This is my review of the book “Female Choice“ by Meike Stoverock. The book is in German, and there is no English translation yet. But I am writing this review in English anyway, because it opens an important debate, about where our modern society came from and what it should be like. I illustrate it with the music of my favourite band, The Tiger Lillies.
Stoverock proposes that our modern society, its structures of marriage, private property, religion and capitalism is actually a civilization made by men and for men, its main design purpose was to oppress and control women, specifically their basic evolutionary drive of female choice. In all animal species, Stoverock says, it is the females who chose males, while the males are driven to mate with as many females as possible. Females are very choosy, males not at all, and as the result, Stoverock writes, 80% of males go empty and never procreate, in fact they never even have sex.
The idea is that until humans settled down and began to own land, evolution was driven by female choice. Few quality men (whom Stoverock believes to be the most intelligent or skilled) had sex with all the women of the tribe and fathered all the children, while the pitiful rest went completely empty, they were in fact the Incels of the Stone Age (if you start a punk band of this name, you must credit me).
But then, around 10,000 years ago, the agricultural revolution arrived, humans began cultivating land which at some point went from community-owned to privately owned. This is when according to Stoverock, the evolution went wrong and where marriage was invented soon after the land grab happened.
For one, a wealthy land owner had to secure hereditary succession, hence the control of female sexuality and procreation which marrying a child bride can provide. At the same time, women were deprived not only of the opportunity to freely choose their mate, but also chained economically. They were banned from owning property and doing business, their social and physical movements were regulated to ensure fidelity (mate guarding), and they became utterly dependent on their husbands.
As land property was established, women started to choose men not for their genetic qualities, but for their material wealth which indeed is hereditary, but not genetically (unless you believe in eugenics). While the first males who took the land were desirable and intelligent prime specimen (at least according to Stoverock), their sons were not necessarily genetic quality material, but the inherited wealth made them desirable. Soon however, it was the young women’s fathers anyway who chose the husbands based on economic factors.
Second, Stoverock writes, the marriage was invented to appease the men who were less wealthy and thus unable to convince a woman to have sex with them. Those were the same 80% who spent hundreds of thousands of years masturbating in the bushes, but now the agricultural revolution and society growth made it necessary to provide them with a sex partner, so peace and loyalty can be ensured. I am not sure about this argument, but in any case, every man was awarded a woman as a life-long wife to keep them happy, because the women were prevented from exercising female choice anymore.
In this way, it was not only women which got controlled. Alpha males with power and property ensure the submission and loyalty of the much more numerous lower-ranking men by supplying them with women. Sexually undesirable men could be bound to serve the wealthy as cheap labourers and soldiers, with a promise of sex as their reward. To further control both men and women, religion was invented to sanction human sexuality, and Stoverock especially takes aim at the monotheistic religion of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. The idea was that it’s enough to punish women for extramarital affairs in order to prevent men from philandering.
All nomadic human societies (at least those not entirely missionarized and “civilized” ones) have one thing in common, Stoverock writes: the absence of a monogynous life-long marriage between one man and one woman which we take to be the “normal” biological situation for humans. The children, once weaned, are raised by the tribe, in a communal effort, and women chose a new partner for each round of procreation. That very well may be, but I wonder if some anthropologist might chime in and confirm if indeed the chosen partners are solely the few alpha males while the majority of a men (80% or whatever) in such nomadic communities indeed never get to sire a child or even to have sex.
In this regard, the assumption that most males in the animal kingdom never have sex is a bit shaky. I asked some animal ecologists on Twitter. Turns out, many mature males do go empty, but whether it’s as high as 80%, even in mammals, is another question.
Turns out, Female Choice is not as dogmatic as one thinks. Even in guppies, “a species which is a literal textbook example of sexual selection” according to one expert, the majority of males does get to sire some progeny.
Never mind the arthropods, or the fish, or in particular the birds (where around 90% of species form life-long couples), as Stoverock herself mentions. In birds, the lower-ranking males are disadvantaged, but most do find a mate eventually.
Sure, it’s different with mammals which do have a huge skew in the male mating success rate. In most mammal species, the majority of the offspring is indeed sired by few very successful males. But it is another issue if the losers ever have sex or not, and also Stoverock names some examples, like that of Orang-Utan females mating with violently horny low-ranking males, but outside their oestrus. So failure in procreation is not the same as failure in sex. Certainly not the in human society.
Another issue is that a lot of males in the animal kingdom eliminate themselves from the gene pool. Many actually die quite young, not only fighting competitors, but from diseases and hunger. Exactly because of the female choice, males often have to travel great distances for long time before they find a willing female, their wanderlust can end in death. Beavers (which by the way form life-long couples) sustain the highest male mortality during such juvenile travels, from predators and other beavers.
A lion unable to secure a pride (in lion societies, it’s female dynasties who own the land) will fail at hunting on his own and will soon starve to death. Yet an elephant seal might spend many years watching the big fat beach-master from distance having orgies, but eventually the once sad loser can grow big and strong enough chase off the old beach-master. Young male African elephants who leave their matriarchal herd join the leadership of a mature bull and learn everything from him, without getting near a female for many years. Make you sure you don’t starve (or these days, don’t get shot), and one year it will be your high time. Also in other complex mammal societies, including those of primates, males may lead a (more or less) celibate life under the authority of the alpha, but at some point the alpha male will die or get deposed, and then it’s their chance. Celibate males who manage to survive long enough can end up having sex galore in their old days.
And then again, we have no idea what kind of social structure early hominids had. Our two closest relatives are chimps and bonobos, and their societies cannot be more different. Chimps are a male dominated society with a fluid alpha male dynamic, where the current leader and his best mates indeed get the bulk of sexual opportunities and sire most if not all of the children. But even the low ranking males get their chance to copulate if they prove themselves nice and helpful to females (e.g. with children), or secure some precious meat to barter for sex.
