be noted that Sir Richard and Dr. Hunt jointly founded the Anthropological Society and he was the senior Vice President. The subject at hand was a discussion of the negro race, which devolved to a discussion of the disastrous job the English missionaries were doing in Africa. In fact, some gentlemen of the society raised the question of whether the church ought to find out why the Muslims were so much more successful at evangelizing the natives of Africa than Christians. In the course of that discussion Mr. Reade made certain remarks about polygyny which were objected to by certain other gentlemen of the society, such as M. Schon and Mr. Owen.
Mr. Reade, versus M. Schon, is not solitary in holding that the African is benefited by polygamy, which I admire to see characterised by Mr. Owen as an ” unnatural institution.” One would think he is speaking of the peculiarities which the Christian Greeks taught the heathen Turks. Polygamy, the practice of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the ancestors of the Founder of Christianity, who came from a peculiarly polygamic family—polygamy unnatural ! The force of prejudice and pharisaism can hardly go further than this.
Of course, in polygamy, few men have more than one wife. But why repeat the trite old trash of strong- brained and hard-headed Paley about the superior prolificacy of monogamy ? I am weary of recounting the rule, and thought that my City of the Saints* had to a certain extent established it. But I must do it again for the benefit of Mr. Owen. In monogamy, ours for instance, there is a slight preponderance of male births ; in polygamy female births become greatly in excess ; in polyandry male births are enormously numerous, as many, for instance, as 400 boys to 120 girls.** We sometimes read that polygamic lands are thinly populated : true, but it is their population which causes polygamy, not vice versd. Moreover the two most populous empires in the world, China and Japan, are eminently polygamic.
Mr. Reade is perfectly right in stating that in Africa wives are furious at the abolition of polygamy. The Church of England missionaries at Abeokuta actually unmarried many converts’ wives and remarried them to others. This is a power to bind and to loose with a witness. Anything more degrading to the woman I cannot imagine. Mormon girls often refuse to ” nigger it with a one-wife-man,” and perhaps they are not wrong. In polygamic countries of course there are many scandalous tales about polygamy, so there are in monogamic England about the mother-in-law. But it remains for the monogamist on the West Coast of Africa to poison a sister-in-law *** by way of concealing his and her shame, and to be removed from his mission without other penalty for the slight offence.
* See “City of the Saints” by RF Burton (1862), an account of his visit to the Mormons in Utah, wherein he recounts his observations of the increased birth of females over males in polygynous households there as well as in the Far East.
** See “Hunting in the Himalayas”, by R. H. W. Dunlop, C.B., B.C.S., F.R.G.S. London : Richard Bentley, 1860. That well known and experienced English official has published the results of personal observation; and he wisely remarks that he ” gives more weight to natures adaptability to national habit, than to the possibility of infanticide.”
** Sir Richard was the British Consul in Bioko when the incident he refers to occurred in West Africa. An English missionary committed adultery with his sister-in-law and she became pregnant. Her husband, in England, could not possibly have fathered the child so the missionary poisoned her to prevent scandal. He was not charged with the murder although it was not a secret, rather, he was removed from his office in Africa and sent elsewhere.
What Sir Richard quoted from “Hunting in the Himalayas” is this:
Sir Richard led a rather interesting life and given his time in Africa and other places around the world, he was qualified to make those comments. However, he was no mere traveler but rather a man who had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and understanding. He didn’t just visit a place, he learned all he could about it, took extensive notes and later wrote about his experiences.
The specific reference to Dunlop’s observation was notably in reference to his commentary on polyandry, which is historically extremely rare. It was well known to these men that the birth rate of girls in polygynous families is far higher than that generally found in a monogamist societies yet this is completely overlooked by scholars today.
The modern data from the National Child Development Study offers support to this: “fathers over the age of 40 are significantly less likely to have sons, with the proportion of sons at .3592” . Given that polygyny is often characterized by successful men taking younger additional wives as they get older it is reasonable to see a biological mechanism at work to ensure an adequate supply of females in a society that accepts polygyny, which negates the arguments of “men won’t have wives!”
That’s just to get started. The study of game teaches us that only certain men have the ability to attract multiple women who are willing to share him. A reliable indicator is the threesome. If a man cannot get multiple women in his bed he can’t get multiple women into his marriage. Observationally that’s less than 10% of the men, but let’s call it 10%. In looking at both historical and modern examples of polygyny, we find is that over 90% of polygynous marriages have only 2 wives.
If only 10% of the men can get a polygynous marriage, then in general only 20% of the women will be taken off the market by that 10% of the men. And this assumes the entire 10% of men actually would do so, but life doesn’t work that way. Observe that this matches what Sir Richard said 152 years ago: “Of course, in polygamy, few men have more than one wife.” Not because they don’t want to, but because they can’t.
