The Sex Trap

More malignant cybernetics, this time outlined by Janet L Factor in a brilliant essay at Quillette. The basic grinder:

Because the human population sex ratio is normally 50/50, when one man takes on an extra wife, another man is deprived of the opportunity to have one at all. So if just one man in ten takes a single extra wife, a very modest degree of polygyny, that means fully 10% of men are shut out of the marriage market entirely. This sets off a mad scramble among young men not to end up in that unfortunate bottom 10%. There, the options for obtaining sex (at least with a woman) are reduced to two: subterfuge or rape.

Now, think about the reproductive numbers. Say a woman can be expected to successfully raise ten children in her lifetime. But a man can have that 10 times the number of wives (or concubines) he obtains. What does this mean for parental investment? Parents can hope for only a small number of grandchildren from daughters, but a large number from sons. Selection will favor parents who favor sons by granting them the means necessary to obtain wives. Daughters will suffer neglect; some desperate man will likely take them anyway.

In fact, the reality is even worse than this, because the relatively low biological value of daughters encourages female infanticide. So the number of women available for marriage actually becomes less than that of men even in theoretical terms, yet the number of children each of them can have does not increase. It’s a vicious circle that escalates sexual conflict — a trap.

Gnon’s sense of humor is not always easy to appreciate.

(Previous harsh trap-circuits at XS here, and here.)

January 13, 2016admin 55 Comments »

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55 Responses to this entry

  • Grotesque Body Says:

    “Gnon’s sense of humor is not always easy to appreciate.”

    Sometimes Gnon’s jokes are presented in a format the rest of us can understand:


    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 5:41 am Reply | Quote
  • Zimriel Says:

    She’s good, but she pretends that female hypergamy does not exist. For her, once a woman gets a strong and devoted husband, all is well.


    Erebus Reply:

    In the Islamic world, the primary subject of the article, that is true far more often than not. There are very strict consequences for female hypergamy and adultery; the laws in question are part of the text of the Koran itself, and are brutally enforced to this day.

    But where the article says “the options for obtaining sex (at least with a woman) are reduced to two: subterfuge or rape,” it forgets prostitution and the Muslim phenomenon of “temporary marriage,” which is common to both Sunni and Shia. So there is, at least, a third option. Most men would find it extremely unsatisfactory, though, I’m sure…


    Irving Reply:

    Temporary marriage is strictly a Shi’a thing, Sunnis don’t do it.


    Erebus Reply:

    This sort of marriage can absolutely be temporary — and very often is. In other cases, it allows for a permanent sort of concubine/mistress relationship. In still other cases, it’s merely used as a religious loophole for the sake of prostitution. (You may find two male witnesses — shahidain — working at the door of the brothel, and make payment — mahr — to proprietor of the establishment. Thus all is in keeping with Islamic law…)

    Zimriel Reply:

    Some Sunnis do muta-marriage. The original fatwa was from Ibn ‘Abbas, who was the forefather of the ‘Abbasids and not of the ‘Alids. The ‘Alid shi’a accepted it later on.

    ISIS practices it, for instance, and they are VERY Sunni.

    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 5:42 am Reply | Quote
  • The Sex Trap | Neoreactive Says:

    […] By admin […]

    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 5:49 am Reply | Quote
  • Jefferson Says:

    That’s a long article about religion by an author that really doesn’t understand religion.


    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 7:06 am Reply | Quote
  • jay Says:

    While the science is solid the Author still reveals herself to be an idiot egalitarianist.

    We are after all troglodytes that can’t fathom gender equality nor accept it as the wondrous package of modernity.


    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 7:23 am Reply | Quote
  • jay Says:

    The evil of patriarchy which polgyny is an instigator of. Typical.


    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 7:24 am Reply | Quote
  • SVErshov Says:

    in India as a result of decades female foeticide male to female ratio quite badly affected. Mothers who has a girl only want to married her on someone who has government job. But, it still did not lock out male population from marriage market as they increasingly becoming same sex couples.


