Monday, January 2, 2006

Nice guys, jerks, and the 80/20 Rule

Many of the comments on my blog refer to "nice guys" and "jerks." Apparently the universe of men is divided into these two categories, yet the terms are strangely undefined.

It seems to me that the two terms are simply synonymous with the bio-evolutionary terms of the "alpha-male" (or jerk) who has lots of sex, and the "beta-male" (or nice guy) who has little sex. To the extent that how much sex a man has affects his personality, it's obvious that the guy getting a lot of sex doesn't have to be very nice because he's getting what he wants (sex) anyway. Why bother to put in the effort to be nice when it's not necessary?

Or maybe "nice," to a woman, means a guy who wants a long term relationship and not just a quick conquest. But the very definition of the alpha-male is that he's going to have sex with lots of women, so obviously he's not going to stick around. It's not in his nature. In this sense, a "nice alpha-male" is an oxymoron.

Although woman say they don't want to have sex with jerks, in fact women are biologically programmed to want to have sex with alpha-males. I explained this in my previous post about insecurities and evolutionary biology. Don't doubt the power of our biological instincts; without them we wouldn't even be having any sex at all.

Based on the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 Rule, among single men there is surely a small number of alpha-males who are having the lion's share of the sex. Perhaps 20% of the men are having 80% of the sex. Maybe this is even higher. Maybe 10% of men are having 90% of the sex.

Even going with the more conservative 80/20 ratio, this numerical analysis brings us to a shocking conlusion. If a typical woman has had sex with five men, then statistically four of those men will be from the 20% of men who are alpha-males or "jerks." So a woman believes that "nearly all men are jerks," even though it's not true; only 20% of the men are jerks, but jerks comprise 80% of the men that she has had sex with. She has a completely distorted view of what men are really like because the type of man she usually has sex with is not representative of the average man.

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