Even when the society accepts and allows polygyny, only a few men have more than one wife. Think about that. Unless we have a system of slavery, men must necessarily get women to agree to a polygynous marriage and share him. As a rule, that only happens if he’s a very attractive man and women determine who is attractive and who isn’t.
The idea that if polygyny were “allowed” that women would be snapped up in harems and many men would not be able to find wives is a ludicrous fantasy of men who don’t understand women. Especially low-ranking men who would love to have multiple wives as sexual partners but could never manage to do so. On one hand they know that if they could they would and on the other they fear if it were reality they would not have a wife at all. The entire fantasy is just that: a fantasy. However, the reason why has very little to do with the men.
The idea monogamy is best and the egalitarian availability of women somehow produces strong societies is just as much a fantasy as the idea that almost any man could have more than one wife if he were only allowed to do so. This fantasy is rooted in the concept of assortive mating.
If one were to put a random sample of 100 single women together with 100 single men, the idea of assortive mating is that they’d all pair off, like with like. The idea assortive mating occurs naturally is preposterous because it only happens when a rigid social construct of commitment forces it. 75 years ago when such a rigid social construct existed, the most attractive men paired off with the most attractive women and took themselves off the market. Then the most attractive of those left paired off the most attractive of what was left and they left the market. Rinse and repeat, down to the last quintile. Here we find that the 20% of the women left refuse to marry the men in the lowest 20%. Those men are left out in the cold, not by their choice but by the women.
Parretto’s Law Applied To Women
In today’s culture with no social requirement for commitment, we can put the same 100 men and 100 women together and reliably about 70% of the women will pursue and willingly share 20% of the men. The 20% who are most attractive. Attractive, in this case, doesn’t just mean looks. I like Donal Graeme’s LAMPS model in describing male attractiveness to women: Looks, Athleticism, Money, Power and Status; power being the most important.
Today, attractive men won’t commit because there’s no point. Women are interchangeable and there are always more of them, so why commit to any one of them? At the same time, women are being told to spend the years of their greatest fertility and energy chasing cock rather than settling down and chasing children. We see the effect of this as the average age of marriage continues to climb and currently some 70% of the men between the ages of 25 and 34 are not married. There should be a loud alarm ringing somewhere, but there isn’t.
In addition to the trend of women being encouraged to not get married until their fertility is already in decline, we see a similar trend in men: MGTOW (Men Go Their Own Way). These are the men who have foresworn the idea of getting married because of the incredibly high risks for the man in marriage.
Consider what happens if 10% of the men who are able to garner a polygynous marriage take the top 20% of the women off the market. That leaves 90% of the men and 80% of the women, which has the effect of promoting 10% of the women. The effect at the top isn’t much, but it’s very important at the lower end because that bottom 20% of the men still aren’t going to manage to get a wife. This means 80% of the women are in competition for 70% of the men and this actually results in more women being married than under the old rules of rigidly enforced commitment. And, yes, the bottom portion of men still lose. Just like they always did.
The solution for men is to not be a low-value man, rather, work to become a high-value man that women are attracted to.
Can He? Yes. Will He? Probably Not.
The marriage standard exemplified by Genesis 2:24 is that the husband’s commitment is permanent but non-exclusive. When a woman is cognizant of that and she works from that perspective, monogamy works. She doesn’t have a monopoly and she knows it. The thing is, she doesn’t want to share him but she knows that it’s a possibility, which is a form of accountability because her husband has the right to say “Next!” That doesn’t mean she’s cast off, because she’s still married; it means she will have competition for his attention in her home.
As already pointed out, some men are of such high value that women will willingly enter a relationship knowing they will be sharing him. Some of these men choose to settle down with one wife, others refuse to get married and instead engage in long-term relationships with multiple women. Given our culture, very few would even consider a marriage to multiple women but it happens from time to time.
Keep in mind though, women look for different things at different points in their lives. When they’re young and at the height of their fertility they place a greater premium on alpha dominance, later as they’re hitting the wall they place a greater value on provisioning. Rare is the young man who can manage a polygynous marriage to young women, but as these same women get older they become more willing to share a husband in return for greater provisioning.
We are talking about high-value men and the fact that it’s the women who determine their value. Instead of complaining that one is not a high-value man, the better solution is to become a man of high value. In general, what would that take? That begs the question of what women are attracted to, which is where this all began in the PUA community decades ago.
Becoming High Value
Confidence. Observably, women love a confident and self-assured man. In what follows, the things described are often cited as things women are attracted to, except that they are not. Just as women will say they’re attracted to men who are honest, loyal, faithful, kind and caring, the truth is they are not attracted to those character traits so much as they want to see those character traits in an attractive man. Bodybuilding, strength training, martial arts training and economic security all go hand-in-hand to build a man’s confidence. Learning game teaches how to develop and frame that confidence to make one very appealing as a high-value man.