    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 7:50 am Reply | Quote
  • Chrome Says:

    Now, think about the reproductive numbers. Say a woman can be expected to successfully raise ten children in her lifetime. But a man can have that 10 times the number of wives (or concubines) he obtains. What does this mean for parental investment? Parents can hope for only a small number of grandchildren from daughters, but a large number from sons.

    I guess “hope” is the operative word here, because this isn’t generally true. For the overall population sons and daughters have the same reproductive rate–all children have a mother and a father. You could make this argument for subpopulations, like high-status wealthy/powerful people. A sultan can gift each of his sons his very own harem and have hundreds of grandkids. But balancing this out is the fact that a low-status person’s son is likely to be much less successful in a polygamous society than a daughter. So proposing some kind of argument that polygyny leads to general mistreatment of daughters because they are less reproductively successful is just half-baked.

    In any case, claiming polygyny causes female infanticide just doesn’t fit the facts… Romans were strict monogamists (Christianity got it’s ban on plural marriage from pagan Rome, not the other way around) but female infanticide by exposure was widely practiced.

    Sidenote: I suspect the imperialist/expansionist mindset leads to higher relative preference for sons over daughters. You could expect your sons to journey over the horizon and bed many foreign girls (forcibly or otherwise). Conquered, subjugated peoples would be expected to prefer daughters, as they could be expected to reproduce (again, not necessarily consensually) whereas sons would be likely to wind up a worked-to-death slave with no reproductive prospects.

    I’ve read that Americans used to strongly prefer sons but now weakly prefer daughters… I leave the possible significance of this up to the reader.


    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 8:46 am Reply | Quote
  • frank Says:

    Isn’t this sex trap what makes human males very intelligent and creative though? Free sex kills male drive. No male sex drive = no Fisherian runaway male brain = no civilization.

    Btw, she thinks she can make natural selection favor equality. LOL.


    Grotesque Body Reply:

    Fisherian runaway gives you Flava Flav and Kanye, not James Watt.


    frank Reply:

    Welfare state gives you Kanye. There’s obviously more to James Watt then just Fisherian runaway. That said, it’s an irresistibly plausible explanation for pre-historic brain development.


    William Newman Reply:

    “natural selection favor equality. LOL.”

    It’s a little complicated. actually. Consider ants. Or red blood cells, for that matter. Or, in a less obviously-selected-for but still significant case, mitochondria.

    That doesn’t mean her essay of view isn’t full of technical and logical unreasonableness that she finds appealing. (E.g., “modernity requires monogamy,” forsooth. If the Far East weren’t there to remind us, people might be trying to push “modernity requires democracy” similarly. Or for that matter “modernity requires a phonetic alphabet.” There’s a decent case for monogamy having been a significant advantage, but it’d be hard for even a mind far greater than hers to demonstrate that it doesn’t depend on time and place and technology, like the advantages of press-ganging one’s naval personnel or having large populations of agricultural slaves or relying on huge short-term conscript armies instead of smaller armies of long-term professionals.) But there is a different kind of dismissive unreasonableness in choosing to scoff with generalizations which ignore outcomes that have been favored by natural selection in well-known special cases.

    “Fisherian runaway male brain”

    which isn’t all that male — significant sex differences, sure, but not very impressive compared to the very conspicuous differences between human brains and the brains of primate species that we outcompeted, and not very noticeable or characteristically malely expensive compared to actual expensive sex-display things like peacock tails or cardinal pigmentation — and which by curious coincidence just happened to Fisherianly malely run away in the big-brained strain that was best prepared (with hands, especially; also with a niche that was probably likely to encourage protoweapons and/or prototools, and with an anatomy which could easily be adapted to throwing) to be strongly selected for more expensive brains through ordinary Darwinian brain-based selective advantages like better tools and weapons and fire and clothing, not in unarmed branches of the primate lineage or in cetaceans or elephants or pack hunting canines or felines or parrots or cephalopods which, you may have heard, also reproduce by mating between males and females

    And don’t forget that epigenetics and being scavengers not hunters and matriarchy were vitally important too! And then pull the other brain, it’s got mutations on.


