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Why STEM Majors Are Unhappy in the Sexual Marketplace

There’s been a lot of discussion here about women not going for guys in the STEM fields: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It’s pretty much accepted as a given – certainly the personal testimony of guys in the comment threads would support this claim. The general perception is that in college, guys who major in the STEM disciplines are a completely different population than guys who play sports, or join frats, or engage in other activities that appear to make them catnip for college women, e.g. playing in a non-marching band.

xkcd (Hat tip: Wookie)

I confess to partiality in this area. I have always appreciated highly intelligent men, and many of the smartest guys reside in these majors. My father was a chemist who went on to have a very successful sales career. My brother, a physicist, has always done well with women. My favorite childhood toy was a chemistry set. I didn’t grow up thinking scientists were nerds, and I still don’t. Yet guys in these fields, especially Engineering – feel frustrated and disappointed as they watch attractive women rush forward to subject themselves to demeaning treatment by dumb jocks. Who can blame them? Why do STEM guys feel like second-class citizens with women?

Several theories have been floated here about why STEM guys are marginalized:

  • They’re nerdy, and women don’t like nerds.
  • They’re so intelligent that they lack the ability to relate to “normal” people, or are on the autism spectrum, e.g. Asperger’s.
  • They’re in careers that require less interaction with people, and women like men who have influence over others.
  • They’re introverted – their personality traits don’t lend themselves to being socially adventurous.
  • They’re outnumbered – they have less exposure to college women by virtue of being in a male-dominated major.
  • They tend to be the “nice guys” rather than the thugs, which make them unappealing to women.
  • They’re rule followers – they don’t tend to break out of the pack in any way to achieve greatness.

In the interest of gaining a better understanding of this problem, I’ve explored these perceptions. My research has been cursory rather than comprehensive, but I did learn some things that I found interesting and perhaps worth discussing.

Cultural Representations of STEM Professionals

The nerd stereotype was comedic fodder back in the 60s. Fred McMurray played The Absent Minded Professor in ’61, and in ’63, Jerry Lewis’ portrayal of the Nutty Professor cemented a stereotype often featured in films since. Rick Moranis in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Clint Howard in the Austin Powers movies, Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future, all play to stereotype.

In a project funded by the National Science Project to recruit women to STEM careers, the cultural issue was addressed:

“One off-shoot of the research on the effects of occupational and sex-role stereotypes is the role of the media in presenting and perpetuating them. Media representations are not only a reflection of social norms but also reinforce them. Steinke et al. (2006) found that the largest percentage (40%) of the 304 middle school science students in their study derived their ideas about what a scientist looks like from television and films.

The personalities of those who go into STEM fields are also stereotyped. For example, a 2006 Dilbert calendar portrayed engineers as dull, boring, and lacking in social graces. Steinke et al. (2006) report on a 1957 study in which “students described scientists as neglectful toward their wives, children and friends (Mean & Metraux, 1957)” (p. 3). Smith (2000) mentions two more recent studies illustrating that this image of STEM professionals as cold and non-nurturing has not changed. Steinke et al. (2006) conducted their own study on the image of scientists with three 7th grade science classes in the Midwestern U.S. Two of the classes received media literacy interventions, and the third did not. One day after the intervention, when students in all three classes were asked to draw scientists, the largest percentage of drawings included stereotyped elements such as male gender, wearing glasses and a lab coat, having “crazy hair,” and working in a laboratory (Steinke et al., 2006, p. 8). The authors conclude that the media literacy interventions did not work.”

Personality Traits of STEM Professionals

My hypothesis as I began investigating this aspect was that STEM men tend to be highly introverted, but that stereotype did not hold up.

I. Meyers-Briggs Results

Seven of the sixteen Myers-Briggs personality types lend themselves nicely to STEM careers:

Guardians

Inspector: ISTJ - Medical doctor, computer programmer, systems analyst, computer specialist, accountant and engineer and other technicians.

Artisans

Craftsman: ISTP - Forensic pathologist, computer programmer, system analyst, computer specialist, engineers, technicians.

Rationals

Mastermind: INTJ - Scientist, engineer, professor, medical doctor, dentist, computer programmer, systems analyst, computer specialist, life scientists and physicists.

Field Marshall: ENTJ - Computer consultant, systems researchers and analysts.

Architect: INTP - Scientist (especially Physics and Chemical scientists), mathematician, computer programmers, systems analyst, computer specialist, technical writer, engineer, forensic research.

Inventor: ENTP - Computer programmer, computer specialist, computer systems analysts, scientist, engineer.

Idealists

Champion: ENFP - Computer programmer, systems analyst, computer specialist, scientist, and engineer.

II. The Typical Mechanical Engineer

One study (Personnel Psychology, 2006) of the personality of the Mechanical Engineer made the following observations:

(1) Mechanical engineers are emotionally stable. They ordinarily make compatible marriages, maintain comfortable human relations, and are usually free of neurotic and psychosomatic symptoms.

(2) Interpersonal relations are harmonious but casual. Impersonality is one of their more common traits.

(3) An analytical interest in people is rare.

(4) They avoid introspection and self-examination. Insight is often shallow. This lack of self-understanding makes them less perceptive of social nuances and relatively insensitive to the less obvious needs of others.

(5) Engineers are straightforward, direct, and self-sufficient.

(6) They are inclined to be matter-of-fact.

7) Engineers are energetic. When faced with problems, they are advocates of the direct action approach. Polite diplomacy and oblique conciliatory tactics are foreign to their nature.

(8) Most of them are goal-oriented, serious-minded, and conscientious.

(9) They like phenomena to be definitely structured; there is a fundamental aversion to ambiguity. This fondness for structure and order may underline their essentially authoritarian approach.

(10) Engineers have definitely masculine traits and interests.

(11) Social participation is normal in amount. The explanation is more a matter of conventionality and social conformity than any profound interest in people. It is not true that engineers are usually introverts. What sometimes makes them appear so is their characteristic impersonality.

Gender Imbalance in STEM Careers

Men outnumber women (73% vs. 27% overall) in all sectors of employment for science and engineering. However, the number of women in certain fields has risen significantly. Women now outnumber men in Biology and Chemistry. They are well represented in Math. While there has been some growth in Physics, Computer Science and Engineering, those fields are still 80% male.


The masculine communication style male engineers prefer is hardly surprising, but is very different from female approaches to communication. Another study looking at the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields found one important reason women opt out of these careers (Psychological Science, 2010):

“We argue that one important reason for this discrepancy is that STEM careers are perceived as less likely than careers in other fields to fulfill communal goals (e.g., working with or helping other people). Such perceptions might disproportionately affect women’s career decisions, because women tend to endorse communal goals more than men. As predicted, we found that STEM careers, relative to other careers, were perceived to impede communal goals. Moreover, communal-goal endorsement negatively predicted interest in STEM careers, even when controlling for past experience and self-efficacy in science and mathematics.”

The NSF project affirms that women prefer to work collaboratively, and perceive that STEM careers tend to be more competitive:

“The difference theory of gender assumes that women prefer to work cooperatively or collaboratively rather than competitively (Goodwin, 2006; Smith, 2000). Sanders (2005) mentions a study conducted in England in which female children did computer tasks collaboratively, regardless of the instructions they were given. Eccles (1987) cites several studies showing that “girls have more positive attitudes toward math in classrooms characterized by low levels of competition among the students, high levels of cooperative learning or individualistic learning structure, and high levels of teacher communication of both the intrinsic value of math and the link between math and various interesting occupations.

In a study of female academic chemists, Fassinger et al. (2004) found that participants “rejected an achievement approach based on besting others and winning external accolades.” Rather, participants favored “task mastery and performance excellence, leadership of others, and internal standards of judging one’s success,” and secondarily, by taking charge in leadership positions. Finally, Smith (2000) says that women are more concerned than men with the social dimensions of activities. This idea is supported by a study reported by Dyer (2004). Briefly, the study found that in mixed sex engineering teams, the men became more task-focused while the women became both task-focused and group-oriented.”

College Experience of STEM Majors

The admission requirements for most engineering programs are extremely rigorous – more rigorous than for Arts and Sciences. Most universities that have an engineering program have a separate admissions process for engineering. Commonly, there is a high dropout rate from engineering after the first year, and most schools allow engineering majors to transfer easily to Arts and Sciences. On the other hand, it is quite difficult to transfer from A&S to Engineering, requiring another application.

Things don’t get any easier with matriculation. STEM Majors have extremely rigorous coursework as well, with frequent tests. Whether Engineering, Pre-Med, other Science or Math, these students must budget their time carefully. They are not the most likely students to attend tailgates, parties, etc. They are often the kids who have staked out favorite spots in the library. During finals in some schools, STEM majors pull all nighters in the library, sleeping in their chairs and bringing along a toothbrush and clean shirt. There is no STEM major where one can BS one’s way through a course, and the grading tends to be objective, not rewarding kids for being attractive, well spoken, etc.

As mentioned above, the gender ratio in Engineering schools is 80/20, so male students have limited opportunities for interacting with women, regardless of their level of interest.

It should be noted that career prospects for STEM majors are extremely strong. As the value of a liberal arts education continues to decline in monetary terms, STEM majors are well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities in an increasingly service/technology driven economy. Both the health care and finance industries will seek the expertise of STEM majors as reforms are implemented.

Implications and Further Questions

1. The STEM fields have a major PR problem. Children who are gifted in these subjects grow up understanding that there is nothing cool about what they do. They find companionship with one another, understanding early on that they are excluded from the typical popular kids. The rare Big Man on Campus who is a STEM major is popular despite being brainy.

2. There is considerable variation within the STEM disciplines. A Pre-med major may have little in common with an Electrical Engineering major.

3. Engineers may be social and extroverted, but also tend to be practical and not inclined toward pretense or social niceties. They are extremely straight shooters, and dislike uncertainty.  This makes them less well suited to casual hookups, which require a lot of BSing, pretending and generally smooth moves. Engineers are not actors, but players are. Going into a casual fling with a highly uncertain outcome is not the typical Engineering major’s preference. He is more suited to relationships than random hookups, though just like any other guy, he wouldn’t be likely to turn down an invitation for a one-night stand ;-)

4. Women have taken to the sciences with enthusiasm, but fewer choose technology or engineering. There is a strong (and perhaps accurate) perception that the work culture is extremely male. This is a real chicken or egg question – would communication practices and collaborative assignments be more prevalent if there were more women? Or is there something about the nature of Engineering that suits male nature particularly well?

5. STEM majors generally work their asses off in college. While the athletes take easy Geology (Rocks for Jocks) or easy Economics (Stocks for Jocks), STEM majors rack up many hours per week hitting the books and the lab. This naturally leads to a lower prioritization of social opportunities, perhaps reluctantly.

6. STEM guys don’t meet many women in class. At a university that has both Engineering and Arts and Sciences, there is at least some potential for overlap as guys fulfill humanities requirements. At engineering schools, however, it’s a four-year sausage fest. Guys have limited exposure and get limited practice hitting on interacting with women.

7. People entering STEM careers are well-positioned for future career growth. This is small comfort, I know, when a guy is 20 and horny as hell. Still, there may be some satisfaction in knowing that when the high school quarterback is at your 10th reunion looking bloated as he belts back another Heineken, you’ll be doing quite nicely for yourself, and your value in the sexual marketplace will have appreciated considerably.


I’ll close with a passage I happened to read last night in the book Family Tree by Carol Cadwalladr. It happens to closely resemble my own seduction by an Engineer turned MBA. I think it’s charming.

“Alistair was standing in the corner of the room. I noticed him because he seemed to be staring at me. I saw him take a swig of his wine and then he walked over.

“I could smell you from the other side of the room,” he said. I looked at him. I’d vaguely seen him around before but we had never actually met. He was doing some sort of science, I knew that. The party was full of them. Scientists. The type that got up early to cycle off to their labs.

“That’s not the greatest of lines,  you know.”

“It’s your pheromones. They’re saying that you want to have sex with me.”

I changed my mind. It was quite a good line.

“You must have mistranslated. They actually said, ‘Oh God. I can’t believe you’ve brought me to a party full of scientists.’”

He came closer, swaying slightly, and looked down my top.

“You’re ovulating.”

His face was only inches away and I could see his freckles, the pores of his skin, his eyelashes, the flashes of yellow in the pupils of his eyes.

“Your body is saying you want to have sex with me; it just hasn’t communicated that fact to your mind yet.”

Actually, it had. Alistair was tall, with rumpled sand-colored hair. When he smiled, his lips actually turned up at the corners. More importantly, he appeared to fancy me.

“Man is the only mammal who conceals ovulation, ” he said. He sounded so sure of himself. That was attractive too.

…”And I thought scientists were boring,” I said. “When actually they’re such good conversationalists.”

He’d laughed at that. Although he’d laughed even more when I’d told him I was doing Cultural Studies.

The funny thing was that he was right. I must have been ovulating. Otherwise how would I have got pregnant?

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  • Vincent Ignatius

    As an STEM guy who can switch between typically male and typically female  (to an extent) female modes of communication, I understand why the male form can be so annoying at certain times.  e.g. I’m telling a story and a male CS guy figures out the end and blurts it out, thanks for ruining the story asshole.  A girl would never do that, even if she figured out the ending.
     
    FWIW
    I’m an ENTJ and can’t wait to get the hell out of science.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Vincent
      I thought of you so much while writing this post! I’m an ENFJ – I wonder what the gender breakdown is between T and F. Well, one of the studies I linked to specifically said that STEM men can be weak on diplomacy. Of course, women can be incredibly tactful while having your absolutely worst interests at heart….

