There was an article in the Weekly Standard recently called "The New Dating Game: Back to the New Paleolithic Age
". The title should have been: The New Dating Game: A Representative Fallacy
From the article:
Thanks to late marriage, easy divorce, and the well-paying jobs that the feminist revolution has wrought for women, the bars, clubs, sidewalks, and subway straps of nearly every urban center in America overflow every weekend with females, young and not so young, bronzed, blonded, teeth-whitened, and dressed in the maximal cleavage and minimal skirt lengths that used to be associated with streetwalkers but nowadays is standard garb for lawyers and portfolio managers on a girls’ night out.
Are those field notes or did you just finish the Season 3 DVD of Sex in the City? Given author Charlotte Allen's byline, "a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute’s Minding the Campus website, [who] is writing her doctoral dissertation in medieval and Byzantine studies," I'm guessing she collects her data from all the latest reality shows on VH-1.
Allen wades into the murky world of commercial seduction, mostly because it seems to make her case for her, and tries on a little Evolutionary Psychology for size. It's true that EP offers a pretty good account for what's going on and I'm all for everyone reading Robert Wright's The Moral Animal
. But she can't seem to decide if it's "obviously pure speculation, if imaginatively rendered and bolstered by anthropological observations of hunter-gatherer societies today" or "provides support for a truth universally denied:
Geoffrey Miller, however, puts it all together for her:
In The Mating Mind, Geoffrey Miller wrote:
Our ancestors probably had their first sexual experiences soon after reaching sexual maturity. They would pass through a sequence of relationships of varying durations over the course of a lifetime. Some relationships might have lasted no more than a few days. . . . Many Pleistocene mothers probably had boyfriends. But each woman’s boyfriend may not have been the father of any of her offspring. . . . Males may have given some food to females and their offspring, and may have defended them from other men, but . . . anthropologists now view much of this behavior more as courtship effort than paternal investment.
That’s a pretty fair description of mating life today in the urban underclass and the meth-lab culture of rural America. Take away the offspring, blocked by the Pill and ready abortion, and it’s also a pretty fair description of today’s prolonged singles scene. In other words, we have met the Stone Age, and it is us.
"Take away the offspring, blocked by the Pill and ready abortion"? Hey, why not take away our iphones, habeas corpus, and opposable thumbs while you're at it?
So how to address this moral decay "wreaking havoc on beta men and on beta women, too, who, as the declining marriage rate indicates, have trouble finding and securing long-term mates in a supply-saturated short-term sexual marketplace"? I'd suggest she try bookmarking some different websites. But this is the Weekly Standard, so let's just turn to page 13 of the 1988 Republican National Party Platform:
every aspect of New Paleolithic mating culture discourages the sexual restraint once imposed on both sexes that constituted a firm foundation for both family life and civilization
Freedom is fine for corporations and gun-owners. For the rest of us, there is the salubrious Guantanamo of traditional marriage.