    Exfernal Reply:

    Considering red blood cells or ant workers, they don’t gain anything from competing with each other. As long as mitochondria don’t diverge genetically, the same logic applies there as well.


    Henk Reply:

    Btw, she thinks she can make natural selection favor equality. LOL.

    There are two separate questions of interest to this audience. First, whether selection tends to produce actual equality. Second, whether it produces a preference for equality.

    If a stable equilibrium is reached, natural selection should produce individuals of equal expected fitness.

    My personal hunch regarding equality preference is that favoring equality within homogenous groups serves to undermine free-rider strategies, helping cooperation and trust.


    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 8:55 am Reply | Quote
  • drethelin Says:

    I don’t think this is a realistic difference from the historic status quo. 60 pecent of all men never reproduced ALREADY, so a “guaranteed” 10% rate of men who can’t have wives is already way lower than men who for one reason or another never reproduced anyway. if we look at this, there’s probably well over 10 percent of never-married men even in relatively conservative 1900s america.


    R. Reply:

    The 60% figure is from pre-history. And the 17:1 figure in neolithic is misleading. G.Cochran has a post on that.


    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 10:05 am Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:

    Neglecting prostitution. If 1% of women service ten men each, the numbers roughly even out again.


    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 10:16 am Reply | Quote
  • The Sex Trap | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 10:27 am Reply | Quote
  • grey enlightenment Says:

    or 10% of the male population are not interested in women, or some men hook up with women and then dump them later, returning these women to the marketplace. many possibilities to deal with the imbalance without violence.


    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 1:11 pm Reply | Quote
  • Contaminated NEET Says:

    A lottery ticket can pay hundreds of millions of dollars for a tiny investment in a matter of days, while corporate and government bonds pay only a few percentage points over a period of years. Selection will thus favor investors who focus on lottery tickets and neglect bonds.


    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 1:52 pm Reply | Quote
  • michael Says:

    I wonder if she can imagine a state that would marry and support most of the women but allowed them sex even children with as many men as they wished.


    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 2:13 pm Reply | Quote
  • Rec0nciler Says:

    The author claims “…religion is the art of fiction gone feral.” This is quite insightful, but to domesticate fiction is to neuter it and render it a helpless. Dawkins, after all, got pwned. We need a more feral fiction: feral and tragic, and viral, and pumped up on steroids.

    Gnonism now! Smash the infidel!


    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 2:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    I was a bit quick on the draw with this piece. It’s definitely more in the ‘stimulating with flashes of brilliance’ category than the ‘mathematically buttoned-up tight’ or (still less) ‘one of us’ folders.

    The discussion it has lured here, however, is — as always — highly appreciated.


    Different T Reply:

    What was found stimulating?

    The article is blatantly false. It claims that males unable to marry are the reason for radicalism. Did you fact check any of this? I did.

    It appears that in the “evil patriarchy of the Middle East,” men have higher marriage rates than women (and rates that are way, way higher than the West). It is surprisingly difficult to find statistics on the issue. I found a report from Afghanistan’s government, and news articles from Egypt, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia that cited stats of much higher unmarried numbers of females than males. Even more contradictory to the article, the only articles I came across about polygamy were about certain groups encouraging it because of the high rates of unmarried females and because it has become so unpopular, directly challenging everything the author states.

    Additionally, the author is engaging in politics masquerading as science.

    1) She states “This time, the slipping fault is the conflict between the evolutionary interests of men and women, and this explosion of violence will ultimately answer the question of whether male supremacy will continue to be tolerated, or be cast out at last. How many women will be slaughtered or reduced to breeding stock before enough men find the inner grit to make that choice rightly?”

    Reread that last sentence. Who is she addressing here? Does she think that if enough Western men became gender egalitarians (an illegitimate concept in the first place), it will affect ME women? Or is she saying the Western governments should go blow up the ME in search for said ideals?

    2) She says that monogamy leads to “Every man can hope to find a wife, which enormously reduces social stress.” Yet ME countries have a lower ratio of unmarried men compared to the West.