Bonobos on the other hand should not exist if evolutionary biologists had their say. Bonobo societies are matriarchal despite the fact that the males are, like with chimps and humans, on average larger and physically stronger (I recommend the books of Frans de Waal in this regard). This happens because bonobo females conspire with each other to subjugate bonobo males! It may be that female bonobos in oestrus do chose the quality males, at least as their prime choice, but sex as such is not something which bonobo females ration to the prettiest males only. The bonobo society is well known for its social cohesion and stress-reduction orgies where anything except mother and son goes. There sure are some bonobo males who don’t get sex, but these are a tiny minority. Stoverock never mentions bonobos.
We do not know which society the early hominids resembled more: that of bonobos or that of chimps. There are other primates where matriarchy is standard (most lemurs), primates with a form of gender equality (spider monkeys), there are even primates where males and females form life-long couples, like titi monkeys and gibbons, the latter are apes. For primates alone, all possible forms of societies exist, even the aggressive baboon patriarchy is more complicated than evolutionary biologists prefer it to be.
Although we can be quite sure that pre-agrarian human societies were nomadic tribes without life-long monogynous relationships (at least as a rule), this society is not something Stoverock wants to return to. After all, nomadic life is no picnic, people are mostly busy with finding enough food to survive. In the last chapters of her book, the author proposes steps for all of us to restore the Female Choice.
Stoverock proposes how to reform our society, and I’m not sure it was a good idea. Personally I think the author should have stopped with discussing the problem, and concluding with a call to more feminism and more efforts to stop oppression and childhood brainwash of women, to stop patriarchy and toxic masculinity, so our society can evolve and allow each individual to live out their own personal choice and freedom. But it may be my male privilege talking.
Instead, Stoverock presents detailed solutions, specifically her proposal is to return to a female choice world where women select few men for mating while the larger rest goes around without ever having sex at all. It gets better: she wants a society which recognises such “sexually undesirable” boys early, educates them about their future and offers them opportunities for sexual release so they don’t become murderous incels or vote for the AfD. The proposed outlets are: homosexuality, feminism-approved pornography (including violent Manga animation), sex dolls and sex robots, and finally: state-supplied sex workers (aka prostitutes) upon application, evaluation and governmental approval. I do not exaggerate, this is what the book specifically discusses.
This in my view is too silly, but then again, what do I know. The author seems to believe that the violence against women and society is something new, caused by their “involuntary celibacy” due to female rejection, but it is not. New is only that some of the perpetrators might indeed be “virgins” (because women in modern societies are more independent and can’t be cheaply bought or coerced to sex), but this is not what drives the violence of these men. Sexual frustration and lethal violence against women arises also in married men, even in family fathers, certainly once they are off to fight a war or run a violent pogrom somewhere. The problem with incel mass murders as we know them from news (mostly in USA) is the availability of guns, not the unavailability of women.
Many murder victims are sex workers, their murderer is not really a sexually inexperienced virgin. Some rapes end in murder. Stoverock got it all backwards about incels and violence, I’m afraid, but again, what do I know.
Stoverock spends many pages proposing various ways to pacify and civilize the countless incels of the future Female-Choice-Society, where most men won’t be chosen and where marriage as a life-long monogynous relationship will be a thing of the past. But what she never discusses what the future for the women in that society she proposes will be. Specifically, for women who want to have children.
So I hope to be forgiven if I try this. Stoverock namely postulates that for human women, the binding cycle to a mating partner is 4 years, give or take 3 years after birth, oriented on the age a child gets weaned in a tribal society. After that, as per author, the woman gets bored with her current sex partner and wants new sexual adventures with a new mate. Especially since men are not interested in taking care of babies and toddlers anyway, and are only made to pretend to in our modern feminist society, as the book suggests.
Well, but then again I guess we all agree that human babies are born underdeveloped and extremely dependent due to the evolutionary dilemma of brain size vs birth canal width, Stoverock explains it herself. So who will help taking care of that baby for these 3 years?
In tribal societies, everybody pitches in (maybe even some men?), as the saying goes, it takes a village. But we don’t live in such societies and we can’t return to nomadic life, this is agreed. What then to help the new mother? Newborn-daycare or taking baby to work in a sling? Maybe, or good luck, respectively. But this still leaves the mother alone with all the chores. So who can help? The grandparents, or rather the grandmother, since we abolished the marriage? Maybe, but she might chose travelling the world instead, meeting some quality gentlemen of her own. The woman’s current romantic partner? That same chosen quality male who happens to be simultaneously desired by 4-5 other women, whose babies he is also busy siring? Not sure about his commitment. Who else is available? Oh dear, we still have the incels, those have plenty of spare time. I let you figure out the arrangements there.
Thing is, Stoverock is right that the traditional marriage is indeed a patriarchal structure designed to oppress and control women, but it is not as simple as she portrays it. Why would homosexual couples fight so desperately for their right to marry and to adopt children? Just tax purposes? Really? Or are they brainwashed by the society that they need to live all their lives in a family-style partnership with someone? If anything, human societies and their religions are traditionally opposed to homosexual partnerships, often quite violently up to imprisoning and murdering those who try it. Yet these couples still want to marry and live together into their old age.
Maybe humans are just social animals, and our modern society deprived us of the tribal communal life, where people ate together, slept in the same hut and nobody was ever alone? Again, as also Stoverock agrees, there is no way to go back to that lifestyle which was everything but idyllic anyway. At the same time, all human attempts to establish alternative forms of communal life went tits up, pardon my French, for reasons of human individualism and also of coupling-up. Even hippie communes, so much celebrated for their alleged brother- and sisterhoods of free love were actually male-dominated societies where women did most of the work while being indoctrinated or simply drugged into sleeping with every man who asked. Regardless how disgusting these women found him, so much for the female choice.
Stoverock’s book covers very important aspects and brings many important and interesting ideas. It’s a pity it ends with weird plans for incels while carefully avoiding discussing the arrangements for women and their chosen quality males.
