I spend a lot of time talking about the plight of being a beta male in today's society, but I rarely talk about why so many men have become betas. Many people that write on the topic tend to place the blame on all sorts of constructs, many related to women and/or feminists. They'll blame our education system, popular media, and male laziness. But what if the beta issue is caused by something else altogether?
Way back when I studied sex and gender as a experimental psychology student, researchers had noted that oral hormonal contraceptives ("The Pill") changed female mate selection. In short, women on the pill prefer men with more feminine characteristics. In our SDMC lingo, women prefer beta males.
While we still don't understand the exact reason for this, the most common explanation is hormonal birth control kind of "tricks" the female body into being pregnant. If you're not familiar with the idea of hypergamy, read this before continuing... it's critical to understanding the rest of the post.
Okay, in evolutionary terms, a pregnant woman has already been impregnated by her "good gene" alpha male, which is one side of the hypergamy coin. Now she has to focus on carrying the baby to term, then having a support network to provide food, shelter, and some assistance with the actual child-rearing for her for a while after the baby is born (when she's breast-feeding and both her and the baby are vulnerable.) This is best provided by a loyal, compassionate male, which is more beta-ish (and the other side of the hypergamy coin.)
It's also important to note the effects of ovulation on this process. In most cases, hormonal birth control causes a woman to stop ovulating. As I discussed in my now-famous "hacking ovulation" post on my other blog, women crave alphas (and get horny) when they ovulate, then prefer betas throughout the rest of their menstrual cycle.
Since the pill essentially creates a hormonal "perpetual pregnancy", women on the pill kind of stop craving alphas since they don't ovulate. Worth noting - they also commonly experience a drop in sexual desire (no ovulation = no week of near-male horniness), gain weight, and experience more intense emotions and sensory experiences. Anyway, the key is that hormonal birth control amplifies the desire for a provisioning beta male mate and silences the desire for a genetically-superior alpha mate. I don't believe it completely silences that desire, but it makes it FAR easier for women to resist the primal lust they feel towards high value alpha males.
This fact alone may explain why we have so many damn beta males today. They're not real betas. They're alphas that are responding to the laws of economics. Yes, we have a glut of betas because of good 'ole supply and demand. More women crave betas than alphas, so many men simply adopt the personality traits that are in demand.
So Being a Beta is Good, Right?
On paper, it would seem like being a beta is a good thing if it's in demand. Unfortunately, there are a few problems with this assumption.
First, that beta preference only lasts as long as the woman is on hormonal birth control. As soon as she stops, that "alpha-craving" side of hypergamy comes roaring back and that primal desire they feel towards alpha males increases dramatically. It gets a lot harder to resist those urges.
If the pill leads women to choose a beta male as a mate, his lack of "alpha-ness" isn't much of an issue (though she still won't be as sexually aroused as she was with previous alpha lovers) an issue... until his wife goes off the pill. This most commonly happens when the couple decides to have children, but could also happen for medical reasons (the hormones can be brutal to some women), or the woman reaches menopause. This could be a major contributing factor in many modern marriages that fail (which I will discuss in more detail later), and may help explain how and why women married to beta males follow a fairly predictable pattern of unhappiness.
Second, marriage and "finding their soulmate" is an incredibly affirming experience for the beta male, which more or less assures they will believe their mating strategy "won." This is part of the intermittent reinforcement effect I discussed in a previous post. Once the beta male believes his strategy paid off, he's far less likely to recognize he won the battle but is going to lose the war. His inability to sexually arouse his wife much past the honeymoon period should be a red flag that would make him change, but it's not. He'll be blissfully unaware that his "treating her like a princess" smothering behaviors are killing her sexual desire and he won't recognize her unhappiness until it's way too late.
Third, it completely fucks up all sorts of sociocultural constructs. Beta males are less driven to accomplish stuff because they're not living for a purpose other than supporting their wife and family. That creates an army of cubicle-dwellers that, instead of being innovators that push the envelope of technology, are resigned to living a life as a cog in giant corporate machines.
This also creates a whole lotta misogynistic betas that either can't attract a woman (think the obese basement-dwelling gamers) or men that experienced the end of the modern beta marriage I linked to earlier. Their wives had affairs and/or divorced them, took the house and kids, and are now getting a huge chunk of their income via alimony and child support. It's no surprise our mass-shooter issue here in the United States is perpetrated most often by these two groups.