    3) Author states “This misguided reticence is a product of archaic cultural mores that make sex a thing of shame for women, but one of pride for men. No one wants to call these groups what they actually are, roving bands of armed rapists, because that would inevitably damage the standing of the women who fall prey to them.”

    Again, blatantly false. She blames archaic cultural mores for “damaging the standing” of fucking rape victims, while implying that men actually admire raping women. The author is nuts. The West certainly has sexual mores more in line with the author. Are Western women not ashamed of being raped? Is a Western husband outraged when another man rapes his wife, while the ME husband would admire his wife’s rapist?


    admin Reply:

    It’s bio-hardened normcore liberalism, isn’t it? Not uninteresting (IMHO) but also less slaved to mathematical discipline than one might hope.


    Different T Reply:

    On my understanding of “normcore liberalism” (from here:, this doesn’t fit.

    normcore liberalism still uses facts, but frames them a certain way. This article is an opinion piece on the cause of radicalism. And she uses no stats throughout the entire piece.

    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 4:29 pm Reply | Quote
  • Hurlock Says:

    Notwithstanding the random insight here and there the author is stupid.
    She says that religion is “just” about bodies. This is wrong on so many levels it’s hilarious. But then, the way she interprets things she could validly claim that literally everything is about bodies. And that would be true, but it’s not *just* about bodies.

    “At the dark throbbing heart of faith lies patriarchy.”
    Oooh, the horror!

    As other commenters have noted already the author completely ignores female hypergamy and other characteristic traits and behaviors of the female sex. If you ignore those, it really does seem that everything is an evil atavistic patriarchal conspiracy.
    Now it is an expected that a feminist will ignore and lie about such facts. It is even expected that any female would lie about such facts. But you don’t get a pass simply because you are female. It’s completely expected, but it’s still not an excuse.


    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 5:01 pm Reply | Quote
  • Brett Stevens Says:

    There’s a reason the nuclear family has been so persistent: highest social capital passed to offspring, as well as greatest stability.


    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 5:08 pm Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:


    O/T but whoever kept posting it can’t be Trump because the bookies say no, now the bookies favor him.

    Gotta ask if those are Moody’s or Standard and Poor’s rated bookies. Yep.

    The problem was their clients couldn’t accept it until now of course. Bookies probably just reporting the bets that’s all.

    What does this tell us about the wisdom of gambling crowds?


    Kwisatz Haderach Reply:

    I’m making a killing on Trump nomination predictions 😉


    D. Reply:

    Dr. Vxxc2014: Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the Trump


    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 8:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • Rec0nciler Says:


    Sort of O/T, but since our minds are already in the gutter…

    Deadliner recently observed that the Internet sex industry was a likely point of entry for the “Big It.” Consider, in that context, the following:

    “This isn’t porn. This is something else. Something my teenage self would have never left the house if this had existed. One of the big themes in the book I finished was the idea of singularity—that man and machine will be so intertwined we will become one being.”


    Grotesque Body Reply:

    A really interesting book that foreshadows this is Spengler’s ‘Man and Technics’. It might not even be a case of ‘becoming’ one being. We might already be there.


    Rec0nciler Reply:

    @Grotesque Body

    Twitter sure felt that way. Undeniably mind-altering tech.

    I’m committed to my mechanical bride. But if she wants to work outside the home, she’s going to have to overpower me. I won’t go gently. It wouldn’t be fair.


    Posted on January 13th, 2016 at 10:46 pm Reply | Quote
  • D. Says:

    “In fact, the reality is even worse than this, because the relatively low biological value of daughters encourages female infanticide. So the number of women available for marriage actually becomes less than that of men even in theoretical terms, yet the number of children each of them can have does not increase. It’s a vicious circle that escalates sexual conflict — a trap.”