  • Dilithium

    Ah, and just when I was going to suggest a post on this subject!  For starters, this is the perfect opportunity to re-post a link to this famous essay, “Why Nerds Are Unpopular” by Paul Graham:
    .
    http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html
    .
    It’s well-written, though the main conclusion is not all that shocking. Graham identifies the main effect as the fact that nerds were people who spent their time in high school actually, you know, learning something, which means that they couldn’t devote all their time and energy to being attractive and popular:
    .
    The main reason nerds are unpopular is that they have other things to think about. Their attention is drawn to books or the natural world, not fashions and parties. They’re like someone trying to play soccer while balancing a glass of water on his head. Other players who can focus their whole attention on the game beat them effortlessly, and wonder why they seem so incapable.
    .
    I don’t completely agree with Graham, and think the subject is somewhat more complex.  But it’s a good read, especially for this thread.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Dilithium
      Ohhh, that is a good read.

      My stock gradually rose during high school. Puberty finally arrived; I became a decent soccer player; I started a scandalous underground newspaper.

      I remember so well those boys who went from nerd to lead in the school play overnight. Or kicker on the football team. Or primary soloist in the a capella group. Suddenly, they were seen in a whole new light. It was clear that they enjoyed their newfound popularity – and yet I always wondered if they weren’t wiser than nearly every other boy their age.
      .
      A very interesting essay, overall, I’ve not seen it before. One thing I felt reading it is how hard it is to be a smart girl growing up (although it was obviously written from a male perspective). You can imagine how any adolescent boy would always choose the girl who acted giggly and stupid. I spent most of junior high watching these scenarios play out. In the middle of my seventh grade year, my family moved from NY to LA. For some inexplicable reason, I was quickly adopted by the tan, blonde California girls – perhaps their funny sidekick? Anyway, they hung out with the cutest, most confident boys. At first I was one of the gang, but soon ran into trouble. I didn’t want to go to second (or third!) base behind the bleachers after school. They quickly decided I was no fun, and I was relegated to the ranks of the uncool once again, carrying my viola around campus and feeling like a general misfit. It’s not only boys that feel this way.

  • Dilithium

    On a more roundabout note, I’d also like to link to this poem by Billy Collins called “The History Teacher”:
    .
    http://www.billy-collins.com/2005/06/the_history_tea.html
    .
    I don’t know if it’s famous, but it’s one I always remember.  (It’s short, if that matters to you.)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Dilithium
      That is a beautiful poem, thanks for sharing it. One of my favorite poems of all time is The Lanyard by Billy Collins:

      http://www.billy-collins.com/2005/06/the_lanyard.html

      It’s almost a cliche now – trotted out for Mother’s Day every year, but I love it just the same.

  • J

    @Dilithium

    Great article.  As a former nerd and former high school teacher, I agree with many of his points.  I would add three things. 

    First, most people are primarily intersted in other people.  High IQ kids, especially the introverts who are more common among the high IQ kids than in the general population, like things and ideas more than most people do.  That makes them boring conversationalists to the more average kids.

    Also, to paraphrase Tolstoy, all popular kids are alike, but all nerds are individuals.  The popular kids can all discuss the same inconsequential crap with zest and knowledge, but each nerd has his or her favorite obscure topic that not even other nerds appreciate.  This is compounded by the nerd tendency to eschew the inconsequential crap.  It even plays out with adults.  Loads of people at the lunch table at work want to discuss Dancing with the Stars; no one but me wants to discuss Norma Lorre Goodrich’s theory that Lancelot was Scottish, not French.  There’s another nerd girl a the table, but she is obsessed with Leonard Bernstein.  We trade off humoring each other while everyone else makes faces.  Neither of us has ever seen DWTS.

    Finally, kids act like a wolf pack.  They will reject, persecuted and drive off any pup whose tail curls the wrong way.  I don’t really understand why they do it, but they will use the “power of the pack” as Cesar Millan calls it to bring outliers into line.  If the outlier won’t conform, things get ugly.  You gotta wonder if on some evolutionary level, outliers are dangerous to the pack.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @J
      As a fellow lover of the King Arthur legend, I wish I could have lunch with you. I had to crack up about a woman being obsessed with Leonard Bernstein. I have watched two reality shows – back when my kids were adolescents. First, we all watched Joe Millionaire together – the first of the stupid romance competitions. Despite the fact that all the characters were shallow and stupid, I got totally sucked into the drama and wound up yelling at the TV half the time. Second, that same year we all watched a season of American Idol. I got equally invested in matters that make absolutely no difference. The only good thing that came out of it was that it also cured my kids of the desire to watch these shows. A ton of commitment for zero payoff. They graduated to Lost after that.

  • J

    One thing I felt reading it is how hard it is to be a smart girl growing up (although it was obviously written from a male perspective). You can imagine how any adolescent boy would always choose the girl who acted giggly and stupid. …It’s not only boys that feel this way.

    Yeah, I hear that!  Minus the brief stint at popularity, your story echoes my experiences.  It wasn’t until college that I had more than a few, also nerdy friends.   My life was a lot better after the bottom half of  my high school class (and/or others like them)  disappeared from my notice.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      My life was a lot better after the bottom half of my high school class (and/or others like them) disappeared from my notice.

      That’s a good point. Smart kids go to college with other smart kids. It doesn’t mean the same dynamics don’t occur, but I do think they are mitigated somewhat. Athlone has talked about the culture at his Ivy being less extreme than at state schools other kids attend. Of course, having heard his stories, that’s really saying something.

  • J

    @SW

    One of my favorite poems of all time is The Lanyard by Billy Collins

    Great poem, but the truth is that kids can’t pay moms back; they can only pay it forward.

  • Matt T

    Being a nerd offers no social value to women thanks to social conditioning and the media, so men who fit that archetype are advised to decrease the salience of “nerdiness” as much as humanly possible. If you see a tattoed, jacked guy who happens to work at Intel, you will think of Situation before you think of Bill Gates. That’s the whole idea.
    This is why in the seduction community, men used to be advised to respond to a woman’s query of “what do you do” with amusing comebacks like “I’m a foot model”, “I repair cigarette lighters”, or the famous “I’m an ass model”.
    I mean, the seduction community is a group of socially maladroit nerds from Silicon Valley paying socially adept nerds like Mystery to teach them about social dynamics, so what do you expect? People quickly figured out that women have very negative reactions to you mentioning anything to do with science.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Matt T

      Being a nerd offers no social value to women thanks to social conditioning and the media, so men who fit that archetype are advised to decrease the salience of “nerdiness” as much as humanly possible

      Yes, the stereotype is a very negative one, and predominant in our culture.

      This is why in the seduction community, men used to be advised to respond to a woman’s query of “what do you do” with amusing comebacks like “I’m a foot model”, “I repair cigarette lighters”, or the famous “I’m an ass model”.

      I always run into trouble when I address the types of women these routines were designed to attract, but let’s just say that an intelligent relationship-oriented woman would scorn those lines. She might laugh, but she’d be thinking “loser”. A guy who can’t speak with pride about what he does for a living is a dead end for a woman seeking a relationship. Of course, eliciting that giggle from a hardened barfly might be just the ticket to a quick lay.

  • 108spirits

    Being a nerd offers no social value to women thanks to social conditioning and the media

    This is very true: it’s social conditioning. In another society, this may be very different. I spent the first 18 years of my life growing up in an Asian country and I was one of the most popular boys at school, even more so than the captain of the football team (I actually got the girl he fancied, lol, and she was doing the initial chasing), because I was the best at maths & physics. It’s what that society values most, and therefore school kids consider that high social value.
    It’s only after I migrated to a Western country that I realised how unpopular STEM guys are. I’m lucky I didn’t have that terrible social programming in me that beats down my confidence, and I didn’t have to live through the adolescent years as a “nerd”. In fact, I didn’t know that there are words like “nerds” or “geeks” for STEM blokes. Being good at maths in my fatherland just means you’re smart, and not that you’re a social retard.
    Personally I’m an ENTJ, whose passions are dancing, heavy lifting and contact sports, and am not really into stereotypical “nerd” stuff like scifi or comic books. I work in the IT industry and most of the girls I’ve met often say I look nothing like an IT guy. Didn’t know that we’re supposed to have a “look” – social conditioning at work.
    I wonder how much of STEM blokes’ typical behaviours as noted in your blog here is because society treats them that way.
    Anyway, for a typical STEM guy at uni / college, dating sucks. Not only there are so few girls in their course, those few girls either only date the few alpha STEM guys (if they exist) or date out of the STEM circle and go after the same guys that girls from other majors do on campus. My dating life during uni was pretty sad, like most guys in my engineering/science course. It’s only after I discovered Game that all is fine again.

  • Robson

    General question: why site with “hooking up” in title puts so much attention in people outside hooking up culture?
    STEM men <> nerds — true nerds are in minority even on CS. Some of non-nerdy types, whose social capabilities are normal or even above average, actually create impression like “Whoa, nerds are cool!”.
     

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Robson

      why site with “hooking up” in title puts so much attention in people outside hooking up culture?

      I view hookup culture as detrimental to both men and women. I am interested in exploring the ways that both men and women can achieve relationships in a culture that deemphasizes commitment. If there’s a large group of men who aren’t hooking up, but who are open to relationships, they need to be addressed, and hopefully brought into the equation. I don’t have the answers here re STEM guys – this post was really an effort to gain a better understanding of the SMP for this group. It’s a starting point for discussion.

  • Robson

    There’s a light at the end of tunnel: now unattractive, socially inept and generally “below”, they work hard, finally get degree, find a good job, mature appearance will cover nerdiness, and the result is  a good highly valued “dad” material. Happy ending, bu not for everyone…
    At some point in my life I was shattered, lost any interest in science career (did not get MSc), buried in death-march startup project with no revenue, put aside all nerdy stuff that kept me going for years with nothing that could fill emptiness. I consider it a miracle I survived.
    No prospect of future success can provide enough willpower to go through hard times for long time without social support that most people have for granted.

  • Badger Nation

    “There’s a light at the end of tunnel: now unattractive, socially inept and generally “below”, they work hard, finally get degree, find a good job, mature appearance will cover nerdiness, and the result is  a good highly valued “dad” material. Happy ending, bu not for everyone…”
     
    We discussed this in the Casey post, but it bears repeating that this is awful advice to give somebody.
     
    1. The STEMmer in question is allowing society to determine his happiness (in particular, his happiness with women) which is a frustrating way to live one’s life.
     
    2. It might not work – a young nerd with good social dominance skills will be attractive; conversely an older beta nerd may be desireable as a mate on paper but he won’t be viscerally attractive to most women. It’s a variation on the LJBF speech of “you’ll make some woman so happy someday!”
     
    My advice for those geeks who follow in my footsteps would be to learn some game (not the whole bible, just a few chapters until you get some results) and learn how to make your social-omega status a positive – in other words, if you can’t be a pack alpha or a beta to same, be a distinctive outlier people remember (in a positive way).
     

  • Badger Nation

    “Not only there are so few girls in their course, those few girls either only date the few alpha STEM guys (if they exist) or date out of the STEM circle and go after the same guys that girls from other majors do on campus.”
     
    In an interesting twist, I’ve found confirmed STEM women to sometimes be the biggest entitled princesses in the school. Why? They spend most of their working time surrounded by guys at an up to 5:1 clip and so get inured to being the constant object of desire, the item of scarcity that makes the rules.
     
    “No one but me wants to discuss Norma Lorre Goodrich’s theory that Lancelot was Scottish, not French.  There’s another nerd girl a the table, but she is obsessed with Leonard Bernstein.  We trade off humoring each other while everyone else makes faces.  Neither of us has ever seen DWTS.”
     
    I laugh at the reality TV/popular culture crowd and the like. Such a waste of time to build your life around that glitz. Geek types understand that most other people are insufferably boring with their blathering nonsense (fortunately that filters most party girls out of our dating pool). What’s worst is to meet a super-extrovert who is also dumb and boring. They suck your energy like a predator and leave absolutely nothing of value in its place. Everything’s like, ohmygod, totally, did you hear about Britney’s STD test? And I just want to SCREAM like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop: “SHUT UP!!!”

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I’ve found confirmed STEM women to sometimes be the biggest entitled princesses in the school. Why? They spend most of their working time surrounded by guys at an up to 5:1 clip and so get inured to being the constant object of desire, the item of scarcity that makes the rules.

      Haha, beauty is relative. A woman who is a 5 will have her pick at an engineering college. She’s the prettiest girl at the ball! Not a bad strategy for a brainy woman who is objective about her looks. Unfortunately, as you say, she gets there and suddenly starts believing she’s a 10. For women, perhaps beauty is only an engineering college away…

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Looks like you’ve done a lot of work on this,  Susan.
    Note that the personality attributes ascribed to the typical mechanical engineer…”straightforward, direct, and self-sufficient” and “emotionally stable”…are quite close to the Cowboy archetype as it was portrayed in several decades of Westerns. This archetype was usually assumed to be, and probably often really was, attractive to women.
    To a considerable extent, our society has moved from valuing the personality of the Cowboy to valuing the personality of the Versailles Courtier.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      To a considerable extent, our society has moved from valuing the personality of the Cowboy to valuing the personality of the Versailles Courtier.

      That is an extremely interesting observation. It’s true – women fall all over the guys like Valmont in Dangerous Liasons, even knowing that he will ruthlessly cut them down. Meanwhile, the modern day John Waynes or Gary Coopers are penalized for not engaging in deception and flattery.

  • NGII

    I’m a STEM guy. I would say the problem is the STEM field is all about problem solving. Human has a tendency to avoid problems, and the only time people will seek for a problem solver is they encounter problem they cannot ignore. The popularity of the problem solver depends on how often people run into problem he/she has expertises on. Encounters stem opportunities for understanding and more encounters, so that one can have the chance to display their own values beyond STEM. That may partially explain why in the STEM field, doctors are more attractive than engineers (how often you seek help from an engineer?). This holds for both sexes.