Because our society is still patriarchal and man-oriented. Instead of a progress many nations keep sliding back, as constant attempts to ban abortions show, like recently in Poland.
Speaking of, let me introduce you to this recent paper from Poland, its senior author is 59 year old biology professor Bogusław Pawłowski, at University of Wroclaw, who seems to be so important (irony) that he has his own Wikipedia page.
Agnieszka Żelaźniewicz , Judyta Nowak-Kornicka, Klaudia Zbyrowska, Bogusław Pawłowski Predicted reproductive longevity and women’s facial attractiveness PLOS One (2021) doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0248344
From the abstract:
“Physical attractiveness has been shown to reflect women’s current fecundity level, allowing a man to choose a potentially more fertile partner in mate choice context. However, women vary not only in terms of fecundity level at reproductive age but also in reproductive longevity, both influencing a couple’s long-term reproductive success. Thus, men should choose their potential partner not only based on cues of current fecundity but also on cues of reproductive longevity, and both may be reflected in women’s appearance.“
“As women differ in fecundity depending on genetic, developmental, health, and environmental factors [8–10], choosing more attractive (i.e. more fecund) woman in mate choice would be adaptive and might potentially increase male reproductive success. […] Thus, for long-term relationships, where the number of offspring produced by a couple will depend in part on time to a woman’s menopause, men should choose their potential partners, not only based on cues of high current fecundity, but also based on cues of high residual reproductive value .“
Professor Pawlowski doesn’t believe in female choice, he thinks women are all craving to impress him, with make-up, high-heels and open cleavage. Also, for his study he was careful to recruit “83 women between 25 and 34 years” and exclusively of “European descent”, who were photographed and then subjected to evaluation for “facial attractiveness on the scale from 1 (not at all attractive) to 9 (very attractive)” to “100 healthy men of European descent, aged 18–39 years“.
I am not sure I want to know why Professor Pawlowski was keen to use only white people in his female attractiveness research, but we had the same in the much more disgusting “Miss Endometriosis” contest (joke stolen from Sylvie Coyaud) in Milan.
Unsurprisingly, the data looks all over the place, the only thing it proves is that Professor Pawlowski should be ashamed of himself.
(Figure 2, Zelazniewicz et al 2021)
Stoverock’s book is indeed much needed to overthrow such societal and scientific attitudes, but as every manifesto, it tends to oversimplify things and to postulate solutions which are not really practicable.
Disclaimer: As usual, I receive no payment or incentive to write this review, but I did receive the book gratis from the publisher upon request
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“. It gets better: she wants a society which recognises such “sexually undesirable” boys early, educates them about their future and offers them opportunities for sexual release so they don’t become murderous incels or vote for the AfD.”
That’s pretty funny. Basically, she wants female panels to determine whether a man is sexy enough to pass on his genes. Parallels the fear in the US of panels of doctors who decide lives or dies (“death panels”). A couple of comments here:
1.) most people want to live in a society that values equal opportunity more than equal outcome. Sociopolitical equal outcome experiments have not worked (notably communism), and so I think that would be the case in female-enforced, codified sexual selection. Lets see, how would this work? How would women know that they are looking at an unattractive man who should not pass on his genes? Perhaps where the unattractive men might wear a black triangle on their suit ot TY-short to indicate who they are to women? Maybe even a branding? Yea, like that is really going to work. If she thinks that incel-mediated violence is a problem now, just think what would happen if incel designation was codified into laws, how men would respond. That’s a pretty stupid idea.
2.) I would argue female selection where the icky low status men are weeded out and kept in the shadows pretty much exists and works quite well right now, thanks to the availability of porn, which didn’t exist to the degree it does now in earlier times. Sex bots will make things even better. Why have laws when the free market will take care of the problem?
3.) In my albeit limited experience, there has always been some woman who wanted to mate with me no matter how lame I acted or silly I looked. Its just that I didn’t care to lower my standards to mate with her. So, based on my experience (and I presume that of most men), if you have a codified sexual selected system you will likely have some unattractive females that will be doing without. And no, Brad Pitt is not going to boink all women of varied attractivenss, no matter how drunk he is.
I suspect the reason this idea was brought up is because the author is not satisfied with the quality of men that she and friends have to mate with. Society expects men to become more sexually attractive to women by amassing resources as we get older, maybe she and her silly conceited female cohort should consider ways that they could be more attractive to men? Oh, how dare I suggest that.
Questions of sexual selection are a delightful direction for this blog, and I hope our esteemed positively-sexually selected host will continue to make posts like these. What fun!
I wouldn’t judge it that harsh. The book is not aggressive towards “undesired” men, the author means well seeking to help them, this is why I took up the proposal as a thought experiment to see where it makes wrong assumptions (in my view) and where it would lead to, in theory.
Indeed, the detailed plans towards incels lack any plans at all towards women and their prime choice partners whom they must share with others. How should they live, and in which community? This is where the thought experiment collapses in my view. Most humans, female or not, will not voluntarily chose to spend their whole lives alone, humans are primates and not bears. And we decided to cancel marriage. So what then?
See https://f1000research.com/articles/10-222 for a recently published article (version 1, awaiting peer review) about a more or less related topic (“Efficacy and risk of sexual orientation change efforts: a retrospective analysis of 125 exposed men”).
This article does not refer to the statement of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) about the conversion therapy at https://www.psychiatry.org/newsroom/news-releases/apa-reiterates-strong-opposition-to-conversion-therapy This article also does not use the term conversion therapy. The APA in this article turns out to be an abbreviation of the American Psychological Association.
The authors have declared: “Competing interests: No competing interests were disclosed.”
Copy/pasted from https://f1000research.com/for-authors/article-guidelines/research-articles and from
https://f1000research.com/about/policies#compint “A competing interest may be of non-financial or financial nature. Examples of competing interests include (but are not limited to): (…) political, religious, or ideological competing interests.”