The artificial hormone-induced demand for betas, when coupled with our relative safety and security that was a major component of my Gender Role Protection Theory, creates a situation where many masculine traits are vilified. Childhood "rough housing" is punished, sexual assertiveness is classified as a "rape culture", and men engaging in any sort of aggressive behaviors are expelled from society. This dynamic creates a vicious cycle where "beta-ness" is rewarded and "alpha-ness" is punished, which makes the problem even worse.
Male drug use, mental illness, suicide, and incarceration in prison increases dramatically. Most men, even the most beta of betas, still has primal masculine urges that are driven by testosterone. We're not so good at resisting those urges. The result? We suffer. That suffering manifests itself as mental illness. This is a personal issue as I've suffered from bouts of fairly severe depression my entire life. The "cure?" All I had to do was stop living a lie, come out of my beta closet, and start living like a masculine man (my story can be found here.) Us males typically self-medicate OR go to therapy that urges us to suppress our masculine urges even more. That leads to drug use or just checking out with a bullet in the head. Or it leads us to criminal behavior.
Fourth, it causes many women to choose genetically-incompatible mates, which leads to infertility issues or genetic defects. This is a weird effect, but supported by science. Basically, humans use pheromones to unconsciously "pick" mates that are genetically dissimilar, which leads to healthier babies. The pill fucks that up by causing women to choose partner that are too genetically similar, which creates an effect not unlike incest. A less-studied but related effect is female fertility. The female body has a wonderful mechanism that will spontaneously abort or prevent a fertilized egg from implanting on the uterine wall if the baby-to-be is not viable. The odds of that increases when mom and dad are genetically similar, which might help explain why more and more couples are experiencing fertility problems today.
That fertility issue is also worsened because male sperm count has been dropping like a rock over the last few decades. That decline is blamed on all sorts of weird things from (as mentioned in the linked article) the "Western diet" to cell phones. I've also heard it blamed on pesticides, chemtrails, and skinny jeans. The effect has been much more pronounced in the US and to a lesser degree, other Western cultures. It's kind of funny nobody seems to have made the connection to the rise in beta males. Researchers have long-known lower testosterone leads to erectile dysfunction and lower sperm count. We've also recognized that doing traditional "masculine" activities dramatically increase testosterone. See were I'm going with that? Beta males actively avoid masculine activities, and their testosterone and sperm levels reflect that.
The Connection Between Birth Control and Divorce
I've alluded to this connection before, but I want to spend a little time discussing the issue in detail. The bloggers over at thatmarriedcouple.com wrote an excellent article discussing this issue, which was discussed from a slightly different angle here. Basically, there has been a significant correlation between the introduction of hormonal birth control and divorce rates here in the United States. Here's the graph of the two variables:
Note the trend. Divorce rates increase as a function of pill use. This is one of the trends I noted way back in my undergrad years, but "Beta Jason" dismissed it as an illusory correlation. After all, there are a thousand variables that could be responsible, starting with increased acceptance and logistical ease of divorce, more women becoming financially independent, and the widespread use of pocket calculators (hey, they're not all logical... how else do we explain that slight drop in recent years... from cell phone calculator apps replacing calculators.) :-)
This could very well be an illusory correlation, but as the dudes from CH mentioned in the linked post above, that five year gap between pill increase and divorce is important. That's roughly the amount of time it takes for "beta male marriages" to fall apart. Again, that could be attributed to many things. However, in light of everything I've discussed in this post and many other posts, it's not too much of a stretch.
Since my readership is mostly male, I'll direct my advice to the dudes:
Don't enter a long-term relationship with a woman that's currently using hormonal birth control!
There are other methods of birth control that, with perfect use, are also effective (diaphragms, condoms, female condoms, sponges, spermicides, coitus interruptus, rhythm method, etc.), especially when combined. Worth noting - don't use those last two by themselves. After the honeymoon period (about 12-24 months after you first get together), it would be fine... she would have fallen for you for you and not because of her artificially-influenced hormones AND the chemical cocktail of dopamine, norepinepherine, serotonin, and anandomide (the chemicals that cause the honeymoon period) would have calmed down.
Good luck, gents!