    On the other hand, the business/marketing field centers on self-promotion and value display (aka BSing). Not only they have more opportunities to display values (that’s their job), they also have the skill set to BS, despite they have nothing to offer.

    @Susan
    I’ve been stereotyped as a “nerd” in an elite boys-only high school because I didn’t like to conform, and I thought way ahead about life than they did. Even overachievers will categorize some people as “nerds” among themselves. As a dual ENTJ/INTJ, I know how to be popular but I choose not to. For me, hanging out/hooking up with people that won’t/can’t understand me is a waste of time and resources. I think a reason why STEM guys are not highly-valued in the sexual marketplace is STEM guys actively despise the market and not participating in it. STEM guys can participate if they WANT to (e.g. Richard Feynman).

    @Robson
    No prospect of future success can provide enough willpower to go through hard times for long time without social support that most people have for granted.
    I am doing exactly that. I just don’t have the luck to have good social supports no matter what I do. The yearning of things will get better if I grind it drives me doing what I’m doing every day.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @NGII
      Welcome, thanks for leaving a comment. You say a couple of things here that interest me. I think you’re onto something when you talk about problem-solving. Someone suggested recently that women like men with people skills, but I suspect you’re right. We value people who have the ability to solve our problems. I find myself acting extremely deferential to MDs – I am in awe of their knowledge and expertise. I would feel the same way about a computer consultant to came to my home and got me out of a crisis or mess. I am not likely to appreciate the intelligence of an aeronautical engineer or nuclear physicist.
      .
      I also think you’re right that some STEM guys don’t want any part of the whole college hookup scene. They would like to have a girlfriend, perhaps, or even, as I say in the post, would not turn away a no-strings offer of sex. But they do not want to join in the kinds of activities and behaviors required to seduce women on campus – especially not very bright women. Some are probably overwhelmed just thinking about it, and others may see themselves above the fray. Either way, I agree that many guys opt out.

  • Lavazza

    STEM is high status in some Western countries as well. France being the most obvious example.

  • Badger Nation

    Another thing: most guys are flummoxed by the mental machinations of the average female to varying degrees – the rapid mind-changing, materialist obsession, narcissism, sisterhooding, etc. Most guys try to somehow live with it, but I wonder if smart left-brain STEM types aren’t driven absolutely batshit crazy by it and that motivates them away from getting better with women.
     

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Another thing: most guys are flummoxed by the mental machinations of the average female to varying degrees – the rapid mind-changing, materialist obsession, narcissism, sisterhooding, etc.

      I wonder if having sisters affects this? It would be interesting to know what the family groups of STEM majors look like. My son isn’t a STEM type, but he grew up with a pretty intimate and realistic look at his sister’s mental machinations. He understood the nature of girls, and I think that helped him navigate, a lot.

  • Badger Nation

    Pardon me, Spock – I meant to type “logical” instead of “smart” above.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    NG…”On the other hand, the business/marketing field centers on self-promotion and value display (aka BSing). Not only they have more opportunities to display values (that’s their job), they also have the skill set to BS, despite they have nothing to offer.”
    Most successful salespeople, at least when you get beyond the used-car level, are excellent listeners as well as talkers. There’s an interesting model which is sometimes used in sales training to help salesmen understand their customers as well as themselves–it’s a grid with two dimensions, assertiveness and responsiveness.  A superb salesman must be *both* assertive and responsive.
    In relationships, a combination of assertiveness and responsiveness is also essential, with the optimum mix varying between the sexes.
     

  • Robson

    We discussed this in the Casey post, but it bears repeating that this is awful advice to give somebody.

    I meant it as obvious irony… wasn’t it??? Oh well, Implication 7 may be taken seriously, so thanks for good debunking.

  • filrabat

    I agree with Matt partially, social conditioning from the media.  Still, I think the media portrail of scientists and similar such people is better now than it was a generation ago.  Even so, I get the feeling that it’s more “nerd chic” than authentic nerds – which leads to a lot of “born-again nerd” types (many of them posers).  I think the 1990s rapid-fire rise of the dot-com-millionaire-in-6-months* phenomenon did help take a lot of the tarnish off nerds, regardless; so overall this is a good thing (even if the image-conscious entertainment industry leans more toward “geek chic” than true nerdiness).
    Having said that, I will agree that image is a large part of the issue. I also will admit that STEMs probably do have a higher than normal % of people who are socially clumsy or reserved.  Even so, there’s no shortage of disagreement with the notion “Nerds can’t get laid because their smart, into gaming, computers, super-hard-science, the quantum phenomena of advanced astrophysics, etc., etc., that whole dog and pony show”.   The closest thing I saw to a plausible explanation for the lack of success among nerds is this, but it has a catch in it.
    “”Nerds complain they are hated because they are smart. This is simply not true Nerds are hated because of their lack of social skills.  I have well over a 3.5 gpa and I participate in sports and other outdoor activities and make an effort to socialize with others. A lot of nerds think they’ll rule the world, but they won’t. It’s the driven and aggressive people who will. Aggressive people can really go for in life. Nerds simply end up working for other people”
    As I said, I do see considerable truth in this, but there’s a big catch in it.  That catch is that the claim starts with the mainstream societal assumption that power, money, career success, etc. are the proper yardstick by which people ought to measure themselves (and how the “right” people in general perceive you, for  that matter), and build their whole skyscraper on that foundation and framework.  Anyone who things smart, aggressive, successful people are more worthy of respect from their peers and have general high show-off value** need only look back at the financial scandals of the past ten years. By that standard, you have to say that the Enron crowd, who fleeced their corporation’s pension fund and when the company went bankrupt robbed people of their retirement savings, deserves more respect than the stereotypical STEM.
    I’m afraid this problem will always be with us until people realize that status, image, aggressiveness, confidence, beauty, etc. – no matter how appealing – tells us NOTHING about their principles, integrity, kindness, generosity, trustworthiness and all other factors that make for a real, sustainable relationship (If you ask me, there is zero distinction between a real relationship and a sustainable one, but that’s a different topic and my own opinion).  Result: This STEM issue comes from at least two very differences of ideas of what “excitement” is.  The best thing STEMs can do is, however tough it may be, find women whose definition and criteria of “excitement” matches their own.  The PUA way of doing it basically amounts  to attempting a “personality transplant” – just forcing yourself into doing something that is not authentically you and hoping that one day that “new you” simply becomes part of your personality.  That kind of pseudo-cure won’t lead to any kind of true self-improvement and overall rise in self-respect/self-esteem.  I’d rather just die alone than go through THAT.
    **both major litmus tests for MANY women, especially the highly charming super-social/extroverted types that have high photogenic value)
     
    *For those too young to remember, the late 90s especially had lots of stories about the rise of the internet millionaires, as in “It took you TWO YEARS to make $10 million?? What the hell kind of slacker are YOU!!!!”  That was almost literally the airs surrounding the public image of “computer geeks” at that time.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Still, I think the media portrail of scientists and similar such people is better now than it was a generation ago. Even so, I get the feeling that it’s more “nerd chic” than authentic nerds – which leads to a lot of “born-again nerd” types (many of them posers).

      I don’t know if it’s too early to say what the long-term effect is, but there has been a real shift in recent media portrayals of nerds/geeks. Michael Cera is the most obvious example. There are also some slacker/geek portrayals that have been popular, e.g., Seth Rogen. The huge hit TV show Glee is basically built around a whole group of lovable, nerdy kids. In fact, one of the main characters – an adult coach – constantly makes fun of them. The outliers in that show are the cheerleader (who gets pregnant) and the football star who winds up choosing Glee Club over sports. There may be a shift in the media – perhaps fueled by writers who were outsiders growing up.

  • filrabat

    Dave brings up a compelling point as well.
    Women (not all, but a lot of them) tend to want not so much ”straightforward, direct, and self-sufficient” and “emotionally stable” as the IMAGE of it.  The IMAGE of independence rather than reality (e.g., to use an extreme stereotypical example, who is more likely to project such an image: the 100 lb 5ft 5 bookworm-looking type who at 22 came up with a killer-ap that netted him $70 million? Or the 6ft2 230 lb 12% body fat biker type?).  The reality of who eventually will be more independent is different, of course.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    “the media portrail of scientists and similar such people is better now than it was a generation ago”….not sure about that. If you read stuff published before, say, 1975, American journalists tended to be pretty anti-intellectual. But sometime in the 1970s, journalists (and even more amusingly, TV announcers, etc) decided that they *were* intellectuals, and have hence dropped much of their hostility toward academics of the English-professor or Philosophy-professor variety. Their negativity toward scientists and engineers, OTOH, has quite possibly increased. (There also seems to be considerably less exposure to real science classes for the average student in high school and college than there was a few decades ago; this may or may not be a factor)

  • Hope

    I’ve been in the nerdy crowds the whole time as I was growing up, and the lament I heard over and over again was that there weren’t enough girls. The stereotype is that the nerdy girls tend not to be very attractive, are fat, or they’re Asian (and Asian girls look like little boys).

    Being in the circle as “one of the guys” I saw how ruthlessly judgmental the nerdy guys often are about female appearances. They might be nerdy, but they’re still guys. The so-called “nice” behavior from nerdy guys is very often two-faced. They will be nice if you’re an attractive girl by conventional standards, but if you’re plain or overweight you’ll be cut down to size and called all kinds of nasty names.

    Being a nerdy female in itself is no bonus because at a young age, all guys want are hot looking girls. And nerdy girls are usually not dressed fashionably, getting manicures or wearing makeup. I think the guys who didn’t get exposure to real girls when young are more likely to have unrealistic appearance expectations. Some of the rudest comments I’ve received on my looks were from other nerdy guys.

    The lack of “social skills” is in part due to these guys only hanging around with other guys, and they think having outrageous views on women is normal. They sure do “pedestalize” and worship the super hotties and celebrities who seem nerdy, like Natalie Portman and Emma Watson. But a lot of them have zero respect for women in general, the plain janes and the quiet ones. Most of them treated me rudely online — until they saw my picture. I was thankful for this experience because I saw these guys’ true motives and natures.

    I realize not all the nerdy guys are / were like this, but it was enough of a pattern that I became very disillusioned about men in general, and I stopped befriending nerdy men after college. My husband is actually very different from most the other nerdy guy I’ve known and met. I read some comments from the nerdy guy brigade these days and just shake my head. I got really lucky with my husband.

    Too long, didn’t read version: a nerdy man is no guarantee of a good man!

  • ExNewYorker

    @Susan
    “Haha, beauty is relative. A woman who is a 5 will have her pick at an engineering college. She’s the prettiest girl at the ball! Not a bad strategy for a brainy woman who is objective about her looks. Unfortunately, as you say, she gets there and suddenly starts believing she’s a 10. For women, perhaps beauty is only an engineering college away…”
    Generally, this is true.  With such a high male:female ratio, there’s good pickings for STEM girls.   A good chunk will take advantage and lock up some of the better beta STEM guys.  However, some will prefer to be social butterflies and enjoy the attention (or they prefer non-STEM cads), while others are more interested in their studies than guys (they figure they can afford to wait).  These latter two groups tend to find post-college/post-grad school mating life is very dissimilar from what they’ve been used to.   Even if work is a STEM field company, the dynamics are different, and can begin to favor the guys.
    .
    One of my friends is married to a pretty Canadian chemist, and she once mentioned to my wife that she’d taken some time off between jobs to go to NYC for a bit, and she was stunned that she felt somewhat “ordinary” there, as opposed to the STEM-heavy area we live in.
     

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Nerdy girls…in my high school, there was a very intelligent girl who was extremely shy and awkward and looked quite unappealing. After we’d both been away at college, I ran into her again—she looked kind of hot, and her personality was actually kind of sparkly: the transition was amazing. I think what made the difference was that she got away from the Mean Girls League and their oppression of the misfits, allowing her to develop some self-confidence, and also someone had shown her some basic girl stuff about clothes, hair,etc. We dated a bit, and she is now married and very successful in her multiple careers.
     

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @david foster
      It’s true – women can definitely be late bloomers too. In fact, I’m always surprised when I go to reunions. Peoples’ attractiveness really can shift back and forth over time, depending on life circumstances, as well as grooming, fitness, etc.

  • Aldonza

    My favorite xkcd cartoon: http://xkcd.com/314/
    I think the poster who commented about what society as a whole values had a good point.  Americans love bad boys and jocks.  James Dean, Elvis, Sinatra.  We watch them as entertainment.  We elect them to high office.  Is it any wonder that the college versions of these “devil may care” personas are cleaning up?
    In the “Dot-com gold rush” 90s, a few STEM types got some play.  In the internet field, developers were like star quarterbacks at networking parties.  Maybe the women just wanted to tell someone that they just bought something on eBay, but at least they were talking to the geeks.
    I think the biggest thing holding back the average STEM guy is the attitude that because he worked hard and knows his way around procedural and object-oriented, that he’s entitled to some play in the SMP.  After all, these are guys who are used to setting goals and achieving them with a combination of intelligence and hard work.  Surely women can’t be as hard to crack as the Facebook API?
    Except, with women, you can’t RTFM.

  • Aldonza

    One of my friends is married to a pretty Canadian chemist, and she once mentioned to my wife that she’d taken some time off between jobs to go to NYC for a bit, and she was stunned that she felt somewhat “ordinary” there, as opposed to the STEM-heavy area we live in.