It is towards my opinion not excluded that the authors have failed to disclose their religious / ideological beliefs to the readers of their manuscript.
Over and over again evolutionary biology is misused for ideological networking, and of course this book serves as a perfect example. Which is no surprise at all, because Germany reaches world records in ultra-stupid pseudoscientific literature, especially in the field of evolution. Here, the many works of Schnullrich Lutschera claim to describe present life through an evolutionary biologist´s eyes, so let´s have a short look how this completes Stoverock´s „scientific“ insights. According to Schnullrich, german (or west european, or all) women not only react tolerant when meeting different looking=alien men, no, they even have sex and children with them. This female choice includes poor refugee losers, which means that the gene pool will change drastically the more alien men „invade“ germany/western countries. But wait, many women just want sex, but no children, which also is extremely disturbing for Schnullrich. Because, if you take this two dark sides of female behaviour together, women are responsible for the „voluntary genetic suicide of the german population“. This citation is not from 2015/16, no, it is from Schnullrich’s early masterpiece „Streitpunkt Evolution“, written in 2004. Around this time, a bunch of german academic dunderheads was strongly engaged in supporting Schnullrich’s view of being the most important and of course most brillant evolutionary biologist in Germany (if you want to laugh about them, see preview of https://www.epubli.de/shop/buch/Kutscherania-oder-Naturformen-der-Schreib-Kunst-Ernst-Darwin-Wallace-9783745049992/62730). It took them more than ten years to realize that they should better look for another hero: so contact the „AG Evolutionsbiologie“ and warmly recommend Meike Stoverock, they will absolutely love her.
Oh no, I tried to avoid mentioning Ulrich Kutschera… Did he join the AfD yet or are they not far-right enough for him?
As far as I know, he didn’t join them so far… because in general, Schnullrich looks down upon people who are, in his words, “evolutionary analphabets”. You have to read all his books, in order to understand his highly rational world view which is based on top modern biological research.
Remember Björn Höcke talking about K- and R-reproduction strategies of europeans and africans? That was, I guess, a desperate try to gain Schnullrich’s respect. If the AfD as whole would follow Höcke’s example, this very likely could create the appropriate intellectual environment for such a rare species as represented by the incredible Schnullrich.
Female choice = alpha male f*cks, beta male bucks, omega male ducks (the bullets). No, this should not be codified. Civilization would not last long on this model.
Didn’t read the book, but what a fascist piece of pseudoscience it seems. This women has concerning views and it seems the publisber sent it to you, to have a great laugh of how a website entitled for better science would rip this book apart. But the adjective “fascist” hasnt been used. In a world in which men are divided of desirable and undesirable (aka untermensch), of which they are incapable of loving their offspring, there is no other word which describes this author best. Instead of saying, “yes well patriarchy is a problem”, I think we are dealing with a fascist female incel here.
as I said on Twitter, I thank you for your detailed analysis, the sharp yet respectful criticism, and the valuable additions.
I’d like to address some of your points.
First, you seem to have treated my book like some kind of scientific work, a paper of sorts. But of course, it isn’t. This book is about principles, about basic evolutionary patterns, the most abundant rule if you wish. Rules, however, always come with exceptions. Even though it’s important to not forget that, it’s not neccessary to elaborate the exceptions to explain the rule. Female choice is THE predominant mating system in the animal and partly even in the plant kingdom. The exceptions change nothing about that statement.
The distribution of sex opportunities. Again, thank you for your corrections, but the pareto principle is just that: a principle. Actual numbers can vary, as I mentioned in the book, they can be 90:10 or 60:40. One important characteristic of female choice is, that a fairly big amount of mainly young males go without sex/offspring. These young males are the problem, even though they might “end up having sex galore in their old days”. I’m convinced that in a society like ours a portion frustrated, aggressive males who decide to act together as small as 30% would be sufficient to make everything come down.
You are right that I maybe didn’t stress enough that there’s hope for these men when they become older. In addition, in many species there are not only alphas and the huge undesired rest, but classes in between, the sub-dominant males, which can have more sex/offspring than the undesired rest, so yes, there’s hope for men to fall into that intermediate category.
But since lower-ranking male’s hopes are something that keeps this male civilisation running like nothing else, I found it more important to first smash false hopes before giving grounded hopes.
This civilisation is constantly telling men lies about their chance of material and sexual success and these lies lead to highly toxic self-understanding and behaviour that’s a threat to the men themselves, but more important: to others. I think men need to understand that to question this wretched system. This seems like a cruel act, but I rather refer to it as cleaning a wound. It hurts, it’s gross, but it’s absolutely neccessary to let the flesh heal.
Again, thanks for your effort, and calling my book a manifesto. I’ll write that into my vita. 🙂
many thanks for your comments here.
I did not take issue with the female choice, which I agree is the rule for most species. I took issue with the assumption that a majority of mature males never has sex. Hence my explanation that they may have to survive long enough to get a chance, and even if their sexual activities never lead to progeny or its survival into adulthood, they still have sex. Hence also the examples of monogynous species, especially birds.
But of course human society is a different issue, here nearly all males survive into adulthood.
The point I wished you would have discussed is how women could solve the need for sociality and childcare in the absence of either a family tribe (not possible in modern society) nor a husband (cancelled due to Female Choice). AFAIK, being a single parent is not something women (or men) enjoy.
If you discuss how “undesired” men are to live their lives under Female Choice, you should also suggest something for women. I tried figuring it out, it didn’t really work, but maybe as a man I am missing something.
Because if you can’t offer anything practicable, these women will find a way. They will marry one of these less desirable men. And have children with them even.
PS: obviously we speak only of het-women here.
