Being Right


Once, having drinks, I got into a somewhat animated conversation with a friend over a statement I casually threw out: that, contrary to popular belief, women actually initiate the mating process. They make the first move. Subtly, either by non-verbal actions or gesture or even more subtly by pheromones, a woman signals interest first, leaving it up to the man to make the actual approach. For some reason, it set my friend off, with her going on an extended rant about “social constructs” and the “patriarchy.”

Now this recollection is made because it illustrates today’s problem when talking about social policy issues: the emotional refusal to consider opposing views, even concrete scientific information, for the sake of political correctness and feelings. Take for example discussions surrounding that of female “hypergamy.”

Hypergamy, so says psychologists — including Jordan Peterson — is the inclination of women to “date across or up.” That women prefer dating men that are at least their equal or have more in terms of income, status, or looks.

In evolutionary terms, this makes impeccable sense: a woman will seek a mate that ensures her survival, provides the best possible genes for her offspring, and won’t abandon her while she takes care of her children. Income, status, and education are essentially evidence of intelligence, perseverance, and overall good health, including the psychological ability to commit.

This necessity was more apparent in really primitive days when humans had to hunt to survive, all the way up to a bigger part of the last century when women were not allowed access to education or work.

However, in these quite supposedly egalitarian times, when there are more educated, working, and independent women than at any time in history, hypergamy should not be a thing, right? Wrong. As psychologists and sociologists are finding out, hypergamy is even more deeply embedded in women than ever before.

As per “Whither hypergamy” (Institute for Family Studies, Jan. 29, 2020): “Hypergamy turns out to be a stubborn thing. It seems that the highly credentialed alpha female still prefers a mate above her pay grade. In one of the most widely cited papers on the subject, demographer Yue Qian compared couples in the 1980 Census and in 2012 American Community Survey. She found that during the intervening decades, though wives became more likely to marry down in terms of educational achievement, ‘the tendency for women to marry men with higher incomes than themselves persisted.’ In fact, women with the same or more education than their husbands were more likely to marry up.”

Even in Sweden, whose “commitment to gender egalitarianism is close to a state religion,” the results of a study conducted there “published in the December 2019 issue of The European Sociological Review, confirms Qian’s findings.” Thus, when it comes “to income, hypergamy re-asserted itself. In every union type, including those with a more educated female partner, ‘men are the most likely to be the main earners’.” Which leads to this conclusion: “women appear to have an especially strong preference for men who out-earn them. If the Swedes are any indication, couples are blase’ about gender equality, but not about hypergamy.”

What’s the point of all this? Because hypergamy, despite its obvious significance in understanding human relations, is set aside and completely ignored to appease feminist ideology and political correctness. And yet, years and years of that same feminist, liberal progressive indoctrination in the academe and media, as well as indulgences with online gaming and porn, are clearly taking their toll: more and more men are dropping out of universities and the workforce.

In the US, for example, the number of working men age 25 to 54 dropped from 96% in 1970 to around 88% in 2021, with non-college educated men working even fewer at 84%. Also, “American colleges and universities now enroll roughly six women for every four men. This is the largest female-male gender gap in the history of higher education, and it’s getting wider. Last year, US colleges enrolled 1.5 million fewer students than five years ago, The Wall Street Journal recently reported. Men accounted for more than 70% of the decline.”

Considering female hypergamy, the foregoing obviously does not bode well for the mating prospects of substantially many, if not most, men. The result? Official figures for England and Wales reported a record 50.1% of women being childless by the age of 30. This is the first time ever that there are more childless 30-year-old women than mothers since records were kept in 1920.

Add the fact that social media has given women even greater options, if only illusory, to date “across or up” at the global scale. This, ironically, however permitted a smaller number of men to corner the sexual market, the number of available women enabling such men access to casual sex and irresponsible behavior, depriving a substantial number of women the benefits of a committed relationship, and leaving an even greater number of men feeling sexually inadequate, frustrated, and alone.

The negative consequences for society are quite apparent: more broken families, more dysfunctional relationships, more depressed and mentally unhealthy people, less productivity, less social stability. Some experts, culling data from the United Nations and the Pew Research Center, are predicting a possible “baby bust” or even zero population growth by 2100. Or worse: a population collapse.

The lesson here is that when discussing issues of paramount societal importance, particularly about marriage and the family, including discussions about contraception, divorce, and same sex marriage, it is best to keep a level head and focus on scientific data, logical experience, and reality. A wise man once said: “facts don’t care about your feelings.”

Oh, and by the way, I was right: as Psychology Today puts it (“The Many Subtle Ways Women Signal Romantic Interest,” Oct. 26, 2017), “research shows that it is women who typically signal whether a man can make an approach in the first place — initiating the entire [mating] process.”


Jemy Gatdula is a senior fellow of the Philippine Council for Foreign Relations and a Philippine Judicial Academy law lecturer for constitutional philosophy and jurisprudence