    .
    This isn’t limited to STEM fields.  A woman’s attractiveness definitely *is* relative to what else is available in the SMP.  Guys in the military serving over in Iraq and Afghanistan have a term they use called “Desert Queens”.  These are women currently serving over there too.  They are usually average or even below average in looks, but because they are the only game in town, they get a very inflated sense of their worth.  Unfortunately they are also mostly unaware of the other unflattering term the men use for them: WUBA’s.  Short for “Women Used By All”.
    .
    However, women in the military have a much higher rate than average of marrying.  Probably due to the same market dynamics.

  • Robson

    @Hope: My hypothesis: jock behaviur imitation combined with strong opposition to “settle for less” pressure, parts of ego-protection mechanisms. I didn’t observe this behaviour between my nerd fellows though: we didn’t even DISCUSSED girls.

  • Hope

    Perhaps I should also clarify: I knew very few honest, genuine, kind, empathic, generous, respectful, polite, and principled nerdy men with good values, self-discipline and true integrity. Most of the time they were really no better than non-nerds. I even dated three nerdy, video game-playing and science/physics-loving liars.

    The video game crowd (self-selected group, but very popular nowadays among the STEM types) is filled with vicious, mean-spirited, greedy and self-centered nerdy guys who mostly see other men as tools and chumps and other women as face, tits and ass. They will lie, cheat and steal with the best of sociopathic “alphas,” when they know they can get away with it. They are of course too smart to do it in real life, where actions have real consequences.

    There’s much psychosis and social malaptation in online gaming communities. There are actually lots of gameplay changes that companies had to implement over the years due to the rampant amount of insults, scamming, harrassment and general bad behavior. These are games with generally over 70-80% men. Groups of young men together who are totally anonymous and unaccountable for their behavior can even make frats seem tame.

  • mgambale

    I’m actually a little irritated by the generalization that the nerdiness of STEM guys belies good character, career prospects, and LTR potential.  In my experience, I’ve been better served to draw the opposite inference.  With respect to STEM job prospects, I’d like to point out that many STEM guys have to compete in an increasingly globalized job market in which all but the most brilliant among them are fungible with cheap offshore workers.  With respect to STEM character, I’d like to point out that the STEM way of thinking is notoriously inflexible.  See the linked article for evidence that engineering expertise more strongly correlates with social and political extremism than other kinds of expertise.  Of course, I don’t mean to suggest that every STEM guy is a closet Osama bin Laden.  Nor is that the point of the article.  I do mean to suggest that STEM guys might generally have a less developed faculty for compromise than kindergarten teachers or marketing executives.  Accordingly, I propose that the warning to women that they can’t change a man deserves special emphasis in this context.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @mgambale
      That is an extremely interesting comment, and article. I think it’s probably a bad idea to extrapolate to American society, but I did find this pretty interesting from the article:

      They found similar results, with 46 percent of the (male American) engineers describing themselves as both conservative and religious, compared with 22 percent of scientists.
      Gambetta and Hertog write about a particular mind-set among engineers that disdains ambiguity and compromise.

      Your point about not trying to change a person is valid – but I’m interested in how this particular mind set plays out in the SMP. Why don’t engineers get with conservative, religious women? I would think that would be a good match…

      I didn’t mean to suggest in the post that engineers are the be all and end all of male companionship. I was really just responding to what seems to be a very high level of sexual frustration among them. Your point about outsourcing is well taken. Be sure to check out Hope’s comments – she hasn’t had such great experiences with STEM guys.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    One other point: it seems important to note that STEM is not a permanent class identity like being a medieval priest or peasant: it is merely a skill set and, sometimes, a kind of job. Many people with stem-type degrees wind up doing other things, which may or may not take strong advantage of their stem skills. GE ceo Jeff Immelt, for instance, has an undergraduate math degree; his predecessor Jack Welch has an actual chemical engineering PhD.  Many venture capitalists have engineering or physics degrees and have worked in those fields. Some people with engineering degrees find that they enjoy the hunt in sales, and do well selling expensive and complicated products and systems.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @david foster

      Good point. I have mentioned here before that my b-school class of 650 was 1/3 engineering majors, the most popular major by far – including economics. All of them went on to do other things. They were pretty highly sought after by employers, if for no other reason than they’d proved their smarts before they even got to grad school.

  • Robson

    “I knew very few honest, genuine, kind, empathic, generous, respectful, polite, and principled nerdy men with good values, self-discipline and true integrity. Most of the time they were really no better than non-nerds.”

    Well, they are not so different? What a suprise…

    Generally: it’s kind of insightful to see popular biases in nerd stereotype clashing here. White legend: these men must have good characters for compensation. Black legend: soacial misffits, must be really twisted and dark-hearted.

  • Badger Nation

    “I realize not all the nerdy guys are / were like this, but it was enough of a pattern that I became very disillusioned about men in general, and I stopped befriending nerdy men after college.”
     
    Hope, sounds like you went through the same process as those guys did, just ~10 years later, so I think you would understand their attitude. You understand nerdy guys are dehumanized and denigrated from grade school on up, so if girls (and other guys) don’t treat them as human it’s natural they’ll return the favor. Double for nerdy guys who actually try to approach women. You can only hear “EWWWW” or “creepy!” or “you’re such a good guy, the right girl is out there [but it's not me]” enough times before you start not being friends with them, either.
     
    Am I sorry you went through it? Yeah. Am I defending it? …I guess so. It’s just not reasonable to expect marginalized people to pop up above water all cheeky when society thinks they’re ready for them.
     
    “Too long, didn’t read version: a nerdy man is no guarantee of a good man!”
     
    Yes, but nobody is saying it is. We’re just saying there ARE good men in the nerd column, but culture and the sisterhood brainwash women into writing us off (to go with some nerdy betatude that is a sure tingle killer).
    Hell, my girlfriend’s friends still give her guff about dating me – they are do nothing layabouts with no lives, I have a master’s degree, but they feel competent judging me because I’m not a lawyer or an executive.
     

  • Badger Nation

    “allowing her to develop some self-confidence, and also someone had shown her some basic girl stuff about clothes, hair,etc. We dated a bit, and she is now married and very successful in her multiple careers.”
     
    Sounds like she got exposed to game! Isn’t that 75% of what PUA is really teaching? Be confident and put your best stuff forward?

  • Hope

    Robson, well I believed the “nerdy guys are nice” version at first, and as a shy and socially awkward nerd myself, I naturally gravitated to other nerds. I was their good friend, the girl who “got” the nerdy jokes, spoke the computer and internet lingo, coded and hacked, and participated in the same activities like chess, anime, D&D and video games.

    But then I started seeing a lot of these guys being not that “nice.” I was and am still very into the honorable, genuinely good types, and there is no greater proportion of these types among the nerds than among the general population. Mostly I see nerdy guys who suck up to “hot” girls and are real jerks (to ugly girls and men) the rest of the time. This is so-called “beta” behavior.

    Then I see these same guys complain that they suffer in the sexual marketplace. I am still sympathetic to the actual good-hearted guys who would not laugh at another person’s crooked nose or speed up when they see a disabled person crossing the street, but for the guys who want their very own celebrity-look-alike and who don’t bother to understand emotions, I really ran out of patience.

  • J

    This is why in the seduction community, men used to be advised to respond to a woman’s query of “what do you do” with amusing comebacks like “I’m a foot model”, “I repair cigarette lighters”, or the famous “I’m an ass model”.

    I always run into trouble when I address the types of women these routines were designed to attract, but let’s just say that an intelligent relationship-oriented woman would scorn those lines.

    I’d laugh at those retorts, but then I’d expect a real answer.  And I’d be pissed if I didn’t get a one, though it isn’t bad to demonstrate humor if you are in a serious profession.  A demonstration of humor probably would counteract some of the STEM stereotypes.

  • J

    The IMAGE of independence rather than reality (e.g., to use an extreme stereotypical example, who is more likely to project such an image: the 100 lb 5ft 5 bookworm-looking type who at 22 came up with a killer-ap that netted him $70 million? Or the 6ft2 230 lb 12% body fat biker type?). 

    Interesting question.  The 100 pounder sounds merely physically unattractive while the biker sound loathsome.  Got something in the middle?  I’ll take a chubby, middle-aged executive.  Oh wait, I already have one.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Interesting question. The 100 pounder sounds merely physically unattractive while the biker sound loathsome. Got something in the middle? I’ll take a chubby, middle-aged executive. Oh wait, I already have one.

      .
      LMAO! Oh, J, that really is priceless…Let’s hear it for the men who are neither repulsive nor loathsome! BTW, a good friend of mine married that 100 lb. 5’5″ bookworm, and they have a very successful marriage. She’s always late for coffee in the morning because they were having sex again.

  • J

    @NGII

    What is it with Feynman that STEM guys find so admirable?

  • J

    @ Badger

    I laugh at the reality TV/popular culture crowd and the like. Such a waste of time to build your life around that glitz.

    Agreed.

    Geek types understand that most other people are insufferably boring with their blathering nonsense .

    See, that’s the wonderment of the whole situation.  They AREN’T bored as you and I would be.  They actually like that shit.  It’s like the moivie scene in Idiocracy where the crowd is watching Ass and loving it.

     They suck your energy like a predator and leave absolutely nothing of value in its place.

    My husband is drained by that.  I tend to be amused, especially if I have an audience for my sardonic review of the situation after the predator leaves.

  • Hope

    Badger Nation, I grew up being told all kinds of awful things, denigrated constantly and teased mercilessly, and because I went through such a experience, I never wanted to hurt other people. Some people get hurt and want to take revenge, but that is not the way of anyone with heart.

    Why should those guys be lying to, mistreating and insulting people who didn’t do anything to them personally? Does that make things even? I always treated people respectfully, or I was quiet and unassuming, but I got a lot of hate from nerdy guys for simply trying to socialize with them.

    I was about 11 or 12 when I started hanging out with nerdy guys, chatting with them on IRC, learning about computers with them, etc. I don’t know that nerdy guys were teased in elementary school that much, but maybe they were. I thought most of the problems came in middle school, high school and later. And I went through those years just like the guy nerds, maybe even more outcast, and zero female friends. There was no sisterhood for me.

    I will say that I never went after the “hot guys” the way that I saw nerdy guys often go after the “hot girls.” So I just didn’t get jaded or feel the same kind of bitterness, because I never cared to be part of the “in” or “popular” crowd. I didn’t want to participate in the club/bar/hook up culture. Incidentally, even my very nerdy husband went to clubs and did the get trashed drunk thing when he was younger. Maybe there is more pressure on men to be the life of the party just to get girls.

  • NGII

    @J
    Richard Feynman is a “celebrity” in the STEM field, and if you have read the autobiography “Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman!”, he wrote about his life as a frat guy, toying with other scientists, learning how to bet, and trying to pick up girls at bars. He’s just a super-talented STEM alpha.

  • ExNewYorker

    As Badger Nation correctly mentions, there are no guarantees that a nerdy man is a good man.  In fact, there’s likely to be just as many nerdy jackasses as in the non-nerdy male population.  We’re not saying that those nerdy jackasses are good men, just that in the “nerdy” male population, there’s a segment of  “untapped” men, a reasonable chunk of which tend to be LTR oriented, who normally are overlooked by a large segment of women.
    .
    As for the jackass nerds, it’s the same scenario as weeding out the cads.  It’s not that hard, actually, to do that if you’re not hooking up quickly, and in fact, it’s easier since there’s usually less of the “dark triad” there to get in the way of rational assessments.
    .
    And I can concur with Badger’s experience in similar fashion.  My wife works in a heavily-female field (nursing), and a lot of her coworkers were surprised that her “STEM” husband would actually look ok in a nice suit at the company xmas party.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      My wife works in a heavily-female field (nursing), and a lot of her coworkers were surprised that her “STEM” husband would actually look ok in a nice suit at the company xmas party.

      ENY, I think I recall your mentioning that your wife’s coworkers are belting back the drinks in bars every weekend, and just generally living it up with cads, despite claiming they want to find a husband. So I really would have to say here….Consider the source. Just as there are cads and dads, I think we should have a similar distinction for women.

  • Chili

    I went to a private school with a lot of nerdy guys and I fully second what Hope said. Perhaps these guys were mean, bitter and resentful towards women because women were rejecting them or perhaps women were rejecting them because they were mean, bitter, and resentful. Chicken or the egg. We can debate forever about this, but the point is mean behaivior, no matter how it manifests itself, shouldn’t be tolerated by any good woman from any man–no matter what his major is.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      the point is mean behaivior, no matter how it manifests itself, shouldn’t be tolerated by any good woman from any man–no matter what his major is.

      Well said, Chili! We’re not rooting for an underdog here – we just want to give equal opportunity access and the same standards apply to everyone. If a guy is rude and unpleasant, well, see ya never, and don’t be trying to tell me I don’t like you because you’re nerdy. I don’t like you because you’re judgmental and nasty.