The question how women can actually live female choice in a benefitial way will be the topic of my next book. 🙂
Hmmmm…if one wants to argue that there is a male hierarchy of sexual attractiveness, this should go to females as well. In a female choice model, I would predict that the top women would find satisfying relationships with alpha males, so they would be happy. The women in the middle of the sexual attractiveness hierarchy are part of alpha male harems or unhappily dating beta males, so they are unhappy. The the bottom females get nothing…they wont date omega males, so they are unhappy.
I don’t think that there is a correlation with procreation with the species and happiness of females. And I think that a female choice model, which may suit procreation of the species, would lead most women to be unhappy.
Fortunately, if the female choice model was applied, I would presume technology would produce Brad Pitt and Angeline Jolie sex bots as a kind of “soma” (ref: Brave New World) for the sexually unattractive masses. Phew! Boinking a bot until I drop dead. Nice.
A complementary argument is made here,I think you will find it of interest. It is also written by a woman.
Your book is interesting because you are one of the first women that seem to be aware of all these social dynamics. You are also a German, when these things are more discussed in the Anglosphere.
Most men who raise these concerns are usually quickly shut down as incel or whacky.
Meike looks awfully Aryan by the way (no surprise, this isnt the first german language book dividing people into uber and untermenschen). If we talk about applying pseudo-science/biology to humans, I wonder what their view is on “race”……..
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Mustafa, for you everyone is a racist. Except yourself of course.
If you divide people into desirables and undesirables we’re heading to fascist ideologt. Facism and racism are very good friends, especially if you add a mixture of pseudo-science and pseudo-evalutionary-biology to it. These were 19th century scientists measuring skulls of “less-evolved” people, this was Hitler dividing people into uber and untermenschen, and these are Emile Kirkgaards (or how you spell the guys name) linking skin colour to intelligence. Now we have new group to add fascist feminists thinking that we can divide men (not women mind you) into desirables and undesirables, incapable of loving their offspring. Wanna-be liberals might see truth in these ideas, but this is facism pur sang. Cheers Mr. “for better science”, she might see you as undesirable, be careful she won’t snip your balls when you meet when talking about the evils of male patriarchy, she might deem you to be undesirable.
And yes, “coloured” people like me are most of the time not racist, like it is safe to assume you are not anti-semitic being an Ukranian Jew. You just hinting I might be racist, while you know I am named Mustafa, is offensive and regretable, especially as you present yourself as this open-minded anti-racist. But you are creating a strawman here. I am allergic to facists applying pseudo-science to dividing humans into desirables/undesirables. I hate nazis, I hate racists, I hate fascists, I hate toxic masculinity. Yes we have a problem with patriarchy, I agree. Huge one. Toxic masculinity is a fact. However, overly political correct people take these gutter-scientists serious, which creates a dangerous field, creating new forms of extremism and intolerance.
You just declared that your “race” or religion or whatever is superior because you are not racists.
I won’t allow any more comments from you, because you now started to deny the racially-motivated wars and ethnic violence committed by Muslims on other Muslims.
Barack Hussein and Ayaan Hirsi, what do both people have in common? They have Muslim names but aren’t Muslim. This is the second time I see you jump to conclusions purely based on someone’s name. If you knew a tiny bit about racism, is that it is not so much based on people racial biases (we all of them), but on power inequality (and white men are on top of this). Hence a colored racist is just as rare (and silly) as an antisemitic Jew. Muslims arent a race. So there is no such thing as Muslim ethnic violence. Muslims may commit ethnic violence though. But its fine. After spotting you having anti-Chinese sentiments and now discussing facist feminism, I think this aint the site for me. You are not our friend, so dont act so “angry” when people are obviously racist. Go ahead and censor colored people, you aint the first white man doing it.
My apologies. I dont think you are a racist, and I lashed out unreasonably with the “white man censoring me” comment and “anti-chinese tendencies”. Ill leave your website and comment section, as this comment was not appropriate. Good luck with your blog. Just truly dislike books discussing desiriables and undesiriables in society.
Shove your apology up your bum and don’t ever comment on my site again. You showed your true colours now.
Control of female sexuality is way more complex than patriarchy. One problem with only having patriarchy as the ONLY explanation for sexual opression, is that there has historically been a high infant mortality in self-sufficient agrarian societies. A self-sufficient agrarian society needs a big work-force to handle relatively short periods of very labour intense harvests and sowing.
But if most of the children die as infants this workforce can not be established and the whole family unit will die of starvation. So in this society there are indeed huge pressures on women to give birth to many many children so that at least some of these children survive and will be able to work the fields in the future. This is still true in some countries.
So let’s remove patriarchy from the equation: in this society it probably just will mean that the many children from the same woman could have different fathers without societal problems. But it would still involve social cohesion and opression to control the female so she does not elope on adventures or chose to NOT to have many children in some way.
“Folks, advise me on new science books to read. Edgy stuff, no pop scicomm celebrating geniuses.”
A thorough book review of https://www.amazon.de/Darwin-Revisited-understand-biology-century/dp/6202315113 is highly appreciated.
Pieter Borger is a Dutch biologist with a MSc in biology from RUG, the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. Pieter Borger got in 1998 a PhD at RUG/ UMCG (“Regulation of T cell cytokine gene expression. Studies in healthy and asthmatic subjects”, http://hdl.handle.net/11370/ec2fa6c8-4313-48bd-9acf-7ba8e36c07ef ).
Thorough book reviews of an earlier science book by Pieter Borger (“Terug naar de oorsprong. Of hoe de nieuwe biologie het tijdperk van Darwin beëindigt. Peter Borger. Uitg. De Oude Wereld/Johannes Multimedia, Amerongen 2009. 326 blz. € 19,95”) are posted at http://www.deatheist.nl/index.php/artikelen/312-de-wetenschappelijke-dwaalwegen-van-een-creationistisch-bioloog (in Dutch, author Bart Klink https://twitter.com/klinkbart ) and at http://www.sterrenstof.info/recensie-terug-naar-de-oorsprong/ (in Dutch, author René Fransen https://twitter.com/fransen_r ). The book review by René Fransen was originally published in the christian newspaper Nederlands Dagblad https://www.nd.nl/ Both urls with these book reviews contain lengthy rebuttals by Pieter Borger.
