Why is Hypergamy a Four-Letter Word?

Posted on November 26, 2012 by

A reader sent me this email wondering why hypergamy gets such bad press, while the male preference for “younger, hotter, tighter” goes unremarked upon in the manosphere:

We all claim to believe that a woman is required to submit to and respect her husband. And if, as we all believe, a man’s job is to be the leader of, protector of, and primary provider for, his wife and family, then why would a woman be wrong for choosing a man she can look up to? Marrying a man who cannot do for her what she can at minimum do for herself is illogical. It would seem to me to be counter intuitive to choose a man she isn’t inclined to look up to for some reason or another.

Last question, which I’ll preface with my own life as an example. Never, in my 18 years of marriage, have I looked around for another man of higher status to replace my husband with. Ever. Never have I, upon encountering a man of higher status, imagined that he might make me happier than my own husband. Do you guys really believe that most married, Christian women are in the market for an upgrade from their husbands?

While I believe that hypergamy is a real part of women’s mating strategy, I don’t believe it’s sinful any more than a man’s desire for a young, healthy, fit and fertile wife. These are rational and logical things to consider when choosing a life mate. So why is female hypergamy presented as something inherently sinful?

Before I proceed, I think we need language to describe the male counterpart to hypergamy–the preference for younger / hotter / tighter women.  The Social Pathologist recently proffered “femogamy”, a word whose muddled etymology (latin + greek) suggests a predilection for feminine mates.  Not a bad attempt, but I don’t think the word quite captures the essence of male sexuality the way that “hypergamy” characterizes female preferences.  I offer instead “koreogamy“, from the Greek words “kore“, for a young unmarried woman, a maiden, suggesting an attractive and nubile young woman, and of course -gamy, meaning marriage, fertilization, or reproduction, from the Greek gamos, meaning marriage. Thus “koreogamy” describes the strong male preference for youthful, attractive women, and, like my anonymous reader highlighted above, is a fact of male sexuality that goes as largely unremarked upon in the manosphere as it is decried in the mainstream by women whose men had “traded up” on them to a “younger model”.

Now: onto hypergamy. Hypergamy, like koreogamy, is likewise a fact of female sexuality.  Complaining about it strikes me as about as productive as complaining about gravity. I like the way the Social Pathologist put it when he said

Hypergamy is the natural object of female sexuality. It’s not a choice, and therefore devoid of a moral dimension, but a hard wired instinct. It’s what women involuntarily feel in the presence of a suitable male. Women have about as much choice about their hypergamous natures as men do about their [preferences for younger / hotter / tighter women]. It’s a fact of life and getting angry about it is about as idiotic as getting angry about the orbital motion of the planets or the unfairness of Plank’s constant.

I’ve observed some game theorists to be quite reductionist in their assessment of the hypergamous nature of women. That hypergamy is so strong a tendency so as to often, or even always, override a woman’s self control.  That hypergamy both explains female sexual behavior and predicts it, going as far as to imply that even married women are constantly on the prowl to one-up their husband.  This is a slander akin to the “all men are rapists” charge that rape culture hysteria activists level at men–where both camps deny the opposite sex the agency, or even the capability, of self-control. Indeed, characterizing male and female sexuality in this way suggests a tendency to view “the other” as an animal ruled by base nature…in other words, reductionist. The no-so-soft bigotry of low / no expectations is the name of the game here.

So it seems that hypergamy and koreogamy are concepts in need of rehabilitation. If we assume that both tendencies are truly hard-wired components of female and male sexuality, an assumption I think is valid, then it would be wise to act in accordance to this true fact.  Both men and women would benefit from selecting their mates according to these behavioral inclinations, from positioning themselves in the SMP and, later, in marriage, according to these principles, and defending their bonds according to these principles.  There are many who already do this: PUAs and so-called “Gamers” exploit SMP positioning to their notorious advantage, while “married gamers” like Athol Kay and Keoni Galt apply all three to their benefit as married men.  For that matter, women also would benefit from exploiting koreogamy in their dating and married lives. They can leverage koreogamy, what they know men are hard-wired to seek, by deliberately marrying young, marrying a fellow older than she is, by staying fit, by offering fidelity and plenty of sex.  All while capitalizing on their own innate hypergamic tendencies by selecting a man they look up to and then making the conscious choice to sidestep Eve’s Sin by following the “captain / first officer” model.

Getting back to the question emailed above, my interrogator wonders if men really believe that their wives/girlfriends, particularly Christian ones, are always on the prowl to one-up their husbands. Personally, I don’t think so, but it may appear that this opinion prevails in the manosphere because so many men have been on the wrong end of a woman’s hypergamous nature, and they may find in the manosphere a place that offers an explanation that fits their observations.  These fellows may have been “bigger-better-dealed” by women, or have been traded in for a man more alpha than they were (whether that man was truly alpha, an alpha poseur, or the ultimate alpha, big sister government).  They may have also simply become tired of observing feral females rejecting perfectly good men in their quest to follow feminism’s twin siren songs of “womanhood as sexual availability” and “empowerment”…and in the process engage in serial polyandry.  It is this friction point where I think hypergamy gets such a bad name…sometimes the trait gets confused with the behavior.  In between hypergamy and cheating on your reasonably high-ranking man with an even higher-ranking man lays choice.  Women can choose to control their baser urges, to not upgrade from their present man, either by consciously, deliberately choosing to stay and not stray, by embedding herself in a social matrix that makes such thoughts unthinkable, or by internalizing a Faith that makes love for the Creator and accountability to Him their foremost priority in life. Or all of the above. And while we’re at it, the same applies to men as well. We fellows are not beasts, no matter what the materialists say, no matter how self-serving feminist agitprop paints us.  The flesh, our hardwiring, while perhaps useful for the continuation of the species before we knew God,is weak.  Criticizing hypergamy doesn’t get us very far, better for men (and women) to co-opt it to our mutual advantage.