  • filrabat

    @J: “…Got something in the middle?”
    filrabat: 5ft 9 1/2 165 lbs and looks like he can play a competent (if not competitive level) game of tennis? Plus pulls in about $55K/yr. :D (not describing me, just the average person (more or less)

  • filrabat

    As for the rest, the direction of this conversation…
    I don’t think anyone’s saying that STEMS are anywhere near immune to rottenness, shallowness, etc.  Certainly I don’t think Susan is suggesting that.   I myself went to an engineering oriented university (though as a history and finance major…but not a “stocks for jocks” type).  Some STEM majors indeed may have considerable problems with finding a woman, but there are others who would have no problem whatsoever. Heck, there’s several engineering students in the fraternity system there!
    I think the key is social skills and confidence.  By that, I don’t mean have the persona of a super-salesman (since we’re talking about men’s abilities here).  What I mean by that is (a) knowing basic courtesy and social grace, without necessarily the uber-smoothness, (b) finding someone with whom you share common interests or “prime movers” of your soul, and (c) look like you’re making something of yourself, or at least showing concerns about the human condition.  Not the least of which is NOT setting too high a standard for yourself (i.e., instead of going for the obvious lookers, try going for the “just attractive enough” types. That means, try for the least attractive one that you can see yourself being aroused by IF you make an effort to get to know her).
    Of these, I think (b) is the most critical.  Confidence, the key to so much, does NOT just pop up into a vacuum.  You can’t will yourself to be confident, and if you try you’ll end up being the biggest counterfeit, not just to the girl but to yourself (I learned this the hard way, trust me).  Confidence is based – firstly – on having a hobby or interest you can really sink your teeth into (as in “you didn’t choose this hobby or activity, this hobby or activity chose you”).  This is also a good precedent for career goals (similarly, you didn’t choose this major, this major chose you).  Most importantly, where girls are concerned, don’t worry about getting one so badly otherwise you’ll be needy.  Whatever girl comes along in your life is likely to have similar interest to you anyway, so the “hot chicks going for douchebags” types are not very likely to be very interesting in the long run anyway.  Better to go for someone with lower than average “fashion model value” but whom you can feel comfortable around.

  • filrabat

    @Hope: ” Incidentally, even my very nerdy husband went to clubs and did the get trashed drunk thing when he was younger. Maybe there is more pressure on men to be the life of the party just to get girls.
    Blame it on the propaganda that confuses “true masculinity” with mere douchery.  Still, remember that the types who get the most attention are the peacocking alpha types and the energetic social butterfly girls.  They’re great at show-bizzing things up, I’ll give them that much.  What this society needs are more serious-minded definitions of masculinity and femininity to counter the stereotypes, for the current cultural definitions definitely foster the wrong incentives in people. This leads to the dysfunctional system we have today.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Still, remember that the types who get the most attention are the peacocking alpha types and the energetic social butterfly girls. They’re great at show-bizzing things up, I’ll give them that much.

      Indeed, and they know how to hog the cultural limelight. The worst effect of this is that it makes most people feel like losers, or have-nots.

      What this society needs are more serious-minded definitions of masculinity and femininity to counter the stereotypes, for the current cultural definitions definitely foster the wrong incentives in people.

      Amen. Since we can’t expect the culture to do this for us, we’re going to have to do it ourselves, but “voting with our feet.” Reward the male who’s not strutting. Take another look at the female who is not licking whipped cream off another girl’s breast! If people could see through the fake, manic behavior that passes for success in this SMP, they would save a lot of time not wishing for or chasing after things that won’t make them happy anyway.

  • Matt T

    @Susan:
    I never used the “ass model” line myself, usually I just tell girls that I’m a pornography studies major (actually I’m biophysics) or something. But I imagine that eventually you’d have to let her know what you actually do, or that would just be weird.
    Again, though, it’s all about salience, and what you choose to define your life.  Some STEM guys are the hardcore kind who spend their entire days in the library (usually engineers, whose majors are indisputably the hardest). Some STEM guys hang around with lots of people, maintain friends within fraternities, and regularly go to the gym.
     

    I always run into trouble when I address the types of women these routines were designed to attract, but let’s just say that an intelligent relationship-oriented woman would scorn those lines. She might laugh, but she’d be thinking “loser”. A guy who can’t speak with pride about what he does for a living is a dead end for a woman seeking a relationship. Of course, eliciting that giggle from a hardened barfly might be just the ticket to a quick lay.

    It’s not about the actual lines in the routines, Mystery said it himself that “the words hold no magic power”. It’s about what they communicate. In this case, they are meant to communicate a fun, carefree  attitude.  Girls hear all the time about guys boasting about their careers, so this comes off as something new.
    I remember on one episode of a reality dating show, one pickup artist, who actually worked at a banking firm in real life, used the “ass model” line to help successfully attract a playboy model. He knew that she probably got suitors that were investment bankers all the time, and he needed to show her something else. Here is the video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTOgxSY2T5I

  • ExNewYorker

    @Susan
    Good point…the ones with that opinion tended to be the under 30, bars’n’cads crowd.  The over 30 group seemed to be more accepting of STEM guys (several married them).
    .
    It’s funny hearing my wife’s “gossip and goings on” from her work, because it’s such a different environment than my mostly male tech company.  It’s funny seeing the issues you blog about show up in indirect ways there…

  • Timothy Webster

    @Susan Why don’t engineers get with conservative, religious women? I would think that would be a good match…
    I can testify to the truth of engineering mindset tending to conversative and religious extremism.  *cough*  Why don’t they get with conservative, religious women?  Because the conservative religious women take their orders from the mainstream churches.  But the engineers have this analytical process going that causes them to reject most of what the mainstream churches teach.  So they are religious, but in a scientific, engineering type way.  Totally opposed to the mystical, blind faith experience of your regular conversative/religious woman.  Women won’t budge on the teachings from their childhood, and the men won’t accept foolishness and hypocrisy.

  • Timothy Webster

    @Hope
    Good point, STEM men are just as mean-spirited as other men; they  may have brains, but they have the same morals and ethics as everyone else.  Whoever talked about the John Wayne personality type being passe, is correct.

  • Timothy Webster

    @J
    You are right, the things that interest other people bore us to TEARS.  A lot of STEMs just opt out, because all that people connection stuff seems so BORING.  Watching the hockey game?  Yawn.  Sit down and watch a sit-com?  Not every single day.  Discussing the latest news in the newspaper, AS IF IT WAS ACTUALLY TRUE?  Or even important? Without the deep political and social analysis you’d have with a fellow STEM?  Agonizing.
    Perhaps STEM’s need to dehumanize other people a bit.  Or rather, de-pedestalize other people.  Then they could approach the social connection as a necessary duty, rather than as evidence of moral failure on the part of the majority.
    Remember, most STEM’s have swallowed the equalitarian, multi-cultural brainwashing.  So they mouth the platitudes of racial tolerance, gender equality, and other progressive mantras.  But this leaves them with the logical thought that everyone should think and act more or less as they do, since they are quite rational and logical.
    For a STEM to enjoy himself socially, he has to throw away that baggage.  It was the only thing that worked for me.  One can’t appreciate a woman until one stops expecting her to act like a man (with slightly different plumbing).  One can’t treat black people with dignity and respect until one stops expecting them to act like white people (who have slightly different skin jobs).
    This equalitarian stuff started with the Freemason movement, rose to power with the French Revolution, found its most virulent expression in Communism and Stalinism, and is winding down today, as people wake up to the true injury that this false ideology of “liberty, equality, fraternity” produces.

  • http://omegavirginrevolt.wordpress.com white and nerdy

    I’ve been in the nerdy crowds the whole time as I was growing up, and the lament I heard over and over again was that there weren’t enough girls. The stereotype is that the nerdy girls tend not to be very attractive, are fat, or they’re Asian (and Asian girls look like little boys).
    Being in the circle as “one of the guys” I saw how ruthlessly judgmental the nerdy guys often are about female appearances. They might be nerdy, but they’re still guys. The so-called “nice” behavior from nerdy guys is very often two-faced. They will be nice if you’re an attractive girl by conventional standards, but if you’re plain or overweight you’ll be cut down to size and called all kinds of nasty names.
    Being a nerdy female in itself is no bonus because at a young age, all guys want are hot looking girls. And nerdy girls are usually not dressed fashionably, getting manicures or wearing makeup. I think the guys who didn’t get exposure to real girls when young are more likely to have unrealistic appearance expectations. Some of the rudest comments I’ve received on my looks were from other nerdy guys.
    The lack of “social skills” is in part due to these guys only hanging around with other guys, and they think having outrageous views on women is normal. They sure do “pedestalize” and worship the super hotties and celebrities who seem nerdy, like Natalie Portman and Emma Watson. But a lot of them have zero respect for women in general, the plain janes and the quiet ones. Most of them treated me rudely online — until they saw my picture. I was thankful for this experience because I saw these guys’ true motives and natures.
    I realize not all the nerdy guys are / were like this, but it was enough of a pattern that I became very disillusioned about men in general, and I stopped befriending nerdy men after college. My husband is actually very different from most the other nerdy guy I’ve known and met. I read some comments from the nerdy guy brigade these days and just shake my head. I got really lucky with my husband.
    Too long, didn’t read version: a nerdy man is no guarantee of a good man!

    I could write the same thing about women (except that I have never had any female friends), but it would be different in two ways:

    It would actually be accurate since I know the truth about women from my experiences.
    It would get me banned from this blog.

     

  • http://omegavirginrevolt.wordpress.com white and nerdy

    @Susan

    Why don’t engineers get with conservative, religious women?

    There are several reasons for this some of which have already come up.  What makes you think that the engineers haven’t already tried and been rejected?  I have tried to correct the myth that guys like me haven’t really tried but no one wants to listen.
    These women despite being “religious” aren’t conservative.  Typically they are feminists who happen to be against abortion.  (Well known examples include Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell.)  Religious women aren’t sexually conservative or politically conservative and only socially conservative when it benefits them.  (Remember the Republican Party is just socialism lite.)  IOW “religious” women aren’t any different anymore than non-religious women.
    @Aldonza

    I think the biggest thing holding back the average STEM guy is the attitude that because he worked hard and knows his way around procedural and object-oriented, that he’s entitled to some play in the SMP.

    The culture/society constantly pushes the message that if a man works hard he will be rewarded in this way.  It’s a lie but it makes sense.  If you support civilization which STEM guys do very directly then civilization should support us STEM guys sexually.  Instead that’s broken so why should STEM men (or beta men in general) do anything except let civilization that hates us collapse?  A science and technology strike by men is in order.

    Women through the mechanism of the feminized government feel perfectly entitled to the money of STEM men (and other beta men) so why should STEM men (or beta men in general) not feel entitled to sex?  The reason why nothing is going to improve in the SMP is because of this hypocrisy.  It’s been brought up before and I’m going to say it again.  The prevailing attitude even here on this blog is that institutional power should be used to benefit women but men are on their own.  Men are shrugging that off which means that things will just get worse for you women until you are willing to make some changes.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Lines like “I’m a foot model” are really just a form of verbal/emotional playfulness or teasing…banter between the sexes was a common feature of 1930s and 1940s films, though I can’t think of any good examples off the cuff. This kind of kidding around also exists among people of the *same* sex, especially guys, and is probably particularly common among people whose culture has a strong *oral* component…people of Southern heritage, both white & black, are often very good at this. New England WASPs, generally not so much.

  • Sox

    Anyone who’s dated a lot probably gets sick of hearing about work, unless you’ve actually got a job that’s THAT exciting.  Most people welcome the opportunity to get away from talking about work.  Lines like, “I’m a foot model” with a wry smile signals that you know you’re bullshitting them but you’re making it clear that work discussion isn’t on the docket and that you’re interested in other things.  It also maintains an aura of mystery…”why won’t he just tell me what he does?!?” Many guys make the mistake of total disclosure/borderline word-vomit on their dates.  My most successful have been ones that involve no work discussion whatsoever.
    .
    Any girl that demands to know my profession or writes me off based on a line like that is immediately discarded into the “checklister” group. 
    .
    I also get totally sick of hearing my dates drone on about their work on Capitol Hill or this obscure non-profit that they think is God’s work.  Talk about your passions, your goals, ambitions, fine…but please spare me the technical details of educating educators about proper education.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I also get totally sick of hearing my dates drone on about their work on Capitol Hill or this obscure non-profit that they think is God’s work. Talk about your passions, your goals, ambitions, fine…but please spare me the technical details of educating educators about proper education.

      Sanctimony is on my list of dealbreakers. I’ll take irreverence every time. Making a joke, and signaling that you don’t want to do the checklist thing is fine, as long as you’re actually working and not living with mom and dad. Actually, being a foot model would be OK. Wasn’t there a Seinfeld episode where George became a hand model?

  • Sox

    Argh it’s early..I just noticed how many times I wrote the word “work” in that last post…

  • Badger Nation

    “A guy who can’t speak with pride about what he does for a living is a dead end for a woman seeking a relationship.”
     
    I am going to disagree with this, on two fronts. First, when I was in school I started to play a game with myself called “don’t talk about work.” Why? Every time I talked about work with somebody, it signalled the conversation had ended and we’d entered either a space-filling null-talk, or an interrogation of one another that served no social purpose (or both). From that point, I dedicated myself to deflecting work discussion from my social life. Also it got boring, like you’ve run out of personality and are trying to “resume your way” into someone else’s heart.
     
    Secondly, I am suspicious that “speaking with pride about what he does for a living” is a marker for women seeking a high-status man she can show off to her friends.  I understand status and provision are important etc etc, but I don’t want to form the basis of my relationship identity on what my job is, since I might leave that job/get fired/change careers/whatever. If you’re  a man seeking a relationship, you’ll want to spend as much time as you can seeing if you enjoy being around each other not clouded by demographics like what do you do, where are you from, etc. Don’t get me all wrong, speaking with pride (period) is a key aspect of social dominance, but a LOT of people, male and female, are into the idea of dating someone with a certain career (nurse, pilot, lawyer, cop, teacher, you get the idea) and I’m not interested in playing a role in that, OR disqualifying myself.
     
    A third factor is that where I live, 50% of the people seem to have the same job so it’s a poor differentiator.
     

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Sox, @Badger
      OK, for the record, I’m not saying a guy should have to qualify himself with a high status career when he meets a woman. I just meant that if he isn’t doing something that he enjoys, he’s probably not in a good place for a relationship. A guy could be a kindergarten teacher, and I bet quite a few women would be fine with that, if he loved kids and loved his job. Personally, I’d be turned off by some guy who boasted that he works 100 hours a week for Goldman Sachs. What I would be looking for are signs that the guy is comfortable with himself and not looking to impress in that way.

