Friday, October 2, 2009

Zak's Theory of Love: The Fallacy of Male Thinking

Originally written in February 2007.

The Fallacy of Male Thinking

One thing that I have paid particular attention to is the whole sexual/romantic interaction between men and women (many girls will probably remember my survey that I did). Many men complain that, “girls just don’t make sense!!” Given, I used to agree with them, but I think I have figured all that out (I am not saying that I have some strong understanding on how girls think, but I do feel that I understand that motivations behind it all). However, this blog is not specifically about girls, and contrary to the title of this blog, it’s not really about love either (had to get you to read it somehow). It’s about guys and their perception of girls and dating. Of all my theories on anything remotely related to this topic, I feel that this is my best one. Maybe because the behavior its trying to explain isn’t as complex. Who knows.

So here it is:

First, lets define some terms: Motivational Attribution Bias or MAB. You didn’t learn about this term in your psychology class, because I made it up. There could be a term that already exists that explains the same thing, but if there is, I can’t find it. Anyway, a MAB is when you attribute someone’s behavior, beliefs, actions, ect to what you think the motivation is, rather than just asking the person about the actual motivations.

For example, many people will email me stating that the only reason that I am an atheist is because I want to live a life of drugs abuse and gratuitous sex without feeling guilty. Obviously, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Many non-religious people do the same thing though, with religious people. As Jesse Ventura said, “religion is a crutch for weak-minded people…” Obviously, this isn’t true. Case in point: Justin Parker hahaha!

So you see what’s happening here? Christians take what they think are the reasons that someone would be an atheist, and apply them to me, instead of just asking “why don’t you believe in God?” And Ventura did the same thing. He took what he thought was the reason that people believe in God, and applied it to all Christians, without actually asking. The real reasons behind belief are much more complex, but that’s a different blog entirely.

Next term: Self-Fulfilling Prophecy or SFP. I am sure everyone is familiar with this, but I have met a few people that didn’t know what it was, so I will explain it just to be safe. A SFP is a prediction that, in being made, actually causes itself to become true. That is, it’s a prediction that you make about something, and because you have made this prediction, you cause it to come true. So say you think that your upcoming math test is going to be so hard and you have no chance of passing it. So because of this belief, you fail to study, and end up failing the test. Thus fulfilling the prediction.

Ok moving on. It’s a well-known fact in the science world that men place more emphasis on looks that women do. Especially when it comes to a long-term partner. Many studies have been done on this over the decades, and every single one have concluded that women consistently place “looks” below “personality” (things that include, humor, intelligence and confidence) and “status”. However, as it will be no surprise, men place looks as the number one priority. I’m sure at this point, guys are thinking “hell yes!” and girls are thinking “ugh! That’s so shallow!” I don’t want to get into it right now, but all I can say is that the girls are wrong. Briefly, female looks tell men about the quality of their genes. Hot girls “tell” men “I have good genes, and if your child has half of them he/she will be likely to survive and reproduce.”

After reading that last paragraph, I’m sure that besides the girls being irritated about men placing such importance on looks, some men might be skeptical that women don’t care about looks as much. But ask yourself, how many hot studs end up marrying old rich women? Or, how many times do you see a good-looking guy with some ugly chick. You will always see pretty girls dating guys that aren’t so good looking. The reverse almost never happens.

And if you haven’t caught it already, both sexes are already committing the MAB! The men see the world as “physical beauty first”, and they assume that girls must think the same thing. At least for me, it’s absolutely impossible to comprehend how looks couldn’t be that important for girls. Obviously, I know better, but it’s a hard thing to understand and I have to constantly remind myself of it. Meanwhile, the girls were thinking that the reason guys place such an emphasis on looks is because they are shallow. Both guys and girls are wrong, since the motivation actually stems from our evolutionary history and our gene’s “desire” to survive.

So what the heck does this have to do with dating? Well, I will tell ya.

Lets assume that I am an average 24 year old American male. Imagining it yet? Good. Ok, lets also imagine that I think that my attraction level is a 7 out of 10. Now, as a male, I place an enormous emphasis on looks. But because of the MAB, I also assume that girls do as well. Since I think I am about a 7 out 10, I only approach girls who are around a 7 out of 10 on the attraction level as well. I approach them confidently, because I don’t think they would have any reason to reject me because of my looks. And lo and behold, some of these girls tend to like me as well.

However, lets suppose that one day I see a smoking hot chick, a definite 9.5! I want to talk to her, but because of her beauty, I am too nervous. I think that she will look at me and think, “I can do way better than this guy.” The reason I think this is because I wrongly assume she places as much emphasis on looks as I do. Even if I got the guts to talk to her, I would be quite nervous, and in turn, because I don’t think that I really have a chance with her anyway, she doesn’t find me attractive, and that is that.

So what just happened? Well, a SFP just happened. I thought that I could only get girls who were 7’s, and because of this, I either would never approach girls who were above a 7, and if I did, I was so nervous about what she would think of my physically, so because of my lack of self confidence, she didn’t find my personalityattractive.

Meanwhile, I see some confident, attractive guy (in a purely heterosexual way of course) with really pretty girls. I assume that the only reason he gets those girls is because he is good looking, when it actually has to do with his confidence in himself. If he didn’t have confidence that he could get really pretty girls, he wouldn’t be able to.

So if guys could get over the MAB and realize that if they approached all girls, of any degree of looks, with the same amount of confidence that they would approach a girl who they feel is “in their league”, they could indeed get these really pretty girls.

Now, girls might be thinking, “well that’s not fair, because maybe I don’t want to date some guy who isn’t that cute.” If this is your mode of thinking, let me point out that just a few minutes ago you whined about guys being shallow because they place such emphasis on looks. So you have contradicted yourself. And really, you shouldn’t be worried anyway, because girls place more emphasis on humor, confidence and status than they do on looks.

So there ya have it. Guys can get basically any girl they want, and some guys do. It just comes down to understanding the real reasons that girls find certain guys attractive, instead of falling for a Motivational Attribution Error and getting stuck in a Self Fulfilling Prophecy.

The End and good day!

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