    As the ratio of daughters to sons decreases, the value of daughters increases. The lower ratio will cause a further scarcity of available women for men seeking brides, which means the price of available women increases as supply is reduced. The price transaction occurs through the institution of dowry, or an equivalent, in which the would-be groom (or his family) transfers to the bride’s family an amount of money or goods equal in value to the bride’s price. Since parents will anticipate receiving a future dowry for a daughter but not for a son (and indeed may be required to pay at least part of a dowry for a son), this has a countervailing effect on relative preference for daughters versus sons. The result is an equilibrium with fewer daughters than sons, but this does not create a vicious cycle.


    Kwisatz Haderach Reply:

    Ms. Factor’s entire argument is bunk, and it’s easy to see this.

    The key insight is that within any cohort of women, the total number of children born to them is equal to the total number of children born their (male) partners. Call this number T.

    Thus the expected “biological” value of a son within a given cohort is equal to T / m, where m is the number of males in the cohort.

    The expected biological value of a daughter is likewise T / f.

    A rational market has that T / f = T / m. Thus f = m.

    The only time a family should want sons is when they have extra information that their son will be able to acquire multiple wives. But for every family that wants such, there should be another family on the other side who doesn’t like the odds of their son acquiring even one fertile wife – those families should want daughters instead.


    Kwisatz Haderach Reply:

    I believe that the real reason that sons are preferred is that male labor has been more valuable than female labor throughout history. From ploughing a field to thatching a roof, breaking a horse, fighting off bandits, or even in works of the mind, such as inventing new materials and methods, male activity has just been more useful overall. Thus it’s natural to prize men more.

    The advent of birth control shift things. Female labor – pun intended – is now a scarer commodity, and lo, women are more highly prized in societies with low fertility.


    William Newman Reply:

    “The only time a family should want sons is when they have extra information that their son will be able to acquire multiple wives.”

    Maybe not the *only* time; it could be more complicated than that. Consider, e.g., that showing that you want more sons than daughters might be interpreted as an expensive and thus convincingly sincere signal that you know you are the successful sort of person who will be able to benefit from a son more than a daughter. Then a person might realize that and under some circumstances be rationally motivated to send that signal…

    However, I think such corrections should tend to be small (unless too many of the parties involved are badly confused about things like the cost of the signal or the other parties’ frame of mind), so I think your statement is largely true, becoming true with a small substitution like “main reason” for the too-perfectly-strict “only time”.


    Kwisatz Haderach Reply:

    You’re right! It’s a human market, and thus it is subject to all sorts of autocryptogenic higher-order phenomenon as humans try to out-guess and out-bluff each other.

    D. Reply:

    I agree with you that her argument is bunk, but I’m not sure why you jump to the “biological value” of descendants. As you note in your next comment, sons have economic value that daughters lack, as the former stay within the household and work while the latter marry and enter their husband’s household. However, in addition, there is a cost to having the son in the household (food, clothes, etc.) and to maintaining the son’s wife/wives and children (if the son is able to marry, which may not be the case). Additionally, when marriage occurs there is a dowry paid by the husband or the husband’s family to the wife’s family, which is an extra cost incurred by sons but a gain from having daughters. Given that polygamy exists (up to the maximum four wives permitted) and that female infanticide exists, it’s reasonable to expect any daughter to be married off and thus to receive one dowry. For sons, the calculation is more complex, as the expected cost depends on the expected number of wives (and the actual number could be 0). Due to the expected value of a son’s work, and possibly to cultural/religious bias against girls, there is some amount of female infanticide, but this lowers the ratio of girls to boys, which reduces the supply of brides, which increases the price of brides (dowry paid to the bride’s family), and thus results in the rate of infanticide being lower than it otherwise would be.

    If you want to look at expected number of grandchildren as “biological value”, a daughter could be expected to be married off and have kids, but a son could have 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 wives. Also, the expected distribution of son’s wives should vary with the economic status of the family, which complicates matters.

    It seems that in Egypt, the bride price has gradually increased and is now equal to several years of earnings for most bachelors, and there is a similar trend in the rest of the Arab world. On the other hand, monogamous Hindus in India expect the bride’s family to pay the husband’s family even with considerable female infanticide skewing the female/male ratio. Polygamy increase the value of unmarried women, and monogamy reduces it.