Physical Appearance. There isn’t much one can do about one’s height, hair (male pattern baldness), or race. Nor can anything really be done about serious physical defects which are either congenital or from injuries other than to do one’s best. However, that said, there is nothing to stop a man from taking control of his physique. Hit the gym, adjust the diet and do the work necessary. I’ve never advocated steroid usage due to the side effects, but for some men I would advocate the use of SARM’s (Specific Androgenic Receptor Modulators). This is a new class of drugs which provide many benefits such as stimulating the production of growth hormone, ease of weight loss and steroid-like performance enhancement in terms of muscle growth. Without the side effects of steroids. In a few cases I’ve watched in amazement as the fat shrunk off while the muscle mass piled on. In an amazingly short amount of time.
Look around at how many men over the age of 25 have a visible 6-pack and a muscular physique. It isn’t that uncommon. What percentage of men over the age of 30? Now there’s not nearly as many. By the time 35 hits? It’s rare. The answer has a lot to do with geography because in most areas men put on a few pounds every year. It’s true that in some places the competition is fierce. The men are tall, good looking, muscular, many of them cage-fighters and their game is tight. Anecdotal evidence suggests that they compete in other areas as well. In other areas, the competition isn’t nearly as tough but there are still plenty of good-looking women available.
Physical Abilities. In addition to building the body, a man needs to be capable of fighting effectively- which requires training. If only one style were to be learned, make it Brazilian Jui Jitsu (BJJ) because as they say, sooner or later the fight always goes to the ground. A second style to complement the BJJ would be boxing or Muay Thai kickboxing. It goes without saying that in learning these skills one has to fight, and fighting is good. After you’ve been punched in the face a few times, you realize that while it hurts it isn’t something to be frightened of. And wear your wounds with pride, they set you apart as a man who fights. A man who is confident of his ability to defend himself. Learning to fight has an amazing effect on a man’s confidence.
Game. The importance of learning Game cannot be overstated. If it had to be summed up, Game could be called learned charisma. Mostly it is an attitude adjustment that, done correctly, gives you the attitude of a ruler, not that of a serf. You, sir, are the prize that she should be working for. Chase women? No, they should be chasing you, because you are the prize. While the study of Game came out of the PUA community, the guys who did the hard and heavy lifting, Game is no longer a PUA thing.
A basic primer for understanding women in the socio-sexual environment is “The Rational Male” by Rollo Tomassi. The sequel, “The Rational Male: Preventative Medicine” is equally well-worth reading (I’m recommending, not pimping- I don’t get any commissions here). Rollo’s blog is free and also a great resource. Another must-read book is “The Book of Pook” because if one compares the Book of Pook to the Rational Male, the evolution of the study of Game can be seen easily.
Real Social Dynamics is an example of “PUA” teachers who exemplify the progression from a focus years ago on outlandish behavior and pick-up lines to a focus on female behavior patterns and male attitude today. About 8 years ago RSD gave the “Blueprint Decoded” seminar that really marked the turning point from “classic” PUA to what we’re seeing today. There are two main YouTube channels, one for Tyler and the other for Julian. The RSD website has lots of articles and videos as well and if you want to learn, the information is here.
While the target market is still centered on men who want to be successful with women, what they’re teaching has broad application in many facets of life. Consider that most HR departments are staffed by women and they frequently run job interviews. There is more and more evidence that job interviews today are more like “get to know you” dates than interviews.
Economic Success and Provisioning. Simply put, an attractive man with a good (disposable) income and good prospects for a higher (disposable) income is better than an attractive man without much disposable income. This becomes more apparent as women age, but that is a separate discussion. There is absolutely no reason a young man can’t get into a good field and be making money within a few years if he’s willing to work at it. Of course, as the years go by it becomes more difficult and the results of bad decisions can wreck your life. Two big ones are child support payments and student loans. Neither of these can be bankrupted away and while not paying on student loans might have nasty consequences, not paying child support can and will get you jailed.
Contrary to popular belief, unless pursuing a specific field such as STEM, going to college doesn’t do much for you. The problem is that it’s a great credential and many jobs require a college degree (any degree), so do it as cheaply as possible. The best current option is the University of the People, a fully accredited online university that doesn’t charge tuition. There is a fee for taking the final exam in each course, but at $100 per final, one can have that diploma for about $5,000 or so. And since the fees for exams only come due when you’re ready to take them that means the payments are spread out. No need for loans.
All of the things I’ve just mentioned can and do build a man’s confidence, but it’s the study of Game that really makes you stand out in terms of being an attractive man. The truth is that most men could do this but the vast majority will not. It is your character that will move you forward from there.
Yes, women really do want kind, decent, honest, loyal men, but they want those men to be attractive. If you want it, do the work to make it happen.