Pieter Borger is nowadays also known as lead author of the infamous Corman-Drosten review report, see http://www.integralworld.net/visser198.html and https://www.ag-evolutionsbiologie.net/html/2021/drosten-pcr-borger-corona-kreationismus.html for some backgrounds.
Very entertaining post here, and certainly very thought-provoking. Thanks for writing it.
I do agree with the author on the point that the sexual-marketplace is in fact rough for most men today. To get concrete evidence that this is happening, all you have to do is look at apps like Tinder and the literature surrounding it to see that most men are getting very little results because most women are only swiping right on the top 20% of male profiles, while the bottom 80% get the scraps. If you happen to be in the top 20% (or even better, top 5%), you are essentially inundated with options on these apps.
However, the notion that there could be a committee that could identify these bottom 80% of men at birth is completely ridiculous. The burden of performance in this world is on men, as opposed to women, who are just born desirable and hit their sexual prime in their early 20’s, a man can work to climb the sexual ladder and achieve his sexual prime much later in life.
Below are some of the things a man can do to climb the sexual hierarchy and increase his sexual options:
1.) Get fit. If you are sitting at 30% body fat with a beer gut and complaining about how women do not find you desirable, it is a product of your own laziness. Clean up your diet, eat at a caloric deficit, hit the gym, and in ~6 months you can get that optimal 8-12% body fat level for a man to really look his best in person and in photos. Eating high protein and building muscle also helps. In the globalized sexual marketplace today, there is zero excuse for a man to be out of shape.
2.) Style. Brush your teeth, buy good clothes/accessories, get a haircut. Again, no excuses here.
3.) Career, finances, status. Earning a high income helps as some women are looking for providers. There are entire websites where most of the users are women trying to find sugar daddies.
Similarly, if you get good at something, there are always groupies for any hobby. Chase excellence in your pursuits.
4.) Lead generation and game. Sex is sales. The more leads you have, the more likely it is you will find women that are willing to go through the mating dance with you. A man can find women through online apps, happy hours, social meets, and even cold approach outside on the street on the way to the grocery store (trust me it works).
Further, when I say “game”, I mean how to talk to women and lead them through the courtship. Know how to lead and escalate. It comes with experience and through coaching. Men that don’t know or don’t bother to learn this end up sexless and frustrated, but this is learned behavior that can be modified later in life.
I hope with this comment I have thoroughly demolished the hilarious concept of ‘incel committees’
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Damn Karl, you have high standards. A man will have to work hard to get you in bed.
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You have to do the work. It involves leaving your postdoc as quickly as possible.
I am not married to a postdoc, and we all are currently laughing at you.
Post-doc = low status = no sex. Indeed; no wonder there is so much fraud to get out of this position. IMO, real men are post-docs for life, don’t cheat, and ignore the silly requirements of women for status.
@Leonid, no one is laughing. KarlVonMox, the parasitic mind infection displayed as laughter is no laughing matter. We should feel sorry for those whose brains have been parasitized by infectious pseudo scientific ideas. They should be treated with compassion-.
Are you serious? That’s your response to someone not submitting to the self-defeating ideology described in this fascist book?
Recall that Issac Newton, arguably the most important scientist that ever lived, was likely an incel. Its unlikely, however, he judged his own life with the number of women he boinked. ..he was probably well beyond that. If you want wallow in “lower pleasures” (JS Mill), well, have fun.
First, I like most of what you’re doing.
Second, in my opinion, you are way to kind with the author considering what you wrote here.
I don’t read German so, of course, I didn’t read the book and I’m judging by what you wrote here.
About “all nomadic societies with the one common thing”, there is an entire fraction of humanity that most people never think about when making such generalization: Indigenous Australians.
As far as we know, they have been almost completely isolated from the rest of the world from the first settlements (65 000 years ago) to just few hundred years ago.
I’m going to generalize: they have many different tribes/cultures.
That said, they have marriage (while they can divorce), they are mostly nomadic (or semi-nomadic), but there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that women were choosing “a new partner for each round of procreation”.
This is evidence from a place as large as a continent with something like a million people that lived culturally isolated from the rest of the world for literally ten of thousands of years.
And this isolation started before extensive agriculture started.
By the way, if most people living there were the result of a society where most children were the offspring of only 20% of the men of each generation, I’m guessing that something we could see in the genes.
Plus, as far as I know, it is the same regarding native Americans for the semi-nomadic/nomadic ones not using extensively agriculture, while they could have been in contact with non nomadic cultures.
Plus: they all had religious beliefs (in relation to “To further control both men and women, religion was invented to sanction human sexuality”).
Regarding the part about reforming the society…
Simple analogy: it is a biological fact that generally, men are stronger and taller than women.
Why not built a society along those lines?
Oh wait… that’s mostly what we did, and most women are complaining about that. What a surprise!
My point being: even if the argument about mating, marriage, etc is true (and in my opinion: it is mostly not, except for the ), why anyone would want to build a society along these lines?
My main issue in this “new society”: you are not only forbidden to do some things (do not really matter what), you can’t even aspire to do them!
I don’t see the difference between this “new society” and one that would constrain black people/women/jews/disabled/anyone to aspire to do something for “biological reasons” and all the other societies that do/did exactly the same thing often based on similar biological arguments.
Of course, I assume that the author would answer: “Yes, but this time, the argument is true!”
Thank you very much for your comment! I did not know about the society structure of Australian Aborigines, very valid point indeed.
As i wrote, I felt the book started very well, despite the generalizations (something which I myself am often prone to), but soon started slipping into what can only be a hypothetical thought experiment. So I treated it as such.