  • Badger Nation

    Soc just scooped me while I was writing my post. On to Aldonza and W+N:
     

    I think the biggest thing holding back the average STEM guy is the attitude that because he worked hard and knows his way around procedural and object-oriented, that he’s entitled to some play in the SMP.

    The culture/society constantly pushes the message that if a man works hard he will be rewarded in this way.  It’s a lie but it makes sense.  If you support civilization which STEM guys do very directly then civilization should support us STEM guys sexually.  Instead that’s broken so why should STEM men (or beta men in general) do anything except let civilization that hates us collapse?”
     
    Aldonza makes a good point about beta-entitlement and subsequent beta bitterness, and W+N has spoken the truth on how it happens – the exact same way female entitlement and settling panic happens. Get told by society this is how you should be, do it, don’t get the reward you’ve been promised, get resentful. Society (films, TV, feminism, etc) tells these fantastic lies to people. Beta men need to be told the truth about women – game and social dominance – and not all these chivalric lies about becoming a “great catch” and still getting passed over.
     
    BTW, I must say I got real skeptical of the beatitudes when I looked around my engineering school and said, “wait a minute – almost none of these meek people are going to inherit anything.”
     

  • Sox

    And where I live, EVERYONE speaks with pride about what they do, and then it becomes a pissing contest about who’s more accomplished.

  • Aldonza

    The culture/society constantly pushes the message that if a man works hard he will be rewarded in this way.  It’s a lie but it makes sense.
    Women are fed a similar lie.  They’re told that if they’re “good girls”, passive girls, stick to the knitting, sewing, cooking that their wonderful alpha provider will ride in on his horse and rescue her for her “good womanly qualities”.  So she sits at home reading more puerile romance novels (or if she’s highbrow, she reads Jane Austen).  And she waits. And waits.  Meanwhile, the skank in the short skirt and heavy make-up who can’t boil water goes waltzing off with the men.
    .
    And don’t tell me that the skanks don’t actually land some or even most of those men.  We can talk about promiscuity reducing SMP value, but fact is, if a woman is sexually appealing enough she *will* have offers of LTRs.  Maybe not from the high alpha she wants, but she’ll have enough leftover attention from the high betas to do all right for herself.

  • Aldonza

    Beta men need to be told the truth about women – game and social dominance – and not all these chivalric lies about becoming a “great catch” and still getting passed over.

    And women need to be told the truth about men – sexual appeal and attractiveness – and all the storytale lies about being rescued and rewarded for being pure and good.  Fact is, pure and good women are not sexually appealing just like “pure and good (beta)” is not sexually appealing.  So…should pure and good women slut up their appearance?  Not so fast.  Because the flip side of that is if you’re sexually appealing, you’re going to be dealing with a lot of “noise” in the SMP looking for that one decent LTR “signal”.

  • jt

    The only thing that needs to happen is for women to have direction in life and to be shamed into behaving like adults. A bunch of overgrown children with hormones and emotions simply do not comprehend their actions. Until that happens, you can sit here and talk about the current state of affairs til pigs fly. I just hope the world around us doesn’t crumble in the meantime.
    A science and technology strike by men who are the most valuable contributors to society is very frightening. If these guys give up, it’s over. And in case many of you haven’t noticed, that is a power over the world that bad boy alphas don’t even get nor could even acquire. Something to think about as the true holders and creators of power are the one’s being shunned. Keep kicking them and casting them out and see what happens.

  • Höllenhund

    “And women need to be told the truth about men – sexual appeal and attractiveness – and all the storytale lies about being rescued and rewarded for being pure and good. ”
    That’s not a lie, Aldonza. Men have always rewarded pure and good women with commitment because they’re valued. And they will also find them sexually appealing. But I guess this is something women will never fully comprehend.
     

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Aldonza…”signal and noise”…as it sounds like you may already know, communication over a very noisy channel can be accomplished only with a combination of high power and low information rates. Only very simple messages can be sent to a deeply-submerged submarine, for example.
    It strikes me that there is now so much “noise” in the relationship between the sexes, particularly in urban environments, that something similar is happening, and only very simple and basic messages can get through. Subtlety that works in a small town where people interact over a period of years is unlikely to work in a bar-scene environment.

  • jt

    Many women don’t need to be enabled, they need to be put in their place. Remember guys, women are not the catch in most economic levels, the men are. Yet the upper class women with educations, careers, money, and influence who are truly independent are the one’s ensuring many women will live in squalor because they are being force fed a lie. These women are better directed towards finding a provider rather than living out their lives thinking they don’t need men. Otherwise they’ll end up on the government dole and in poverty.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @JT
      From a recent post a quote by Mark Regnerus, a prof at UT Austin:

      By now, however, the hookup norm is not so easily altered. Most women don’t know how to work around it, or they fear that in doing so, men will ignore them. So plenty acquiesce. They try to put a good face on it. They tell each other things like, “it’s all good,” even when it’s not.
      Unfortunately, the prospect that women will collectively demand that men actually treat them well in order for the privilege of being in her company isn’t likely anytime soon.
      In part that’s because women no longer need men. Like them? Yes. Need them? No.
      Back when they did, women protected and policed each other in the domain of relationships.
      This, of course, is no longer the case. Women who prefer commitment and security in their sexual relationships now can only hope for it. Not much power in that.

  • Badger Nation

    We should differentiate the greek letters for geeks as long as we’re on the topic. “Engineer” can mean and imply several different things.
     
    Some engineers are basically trade workers – they take blueprints from management and produce polished hardware. It’s a very beta-type job, white-collar union work, and like much trade work can be done with trade school education. We refer to it as “turning the crank.”
     
    Other engineers are of (naturally or trained into) a more alpha kind of inventor/technologist role. They are motivated to use their training and knowledge to invent new things, develop new products, manage work teams, explore markets, raise capital, etc. They are entrepreneurs with technical degrees. They want to change the world. They have the providing and social dominance skills to be very successful in the social marketplace. Some choose not to, because they are either singularly focused on their calling, are only interested in people vis a vis their career plans (a sort of work narcissist), or are living Poindexter’s Revenge (a Tom Leykis term for late-blooming guys who refuse the advances of women who didn’t give them the time of day in high school).
     
    Then there are the Richard Feynmans and Steve Jobs types, who leverage their personalities and revel in their corner of celebrity.
     
    Also, I’ve just come to accept that regular people will never understand the impact and talent of the technologically gifted, just as people have shown they will never understand why rich, powerful people are different than the 50th percentile in their drive, vision and social skill. I have been trying to dig up the Heinlein quote that the world moves forward thanks to 1% of people, who are invariably cast out, society collapses, and it’s all laid at the feet of “chance.” And the cycle begins again.
     

  • Hope

    Wait, white and nerdy, are you saying my past personal experiences aren’t actually… “accurate”? Has someone else been living my life? Oh noes!

    Seriously though, Susan is quite a reasonable moderator. Worse things have been said about women in gender without a “ban.” I have no idea why you think switching the gender around would get you banned.

    As well, others have confirmed my observation that not all nerds are good. This includes nerdy men AND women. That doesn’t mean I gave up on nerds altogether. I just think some caution about STEM guys is in order. Generalizations are only useful up to a point, and then you have to look at the individual.

  • Hope

    It’s not really true that women and men don’t know what’s attractive to the opposite sex. The knowledge exists on a gut instinct level. I was 3 or 4 when I wanted to dress up pretty and wished to have good looks. The little boys at school were already fighting for hierarchy and demonstrating their value.

    This same stuff happens all over the world. Maybe American society masks this under the banner of equality, but everybody knows the most popular girls and guys at school had their different traits. If feminism was really that powerful, the fashion and cosmetic industries would have been long dead by now.

    A logical and rational person doesn’t get brainwashed easily. Simple observations would lead to the conclusion that women are attracted to dominance while men are attracted to beauty. Even women don’t want to look at non-attractive women, as indicated by mass media.

    As a girl there is no need to slut up appearances to look attractive. The real attractions men have across cultures are to youth, health and a good waist-to-hip ratio — all indicators of fertility. Men also prefer women who are feminine, sweet, nice, loving and nurturing, and very importantly sexually exclusive rather than sleeping with random guys.

    None of this is difficult to discover, even via trial-and-error. And there’s thousands of years of lore and literature as research material. Remember Susan’s archetypes posts. Male heroes have always been strong, manly, dominant, etc. And their female love interests are usually pretty, feminine, and loving.

    Were people really led to believe that a girl being grossly overweight is hot or a guy being a supplicating doormat is sexy, or are they just kidding themselves?

  • DJB

    @Aldonza
    I’m sorry, but you have absolutely no understanding of male psychology.  All men care about a “sexually appealing” woman, if all you want is to f*ck.  Of course, I assume most women here don’t just want to f*ck, they want “this, that, and the other” as Seinfeld aptly put it.  To get there, chaste outweighs looks in my book any day.

  • Esau

    Hope: “Perhaps I should also clarify: I knew very few honest, genuine, kind, empathic, generous, respectful, polite, and principled nerdy men with good values, self-discipline and true integrity. Most of the time they were really no better than non-nerds.”
    .
    As a matter of personal experience I can report precisely the opposite.  At the time I exited college I had a close group of about ten friends, who all had these things in common: (1) They all had all of the good qualities you describe, they were all honest, genuine, kind, generous, respectful, polite, principled, as well as cultured, travelled, creative and intelligent, and certainly had self-discipline and integrity; (2) They were all STEM nerds of one kind or another, mostly scientists with some engineers; (3) In general none could even get the time of day from a peer-aged woman, whose reactions rarely went beyond “ew, nerds, yuck.”
    .
    Before analyzing any further or trying to draw big conclusions, I want to just let that testimony sink in.  I knew the best of the best, they were nerds and they were excellent men in every way that’s important, much better than non-nerds; and women at large (hundreds, if you add them all up over the years) just weren’t interested.  That’s my base of experience, and it certainly did not leave me with a very positive impression of womankind.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Esau
      I don’t doubt that your account of your experience with college friends is true. I do think it’s likely that good guys befriend good guys, and people who demonstrate bad character also wind up hanging out together. Your experience doesn’t mean there weren’t parallel groups of less admirable men, though I have no evidence either way.

  • Matt T

    @Aldonza: well, things are changing, and have been for a while. New female role models include lovely (/sarcasm) women such as Lil’ Kim and Nicole (Snooki) Polizzi, who venerate a lifestyle of dressing like sluts, getting a litany of cosmetic surgeries, being overly vain about their clothing, and of course crawling into the beds of random guys for no apparent reason except to “get it in”, in Polizzi’s words.
    Honestly I didn’t think women still bought into the lie that if they acted sweet and feminine, that would guarantee them a man. Look girls, having a cool personality and all is fine, but your looks come first. Period. If you don’t like it, there’s always boob jobs, nose jobs, and lipo. It kinda sucks, but female standards for men really suck too. Nature of the beast I guess.

  • Badger Nation

    “Women are fed a similar lie.  They’re told that if they’re “good girls”, passive girls, stick to the knitting, sewing, cooking that their wonderful alpha provider will ride in on his horse and rescue her for her “good womanly qualities”.  So she sits at home reading more puerile romance novels (or if she’s highbrow, she reads Jane Austen).  And she waits. And waits.  Meanwhile, the skank in the short skirt and heavy make-up who can’t boil water goes waltzing off with the men.”
     
    I think the key factor in your complaint is the “waiting” part. If you sit at home waiting for life to come to you, it doesn’t matter what gender you are, it’s not going to happen. All the more reason for women to shed this ASD-induced disinclination to approach or otherwise initiate contact with men. Hypergamy and preselection guarantee that quality men, the men you want, will have offers from others, and they are in most cases not going to take the extra time to seek out someone who hasn’t made herself available. I’m not saying you have to take all the leads; but sometimes you just need to give it a push.
    Just because hussy girls flop all over men doesn’t mean that initiating with men makes a girl a hussy, just as being dominant doesn’t make a guy a player even if it’s a prerequisite for being a successful player.
     
    I’ve been told from women that it’s about being “chased” (not chaste, haha) and that “if a man is interested he should be a man and show it.” First off, a man won’t get interested if you won’t talk to him or otherwise be available. Meanwhile, when those same girls get the tingle for a guy, they go all out giving him attention and adulation. So forgive me if the “I should be approached, not approach” mindset seems like a rationalization to avoid risk and play princess.
     
    I’m not saying YOU do this, just noting that your hypothetical has an out that doesn’t involved hussing it up or a personality transplant.
     

  • Badger Nation

    ” I just meant that if he isn’t doing something that he enjoys, he’s probably not in a good place for a relationship.
     
    This I totally agree with. Happy in life is a key comfort factor and thus an important element of leadership and SD.
     
    “What I would be looking for are signs that the guy is comfortable with himself and not looking to impress in that way.”
     
    Well, that’s the point of saying I’m a foot model, or whatever – show that you are comfortable, don’t feel the need to qualify yourself via your job, and don’t want to discuss. It’s all in the delivery. If it’s playful, great; if it’s biting or sarcastic or evasive, you look insecure with your station.
     

  • Hope

    Esau, I didn’t deny that such guys exist and get overlooked by women. But I didn’t meet them where I was. When I found such a guy I was overjoyed and amazed, and he is now my husband. He had been single basically throughout college and after, then we met.

    According to him, he didn’t meet a lot of guys who were really good either. His guy friends basically used and manipulated him in college (in terms of money and other things). So it wasn’t just my own observation.

  • Badger Nation

    “By now, however, the hookup norm is not so easily altered. Most women don’t know how to work around it, or they fear that in doing so, men will ignore them. So plenty acquiesce. They try to put a good face on it. They tell each other things like, “it’s all good,” even when it’s not.



