Sexual selection theory and the wisdom of the Common Law

8 posts

Bob Dylan Roof

Mike thinks we need more threads and less shoutboxing.

Mike and Thomas were discussing the transformation of the marriage institution in Anglo-American society and Mike offered a version of the Devlin/Roissy explanation of female sexual behavior: unrestrained female sexual selection is hypergamous, repeatedly selecting for mates that exhibit signals of strength and status as they existed 50,000 years ago according to a three-year temporal rhythm (by Devlin's study of modern female adulterous behavior.)

The accompanying theory of decivilization, advanced by both Devlin and Roissy, maintains that female sexual behavior tends to select for more present-oriented, low-IQ mates because the 50,000-year-old signals mentioned above tend to cluster among lower-class males. The reproductive consequences, according to Devlin and Roissy, will reduce civilization to the level of the primitive matriarchal sexual economy of sub-Saharan Africa where females entertain a constant stream of alpha males who provide almost nothing for the females or resulting offspring.

Assuming that something like this is true, we would expect to see the suppression of female sexual selection to the benefit of a broad spectrum of male types in more civilized cultures. For example, in Henri de Bracton's medieval treatise on the common law, female sexual selection is subject to the sanction of parents and ultimately the chief lord while male sexual selection is not . The reason for this was primarily the fact that women carried inheritances and the common law marriage rules effectively dissolved a bride's legal personhood and transferred all of her property to the husband. Accordingly, the living owners of the property to be inherited would prefer to exercise control over its distribution and not allow it to be transferred to the first PUA to seduce the female issue.

Although these rules were not motivated by broad, civilization-building concerns, the economic motivation behind them ultimately served as a eugenic protection of the woman's biological inheritance.

Discuss, bros.

I agree with Devlin, Roissy et al. that female hypergamous instinct, which does seem to emerge in the absence of restraint, is the primary natural, psychological factor in the transformation of the marriage institution in Anglo-American society, at least coming from the female side. But here are a few more factors that I listed a while back on the Phora:

Social factors:
  • 1. The collapse of moral codes, parental authority and societal pressure, and the corollary rise of extreme individual autonomy (the absence of restraint already mentioned)
  • 2. The widespread availability of artificial contraception and abortion
  • 3. Rampant sexual stimulus & pro-sex propaganda in mainstream entertainment, advertising and even news
Economic & legal factors:
  • 4. The reconfiguration of household economics
  • 5. Welfare safety nets for unwed mothers
  • 6. No-fault divorce and alimony, patrimony, custody law that rewards women for initiating divorce
To this list I would add a couple more factors, cultural ones:
  • 7. Cultural-Marxism and feminism in higher education which devalues traditional relationships and roles
  • 8. Oprah and the rest of pseudo-therapeutic garbage media which teach women to think of themselves as princesses and to be dissatisfied with anything less than perfection
Yes, there is a caveman or cavewoman inside each of us, but in addition to that, a lot of the above factors were & are driven artificially by the deliberate policy & design of law makers, media moguls, and anti-Western academics. It's not all a great big accident.

Full decivilization would presume that things continue as they are, unchecked, just as the impending extinction of Whites as an identifiable group in North America and in Europe would also presume no change in the state of affairs. This is actually a long shot, IMO. Of course, if Roissy had his way, he would allow decivilization as long as he could benefit from it. Besides being a lowlife, Roissy is an example of how insight plus pessimism can turn into self-fulfilling prophesy.

In fact, even now, all is not loss, either on the societal level or on the personal level. It's still possible to find a good woman despite all the factors militating against it that I listed above. It's just increasingly difficult for young men, especially those that don't have their acts together.

