Magritte, The Ignorant Fairy    

The Science of Sex

Basic Sex Differences (5)

Male Breeding Competition

Excerpts from Section 14 of

The Tyranny of Ambiguity

INTENSIFICATION OF MALE BREEDING COMPETITION. The following is a speculative listing of categories of males who are or will become sexually inactive and therefore non-reproductive with an intensification of male breeding competition. It hardly needs repeating that the only sex which matters in evolutionary terms is reproductive sex.

There is evidently a corresponding list to be drawn of females who fall out of breeding competition, including a large degree of overlap with the above list, but the exercise is here omitted.


8. The last entry in this list may seem unrealistic but it was so routinely and consistently observed that it could not be omitted from it. In one common scenario a conversation would be started with a group of females and the dominant one would assume control. The conversation might be proceeding swimmingly but in any pause, and with no untoward signal or other outward cue, the dominant female would break by suddenly saying “Bye,” leaving a male with little option but to abandon, and even though the remaining females almost certainly had not wished him to do so. Premature Breaking is definitely symptomatic of excessive neurosis but this behaviour is better explained by the definition of BSF which follows.

Delinquent females in inner-city England are of particular interest because they, like squatters, are unconstrained by the usual social and conforming pressures; they do exactly what they want. In a study of delinquent females in inner-city England males were separated into three groups:

  1. Nice boys, whom they all wanted to marry
  2. Boasters, whom they disliked (cf. Proposition 1)
  3. Untouchables

Initially there was confusion about what was meant by “Untouchables” but the main list above should be sufficient to stimulate discussion.

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