    Unfortunately, the prospect that women will collectively demand that men actually treat them well in order for the privilege of being in her company isn’t likely anytime soon.”
     
    Or put another way, college women are so desperate for boyfriends and male attention they will trade their dignity for it with nary a nervous blink? It certainly appears that despite so much progress moving women into the white-collar workplace and its collateral institutions (the modern school system, the ), young women still have an enormous amount of social deference to the judgments of (a) other women/sisterhood and (b) socially dominant men, or what they perceive as the judgments of socially dominant men. This of course can almost cancel out the benefits of a strong education, since if you can’t form teams, work on teams, assert your career goals or take constructive criticism on the job, you’re not going to the top of the pyramid no matter what gender or grades you have, and those skills are built outside the workplace as much as in it.
     
    You might call it “social agility” – a sort of resilience and inner strength to navigate social pressures and assert yourself without falling apart – and as much as women are said to be better at the social game than men, lots of them don’t seem to be very good at social agility especially in college. Of course, the female role models on TV are histrionic (The Hills) or control freaks (Kate Gosselin) so it’s no surprise they continue the cycle.
     
    To those who ask how to change it, it’s NOT a matter of cutting off the nookie until the man changes his behavior – it’s in finding better men. You can’t expect to sow new seeds, you just have to find and reap the good crops.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Badger

      Or put another way, college women are so desperate for boyfriends and male attention they will trade their dignity for it with nary a nervous blink?

      Pretty much. Not all women. Remember, though, not all hookups are created equal, and the standards for dignified behavior have inevitably changed with the culture. Making out with a guy at a party or on the dance floor is pretty mild stuff, and I would argue that a woman who does that has not compromised herself. Even there, though, it’s a matter of degree. Making out with more than one guy in a night? Sleazy. Making out with different guys at every party? Same. That’s not to say that any man is required or even expected to approve of a woman who makes out at a party. But I don’t think she really hurts her chances very much with the majority of guys.

      To those who ask how to change it, it’s NOT a matter of cutting off the nookie until the man changes his behavior – it’s in finding better men. You can’t expect to sow new seeds, you just have to find and reap the good crops.

      .
      Well, I actually think it’s both. It’s withholding nookie from any man who is disrespectful, for starters. This YAD cycle accepts hooking up as a given, but attempts to weed out cads early. It reduces the likelihood of being pumped and dumped. Finding and reaping the good crops is a very sound idea. However, it’s not exactly like a trip to the grocery store. Women in their 20s go out, guys are out, guys approach, etc.

  • Aldonza

    That’s not a lie, Aldonza. Men have always rewarded pure and good women with commitment because they’re valued.

    .
    Men have rewarded some pure, good and *attractive* women…but mostly those women were rewarded with cads making run after run at them.  It’s almost exactly like women have rewarded good, intelligent *socially dominant* men.  The problem for women is, if they’re attractive, unlike Sleeping Beauty, it takes a whole lot of effort to remain chaste until her “prince charming” comes and unlocks all that latent sexual energy with one kiss.  Some women hide behind baggy clothes, unattractive hair/makeup, or even fat to keep the men away.  It’s easier than batting down the players.
    .

    I’m sorry, but you have absolutely no understanding of male psychology.  All men care about a “sexually appealing” woman, if all you want is to f*ck.  Of course, I assume most women here don’t just want to f*ck, they want “this, that, and the other” as Seinfeld aptly put it.  To get there, chaste outweighs looks in my book any day.

    .
    Right…sexually appealing is fine for fucking.  But an LTR-prospect needs to be sexually appealing *and* chaste, sweet, intelligent, nurturing, etc.  She does not get a pass on that first qualification.
    .

    I think the key factor in your complaint is the “waiting” part. If you sit at home waiting for life to come to you, it doesn’t matter what gender you are, it’s not going to happen. All the more reason for women to shed this ASD-induced disinclination to approach or otherwise initiate contact with men.

    .
    In my experience, men love to be approached…by attractive women.  But if they actually do find the woman approaching attractive, most decent guys don’t quite trust it.   And if the guy in question doesn’t find the woman sexually attractive?  Heh…we all know how that one ends.
    .
    Further, the “waiting” part is more about not participating in the traditional hook-up activities and venues.   I joke about the “sitting home and knitting” but frankly a lot of good women struggle with meeting available men because they aren’t strapping on the stilettos and going out clubbing.  And even if they do manage a social situation, a good portion of these nice women also lack “girl game”.  They don’t know how to signal interest in a more feminine way.  They don’t make eye contact and hide their smile even if they like someone.  Many of us were *taught* not to make eye contact with men.  When an attractive man approaches, they get very shy and less vibrant from nervousness.  It’s like…classic female beta behavior.

  • DJB

    I wonder who taught women not to make eye contact and why.  It put me at ease to see a woman unmistakably show interest;  there as less fear of rejection.  That first “hello” is the hardest.  There is something to “girl game.”  My wife showed clear interest in me when we first met, even though she never gave me her number.  I gave her my card, but because she displayed clear interest through eye contact and a little coy shyness (I think she even blushed), I knew she would contact me.  Ten years and 3 children later and I’m glad she did.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I wonder who taught women not to make eye contact and why

      I encourage women to make eye contact and hold it for three seconds when they see someone they find attractive. It’s a powerful signal. It also feels quite sexually bold. And I’ve been told by women who use this tactic that men often assume they are DTF immediately.

  • Timothy Webster

    @Aldonza
    Good point about good looking “good women” having a really tough time staying chaste.  Our society just isn’t advocating or supporting it.
    Also you bring up something I haven’t seem mentioned much.  In general, I find fat women do have a tough time with self-control issues.  And that makes relationships difficult.  BUT, I have definitely seen cases where the chubby (but not grossly so) woman finds a man who loves her, and suddenly she is in a relationship, and am month or two later, everyone is going WOW, I didn’t know she was so good looking!  There really is something about love that CAN improve a person.  I’ve seen it happen several times.
    So, as a man who is refusing sex and hookups because he wants a chaste woman to have kids, grandkids, and so on, how do he recognize those “hidden beauties” who will shed the pounds and improve her dress and appearance once he gives her the love and attention? (Even if that love and attention is somewhat like “game”)
    PUA’s have their cynical attitudes, but I have seen this happen in real life.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      how do he recognize those “hidden beauties” who will shed the pounds and improve her dress and appearance once he gives her the love and attention?

      You pay your money, and you take your chances. It’s usually not a good bet to count on someone making major changes at some future date.

  • Timothy Webster

    The answer to this is important, because picking any random fat chick is likely to lead to disappointment.  Most fat people are fat because they lack self-control.  Bad quality for an LTR.

    And the women with the ugly clothes?  Again, they might be beauties in hiding.  Or they might be neurotic women that were molested as little girls.

    So identifying the truly chaste women in hiding, from the truly ugly women, is valuable information.

  • Timothy Webster

    Then it gets down to situations appropriate for high quality social interaction, without all the noise and stupidity of clubs and bars.  Coffee shop?  Maybe.  College library?  Sounds good.  Hiking?  Maybe.  Don’t know.  Today’s world goes at a very fast pace.  Where are you when things are socially slow enough that you can get to know strangers, but not so slow that there are no strangers around?
     
    Back in the village, everyone knew everyone, and sort of knew people from neighboring villages.  And if you didn’t know someone, someone else you knew would know them.  So there was fact checking and verification.  Everyone was pretty much pre-qualified.  Not much courtship was needed.  You knew who she was, she knew who you were, the community supported marriage, so you approached her father and asked his permission, then asked her for her hand.  Sweet system, gentle on everyone involved, and fairly high success rate.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Today’s world goes at a very fast pace. Where are you when things are socially slow enough that you can get to know strangers, but not so slow that there are no strangers around?

      .
      This is a great point. It’s especially difficult in large, urban areas but there are very few villages left, speaking culturally. You need to find little virtual villages. You mentioned hiking. I know one woman who loves hiking and she ran a personal ad – the only one – in the Appalachian Mountain Club newsletter. She got one response. They fell in love.

  • Hope

    Introverted nerdy guys and nerdy girls do have a harder time meeting up outside of limited contexts, and introverts tend to have very small social circles. After college, I basically never met people outside of work.

    The Internet is a blessing for introverts. I would not have met my husband without the Internet. We lived many states apart, were recluses, and at the time of our meeting our schedules looked like this: work, home, play video games.

    Also, I was never fat, and men never hit on me. The one time I actually got hit on was by a fearless little high school kid when I was in my early 20s, on the train to work. I still remember it because it was so unusual. People just don’t do “cold approaches” most of the time.

  • Aldonza

    I wonder who taught women not to make eye contact and why.

    .
    Some cultures have a well-known stigma against women making eye contact.  My mother told me flat out that there was nothing worse than a cock-tease.  Never lead a man on.  Problem was, she never told me how to encourage the interest of the man I *did* want to lead on.
    .

    It put me at ease to see a woman unmistakably show interest;  there as less fear of rejection.  That first “hello” is the hardest.  There is something to “girl game.”

    .
    Yes, there is something to “girl game” other than the obvious improvements to physical appearance.  Women aren’t the only ones who respond to non-verbal communication.  The simplest way to signal interest to a man is with eye contact and a smile.  Hold the eye contact for more than 3 seconds and you’ve just signaled interest.  Look away, look back, hold eye contact and smile this time and you’ve just told a man that it is safe to approach.
    .
    And yet, I’m in my 40s, an otherwise confident woman who has no trouble holding her own in a conference room filled with men and I have such trouble doing something as  simple as holding eye contact and smiling at a man I find attractive!
    .

    My wife showed clear interest in me when we first met, even though she never gave me her number.  I gave her my card, but because she displayed clear interest through eye contact and a little coy shyness (I think she even blushed), I knew she would contact me.  Ten years and 3 children later and I’m glad she did.

    .
    I’m glad she did too!  We should all take notes from her success!

  • Aldonza

    Also, I was never fat, and men never hit on me. The one time I actually got hit on was by a fearless little high school kid when I was in my early 20s, on the train to work. I still remember it because it was so unusual. People just don’t do “cold approaches” most of the time.

    .
    At the time I married at age 25, I’d been asked out a grand total of…twice.  I was better than average looking, not overweight, congenial and intelligent.  I also apparently gave off a strong “do not approach” vibe that was mostly self-consciousness, but mostly interpreted as lack of interest.

  • Kurt

    I graduated in the late 1990s and was an electrical engineering major myself and in my opinion the reason why the pickings are so bare is because of the lack of women in the same majors.  There were a couple women in my core classes, but they were hideous beasts that nobody wanted to date – one of them actually had more arm hair than most guys I know.
    These guys also weren’t the type to go out drinking every night because there is simply no way to get decent grades if you party a lot.  There’s no way to bullshit your way to a decent grade on a math-type test, like one might be able to do in some humanities, communications, or English classes.
    Some of the guys could get girls and they were relationship-type guys, as I was.  Some of the guys couldn’t get any decent girls because those guys were really weird.  I did know a couple guys who claimed to be getting lots of casual sex, but the women they were getting were either fat or unsightly in some other way.

  • ExNewYorker

    This YAD cycle accepts hooking up as a given, but attempts to weed out cads early.
    Now maybe I’m just dense or something, but this YAD cycle seems to be the cads’ dream.  First of all, it accepts hooking as a given, as you say, so it’ll already set the parameters of the interaction.  The cads then only need to get to stage 2, and they’re good to go.  To get past stage 1, they may need to dial down asshole game for this type of woman, but once they get to stage 2, they’re golden.  Heck, they probably aren’t even thinking about stage 4 or 5, if they even care to get to stage 3.
    .
    I just find it puzzling.  Mainly because it implicitly accepts the cycle as  modus operandi.  Heck, it even puts the the exit far away, so the cycle will probably spin in the first three stages (since you can be recycled in those stages) over and over.
     

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @ExNewYorker
      Well again, you seem to be assuming that Stage 2 will include intercourse. It’s true that a woman may fail to detect the dumpster-worthy traits of a cad in the early stages, but at least this paradigm has women at full attention ready to reject a guy who shows his true colors. A lot of cads are not the least bit shy about it – at least these women won’t put up with it. That’s a contrast to the many women who seem to willingly subject themselves to demeaning treatment.
      .
      It is true that the graphic accepts hooking up as a given. I think these women would say, duh! They feel that it is a given – it’s the way things are done, at least in their world.

  • http://omegavirginrevolt.wordpress.com white and nerdy

    Wait, white and nerdy, are you saying my past personal experiences aren’t actually… “accurate”? Has someone else been living my life? Oh noes!

    You don’t understand your own mind.  A woman eliminates men from her mind that aren’t in her erotic field of view.  This is why talking about STEM guys on this blog is pointless.  Instead of actually asking us what is happening we get a bunch of women who refuse to understand the real situation because they don’t understand most of these men are being ignored.
    If those nerdy guys you were with were so bad what were you doing with them?  That says a lot about you.

    Perhaps these guys were mean, bitter and resentful towards women because women were rejecting them or perhaps women were rejecting them because they were mean, bitter, and resentful. Chicken or the egg. We can debate forever about this

    Why would a man just decide to be bitter and resentful at women for no reason?  Women are doing things that are really evil to men such as making up sexual harassment BS. Pretending that female behavior has no effect on men is stupid and proves what The Fifth Horseman says about women not understanding cause and effect.

    Aldonza makes a good point about beta-entitlement and subsequent beta bitterness, and W+N has spoken the truth on how it happens – the exact same way female entitlement and settling panic happens. Get told by society this is how you should be, do it, don’t get the reward you’ve been promised, get resentful.