I do think the concept of Female Choice is correct, throughout animal kingdom, I’m just not sure the author knows what women want. But as a man I must tread carefully here. We all probably agree women don’t want to be subjugated, controlled and deprived of all agency, which many societies sought to achieve via religion and law, but otherwise…
When talking about the “animal kingdom”, what exactly do we mean? There are far more invertebrate animal groups than vertebrates. In many of them (both!), there is only a short period of time for conception: first male coming around “wins”. Sometimes, the first male “coming around” had to scare/fight off others, but is this female “choice” at all – a female just waiting for the first male arriving?
I’m well aware that biologistic authors like Stoverock won’t worry: humans are vertebrates, so let’s look on vertebrate female choice. And if “first male/ first raper etc. wins” even in the majority of vertebrates (I’m not sure about this, but let’s suppose), their answer would be: humans are mammals, so let’s look on mammal female choice. And so on.
In the end, its naturalistic fallacy in any case, but hey, naturalistic feminism is right, simply because feminism is right. –What, Australian Aborigines don’t fit the scheme? Well, read Ernst Haeckel, the great evolutionary biologist, who already stated that Australian Aborigines (“Australneger”) are strange and clearly aberrant humans. They don’t count, of course!
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As a biologist I fully agree that ‘female choice’ is a basic component in human sex strategies. And it is clear that this has been suppressed in cultures with parent-arranged marriages etc. But in our part of the world, it has been free to work for at least a hundred years.
When it comes to monogamy, I do not agree with Stoverock. Besides Australian Aboriginals I can mention Inuit and Sami people, who ‘always’ have been predominantly monogamous.
I presented my interpretation of these human sex strategies in a chronicle in the leading Danish cultural newspaper Politiken on 5 December 2005, which I have here translated into English.
Enjoy reading it, and bear with me for any poor English.
Two genders, two life strategies
Men and women have vastly different sexual strategies, and it is in the field of tension between our biological programming and our rational intelligence that all politics and interpersonal relationships unfold.
by Hans Meltofte
In a gender debate that is becoming increasingly confrontative, I venture an eye and give a personal take on the fascinating diversity of human sexes. For decades, the debate has been dominated by people who, in my view as a biologist, have not understood much of why men and women function as they do. Biologists like me do not mean that all our behaviours are genetically fixed, but that we were born with an extremely well-developed set of programs, which initially enabled us to react appropriately in most situations – programs that have built in a very wide range of room for adaptations to the environment or culture in which we live. But environment and culture can just as little ‘invent’ aggression, jealousy, joy or the ability to experience beauty as they can ‘invent’ hunger and thirst. We are born with them, just as we are born with thousands and thousands of other programs. However, the environment and culture can promote or suppress aggression and many of the other characteristics – but only within certain limits. If one tries to force human behaviour beyond this framework, mental problems of the type that Freud spent most of his life investigating arise.
Men and women have vastly different sexual strategies. To understand these strategies, it is crucial to understand that our offspring are at least 15 years old to become independent – the longest in the animal world – and that we are social animals. Both sexes have a fundamental evolutionary ‘interest’ in ensuring the growth and survival of their offspring through these many years. Therefore, man is basically monogamous.
One of the crucial programs that works to keep us together for so long is that we mate many thousands of times over the course of a lifelong relationship. At least 99 out of 100 sexual intercourses are not about reproduction in a narrow sense but are a social behaviour that keeps the couple together. As is known to many animal species, females offer sex to keep a male engaged. The more often she does this, and the more she lives up to the male’s dreams, the less the risk of him sidestepping or finding someone else. Where sex is the carrot, jealousy is the whip to hold the couple together. For the same reason, the woman’s mating time is not limited to ovulation, but is permanent.
But we are not just monogamous. Both sexes have an evolutionary interest in making side steps. That men have it, most people can understand. In doing so, he spreads his genes to other men’s women and cheats himself to more offspring than he otherwise would have gotten. And that is what counts for the genes.
That women also have a great evolutionary interest in doing side steps has completely different explanations. First, it is easy-to-understand that by mating with more dominant males in the herd, they get the opportunity to secure their offspring some better genes than their own husband might be able to produce. But probably even more importantly they thereby build alliances with other males in the herd. Again, mating is a social behaviour that strengthen bonds between individuals. Everyone knows that if two people have had a sexual relation – and it has been successful – then the relationship between them will never be the same again. They have built a cohesion that often lasts for life. “Old love dies hard”, we say. That cohesion is important to the herd, and from the woman’s point of view, it is an insurance policy if her own husband dies or leaves her. That side steps potentially involve some of life’s worst conflicts is evidenced by most of all fiction, song, theatre and film – but we do it anyway!
It is completely different with the women’s willingness to mate before they are in an established relationship. I do not know how many women are aware of it, but young men masturbate most often once a day – and often both two and three times. They have a huge libido that needs to be fulfilled. It is not for nothing that young men commit far more car accidents and more crime than other people. They most often cannot get the amount of sex that they aspire to, because it is the girls who decide with whom and when to copulate. No equality here! Where most boys are willing to copulate with almost any girl, the girls are much more selective. They hang on to the offspring for at least 15 years, and they must ensure the best possible genes for the relatively few children that they can manage to raise.
There is a funny detail about this difference between the sexes, which is illustrated by the prominent promiscuity that exists in certain gay environments. Here, both parties have male sexuality, which makes them both interested in sex as often as possible. Here heterosexuals have to cope with ‘a good friend in hand’ and maybe a good porn movie. Or you can with a few hundred EURO buy your way over the female barrier with a prostitute. Relatively few do, but this option is deeply fascinating to many men, and it is part of many thousands of times more sexual fantasies than it is performed.
For both sexes, there is also great prestige associated with having slept with the most coveted of the opposite sex. For some men, this gives itself the unpleasant expression that they speak condescendingly about many of the ‘willing’ women who are in fact fulfilling their hefty dreams. There is not much prestige in having sex with a girl who has also been in bed with many others. Again, sexual intercourse thus appears as a social function in the herd: They show something about our position.
