Tag Archives: effectiveness

Tucker Max & Geoffrey Miller

The relationship between fitness and survival creates a deep asymmetry in nature.

It’s why, for women, it’s even more important to be sexually disgusted by ineffectiveness than to be sexually attracted to effectiveness. Effectiveness requires a lot—thousands of genes, hundreds of adaptations, dozens of organs, and millions of neurons working together in awesomely intricate ways to produce sustained, adaptive behavior. But there are an infinite number of ways to be ineffective as a male animal, from being spontaneously aborted as a blastocyst to losing competitions to rivals, and literally every point in between. […]

Thus, apart from cultivating signs of effectiveness, it can be even more important to stop showing signs of ineffectiveness. In most species, in fact, a lot of female choice is about avoiding the bad rather than approaching the good.

Tucker Max & Geoffrey Miller, Mate: Become the Man Women Want, New York, 2015