    I have said this before but I will say it again.  The problem for a lot of men is not entitlement but compensation.  Government and other institutions have used their power to benefit women at the expense of men.  Men such as myself have not been compensated for this violation of our rights.  Government in particular acts a machine to steal money from men to distribute to women.  Women make no effort to stop this.  (Even Tea Party women are more concerned about masturbation than recognizing men have rights.)  I like many other men deserve to be compensated for my losses forced upon me by government and other institutional power.  Since women were the beneficiaries it has to come from them in one form or another.

  • ExNewYorker

    @Susan
    Well again, you seem to be assuming that Stage 2 will include intercourse.
    Yes, I suppose you’re right, it is an assumption. I guess being  a STEM guy, I took the description: “#2 Penis Stage: Drunk hook-ups/texts (aka booty calls)” at face value.  :-)  I guess it depends what the meaning of the word is is… :-)
    .

    It is true that the graphic accepts hooking up as a given. I think these women would say, duh! They feel that it is a given – it’s the way things are done, at least in their world.

    .
    The way I look at it, that graphic is akin to showing up to the car dealership with a cashier’s check for the MSRP value of the car.  You’re already letting the dealer win, even if you negotiate for some floormats and some fuzzy dice for the mirror.  At that point, you’re better off tearing the check and heading for the dealership across town…
     
     

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      The way I look at it, that graphic is akin to showing up to the car dealership with a cashier’s check for the MSRP value of the car.

      Yes, but it’s also women demanding the best quality for top dollar. They’re trying to turn the tables and say, “If I’m going to pay asking, then I’d better get something in pristine condition that’s not going to break down on me anytime soon. I’m taking this for a test drive, checking it out thoroughly, and if it’s a lemon I expect a full refund.”
      .
      There’s a lot of talk about women having agency, and demand that women stop lapping up crappy treatment from cads. I respect this attempt by women to respond to that by exerting some control in a way designed to preserve their own value, or at least cause minimal damage to it. Is there a tradeoff? Yes, they understand that. There’s a risk of getting pumped and dumped, though it is reduced if a guy is held to a higher standard.
      .
      As for what hooking up entails – yeah, I’d say the penis usually makes an appearance, if not the first time then probably the second. I’d also say alcohol is a factor 99% of the time. As you saw, hanging out sober is a stage of its own.
      .
      Of course, all of this would be completely unnecessary if Obama would just release some great “dad” material from the U.S. Strategic Bachelor Reserve (hat tip: Aldonza):

      http://www.theonion.com/video/obama-releases-500000-men-from-us-strategic-bachel,18095/

  • Höllenhund

    Aldonza,
    cads don’t chase pure and good women who refuse to practice casual sex. They chase sluts.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      cads don’t chase pure and good women who refuse to practice casual sex

      I really hope this is true. I believe it is for the most part, because it requires more work than a cad wants to invest, but there are always some especially awful guys who love the challenge and make a project of the conquest.

  • Aldonza

    cads don’t chase pure and good women who refuse to practice casual sex. They chase sluts.

    No…they like sluts because they *don’t* have to chase them.  But they absolutely do chase pure women and even award themselves extra kudos when they bag a particularly chaste one.
    .
    PUA advice boards are rife with questions about gaming virgins and near-virgins.  Talk of “gaming the family”, “go easy on the negs” and “LMR”.  Note, very few of these requests were from guys who were looking for a relationship with the virgin.  They just wanted to add her to the notchcount and move on.
    .
    If we all agree that physically attractiveness is important, and low number women are valuable, then a hot virgin would be near the top of the heap.  Why wouldn’t men chase that?

  • J

    PUA advice boards are rife with questions about gaming virgins and near-virgins.  Talk of “gaming the family”, “go easy on the negs” and “LMR”.  Note, very few of these requests were from guys who were looking for a relationship with the virgin.  They just wanted to add her to the notchcount and move on.

    And that’s one thing I eally hate about the PUA-sphere–the use of people, followed by the attempt to justify it with, “But women are users too.”

  • J

    NGII

    Thanks.  I actually googled him a few months ago, but I still didn’t quite get that his appeal/accomplishment was the ability to be a STEM guy and an alpha simutaneouly.  So, he’s a role model?

  • J

    @filrabat

    J: “…Got something in the middle?”

    filrabat: 5ft 9 1/2 165 lbs and looks like he can play a competent (if not competitive level) game of tennis? Plus pulls in about $55K/yr. (not describing me, just the average person (more or less)

    J: My DH is a little shorter, a little stockier, plays a different sport, and has a high income, but yeah, you’ve the picture. 

  • J

    a good friend of mine married that 100 lb. 5’5″ bookworm, and they have a very successful marriage. She’s always late for coffee in the morning because they were having sex again.

    LOL.  Well, you know what they say about books and covers.

  • J

    @ENY

    I can concur with Badger’s experience in similar fashion.  My wife works in a heavily-female field (nursing), and a lot of her coworkers were surprised that her “STEM” husband would actually look ok in a nice suit at the company xmas party.

    Here’s  story that’ll make you feel better.  Back when I was high school teacher, I ran into a bunch of female students at the mall.  I was with my husband who is a fairly good-looking guy.  On Monday, the school was abuzz with news of a real life sighting of me with DH, but also with the concensus that he  was “nowhere near as queer-looking as you’d expect a teacher’s husband to be.”  One of the girls actually told me that.  It still makes me laught to think about it.

  • J

    @Höllenhund 
     Aldonza: “And women need to be told the truth about men – sexual appeal and attractiveness – and all the storytale lies about being rescued and rewarded for being pure and good. ”

    Hollenhund: “That’s not a lie, Aldonza. Men have always rewarded pure and good women with commitment because they’re valued. And they will also find them sexually appealing. But I guess this is something women will never fully comprehend.”

    J:  Respectfully speaking, you are full of shit.  I’ve sat on the sidelines watching the scenario described by Aldonza  unfold too many to believe you.  Yeah, some man value the pure and the good.  Others chase sluts, and marry them, and build McMansions for them.  It happens. I’ve seen it. 
     

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Yeah, some man value the pure and the good. Others chase sluts, and marry them, and build McMansions for them. It happens. I’ve seen it.

      Not only that, this is what chaste college women witness every day. If everything they’ve been told is true, shouldn’t men think they are the prize – the trophy? The attractive woman who has respected her body and refused to put out for unworthy men? And yet, the girlfriends? Perhaps not the Karen Owens of the world, passed around from one lax player to the next, but still, girls who hooked up in uncertainty for months before grabbing the brass ring – commitment. Of course, knowing that most of Ms. Owens flings were with guys in relationships, we might wonder what that commitment is worth. Still, I suspect many women hoping and waiting for something good and real to happen must envy those easy girlfriends sometimes.

  • J

    I’ve been told from women that it’s about being “chased” (not chaste, haha) and that “if a man is interested he should be a man and show it.” First off, a man won’t get interested if you won’t talk to him or otherwise be available. Meanwhile, when those same girls get the tingle for a guy, they go all out giving him attention and adulation. So forgive me if the “I should be approached, not approach” mindset seems like a rationalization to avoid risk and play princess.

    It’s hard for girls to hit that middle ground between princess and slut without a lot of experience in flirting with men.  There was a time in a kinder and gentler era  that an interested girl could gently hint her interest and make it understood that she might welcome an advance though not a proposition.  These days, I think it’s easier to be either be misunderstood or to have the subtle IOI be missed entirely–especially by guys who have trouble reading social clues.
     

  • Bob

    In college, as an industrial engineer, around 20% of all my classmates were girls.  Still, we had a term – “engineering hot” – to describe the best of them.  Hot when they stood next to other engineers; below-average at best compared to, say, art major girls.
    They also tended to have very masculine personalities.  That made them easy to talk to and be friends with, but undesireable for long-term dating.  I’m told things were much worse for the computer programmers and mechanical engineers.
    It didn’t much matter to me, though.  My dad taught me not to Sh*t were I eat, so I made and abided by a rule not to date or hookup with girls in my own major.  I avoided some real drama that way, from what I could tell.
    That meant, though, that I had to date girls in the business or art majors.  I learned very quickly that telling girls my major was the kiss of death.  They’d ask, and when I answered honestly, four out of five would just lose interest that moment.  I could see their faces drop and their interest dissappear.  They would say, “Wow, you must be smart,” then find some excuse to disappear.  Humanities classes, coffee shops, bars, parties – the result was the same in any setting.
    I’m a history and politics buff, so eventually I tried lying and claiming to be a political science major.  Turns out I didn’t need to know anything; that claim was good enough not to scare girls off.  I hated lying, though, and eventually just resolved myself to putting up with a high rejection rate.  Even reading up on Game hasn’t changed that, though it has vastly improved my ability to keep interest from those rare girls who don’t lose it immediately.
    If I could do it all again, I’d probably have chosen history as a major and kept playing football in college – I was pretty good in high school.  And knowing my future prospects are better now does not help; I’d probably still do it differently.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Bob
      Hi, thanks for leaving a comment. Your experience is pretty interesting – I don’t understand women’s response to your being smart, but I do respect your not wanting to rely on misrepresenting yourself.

      we had a term – “engineering hot” – to describe the best of them. Hot when they stood next to other engineers; below-average at best compared to, say, art major girls.

      Oh boy, I know how this goes. When I got to business school, I and my fellow female classmates were very distressed to learn that the guys were not looking to date us – at all. They were all about the undergrads, especially the fine arts majors! I learned to hate those women, haha! Knowing what I do now, it was hardly surprising. A lot of my classmates were very attractive so I don’t think it was really about looks – it was about not finding assertive business women attractive. I understood it – I was keeping my eyes open for a poet.

  • ExNewYorker

    @Susan
    Yes, but it’s also women demanding the best quality for top dollar.
    I think we’ll probably agree to disagree on the the YAD subject.  I can understand your view: you obviously know the people in question, which may give you more insight than someone like myself just looking at the diagram.  But though I understand that, I guess my point is that, absent any such mitigating knowledge, it kinda looks not so good.  If we changed the gender references, and named it “Pump-n-dump Cycle” and it was posted on Roissy, it’d be pretty clear what it would represent…
    .
    Ultimately, the SMP is what is, and there’s the freedom to pursue whatever strategy seems appropriate.  It just seems that trying to fight cad fire with yad fire probably gets everybody burned.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      It just seems that trying to fight cad fire with yad fire probably gets everybody burned.

      You’re a talented wordsmith for a STEM guy ;) I understand your POV as well, and yes, I am of course influenced by my real affection for the woman in question. She’s a great kid – and has never ridden that carousel – but she is also frustrated. She was intrigued by the post suggesting that moving to Boulder might be a good strategy…

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  • mjay

    Bob is completely on target.  Being in the sciences or in engineering s the kiss of death for most women.

  • Kurt

    I know that this article is supposed to be about STEM men, but what do men really think about women who are really in art or majors like that?
    I personally have found that I am incompatible with women who were art majors – they tend to be weird (in my opinion).  The ones I have met also seem to be very self-centered and extremely liberal, neither of which are characteristics I would want in my eventual wife.

  • http://www.xamuel.com Xamuel

    Part of the problem is self-reinforcing:  not only the other kids, but the science majors *themselves* fall pray to believing in the stereotypes.  Thus they are ashamed of themselves, and it shines through.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Xamuel

      Part of the problem is self-reinforcing: not only the other kids, but the science majors *themselves* fall pray to believing in the stereotypes.

      That’s a really good point. I think it is a self-fulfilling prophecy, as kids worry about how they will be perceived. Their worry may make them socially awkward, which only serves to play back into the stereotype.

  • ExNewYorker

    One of the things that helped me become a “recovering STEM guy” was the fact I had a lot of other interests outside my career area.  I was a history buff, and that interest took me to a lot of places, to Cairo, Jerusalem, Athens.  I think it behooves STEM guys to find the other interests outside the STEM areas, and develop them.  At the very least, it’ll get you thinking about the world in a different way, and maybe expose one to more than one truth.  The worst that can happen is you’ll have a fun time outside your area of specialty…

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @ExNewYorker
      One of the best things about pursuing interests is that it makes you interesting. A history buff who has just gone to Cairo, Jerusalem or Athens to pursue a passion will have a great deal to think about =====> and say. A guy doesn’t need pickup lines if he’s living his life this way. It helps if you have to get out of the house to follow your passion…

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  • socratesadmirer

    The whole culture is just very childish. America, having no true identity as a people has to create one that as many people as possible can assimilate to. So the archetypes are very basic and one-dimensional. And extremely unrealistic. Pushing the images of archetypes also makes it much easier to sell shit. People want to be the images they are fed – especially girls, who are much more receptive to images as reality – and they categorize other people into their view of the world-as-cultural-images.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @socratesadmirer
      That’s a really interesting point. America is an incredibly diverse country, a “melting pot,” and our culture is always changing to reflect shifts in population. Of course people do want to assimilate, so we look for common traits and we probably wind up overemphasizing them.

  • http://meatspin.com Kevin Goolsby

    STEM majors, especially engineers don’t have time to mess around in college. Once they graduate, they will be raking in the money while idiots in frats will struggle…

  • Jennifer

    Great article! I love studying the differences between men and women, in careers as well as everything else.

    ““Your body is saying you want to have sex with me; it just hasn’t communicated that fact to your mind yet.”

    Actually, it had. Alistair was tall, with rumpled sand-colored hair. When he smiled, his lips actually turned up at the corners. More importantly, he appeared to fancy me.

    “Man is the only mammal who conceals ovulation, ” he said. He sounded so sure of himself. That was attractive too”

    Ugh, sounds like an ass to me.

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  • INTJ

    No wonder his normal approach is useless in that graphic. He didn’t even try a Laplace transform.