For the same reason, many young girls parade the streets half-naked. They gain prestige in both sexes by being admired by other women and eaten with the eyes of the men. But do not think that you can get close to them. It’s all about “look, don’t touch.” They take it for granted that they can show off their thighs, breasts and abdomen without anyone crossing the line. And just notice that the more patriarchal societies are, the more men prevent this behaviour. They do not want ‘their’ women acquiring position in other men’s eyes.
Men gain position in several other ways. In addition to appearance, they can play on everything from financial ability to humour and intellectual capacity. The battle for (sexual) position takes place in countless ways.
Our unbelievably strong disposition for infatuation and love – along with raw sex drive – is the emotional programming that shall make all this work. Infatuation must draw the sexes so strongly to each other that they can break down the personal boundaries and the refusal that is otherwise against getting physically too close to another person. Just think about it: these boundaries are being broken down so effectively that we are willing – even aspiring – to lick ‘strangers’ in the strangest places!
Once the infatuation is fading, love emerges as the – ideally – long-lasting putty between the parties. The putty that the frequent intercourses must therefore support. This putty should be so strong that it can last until after the woman’s menopause. This ‘stumbling block’ in the woman’s life, which is to ensure that the children she already has growing up do not have deteriorating conditions due to the burden of the mother or competition from later born children, who still have little chance of becoming independent, before the woman is too old 15 years later. The woman’s menopause is not about her becoming old and worthless, it is about optimizing her reproduction. Another stroke of genius from the hand of nature.
Just as humans can adapt to living from the Kalahari Desert to North Greenland, so can we sexually and socially adapt to living in everything from harems to matriarchs. But the closer we get to the limits of our biological flexibility, the more oppression is needed, such as massive oppression of women in a harem system. And modern ‘rational’ million-citizen societies are so far from the small groups of hunters and gatherers that our thousands of genetic programs are developed in that we constantly push ourselves and our fellow human beings out to or beyond the limits of what we can thrive with.
One can go so far as to say that man is born with a very basic internal conflict. We are at the same time endowed with a perfect set of genetically determined reaction patterns and a highly developed intelligence that enables us to make more rational decisions than those dictated to us by our instincts. But our ‘nature’ is very strong, and it constantly gives rise to conflicts between the two driving forces. The paradox is that our biologically conditioned disposition for love, beauty, socializing, and good food gives us some of the most significant qualities of life. Without our basic biological heritage, life would be boring.
It is in this field of tension between our biological programming and our rational intelligence that all politics and interpersonal relationships unfold: How far can our intelligence, ethics, and morals control our biological programs without causing greater problems than that one wants to solve? We have trained ourselves unbelievably much – and fortunately so for that. Few of us murder, rape or beat women to name a few of our worst ‘animal’ traits, but it is difficult to keep these and other more or less culturally unacceptable behaviours at bay, which the media and everyday experiences testify. Perhaps it would be easier to deal with many of these behaviours if we were willing to recognize them as part of our innate register, which we struggle to adapt to or manage in the most appropriate way – depending on their nature. This applies not least to our very different sexual strategies.
Insight into these strategies is an enrichment for anyone interested in human diversity of behavioural patterns, and it is a help in everyday life for all of us as we try to interpret the behaviour of our fellow human beings. Not least, it would be a huge help to the many people who work professionally with human well-being and the functioning of society. The misfortune is simply that many of the people who could benefit most from this insight are dismissive of it and scornfully describe the insight as “biologism”. The point is that there is an abysmal gap of understanding between biologists and people with a background in the humanities, such as sociologists, anthropologists and psychologists.
I have only given a few examples of some more marked biological programming in humans, and I or other biologists have no desire to claim to answer how we should arrange legislation or morality. There is no fact list for how society should be organized. But there is also no doubt that societally induced sexual frustrations and other maladaptation between our biology and the design of society constitute a very significant cause of much of the dissatisfaction and lots of the accidents and crimes that we see in everyday life. And I am convinced that interdisciplinary research between humanists and biologists could provide greatly increased insight into the function and well-being of people and society. It is taking place to a modest extent already, but there is an infinitely long way to go before the two professional groups find common ground.
First of all, thank you for a thorough book review. I personally lost the thread a bit during the part on animal mating behaviours. But you managed to stitch it together just fine at the end.
For a good overview of the history of human family forming, I’d recommend the interested reader to dust off “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State” by Friedrich Engels. Not too much sex, as promised by Stoverock’s book, but a solid foundation to understand how we ended up where we are today (by extrapolating 1891-2021).
Please note that this doesn’t work because the Pareto principle is not constant over time! A man who is alpha in his twenties can become beta in his thirties and viceversa! The same way, woman who has dozens of pursues can be thrown away in her 40s. Also, a successful man who has many women will go bankrupt, he will lose time and money while single men will gain energy and go up in the sexual market ladder! This percentage 20% holds in ANY moment of a man’s life, and given that men keep dating and having serious relationships even in their 50s, in the end if we sum up the probability that a man makes children in his life it’s much higher than 20%. I would say it reaches 60%.
Anyways, she doesn’t clarify the following things:
– How would she label some men as “beta” without violating any constitution? Would she put a David star on them maybe? And she is so delusional that she doesn’t except a revolution to happen in response.
– How would she force these “betas” to grow her children?
– Does she really except these “betas” to keep working, being the most useful people in the society employed in IT and management, while getting rewarded by being given a David star, being called “betas” and being forced to grow somebody else’s children? I think that the productivity of a country would collapse, it would be a new form of communism and many “betas” would emigrate. The most useful part of any country wouldn’t accept to be virtually forced into her delusional internment camp, and any country with a similar legislation would fail.
Lately I would like to say that her book is 100% hate speech, I invite anybody to boycott her and her books if you value your liberty.