This all seems irrefutable. I would like to see anyone name a rising civilization that did not suppress female sexual selection, or a (internally) collapsing civilization that did suppress it.
Bronze Age Pervert
I don't agree that the Middle Ages or the early modern period were times of eugenic breeding, I mean even unintentionally so. See Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil 62 (last aphorism in the religion chapter, and for this reason very significant). The rule of priests was dysgenic on many levels and even the practice you speak of selected for economic advantage, or at most for qualities of thrift, responsibility, industry. Schopenhauer in his chapter on this subject talks about the dysgenic consequences of this kind of matchmaking, which does not consider the biological and intellectual quality of the offspring. By contrast, the ancient Greek/Spartan/archaic Ionian focus was on precisely this quality, and superior to modern European/Teutonic/Christian management of the sexual impulse. The Hellenic world did end (and women became relatively freer in the cosmopolitan Hellenistic period of cultural decline) but its achievements were that much greater because of the wisdom of this cultivation of the sexual instinct, which modern Europeans have never, except in a few cases, been able to perfect. "In Greek women, the Greek genius always returned to nature."
Bob Dylan Roof
I did not claim that the Middle Ages on the whole were more eugenic than antiquity but rather only that they represented and were moving toward a higher level of civilization than societies that permitted unbridled female sexual selection. Arranged marriage - that is, marriage that did not allow female selection to be the final decision on husband selection - was common in ancient Greece and Rome, and the common law rules I pointed to in Bracton are likely much older than Bracton himself. If I recall correctly, many of the Greek polities, especially Sparta, legislated heavily on the question of marriage against the private interests of individual females, which reinforces my point.

I also expressly acknowledged that the reasoning behind the common law rules owed not to far-sighed eugenic considerations (Nietzsche mentions this in the aphorism) but rather economic calculation. This has no bearing on whether the rules produced more eugenic issue. We could just as easily posit a completely irrational motivation for the rules unrelated to petty economic concerns and the consequences of the application of the rules could still be eugenic if the irrational concerns compelled the parents to look for certain traits in a suitor.

The notion that parents and chief lords would not consider the breeding quality of a potential suitor and inheritor of a woman's property is far-fetched. Further, the fact that this sort of marriage custom was less eugenic than the centralized Greek approach does not defeat the inference that it was still superior to a regime that tolerates female sexual selection.
Bronze Age Pervert
Yes but my indirect point was that the system you're referring to led directly to the dysgenic situation of the modern world, of feminism, and of free wimmins. Feminism and women's right begins in the 19th century before any major wars that could be blamed for wiping out many men...and is proof that the men of that time had already been bred to accept feminism, liberalism, democracy, etc.
Bob Dylan Roof
I understand that, but the point, to be more precise, is that the prevalence of Christendom and rule of priests ultimately hampered the positive effects of the indisputably superior common law system of marriage. Christianity also succeeded in eliminating the efficient and eugenic tradition of trial by battle in northern European countries.

I agree for the most part with this sentiment because WASPs set about overturning the common law structure with the successive Married Women's Property Acts almost immediately after the American Revolution. But wouldn't you still agree that the men of the revolutionary era were comparatively superior to most of our leaders today?
Bronze Age Pervert
I think we agree overall, and of course I'd agree that the men of the revolution were superior to modern men. There's been a clear decline in quality of man from the Middle Ages to today. Even Nietzsche attributes superior spirituality to the medieval age, so in this scheme traditional Christianity (even apart from common law traditions you mention) is in any case far superior to the modern man.

I think it's worth pointing out that we are discussing several distinct historical arrangements governing the marriage institution, and viz-a-viz those models, we are discussing two or three related but distinct value systems or teleologies here, at the same time. Among the arrangements that we are looking at are the modern individualistic, the medieval common law, the traditional Christian, and the pre-Christian ancient. To this we could add sundry other arrangements, both attested and possible. The value systems that we are facing at are the economic, the spiritual-religious, the economic-utilitarian, the eugenic, and social-harmony/stability. So we have to be clear about what we are proposing, what we want, and whether our proposal and goal are synchronized.

As I indicated, I think the preponderance of the current marriage situation - or more accurately, its rapid decline - is by deliberate design, and not by accident. I don't think it's too far-fetched to postulate that there is a deliberate goal among the Western globalist elites to break down the traditional family unit, to make women irresponsible, and to remove men from committed roles. I think that this goal is the social and marital analog to the multicultural goal of diluting the ethnic solidarity of the Western countries; specifically, the goal is to render people as rootless individuals, to replace responsible parents with state education and mass media, to create more impulsive consumers, to make people to make society generally easier to control from the top.

I don't think it's feasible to go back to the older systems, but I do think it's possible to reverse some of the factors contributing to the currently emerging arrangement. The main problems are (1) formulating feasible, salutary goals based on a reasonable teleology, (2) doing the revolutionary work of deposing the current elites, and (3) actually reforming major, currently rotten Western institutions. While (2) and (3) are not on the very immediate horizon, it is possible to deal with (1) now.