    Kwisatz Haderach Reply:

    I “jumped” to biological value (aka “number of grandchildren”) because her argument is couched in those terms, not because I think it’s a good argument. I wanted to show that her argument is false even under her own assumptions.

    Your mathematical argument is another way of seeing the same thing that I’m arguing; I think we are in agreement. Basically, the number of children in a cohort is fixed by the number of women at T (under the assumption that number of children that women have is not dependent on the number of men in the cohort). Intramale competition is therefore zero sum. That’s the heart of it.

    Interesting tidbit that dowries are now inverted in the MENA world. What a terrible, terrible place to live. Thank Gnon for small favors.

    Steve Johnson Reply:

    “Additionally, when marriage occurs there is a dowry paid by the husband or the husband’s family to the wife’s family, which is an extra cost incurred by sons but a gain from having daughters.”

    That’s not a dowry – that’s a bride price. Dowries go from the father of the bride to the father of the groom not the other way around.

    Posted on January 14th, 2016 at 12:15 am Reply | Quote
  • Rec0nciler Says:

    Here’s a novel abstract reproductive machine: use the Internet to market your genetic material.

    Father 800 kids.

    (This man is the Genghis Khan of Facebook.)


    Posted on January 14th, 2016 at 12:43 am Reply | Quote
  • J Says:

    The trap forgot probabilities: Daughter produce children with a high degree of probability, society will make sure she reproduce. Sons have say 10% probability to hit the jackpot and 90% they will live out their lives without a chance to see a female (I mean a human female, not she-goats or camels).


    Posted on January 14th, 2016 at 6:03 am Reply | Quote
  • John Hannon Says:

    A chick deficit sex trap could also threaten the sustainability of any NX secessionist enclaves.
    Like they’re not going to be Surf Cities –


    Posted on January 14th, 2016 at 8:40 am Reply | Quote
  • The Middle East is dying because its model is a failure | Philosophies of a Disenchanted Scholar Says:

    […] […]

    Posted on January 14th, 2016 at 4:46 pm Reply | Quote
  • Duke of Qin Says:

    Hopefully my comment isn’t accidentally deleted this time. The author, being a stupid feminist c*** (I am assuming this because she is publishing in the Quilette which by the very name alone suggests with a probability approaching 1 that everyone involved is in some way or form an idiot) is invariably wrong and immediately flings her dirty tampon at “the patriarchy”. Should it dawn on her (hah good look waiting for that) that it is ultimately women responsible for making the choice in sex selection, she will blame “society” next.

    Ultimately raw numbers of excess men are not the bugbear that Feminists make it out to be because they fundamentally ignore human behavior and more critically female behavior. Even a 1:1 ratio between men and women results in a significant portion of men going without reproducing because it ignores female hypergamy and more stupidly ignores male mate preference by assuming that all women have the same sexual market value. Feminists wish this were true, but mating dynamics in reality are 16-65 year old men all pursuing the same smaller cohort of 16-25 year old women. A man’s sexual market value doesn’t decline as rapidly with age and may increase due to increased earning power and social proof, but a woman past 35 for much of the world is pretty much worthless. Contemporary western mating practices are already 2-3 men chasing after 1 woman given raw demographic parity. Shifting it to 2.1-3.1:1 honestly has marginal value.

    Claiming that polygamy in Islamic societies results in religious fundamentalism is simply more old fashioned man-hatred cloaked in the latest leftist sophistry. The slave girls are merely the icing on the cake. Jihadists actually have faith and belief in their cause, something that is incomprehensible to the sackless wonders that comprise the Western elite so they have to rationalize behavior they do not understand into a format they do, in this case masculinity as a threat.


    Grotesque Body Reply:

    Feminist retardation is a special case of the more general problem of egalitarian retardation.


    jay Reply:

    ”but mating dynamics in reality are 16-65 year old men all pursuing the same smaller cohort of 16-25 year old women”

    In more modern societies yes

    In Islamic and more ancient societies its:

    15-65 year old men pursuing 13-25 year old women.


    Posted on January 15th, 2016 at 10:02 pm Reply | Quote
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